What Is Truth?
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07-01-2014, 04:20 PM
RE: What Is Truth?
(07-01-2014 10:02 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(07-01-2014 09:08 AM)Free Wrote:  The problem is that you are predisposed into thinking that "truth" is a philosophical question. What if it is not? What if truth is, in fact, a question that can only be answered by science?
I have already dealt with this. Science itself is not a scientific concept, it's philosophical. There are only particular sciences with their instruments and theories of chemistry, physics, mathematics and so on.
First we need philosophy to prove that there is no other way to accurately perceive reality. Why? Because there are a plenty of relativists and religious absolutists prowling around. And I think you may be a relativist who just believes in science. So I have to tell you, believing in anything, even if it's true, is wrong. If you accept the scientific method, you accept a philosophical truth. All other science, changeable as they are, are derived from this philosophical truth that we can perceive reality adequately, that a real thing must not contradict itself, and so on. It may seem very trivial to you, and it is, until people like you start taking it for granted and then forget about it completely, thinking that all begins and ends with physics and mathematics.

(07-01-2014 09:08 AM)Free Wrote:  Once again I will state my position, and hopefully you will dwell on it long enough to realize how deep reaching it actually is:

Truth is all that which can be determined to exist.
Of course it is deep reaching, because you're mixing together philosophy and science, which you shouldn't, not without knowing about it. You didn't mention me any philosophical problem or definition, so I'm not even sure you know what philosophy is.
I'm not trying to get you to reject science, I'm trying to find out if you really understand what is science. Nobody says science is perfect, but few people here really wonder where are its limitations or what is beyond these limitations and how can we push these limitations better.

Philosophy examines the statements about reality which are general, true, necessary and certain. Something that is not general, for example biology, is not philosophy.
There is no such thing as a general science or timeless science. So science is not reality, it's a working, useful and accurate image of reality, but it's not the whole picture, it's never the whole picture.
I hope you don't, but it seems to me that you feel that what is not currently a part of any science is not working, useful or accurate. I wouldn't recommend that, because then you would limit the practical usage of scientific method (which is really a philosophical concept) to obtain and expand our knowledge.

Yet you still only examine the question of "What is truth" from a strictly philosophical position.

Reality & Truth are one and the same. Anything that is true is based upon reality; something factual. Truth is absolute.

1. Reality is all that which can be determined to exist.

2. Truth is all that which can be determined to exist.


They are not exclusive. They are in fact one and the same. This is ascertained through mere reasoning. It does not require the use of philosophy to make this conclusion, but rather basic mathematics.

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07-01-2014, 06:01 PM
RE: What Is Truth?
(07-01-2014 04:20 PM)Free Wrote:  Yet you still only examine the question of "What is truth" from a strictly philosophical position.

Reality & Truth are one and the same. Anything that is true is based upon reality; something factual. Truth is absolute.

1. Reality is all that which can be determined to exist.

2. Truth is all that which can be determined to exist.


They are not exclusive. They are in fact one and the same. This is ascertained through mere reasoning. It does not require the use of philosophy to make this conclusion, but rather basic mathematics.
I must agree with that, I actually have agreed for a bit longer than it may seem. However that is still a philosophical statement, because it refers to both what we know and what we yet don't know. (metaphysics, that is, the whole of reality, known and unknown)

Reasoning IS philosophy. Philosophy IS mere reasoning. Philosophy is the ability of deriving fundamentally important, non-arbitrary values from pure reason, that is, from basic properties of reality, which are undeniable and almost too obvious.
As for basic mathematics, I don't understand that one. Mathematics is a science and science is value-free (an arbitrarily usable instrument). It is application of reasoning to aspect of a natural world, which is not sentient. Philosophy OTOH is the very paragon of sentience, a good, non-relativistic philosophy, that is.
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07-01-2014, 09:06 PM
RE: What Is Truth?
(07-01-2014 06:01 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(07-01-2014 04:20 PM)Free Wrote:  Yet you still only examine the question of "What is truth" from a strictly philosophical position.

Reality & Truth are one and the same. Anything that is true is based upon reality; something factual. Truth is absolute.

1. Reality is all that which can be determined to exist.

2. Truth is all that which can be determined to exist.


They are not exclusive. They are in fact one and the same. This is ascertained through mere reasoning. It does not require the use of philosophy to make this conclusion, but rather basic mathematics.
I must agree with that, I actually have agreed for a bit longer than it may seem. However that is still a philosophical statement, because it refers to both what we know and what we yet don't know. (metaphysics, that is, the whole of reality, known and unknown)

Reasoning IS philosophy. Philosophy IS mere reasoning. Philosophy is the ability of deriving fundamentally important, non-arbitrary values from pure reason, that is, from basic properties of reality, which are undeniable and almost too obvious.
As for basic mathematics, I don't understand that one. Mathematics is a science and science is value-free (an arbitrarily usable instrument). It is application of reasoning to aspect of a natural world, which is not sentient. Philosophy OTOH is the very paragon of sentience, a good, non-relativistic philosophy, that is.

