Originally posted by Pathos
Originally posted by christianpatrick
I don't quite understand your point. Everybody has opinions about everything that they know exists. Most people believe that their opinions are based
on facts. Sometimes, people are mistaken in what they believe to be fact.
Unless you are trained through psychology, science, or mathematics, you will never know what 'truth' looks like.
Psychology 101 - Old wise tales, assumptions, and common knowledge is statistically incorrect (wrong). Prevalence edges around 100% of the
[edit on 15-10-2009 by Pathos]
Even Buddha and Jesus are said to have asked "What is truth"
In general I don't disagree with your statement, though we could have an interesting discussion whether psychology should be included with science
In logic 101, my professor explained that there is no way we can be absolutely certain of anything. I have taken his words to heart. I don't
-believe- anything, including that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. I could, for instance, at this moment be in a loony bin fantasizing
about a world where that is such, but the objective world had it differently. However, he also posed the question of "If that were so, what good
would it do you to act upon it?". We must make certain assumptions in order to be able to function in the world as we perceive it. If you believe
that gravity is a myth, and you act upon that belief and jump off a 10 story building to prove your point, you might find yourself perceiving yourself
to be dead. It is better to go with the assumption that that gravity is a fact.
However, and I can't quote numbers, most things in this perceived world are probably not matters of life and death. If you think that the world is
flat and has four corners, "because the Bible tells you so", or that Elvis shot JFK, because you read about it on the internet, and you talk about
it at work, people might start to avoid you, but probably no one is going to kill you for your belief.
If I am interested in what happened on an episode of "Dr Who" that I missed, I will go to wikipedia and read about it. And I might use that
information on the BBCAmerica website discussion board about Dr Who. But I wouldn't use wikipedia as an information source for anything that -made a
difference-. I would go to a proper online encyclopedia or other textbook and use that. I could also go to the library and look it up and post the
information, but not everybody on the internet has access to the same library. I could easily look up whatever Doubleday was selling about human
biology in 1962, but the odds are that few brick and mortar libraries are going to have that volume in stock, so I could basically say what I wanted
with little fear of contradiction, since how would they know if I made up something like "according to 'Human Biology' by Fiddler and Fudd,
Doubleday 1962, turnips contain a chemical that is conducive to good urinary functions." Few could argue with that. And even fewer people are likely
to go to the library with the express purpose of finding that particular book to see if I am telling the truth. Unlike myself, most people probably
have lives. The most most people could do is find out whether Doubleday indeed did sell a book of that title in 1962. And no, I made that up so don't
And even if it did say turnips are conducive to good urinary functions, later studies might have shown exactly the opposite. So what has been
"proven"? Other than we can't be absolutely certain of anything.
Getting back to my original premise, if I were to craft an argument about the glories of vegetarianism, it would not do to list someone who had made
commercials about Big Macs as a prominent vegetarian, and probably few have an interest in posting false information about Mr Kutcher making a
commercial about "Big Macs". So if I read that, I would leave him out of my argument.