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What exactly is "The Truth"?

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posted on May, 22 2011 @ 11:28 AM

What exactly is The Truth?
by Zingdad

Here on ATS and on other similar forums around the internet there is often a lot of heated discussion – typically a wrestling match between “believers” and “skeptics” (who, if they are a little more aggressive in their approach, might also be called “debunkers”). Watching the battle play out is quite interesting. Lets take UFO sightings as an example:

1. Someone posts here on ATS that they saw a craft – a spaceship – that was utterly unlike any 'plane they had ever seen. They describe it in detail and express amazement at their experience and say they are convinced that this was an extra-terrestrial vehicle.
Guaranteed someone will post the skeptical response that the story is utterly unbelievable and there should have been photos or else this is a hoax. The idea is invariably expressed that "in this world of ubiquitous cameras surely someone there could have taken a picture".

2. So then someone else posts on ATS that they saw a UFO and they managed to snap a picture of it. The picture is a bit fuzzy and unclear. It looks like a saucer-shaped metallic object in the sky but its not a clear picture.
Guarenteedt someone will post a skeptical response that the picture could be OF ANYTHING. Anything, of course, except an ET craft.

3. And then a third person posts a picture – or a video – of a UFO encounter. The image is startlingly crisp and clear. It is excellent visual evidence of what is clearly a spaceship unlike any we have ever seen on earth.
Guarenteedt someone will say that such a clear image is obviously a fake CGI as no UFO images are ever that clear!

It would be humorous if it were not so sad.

And the EXACT same kind of scenario gets played out in different ways with each and every topic under discussion. There are the 9-11 "truthers" who present layer upon layer of (what they are sure is) incontrovertible evidence that the twin towers attack was anything but the "official story". But no matter how compelling the evidence might seem to the truthers, guaranteed there is a skeptic on hand to call some point or another into question and debunk the whole thing.

And the “birthers” with their mountains of evidence and proof that Obama was not, in fact, born on American soil? Same story all over again! No amount of evidence ever silences the sceptics. In fact the more evidence that is presented the more likely you are to hear sceptics call the birthers "desperate".

And this is the case with pretty much every story in every forum on ATS. In fact I can’t think of any single issue that everyone here agrees upon… that we all just agree “this is the truth”. Can you?
No matter what contention one might make SOMEONE on here is going to come along and present their disbelief. Sometimes in such well constructed terms that the only thing some of the sceptics seem to believe in are certain other "sceptic-in-chief's". Certainly the things might normally have been considered “proof” just don’t cut it anymore. Photos can be doctored. We now know that even the EXIF data can be tampered with to make it seem legit. Videos can be faked. Documentation (that might have looked legit to me) is quickly pulled apart and called phoney.

So maybe the sceptics aren't wrong?

And so what now?

It seems to me that the “issues” will come and go. Truther, birther, UFO believer, chemtrailer… who knows what will come next... These things will come and go. But there is one common thing that underlies all these issues that, I believe, will not change. It is the issue of “The Truth”.

So what is THE TRUTH?

Usually people seem to think it is anything that can be “proven”. If it can be proven then it can’t be doubted then it is THE TRUTH. Right? So let’s look at that:

What can we prove beyond all doubt and question?

I would like to make the perhaps surprising assertion that nothing can actually be proven. Let us use science as an example. Science doesn't actually offer us "proof" of anything. Science offers us hypotheses that fit the data available. If we test the hypothesis experimentally and it continues to fit the data under all kinds of different conditions then it is called "proven" and we accept it as "fact" but, over and over again the history of science shows us that there are always exceptions that come along to upset the apple-cart and force us to re-evaluate those "facts" and come up with a new, improved hypothesis. Then the process starts again. Over time all of the “proven scientific facts” will be unseated and replaced with other different “proven scientific facts”. This we know from the history of science and this is what will continue to happen in the future.

How can I be so sure it will continue to happen? Simply because all "scientifically proven facts" are built on the very shakiest of ground. The fundamental building blocks of science... the most essential elements upon which all theories and ideas are built are these things: time, space, matter, energy, gravity and light. Pretty much every scientific theory starts with these things and builds on them. And yet we don't have a clue what any of these things are! Do yourself a favour some time: see if you can find a working, scientifically valid definition of what "time" is. Or even just a scientific description of how time works.

You won't find one because there isn't one.

