|TruthPage 2 of 4 (1, 2, 3, 4)|
Truth is central to everything thought/believed and/or spoken. The existence of subjectivity has no negative affect/effect on truth. There is a certain amount of absurdity in the above quote. I mean you're saying that it is practically irrelevant whether or not what you think/believe and/or say throughout your day to day matters is true.
Now that you are offering a bit more info as to where you are going with this, I believe the stance you are taking is of the metaphysical realism branch of philosophy. If this is the case, then I think what you mean by truth is in fact reality. My thought on the word ‘truth’ is that in the context you are using it is archaic, and has largely been replaced by the latter.
Three problems here...
1. Your assuming things about my argument that are false. It would serve us better to allow the author to make their own claims and respond according to what is written, and/or what those claims require. I am not equating truth and reality, nor need I. It is my contention that doing so leaves us at a complete loss as to explain how it is that things can be true.
2.This does not address my objection to the earlier definition put forth and the supporting claims which followed. The argument put forth succumbs to a reductio.
3.We can wrongfully define things, especially those which are not contingent upon our language for their existence. Truth is one such thing.
The position I'm arguing for hinges upon the meanings/uses of the terms "fact", and "reality", and the relations between those. Thought/belief begins by being about fact/reality as it occurs. Thought/belief and/or the statements which follow is/are true if, and only if, it/they correspond(s) to fact/reality(correctly sets out the way things are).
Surely, do a Google search for ‘truth’, or ‘seeking truth’ or ‘searching for truth’ and you get pages and pages of largely Christian web sites. As no particular slight to anyone, this word seems be their preoccupation and no one else’s. More succinctly, I proffer that since the word ‘truth’ may be archaic in the physical sense that you are using it, you could replace it with the term ‘reality’ in this thread, which can facilitate a much better discussion using proper philosophical terms of which we can all agree upon the definition.
I would be interested in reading how you justify your claims about my use.
The stance you take is ontological, as opposed to epistemological, and thus you believe that the reality of the universe is absolutely objective. Not everyone is of that opinion. While Newton maintained the determined clockwork universe that you support, Berkeley was a proponent of idealism and claimed that an object is only real if it is perceived by the mind. Newton's concept pretty much prevailed until the advent of quantum mechanics in the early 20th Century. At that point, reality became very cloudy and such things as the double-split experiment, Schrödinger's cat and Bell's theorem gave serious challenge to the deterministic approach. And thus, when Einstein asked the question to Abraham Pais: “Do you really believe the moon is not there when you are not looking at it?”, he was referring directly to his displeasure with implications of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle; a final lament on his desire to perceive the universe in metaphysical reality terms. Since this time of the maturity of the quantum theory in the 1930s, the objective claim to a universal frame of reference to which we would attribute "the cat has fleas" to have a reality regardless of what you think, or observe or misdiagnose, has largely determined to be false.
While these avenues of thought could be useful, may I suggest that you allow me to make my own argument? I am both, capable and willing. It is not at all helpful for you to tell me what I think and/or believe, and with whom I may or may not agree with.
One may construct a plethora of randomly contrived statements, which by means of sharp challenge (without even arising an admission that the original statement was "just made-up") can quickly be falsified by reductio ad absurdum. I just threw the original definition out there as food for thought, however considering the weight of your counter argument, I will continue to stand by it.
What you're calling the "original" definition of truth succumbs to a reductio ad absurdum. That which is not falsifiable is not necessarily true, let alone does that quality equal truth. I offered one such claim which shows the inherent absurdity in your definition and the argument for it. Whether or not the statement was "made up" is utterly irrelevant. Thestatement satisfied the criterion you've put forth. It is/was unfalsifiable. Thus, if we grant your definition, it only follows that we must conclude that 1.my example qualifies as truth(per your criterion), or 2.realize that that definition is found to be sorely lacking as a result of leading to absurd consequences.
