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Exactly How Does One Determine Truth?


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Please consider this post as an aside: i.e., it has very little to do with my proof beyond describing an objective view. This is an issue which seems to be beyond comprehension of many trolls.

 

Truth is a word used quite often with little thought as to exactly what is meant when we use it. In a rough sense, it is nothing more than a category to which we assign specific ideas, statements or explanations. What qualifies a particular specific idea for that assignment? Well first, I think we could get almost universal agreement that the idea must be consistent with all other ideas already assigned to that category. It is pretty well accepted that, if any idea is inconsistent with something already regarded as true, there is a major problem. So the first thing one can say is that everything held as true must be consistent with everything else held as true.

 

We are thus lead to assign the concept "truth" to a assemblage of ideas or concepts which are totally consistent with one another. Now clearly, this is not the total definition of truth as it implies a collection of ideas totally consistent with one another could be called truth. I can easily come up with a collection of ideas which were totally consistent with one another which no one here would accept as truth. What is missing from this definition?

 

What is missing is the idea that there is only one truth. That is, the truth must be consistent with every idea assigned the title "true". It cannot be a simple collection, it must be all encompassing. Thus it becomes evident that we are talking about a single complete structure. Well, I am of the opinion that our subconscious minds are already aware of this fact and have assigned a label to refer to it. That label is "reality"; reality is what is truly real. Reality must be totally consistent with itself (or rather, any explanation of reality, if it is to be regarded as true, must be totally consistent with itself).

 

We are thus led to the idea that the "truth" is what is totally consistent with reality. But, what is reality? Isn't it what we consider to be absolutely true? It seems we are going in circles here; but are we? I think we can break out of that circle by realizing that our experiences are the fundamental issue of truth.

 

At this point, the problem becomes a tad subtle. We can accept our experiences as real (in the same sense that we can accept our experiences as truth) only with regard to the actual nature of those experiences and not with regard to our explanations of those experiences: i.e., our interpretation or definitions of those experiences. The moment we assign characteristics to any of those experiences, we are constraining our understanding of those experiences to a model consistent with what we already believe to be true. This leads to a difficulty which seems almost impossible to resolve.

 

Most people will add to the concept of "truth" the idea that if something is really true, one will never come to learn it is false. If that idea is "true" then the truth can never change. If the truth can never change, then it is impossible to know as the possibility, no matter how slim, always exists that what you thought was true might be proved wrong. Most modern philosophers seem to use that fact to curtail the search for truth as something unachievable. Thus essentially implying the concept is useless.

 

Let me suggest that the concept is still useful. Instead of holding that the truth cannot change, let me instead put forth the idea that the truth must be totally consistent with what is known. If what is known changes, then the truth can change. Under this constraint, the truth becomes merely an accurate representation of what is known and need not be unchangeable.

 

This leads me to the rather strange definition that the truth is exactly what you believe to be true. I am fairly confident that the definition fulfills all usage common to any philosophical discussion. I would challenge anyone to prove that what he believes to be true is not true. The issue is, once he has proved something he believed to be true is not true, does he still think it is true?

 

There is a very important issue buried in that last observation. That is the fact that no one has any control at all over what he believes is true. That is why we have the word convinced. It follows that, if you wish to learn the truth, your only option is to search for flaws in the consistency of what you believe. When you find inconsistencies in your beliefs, it opens your mind to the fact that something you believe to be true must be false. If you never look for inconsistencies, you will never find them and thus, learning the truth will be absolutely beyond possibility.

 

Have fun -- Dick

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Sory, I didn't finish reading this; I got caught up with a word that I didn't understand.

 

What is this subconscious of which your speak?

 

 

:shrugs:

see

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subconscious

 

When I use the term, I am referring to decisions made on an unconscious level: i.e., aspects of your mental activity which you are not aware of on a conscious level. Deciding to run acid in your digestive track after eating would be a good example. In the case of this particular discourse, explain, in analytical detail if you can, how you "consciously" came to the comprehension of "reality". If you cannot remember and describe the conscious procedure by which you reached the understanding you hold, I would say you reached it on an unconscious level.

 

If you really think you reached it via a conscious analysis, you should publish a paper on how to do it; people in "AI" would love to have an analytical solution to that problem.