It seems no one knows what "time" is! And yet, almost every physics theory or experiment is predicated on measuring or defining something in relation to time! So what is the value of the "proof" if it relies on something else that is utterly unknown?

And the same thing is true for "matter". Everything we can interact with is "matter" but what IS it? At its finest level all matter seems to be made of sub-atomic particles. But what ARE they? Science offers us some descriptions of how they behave under certain experimental conditions but doesn’t actually know what they are. And can't explain their sometimes deeply quirky behaviour either. And even more interestingly, it seems sub-atomic particles have no mass. That’s right. They weigh nothing. The stuff of our reality (that weighs something) is built out of smaller stuff that weighs nothing! In order to explain this physicists have proposed a hypothetical particle called the Higgs Boson. This, they tell us, will explain why there is such a thing as "mass" in our universe. The trouble is it has never been found or observed – though they hope to do so with the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. (Either that or they are trying to open a worm-hole to another dimension which will let the evil reptilian monsters in to over take the earth – conspiracy boards like ATS aren’t clear on this. :-)

But the point here is that “matter” and “mass” are not actually fully understood. All we have is theories. Good theories, I’ll grant you. Theories that go a long way yo describing what we observe. But nothing here is proved so that no one can argue.

So all scientific proof with regards to matter is ultimately built on nothing more than conjecture. No matter how impressive the fancy words and complex math might be.

And I could (if you would keep reading that long), make the same case about space, energy, gravity and light. All of the fundamental building blocks of our conception of our reality are, at their root, mysteries to us. So “scientific proof”, if you dig a bit, turns out to always be built on a few layers of things we think we know something about, and then underneath it all is always something that we don't know at all. All these "proofs" are like buildings on a foundation of air.

So even science, which strives valiantly to examine, understand and describe the world we live in, can actually “prove” nothing about it. At best it is able to describe the way our reality seems to behave under certain conditions.

So much for science if we want The Truth!

But has any other endeavour done any better? Lets try religion. If any one religion could prove beyond all possible doubt that they had the answer, surely all clear thinking individuals in the world would be forced to see that they are right and join them. And yet… despite preachers and religious leaders claiming otherwise none, in all of the time they have had to get it right, have been able to silence a single doubt of disbelievers on even the most basic tenets of their faith.

Some of the most rational, clear-thinking individuals I know are atheists. Though I myself am deeply spiritual by nature, I actually find atheism to be the only logically, rationally defensible position. If you take subjective experience and “feelings” out of the picture then atheism is the only belief system that you can’t actually prove wrong! Think about that.

So where science has failed to prove anything to us religion has certainly done no better. So lets see if we can do any better right here on this forum.

Is there anything anyone here can prove to me in such a way that I cannot doubt? That I cannot be sceptical about and “debunk”?

You can’t!

You see you cannot even prove to me that you exist!

I have had some pretty vivid dreams in my life. How can I know for sure this is not another dream and that you are not just a figment of my imagination?

There was an old guy that lived on the streets – I used to drive past him most mornings on my way to work – he always seemed to be having angry conversations at the top of his voice with various streets signs. Whatever was going on there I am sure he believed the street signs were talking back. So if his experience is possible… maybe everyone here on ATS is… you know… stop signs and no u-turn signs and I am hallucinating your posts!

Or maybe this is like the movie the matrix. All a big computer simulation. And maybe I am the only one here that is “real”.

I’m sure I don’t need to come up with more scenarios – I’m sure you understand what I am trying to get at. What I am saying is that it is entirely possible for me doubt your existence even as you and I might engage with each other here.

And, in the same vein, neither can I prove that I exist to you!

So then what can we “prove”?

Rene Descartes is famous for his answer to this question. He said:

"I think therefore I am."

Basically he was saying the only thing I can know for sure is that I exist.

I am

And no one, since Descartes, has been able to top that. We can’t prove anything more than that we each exist.

And so… if nothing is ultimately provable doesn’t it seem that the very idea of "proof" itself is redundant?

So… instead of this same old tired, sad “believer” versus “debunker” misery… can we not instead see that the things that appear to each of us to be true are just that - things that APPEAR true to us at that time. Because, sure as eggs is eggs, over time we all will come to change our beliefs and our “truth” will shift as a “greater truth” appears to us. Or have YOUR beliefs not modified and matured as you yourself have grown and progressed?
And if we can see things that way then can we not accept that the things that appear true for you might very well be different from the things that appear true for me? And that there is no problem with this? We don’t have to share truths... and we certainly don’t have to manipulate each other into agreement with us! (Are we playground bullies that we cannot tolerate anyone disagreeing with us?)

