Truth is long-sighted

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Truth is long-sighted

Postby Silhouette » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:07 pm

It occurs to me that truth is inversely proportional to detail.

That is to say that the most truthful statements are about the furthest things away, whether that be in terms of distance or mental abstraction and generalisation. It is the detectable stars and other "celestial" bodies that seem the most constant and predictable, they're where science started, and it is the quantum realm that is most mysterious and inexact. It's only when you move closer to initially far-away objects that they start to appear less perfect. Maths and logic are the most reduced and refined dissections of experience, and the most precise and clear ways of explaining things. Philosophically the most true thing you can say is that there is existence, but anything more specific than that becomes increasingly problematic. Religiously, it is the monotheistic deities that are the most absolute. It is the most generalised statements that can be stated with the most convinction, and the most relative statements that seem the least clear despite their greater respect for nuance that would otherwise map them more closely to reality.

Hindsight isn't 20/20, truth is 20/0: that which is furthest away is the most clear - the truth of the past just seems more certain once we have stepped back from it. Look too closely, live in the moment and things start to blur.


The commonly accepted perception of reality is that it is a certain way that is "out there" for us to slowly discover and understand. As with fractals and the development of chaos theory, we instead "discover" that the forms and ways of reality don't get clearer but merely change depending on the degree to which reality is magnified for us to see. As with notions such as absolute time etc. it turns out that reality isn't the constant, it is relative to perceptions of it - which is obvious really because the results mirror the means by which those results are attained. Truth is perception dependent, because it is only arrived at through perception, it is filtered through perception and moulded by it - it is it. In this way, contrary to popular belief, truth is inversely proportional to reality (what which is tended towards as degree of detail tends toward infinity). We can only see it with any clarity by "standing back" from it. We can only access reality through the use of words, which are not the reality that they describe - there must be a distance between the signifier and the signified in order for understanding to emerge. This is why knowledge is at base self-knowledge, increased knowledge of reality is increased knowledge of the way in which one approaches the world.

None of this is to say that we ought to abandon truth or that the pursuit of it is fruitless and futile, not at all, it's just to put truth into perspective. I am merely explaining why the current approach to truth is confused and why the common approach to truth consistently fails, and what to expect instead with a better understanding of what truth more truly is.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:51 am

Silhouette ... an insightful analysis ... though incomplete.

Truth is destructive.
JSS

Confronting Truth is excruciatingly painful and fraught with peril.
yours truly


Are the above statements simply hyperbole?

no

Let me illustrate with some personal experiences:

a) My first wedding day was a joyous occasion for all participants in the festivities. We all "saw" the far away Truth ... a long and happy marriage ... birthing children who would go on to live long and happy lives.

b) Alas ... sister divorce knocked at my door a mere five years later.

c)
"Truth is destructive"
... the unseen Truth of 5 years earlier destroyed our marriage ... our immediate family ... and much more.

d)
"Confronting truth is excruciatingly painful and fraught with peril."
... The actors involved in the drama suffered immeasurable pain ... with the exception of myself ... this pain still reverberates deep within the shadows of their memories. "Fraught with peril" ... how would we salvage the lives of the truly innocents ... our 3 daughters? Some will argue their mother ... Marsha ... single handedly salvaged their lives. For me, I'm not so sure. Each of them continues to walk a tight rope ... a thread that demarcates the boundary between reality and Reality.

e) The story of Moses is the archetype delineating my personal experience. Whether the story of Moses is anchored in facts or not is irrelevant. The "Truth" in the story echoes within the human family across time and space
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:15 am

Silhouette wrote:It occurs to me that truth is inversely proportional to detail.

That is to say that the most truthful statements are about the furthest things away, whether that be in terms of distance or mental abstraction and generalisation.
I can agree to the above in terms of details in terms of mental and physical complexities but not in regard to physical distance.

Why not distance? because one of the most complex question is that of the ;hard problem of consciousness' which is within oneself with no issue of distance. The other very complex question relates to the details of the internal self and one's own brain.

I believe the most pertinent issue to truth is the basis and mechanics of how knowledge and its truth is determined and established.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Diekon » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:18 pm

Silhouette wrote:It occurs to me that truth is inversely proportional to detail.

That is to say that the most truthful statements are about the furthest things away, whether that be in terms of distance or mental abstraction and generalisation. It is the detectable stars and other "celestial" bodies that seem the most constant and predictable, they're where science started, and it is the quantum realm that is most mysterious and inexact. It's only when you move closer to initially far-away objects that they start to appear less perfect. Maths and logic are the most reduced and refined dissections of experience, and the most precise and clear ways of explaining things. Philosophically the most true thing you can say is that there is existence, but anything more specific than that becomes increasingly problematic. Religiously, it is the monotheistic deities that are the most absolute. It is the most generalised statements that can be stated with the most convinction, and the most relative statements that seem the least clear despite their greater respect for nuance that would otherwise map them more closely to reality.

