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First post: What is the truth?

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posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 11:03 PM
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Before there was something, there was nothing. Thought inspired nothing and became something. This is truth. But to say there was something before nothing would be falsehood.


So, according to that statement 'thought' itself existed before 'something', in order for 'thought' to breathe life. Since 'thought' existed before 'something' than according to what you said in the final sentence, the whole statement is false, thus a paradox.

Consider the sentence "This sentence is false."



The problem we have seems to lurk in the idea of the verb 'to be'. What 'is' truth? We can only answer in what truth seems to be in accordance with our measure of it.

edit: engrish suks

[edit on 4-12-2007 by DINSTAAR]




posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 11:09 PM
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Sorry for double post, I just got another idea.



As I said the truth is fluid. As another example:

1. In the 1960s, in the USA - the Soviet Union was the enemy. We would go to war with them if they did anything to us. We were prepared to wage war at the first sign of aggression. That was the truth.
2. In the 1990's, in the USA - the Soviet Union broke down, we helped them, we were their friends, we traded with them, we embraced them as brothers in democracy. That was the truth.
3. In this new century, in the USA. - The Russians are becoming the enemy, their government is rattling their sabers against the USA telling us to keep out of their internal affairs. They are the enemy now. That is the truth.


It is not truth that is changing in your examples, because you specify the era (time). Truth may seem to be fluid if time were completely condensed into one instant, but that is an impossibility. When one states 'truth' one states it in the time that the statement was made.

Noon: I'm Hungry 'truth'
12:30: I am no longer hungry 'truth'

The fact that I did something about my hunger at 12:01 does not make it any less 'true' at Noon.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 11:21 PM
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Truth is reality. Reality does not actually exist. There is no truth.

Reality is a relative concept. It is defined by mutual agreement. Fact can exist beyond corroboration.

If you see a UFO tonight, most people will say you are not telling the truth. Therefore the UFO does not really exist in reality, although it may be a fact that you saw it. You see?


Reality only exists because we agree that it does, and therein lies the truth.

[edit on 12/4/0707 by jackinthebox]

[edit on 12/4/0707 by jackinthebox]



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 11:57 PM
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reply to post by euclid
 

Thank you for illustrating, more effectively than I ever could, the tragic confusion that arises when people abandon straighforward empirical evidence and deductive logic in favour of quibbling relativism.

You seek to prove that water can flow uphill - what Quixotic audacity! I salute you! - by invoking an observer in what you imagine to be a different frame of reference. Unfortunately the observer you cited occupies the same frame of reference. To someone in geosynchronous orbit around Earth, 'down' is still the direction in which the planet's centre lies. To such an observer, water on Earth still flows downhill.

Actually, it's worse than that: your lance shatters against the adamantine windmill of General Relativity. You see, directions like 'left', 'right', 'north', 'south' and so on may be relative or conventional, but 'up' and 'down' are absolute. Into a gravity well is always 'down', out of one is always 'up'.

As for your second example - the question of whether Russia is an ally or an enemy - it is not one to which there can ever be an absolute, invariable answer. There are many questions of this kind - for example, is it true to say that Mick Jagger is a great singer? To say that there are facts and absolute truths in the world is not to say that every possible question can be answered with absolute veracity. You remind me of some sad French postmodernist, trying to use the modalities of his favoured school of literary criticism to say something meaningful about catalytic chemistry or firefighting.

Only one long lost to reality could make such egregious mistakes. But getting things hopelessly wrong is by no means the worst of it: at the end of the road you are travelling is moral relativism and the death of conscience, with all their attendant horrors. I pray that in your case things have not degenerated so far.

I also hope at least a few younger ATS members will take heed of the dire example you have provided, and avoid repeating it. Once again, thank you very much indeed.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by euclid
 

You seek to prove that water can flow uphill - what Quixotic audacity! I salute you! - by invoking an observer in what you imagine to be a different frame of reference. Unfortunately the observer you cited occupies the same frame of reference. To someone in geosynchronous orbit around Earth, 'down' is still the direction in which the planet's centre lies. To such an observer, water on Earth still flows downhill.

As for your second example - the question of whether Russia is an ally or an enemy - it is not one to which there can ever be an absolute, invariable answer. There are many questions of this kind - for example, is it true to say that Mick Jagger is a great singer? To say that there are facts and absolute truths in the world is not to say that every possible question can be answered with absolute veracity. You remind me of some sad French postmodernist, trying to use the modalities of his favoured school of literary criticism to say something meaningful about catalytic chemistry or firefighting.