Because ultimately the things we hold to be true are just the things we have decided to believe.

We have, each of us, chosen to filter the input we receive in such a way that we arrive at our beliefs. And since our experiences are different and our filters are different - it is no wonder our beliefs are different from each others!

And so here is my appeal: can we not allow that someone else’s experience is his experience. If he says so. Can we not hold beliefs without demanding and insisting that everyone else must immediately hold the same beliefs? Can we not simply share our experiences and beliefs the way people share gifts – "take it and use it if you want, leave it be if you don’t".

What do you think?

NOTE: 1. In due course I hope to create a follow-up article discussing where our beliefs originate.
NOTE: 2. The above article is modified and excerpted from a fuller article which (with its video version) is available here
edit on 22-5-2011 by Zingdad because: improved paragraph spacing

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 11:33 AM
reply to post by Zingdad

I think I have just one response.

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."

Be well, friend.

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 11:37 AM
I dont always drink beer,but when i do I drink dos equis

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 11:44 AM

Originally posted by Praetorius
reply to post by Zingdad

I think I have just one response.

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."

Be well, friend.

LOL! Too true. The more I learn the less I know. If I study all day I might yet become a total ignoramus! :-)


Originally posted by brindle
I dont always drink beer,but when i do I drink dos equis

Yes! You understand! Rene DosEquis! He was a famous philosopher. He said "I drink therefore I can't stand". Very profound.

Thank you for your insightful addition to this thread! :-)

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 11:55 AM
You cant handle the truth.

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 12:01 PM
Good article.

We seem to all be blinded by what we want to hear as the truth. Hence we will believe the half baked internet article we have read if it reinforces our version of the truth even though there are 300 or so witnesses who have a different story. There is good science reason for this - we have a [new] logical brain and a much older, much better wired in - emotional brain. It is the latter that gets us to scarper when we see a bear. It is the latter that runs rings around our logical brain - making us believe what we want to believe; to back up our root prejudices, ethics etc.

I do think though that we accept ALL SOURCES as truth where for me, certain sources are far stronger than others.
Watching on TV a description of a witness at e.g. 9/11 bombing talk about the person there, with the ruck sack is a far stronger truth [as I can read all the languages - body, voice, tone of voice) than a few cold sentences from a blog.

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 12:14 PM
S&F for you, its not every day that someone brings up the subject of arguments for the sake of argument. But hey, that's what ATS if for right? If we all took what we read and saw at face value, then we become the 'sheep' that so many people here strive to transcend.

The people that immediately question what is posted regardless of the topic, are simply asking the questions that the rest of us are thinking, but just don't have the heart to ask. I am never disheartened by debunkers, as we all strive for our own Truth, and that is something that others cannot share.

So yes, I agree people refuse to shut up in regards to many conspiracy theories, but I would far rater people be skeptical then for them to believe everything they see or hear.

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 01:11 PM
reply to post by templar knight

Interesting thoughts. You say it is essentially the battle between right brain and left brain. An appeal to emotion wins over a straight appeal to logic. That is interesting. I suspect it varies from individual to individual. I suspect two different individuals would see the same argument and the one would be swayed by the emotional, visceral appeal while the other would be swayed by the logical, intellectual appeal.

What I am saying is that we are all unique and we are all going to respond to the same stimuli differently. Which is precisely why there is no point in fighting about the conclusions we have come to. They are different becasue WE are different. Or what say you?

Thanks for the input! :-)

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 01:17 PM
reply to post by CrimsonNova

Hi CrimsonNova

What I am really arguing for is tolerance. Acceptance. A willingness to see and understand that the other person's perspective might be 100% as valid for him/ her as mine is for me.

I don't mind debate. Quite the contrary - I LOVE to engage others and find out what makes them tick and to expose my ideas to question and challenge. And in the same way if people present their experiences here on ATS and others have input or thoughts about that then that is great. But there is VERY often something more than that present. It is a need to bludgeon the other voice to silence. To change opinion and force agreement. An unwillingness to allow for the fact that another's view might be different from their own.

That is what I am taking about.

Thanks for the S&F!