Reasoning is mathematical.

There is no consensus on the definition of mathematics. Philosophy can be best described as a way of life based upon reason. In this sense, philosophy itself is the byproduct of mathematical reasoning.

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08-01-2014, 06:44 AM
RE: What Is Truth?
(07-01-2014 09:06 PM)Free Wrote:  Reasoning is mathematical.

There is no consensus on the definition of mathematics. Philosophy can be best described as a way of life based upon reason. In this sense, philosophy itself is the byproduct of mathematical reasoning.
I'd say the hierarchy is different. Mathematics is based on logic, because logic an aspect of reality and a philosophical discipline. However, logic can be applied to many other things, such as values, morality and relationships. Mathematics can't do that.
Philosophy itself can, with logic, provide definitions of language, concepts and values (such as what is a human being and what is freedom) and it can even attempt the highest feat of all - the establishment of a non-oppressive form of society. Again, mathematics can't do that. It's concerned with a sharply defined aspect of reality, not reality as a whole. By universality of application, philosophy transcends everything.

The definition of mathematics I was taught was, that mathematics is a science, but it's one of a kind science based on rationalism instead of empiricism. Curiously enough, it has philosophically stronger claim on truth than empiricism, which would surprise some die-hard empiricists on the boards, who swear by tangible evidence.
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08-01-2014, 10:12 AM
RE: What Is Truth?
It's all layers guys. Layers of truth and layers of reality.

If I think a thing, I perceive a thing, it's true that that is my thought and that is my perception.
If I communicate an idea, I share a common experience with another through the medium of a shared reality then that is true and that is reality.
If I communicate an idea across social boundaries, more so...
If I communicate or share a reality between worlds or universes, more so...
etc.

Truth and reality are placeholder colloquial terms that relate to a particular scope of shared external medium through which we can communicate and about which we can verify certain natural properties.

There's not much more to it than that. There may or may not be some ultimate reality, some ultimate truth etc, but we haven't found it yet. Reality is some shared external medium, and truth an idea that corresponds to such a shared medium.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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08-01-2014, 01:44 PM (This post was last modified: 08-01-2014 01:55 PM by Luminon.)
RE: What Is Truth?
(08-01-2014 10:12 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  It's all layers guys. Layers of truth and layers of reality.

If I think a thing, I perceive a thing, it's true that that is my thought and that is my perception.
If I communicate an idea, I share a common experience with another through the medium of a shared reality then that is true and that is reality.
If I communicate an idea across social boundaries, more so...
If I communicate or share a reality between worlds or universes, more so...
etc.

Truth and reality are placeholder colloquial terms that relate to a particular scope of shared external medium through which we can communicate and about which we can verify certain natural properties.

There's not much more to it than that. There may or may not be some ultimate reality, some ultimate truth etc, but we haven't found it yet. Reality is some shared external medium, and truth an idea that corresponds to such a shared medium.
Yeah, I just want to be sure we arrange the layers correctly, from the truly highest to the truly lower.

From what I see, post-modernism is upsetting the balance. People lose certainty in reality, instead they over-emphasize the present scientific advances or economical or legal concepts, because these are the most tangible and visible. And from these they try to derive moral or philosophical principles. I see that as a perversion. It is a perversion to value an instrument higher than the artisan who uses the instrument.

It disempowers people and empowers the present status quo. It robs people of the ability to imagine better institutions. An institution must be a flexible yet obedient instrument, with no will of its own, but lots of intelligence to save us work. Present institutions are all less or more corrupt, they rule and we obey. We lose the ability to think in an unconditioned way, that is, to communicate with the reality itself, we see the world through institutions. I don't mean just the religious institution, I mean the scientific, economic, legal, governmental, artistic, academical, parental... everything. They distort our view of reality. They're better than nothing, but we need new ones and we need them soon.
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08-01-2014, 01:53 PM
RE: What Is Truth?
(08-01-2014 06:44 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(07-01-2014 09:06 PM)Free Wrote:  Reasoning is mathematical.

There is no consensus on the definition of mathematics. Philosophy can be best described as a way of life based upon reason. In this sense, philosophy itself is the byproduct of mathematical reasoning.
I'd say the hierarchy is different. Mathematics is based on logic, because logic an aspect of reality and a philosophical discipline. However, logic can be applied to many other things, such as values, morality and relationships. Mathematics can't do that.