You are failing to grasp the concept of the fluidity of truth or my reference to the flow of water. It was not me who said that water always flows downhill and that it is empirically evident as "truth"..... I was explaining how two, or even multiple perspectives of one, "event" such as the flow of water always being downhill is NOT truth.

I have drawn a very primitive picture as it is apparant that you are incapable of visualizing what I wrote, I have kept it at a kindergarten level to assure you can keep up:



The BIG circle represents the planet earth.
The BIG BLUE ARROWS (can you say arrows children) represent water flowing down hill.
The POINTY things represent mountains (or a range of mountains).
The little stick figure off to the side represents a person floating (in a space ship - but I didn't draw the space ship - dont be confused).
The straight lines emanating from Mr. Stick represent his field of view (FOV) - which in this case is extremely wide.

From the perspective of ANYONE standing near the mountain in the south (that would be the bottom of the BIG CIRCLE) their perspective would see that water does indeed flow downhill and that is TRUTH to them..... Mr. Stick in outer space would apparantly see the water flowing uphill from his perspective as it is upside down to him.... that is his truth. If he could never experience the perspective of someone on the earth at that mountain his truth would forever be that water at the bottom of the sphere would transit from the peak of the mountain "up" to the curvature of the sphere.

The truth is fluid, the truth changes from the perspective that one views a "thing".... that was the concept your enfeebled mind is unable to grasp. I hope I have cogently elucidated it for you.

As far as absolute and invariable answers to anything you further corroborate my statement that the truth is fluid, variable and constantly changing. Something is true for one moment and it can be untrue the next.

As another person stated above; if I am hungry at noon - I eat - It was true that I was hungry at noon. At 12.30 I am no longer hungry - the truth has now changed to the state of "no longer hungry". It does not matter what the truth was at noon. And that is the point I am making. Truth is in a constant state of change. There is no absolute truth. And the only Truth there is; is that there is no Truth. Stated another way "the only Truth there is; is Change"

-Euclid

P.S. It was true that Mick Jagger used to be a decent singer. Now he is not a decent singer.... that is MY truth...NOW. Your truth may be different. Again the wheel of change grinds truth into new perspectives.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 08:28 PM
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Originally posted by skoalman88
Does anyone else agree with my contention that the "truth" may not actually exist?


Before man, before the Earth, before the very beginning of time, the truth existed. It is the only thing that has never changed. It's the only thing that has never needed to change.

My two cents on it,



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 08:47 PM
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reply to post by DINSTAAR
 

Before there was something, the Creator had a thought, this thought created the universe (Unless you believe we are just an accident), From the thought of the Creator the something we call the universe appeared. This is truth. All things from the Creator is truth. Truth is aught.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 10:08 PM
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What if the truth is that I am God, and everything around me is merely a figment of my own imagination?


Or how about, I don't even exist, I'm just a figment of your imagination and I know it!



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 10:22 PM
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Plain and simple

reply to post by euclid
 

I suppose I deserve the patronizing tone (one good tone deserves another) but you're still wrong and you still can't see it. I am sure the other readers of this thread are more perceptive than you.

You seem to think that just because you've drawn your stick figure with her head oriented north and her feet oriented south, this means that north is 'up' and south is 'down' as far she is concerned.

You are wrong. When you lie in your bed with your head facing north, which direction is up? The direction in which your head is pointing, or the direction of the ceiling?

To repeat myself: for your satellite observer, in geosynchronous orbit around Earth, 'down' is the direction in which the centre of the planet lies. The direction in which her head is pointing is immaterial.

Have you heard the phrase 'free fall'? Do you know what it means? It means a satellite (and its passengers) in orbit around a planet are falling down towards the centre of the planet under the influence of gravity. Just like a thrown stone or a fired bullet falls down towards the centre of the earth. The difference is that the satellite is so high up and moving so fast in a tangential direction to the direction of its fall that it never strikes Earth: it just keeps falling round and round the planet. This is what we call 'orbital motion'.

I hope you've got it now, because if you haven't, then I'm afraid you never will. I'm certainly not going to explain again; twice is already once too often for such a simple mistake.

And how foolish to think north is 'up' and south is 'down'! What ever gave you that idea?

[edit on 5-12-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 10:46 PM
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As far as "up" and "down" go, I heard that countries south of the Equator have maps with the southern hemisphere at the top. Does anyone know if that's true. I see Aussies around this sight a lot. Give a post mates?

Also, in ancient history Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt had nothing to with north and south. The Nile flows north. Is that downhill?



