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# Exactly what is “Truth”?

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There are two types of thinking, objective and subjective. Subjectivity, by its very nature is not truth, since it contain an irrational aspect. Objectivity is closer to the truth because it supports a position with reason. But even reason has limitations, if the data set is not complete. Subjectivity uses large fuzzy data points allowing any curve to fit. Reason uses sharper data points, but if all the data points are not there, a curve is still drawn. It is the best fit for that incomplete data, but more data is needed before the real truth curve can be drawn.

The way you approximate the truth with 2-D, reason, is to take all the rational opinions and use all their good data points, to make one graph. For example, global warming has good rational arguments for and against. Based on that, both sides are using only part of the valid data points. The result is two objective graphs, each with part of the data, instead of one 3-D graph with all the data points.

These rational, partial data plots, are a blend of objectivity and subjectivity, which is why it gets political. It is doubtful anything political is ever truth. Politics polarizes opinion, with each camp rationally using part of the data to plot their curve. That partial data is good data, which why the arguments are logical and reasonable. If this was the only data it would be truth. To create the truth illusion, subjectivity is used like an eraser to get rid of the data points that don't fit the rational curve you are drawing.

This could be an artifact of reason working best with limited data. If the data gets too complex such as conflicting data, the rational analysis splits into two lines of reasoning. That is why rational people have concluded truth is relative. Both relative truths contain part of the truth, but all the truth data is too much data for one line of reasoning. Truth needs 3-D plots since 3-d space is able to handle much more data before saturation.

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Physics (the mother of all science so to speak) thinks they are explaining reality and at the same time consider “truth” to be outside their interest (a philosophical issue; that's why I am posting to the “metaphysics” forum).
Er... perhaps you meant to say the other way around? :) ;)
No, I don't. You once again demonstrate that you do not grasp the essence of what I am doing.

Would you be so kind as to share a link which directs users to the metaphysics forum on this site, Dick?

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I cannot see that implies that all logical systems cannot deal with reality. Even if reality is not logical, that is a logical deduction.
I dont think the implication is that there cant be a logical system that can deal with reality. For many cases logical systems seem to me to be the only way to draw conclusions about reality, but this is only to say that we can make some useful approximations, concerning reality, within our desired parameters.
The problem, in the physical sciences, is one of marrying time reversible equations with an irreversible reality. QM has it's clinamen in the collapse of the wave function, the deterministic equations only offer a range of results.
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Would you be so kind as to share a link which directs users to the metaphysics forum on this site, Dick?
Man, that' exactly what I wuz gonna say meverry self! But then, I thought it over just an extra sec, and realized that since he sez:
that's why I am posting to the “metaphysics” forum
dang, I thought, this very thread, the very one we're saying it in, is itself in the very forum we're saying we can't find! Just beats me...:)

;)

QM has it's clinamen in the collapse of the wave function, the deterministic equations only offer a range of results.
I see what you are getting at, but I consider relations between logic and determinism as being for some other thread.

If you want to make such a distinction, you had better have a method by which the distinction can be resolved.
But I did resolve the distinction. And you go on to say exactly the things I was talking about, albeit as objections to me, except that I do not agree with:
How can you get from one to the other? Certainly it should be clear to you that you can; people do it all the time.
No, people never do it and it can't be done.

But of course, I have really had no interest in researching the issue.
I think it would benefit your ability of communicating your ideas if you got yourself a better understanding of the modern mathematician's conception of what math is:
Then, in your opinion, logic has nothing to do with “truth in the metaphysical sense” or did you mean it has nothing to do with “truth in the scientific sense”?
I would say: It has nothing to do with reality. This is how the modern mathematician sees it. The key to your resort to using arguments which I myself hold, but as objections against me, seems to lie in that you refuse the terminology of “truth in the logical and mathematical sense”.

You addressed the question about the constitution of a proton, but not the one about the angles of a triangle. To a modern mathematician, it isn't necessary to know what a triangle, or an angle, or a line, segment or a point is.

I would agree with you if you replaced, “about what they observed” with “about what they think they observed”.
Actually the border between the two things is very ill-defined, and this is at the very heart of the problem you take so much to heart: what we can know about reality, metaphysics and ontology. There is a definite difference between the cases of a witness 1) having a poor memory and 2) having an ordinary animal's limited ability of perception. A cat may notice the stars in the night sky, but its observation is certainly not the same as that of an astrophysicist using a large telescope set up for spectroscopy or other techniques. Where the border is fuzzy is between the second thing and the average Joe's ability to understand some things. For example, many a witness to a road accident will perceive it according to a poor understanding of dynamics, and even of the kinematics, influenced by the position from which they saw it; now this is partly a matter of belief (or better, comprehension) but it is yet a matter of observation i. e. that which Jedaisoul was talking about.