 

Have fun -- Dick

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see

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subconscious

 

When I use the term, I am referring to decisions made on an unconscious level: i.e., aspects of your mental activity which you are not aware of on a conscious level. Deciding to run acid in your digestive track after eating would be a good example. In the case of this particular discourse, explain, in analytical detail if you can, how you "consciously" came to the comprehension of "reality". If you cannot remember and describe the conscious procedure by which you reached the understanding you hold, I would say you reached it on an unconscious level.

 

If you really think you reached it via a conscious analysis, you should publish a paper on how to do it; people in "AI" would love to have an analytical solution to that problem.

 

Have fun -- Dick

 

 

You answer a question about a nebulous term with another nebulous term?

 

So far, you have used subconscious and unconscious without any sense of an operational definition. Unless you are suggesting that forgetting or remembering provides some metric for these hypotheticals.

 

Perhaps you could branch out and describe how the "ether" carries heat and light from the sun to the earth..... :rolleyes:

 

BTW, when a cow's body releases "acid" in it's digestive track is this mediated by a conscious, unconscious, or subconscious mental operation?

 

An enquiring Behaviorist would like to know...

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Let me suggest that the concept is still useful. Instead of holding that the truth cannot change, let me instead put forth the idea that the truth must be totally consistent with what is known. If what is known changes, then the truth can change. Under this constraint, the truth becomes merely an accurate representation of what is known and need not be unchangeable.

 

 

Have fun -- Dick

 

Reality versus conceptual knowledge relativity.

 

We should limit "truth discussions to "conceptual knowledge truths" and accept that "reality truth" cannot be grasped with these conceptual knowledge "methods" ?

 

 

The map is not the territory.

Alfred Korzybski

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see

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subconscious

 

When I use the term, I am referring to decisions made on an unconscious level: i.e., aspects of your mental activity which you are not aware of on a conscious level.

 

Have fun -- Dick

 

How you can be consciously aware of decisions which you are not consciously aware? If you have made a decision it has been a conscious decision, due you are aware of it. Why should you drag in not well explained unconscious as a mysterious decision maker?

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You answer a question about a nebulous term with another nebulous term?

Well, I am using English and English consists of nothing but nebulous terms; some more nebulous than others. You want to play that game, go ahead, but I have little interest in philosophical garbage. I am using the rather common meaning of conscious: it was a decision you made which you were aware you were making. Go play with that for a while. I am sure you can come up with some way of making it nebulous! :lol:

 

We should limit "truth discussions to "conceptual knowledge truths" and accept that "reality truth" cannot be grasped with these conceptual knowledge "methods" ?

Now that does indeed strike me as a “nebulous” statement. Why don't you guys go off somewhere and see if you can define “nebulous”. As the situation stands, I would not qualify your posts as “philosophy of science” and I think it is sad that the forum accepts them as such. If I were in charge, I would move them to the philosopher's weight room; but I am not in charge.

 

Have fun -- Dick

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Now that does indeed strike me as a “nebulous” statement. Why don't you guys go off somewhere and see if you can define “nebulous”. As the situation stands, I would not qualify your posts as “philosophy of science” and I think it is sad that the forum accepts them as such. If I were in charge, I would move them to the philosopher's weight room; but I am not in charge.

 

Have fun -- Dick

 

I´ll assume that you are mixing reality with concepts and symbols? Can you see the difference?

 

PS. I am not interested concerning your emotions, what would you do "if you were in charge" and all that kind of stuff, just reply to the question will do.

 

PS2. "Have fun -- Dick” You might want to reconsider this to be just "Dick" due sometimes your reply do not go well with your "signature"

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PS. I am not interested concerning your emotions, what would you do "if you were in charge" and all that kind of stuff, just reply to the question will do.

As far as I am concerned, I did reply to your question.

 

I am placing you on my "ignore" list. You can play with the others.

 

Enjoy yourself -- Dick

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As far as I am concerned, I did reply to your question.

 

I am placing you on my "ignore" list. You can play with the others.

 

Enjoy yourself -- Dick

 

 

I gather that you are having difficulty dealing with other points of view but since you are here you might want to experience discussion absent ad hominem rebuttals.

 

Explain the difference between the "truth" of The Ether Vs the "truth" of conscious, unconscious, or subconscious whatever. It's a serious question and it was originally asked as a serious question about your use of terminology or vocabulary or language.