Hindsight isn't 20/20, truth is 20/0: that which is furthest away is the most clear - the truth of the past just seems more certain once we have stepped back from it. Look too closely, live in the moment and things start to blur.


The commonly accepted perception of reality is that it is a certain way that is "out there" for us to slowly discover and understand. As with fractals and the development of chaos theory, we instead "discover" that the forms and ways of reality don't get clearer but merely change depending on the degree to which reality is magnified for us to see. As with notions such as absolute time etc. it turns out that reality isn't the constant, it is relative to perceptions of it - which is obvious really because the results mirror the means by which those results are attained. Truth is perception dependent, because it is only arrived at through perception, it is filtered through perception and moulded by it - it is it. In this way, contrary to popular belief, truth is inversely proportional to reality (what which is tended towards as degree of detail tends toward infinity). We can only see it with any clarity by "standing back" from it. We can only access reality through the use of words, which are not the reality that they describe - there must be a distance between the signifier and the signified in order for understanding to emerge. This is why knowledge is at base self-knowledge, increased knowledge of reality is increased knowledge of the way in which one approaches the world.

None of this is to say that we ought to abandon truth or that the pursuit of it is fruitless and futile, not at all, it's just to put truth into perspective. I am merely explaining why the current approach to truth is confused and why the common approach to truth consistently fails, and what to expect instead with a better understanding of what truth more truly is.


I beg to differ. In fact, I even would say this has traditionally been the biggest mistake in philosophy, to make of Truth this distanced unchanging thing divorced from the reality we see everyday.

Our senses don't lie, it's what we potentially want to make of it that distorts. If our senses tell us that reality is constantly changing, the solution is not to 'stand back' and abstract all of that away just to be able to retain some notion of higher Truth. The right answer would be to be more modest in our claims to truth, and abandon that notion of Truth capital T altoghether.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby The Eternal Warrior » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:39 pm

Truth is, as ever, as deceptive as it is clear.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:57 pm

Diekon wrote:I beg to differ. In fact, I even would say this has traditionally been the biggest mistake in philosophy, to make of Truth this distanced unchanging thing divorced from the reality we see everyday.

Our senses don't lie, it's what we potentially want to make of it that distorts. If our senses tell us that reality is constantly changing, the solution is not to 'stand back' and abstract all of that away just to be able to retain some notion of higher Truth. The right answer would be to be more modest in our claims to truth, and abandon that notion of Truth capital T altoghether.


Wow!!

One of the best comments I've read anywhere ... anytime! :-)

The notion of "truth" is getting a lot of air time these days ... across a broad spectrum.

The question that begs to be asked ... "Is this yet another "Fad du Jour? ... or ... "Is this the early stages of a Snowball Running Downhill?"

Giant_Snowball.jpg
Giant_Snowball.jpg (190.33 KiB) Viewed 418 times


Seems rational that a very very long time ago humans would plug holes ... gaps ... in their knowledge of reality with myths, legends, religion and so on. Today ... not so much.

So why does all this stuff still persist?

IMO ... only one reason ... we have been living with lies for so long confronting the "truth" or "Truth" would be devastating ... first within our minds and subsequently within our lives.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby James S Saint » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:09 am

Diekon wrote: In fact, I even would say this has traditionally been the biggest mistake in philosophy, to make of Truth this distanced unchanging thing divorced from the reality we see everyday.

Our senses don't lie, it's what we potentially want to make of it that distorts. If our senses tell us that reality is constantly changing, the solution is not to 'stand back' and abstract all of that away just to be able to retain some notion of higher Truth. The right answer would be to be more modest in our claims to truth, and abandon that notion of Truth capital T altoghether.

I think you have a common problem with the statement, "The truth is that there is no truth".
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Diekon » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:52 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:The notion of "truth" is getting a lot of air time these days ... across a broad spectrum.

The question that begs to be asked ... "Is this yet another "Fad du Jour? ... or ... "Is this the early stages of a Snowball Running Downhill?"

Seems rational that a very very long time ago humans would plug holes ... gaps ... in their knowledge of reality with myths, legends, religion and so on. Today ... not so much.

So why does all this stuff still persist?

IMO ... only one reason ... we have been living with lies for so long confronting the "truth" or "Truth" would be devastating ... first within our minds and subsequently within our lives.


Well that's basicly the story of the western philosophical tradition... which is kinda hard to summarize in a forumpost. It's because our psychological needs as human beings would be the short answer... which isn't saying much i guess :-).

Truth hasn't allways been that important. Before writing became truly a thing, myths, legends and the like where the only means societies had to propagate their values, traditions, mores... their culture over generations. That typically included also a story about the origin of all things, yes, but that wasn't really what those myths where all about. It's was more of one of those boxes that needed to be checked off to have a coherent story. Meaning was more metaphorical or symbolic, than literal.