Now Dick, please refrain from getting into unnecessary personal remarks about Jedaisoul or others. ;)

Of course I realize that social "correctness" says peoples "beliefs" are not to be questioned...
I realize instead that all people's beliefs should be questioned, including one's own, rather than arrogantly rejecting those of others while being intransigent about one's own. Perhaps this is a bit more like what you should think about.
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Truth is come up by human.

The more people agree and believe in that thought, the closer it get to truth.

If all man on earth agree and believe in one thing, there you found the absolute truth.

So truth is very much like stocks in the market.

SOmetimes it's sound, sometimes it sucks.

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The latter is a problem that is met in legal disputes. It is commonplace (I believe) for two witnesses to an event to provide markedly different accounts. Putting aside the possibility of deliberate lying, both may be telling the "truth" about what they observed, but both cannot be real. This is why I regard "trurth" as having a much more flexible, inexact, meaning than reality. If you equate truth with reality, what word do you use for the meaning that I have attributed to the word "truth" in #6 above?
Well, I personally would refer to their “beliefs”. You are just being intellectually sloppy in an attempt to ignore (or bury) the fact that peoples beliefs can be false. Of course I realize that social "correctness" says peoples "beliefs" are not to be questioned but is such an approach really very objective?

As Q has remarked, the point of my comments is to do with observation. I have no intention to ignore the fact that peoples beliefs can be wrong. I have made no comment on that subject, and the suggestion that I'm being intellectually sloppy is inappropriate. Do you have any comments to make on the actual point I made?

a) Mathematics is reality neutral. It does not matter mathematically whether space-time is actually curved. The same equations apply whether "space-time" is a real entity or an abstract concept that has no direct relation to any real entity. Does space-time exist, is it real? I suggest that mathematics cannot answer this question. Do you say that it can and if so, how?
Your mind is clouded by the fact that you believe that what you know what you are talking about here is “real”. I can show quite clearly (via logic; except that you have to understand mathematics) how you have come to convince yourself of that delusion and that it is indeed a delusion.

Strong words, but simply suggesting that I'm deluded and do not know the meaning of reality is not an answer to my point. My point is that mathematics is reality neutral. I have explained why I suggest that this is so. Mathematics can tell us "how things behave" not "what they are". The latter is an important part of our understanding of reality, and it lies outside mathematics. I believe that you have overlooked this aspect of reality. How do you refute this? Note: Please do not confuse "what they are" with "why they are what they are". The latter is a theological question, the former (in my view) is a legitimate scientific question.

Define a scientific philosophy! Isn't a scientific philosophy one which starts with no “beliefs”? Why is everyone so unwilling to start from there? As long as they refuse to look at the issue I have raised, they will never, and I mean never, solve the problem which confronts them.

I think this reveals where our beliefs differ. You appear to believe that it is possible to form a scientific philosophy without beliefs. I would suggest that is not possible, and that anyone who belives they have done so has overlooked their own belief system that underlies their philosophy. All logic (including mathematics) starts with axioms, and the conclusions that you may draw are fundamentally dependent on them. "Axioms" is a polite word for beliefs. What axioms is your "scientific philosophy" based on?

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Actually, in the modern point of view, an axiom is a choice, it needn't be a belief at all. One may construct different formal systems, with some contradicting others in some way, but each one valid.

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Actually, in the modern point of view, an axiom is a choice, it needn't be a belief at all. One may construct different formal systems, with some contradicting others in some way, but each one valid.

Agreed.

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Now Dick, please refrain from getting into unnecessary personal remarks about Jedaisoul or others. :thumbs_up
Sorry, I had no intention making “personal remarks” about anyone. My sole purpose was an attempt to point out where their reasoning was going astray.
No, people never do it and it can't be done.
Right there is the very crux of the difficulty you and I have communicating. I have solved a problem which you believe cannot possibly be solved. Now that is not a personal remark about you; I think that is the central theme of every refusal to consider my thoughts I have ever run into. Now I expected that kind of thing from the common population but, when I was young anyway, I expected a little more rationality from scientists; however, it is quite apparent to me now that it is such a strongly held belief that by Jet2's criteria,
If all man on earth agree and believe in one thing, there you found the absolute truth.
it is effectively “true”: i.e., practically everyone on earth holds it as true. Personally, I am of the opinion that the belief is a religious belief as it is an unexamined belief taken on faith alone. It seems that only Anssi and I (and my wife by the way :phones:) can comprehend it being false. (Certainly a clear reason for the complete lack of scientific examination of the problem.)

