What is Truth?
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29-01-2012, 01:08 PM
RE: What is Truth?
(29-01-2012 12:50 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  I disagree that truth is something you can discover or come up with, or even perceive, especially according to an individual alone (except for in abstract cases such as 'my own truth').

As I said in the OP:

Quote:Then you can be reasonably sure, in the relative sense. In the absolute sense you can be only 50% sure. Either you are right, or you are wrong.

However, we can only do the best we can do. For all practical purposes, I can call it truth: 'my truth'. And it stays true until someone proves it false.

We seem to be in total agreement here. Big Grin
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29-01-2012, 03:39 PM
RE: What is Truth?
(29-01-2012 12:50 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  I disagree that truth is something you can discover or come up with, or even perceive, especially according to an individual alone (except for in abstract cases such as 'my own truth').

Truth is an unbiased reality. Figuring that out is pretty tough, but we do what we can to come close.

Yes, of course. A subjective version of reality, or personal truth, is fine for some applications.
Absolute truth about reality is unattainable by perception alone - and possibly unattainable by any means.
We can attain an approximation of a particular aspect of truth sufficient to a particular purpose. Different standards of objectivity, and critical scrutiny must be applied to approach the truth of different situations.

"That cloud formation convinces me that God made the world." doesn't hurt anyone, (unless the individual whose personal truth it is tries to make it an entire society's Truth) but
"That bridge looks plenty strong enough" is insufficient for driving a bus full of schoolchildren across it, and "Nuclear fission can't destroy the Earth's atmosphere" requires yet another magnitude of objective certainty.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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29-01-2012, 10:57 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2012 11:00 PM by Thomas.)
RE: What is Truth?
To claim to "know" something is true needs one basic component, justification.
This is not as easy as it may appear.
Do you have Justified True Belief? Epistemology 101.

The broken watch reads 12:00. It just so happens to be 12:00 exactly. Is your belief in the correct time of 12:00 justified based on your observation of the broken watch? Do you have justified true belief? Can you ever know any watch is correct for certain? Is that your belief is "not justified" even though it is "true".
When we apply this template to what we believe we know of the world it becomes increasingly difficult to say that we know anything.

Descartes broke it down to the one thing he did know, that he was a thinking thing. He knew this because he could question his existence, and if he could question his existence he must be doing the questioning? "I think therefore I am".
He could not prove anything else was true. Not even that anyone else existed.

So, how do you know the real world exist? There is one simple work around. Existentialists place the burden of proof on the claim that the world does not exist to the one claiming non-existence. They assume the default position that reality is basically as we perceive it pending justified true belief that it is not as we perceive it.

They also dismiss determinism for free will in the same manner (addressing your free will post).

The world is real and we are thinking things free to choose our own destinies as finite beings.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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30-01-2012, 06:01 AM
RE: What is Truth?
(29-01-2012 10:57 PM)Thomas Wrote:  So, how do you know the real world exist?

In my favourite movie "The Creator" (with Peter O'Toole) an uneducated waitress, Nellie, is asked by some Philosophy Faculty members at a party: "How do you now that you exist?"

To which she replied: "Why don't you assume that you don't exist and see where it takes you? Big Grin
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30-01-2012, 06:33 AM
RE: What is Truth?
Truth is how I see it !!! Any other opinions I reject because their not mine. I am playing the devils advocate or the avg. Bible thumper who will not open his eyes or ears to science.
________________________________________________________________________________​____________________________________________I am ! Their for I think I am.
Of course you are my fine eagle star.
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30-01-2012, 10:22 AM
RE: What is Truth?
Subjective spelling is also a form of personal truth that often fails to transcend interpersonal communication.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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30-01-2012, 11:27 AM
RE: What is Truth?
(28-01-2012 12:12 PM)Zat Wrote:  Truth, by (my own) definition, is an observation or theory that has not been contradicted yet by the accumulated knowledge available to us. The very instant an irrefutable contradiction is demonstrated, the theory becomes false and needs to be modified or discarded.

I'm sorry that I can't teach you anything new - this sums up truth better than I've ever heard it said. Science, it is said, doesn't deal in "facts" but in "the best known view of the world based upon compiled information". It would be comforting to know that there are ideas that will always be right, but anything we "know" could become trumped by better information... unless we simply want to be close-minded.

It makes me anxious to know that I could read something today that contradicts my worldview and forces me to change my opinions (and perhaps even apologize for them). But it also makes me feel good about myself when I know that I'm as rational and well-informed as I can manage to be at the moment.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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