Words are labels that through which we construct concepts in an attempt to explain situations that arise from experience. One such concept is truth, to which you want to be established as an absolute, whereas I am simply countering that it's existence (or nonexistence) does not occupy an a priori state in the in the existence of the universe, but rather is a product of our minds. Replace truth with other concepts such as reality, love or beauty and I will make the same argument.
Allow me to make my own argument. Discipline is necessary here. I have not invoked "absolute". To quite the contrary, I object to such language. You may be right in your objections that follow from what you've presupposed, assuming that you've interpreted my claims correctly. The problem is that your conclusions about my argument do not match, nor follow from what I've written.
I mean you're saying that it is practically irrelevant whether or not what you think/believe and/or say throughout your day to day matters is true. We know better than that.
Who are the royal "we". Not knowing exactly the context or meaning of ‘true’, but assuming you mean ‘real’, then I would hazard to guess that 'we' you are grouping yourself with have little experience with either philosophy, the history of science or quantum mechanics.
There is no "royal we", nor need their be. Let's rid ourselves of the assumptions regarding what you think that I think - shall we?
The existence of true thought/belief requires the existence of truth. True thought/belief and/or statements are pivotal, dare I say irrevocable, to our gaining an understanding of the way things are. Do you agree?
Posted: 7/3/2012 4:35:16 PM
I find it quite amusing that your initial post which started this thread asks for people's thoughts on the subject and when we do offer them you show no signs of valuing them and write paragraphs on how you think we're all wrong and you're right. Well if thats your contention, then a bit of advice for the future; Don't ask for other people's thoughts on anything. :)
This is a philosophy forum. I'm doing philosophy.
If we all agreed upon everything, we would still believe the world is flat. I value true thought/belief, and I'm unapologetic about that. I do not value incoherence and/or falsity. The criterion and standards that I hold another's argument to are held to by myself as well. What more could another ask?
Posted: 7/3/2012 4:47:28 PM
He's just a troll baiting people into arguing.
Geez o peets.
This is a philosophy forum, and I'm doing philosophy. Argument is essential to philosophy. When one enters into a philosophical discussion they enter into a voluntary agreement to justify their claims, and/or address any valid objections which may arise. I do that and expect it from others. If that constitutes my being a troll, then I stand guilty as charged.
Posted: 7/3/2012 4:57:26 PM
|One of the best definitions of some of the most important truths these days is ... that which is politically incorrect.|
Posted: 7/3/2012 10:42:12 PM
|I think that perhaps a discussion of that which is truth-bearing is on order. It can often help to reduce the irrelevance. I mean, what sort of things can be true, and perhaps more importantly, what makes them so?|
Statements. Thought/belief. Anything else?
Posted: 7/3/2012 10:55:36 PM
Aristotle: “To say of 'what is' that it is not, or of 'what is not' that it is, is false, while to say of 'what is' that it is, and of 'what is not' that it is not, is true”.
Building on Aristotle is Aquinas, who, roughly translated, said that truth is the correspondence between the object and the intellect. Or in other words, truth is the correspondence between what is in the mind and what is thought about, whether that is a physical object, a person, an event, etc. So for Aquinas, the truth of what is in the mind is governed by the reality of the object. (I think he would say that when the form of the object is identical to the form in the mind, that is truth.) Interestingly, this is reversed in the case of God, i.e., an object (the "res") is true insofar as it corresponds to what is in God's mind/intellect, not the other way around!
I think when someone says "my truth", they are speaking more of a conviction or belief. If someone says "Justin Bieber is the greatest singer ever, and that's MY truth!", they are asserting a value or belief or opinion, and are using "truth" in a derivative or slang sense.
Interestingly enough, there is much that I agree with here. There is much that I disagree with as well, but it is irrelevant and I do not wish to sidetrack the topic by discussing interpretations of past long dead philosophers, unless it directly bears upon the subject matter at hand. The Aristotle quote, although vague, could be particularly useful.
The notion of correspondence is appealing to me, however not as convention has it. There is no one to one correspondence between word and world. However, I do hold that truth is correspondence, and further propose that the T-sentence sets this out nicely.