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 04:22 AM
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Flowing up to Cairo


Originally posted by jackinthebox
Also, in ancient history Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt had nothing to with north and south. The Nile flows north. Is that downhill?

Yes, of course it is.

Lake Victoria: 3,750 feet above sea level.

Mediterranean Sea: 0 feel above sea level.

Here's a little diagram for the benefit of our friend the Great Geometer:


Source

Water flows... downhill.



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 05:14 AM
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In this hand-out I treat the notation of truth-functional propositional logic and first-order predicate logic as a language, and give guidance on translating from English into this foreign language. In general, "logical" issues, such as methods for making use of the expressions once translated, are omitted here.

References to Irving Copi's Symbolic Logic are to the fifth edition, Macmillan, 1979.

Truth-Functional Propositional Logic


Most of us consider a "truth movement," with no particular definition of terms. In logic we have a more elegant consideration of terms and conditions related to expressing functions of a search for truth.

The brilliance of this is that the concept of logic tears through customary "politics," and renders the impression of its routine tactics into caveman rhetoric. That may be a point of proofs in public speaking, the emotions, the Pathos of it. Usually there attaches a point of emotions affecting decisions, as in the smear campaign. Other political functions of sympathy, false and true, either separately or mixed together operate within a parsing of communications output. Naturally the proofs of Ethos, ethics also constitute a high level of public speaking. But the Logos, the logical proofs are so lacking as to constitute a gap in public speaking thoughtfulness. Here we have ample ways to analyze, to discover, and to rediscover what we know as "truth."

A consistent study of logic may go over the heads of those enraptured by mindless movie actors, as well as fast moving television and movies.

It may be a point of mockery to consider the character of Spock in Star Trek as being versed in logic. People may tell you offhand "get a life," but that very logic and calculation of the truth is actually more essential than meets the eye.

Here is a Google search to consider.

[edit on 6-12-2007 by SkipShipman]



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by SkipShipman
 

Would you now be so kind as to subject your post to the type of formal logical analysis you refer to, so that we can get a better idea of it through demonstration?



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 03:42 PM
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Sometimes I don't view truth as fact anymore, because it seems like that everyone has there own personal truth. So in reality, I think there is lesser degrees of lies instead, but not the actuall truth of something. So how would one find the truth of other beings in the universe/dimensions? How would we find the truth of were homo sapiens came from? Were do we go after death etc? Are they all relative to? Are these questions, truths that are in the moment truths? Not absolute truths?

[edit on 6-12-2007 by malakiem]

[edit on 6-12-2007 by malakiem]



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by SkipShipman
 

Would you now be so kind as to subject your post to the type of formal logical analysis you refer to, so that we can get a better idea of it through demonstration?


The task here for me was to write about logic and truth. It was to point to a reference of what people might consider in a search for truth, and tools to gain ground on that search.

To write within the forms of logic is another task. The point of rendering this was to point to areas for further thoughtful study and whether that is useful for most people indicates whatever depth people engage it.

What I think is that when you have logic behind you, then you might be more able to translate it into words that others understand more fully. Just as I would not be entertained by a book of Einsteins equations, I would write about those equations in terms that most people would understand. If you do not have those equations you might not be able to translate it into those terms.

If you think of logic as the backbone of your thinking, you would be more able to read what is true and what is not true. It does not matter what the authority is who is saying something, if it is logical gibberish and "you know what I mean," it is not sound and most likely only "true," to a subservient audience. You do what the drill sergeant says because the truth of the matter is you will get the shaft if you do not. But that search for truth is once again caveman logic. If you are a student you will know an idiot is guarding your six, and your life might depend upon it. But it is still not logic if he is dead wrong. Logic is about saving lives if you really think about it. But you must be clever to challenge authority with it.

You could think of logic as syllogisms and other forms that are as easy as typing, one you get the hang of it. But these forms are underlying forms most of the time. Logic is probably the core of philosophy, but it is not poesy that philosophers might choose.



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 09:32 PM
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What is truth? Truth is what remains after everything else has failed. Truth to our understanding is reletive to any given situation. It is based upon the dictates of our own mind and will. One man's truth is just another man's lie. Or, the truth is what I say it is. The world may indeed not be flat but if I choose to believe so, it is my truth. Jesus said, "I am the Truth". Pilate said, "What is truth?" Jesus is eternal and so are His words. He then is what remains after everything else fails. Pilate's truth was reletive to his situation. The truth was what the people said it was and what his place was in that truth. There is truth. But then there is truth, the kind that one has to study and examine be sure of in the absence of all other possibilities. The truth then, really is out there.



