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Author Topic:   How do you know truth?
John
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 114 (25995)
12-08-2002 11:13 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by forgiven
12-08-2002 7:52 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
it is a good question and i'll await replies so i don't attack a straw man...
Yes, it is a good question.
I don't have one and I don't know. If I did I wouldn't be looking.
The proces is one of sifting through the relationships of countless ideas-- surfing a sea of chaos.
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by forgiven, posted 12-08-2002 7:52 PM forgiven has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 114 (25996)
12-08-2002 11:22 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by forgiven
12-08-2002 7:52 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
it is a good question and i'll await replies so i don't attack a straw man...
Yes, it is a good question.
I don't have one and I don't know, on the most basic level. If I did I wouldn't be looking.
The process is one of sifting through the relationships of countless ideas-- surfing a sea of chaos.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by forgiven, posted 12-08-2002 7:52 PM forgiven has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 114 (26029)
12-09-2002 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by robinrohan
12-09-2002 10:46 AM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
To say that there isn't any such thing as truth doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps someone can explain that. That's not the same thing as saying we have no access to it.
I think you started to hit on the answer towards the bottom of your post. People mean sometimes very different things when they talk about truth.
One way to view truth is as an entity, a thing in itself existing independently of everything else. It is a bit of an odd idea but this was the view expressed by Plato in his theory of Forms. Also, if you watch carefully, a lot of people think this way. You can detect the hints of it is speach and writing. From this perspective I think is quite easy to understand how Truth might not exist.
Another way to think of truth is as a perfect description of how the universe functions-- a perfect chain of causes predeeding effects. Well, quantum physics suggests that there isn't such a perfect chain. At small enough scales there is an element of randomness. If this apparent randomness turns out to be what it seems, there is no formula that can completely describe how things work. Think about writing a formula to describe the roll of a die. If that roll is truly random, there is no formula that can describe it. You can describe it as a an expectation over a certain number of throws. In other words, you can calculate probability and have a statistical definition, but there is no formula that will predict each and every roll.
Some people have considered truth to be an aspect of god. Thus, if god does not exist, neither does truth.
Most people use the term very relativistically, as a component of the relationship between two or more ideas. Does this exist? Not in the same sense that we say an apple exists.
Just a few thoughts...
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by robinrohan, posted 12-09-2002 10:46 AM robinrohan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by robinrohan, posted 12-09-2002 11:56 AM John has replied
 Message 13 by Quetzal, posted 12-10-2002 3:30 AM John has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 114 (26055)
12-09-2002 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by robinrohan
12-09-2002 11:56 AM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
I suppose you are talking about total truth
To talk about truth you have to know what the word means. I defined it in the first sentence of the paragraph you quoted. That is what I am talking about.
quote:
and I suppose you are saying that if you don't have total truth then you have no truth at all.
It all depends on how truth is defined, at least insofar as human discussion of it goes. As defined by me the example I gave, your conclusion follows. Though you'd still have relative truths and close approximations, but not THE Truth.
quote:
Particular truths, a statement that corresponds to reality ("The sun will set at 5:15 CST") are dependent on total truth.
Why? Everything about that statement is relative? Why is there a need for a total truth?
quote:
Suppose the events of the universe are random. Why isn't "The events of the universe are random" a truth?
You can think of it that way. What you did is offer a way to view, or define, truth that I did not offer. All I did was name a few examples of ways to think about truth such that Truth need not exist at all.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by robinrohan, posted 12-09-2002 11:56 AM robinrohan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by robinrohan, posted 12-09-2002 3:37 PM John has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 114 (26189)
12-10-2002 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by robinrohan
12-09-2002 3:37 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
There is, I suppose, no practical reason for believing in evolution or not believing in it (apart from possible careers, but I suppose we can ignore that aspect).
There are sound medical reasons to study evolution. I just read an article suggesting that doctors need much more education in the area. Sorry. Don't know what happened to the article. I misplaced it.
quote:
Still, to my mind, it is important to find out the truth.
hmmmm..... I want to find out the truth, but is it important? I don't really know. I've asked myself this question a lot over the years. Really, it only becomes practically important if there is some form of afterlife access to which depends upon one's beliefs. Otherwise you can live and die believing the most cosmically incorrect crap and it really makes no difference.
quote:
And the reason is that one wants to know if one's little stay here on Earth has any meaning or not.