Posted: 7/8/2012 2:12:47 AM
|Water is wet. A circle is round. One plus two equals three.|
These are examples of things which are true. When you let yourself know how you know that these things are true, then you'll understand the concept of truth.
But if you think the idea of subjective reality is legitimate, which has infected society in various ways, as opposed to objective reality, then your attempts to know things are already sabotaged. And you'll begin counting your money wrong compared to how math really works, and you'll conjure up wacko ways of rationalizing and validating your way of thinking.
Posted: 7/8/2012 3:30:54 AM
|WOW quite the deep and broad subject, as you present it. As so many of these threads, some people get so long winded in their philosophy there is no way I am reading all of the comments...myself not excluded.|
All any of us can do is to give our view of things and the truth of our individual experience. It is quite obvious that for the majority of life, my truth will not be your truth and yours will not be anyone else's. Because our truths AND beliefs are based on experience and trust in other's stories. I may not trust who you trust and vice versa.
Some truths are stationary, absolute, I think;* and whether or not we truly understand them, they will never change. Laws of Nature or Universal Laws, being my predominant example; like the Laws of Gravitation, Laws of Quantum Mechanics, Laws of Relativity, Laws of Motion, Laws of Thermodynamics, etc... These are all going to be based in mathematics, very measurable and yet, we discover new things about them and there is even debate on how to define these laws, which you can find at this web site:
(*I think, as in as much as many will demand they KNOW, none of use really KNOW anything, but a few things seem to be pretty certain, very few.)
The funny thing about mathematics... numbers never lie, but mankind can rearrange those numbers and their perceived truth about them and get pretty much any answer they want from them. This is how some people are able to brilliantly discover hidden truths about our universe, while others are still scratching their heads, even if they were equally educated and searching for the same truths.
If it isn't a law it is a theory and a law differs from a theory, which differs from a postulate, which differs from hypotheses. We do find some Universal Constants through all of this. Truth is forever tied to discovery and discovery to truth. As we experience and discover new things along our journey, our truth changes. And all of this is before you get to opinion, which is different completely from these. People are simply not well educated and do not see the differences.
Humankind sees everything through its own eyes, its own experience, therefore even if two agree, one may see the subject much more deeply, so his truth is still different than the other persons.
It is hard for us to see that truth is relative because we love to hold it up as a constant, but the truth is, truth is relative, for the majority of what concerns us as earthbound beings trying to live our daily lives. Few people encounter a need to see Universal Constants and Absolute Truths. What burns us are the people that deliberately use this [truth] to act unscrupulously and to be irresponsible.
Posted: 7/8/2012 1:21:43 PM
Posted: 7/8/2012 2:30:05 PM
|The only truth is mind not the ideas, beliefs, perceptions, knowledge and experiences we fill them with.|
Posted: 7/8/2012 11:58:08 PM
Gravity is truth?
Take it from me, I study mathematics and astrophysics. Yes. Gravity is truth. No matter where you go on this planet we call earth, gravity will always act as a force at a distance on you. Nothing, ever ever ever, will change that. No matter how much weight you loose on Jenny Craig's program, you're not goin' anywhere :). Now that is what I call a fundamental regularity to nature. It is true.
Objective means ultimately true external to an individual's perceptions. So, maybe you feel like stealing that apple from the beggar is delicious. But maybe it's ultimately wrong because stealing is bad, and he is hungry!
Science is for example objective. Physics in particular uses applied math to solve real problems. We can get a rocket ship to the moon because a swell guy named Newton came along and noticed force is equal to mass times accelerations, unless you don't want to deal with bullshit Newtonian mechanics and skip up to relativity or something more advanced. Still, F = M x A gets us to the moon. That's real. That's objective.
