The truth and nothing but the facts

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Thomas, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    I am not only about quantitative data, there is the spiritual side of me as well. Some time when there is time I would enjoy putting down my spiritual journey which would make for some lively (well that's one word!) debate. To do it justice though would take a significant chunk of time.

    The point about quantitative data, which I have gone on about so much I'm sure everyone is sick of hearing it, is that it can be proven using scientific methods where you can be sure of facts when you always get the same results.

    There is nothing wrong with religion and faith (depending on how it is used rather than abused). There is depth to reality beyond science. I believe this. It is why I am not an atheist.

    My cautionary note, which I have said till I'm blue in the face, is that because anything based on faith cannot be proven (by definition) I do not understand how anyone can believe their opinion on the subject is fact. It is an opinion.

    Animism best suits my view of reality. Where I disagree with most others here is that I don't pretend that I have the right answer and everyone else is wrong. I accept that my faith can very well be wrong. Why? There is no mechanism to prove it!

    This is the essence of my issue. Spirituality in some form is real enough but the particulars are beyond any mortal's ability to prove. If it cannot be proven, it seems hubris to me to state that one person's spirituality is The One Truth and all the others are wrong.
     
  2. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Do you know how you came to hold the opinions that lead to animism?
     
  3. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    Ok, you don't see how anyone can believe their opinion is fact. I'll go along with that in principle. Now, in the next paragraph you state that your idea of faith could be wrong, because there is no mechanism to prove it. Is that not just an opinion as well? One that you're promoting as fact, because the proof as others see it does not fit your definition?

    This I can agree with to a point and one of the reasons I tend to drift into Hinduism from Christianity and vice-versa. For me though, there needs to be a constant to tie everything in. Even though Hindus and Christians approach spirituality from completely different directions, God is that constant. Trying desperately not to use number analogies here, but without God none of it makes any sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  4. Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine Junior Moderator, Intro

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    I wish that I had kept my notes from my Philosophy 211 class because we spent roughly three weeks discussing truth, including tautology. One of the kids and I later had a "discussion" outside of class concerning G!d and why G!d isn't included in a proof (the class was in logic, which is the basis of the hard sciences as well as law.)

    Last that I heard about him, he ended up changing his major five times, settling on becoming a Jesuit priest. At least he listened to someone who had his best interests at heart (not everything must include an unprovable entity [proving G!d/dess ends up falling under the realm of tautology imho].)

    I apologize for hijacking this thread.

    Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
     
  5. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    This is a little confusing though what I believe what you are asking is how I know there is no mechanism to prove an opinion. Is that right? If so then you are correct. It is a fact that an opinion can not be proven when we are discussing religious and moralistic intangibles. There are, of course, tons of opinions that can be tested for truth or falsehood. The relevant word there is that it can be 'tested'. Any opinion that cannot be tested cannot be proven.

    Definition of opinion:
    Full Definition of opinion
    1. 1a : a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter
      1b : approval, esteem
    2. 2a : belief stronger than impression and less strong than positive knowledge
      2b : a generally held view
    3. 3a : a formal expression of judgment or advice by an expert
      3b : the formal expression (as by a judge, court, or referee) of the legal reasons and principles upon which a legal decision is based
      .

      Now unless we are going to start broadening what the meaning of opinion is, the definition of the word makes it clear it is now fact.
     
  6. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai

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    I'm not altogether sure, but I think we do agree somewhere here. I guess I was talking more about what constitutes proof though and I know we're not going to agree on that so I'll just leave it for now and end on a positive note.
     
  7. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Works for me! :D
     
  8. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    As an armchair historian, I resemble this comment. The thing is, any student of history worth the title knows these things and does their best to account for them. Every story has two sides...and most likely far more than two sides. There is much more than just winner and loser; how about rich or poor, free or bond (or prisoner), male or female, believer or unbeliever, drunk or sober, young or old, leader or follower, and so on....

    There is no pristine absolute genuine point in history, any historical point one wishes to examine has events leading to it and away from it, there is no petrie dish perfect point. That makes history by its nature a soft science.

    If you think the issues regarding "church" history are fraught and challenging, try exploring the relationship of the Aryan influence to Indian history, or the continuing squabbles between China and Japan over who came first...makes the whole church history thing seem like a cakewalk, but demonstrates clearly how politics meddles with (not past tense, still ongoing) our "accepted" views of history. Religious history is not exempt from this political meddling or "spin."

    We know the various religions have a social, secular history (they exist, therefore they had to come from somewhere). Typically, it is "safe" to discuss these matters outside of the sphere of influence of the religion in question (it is "safe" to discuss Christian history in Muslim nations, for example), but it is seldom safe to discuss the history of a religion within the confines of its' particular sphere of influence...rocks too many POLITICAL boats, and can even get a person killed or executed. "Ignorance is bliss" tends to be the usual practice, except for literalists who insert their religious text *as* history. Religious texts have a place in history, but are not and never were intended to be historical documents.

