and Truth will set you Free

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and Truth will set you Free

Postby Pax Vitae » Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:33 am

I’ve been thinking allot about the idea that Truth will set you free. I don’t mean in the religious sense that the Christians use it, yet the point I’m making could be applied to them. But the fact is, by knowing what is correct, right, and true, it actually binds you morally into doing what you know to be true. It’s like a maths sum, 1 + 1 = 2. Because 1 is true, and + ‘add’ is a form of truth. So, 1 + 1 must equal 2. If it doesn’t then an illogical action has occurred, an error.

This touches a little on the same idea as the tread by ‘Adam’, called ‘Freedom’.

So how can a person be freed by knowing the truth? Yes, I know that they’re freed from a mistake, or an ill-conceived convection. But if Truth can set you free, it also makes you a liar! As if you don’t live by the known truth, you are deliberately committing a lie. So in the maths example this would mean 1 + 1 = 3, which is not true, it’s a lie. Or more practically, if you tell someone that they can jump out of a plane 30,000 feet up, without a parachute and live, that would be a lie as its not possible.

A life of Truth is more of a prison then a life of unknown truth. At least if you live in ignorance because you can’t know what is true, you’re actions are more morally free then when you do know the truth. As it becomes immoral to act in anyway that violates what is known to be true. As telling a lie is morally wrong.

So I’m then led to ask, do we really want the truth? What is True, is a loaded question. As when most people ask this they already have preconceived ideas about what answers they’re going to find. People already know what they want to believe; what they are really asking is, “What will make me happy and sleep better at night?” To ask, “What is Truth?” and really mean it is a very dangerous thing. You have to be willing to question and criticize everything you have ever believed. To walk an uncomfortable road that leads you on paths sometimes better left untravelled. It’s to be willing to open up yourself to new ways of viewing the world as a whole, without any of psychological protective ideas we trap our minds in.

For example: I have a friend that likes to build computers and sell them on. He’s always buying the cheapest components he can find. He then builds the PC, but out of every 10 normally he’ll have problems with 6, as the parts he buys have a low level of quality. The reason you pay more is because the manufacturer engineers the part to a higher level, and tests more extensively. All this adds to the cost of each unit’s price. While you initially pay more it means you’ll have fewer problems in the long run. No matter how hard I try to explain this, he just can’t understand it. Because all he is thinking about is the amount of money he is paying out. This blinds him to the truth. That if he spends a little more money on the parts used, he will save time, which is worth more money to him then the extra cost of each part. My friend’s inability to see the truth is caused by his love of money, to him to buy the more expensive parts always seems like a waist of his profit margin.

While on the same note but from a different angle. One of my uncles is a Plumber; he also uses cheap parts when working. But he calls it, “making work for the apprentice.” As he knows this will make him more money in the future. Here the understanding of the truth is used to make more money. But is what he’s doing morally wrong, or just making sure he can feed his family?

Any thought?

Pax Vitae
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Postby JP » Thu Jan 16, 2003 11:38 am

As I pointed out in Adam's thread, there is a definate correlation between knowledge (insofar as knowledge is awareness of what is true) and one's level of freedom and/or responsibility. However, I would stop short of saying - in the Kantian tradition - that we can base systems of morality around logical precepts and thus uncover "true" moral principles in the same way that we might discover truisms such as "1 + 1 = 2". I'm going down this line of reasoning, by the way, as you seem to be introducing a moral imperitive to what we understand to be true:

But if Truth can set you free, it also makes you a liar! As if you don’t live by the known truth, you are deliberately committing a lie. So in the maths example this would mean 1 + 1 = 3, which is not true, it’s a lie. Or more practically, if you tell someone that they can jump out of a plane 30,000 feet up, without a parachute and live, that would be a lie as its not possible.


That is, because we know it to be "untrue", it would be immoral to tell someone that they could jump out of a plane and live to talk about it. While this example seems self-evident, I do not believe that morality can be based entirely on such "logical truths" - I can go into this in greater depth I suppose, but I fear that I may drag the topic away from its original intentions. ;)
The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
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Postby Pax Vitae » Thu Jan 16, 2003 12:30 pm

I know of two forms of Truth.

1. There are statements of fact which are true in themselves, “A red ball’s colour is red.” “There are 12 months in a Year”

2. The other type is a statement that requires a check to be made before it can be seen to be true. “3 people live in the house with an address of 35 Main Street, Some Where Avenue.”

Truths by definition require a relationship of statement(s) to fact, and that relationship must be “a meaningful one” / cogent. So it’s impossible to have a Truth that is not of a logical relationship origin. In other words Truths can only be applied to logical statements and you cannot have a meaningful statement if it is not logically formed. Both are inseparable.

All truths are linked to logical statements. All statements are of type 1 or 2 above. Only meaningless statements can lack truth. Therefore everything has a relationship with logical Truth.

I don’t want to get into this from a Logical Positivism angle. I’m really trying to talk about, the implication of doing things when we know what is true. So the idea that Truth frees, is in error when compared to the moral implication of ignorance on our decisions.

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Postby Johan » Thu Jan 16, 2003 9:20 pm

A life of Truth is more of a prison then a life of unknown truth.


If we go against all logical patterns in life we are not able to survive. But we know about some of the harmonies and we are able to survive, but that's about it. At least we still know that we must eat, drink, and sleep. We are not good at it but we survive. The problem is that we only get aware about the disharmonies when they get very obvious, in a late state, and in many times too late.

The truth is a prison of harmony, removal of truth is disharmony. All lifeprocesses outside harmony are substitutes and fictions. Only actions of truth will continue and develop through time. Actions of disharmony will disappear in time when historybooks no longer exist. Humans are able to create disharmony and wipe out all trace of millions of years of development, and weaken the creation of nature back to square one. And our so called culture will not survive.

Instead of truth we create our own abstract symbols. With those symbols as a startingpoint we create complex systems that we find new meaning with. This meaning is fiction, and it will not last because the harmony does not exist.

It is hard to replace fiction with truth because the truth is strange to us. The truth have lost a lot of it's relations to us, and we don't have the tools anymore. But is it not more of a prison to live after a false system of laws? No matter how you live you create a system of laws that you live by. In that case we are practically always living in a prison no matter what the system is; truth or fiction.

Life get a meaning when it follows a logic pattern. Life loose it's meaning when a pattern ends. If there is no logic pattern life is chaos; it's like taking the universe and put it in a (large) blender. Everything must start from square one. Life is about lasting patterns. It is those patterns that is the truth. Those patterns are in direct contact with the nature's and universal laws.

The truth can not regulate fiction; truth disregard fiction, and truth disregard any lifeforms based on fiction. Therefore the truth is painful because it require a total change of fiction; "the truth will be devastating for those that named their shadows".

So it is absurd to say that the truth will be a prison; it's like saying that a meaningful life is a prison. And what would freedom be? Total relativism?
If there is no logic there is no pattern and no meaning.

But now to the though part: Will the discovery of harmony be a boring life because we would know exactly what to do? I don't think so because there exist something called development, and I think it always will be a challenge. Life is not static. If we can live our life in such systems we have today, and in most cases find a reason to go up in the morning doing the same things, then I think that a prison of truth is a prison we can get used to :)

"- Do I have to do those damn things that make me happy now again!"

Johan
Last edited by Johan on Fri Jan 17, 2003 1:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Johan » Thu Jan 16, 2003 9:36 pm

I do not believe that morality can be based entirely on such "logical truths"


Some morality organize fiction. If the truth remove fiction there will be no need for this morality.

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