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 01:40 PM
Just imagine IF there was some kind of testimony by an official or groups of officials that 911 was an inside job, and IF they managed to get on mainstream media... Even then, I don't think the public will pay enough attention to it, unless it was a former president or something. To shatter the illusion would absolutley crush the spirit and trust of the average American citizen, and it could potentially destablise the world.
edit on 22-5-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 03:44 PM
reply to post by SystemResistor

...yeah... I wonder.

Take UFO disclosure as an example. Some pretty heavy hitters have come out saying things to the effect that there are extra-terrestrial craft landing on earth. But when this doesn't match with what people WANT to believe they dismiss it. I have seen the argument advanced that it is only fringe loonie that believe in UFOs. and then when a list of very credible "important" people with their statements about UFOs was presented the story just changed to "I can't see why these people's opinions are more valid than the average Joe's".

The point is that people will believe what they want to believe. There is no evidence or proof that can force them to believe anything else.

You make the case that it will take someone in authority. I submit that it would have to be someone that is universally recognised as being an honest broker for the truth. Otherwsie people will dismiss what he says. You propose a former president. I submit that American party politics being what they are there is no one alive that everyone will accept as a "truth speaker". Pretty much everyone is distrusted by a large chunk of the populace.

No. I think our only hope is to discover for ourselves that our truth lies within us. Each of us. And then, possibly, to help others to see this too.

Looking to external figures of authority to tell us what is true won't work.

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 06:29 PM
There's a really simple statement that you really can't argue with:

A+B=C therefore C-B=A

This statement is true as long as you don't grant any contextual identity to the letters being used as symbols in the statement. If a person can't allow that one statement to be true, then they have no capacity to recognize anything as being true. The factual nature of it is unassailable.

That said, the fact that there is a person who can decide whether that statement is true or not, is evidence that there is something that is definitely true. Not only is it definitely true, but it is reliable and consistent, and it exists in overwhelming redundancy. In fact, whatever it is, it bases the structural foundation of whatever it is that allows that person to accept or dismiss whatever it is that they've chosen to accept or dismiss, and whether they accept it or not, this true something has proven its existence to be true by the fact that it can be dismissed or accepted as true at all.

Even if reality is a dream, there has to be a mind to dream it. That mind must have a definite Identity, and that Identity cannot be a spontaneous result of nothing whatsoever. You can say that it is, but anyone can say anything at all. The fact that anyone can claim anything and be directly challenged by anyone else is solid proof that definitive Identity does exist (yes, even if you firmly believe that unique Identity is a human failure - which, by the way, would be your own failure as well if you're debating the notion with anyone).

Delineation is fundamental to existence. Is delineation true? Yeah, it is. Whether it's temporary or primordial, it's still true. If something cannot be delineated from that which contains it, then it cannot be said to exist. This is like that logic statement above. It's clean and unassailable. Something either is or it's not, and delineation is what determines whether it is. If it is not or cannot be delineated, then it does not exist.

Let's look at something physical. Let's see if its existence is true. How about the event. Is the event true? Something happens, and due to that something happening, something is affected. Yes, the event is true, and it does exist. Even if it's only a mind thinking about an event, the thought about the event occurred - affecting that mind as it did, and since it did occur and it did affect the contextual nature of that mind's intellectual composition, the thought itself was an event in its own right.

One event begins, happens, and then it ends. Another event begins, happens, and then it ends. These are not the same event, they are two events. There is clear delineation between one event and the other event. So, what we now know is that there can be events that are unique, and that not all that happens is one event - even if the multiple events can be considered part of an umbrella event. (see holon theory)

Now, let's look at each event again. One event took longer to occur than the other event. One event was more complex than the other event. Not by much, but by enough to make it clear that these two events were not identical. Does this mean that they were two totally different forms of physical existence (PE)? After all, if one event is definitely different than the other event, and both events existed for as long as they existed, then why wouldn't they be two entirely unique forms of PE?

Well, let's say that one event was a quick streak from here to there, and the other event was an orbit (we're only looking at the event itself and not at what streaked or what orbited). Were these two events different forms of PE? I mean, they both were movement. They both changed the overall environment (contextually speaking), and they were both relatively organized and reliable (the streak streaked and the orbit orbited). They both featured the exact same fundamental nature (movement), so no, they aren't two totally unique forms of PE.

But they're different. How is that possible for them to be different, but for them to not be uniquely different forms of PE?

It has to do with scaling and application.

Scaling? Scaling is the difference between two similar forms of PE that involves duration and/or environmental impact.