And then we took a socratic turn... . Why does the need still persist? Again the short answer, biologically we haven't really evolved since then and so we still feel the need for a story that provides us with some kind of meaning. The new and awkward thing since Socrates (and Christianity) is that Truth got incorporated in that story as one of the highest values. And that got the (snow)ball rolling. Thought maybe a better metaphor would be a snake eating it's own tail. The quest for literal truth at all cost had a corrosive effect on the story that propagates it.... so here we are now, questioning the value of Truth itself.

On the plus side, Ouroboros also symobolizes the cyclical nature of all things and eternal renewal. So there that ;-).
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Diekon » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:54 pm

James S Saint wrote: I think you have a common problem with the statement, "The truth is that there is no truth".


Maybe that is a problem for a rationalist, for me, not so much.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby James S Saint » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:49 pm

That which isn't rational,
...is irrational. 8)
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Posts: 25768
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Diekon » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:27 pm

James S Saint wrote:That which isn't rational,
...is irrational. 8)


...or non-rational/arational :-" .
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:02 am

Diekon wrote:Well that's basicly the story of the western philosophical tradition... which is kinda hard to summarize in a forumpost. It's because our psychological needs as human beings would be the short answer... which isn't saying much i guess :-).

Truth hasn't allways been that important. Before writing became truly a thing, myths, legends and the like where the only means societies had to propagate their values, traditions, mores... their culture over generations. That typically included also a story about the origin of all things, yes, but that wasn't really what those myths where all about. It's was more of one of those boxes that needed to be checked off to have a coherent story. Meaning was more metaphorical or symbolic, than literal.

And then we took a socratic turn... . Why does the need still persist? Again the short answer, biologically we haven't really evolved since then and so we still feel the need for a story that provides us with some kind of meaning. The new and awkward thing since Socrates (and Christianity) is that Truth got incorporated in that story as one of the highest values. And that got the (snow)ball rolling. Thought maybe a better metaphor would be a snake eating it's own tail. The quest for literal truth at all cost had a corrosive effect on the story that propagates it.... so here we are now, questioning the value of Truth itself.

On the plus side, Ouroboros also symobolizes the cyclical nature of all things and eternal renewal. So there that ;-).


Diekon ... I'm increasingly convinced our biological being is hard wired to act as though God exists ... though

It's invisible to the blind.

JSS


Happily, JSS and others here at ILP are slowly recognizing their 'blindness' ... though a long road still stretches out in front of them. :-)
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:03 am

Diekon wrote:Well that's basicly the story of the western philosophical tradition... which is kinda hard to summarize in a forumpost. It's because our psychological needs as human beings would be the short answer... which isn't saying much i guess :-).

Truth hasn't allways been that important. Before writing became truly a thing, myths, legends and the like where the only means societies had to propagate their values, traditions, mores... their culture over generations. That typically included also a story about the origin of all things, yes, but that wasn't really what those myths where all about. It's was more of one of those boxes that needed to be checked off to have a coherent story. Meaning was more metaphorical or symbolic, than literal.

And then we took a socratic turn... . Why does the need still persist? Again the short answer, biologically we haven't really evolved since then and so we still feel the need for a story that provides us with some kind of meaning. The new and awkward thing since Socrates (and Christianity) is that Truth got incorporated in that story as one of the highest values. And that got the (snow)ball rolling. Thought maybe a better metaphor would be a snake eating it's own tail. The quest for literal truth at all cost had a corrosive effect on the story that propagates it.... so here we are now, questioning the value of Truth itself.

On the plus side, Ouroboros also symobolizes the cyclical nature of all things and eternal renewal. So there that ;-).


Diekon ... I'm increasingly convinced our biological being is hard wired to act as though God exists ... though

It's invisible to the blind.

JSS


Happily, JSS and others here at ILP are slowly recognizing their 'blindness' ... though a long road still stretches out in front of them. :-)
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:03 am

Diekon wrote:Well that's basicly the story of the western philosophical tradition... which is kinda hard to summarize in a forumpost. It's because our psychological needs as human beings would be the short answer... which isn't saying much i guess :-).

Truth hasn't allways been that important. Before writing became truly a thing, myths, legends and the like where the only means societies had to propagate their values, traditions, mores... their culture over generations. That typically included also a story about the origin of all things, yes, but that wasn't really what those myths where all about. It's was more of one of those boxes that needed to be checked off to have a coherent story. Meaning was more metaphorical or symbolic, than literal.

