posted on Aug, 6 2006 @ 07:37 AM
Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
Does Truth exist devoid of observation, or is observation not a pre-requisite of measuring truth?
It sort of expands on the old question: "If a tree falls, and there is no one around, does it make a sound?"
Does Truth exist seperate from any measure of observation?
I think you might have multiple questions here.
Does Truth exist devoid of observation is somewhat different from whether observation is necessary for measuring
truth. We would also need to
ask what it means to measure truth. Certainly some truths can be measured, (whether a person is 6' or 6'1" for example) whereas others are more
difficult to measure, (whether I really love my wife, for example.)
As to the famous question of the tree falling, that was posed by Bishop Berkeley as a way to get at the question of whether sensory data like sound
needs an observer in order for it to exist. He came down on the side that yes, that was the case. There needs to be a sentient mind that is capable
of translating the sound waves produced by the falling tree in order for that phenomena to be translated as sound.
Then there are thornier questions, such as whether basic mathematical or physical truths exist independent of intelligent sentience. For example, if
there were no human beings or otherwise intelligent beings in the universe, would 2+2=4 or the basic law of gravity still exist as truth? The most
basic definition of truth is the correspondance theory that states that a proposition is true if it corresponds to a state of affairs in the world.
This seems easy for observable truths, such as stating the White House is white. We can easily verify if that truth corresponds to our observed
reality of the White House. But when we say 2+2=4, is there some sort of non-physical equation floating around such that we can say, a ha!, our
statement that 2+2=4 does correspond to something real.
I don't have any answers to these, just elucidating the questions. Forgive my reflections if they appear somewhat obtuse. I spent the first decade
of my adult life studying philosophy in the university. I thought it might help with our talk.