Application is the difference in two similar forms of PE that involves how each form of PE is expressed or utilized within a contextual confine.

The streak streaked and the orbit orbited, and while these events were obviously different, if you take each event apart - trajectory segment by trajectory segment - there comes a point where what you have in front of you from each event is exactly the same. That point is when you've divided each to the indivisible unit that combines with each of its fellow indivisible units to create the organized trajectory that either streaked or orbited to create the event that's under examination. I call this indivisible unit, the Event Unit (EU), and as a structural building unit, it comes in only one size (redundancy is the go-to default in all of what we can observe in every observable form of existence) What happens is that the EU is combined with fellow EUs to create the impossible-to-count variations of "here to there" that we already know to exist.

Since there is a start, a duration, and a finish, for each EU there must be a way to refer to this duration. You can (of course) dismiss the notion of an indivisible unit of event that features a quantifiable duration, but the truth is that the EU must have a duration, or an event would not feature any duration at all, and we know that each event does, and that most events are slightly unique in duration, Don't forget the logic statement above, and what it suggests about what we know and what we can determine as a result of what we know. Again, the established facts make the case for a standard indivisible duration. I've decided to refer to this duration as the Unit Rate of Change (URC).

It is obvious that if all events (large and small, linear and redundant) are built from organizing the indivisible EU (again, redundancy rules the primordial level, since if it didn't, there could never be structural complexity, and we know that there is structural complexity - *hint* - you are structurally complex, for starters) These gather and organize (I'm not dealing with the management of these units in this small presentation) into everything from streaks to orbits and beyond. And since this is the obvious case, then the indivisible URC is the contextual time-clock for everything that is in sync with everything else (thereby joining together in common contextual association via shared symmetry of unitary change).

In fact, if two events are not built from the same EUs and do not share the same URC, then there's no possible way for them to share the same contextual environment. They literally begin and end out of sync with one another, and if the event chain in long enough, the disparity eliminates each from the other's physical reality in a very real and definable sense.

So, now we have a good basis for what is real. We have delineation (this and that). We have the event, and we have the scalable unitary substructure of the event; allow each event to be unique without having to reinvent the event each time (redundancy = simplicity). We have a definable duration that differentiates one event from the next, and this requires that each EU involved with creating the event whole features a definite indivisible duration (the URC). We also know that for these events to exist within the same contextual environment (reality) they must be structured with sympathetic synchronization (the same URC). This suggests that the URC is the foundation unit of Time for that contextual environment.

So, we now have a basis for what is true.
edit on 5/22/2011 by NorEaster because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 08:38 PM
truth noun \ˈtrüth\
plural truths\ˈtrüthz, ˈtrüths\
Definition of TRUTH
1a archaic : fidelity, constancy b : sincerity in action, character, and utterance
2a (1) : the state of being the case : fact (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true uths of thermodynamics> c : the body of true statements and propositions
3a : the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality b chiefly British : true 2 c : fidelity to an original or to a standard
4capitalized Christian Science : god
— in truth
: in accordance with fact : actually

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 08:41 PM
Really great post, it reminds me of this image. Not sure how to directly embed but worth a look!

edit on 22-5-2011 by Bdizzl3 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 04:55 AM
reply to post by NorEaster

This and that do not exist.
The op is saying that the only thing that is definate is your experience.

'That' can not be proven.
Only 'this' is.

Your post is built on the imaginings of a 'that'.
Only this is.

Is it really possible to draw a line around an event?
How can one event be longer than another?
How long is now?
Where is now appearing?
edit on 23-5-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 05:13 AM
reply to post by Zingdad

I like your post, i feel the same. There is nothing better than knowing there is no one here. The absence of people is bliss. The belief in people is hell.
All there ever is, is this.
Being. This 'thing' in our faces all day, is being. Like a huge snowglobe that we veiw. Appearances appear, are seen and vanish continually. The begining and the end are now, always. The big bang banging.

Then we try to understand it. We make stories up about it. We make up a story about an imaginary person and believe it to be ourselves. As soon as we imagine ourselves to be a separate person ( in the wholeness of being), we, without realizing it, make the world separate. This is what makes the 'this' and 'that'.
But really there is me and the world appearing at the same time always. As one.
This is a sentence that portrays this:
I am that I am.
I/this is.

There is no fear when we know that nothing can happen without our presence.
Everything seen is for you.

What is real and true?
edit on 23-5-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

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