Meaning would result from only some of the possible Ultimate Truths, not from all of them.
quote:
If not, life is a tragedy.
As it is in many of the Ultimate Truth scenarios.
Life with no purpose is tragic? I don't think so. Life is just life. "Tragic" is a value judgement.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by robinrohan, posted 12-09-2002 3:37 PM robinrohan has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 74 of 114 (27652)
12-22-2002 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by forgiven
12-22-2002 12:15 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
can you smell the color red? can you taste a mozart concerto? can you feel the warmth of a star against your cheek? can you hear a van gogh speak to you? and if you could do these things, really do them, would you be called insane? or would you be called a poet? would you be pitied or envied?
There is a very interesting disorder typified by just this sort of thing. Sensory Dysplasia it is called, I think.
quote:
Nonetheless the image is "there"--wherever it is.
I think robin's problem is in the definition of 'real.' What is a real image? When we see something the brain takes electrical impulses and interprets them. This is the image. The same sorts of mechanisms create images when we remember or imagine something.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by forgiven, posted 12-22-2002 12:15 PM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by forgiven, posted 12-22-2002 1:50 PM John has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 76 of 114 (27657)
12-22-2002 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by forgiven
12-22-2002 1:50 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
i think you may be missing the point, john..
I wasn't addressing you point really, just pointing out something similar to what you describe.
quote:
i believe that in heaven such things will be normal, not abnormal (if they are abnormal now)...
I didn't understand that this is what you meant though. Mystics from all over claim to experience the same sorts of sensory wierdness, fyi.
quote:
i take it you'd pity the person who professes this ability?
I don't know really. I would imagine that it causes some dificulty for the person experiencing the phenomena. As such, I'd be sympathetic.
quote:
attribute it to mental illness of some sort?
If you mean insanity, I wouldn't call it that. But a disorder along the lines of epilepsy or dyslexia? I'd say it qualifies.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by forgiven, posted 12-22-2002 1:50 PM forgiven has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 79 of 114 (27722)
12-23-2002 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by robinrohan
12-22-2002 8:41 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
As regards, John, the definition of real, I am suggesting that my imaginary house is REALLY being imagined.
I realize this. But... is what you see when you look out the window also imagined? The mechanisms seem to be the same.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by robinrohan, posted 12-22-2002 8:41 PM robinrohan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by robinrohan, posted 12-23-2002 4:17 PM John has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 82 of 114 (27777)
12-24-2002 9:20 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by robinrohan
12-23-2002 4:17 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
John, when I look out the window I am looking at something physical. The mechanisms are not quite the same. I'm using my eyes when I look out the window. If you are suggesting that the pictorial mental image is physical, then it needs to be located some place in space.
Yes, but once light hits your eyeballs, everything is electronic. The image you see isn't external to you, it is the brain's interpretation of nerve firings. Those mechanisms, I suspect, are the same as when you imagine an image, instead of seeing one out your window.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by robinrohan, posted 12-23-2002 4:17 PM robinrohan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by robinrohan, posted 12-24-2002 3:58 PM John has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 90 of 114 (27847)
12-25-2002 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by robinrohan
12-24-2002 3:58 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
John, if a mental image exists, then it does so in the same sense that an abstract concept "exists."
Ok. What you seem to be missing is that all images are MENTAL images. Everything you see is a mental image. You don't see anything in its raw state. The brain interprets everything BEFORE it become the image you see. This is why optical illusions work. They screw with the brain's pre-processing routines.
Thus, the images you imagine and the images you see are formed via the same processes. Its just that the raw input is different.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by robinrohan, posted 12-24-2002 3:58 PM robinrohan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by forgiven, posted 12-25-2002 3:11 PM John has not replied
 Message 92 by robinrohan, posted 12-25-2002 3:29 PM John has not replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 94 of 114 (28133)
12-30-2002 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by robinrohan
12-25-2002 3:31 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
Or, John, perhaps you are saying that it doesn't matter if we call it physical or mental, it's the same thing? Is what you are saying?