And then we took a socratic turn... . Why does the need still persist? Again the short answer, biologically we haven't really evolved since then and so we still feel the need for a story that provides us with some kind of meaning. The new and awkward thing since Socrates (and Christianity) is that Truth got incorporated in that story as one of the highest values. And that got the (snow)ball rolling. Thought maybe a better metaphor would be a snake eating it's own tail. The quest for literal truth at all cost had a corrosive effect on the story that propagates it.... so here we are now, questioning the value of Truth itself.

On the plus side, Ouroboros also symobolizes the cyclical nature of all things and eternal renewal. So there that ;-).


Diekon ... I'm increasingly convinced our biological being is hard wired to act as though God exists ... though

It's invisible to the blind.

JSS


Happily, JSS and others here at ILP are slowly recognizing their 'blindness' ... though a long road still stretches out in front of them. :-)
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Diekon » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:29 am

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:Diekon ... I'm increasingly convinced our biological being is hard wired to act as though God exists ... though


God is a bit to specific for the kind of thing that is biological hardwired, i think (though God is notorious for being undefinable, so it hard to say i guess. It depends on what you mean with God).

Hardwired to venerate something, sure. And also hardwired to see causality in the world... which may lead us down a path to God, as an ultimate cause.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:29 am

Diekon wrote:
pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:Diekon ... I'm increasingly convinced our biological being is hard wired to act as though God exists ... though


God is a bit to specific for the kind of thing that is biological hardwired, i think (though God is notorious for being undefinable, so it hard to say i guess. It depends on what you mean with God).

Hardwired to venerate something, sure. And also hardwired to see causality in the world... which may lead us down a path to God, as an ultimate cause.


Yeah ... naming conventions create mental blocks and myopia.

Perhaps we should reexamine some old Greek words like "nous"

Commonly translated as ‘mind’ or ‘intellect’, the Greek word nous is a key term in the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus. What gives nous its special significance there is not primarily its dictionary meaning – other nouns in Greek can also signify the mind – but the value attributed to its activity and to the metaphysical status of things that are ‘noetic’ (intelligible and incorporeal) as distinct from being perceptible and corporeal. In Plato’s later dialogues, and more systematically in Aristotle and Plotinus, nous is not only the highest activity of the human soul but also the divine and transcendent principle of cosmic order.


... and "noetic"

no•et•ic: From the Greek noēsis / noētikos, meaning inner wisdom, direct knowing, or subjective understanding.


... and more recent derivatives like noosphere

The noosphere (/ˈnoʊ.əsfɪər/; sometimes noösphere) is the sphere of human thought. The word derives from the Greek νοῦς (nous "mind") and σφαῖρα (sphaira "sphere"), in lexical analogy to "atmosphere" and "biosphere". It was introduced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in 1922 in his Cosmogenesis.


... and noetic science

no•et•ic sci•ences: A multidisciplinary field that brings objective scientific tools and techniques together with subjective inner knowing to study the full range of human experiences.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Silhouette » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:45 pm

Diekon wrote:I beg to differ. In fact, I even would say this has traditionally been the biggest mistake in philosophy, to make of Truth this distanced unchanging thing divorced from the reality we see everyday.

Our senses don't lie, it's what we potentially want to make of it that distorts. If our senses tell us that reality is constantly changing, the solution is not to 'stand back' and abstract all of that away just to be able to retain some notion of higher Truth. The right answer would be to be more modest in our claims to truth, and abandon that notion of Truth capital T altoghether.

Note that long-sighted people cannot only see things far away, but also things close to them - just with less focus. In fact their field of vision is just the same as anyone's, only clarity increases with distance and decreases with proximity - a sliding scale.

Thereby, I am not at all making truth into a "distanced unchanging thing, divorced from the reality", I am instead saying that truth increases with distance away from reality - it is present throughout to a variable extent, but never separated from it: fields of vision are all of reality, and far-away reality is still reality. I am exactly saying that "senses" don't lie, and yes, when we want to "make sense" - that is what distorts.
In line with the sliding scale of truth, I am also not at all proposing some kind of higher "Truth" with a capital T. I am instead being modest, just as you suggested one ought to be.

You appear to have got a completely wrong impression of what I was trying to say, I can only apologise if I explained it so badly that you interpreted my words in the way you did. So I'm sorry pilgrim-seeker_tom, I think you've been wowed by a strawman, but at least his words make a reasonable point in themselves, even if they don't apply to what I'm saying. The only thing I can find to respond to in other things you've said is:

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:Diekon ... I'm increasingly convinced our biological being is hard wired to act as though God exists ... though