Here's another example: the electromagnetic spectrum. The human eye is sensitive to particular wavelengths of this spectrum. However, these colors are only a tiny fraction of the overall scale. We know because of mathematics and experimentation that there are different wavelengths to light other than what our eyes see. In this way, humans meaningfully understand the different wavelengths of light through external experimentation, i.e. mathematics and science. Even though we only SEE yellow, blue, red, etc., the microwaves you use every time you call a friend on the phone are real and we know they are. This is a another regularity of nature. It is true.
Is measurement necessary for truth?
How do you know -- what is true -- without measuring? If you have no reliable way of testing your methods, they don't mean crap. You could have them be about pink three-headed dragons. That's great. It doesn't prove Big Foot is real. It doesn't prove anything. You need proof to prove. Otherwise, your statements are essentially worthless. Without regularities, science would be useless because there would be nothing to test. Everything would random and chaotic. But we observe that this is not the case. Light behaves accordingly. Similarly, gravity behaves one way. Our atomic theory describes two other regular forces of nature as well, the Strong and Weak forces.
Also...if you say a dog has fleas, that's splendid. It does not mean anything about anything, though. Again, you could shout, "pink, three-headed potatoes are flying after me!" What does it mean? I think it's obvious. You would be a looney if you said that. If there were no truths, we would have no standards. And while this is slightly flawed because science is truly provisional, there are regularities to nature. They are the truest.
Posted: 7/9/2012 2:57:52 AM
|^^^ Is this "Pick on Gravity" day?|
Posted: 7/9/2012 5:58:20 AM
|Cogito ergo sum - The only knowledge we know to be truth is knowledge which is impossible to doubt. Even if the entire universe was a dream we require a mind to experience the illusion. Therefore the only thing we know to be truth is that we have a mind.|
Gravity is not truth - Science does not know what gravity is, where it comes from or what causes it -
1. No gravitrons have ever been detected meaning there is nothing in the Standard Model of the atom to account for gravity.
2. Relativity says its the geometry of space-time however relativity breaks down at extremely small and extremely large distances. It doesnt work for black holes, the big bang and its incompatable with non-locality.
3. Modifed Newtonian Mechanics, Quantum Loop Gravity and Entrophic Gravity are possibilities but are as yet all unproven.
4. Maxwells field equations use Lorentz gravity not relativity and its predications are experimentally verified. Lorentz gravity requires an ether and allows for electro-magnetic fields to propagate faster than the speed of light violating relativity. The detection of the God particle opens up the ether argument again so we may have been a little fast to pick Einstein over Lorentz. This is early days though.
5. No gravity waves have ever been detected violating relativity.
At this moment in history its anyones guess what gravity is, where it comes from or how it works. Gravity is the great mystery of modern day science.
Posted: 7/9/2012 3:45:09 PM
|Let me see if I can keep some unnecessary inconsistencies from getting out of hand...|
instead of "truth", sometimes "true" or "real" or "does exist" should be used.
we can't explain gravity. if we could, we'd be worrying about proving that theory. even though you don't really prove theories, in case it comes up.
but, gravity is real. we prove it everyday. we might not be able to prove an explanation of it, but we certainly can prove IT. if you don't want to understand or accept this, then please perform for us the trick of jumping, and never coming back down to the ground. as you drift away forever, you can feel smug in having proven something to us here on the ground.
Posted: 7/9/2012 6:59:27 PM
|There is nothing that isn't true if you believe it, and nothing that is true, believe it or not! :p|
Posted: 7/9/2012 9:57:38 PM
|The only truth that can be known is that nobody knows the truth.|
Posted: 7/10/2012 1:48:42 AM
|geez how dumb.|
I sometimes can't help but relate religion to the evil of nihilism in some ways. The cynical and apethetic idea that we can't know anything for sure so there's no point in trying to find out anything, and/or there's no need to have any kind of values at all. The connection might not be obvious, but notions like this are always a ruse to undermine rational inquiry or atheism, etc, and then into the opening someone introduces religion. Also, as another example of the tricks of ass-backwardness of religious apologists, playing that littles kid's "opposites" game...some try to relate nihilism with atheism, perpetuating that lie that atheism can't have any values or morals.