In your left hand you have something of which you have no understanding (it is simply something you don't understand: i.e., you don't have the slightest idea what is to be talked about).
which expresses a state of total ignorance and
In your right hand, you have your expectations (something you think you understand: i.e., somehow you have achieved the idea that you know what you are talking about).
which expresses the common state of most everyone. You assert that it is impossible to get from the first state to the second. Exactly how am I to take your assertion? Are you asserting that a newly fertilized egg understands something? That it knows something of things we (as representatives of what lies in that allegorical right hand) talk about and think we understand?

I doubt very much that you think that “thinking you understand something of reality” is impossible, so it must be that you think the state described in the allegorical left hand is impossible. If that is the case and such a state never existed in the history of the universe, just where to you think this knowledge and understanding came from? Now I know exactly what the common answer to that question is; most people in the world believe it was provided by God but I would hope that a rational person would not set that down as “absolute truth”.

Have fun -- Dick

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Opposite data, using reason tend to split into two or more lines of reasoning. For example, it is difficult to rationalize being both a Democrat and Republican, at the same, since in many ways these, at the rational level, appear almost mutually exclusive. Reason will pick half the data and reason why this is the truth because it gets saturated with too much opposing data. The truth should be in the middle, but reason won't get you there.

The alchemist, although new to chemistry, did not shy away from creating symbols that combined good and evil, male-female, etc. In other words, after reaching the rational split, they tried to combine these. This was irrational, but only because reason is not able to do this. Once you try to use reason on this type of analysis, one reaches the rational split. If you think of male and female, they have more in common than different, yet reason will tend to split the differences into two distinct things.

Let me give an example of relative truth and reason versus a more spatial type assessment. Say you had a group of people of all genders, color, race, fat, skinny, strong, weak, tall, short, gay, straight, some are arguing, some are napping, some are eating, etc. The question is, what is the truth as to why they are here in spite of all these difference? The trick is to find a common thread that connects them all in sort of a 3-D or spatial way that can combine even what appears to be oppositions. If you focus on the tree in this forest, the rational theories become endless. If you step outside all the trees to see the entire forest, one may realize they are all there to see the ball game. Truth is 3-D, finds the forest that integrates all the trees, shrubs, animals and dirt. In the world of specialization, or trees, shrubs, animals and dirt, truth becomes a relative thing.

It is not that truth doesn't exist; reason lacks this data capacity. Reason is better at going in the opposite direction toward differentiation. It has a hard time going in reverse because too much data always causes a split.

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Originally Posted by Doctordick View Post

In your left hand you have something of which you have no understanding (it is simply something you don't understand: i.e., you don't have the slightest idea what is to be talked about).

which expresses a state of total ignorance and

Originally Posted by Doctordick View Post

In your right hand, you have your expectations (something you think you understand: i.e., somehow you have achieved the idea that you know what you are talking about).

It seems to me that in order for us to move from one hand to the other that the first thing we have to know is if the universe is self-consistent. In fact it seems to me that this is being assumed quit a bit so is there any way to know if it is? If it is defining truth as reality seems like a reasonable thing to do since any truth must exist in any reality and all realities must be consistent so this seems to require that there is only one reality. But what if the universe is not self-consistent then it seems that this might become a problem in that we have more then one truth which would require more then one reality.

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My sole purpose was an attempt to point out where their reasoning was going astray.
Yours wasn't exactly the best manner of achieving this purpose.

I have solved a problem which you believe cannot possibly be solved. Now that is not a personal remark about you;
Indeed, I call that a difference in opinion.

I think that is the central theme of every refusal to consider my thoughts I have ever run into. Now I expected that kind of thing from the common population but, when I was young anyway, I expected a little more rationality from scientists;
Perhaps the problem is that you believe your opinion to hold the truth about metaphysics.