Commonly suggested as supporting evidence for God-belief, that "it's natural" - many natural things are accidental results of other natural things that serve obvious purpose. One thing that emerged as a "play-it-safe" approach has been "abductive reasoning": is it a sufficient explanation that a dangerous thing caused what I just experienced? Those who stick around to deductively find out fall foul to the dangerous thing if that's what it was afterall, and those who assume and evade what might have just been nothing stay healthy. This has been slowly undoing itself as we consolidate and expand our position on top of the food chain and in charge of our surroundings, and deductive reasoning is slowly phasing out abductive reasoning as the more useful and now anti-dangerous approach - and unsurprisingly, God-belief is weakening in line with this. However, the reason it is slow is that abductive reasoning is still relatively useful, and it has accidentally resulted in some other useful behaviours. It is evidently proven over and over again that co-operative strategies win versus individualist strategies, and this is selected for naturally by the advantages of looking out for your closest relations. If you support or even save a sibling, your genetic make-up gets passed down more and eclipses those only out for themselves - this will naturally emerge as a dominant behaviour. But how to get this kinship to extend to wider society who shares less genetic material for even more co-operative gains? Abductive reasoning posits that it didn't initially know how the world could have come to be and why it would behave in the way it did. Since individual people don't appear to have the power to cause many larger scale things, even though people are experienced as the most powerful causers around, it is sufficient to posit a greater kind of person that is powerful enough to cause these bigger things - ergo God. God belief brings people together in a way that transcends normal selection by co-operating only with those most related to you. Pseudo-kinship arises and co-operative behaviours spread much more effectively throughout a society - these behaviours out-perform others and effectively religious peoples come out on top. The fact that they rationally do so through the means of irrationally is irrelevant. This kind of success sadly still works very well, hence the slow emergence of more rational approaches. So we aren't necessarily "hard wired" to act as though God exists, but people who are prone to do so under the right conditions still proliferate in modern society, even though they're rationally more limited.

James S Saint wrote:I think you have a common problem with the statement, "The truth is that there is no truth".

It took me a while to suss out such statements as "the truth is that there is no truth" and "that truth is relative is absolutely true", but I believe my OP proposition encapsulates both. Absolute truth is in fact just the most true possible - it is another relative term like all others: "it is the most relatively true that all truth is relative" is perfectly fine. It's binary thinkers who can't cope with this, only able to think of absolutes as the binary opposite of relative - with the two incompatible. And of course with statements such as "the truth is that there is no truth", they identify this as having the form of an absolute truth and being about absolute truths - either you can have absolute truths, or it's not true and therefore false - and so it looks like a contradiction when one attempts to insert the obvious observation that some truths are more true than others, and no synthetic truths can ever be known to be absolutely true. If one doesn't think analytic truths necessarily depend on synthetic truths (thus making them never absolutely knowable too), their clear and absolute rationalist world falls apart as soon as it is applied to anything at all. Just because something can be presented as absolute, and have internal consistency, doesn't mean it can apply to the world - it is just another example of my OP proposition that truth is most clear the more distanced it is from reality.

Prismatic567 wrote:one of the most complex question is that of the ;hard problem of consciousness' which is within oneself with no issue of distance. The other very complex question relates to the details of the internal self and one's own brain.

I believe the most pertinent issue to truth is the basis and mechanics of how knowledge and its truth is determined and established.

The problem you're encountering here is your conception of consciousness as "within oneself". Commonly this is where it is assumed to be because a lot of the major sensory organs triangulate to some vague area inside the head... and yet nobody has ever "found it" inside a head. But regardless of "where" consciousness is, it is "of" much more than just that which is "within oneself" - and of course with this clarification, distance becomes perfectly possible.

With regard to how knowledge and truth are determined/established, it seems to me that the brain mylinates neural pathways more commonly when they are experienced in conjunction and it all becomes a relative issue of association. "This word" is known to denote "this experience", because they come together so often, "this experience" is known to cause "that experience" because one follows the other all the time. Truth and knowledge are just this process but tested much more rigorously and exhaustively. I don't think it's any more complicated than that.

The Eternal Warrior wrote:Truth is, as ever, as deceptive as it is clear.

I have for a while now regarded truths as more similar to lies - but useful lies. Seeing as truths require distance from reality, they are necessarily not true to reality by at least some measures. Some truths are more true than others, but they are all forms of lies since they are distanced distortions of truth, and they are communicated by words, and words in themselves are not the things they denote. For various reasons, the intertwined nature of truth and deception ought to be the expectation, not a mysterious problem that binary thinkers cannot shake. My depiction of truth as long-sighted takes all of this into account.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:19 pm

Seems the difference between me and many of the frequent posters in this forum is that I have no substantial investment in my opinions. :-)

I'm content to float on the surface of the ocean as the tide ebbs and flows ... crashing on the shores of human consciousness. :-)
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Diekon » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:24 am

Silhouette wrote:Note that long-sighted people cannot only see things far away, but also things close to them - just with less focus. In fact their field of vision is just the same as anyone's, only clarity increases with distance and decreases with proximity - a sliding scale.

