Is Truth Invented or Discovered?

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Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 03:40 am
Is truth made or found? Are philosophers/scientist inventors of tools or lifters of curtains?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 04:14 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;126346 wrote:
Is truth made or found? Are philosophers/scientist inventors of tools or lifters of curtains?


There are moments when I become part of the universe, I become part of the maze for others to explore, a wall, a door, a stairway. No, no, wait a second, I am not the wall, the door, the stairway, but rather I create the wall the door, the stairway - it is only natural for the creator to over-identify with his/her creation and this tendency to over-identify with ones creation is one of those hurdles the creators must overcome. Curtain lifters can only be scolded and scared away. Inventors can be judged. And those who judge will say: "How dare you further complicate this labyrinth!"
 
amist
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 04:17 am
@Reconstructo,
The truth is found, information is created.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 04:25 am
@amist,
amist;126351 wrote:
The truth is found, information is created.


How does one tell the difference between information and truth?
 
amist
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 04:27 am
@Reconstructo,
Simple, if it is indubitable, it is the truth(since truth implies certainty). Otherwise it's not necessarily true and merely information. Some information may be more valuable than other information but at the core of its being it is just that, merely information.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 04:49 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;126346 wrote:
Is truth made or found? Are philosophers/scientist inventors of tools or lifters of curtains?


If you think that someone invented the truth that the Nile is the longest river in Africa, you must think that it is not really a truth that the Nile is the longest river in Africa, but it is a lie. That is what it means to "invent a truth"; that it really is not a truth, but a lie. At least that is what it means in English. The phrase, "invented the truth" really means, 'invented the "truth"'

---------- Post added 02-09-2010 at 05:52 AM ----------

amist;126353 wrote:
Simple, if it is indubitable, it is the truth(since truth implies certainty). Otherwise it's not necessarily true and merely information. Some information may be more valuable than other information but at the core of its being it is just that, merely information.


It may very well be true that La Paz is the capital of Bolivia, but I am not certain of it. It may be true that there is life on other planets, but do you know anyone who is certain that there is life on other planets? So how does truth imply certainty?
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 05:04 am
@amist,
amist;126353 wrote:
Simple, if it is indubitable, it is the truth(since truth implies certainty). Otherwise it's not necessarily true and merely information. Some information may be more valuable than other information but at the core of its being it is just that, merely information.


So then does truth first present itself as mere information until it achieves certainty? Is it true before it was recognized as true or is it just information up until the moment when you realize that it is true?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 05:13 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;126360 wrote:
So then does truth first present itself as mere information until it achieves certainty? Is it true before it was recognized as true or is it just information up until the moment when you realize that it is true?


Truth never "achieves" certainty, since it really makes no sense to say of truth that it is certain. Although, of course, it makes sense to say that people are certain (or uncertain) of truths. I doubt that the Nile river became the longest river in Africa only when it was finally measured. What was it before it was measured?

If information is not true, it is hardly information. There is no information that the Nile is the shortest river in Africa.
 
amist
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 06:14 am
@Reconstructo,
Quote:
So how does truth imply certainty?
Truth must be certain because if it isn't absolutely certain, then it could be false. And you cannot call what could be false true, because that would be a direct contradiction. Sure there is some kind of objective truth out there somewhere but it's meaningless to talk about it seeing how limited we are as subjects. I'm speaking that in the epistemological sense, you cannot say anything is true which you do not know for certain.

Information is produced to make up for the lack of certainty/truth in the world.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 06:29 am
@amist,
amist;126372 wrote:
Truth must be certain because if it isn't absolutely certain, then it could be false. And you cannot call what could be false true, because that would be a direct contradiction. Sure there is some kind of objective truth out there somewhere but it's meaningless to talk about it seeing how limited we are as subjects. I'm speaking that in the epistemological sense, you cannot say anything is true which you do not know for certain.

Information is produced to make up for the lack of certainty/truth in the world.