It seems that only Anssi and I (and my wife by the way :phones:) can comprehend it being false. (Certainly a clear reason for the complete lack of scientific examination of the problem.)
Nope, I too disagree with Jet2's post. When people talk about democracy, they too often say: "The majority is right." I always reply: "Noooooooo! The majority decides." Even a unanimous opinion can be totally wrong, and unanimity isn't the same as objectivity.

Are you asserting that a newly fertilized egg understands something? That it knows something of things we (as representatives of what lies in that allegorical right hand) talk about and think we understand?
I say that it has a whopping huge genome. Whether to call this "knowledge" is a semantic issue. Would you call it understanding? Does the server on which Hypography is hosted have any knowledge of what the devil we are talking about? Perhaps even understanding? How about one of the backup tapes?

Dick, an amoeba, even when it has grown enough to split into two selves, has no "understanding" of its environment. Unlike more sophisticated animals such as us, it doesn't even have experience, by which I mean it's reactions to stimulae aren't influenced by learning form past events. Despite this, it is putting its genome into practice, which includes how it reacts to what its environment inflicts upon it. Would you say it has solved the problem you are discussing?

I doubt very much that you think that “thinking you understand something of reality” is impossible, so it must be that you think the state described in the allegorical left hand is impossible. If that is the case and such a state never existed in the history of the universe, just where to you think this knowledge and understanding came from?
I think that “thinking you understand something of reality” is quite possible, but ths isn't the same as “understanding something of reality”. Where the "knowledge and understanding" came from is a very complicated thing to discuss, perhaps not quite for this thread about "what truth is"; furthermore it depends on what the devil "knowledge" and "understanding" actually mean.

Now I know exactly what the common answer to that question is; most people in the world believe it was provided by God but I would hope that a rational person would not set that down as “absolute truth”.
Actually many quite rational people have thought that (which is not to say I agree with them).
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Another rather strange philosophical conclusion can be reached down that same road. If you agree with Feynman that “mathematics is the distilled essence of logic” and also agree that “logic” is the only way one can analyze the truth, then mathematics is the only language within which one can confidently analyze reality.

Math is the only tool that can analyze but you need more than math to understand what we perceive as reality. We can analyze mathematically the forces that bond matter together but that analysis is not the reality itself, the forces are. Math is but one tool in our arsenal of understanding and knowing.

Observation is another tool that has to be used in lockstep with mathematics. It is possible for instance to analyze an infinite number of dimensions mathematically but we only observe 3, maybe 4, in reality. We cannot assume that there are more than 3/4 in reality just because we can do the math on higher dimensions. In order to "know" the truth we have to find a way to observe those properties of nature described by math to discern what is truly reality. We have to find ways to make predictions and test those via observation and mathematics in order to know what is real.

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It seems to me that in order for us to move from one hand to the other that the first thing we have to know is if the universe is self-consistent.
No, it is not the universe which must be self-consistent, it is your explanation of the universe which is so constrained. These are subtly different issues.
Yours wasn't exactly the best manner of achieving this purpose.
And I did and do apologize for that. My comments were not meant the way they were taken.
Indeed, I call that a difference in opinion.
Which opinion are you talking about? That the problem posed can or can not be solved or that I have discovered a solution to it? I think that the major problem in our communications is the simple fact that you don't believe the problem can be solved and, as a consequence, are spending all your time trying to figure out what problem I am solving, refusing utterly to examine what I say against the stated problem. Now that is my honest opinion of the circumstance.
Perhaps the problem is that you believe your opinion to hold the truth about metaphysics.
That is so wide of the mark that I won't even comment on it.
Nope, I too disagree with Jet2's post. When people talk about democracy, they too often say: "The majority is right." I always reply: "Noooooooo! The majority decides." Even a unanimous opinion can be totally wrong, and unanimity isn't the same as objectivity.
You completely misinterpreted what “it being false” referred to in the referrence (it was my fault as I certainly didn't make the reference clear).
It seems that only Anssi and I (and my wife by the way ;)) can comprehend it being false. (Certainly a clear reason for the complete lack of scientific examination of the problem.)
I was referring to the belief that the problem can not be solved (the problem of getting from the allegorical left hand to the allegorical right hand). That belief so blocks their view that absolutely no one except myself has even made an attempt to examine the difficulty. I think it is the same reason which confounds your attempts to understand what I have done.

First you say the problem can not be solved!