Thereby, I am not at all making truth into a "distanced unchanging thing, divorced from the reality", I am instead saying that truth increases with distance away from reality - it is present throughout to a variable extent, but never separated from it: fields of vision are all of reality, and far-away reality is still reality. I am exactly saying that "senses" don't lie, and yes, when we want to "make sense" - that is what distorts.
In line with the sliding scale of truth, I am also not at all proposing some kind of higher "Truth" with a capital T. I am instead being modest, just as you suggested one ought to be.

You appear to have got a completely wrong impression of what I was trying to say, I can only apologise if I explained it so badly that you interpreted my words in the way you did. So I'm sorry pilgrim-seeker_tom, I think you've been wowed by a strawman, but at least his words make a reasonable point in themselves, even if they don't apply to what I'm saying. The only thing I can find to respond to in other things you've said is


You say i made a strawman out of your post. But I don't think i did. I did make a more general point about philosophy in the first place, but i still think it also applies to what you wrote, at least to some extend.

These were your first two lines :

It occurs to me that truth is inversely proportional to detail.

That is to say that the most truthful statements are about the furthest things away, whether that be in terms of distance or mental abstraction and generalisation.


In your reply you left out the mental abstraction and generalisation part, and only went on talking about (physical) distance... which i have less of a problem with, though i don't quite see why distance would increase truth, as a general rule. But statements being more truthful the more they are abstracted and generalised, that is what i was talking about.... where philosophy historical went astray.

Only particulars exist. First order abstractions typically contain some information about a particular, but are necessarily limited in scope. You can widen that scope, generalise, by abstracting further away from that. But you do not get closer to the Truth or more truthful statements, you lose information (about particulars) in that proces... until you end up with something empthy, divorced from the world. The immodesty of philosphers was in wanting to widen the scope to much. It's hard not to see what you are saying in the same light when you equate the most general with 'the most truthful'.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:09 am

Truth = Abstract

... that feels like familiar territory ... it punctuates an argument presented by Moreno a year or so ago.

Paraphrasing Moreno's statement ... "moving from the abstract to the concrete".

If I understood his suggestion correctly, he was emphasizing the prudence in moving from contemplation of the abstract (Truth) to reflection on personal experience ... daily personal experience.

The planet has traveled 2,592,000 kms in its' orbit around the sun in the last 24 hours ... not to mention the travel resulting from its' spin on its' own axis.

People who cling to the status quo get sick ... people who smoke too much abstract get sick. :D
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Silhouette » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:21 pm

Diekon wrote:In your reply you left out the mental abstraction and generalisation part, and only went on talking about (physical) distance... which i have less of a problem with, though i don't quite see why distance would increase truth, as a general rule. But statements being more truthful the more they are abstracted and generalised, that is what i was talking about.... where philosophy historical went astray.

Only particulars exist. First order abstractions typically contain some information about a particular, but are necessarily limited in scope. You can widen that scope, generalise, by abstracting further away from that. But you do not get closer to the Truth or more truthful statements, you lose information (about particulars) in that proces... until you end up with something empthy, divorced from the world. The immodesty of philosphers was in wanting to widen the scope to much. It's hard not to see what you are saying in the same light when you equate the most general with 'the most truthful'.

I agree with what you say about first order abstractions, and proceeding to widen the scope.

What I am trying to say is that it becomes more possible for truths to be truer, the further away they are in abstraction - just the same as if it were physical distance. You have noticed that this is at direct odds to what such truths "are true to" (i.e. reality). This is the issue that I am trying to explain: the most true things that can be said are the furthest away from the reality that they are supposed to be true to. In allowing more true things to be said, one compromises on the usefulness of truth - i.e. its applicability to reality. I think you in fact agree with this, from what I understand from what you've said.

The distinction that I started developing a few years ago is that between truth and utility - that they are inversely proportional. It may not be clear from what I've said so far that I am replacing truthfulness to reality with utility so as to make a distinction between this kind of "truth" and increasingly syntactically true statements such as those of maths and logic. In more familiar philosophical terminology, I am proposing an inverse proportionality between synthetic and analytic truths. The analytic truths are the more distant sounding and they are more able to be true. The synthetic truths are closer to reality and more useful, but more and more flawed and untrue.

My issue is with referring to both truthfulness to reality and internally consistent truths is that they are both referred to as truth. That they both increase in opposition to one another can only be confusing, so I decided to only call one direction truth and the other utility. Since the closer and closer one gets to reality, the more dependent one is on interpretation, and the further and further one gets into abstraction the more clearly true statements can become, I decided to reserve the term "truth" for the latter. The further back towards reality you bring these truths the more useful they are, hence the naming of its opposite as "utility".

It can seem a little anti-intuitive according to the contemporary usage of the two terms - and things like Socratic reasoning tended to align truth and utility - but I find it more valuable to distinguish the two for the purposes of solving philosophical disputes about the nature of truth.