    Which returns to the tired old "science vs religion" gig...they are two entirely different disciplines using entirely different methodologies to cover entirely different concepts. It is no wonder they continue to talk past each other, they don't even speak the same language.
     
  9. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact

    I don't know...the whole subject is about constantly moving goalposts and herding cats around here.

    I see arguments built up by folks standing on their soapbox, stating this "fact" and that "fact," and then the same folks say a bit later that their "facts" are subject to change. Wait a minute, either something "really occurred or is the case," or it has not or is not. Something cannot be and cannot not be at the same time, something is or it is not. We are not talking about a candle burning or some such, we are talking about people establishing fundamental points of view by which to guide their lives, values and morals - based on "immutable" facts...only to hear later that facts aren't necessarily immutable. It leaves me pulling out my hair, what little is left, vainly attempting to understand what these folks mean, let alone how they can make such profound life directing decisions based on what amounts to contradiction.

    Reality...is it real, or is it memorex? Either you feel the impact of the punch to your face, or else reality is a moving goalpost defined by what is convenient to the moment.

    Truth either is factually, really true...or it is another vague target that is always one step out of range depending on who is using the term.

    When I see these moving target definitions, I can't help but think that either the person deliberately using them either doesn't know what they are talking about, or they are deliberately attempting to mislead. I suppose folks that don't take the time to *truly* consider the matter may just throw the terms around willy-nilly, but then they have no place in a sincere dialogue and should keep their fool opinions to themselves. NONE of these things - fact, reality or truth - are contingent on belief or disbelief, they exist independently outside of the individual, in fact outside ALL of humanity other than the point that humans created the concepts and use them to look at matters. Whether one believes or not is irrelevant. Reality either is, or none of us exists - independent of ones' point of view. Truth either is, or there is no untruth, no falsehood - independent of ones' belief. Fact either is, or all of existence doesn't exist - independent of one's need to bend truth and reality to win an argument. None of these are changeable, or else comprehension is impossible, and knowledge is meaningless.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi junatoo3 —

    That rather depends on how the data is perceived.

    The wiki entry cites says "A fact is a statement that is consistent with reality or can be proven with evidence."
    Take the classic: evolution. We do not possess the immediate evidence that one species evolves into another, nor can we replicate this in the laboratory. What we do have however, is 'evidence after the fact' which points to the fact. So much that the 'fact' is considered incontrovertible. But we are very clever at this ... so we have multi-universe theory, string theory, etc., etc.

    I've seen a recent scientific theory asking: "What if there are no natural laws?" Or rather, there is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that nature cannot be reduced to a simple set of equations, for example that the theory of 'emergence' — a thing is more complex than the sum of its parts — means there is no 'universal theory of everything', but that we look for it because that's the way we have evolved, not because that's the way the world is.

    French biologist Léo Grasset’s book How the Zebra Got its Stripes (a series of essays) shows there are four really good ways of explaining how the zebra got its stripes, and those stripes arose probably for all those reasons, along with a couple of dozen others whose mechanisms are lost to evolutionary history.

    But Grasset also shows instances where nature or evolution has led to some really bonkers decisions. The female hyena, for example, gives birth through a 'pseudo-penis'. 15% of mothers die after their first labour and 60% of cubs die at birth. If evolution is progressive, self-perfecting, linear, etc., it evidences some remarkable instances of getting it very, very wrong.

    And if, as some say, 'consciousness' is an unexpected by-product of certain developments in the brain, then in what way is that consciousness capable of understanding the cosmos, when it cannot understand itself?

    People don't live their lives by empirical facts.

    I think we're talking about different kinds of truth here. There's the truth of the empirical process, but there are other truths.

    But even now, there are those who look at science and say we have constructed a methodology which best explains the world and our experience of it, but whether that is true or not is open to debate ...

    ... As I understood it, nothing is a fact until it is agreed by the community. I mean, a mathematician 'solves' a problem, but it's not yet fact. It's interrogated by his peers, and only when everyone steps back and says, so, is it accepted as a fact.

    I'd say some facts, like what constitutes 'truth', 'goodness', 'beauty' emerge from the social fabric, not the empirical data (there is none).

    Have you not rather accepted 'reality' as a fact?

    I mean, reality is ... but whether we perceive it as it is, is another matter, and surely lies at the heart of the problem?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
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  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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  12. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    @Thomas I think you F:ed up the quotes to 123
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Oooh, whoops, yes, and that's a fact!
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    No, I'm not arguing against evolution, am I.

    Speciation in three generations! pretty good going ... as long as it's true.

    From Benjamin Franklin on, there have been innumerable instances of scientists faking data to support their theories. Cold fusion, Piltdown man, etc., etc.
     
