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My philosophical theory: all things are true simultaneously

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posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 08:56 PM
I’m working on a theory. This theory is a creeping belief of mine that is slowly being reinforced through experience and perspective. The problem is that I’m not an expert in mathematical proofs, logic, or philosophy. This theory could be nothing more than a flame-broiled new-age belief given birth to by my naivety and ignorance. Luckily, this is a place where such ideas can be denied!

My theory is that all things can be true simultaneously. Not only can all things be true at the same time; they are!

I look at this theory as an exercise in finding truth. I hope someone can help me develop it, or help me squash it, because it’s really bugging me trying to figure this out and wrap my head around it.

We live in a reality governed by the semblance of duality. Dual thinking: day and night, right and wrong, 1 and 0. It makes sense. We need a way to distinguish differentiating states and conditions. We need to be able to recognize the difference between something like “safe” and “dangerous” to act appropriately to these conditions. We can’t very well tell someone, “Hey, that rattlesnake might be safe, but it might also be dangerous.” Such unifying, singular thinking isn’t very helpful—even if both conditions of the rattlesnake are simultaneously true (it is both potentially safe and potentially dangerous at the same time.)

Now, there is a logical axiom called “The law of (non-)contradiction.” It simply means that “something can’t be, and not be” at the same time—just ask Hamlet.

It states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions "A is B" and "A is not B" are mutually exclusive.

The snake has to be one or the other, safe or dangerous, at any given time, to agree with this logical proof. To compound the confusion, what happens if the snake I saw curled up in the corner was just a length of coiled rope after closer inspection. I sure got myself all anxious, sweaty, and heart-pounding for nothing then!

At some point I saw the shape and thought, “Okay, it’s either a snake, or a rope” and had to pick one so that I could respond to it.

I think it’s fair to say there are varying degrees of truth and what’s true or false at any moment—it’s all open to interpretation at the hand of the individual who is observing and analyzing it.

Now, there are distinguishing definitions between subjective and objective truths. My theory, that all things are true simultaneously, falls back on the safety net of subjective truths. Its very nature would suggest that there is no such thing as objective truth.

Let me give an example: some people think I’m a nice fellow, while others might think I’m a jerk. What determines which of these conditions is true?—the number of people casting their vote? Even if 10 people think I’m nice, and only 5 still say I’m a jerk, aren’t both opinions true at the same time?

Is there even any objectivity in such an assessment? Or is it totally dependent on subjective analysis?

Now, before you accuse me of saying that we should just drop all empirical truths found through scientific method because of the subjective nature of some truths, I will expound on my theory/belief in hopes of clarifying and articulating myself adequately.

I could be a nice fellow and a non-nice fellow at the same time just as the snake could both be dangerous and safe at the same time, right? I think, yes. So what does that say about the law of (non-)contradiction? What is going on at that point where the snake is both a potential threat, or a potential non-threat? Any quantum physics buffs out there?

Alright, now let’s consider this: One person believes in say, aliens, and another disbelieves in aliens. Can aliens exist and not exist at the same time? Is there an objective and/or subjective truth in here?
Through the power of subjectivity, both conditions are true:

To the believer: aliens exist, he/she saw them and interacted with them, took a ride in their space ship, and received a message of galactic peace.

To the disbeliever: aliens don’t exist, there’s no physical evidence or credible testimony, and all cases are satisfactorily debunked.

Which one here is objective truth? Does it come down to another vote? What if the votes shift over time, shift in light of new evidence, or shift in popular opinion etc? Does that mean an underlying objective truth was just turned upside down—or was it all just subjective every step of the way?

What if aliens show up tomorrow? Who is right and wrong in that scenario? Can the disbelievers still hold fast and find some basis for disbelieving in great numbers?

(This example is not intended to fuel a debate between alien believers and alien skeptics. It’s just an example for illustrative purposes. I am not advocating a position one way or the other.)

Consider the above question with a situation that has already been overturned; oh, just off the top of my head, how bloodletting was at one time believed to “release the evil demons and sin” from one’s body (a very popular opinion taken for granted that is now laughable.)

Here we’re caught up in that dualistic thinking again. Something must either be true or false at any given time.