Hopefully that helps explain my position a little better - I did suspect it might have been my fault for explaining things insufficiently. Feel free to continue to disagree though, if you still do.

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:The planet has traveled 2,592,000 kms in its' orbit around the sun in the last 24 hours ... not to mention the travel resulting from its' spin on its' own axis.

People who cling to the status quo get sick ... people who smoke too much abstract get sick. :D

As a tangent, I do enjoy correcting heliocentrism (and obviously geocentrism too) in light of relativity. Since there is no absolute space (or time), there are no points in space from which to definitively state speeds up until the speed of light: relative to a particular perspective, the planet hasn't moved at all. So according to your analogy, I am not insane - neither clinging to the status quo like a geocentrist nor smoking too much like the heliocentrists... that's my proof and I'm sticking to it :-"
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:51 pm

Silhouette wrote:
pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:The planet has traveled 2,592,000 kms in its' orbit around the sun in the last 24 hours ... not to mention the travel resulting from its' spin on its' own axis.

People who cling to the status quo get sick ... people who smoke too much abstract get sick. :D

As a tangent, I do enjoy correcting heliocentrism (and obviously geocentrism too) in light of relativity. Since there is no absolute space (or time), there are no points in space from which to definitively state speeds up until the speed of light: relative to a particular perspective, the planet hasn't moved at all. So according to your analogy, I am not insane - neither clinging to the status quo like a geocentrist nor smoking too much like the heliocentrists... that's my proof and I'm sticking to it :-"


You're in good company ... 7 billion + people and counting. Can't imagine what would happen if the bubble ever bursts. :D
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Diekon » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:56 am

Silhouette wrote:I agree with what you say about first order abstractions, and proceeding to widen the scope.

What I am trying to say is that it becomes more possible for truths to be truer, the further away they are in abstraction - just the same as if it were physical distance. You have noticed that this is at direct odds to what such truths "are true to" (i.e. reality). This is the issue that I am trying to explain: the most true things that can be said are the furthest away from the reality that they are supposed to be true to. In allowing more true things to be said, one compromises on the usefulness of truth - i.e. its applicability to reality. I think you in fact agree with this, from what I understand from what you've said.


I might follow you to some extend in that i do think more general statements retain less information and so are likely to become less usefull for us. But even if you are using an odd definition of truth , it's hard to see how (with what notion of truth) something would become more true the more it is abstracted. Something is either true, not true, or indetermined. There's no scale there. And to determine whether something is true you verify the proposition with the world. To compare your statement 'there is existence', and a random first order abstraction like 'there is a cat on the mat'... there is no difference in truth value. They are both just true, assuming there is in fact a cat on the mat. What you call 'more true' i would just call 'more general' i think.

The distinction that I started developing a few years ago is that between truth and utility - that they are inversely proportional. It may not be clear from what I've said so far that I am replacing truthfulness to reality with utility so as to make a distinction between this kind of "truth" and increasingly syntactically true statements such as those of maths and logic. In more familiar philosophical terminology, I am proposing an inverse proportionality between synthetic and analytic truths. The analytic truths are the more distant sounding and they are more able to be true. The synthetic truths are closer to reality and more useful, but more and more flawed and untrue.


Analytic truths are a different matter alltoghether. I was never talking about that here. I don't think the metaphor of 'distance' even applies to those, because they don't have that kind of relation to the world. They are not supposed to contain information about the world. They are true by definition (convention), not because you verify them. I'd think putting them on that same axis will muddle and confuse things more, as i don't think they are of the same kind.

My issue is with referring to both truthfulness to reality and internally consistent truths is that they are both referred to as truth. That they both increase in opposition to one another can only be confusing, so I decided to only call one direction truth and the other utility. Since the closer and closer one gets to reality, the more dependent one is on interpretation, and the further and further one gets into abstraction the more clearly true statements can become, I decided to reserve the term "truth" for the latter. The further back towards reality you bring these truths the more useful they are, hence the naming of its opposite as "utility".

It can seem a little anti-intuitive according to the contemporary usage of the two terms - and things like Socratic reasoning tended to align truth and utility - but I find it more valuable to distinguish the two for the purposes of solving philosophical disputes about the nature of truth.

Hopefully that helps explain my position a little better - I did suspect it might have been my fault for explaining things insufficiently. Feel free to continue to disagree though, if you still do.


It's not that i disagree per se, but i also don't see a good reason to make these non-conventional distinctions and definitions. I haven't looked at the ramifications, but i suspect you will run into some issues... aside from the difficulties in communicating your ideas.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Silhouette » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:37 am

Diekon wrote:it's hard to see how (with what notion of truth) something would become more true the more it is abstracted.

It doesn't automatically gain more truth the more abstracted it is, it's just able to be more true with more abstraction.

Diekon wrote:Something is either true, not true, or indetermined. There's no scale there.