Some truths (contingent truths) could be false. It is true that the Nile is the longest river in Africa, but it could be false. We could have discovered that another river is Africa is the longest river. In fact, although now unlikely, we could still discover we had made a mistake and that the Nile was not the longest river in Africa. But if it is true that the Nile is the longest river in Africa, it is true that it is the longest river in Africa. You seem to be confusing the two sentences: 1. It must be that if P is true, then P is true, with, 2. If P is true then P must be true. Sentence 1 is, of course true. But sentence 2. is false. Since there are many statement that are true, but which needn't be true. Another way of putting your mistake is that you seem to believe that all truths are necessary truths. But that is clearly false. Since that would mean there are no contingent truths, and there are many contingent truths. Like, the Nile is the longest river in Africa. Of course, if a statement is true, it is not false. But that does not mean that if a statement is true that it could not be false.
 
amist
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 06:32 am
@Reconstructo,
I'm not saying that, I'm saying that it's not worth calling contingent 'truths' we have evidence for in the actual world 'truths' because by its definition truth implies certainty and I feel the label information fits better.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 06:37 am
@amist,
amist;126377 wrote:
I'm not saying that, I'm saying that it's not worth calling contingent 'truths' we have evidence for in the actual world 'truths' because by its definition truth implies certainty and I feel the label information fits better.


But, as I have pointed out, truth does not imply certainty, since there may be many truths that are not certain. For example, Either it is true or it is false that there is intelligent life on other planets. But, of course, no one is certain which it is, true of false (i.e. true that it is false). So that is an example of a truth that is not certain. Therefore, there are truths that are not certain. The above is an argument that shows that some truths are not certain. Have you an objection to that argument. It is not an objection simply to deny it.
 
amist
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 06:43 am
@Reconstructo,
We cannot say anything about the truth value of the statement 'there is intelligent life on other planets'. Certainly the statement does have a truth value, but all I'm saying is that if you don't know what it is, don't claim to.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 06:47 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;126346 wrote:
Is truth made or found? Are philosophers/scientist inventors of tools or lifters of curtains?

Both...What one makes another discovers, and one persons discovery is made into new forms by others...I used to build buildings... One day it was not there to some infrequent passer by, and then it was... What I helped to make was in no small part truth, and yet my labor was another person's discovery...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 06:52 am
@amist,
amist;126379 wrote:
We cannot say anything about the truth value of the statement 'there is intelligent life on other planets'. Certainly the statement does have a truth value, but all I'm saying is that if you don't know what it is, don't claim to.


I didn't claim to know what the truth value is. I just pointed out that either it is true or not true that there is intelligent life on other planets, but that neither is certain. Therefore truth does not imply certainty. What I think you may have in mind is not that truth implies certainty, but that when a person claims that something is true, that person usually (unless he is being insincere) feels certain about his claim. But, of course, that is something very different from saying that truth implies certainty. If is that claiming truth often suggests the person who is claiming it, feels sure it is true. There is an important different bewteen claiming that p is true, and p being true. Don't confuse the claim with what is being claimed.

---------- Post added 02-09-2010 at 07:53 AM ----------

Fido;126382 wrote:
Both...What one makes another discovers, and one persons discovery is made into new forms by others...I used to build buildings... One day it was not there to some infrequent passer by, and then it was... What I helped to make was in no small part truth, and yet my labor was another person's discovery...


I thought you helped to make a building, not truth. Am I mistaken?
 
amist
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 07:02 am
@Reconstructo,
However if you are saying something is true, your are implying that it is just that, true, without qualification, 100% certain. I'm not saying there is no truth outside what is epistemically certain, I'm just saying that you can't say that a certain thing is true unless you are epistemically certain. Jesus you're nitpicking on so many levels I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 07:19 am
@amist,
amist;126390 wrote:
However if you are saying something is true, your are implying that it is just that, true, without qualification, 100% certain. I'm not saying there is no truth outside what is epistemically certain, I'm just saying that you can't say that a certain thing is true unless you are epistemically certain. Jesus you're nitpicking on so many levels I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore.