When considering subjective truth—every single mind becomes a tool used to assess reality. On Earth alone, there are over 8 billion converging realities existing simultaneously. There is plenty of room for disagreements and contradictions. Does that mean some people are right and some are wrong due to there being some underlying objective truth?

What happens when we run into logical paradoxes that seem to challenge the law of (non-)contradiction (the proof that supports dualistic thinking.)

I give you the barber paradox to consider:

In a village, the barber shaves everyone who does not shave himself, but no one else.

The question that prompts the paradox is this:

Who shaves the barber?

No matter how we try to answer this question, we get into trouble.

The issue is that the barber can’t shave himself, and NOT shave himself—the conditions contradict themselves, but exist simultaneously.

Yes, it’s just a mental exercise that has little bearing on real events, but I hope it helps illustrate my dilemma— contradicting conditions can exist simultaneously and continue to be true. The barber must shave himself, and must not shave himself at the same time. The question is unanswerable in an objective manner.

I’m not convinced that dualistic-thinking is the only way to go. In fact, I think it’s entirely wrong.

I’ve already posited that some truths can only be decided through subjective interpretation; and that the contradictions can be simultaneously true (Narco is a nice guy and a big jerk at the same time.)

If truth is in the eye of the observer for some things, why wouldn’t this be the case for ALL things?

Is each of us constantly casting a ballot of belief that shapes reality? Is truth a malleable entity? Is it possible that no one is ever wrong, just outnumbered?

While you consider how to answer my numerous questions, here are a few relevant quotes that are neat.

“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” ~Shakespeare

The concept of up and down seems to make sense from an earthly or gravitational perspective, but if you are somewhere out in space, it suddenly makes no sense at all. There is no up or down. The list of these polar opposites goes on and on, but they all have one thing in common—they are often laced with judgement, and the need for resolution.

I hope I made sense! I look forward to discussing this with you folks.

edit on 31-7-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 09:25 PM
Great thread
Makes me think...Everything is all that is and it is what it is. I see elements of Schrodies cat, string theory (which I know nothing about) amongst other odds and ends. Thanks for posting a slice of your journey

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 09:28 PM

My theory is that all things can be true simultaneously. Not only can all things be true at the same time; they are!

My reality is that all things cannot be true simultaneously. Not only can all things be not true at the same time; they aren't !

And so all things must be untrue. There is truth. There is not truth. There is you. There is not you. This post exists. This post does not exist. This all makes sense. This all does not make sense. This must continue. This must stop.

Yeap I agree. Nope I disagree.

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 09:33 PM
reply to post by emberscott

I tried my best!

As I said, it's mostly a mental exercise I'm playing around with. It's my rubik's cube du jour...not that I could ever solve one of those darn things without breaking it and re-assembling it in matching order

I'm not even sure I expressed my idea thoroughly or coherently

Oh well, here's one for the ATS blooper reel, eh?

edit on 31-7-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 09:38 PM
Truth can be a perception. all things are not true though. Pure truth can be challenged by deception and it can be proven wrong if consensus of the time is used or the reasoning derived from the evidence is wrong. Many truths have already been proven wrong by using these techniques. When everyone starts believing that is an untruth, it becomes considered a truth in society. Then those who talk the truth are said to be lying.

Always remember that the truth is very simple, if it is complicated it is probably not the truth. A saying like, the dinosaurs lived a long time ago is the truth. If it says they lived between six million years to nine million years ago, it is probably deception, because the base for the determination of the technology is only six thousand years or so. This is just an example of how using a tiny point of view can create truths that have no real basis. In this case, we have no way of knowing the conditions of the earth over that long a period of time. To me I believe that the dinosaurs lived a long time ago and don't care about the numbers because numbers can be used also to prove deceit. 666 is just a number, and numbers were used to deceive people long ago as they often are today. Look at our Economy, numbers are used to deceive people to believe it is real.

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 09:48 PM
reply to post by rickymouse

I agree in part and am still sifting through the rubble. When you say "truth can be a perception" I have to ask myself...What else could it be?

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 10:27 PM
reply to post by rickymouse

Simple and Complicated will vary from person to person and makes no difference on whether or not something may or may not be true.