Consider the history of science, e.g. Newtonian physics has a great deal of truth to it, but relativity is more true. Truth is a scale. Only at the highest level of abstraction does truth become the most absolute it can be: binary True (or False/indetermined). But as you bring that level of abstraction back down to reality the lines begin to blur, it gets closer to reality and actual useful applicability but of course you can't be as precise and definite.

Diekon wrote:To compare your statement 'there is existence', and a random first order abstraction like 'there is a cat on the mat'... there is no difference in truth value.

"There is existence" is implied in every possible truth - even the attempted denial of existence is predicated on existence in order for such a denial to exist, be made, and apply. "There is a cat on the mat" depends a great deal on definitions: "cat" presupposes a classification that doesn't have exact bounds - there is no exact archetype of "cat", just a set of particulars that all vary - despite being grouped together under a single term. How much of a cat is bacteria? What about oxygen that goes in and out of the cat's blood stream, and hormones that it gives off and receives? Since a cat is never the exact same cat twice, is it so precisely always a cat - or does this also rely on the definition of cat being very loose and imprecise? Maybe the mat is more of a rug? :wink: The electromagnetic forces in both the cat and mat repel the two meaning that at different levels of magnification, it becomes more or less the case that the cat is on space and space is on the mat...

You see how there is far more reliance on vagueness in a more concrete and useful observation such as "there is a cat on the mat"? It is this abstraction of "cat" that allows something so distinctly truthful sounding, but just because such an abstraction can be made, doesn't mean it is necessary or it has to be one way rather than another. Do we assume the senses are available to us bring more truth than perhaps another set? Does our expected level of magnification yield a more true view? At a smaller level, a cat wouldn't even be distinguishable, just atoms and molecules, and at a higher level, any cat would likewise be too small to be distinguishable as being on any mat. Which is more true, and is there a different perspective that sufficiently falsifies altogether what seems to be so clearly true from our perspective - there is no cat on the mat after all?

I'm sure you get the point. I think you can therefore safely say that "there is existence" is more true than "there is a cat on the mat". You could also call the former more general, but I am aiming to confront the notion of truth rather than avoid and step around it.

As mentioned in my previous post, it is for this reason that I am resorting to unconventionally distinguishing in the way that I am. Otherwise the nature of truth runs into problems and continues to present itself as philosophically problematic. It's only because of the fact that it's not an easy task to get to the bottom of problems with truth, and people are used to thinking of truth differently to how I am proposing that there is any difficulty in communicating my solution. I was primarily steering clear of conventional terminology e.g. "analytic" because it already carries with it an established set of associations and understandings. I am fine not using such terms at all, though I do think analytic truths do serve as a good example of truths that have been abstracted so far from reality that they can be formed without verification with the world. They are able to have this binary absolute truth/falsity to them because of this extreme distance.
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Re: Truth is long-sighted

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:15 am

Prismatic567 wrote:one of the most complex question is that of the ;hard problem of consciousness' which is within oneself with no issue of distance. The other very complex question relates to the details of the internal self and one's own brain.


Silhouette wrote:The problem you're encountering here is your conception of consciousness as "within oneself". Commonly this is where it is assumed to be because a lot of the major sensory organs triangulate to some vague area inside the head... and yet nobody has ever "found it" inside a head. But regardless of "where" consciousness is, it is "of" much more than just that which is "within oneself" - and of course with this clarification, distance becomes perfectly possible.

With regard to how knowledge and truth are determined/established, it seems to me that the brain mylinates neural pathways more commonly when they are experienced in conjunction and it all becomes a relative issue of association. "This word" is known to denote "this experience", because they come together so often, "this experience" is known to cause "that experience" because one follows the other all the time. Truth and knowledge are just this process but tested much more rigorously and exhaustively. I don't think it's any more complicated than that.
Your OP implied the greater the distance the more complex the truth. Example finding the truth of things billions of light years away would be more complex than the moon or near the tree within touch.
It is true human consciousness is link to one's own brain which is the nearest possible but it is a very complex subject.
Thus your OP is not valid.

I did not state the human consciousness in confined solely within oneself. No human is an island. Human consciousness emerged interdependently with the universe. So in that sense, human consciousness is more than merely within oneself.

However being-conscious is confined to the human individuals. Humans are not like robots which are controlled by some agency that is external [near or from billion light years away] to the robot.

Prismatic wrote:I believe the most pertinent issue to truth is the basis and mechanics of how knowledge and its truth is determined and established.

There are more efficient philosophical deliberations on the topic of 'Truth'.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth

But this point from the link re Kant is misleading.
"Immanuel Kant endorses a definition of truth along the lines of the Correspondence Theory of Truth."
Kant did not agree with the general "Correspondence Theory of Truth" but offered his own explanation of 'what is truth' within a continuum which I agree is the best explanation of 'what is truth.'
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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