Really, I am trying to figure out what you are calling physical and mental. You seem to be pressing some form of mind/body dualism but I can't make sense of it.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by robinrohan, posted 12-25-2002 3:31 PM robinrohan has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by robinrohan, posted 12-30-2002 5:57 PM John has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 97 of 114 (28167)
12-30-2002 11:42 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by robinrohan
12-30-2002 5:57 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
John, I'm trying to figure out if there is such a thing as mentality that can be distinguished from physicality.
What are your most fundamental assumptions? Your answer will turn on this.
quote:
All you keep saying is that imaginary images are produced, as far as the brain goes, in the same way that actual seeing is produced. So what?
Look at the wording of your statement. "actual seeing" and "imaginary images" You've already assumed a duality.
quote:
The point is that the mental image that is produced is MENTAL, not physical.
The mental image produced when 'actually seeing' is a physical image or a mental image? And the image when seeing 'imaginary images'? I suspect you want to class the two differently and place the 'actually seeing' image as a external thing. But that image is no different from your 'imaginary image' in the way the brain forms it.
quote:
If there is mentality as well as physicality, then yes, the metaphysics involved would be dualistic.
I am sure you are aware of the nightmarish problems philosophers have had building a connection betwixt the two, assuming this is the case?
quote:
The importance of the idea is to figure out if there is a way a person might have free will.
When did this topic become about free will?
quote:
If it's all physical, then there's no free will as for as I can tell.
Only if that physical nature is fully mechanistic and that seems to not be the case. Even calling that nature 'physical' is loading the question a bit much me thinks.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by robinrohan, posted 12-30-2002 5:57 PM robinrohan has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by forgiven, posted 12-31-2002 6:48 AM John has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 99 of 114 (28197)
12-31-2002 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by forgiven
12-31-2002 6:48 AM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
really? i take it you can account for free will in a material universe? i'd be interested in learning how
You really like to blur your terms, forgiven. The philosophical idea of materialism pretty much implies mechanism, but the idea of physical doesn't. Physical is just what we observe.
I said that there is a problem with free will in a physical system only if the additional condition of mechanism is included. IF mechanism is assumed everything proceeds from start to finish in lock-step. Everything can be predicted in advance. If things do not proceed in lock-step, then there are fuzzy areas where free-will might manifest. Personally, I don't care whether it does or not, but only mechanism precludes it.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by forgiven, posted 12-31-2002 6:48 AM forgiven has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by forgiven, posted 12-31-2002 5:11 PM John has not replied
 Message 101 by forgiven, posted 12-31-2002 5:11 PM John has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 102 of 114 (28231)
12-31-2002 10:49 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by forgiven
12-31-2002 5:11 PM


quote:
Originally posted by forgiven:
in your post right above you said free will can't exist, "Only if that physical nature is fully mechanistic and that seems to not be the case." ... will you explain why you believe that isn't the case?
Mechanism implies predictability. The two go hand in hand. But predictability breaks down under certain conditions, most notably at atomic and sub-atomic scales. Mechanism died a horrible and lingering death starting around 1900 or so. It doesn't describe the world.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by forgiven, posted 12-31-2002 5:11 PM forgiven has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by robinrohan, posted 01-03-2003 4:12 PM John has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 104 of 114 (28387)
01-04-2003 12:01 AM
Reply to: Message 103 by robinrohan
01-03-2003 4:12 PM


quote:
Originally posted by robinrohan:
Your idea about free will being somehow possible is vague.
Yes, but I am commenting more on the implications of mechanism on free-will than on free-will itself.
Speaking of vague ideas... the idea of free-will seems to be one of the most vague. Free-will: an agent's ability to act without the compulsions of other agents? Sentient agents only? Spiritual agents? Components of one's self? What acts? What is inside? What is out? Free-will: the absense of determinism? Only if the random is 'free-willed.' Or consider, if one reasons one's way to a conclusion does that reasoning constitute determinism?
quote:
And why would you not care? You don't care if you are a robot or not?
hmmm.... whatever the answer, I am still what I have always been.
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No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by robinrohan, posted 01-03-2003 4:12 PM robinrohan has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 01-04-2003 3:26 AM John has replied

  
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