Numbers are probably one of the most effective ways for us to find truth. While they aren't a perfect method they are surely more efficient than normal language. Our economic system being the complete mess that it is, isn't born from some deceptive problem within numbers. Numerical values and how they are used and applied are actually very stable. Economic theory and practice however have many other features other than just numbers and values. It's those other features which make it unstable, not the use of numbers.

Mathematics is the most universal language we have ever known and probably ever will. I believe it was Pythagoras, who is labeled the father of modern mathematics and quoted as saying that "mathematics is the language that God wrote the universe". I would say there is certainly some truth in that statement, at least in the sense that it has been mathematics which has enabled us to understand the universe and reality to a much better degree.

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 10:33 PM
your philosophies are meaningless. one leaf on one tree is more beautiful than all the philosophies ever thought up. your philosophies are covering up the life within you

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 10:39 PM

Originally posted by biggmoneyme
your philosophies are meaningless. one leaf on one tree is more beautiful than all the philosophies ever thought up. your philosophies are covering up the life within you

So, is that your philosophy? See, it ain't so cut-and-dry, is it? Your very statement implies that your advice is meaningless.

Just like using words to say, "words are meaningless."

Logical paradoxes are fun, but annoying

edit on 31-7-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 10:44 PM
reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha

I've always approached this type of quandary from a different standpoint.

A "personal truth" can be both true and false at the same time. This would be the example of extraterrestrial existence you mentioned; whether aliens exist, or not, is a matter of personal truth: it depends entirely on what you believe. Belief, however, is not factual, it is faithful, and faith is not empirical, faith is accepting a thing without evidence.

A "universal truth" can only be true. This would be something like... atoms are composed of protons, electrons, and neutrons. No matter what we believe, or have faith in, every atom that exists is a combination of protons, electrons, and neutrons. This is a universal truth. You can preach all day long that atoms are composed of Swiss Cheese and Lincoln Logs, but it simply will not be so.

As for the barber conundrum:

In a village, the barber shaves everyone who does not shave himself, but no one else.

Himself is a reflexive/intensive pronoun, it refers to the Barber, not to the townsfolk. The Barber shaves everybody that does not shave their own hair. This means that anybody can shave the Barber, because only the Barber has a prerequisite to meet when it comes to shaving, and, as long as they only shave the Barber, and not their own hair, then the Barber can shave them.

~ Wandering Scribe

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 10:44 PM
i hate to say it but your logic is flawed. example a snake is a snake weather you think it might be a rope its 1 or the other not both at the same time. if 2 people think aliens are real doesn't make it true, and i hate to say it but truth isn't always true either because it can be manipulated. so in conclusion its all relative. always will be.

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 11:05 PM
reply to post by Wandering Scribe

I think you're missing a key point on the barber paradox, but otherwise thanks for your insightful contribution (as they always are!)

The barber shaves everyone who doesn't shave themselves and no one else. So, it's not so much if someone else in town is doing the shaving for the barber. It's whether he should be shaving himself or not. (To avert confusion, I have heard the paradox described with the addition that only the barber can do any shaving whatsoever--that's how I heard it in math class anyway.)

If he's shaving himself, he oughtn't be according to the premise.

And if he's not shaving himself, he ought to be because that's what the barber does according to the premise.

It's a tricky one

edit on 31-7-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 11:14 PM
reply to post by SpunGCake

It's true, I'm not a very logical person sometimes. It's just an idea I'm playing around with here. This thread is an invitation to poke at my flawed logic.

I'm here to think about this idea from new angles and learn from others' perspectives

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 11:20 PM

Originally posted]

My theory is that all things can be true simultaneously. Not only can all things be true at the same time; they are!

ok when did you come up with this extravaganza? Today? yesterday? Billions of years ago?
My bad what does it matter, it's all now.

Darryl Forests
Tossing pickles

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 11:50 PM
For every truth you define, you create an (infinite - 1) amount of falsehoods. (There is no dualism in your mind.)

However, what is true in syntax does not make truth in reality.

Your barber paradox is only a truth in syntax. In reality, the statement's dilemma is false... It is like saying, the world will begin to rotate tomorrow. The error, is that there will be no tomorrow if the world does not spin. Thus, the dilemma is false.

In truth, there is only truth. False is just a made up concept. It exists only as syntax.

Worse yet, truth only exists in what has already happened. Until it has happened, anything can happen.