  15. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    It seemed for a bit there you were making an effort to put evolution in question. It is my understanding, evolution happened...is happening...do we have all the understanding of each portion of it...nope. and probably never will. Just as we don't have all the knowledge and understanding of health and medicine...but we have moved beyond prayer to surgeons, beyond exorcism to medication for demonic possessions, beyond faith healers to science. There will be a day when we will look back on our slash burn and poison, surgery, radiation and chemo and have new methods for cancer...but now they are the best we've got.

    of course there are charlatans..but until science gets peer reviewed it is just speculation...good science publishes so it can be verified, replicated...
     
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  16. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Nope.

    My understanding was that we have never seen the 'turning moment' when one species becomes another, but we have such conclusive evidence that such is what happens that the hypothesis is considered a fact, or at least overwhelmingly bankable.

    Yep, but prayer will still be prayer. The rule you apply to X does not necessarily apply to Z

    Yes, and it still screws up from time to time. And there are those who hold that any opinion is as good as any other ...

    Philip Davis, graduate student at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who got a nonsensical computer-generated paper accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. :D

    1996, American physicist Alan Sokal submitted a paper loaded with nonsensical jargon to the journal Social Text, in which he argued that quantum gravity is a social and linguistic construct. (Read Sokal’s paper)

    And that JC paper I mentioned in the other thread? Look at the positive peer review that got, somehow missing the ad hominem on which the whole things stands, or rather, falls ... there's a lot of bad science out there, a lot of people ready to turna a blind eye for the sake of a dollar or a headline, and a lot of good scientists ready to believe it ... you really can't trust science these days :D
     
  17. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Could you elaborate? How do you see this turning moment playing out?
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Big difference.... you and I and the entire science world now knows it to be nonsensical...so it doesn't go into new science textbooks, new science journals..other than examples as how to improve the system. That is what science has yet religion often seems to lack...the willingness to edit mistakes out of the sacred texts when they are found.
     
  19. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Greetings...I figured time for another deep analysis...

    Er...umm...no. And that is quite the point. Perception is another matter altogether. Reality *IS*. Our perception of reality may, or may not, coincide with what IS.

    Ah yes...the old saw, evolution. Note here...I am *not* saying "evolution the process" does not appear to exist...what I have said all along in any discussion I have ever partaken of is that our *perception* of that reality is incomplete, and for those to proclaim from the rooftops that they are unassailable in their *incomplete perception* is every bit as fallacious as those who proclaim from the rooftops that the world is only 6 thousand years old.

    Oh? I have seen more people here alone than I can count claim that very thing. I agree with your statement, but clearly that is not what MANY people *believe.*

    True, or False? There is only one Reality, one IS, so there is only one TRUTH. I am not speaking of perception, as we are all aware perception has limitations that do not allow us to fully grasp all that IS, all that Reality encompasses. Infrared and Ultraviolet wavelengths just to begin...these require tools for us to understand they exist, but by their Reality, by their "nature," they are imperceptible to our senses.

    I'm not trying to go here, to me this is a given that applies to *all* human disciplines...Science, Religion, Art, whatever.

    Here I *must* call you to task, as this typifies precisely the illusory misconception and moving goalposts.

    Goodness and beauty are conditional, subjective interpretations that may, or may not, be based in any of a number of experiences and dispositions. Lumping Truth in with these only exemplifies precisely what I am trying to say. Beauty, goodness, love, hate, ugliness and more are subjective interpretations. Truth is not a subjective interpretation, it *CANNOT* be a subjective interpretation, or it becomes meaningless.

    So if Truth (as you say) is subjective, and therefore meaningless, then when Jesus (or any other religious teacher) says "I am the way, *the Truth,* and the life," or anything comparable regarding Truth...because truth as you say is subjective, therefore conditional and situational, and subject to change by the whims of the masses...such foundational religious statements become meaningless.

    This fallacy is not limited in any way to religion alone.

    And you have not? After all of our conversations, am I to understand you don't believe in Truth or Reality? Reality is, or it is not. I choose to understand that the Universe is one BIG Reality that I have no way of fully grasping, and that my senses can only perceive a minute fraction of all that genuinely IS all around me.

    This is where the Buddhist teaching comes into play, "The Way that can be spoken is not the Real Way." Words fail to fully, completely and knowingly describe the IS. We can thump our chest all we want about how much we know based on whatever research, study, laboratory testing, consulting with the sages, or whatever path floats our boats...the Truth, the Reality, is that we can only grasp a tiny fragment of what truly IS.

    Therein lies the crux of the matter, no?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  20. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Hello Wil!

    Ah, that old saw too, I see.

    So, if we are gauging speciation by the size of one's nose, or feet, or skin color, or IQ....then there must be what, how many different species of humans running around?

    "Species," as has been discussed at length elsewhere, is another vague term that never seems to be fully defined while being thrown around. Does life modify over time in order to fill environmental niches...I think that is fair to say, otherwise the animal in question dies. Whether we Truly grasp the mechanics I seriously question as there are so many anomalous examples....and I've already presented them multiple times, look at the old threads, this is not the time or place to side track into that discussion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018

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