No, people never do it and it can't be done.
And then you point out an explicit solution to the very problem you say can not be solved!
I say that it has a whopping huge genome.
Can you not comprehend that those two statements are contradictions of one another? Isn't “the genome” perceived to be some kind of program which yields what we are? Does that result not include the ability to define those initially undefined interactions with the universe? Isn't "the genome" your explanation of the solution: i.e., that, if we understood the genome and all of its consequences, we would know how people manage to get from that allegorical left hand to the allegorical right hand?

It seems to me that an honest statement of your position is that we know the solution but that it is far to complex for us to understand so let's ignore it; ergo:

Where the "knowledge and understanding" came from is a very complicated thing to discuss, perhaps not quite for this thread about "what truth is".
That is one of the major difficulties in communicating with you. You keep perceiving the problem as explaining how this “knowledge and understanding” came about whereas I have utterly no interest in that issue at all. It also seems to be the issue Buffy thinks I am talking about which is why I suspect my last post to her yielded no response at all. My only concern is the fact that it is possible to get from that allegorical left hand to the allegorical right hand; as I say, literally billions of human beings do it on an annual basis. All I am asserting is that it can obviously be done and, for that reason alone, I took the trouble to examine the problem of achieving such a result (not expecting success by the way; I did it only because I saw it as an interesting problem). As I have said, I have never claimed that I could explain how "we" managed to accomplish the result, all I said was that I had discovered a solution to the problem: i.e., a way of getting from that allegorical left hand to the allegorical right hand, a totally different issue.

But of course, the problem can not be solved so I must be wrong!

C1ay, you are making exactly the same mistake Qfwfq and Buffy are making.

In order to "know" the truth we have to find a way to observe those properties of nature described by math to discern what is truly reality. We have to find ways to make predictions and test those via observation and mathematics in order to know what is real.
That issue is of no concern to me. My concerns have to do with constraints imposed specifically by the need to get from that allegorical left hand to the allegorical right hand and nothing more. This is an issue totally ignored by the scientific community for the simple reason that they believe there is nothing to be found there. My position is that examining that problem is the very essence of establishing an understanding of what truth is.

Have fun -- Dick

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You keep perceiving the problem as explaining how this “knowledge and understanding” came about whereas I have utterly no interest in that issue at all. It also seems to be the issue Buffy thinks I am talking about which is why I suspect my last post to her yielded no response at all.
Actually its not, and my non-response is simply due to the fact that I'm going back over the thread in light of your--very useful!--example of right and left hand, and trying to make something of it!

I completely accept and understand the entirely abstract and Leibnizian approach that you are taking.

Sorry, it will take a while because the topic is non-trivial, as I'm sure you agree!

It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety, :)

Buffy

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In a previous post is was stated that truth = reality. I find this to be not exactly so--it needs to be expanded. So, using the left hand vs right hand example of Doctordick, which is a type of dialectic philosophy, I find that the relationship between truth and reality also is dialectic. That is, in the left hand is found the ontological metaphysical given reality aspect of truth, while in the right hand is the epistemological interpretation reality aspect of truth. Thus truth is a dialectic superposition of (1) reality in of itself as (2) reality is interpreted by a rational consciousness.

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Thank you Buffy; I appreciate your response very much. It is often difficult to comprehend what is going on in someone else's mind. And I don't really mean to be subtle, it's just that it is difficult to know what point is being missed by one's audience; and there are a number of subtle issues embedded in my presentation which I have not really clarified yet. I have so far avoided those issues because I felt that people need to understand the big picture first.

In a previous post is was stated that truth = reality. I find this to be not exactly so--it needs to be expanded. So, using the left hand vs right hand example of Doctordick, which is a type of dialectic philosophy, I find that the relationship between truth and reality also is dialectic. That is, in the left hand is found the ontological metaphysical given reality aspect of truth, while in the right hand is the epistemological interpretation reality aspect of truth. Thus truth is a dialectic superposition of (1) reality in of itself as (2) reality is interpreted by a rational consciousness.
Truth lies only in the left hand. The right hand contains your expectations which are the output of your epistemological construct (your explanation of what lies in your left hand). They need not be true at all, they are no more than what you expect to occur: what future events you expect to be added to your past (what you know). The issue here is that, though your expectations may well be your expectation and true in that sense, the faith that your expectations will be varified is certainly not truth. Of course if your expectations include sufficient uncertainty they could be seen as true; it all depends on what you mean by true, English is not a very precise communication mechanism at all.

It might clear my intentions with that “left hand”/”right hand” thing a bit if you were to read my post to Majik.

Have fun -- Dick

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