Edit to point out I made a paradox in the above sentence. lol

edit on 7/31/2013 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 11:57 PM
I may be able to help with the math part.

The thread title translated into math is...

∞ = 1

With ∞ being everything
and 1 being the classical math form of True.

After reading your post,
I feel what you are really saying
is closer to what the Greeks believed.

And that is that between any two numbers, there are an infinite number of divisions,
or ...

0 ... ∞ ... 1

In the terms of the opening post,
and in more poetic language...

Between true and false lay the entire infinity of existence.

/hope that helps


posted on Aug, 1 2013 @ 03:57 AM
reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha

Hello NarcolepticBuddha. It is a pleasure to discuss the concepts duality and subjective/objective truth.

The key to duality is "one". All dualities are varying degrees of the same thing. The perception of "this and that" is superficial and illusionary, there is an underlying unity and oneness to all of existence.

The mechanisms of awareness, perception, thought, emotion, separation, time, space, place, relativity, and perspective allows us to experience 'difference' amongst the unity. These varying factors allow us to have different experiences, opinions, and understandings of the same reality. We, as human beings, have a relative-subjective experience of reality.

There is both objective truth and subjective truth. Once again, this is another duality. Dualities are varying expressions of the same one.


Why does the deep understanding of this metaphysical mumbo-jumbo even matter?

Because it brings about a transformation of the mind, emotions, and thoughts. When we understand the deep unity and interconnectedness of reality, we develop sincere love and compassion. When we understand that each person holds individual relative-subjective truths, we develop sincere acceptance and understanding of others.


• Consider the findings and theories of quantum physics regarding the "behavior" of atoms and subatomic particles. Particles appear to have a particle/wave dual nature,... they can be in more than one place at the same time,... once in a relationship with another particle, they remain cause and effect bound at vast distances,... they "behave" according to observation,...

In a nut shell, subatomic particles appear to be expressions of infinite potential and possibility. This can also be said about each and every form that our consciousness takes. In this human physical life, we have relative-subjective truths along with socially agreed upon objective truths.

posted on Aug, 1 2013 @ 05:17 AM
I don't know if I should give this thread a star and flag?

Oh well..... there, I just did.................. n't

All kidding aside, I too have thought about this, do we live in a universe with singular fixed truths, or many?

All roads lead to Rome......... ?

posted on Aug, 1 2013 @ 07:57 AM
reply to post by mOjOm

Numbers are a tool, used both by those who wish truth and deceit. They are used extensively by both sides. Complicating the truth is usually caused by using Occams Razor to make it fit into perception of the time. The truth is simple yet complicated beyond belief.

If you look at what we consider the numbers we assign to nutrition in food, you will not understand that these numbers are for the properties we know about food, not the total properties of the foods. I have been watching these numbers for many years and see that these numbers have always been misused because in essence we barely understand the reality about nutrition. You can not take apart something and look at a few extensively studied pieces to understand everything about the object. Understanding the interaction between things is ignored, numbers get in the way sometimes in this case. This is just one sample how our understanding of numbers without enough knowledge of the overall picture can become a deception.

Deception is not always known by us, it is a creation of ego with no ill intent some times. The fact is that we really know little about things, finding out most of what is known from mistakes we have made in the past. We think we know more than we do though, using numbers to prove things that are partial truths most times. The application of this evidence is misapplied most times to things it does not apply to. This tendency is common within the sciences, not in math alone. Math is just a tool, it is not god. Math may be able to show god, but actually god is a energy signature/frequency/communication and not numbers. God is said to be the word but the word is just frequencies compiled together.....I think the ancient people used to sing and hum a lot, our original language may have been song like. Considering that the human and bird brain are wired similarily, from new research I just read, it may mean our ancestors were more birdlike. Our skin does sort of look like a plucked chickens skin.

Math is just one of our tools we use to try to figure out the puzzle of existence.

posted on Aug, 1 2013 @ 09:34 AM
reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha

The snake has to be one or the other, safe or dangerous, at any given time, to agree with this logical proof.

Not quite. The snake only has to be the snake. "Safe" and "dangerous" are adjectives, not things. The law of noncontradiction applies to things only. We can give things as many adjectives as we want without changing that thing at all.

edit on 1-8-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)

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