Posted: 7/10/2012 1:50:58 AM
|god ss you're so full of crap.|
|Truth and the consequences of speaking it|
Posted: 7/11/2012 5:17:37 AM
geez how dumb.
Gee…here I thought I came up with something incredibly cute & profound and you're dissing it with erroneous assumptions…For shame! I thought the topic was truth, not religion and/or nihilism. Forgive me if I misunderstood.
Anyway, I'll accept upon proof of claim that my statement was one or more of:
or that it implied that:
3) there is no point in trying to find out anything
4) there is no need for values
5) it was a ruse to undermine rational inquiry or atheism
6) another example of the tricks of ass-backwardness of religious apologists
Would you like me to prove the truth of my statement?…I can you know. All you gotta do is ask.
Posted: 7/11/2012 11:19:04 AM
|The origin of truth? I think people started telling the truth because it was the easiest thing to remember.|
Posted: 7/11/2012 2:45:05 PM
|(sticking out tongue) I'll lighten up.|
Posted: 7/11/2012 2:51:39 PM
Specifically, where and/or how does it originate?
It originates from observation and measurement - look up "Scientific Method" on wikipedia for more detail.
And if your theory works more than 99.99966% of the time and other people can independently verify this, then it's the truth.
Posted: 7/11/2012 5:14:50 PM
|The problem is truth is subjective, but that also we are only as good as the info we have available and if we were feed lies or errors then our perception of truth on a subject or reality might be tainted by that misinformation.|
Example would be a person asked to point up, those with vision facing the right direction point to the sky as up, but a blind person facing the wrong direction (hanging upside down) points up and he/she is pointing to the ground.
To the blind person and those who trust the blind persons opinion the truth for them is down is up and up is down, opposite reality. We see this in society today whereby people twist life around, the reality is living is life capable of paradise and dying is death to be despised, but to the perception of others life is to difficult, so they created an imaginary life in death and thus twist death as life in paradise and life as one in bondage. So how do we know which is true? Simple, the ones who believe death is beautiful are in no way rushing to get there, they say it's wrong to send fetuses there without first going through pain and suffering in life, and they always wish to send their enemies to that paradise in death. Seems to be subconsciously even they know the truth of which is which.
TRUTH: a fact; reality; that which conforms to fact or reality; the real or true state of things whether the mind can concieve, accept, or percieve it or not.
a verified fact; a true statement or propostion; an established principle, a fixed law or the like.
Humorous answer: If you are a Parent truth is: "Because I say So"
Posted: 7/11/2012 5:22:25 PM
(sticking out tongue) I'll lighten up.
Offer accepted (except the tongue of course...I hardly know you).
Posted: 7/12/2012 7:19:28 PM
How do you know -- what is true -- without measuring?
Are you saying that all truth must be empirically measurable/verifiable? Are you a materialist, then?
Palmer Joss: [Ellie challenges Palmer to prove the existence of God] Did you love your father?
Ellie Arroway: What?
Palmer Joss: Your dad. Did you love him?
Ellie Arroway: Yes, very much.
Palmer Joss: Prove it.
[You are more than your own measurements.]
Aquinas: Truth is the correlation ("adequation") between mind and object, i.e., between the
thought/concept/judgment in the mind and the reality of what is thought about it. In this way,
the reality of people, objects, events, etc.., is the "control" over the truth and falsity of what is
in our minds. This only makes sense, since conceptual knowledge begins from and builds
on sensory perception.
There are different kinds of truths inasmuch as there are different kinds of objects to relate
the mind to. A scientific or empirical fact is a kind of truth, a propositional truth about a kind
of physical or material reality. A moral truth is a kind of truth, a propositional truth about a
kind of action.
We can know many things with certainty (red is red, given you have the sight to see it...although
you cannot "prove" red is red or even describe redness to one born congenitally blind.) Other
things we can know along a continuum of certainty or confidence, which can make determining
true or false statements about them more or less difficult. For example, the ancients would say
it is much easier to say what God isn't than what God is.