I tend to think that the very basic mathematical number of "1" is innate. It seems to me that at the instant a sentient being becomes self-aware, he/she/it is aware of oneness in it's existence, and then it becomes aware of more than one.

From that innate position of oneness, reasoning begins and the ability to determine more than 1 is a logical process rooted from 1. In this respect, philosophy would not be employed because oneness is not a concept, but rather a state of being.

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08-01-2014, 02:49 PM
RE: What Is Truth?
(08-01-2014 01:44 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Yeah, I just want to be sure we arrange the layers correctly, from the truly highest to the truly lower.

From what I see, post-modernism is upsetting the balance. People lose certainty in reality, instead they over-emphasize the present scientific advances or economical or legal concepts, because these are the most tangible and visible.

You misunderstand what post-modernism is. Post-modernism rejects the truth of science; science is just a 'narrative' to them, without any more validity that any other narrative.

Quote:And from these they try to derive moral or philosophical principles. I see that as a perversion. It is a perversion to value an instrument higher than the artisan who uses the instrument.

No, post-modernists decry instrumentalism; they have no trust in science (see above).

The instrument and the user of the instrument have equal value in the search as they are both necessary.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-01-2014, 05:30 PM (This post was last modified: 08-01-2014 05:48 PM by Luminon.)
RE: What Is Truth?
(08-01-2014 02:49 PM)Chas Wrote:  You misunderstand what post-modernism is. Post-modernism rejects the truth of science; science is just a 'narrative' to them, without any more validity that any other narrative.
What? Shocking Are you serious? Or rather, are they serious? Blink Even creationists are trying to use science to prove creation. Even totally stupid people can give some grudging admiration to science for producing computers, rockets and weapons.

The post-modernism I know is a view of the modernity in which no value is supreme, all social values have been violated and rejected, the idea of progress too. It's a great disillusion from modern civilization that is crippling us, instead of motivating us into the future. I think these people mostly believe in money.

I also think there is a subtle influence in science that means an inherent distrust in all things human and more trust in dead, mechanical things. I'm not sure if that's something post-modern, or if it's an old Protestant ethos of human sinfulness that lost the godly undertone, trust in science replacing God in the subconscious. When I listen to philosophers, they are absolutely sure of human ability to know reality accurately and to derive basic human rights from it, even things like the necessity of human existence in the universe. (and they provide compelling arguments, only I forget them, I have to buy the damn book and look them up again)
Yes, as Wittgenstein says, philosophy should only set rules and borders of knowledge, not the contents, but there is some general, universal (seemingly trivial) knowledge that anyone in the universe can contact with their mind.

(08-01-2014 02:49 PM)Chas Wrote:  The instrument and the user of the instrument have equal value in the search as they are both necessary.
In the search sure, but I meant a broader perspective. Search for what, by whom, why and how?
For example, a state or an economic system (such as Capitalism) is an instrument. The easiest recipe you can get for totalitarian regime is when some such instrument uses people instead of vice versa. Such as using people as cheap labor force, soldiers, tax cattle or subjects of unethical scientific experiments.
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08-01-2014, 05:43 PM
RE: What Is Truth?
(08-01-2014 05:30 PM)Luminon Wrote:  
(08-01-2014 02:49 PM)Chas Wrote:  You misunderstand what post-modernism is. Post-modernism rejects the truth of science; science is just a 'narrative' to them, without any more validity that any other narrative.
What? Shocking Are you serious? Or rather, are they serious? Blink Even creationists are trying to use science to prove creation. Even totally stupid people can give some grudging admiration to science for producing computers, rockets and weapons.

The post-modernism I know is a view of the modernity in which no value is supreme, all social values have been violated and rejected, the idea of progress too. It's a great disillusion from modern civilization that is crippling us, instead of motivating us into the future. I think these people mostly believe in money.

I also think there is a subtle influence in science that means an inherent distrust in all things human and more trust in dead, mechanical things. I'm not sure if that's something post-modern, or if it's an old Protestant ethos of human sinfulness that lost the godly undertone, trust in science replacing God in the subconscious. When I listen to philosophers, they are absolutely sure of human ability to know reality accurately and to derive basic human rights from it, even things like the necessity of human existence in the universe.
Yes, as Wittgenstein says, philosophy should only set rules and borders of knowledge, not the contents, but there is some general, universal (seemingly trivial) knowledge that anyone in the universe can contact with their mind.

The bolded part is, I believe, largely your bias.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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