It is not possible for me to tell whether or not we are disagreeing, for I don't unkderstand a lot of what you are saying, or if I do, it is only vaguely.
For instance, it seems to me that what is generally known as the "scientific method" can be used to answer non-scientific questions like philosophical questions. At least, I hope so, for other than that, I know of no method.
I think finally we are understanding each other to some degree, my point and this is as clear as I can say is that scientific method cannot be applied to all philosophical questions, or it can be applied but it can't add anything further to the debate, as is seen in the example of knowing other minds. I agree that scientific method is generally the most sound approach, but I disagree with avoiding philosophical questions that still have relevance just because they cannot be answered through this scientific method, such as the problem of knowing other minds. That's about as clear as I can be I feel.
The only 'prespective' that can ever be closer to the truth(eve tho it makes me smile, this word -truth-) is the window where you can see every window and not choose any.
My psychologist told me to get a bit lower and adviced my mother to try to go a bit higher in order to meet in one point. So it is not always enough to see everything from a bigger view but also be capable to get yourself in a 'lower' position, if you know what i'm saying.
It is funny because truth always changes. It means what it means? What does it mean?
Aristotle put it very well: "To say what is true, is to say that what is, or to say that what is not, is not."
Suppose the person standing next to you in Central Park does not feel the rain and says it is not raining. Or suppose a sensor that is a few yards away doesn't register the rain. Or suppose someone misreads the sensor and says it didn't rain. So what is true?
There is no way of getting away from the fact that an observer must always be involved which means that each individual mind will "say what is true". Which is fine, as long as everyone realizes that it is a subjective evaluation. Eventually they will all probably reach some consensus on whether it rained or not, after they have shared each other's perspective. Or they might not.
Whether or not anyone knows it is raining is one thing. Whether or not it is raining is an entirely different think. Rain need not be detected for it to be raining. It might have been raining in Central Park 300,000 years ago when there was nothing to detect it. You continue to confuse knowing that something exists with existing. No one has to say it is true, or think it is true that it is raining, for it to be raining. Rain doesn't care whether anyone believes or says it exists. It just comes down.
Fine. Whatever you want to believe is true.
I want to believe what is true.
It looks like you really do. I just believe what I believe.
I just believe what I believe.
Truth never changes. If it is true that it is raining in the middle of Central Park in New York City at 11:AM on July 20, 1989, then it is true now, on July 20, 2009 that it is raining in the middle of Central Park in New York City at 11:AM on July 20, 1989; it was true a million years ago that, in the middle of Central Park in New York City at 11:AM on July 20, 1989, and it will be true a million years from now that it rains in the middle of Central Park in New York City, at 11:AM on July 20, 1989. And until the end of the world.
Can you elaborate on this, please? How do you decide what to believe? I take it that you base your beliefs on your observations and experiences, and that you therefore believe some things that are unwelcome to you.
---------- Post added 07-10-2009 at 09:15 PM ----------
I mostly agree with you, but I am doubtful about the above passage in bold. Doesn't it imply predestination? I would prefer to say that a million years ago no statement about an event in 1989 had any truth-value (true or false). Of course, many people claim that time is not real, and that past, present and future are all co-existent; but that is open to debate.
There are many ways to try to understand things. It is like detective work. Yes, sometimes things I observe around me and in my self leave an unwelcome feeling. So, that is the way my mind work.
But in all cases, I know it is my own mind at work - sometimes working with other minds - using its senses, its knowledge, and its skills, to try to figure things out. I am satisfied that it seems like I am changing all the time, and it seems like the world around me is doing the same thing - like an ocean with waves.
What is the truth about an ocean? I am not sure. I just seems like it is changing and I am watching it change. Others may also be watching it, and probably seeing something different than I.
You seem to have the perspective of the Middle Ages.
In fact, your thinking is exactly what they thought during the Middle Ages, and what's more tens of thousands of people died during the Inquisition and Crusades because of your kind of thinking. I think you should read up on Galileo and what happened to him because he disagreed with people who knew the Truth.
BTW, as long as it is all about beliefs, you believe one way and I another way, what's the problem? I think less people die my way, but live and let live, I always say.
Because some beliefs are true, and some beliefs are false. And it makes a difference whether you hold a true or a false belief. I wouldn't have thought it was necessary to tell a grownup that, but apparently it is.
What happened to Galileo was that he knew the truth, and the others did not know the truth. They only believed they knew the truth. As Will Rogers pointed out, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It is what you "know" that ain't true that does it". (Notice the quotes around the second occurrence of the word, know. They are very important).
Oh, .... I think the people who were for the Inquisition of Galileo were just plain ordinary everyday folks who who cocksure that they knew the Truth. As you said, Middle Ages - but apparently not only the Middle Ages, but also now, and probably the future.
Good. But why cannot the SM be used to know that another person (say) is angry? As a result of certain observations, I formulate the hypothesis that my friend is angry. I may, then, test that hypothesis by making some predictions from it, and determining whether the predictions are successful, or unsuccessful. I just might ask my friend whether he is angry, and (CP) if he says no, he is not, I may simply take that as good reason to think my hypothesis is false. If, on the other hand, my friend says that yes, he is angry, then I will take that as good reason to think that my hypothesis is true (it tends to confirm my hypothesis). What is the matter with this account?