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 09:33 PM
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The philosophical study of what is true is called "epistomology", and it is a huge and complex field of study. Check out wikipedia if you have any doubts about how such a simple topic can yield so much discussion!

Mostly, epistomology accepts that truth exists, and that truth can be correctly be determined by scientific study. (The "scientific method" is supposed to reveal solid truths.)

But arguments against anything being definitively true or false exist. For example, Descartes asserted that the only truth he could ever know is that he individually existed; This made the Matrix such a great movie! (And I am referring, of course, to the first movie and not the sequels.)

I personally think that the truth exists in what is past -- unchanging, perhaps unknowable, but forever irrefutable as the truth, regardless of our perceptions. Somehow, "truth" is closely knit with "time".

Question: does truth exist ONLY in the past? Or does truth also exist in the future?




[edit on 6-12-2007 by Buck Division]



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by SkipShipman
 

Actually, your second post (though not rendered in the quasimathematical notation of formal logic) actuallly elucidates the first one rather well. Thank you.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 02:23 PM
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I read some excellent material written by Howard Bloom, titled "Reality Is a Shared Hallucination." My printed version differs some from what I have found in a quick search online, but here is a link, and there is a link. Deep stuff, but the following quotes were my favorite part:



Though it got little public attention until the debates about "recovered" memories of sexual abuse in the early and mid 1990s, this avenue of research had begun at least two generations ago. It was 1956 when Solomon Asch published a classic series of experiments in which he and his colleagues showed cards with lines of different lengths to clusters of their students. Two lines were exactly the same size and two were clearly not - the mavericks stuck out like basketball players at a convention for the vertically handicapped. During a typical experimental run, the researchers asked nine volunteers to claim that two badly mismatched lines were actually the same, and that the actual twin was a total misfit. Now came the nefarious part. The researchers ushered a naive student into the room with the collaborators and gave him the impression that the crowd already there knew just as little as he did about what was going on. Then a white-coated psychologist passed the cards around. One by one he asked the pre-drilled shills to announce out loud which lines were alike. Each dutifully declared that two terribly unlike lines were perfect twins. By the time the scientist prodded the unsuspecting newcomer to pronounce judgement, he usually went along with the bogus acclamation of the crowd. Asch ran the experiment over and over again. When he quizzed his victims of peer pressure, it turned out that many had done far more than simply go along to get along. They had actually shaped their perceptions to agree, not with the reality in front of them, but with the consensus of the multitude.

To polish off the mass delusion, many of those whose perception had NOT been skewed became collaborators in the praise of the emperor's new clothes. Some did it out of self-doubt. They were convinced that the facts their eyes reported were wrong, the herd was right, and that an optical illusion had tricked them into seeing things. Still others realized with total clarity which lines were duplicates, but lacked the nerve to utter an unpopular opinion. Conformity enforcers had rearranged everything from visual processing to open speech, and had revealed a mechanism which can wrap and seal a crowd into a false belief.

Another experiment indicates just how deeply social suggestion can penetrate the neural mesh through which we think we see hard-and-solid facts. Students with normal color vision were shown blue slides. But one stooge in the room declared the slides were green. Only 32% of the students ended up going along with the vocal but misguided proponent of green vision. Later, however, the subjects were taken aside, shown blue-green slides and asked to rate them for blueness or greenness. Even the students who had refused to see green where there was none in the original experiment showed that the insistent greenies in the room had colored their perceptions. They rated the new slides more green than they would have otherwise. More to the point, when asked to describe the color of the afterimage they saw, the subjects often reported it was red-purple - the hue of an afterimage left by the color green. The words of one determined speaker had penetrated the most intimate sanctums of the eye and brain.



posted on Dec, 16 2007 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by jackinthebox
 

Very interesting post. Thank you.

It is hard to doubt that an individual's conception of what is real depends to a large degree on what others conceive. However, I am not at all sure that individual perception is influenced by what others perceive; to claim that we all live in a shared hallucination seems, therefore, to overstate the case.

Shared conceptions are, in fact, a reality check. For instance, they help to prevent us believing in foolish conspiracy theories.

Yes, they can sometimes deceive us. Sometimes they deceive entire nations. Tarted up in the vestments of religion they deceive countless billions.

Fortunately the deception only ever goes so far, because while we may share concepts, ultimately we do not share percepts. Somewhere, a little boy's voice is always crying, 'but see, the emperor is naked!'

You make a strong argument for empiricism. Well done.



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