Saying (or claiming) something is true is, as I said, a whole different kettle of fish from the something being true. You can say or claim p is true, and p not be true. Or you can say or claim that p is not true, and p be true anyway. Some people think that what they say is true is 100% certain, I suppose. They are called "dogmatists". But some people have, what David Hume called a tincture of skepticism. They realize how fallible people are, and realize that people cannot be 100% certain about anything. After all, "to err is human". But the thing to remember is that although when you claim that a statement is true, you may feel 100% certain that it is true, that does not mean that the statement you are claiming is true is 100% certain. Always distinguish between the claim, and what is being claimed. It is a mistake to confuse them. as you have been doing. After all, A may claim that God exists, and B. may claim that God does not exist. Both may be 100% certain that there respective claims are true. But, of course, since both their claims cannot be true, one of the claims cannot be 100% certain. You can see that, I know. Maybe, in the light of my arguments, you ought to rethink your view.
 
amist
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 07:43 am
@Reconstructo,
Quote:
Saying (or claiming) something is true is, as I said, a whole different kettle of fish from the something being truth.


Yeah, I remember from the last 10 times you said it. And then the next 5 times you said it in this post, I caught those too. The truth is indubitable if it has been truly discovered, that's really all I'm trying to claim here. I never once denied that there were contingent truths. You just can't claim to know one because they're incredibly uncertain to the human subject. Now, I would say 'if you're done ranting now could we please get back to the thread', but the entirety of this thread has been eaten up by you foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog because of some perceived misunderstanding of the word 'truth'. So I guess we should get the thread started?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 08:07 am
@amist,
amist;126403 wrote:
Yeah, I remember from the last 10 times you said it. And then the next 5 times you said it in this post, I caught those too. The truth is indubitable if it has been truly discovered, that's really all I'm trying to claim here. I never once denied that there were contingent truths. You just can't claim to know one because they're incredibly uncertain to the human subject. Now, I would say 'if you're done ranting now could we please get back to the thread', but the entirety of this thread has been eaten up by you foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog because of some perceived misunderstanding of the word 'truth'. So I guess we should get the thread started?


The truth is not indubitable even if it has been truly discovered, since whether the Nile is the longest river in Africa is dubitable. It is possible to doubt it. But, to our best information, of course, it is true. I imagine lots of people do not know that the Nile is the longest river in Africa. Don't you?
Why can't I know a contingent truth. Not because they may be uncertain, because that assumes we cannot know a truth that might be false. But that the Nile is the longest river in Africa might be false, but we know it,since it happens to be true. If you believe that you cannot know unless you are certain (which you seem to believe) have you an argument for that belief? Let me repeat a distinction I have already made. You cannot know if what you believe you know is false. But that is no reason to think that you cannot know if what you believe you know might be false. There is a big difference between something being false, and the possibility of its being false, Since, if it is possible it is false, then it is also possible that it is true. I thought the thread was started. It is clear, of course, that no truths are invented, and all truths are discovered, since to say of something that it is an invented truth is to say of it that it is a lie, and not really a truth at all. For example, Hitler invented the truth that Jews were inferior beings. That means that it is not true that Jews are inferior beings. It is a lie. Germany invented the truth that it was attacked by Poland in 1939. Which means that it was not true that Germany was attacked by Poland in 1939. It was a lie. So, invented truths are lies, and therefore, they are not true. Therefore, there are no invented truths.
 
amist
 
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2010 08:21 am
@Reconstructo,
I'm going to respond to this thread one more time.

Quote:
The truth is not indubitable even if it has been truly discovered, since whether the Nile is the longest river in Africa is dubitable.


Oh yeah, I can't think of anything more certain in the world than the Nile being the longest river in Africa. Oh wait, I remember now, logic and mathematical truths, and my own subjective experience.

Quote:
Why can't I know a contingent truth. Not because they may be uncertain, because that assumes we cannot know a truth that might be false.


I am going to say this one last time. If it is uncertain, I don't think you should be claiming it is the truth. Contingent truths are often highly dubitable, such as historical 'facts', which get overturned all of the time for instance. It's not knowledge, it's just information.
 
 

 
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