 

If I was being aggressive I woul have pointed out that your own citation referencing subconscious discussed it as a common meaning for those not versed in science --- but I wouldn't stoop to that. :P

 

LIfe is too short not to enjoy yourself

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I gather that you are having difficulty dealing with other points of view but since you are here you might want to experience discussion absent ad hominem rebuttals.

I am an old man and have little time to waste. I have no difficulty whatsoever with what appears to me to be “thoughtless drivel”; I just don't want to be bothered with it.

 

Once upon a time, philosophy was the very essence of what might be called “scientific investigation”. In fact, physics was once called “natural philosophy”. Since that time, philosophy has fallen into intellectual disrespect. Though most scientific authorities possess “Doctor of Philosophy” degrees (as I do myself) they almost universally consider the study of philosophy to be a waste of time. I am of the opinion that this is entirely due to the common approach of professional philosophers. None that I am aware of comprehend the significance of mathematics as a language.

 

As Kant once said (I remember reading it but I do not remember exactly where; as I said, I am old and I don't remember things so well anymore) most philosophers just waste their time stirring the pot of controversy for the pure sake of argument (or something like that). That is exactly what I see on all these “philosophic forums” and exactly what you and Vox appear to be doing. The only language within which accurate and defendable statements may be made is mathematics and, if you cannot translate your problem into mathematics, you are reduced to stirring the pot of controversy. I am of the opinion that “metaphysics” should be examined as a serious analytical problem and that is exactly what I have done.

 

If I was being aggressive I would have pointed out that your own citation referencing subconscious discussed it as a common meaning for those not versed in science --- but I wouldn't stoop to that. :P

Anytime one uses the English language (or any common human language for that matter) they must regard their communications as limited to the “ common meaning for those not versed in science” for ambiguity is one of the central characteristics of all languages outside mathematics.

 

LIfe is too short not to enjoy yourself

That is exactly why I put people like Vox (and perhaps you) on my ignore list. If I don't, I often find myself wasting my time writing notes like this one and I am quite confident that the import of what I say will not be comprehended.

 

So; have fun -- Dick

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I am an old man and have little time to waste. I have no difficulty whatsoever with what appears to me to be “thoughtless drivel”; I just don't want to be bothered with it.

 

...snip...

 

That is exactly why I put people like Vox (and perhaps you) on my ignore list. If I don't, I often find myself wasting my time writing notes like this one and I am quite confident that the import of what I say will not be comprehended.

 

So; have fun -- Dick

 

 

Funny, I feel something similar towards those who think that the logical constructs of abstract mathematics divorced from the physical universe have the only answers. :P

 

Seriously, you probably should ignore my posts. I deal primarily with objective, measurable, physical phenomena and the and the logical methods derived by Philosophy to pursue my path to "truthiness".

 

BTW, I'm only a few years younger than you, also have a Ph.D. though mine is in Bio-Psychology, but have a healthy respect for Philosophy as one of the valid methods of inquiry. Where we differ is that I remain open to the ideas of others.

 

For the record: One man's drivel is another man's key to universal comprehension. B)

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And opinions are opinions; you have your key, go open the door.

 

As far as I am concerned your posts do not serve this thread.

 

Go have fun somewhere else -- Dick

 

 

You wish to censor a thread?

 

That provides fascinating insight into your reasons for posting.

 

I suggest you put me on ignore since I intend to read many threads, this one included, and make comments as I see appropriate. If ignored you won't even know I'm here, unless someone quotes me...

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And opinions are opinions; you have your key, go open the door.

 

As far as I am concerned your posts do not serve this thread.

 

Go have fun somewhere else -- Dick

C'mon Dick, be a sport, will you?

 

BTW it is metaphysics that was called "the queen of sciences" and, also, there are some philosophers that place utmost importance on the language of mathematics. No use telling you which ones because once a long time ago, when I did mention one name, you replied that after having a glance through his writings you deemed it has no relevance on what you are talking about...:doh:

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C'mon Dick, be a sport, will you?

I am too old to play games. As I said, opinions are opinions. You have yours and I have mine.

 

Opinions are simply are not worth talking about. Please, don't bother me with your "opinions"; instead make some attempt to be forthright with your complaints about my definitions.

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