Does anyone know the truth?

Known unknowns and unknown unknowns!

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poet1b
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Does anyone know the truth?

Post by poet1b »

Our line of sight to the realities of this world, what we determine to be true, depends on more factors than we can ever account for.

Everything we do, we base upon our perception of the truth, even when we try to run or hide from the truth. Our knowledge is limited, leaving us to make decisions based on what we know, and what we think we don't know.

We gather our perspectives of the world, try to filter out the biases, apply logic and reason, and come up with some probabilities. The broader our perspective, the more time we have been given to identify the patterns, the better our chance of making reasonably accurate predictions. For all our lack of knowledge about this world, it is still very predictable.

There are three main ways we learn about our world, through experience, were we are able to test our observations, through observation where we are able to witness the events taking place, and through what others tell us. Most of the information we get comes from others. It then follows that our ability to determine good sources from bad is completely critical to our ability to sight the truth.

"The Pursuit of Common Sense"
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doolhoofd
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by doolhoofd »

I do not claim to know the truth.
I do not claim to know you.
On this forum I am merely a pimp of illusions.
That is all.
duszek
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by duszek »

A brain in good shape helps to come closer to truth.
Chess-players have statistically a smaller chance for getting Alzheimer, as I heard recently during a lecture.

Maths penetrates all areas of life. Accounting exercises and software manuals are now what I do to stay in good shape.
Later on I hope to move to code-writing.
Some people like to do cross-words, or to lay patiences, there is something for everyone.

Maths is like yoga, you can start where you are and do as much as you can and it will be just right for you.

Yesterday I figured out how to calculate brutto interest from netto interest.

In Germany 25 per cent is deducted for the capital revenue tax, 5,5 per cent from the result for the solidarity tax.

A x 0,25 + (A x 0, 25 x 0, 055) = 0,25 A + 0,01375 A = 0,26375 A

The difference: 0,73625.

The solution used this difference to calculate the brutto interest.
I wanted to figure out how they arrived at this number and I succeeded.
poet1b
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by poet1b »

I agree, the mind, like the body, gets stronger with exercise.

There are many ways we can improve our ability to get at the truth. The broader our perspective, the more we experience and observe of the world, of course helps a great deal. How much we pay attention, how we evaluate the details, how we succeed in processing the information, developing wisdom and vision, all improves are ability to sight the truth. A big part of this is also succeeding in avoiding delusions. It is not only what we know, but also our ability to recognize that which we do not know, to recognize that we are wrong sometimes, maybe often, and adjust our our understanding accordingly, as the probabilities change.
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doolhoofd
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by doolhoofd »

34. At whatever standpoint of philosophy one may place oneself nowadays, seen from every position, the ERRONEOUSNESS of the world in which we think we live is the surest and most certain thing our eyes can light upon: we find proof after proof thereof, which would fain allure us into surmises concerning a deceptive principle in the "nature of things." He, however, who makes thinking itself, and consequently "the spirit," responsible for the falseness of the world -- an honourable exit, which every conscious or unconscious advocatus dei avails himself of -- he who regards this world, including space, time, form, and movement, as falsely DEDUCED, would have at least good reason in the end to become distrustful also of all thinking; has it not hitherto been playing upon us the worst of scurvy tricks? and what guarantee would it give that it would not continue to do what it has always been doing? In all seriousness, the innocence of thinkers has something touching and respect-inspiring in it, which even nowadays permits them to wait upon consciousness with the request that it will give them HONEST answers: for example, whether it be "real" or not, and why it keeps the outer world so resolutely at a distance, and other questions of the same description. The belief in "immediate certainties" is a MORAL NAIVETE which does honour to us philosophers; but -- we have now to cease being "MERELY moral" men! Apart from morality, such belief is a folly which does little honour to us! If in middle-class life an ever-ready distrust is regarded as the sign of a "bad character," and consequently as an imprudence, here among us, beyond the middle-class world and its Yeas and Nays, what should prevent our being imprudent and saying: the philosopher has at length a RIGHT to "bad character," as the being who has hitherto been most befooled on earth -- he is now under OBLIGATION to distrustfulness, to the wickedest squinting out of every abyss of suspicion. -- Forgive me the joke of this gloomy grimace and turn of expression; for I myself have long ago learned to think and estimate differently with regard to deceiving and being deceived, and I keep at least a couple of pokes in the ribs ready for the blind rage with which philosophers struggle against being deceived. Why NOT? It is nothing more than a moral prejudice that truth is worth more than semblance; it is, in fact, the worst proved supposition in the world. So much must be conceded: there could have been no life at all except upon the basis of perspective estimates and semblances; and if, with the virtuous enthusiasm and stupidity of many philosophers, one wished to do away altogether with the "seeming world" -- well, granted that YOU could do that, -- at least nothing of your "truth" would thereby remain! Indeed, what is it that forces us in general to the supposition that there is an essential opposition of "true" and "false"? Is it not enough to suppose degrees of seemingness, and as it were lighter and darker shades and tones of semblance -- different valeurs, as the painters say? Why might not the world WHICH CONCERNS US -- be a fiction? And to any one who suggested: "But to a fiction belongs an originator?" -- might it not be bluntly replied: WHY? May not this "belong" also belong to the fiction? Is it not at length permitted to be a little ironical towards the subject, just as towards the predicate and object? Might not the philosopher elevate himself above faith in grammar? All respect to governesses, but is it not time that philosophy should renounce governess-faith?

Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archi ... l/ch02.htm
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Arising_uk
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by Arising_uk »

Yes, heres one, "There is no "The truth" ", just true and false propositions about states of affairs.
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doolhoofd
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by doolhoofd »

poet1b wrote:Most of the information we get comes from others. It then follows that our ability to determine good sources from bad is completely critical to our ability to sight the truth.
This is, of course, true; it is almost self-evident. It is however, not very important, if you take into consideration that what we are seeking today is not truth, but spectacle.

Can we trust the media for the truth? Not certainly. But they are a reliable source of spectacle.
JasonPalmer
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by JasonPalmer »

i know that i do not know :D
duszek
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by duszek »

People seek truth behind the spectacle.

People seek control, above all things. Control means predictability of future events. So we need to recognize patterns and regularities, in natural events and in social events.
poet1b
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by poet1b »

Good stuff guys. Thanks

I would like to add:

There are very specific ways that we establish what is true, what is real.

The biggest factor is repeat-ability. That is what the scientific method is all about. Most of what we know and believe was put together in our brains as infants, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting the world. These are our base experiences that we have learned through a great deal of repeated experience. That we can communicate with each other, and come to an agreement about most of reality only confirms our perspectives of reality. There are always subtle differences in our perspectives of the world, but there is enough to agree upon. We further test our perspectives of reality through games and sports, and our overall ability to make things happen.

Then we encounter more subjective things, taste in music, art, literature, philosophy, religion, abstract thought. When we communicate these things, we find far greater interpretations of reality. These abstract concepts can not be easily tested in the physical world. Mainly we share our perspectives through discussions and debates, such as these forums.

Then there are those things we can not confirm through repeat-ability. Rumor, myth, events and observations of phenomenon encountered by normal rational people, by all accounts, except for the experiences that no one else can confirm to exist. These experiences can be any number of well known things, from a dream where we feel that we are encountering something real that exists at a higher plane of existence, to clairvoyance and telepathy, sightings of UFOs and aliens, bigfoot, ghosts, spirits, dejavu. These are experiences few people ever claim to have witnessed.

What is repeatable, and widely known, we designate as fact. What is subjective we leave to opinion. Unusual phenomenon is is viewed with widely varying opinion.

The thing is, that the unusual, the unproven, phenomenon, myths, create speculation, claimed by many to support abstract beliefs, philosophy, art, religion. Much of this has a long history, it captures the imagination, entertains. A great deal of the most popular tales are also the least credible. Some of these beliefs have a very profound impact on culture, justice, law and order, society. Often, at the very least these tales are cautionary tales that express ideas and concerns that for what ever reason can not be put in more concrete terms. Even a great deal of science includes concepts that are primarily straight out of imagination, unproven, many concepts, unwitnessed by anyone, simply conjectures based on speculation of phenomenon observed through scientific experimentation, and examination of artifacts.

When we ask about the truth, the complete truth, these phenomenon are considered by many. Some people dismiss phenomenon outright, others believe completely, and those in the middle choose to keep things open.

It is important because these things have very significant impact on moral considerations of what is right or wrong.

Is there such a thing as God, life after death? Is religion important? Is science important? Is there such a thing as morality, right or wrong? Does life have meaning?

Our personal philosophy, our individual perspective of the truth, is how each of us determines these things for ourselves.
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doolhoofd
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by doolhoofd »

poet1b wrote:It is important because these things have very significant impact on moral considerations of what is right or wrong.
Well, yeah... I guess.
poet1b
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by poet1b »

Something else that has come up.

Language is not our only means of communication for expressing our perspective of the truth. We can also communicate by example, and this is in fact the most powerful means of proving ones point, the accuracy of one's perspective of the truth.

I argue that there is truth, but each of us only has a piece of the truth, which comes from our perspective of reality, our own unique way of identifying that which is true. Those who succeed in developing a better perspective of the truth are often capable of demonstrating their superior angle on the truth through example, through succeeding where others fail, and that is our greatest method for identifying the truth, in our current shared world view most often through the scientific process.

From a philosophical point of view, the idea is to take an approach that is effective in the physical world.
Hanuman
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by Hanuman »

poet1b wrote:There are three main ways we learn about our world, through experience, were we are able to test our observations, through observation where we are able to witness the events taking place, and through what others tell us. Most of the information we get comes from others. It then follows that our ability to determine good sources from bad is completely critical to our ability to sight the truth.
I believe it would be more fitting to say we receive most of our “data” from others. It only becomes “information” once it is processed (internally) and becomes usable.

I think the most powerful source of truth comes from our own experiences. There is something in human nature that compels us to learn lessons on our own, in order for them to stick with us. Our parents/teachers can tell us over and over again to do this or to NOT do that, but until we’ve experienced it for ourselves, often the “hard way”, we rarely listen.

In contrast, I do believe our preferences (which in turn does effect how we live, and even think) are largely determined by our upbringing. Ask yourself these questions:
- Look around your house/apartment and see how many products you buy that were the same ones that you grew up using (i.e toothpaste, washing powder, sliced bread, condiments, potato chips (crisps), bar soap, toilet paper, etc.)

- If you are religious, are you the same religion as those who raised you? If so, have you done an extensive examination of other religions, to determine if the one your parents chose for you is the right one for you?

- Do you live in the same town (or close to it) where you were born?

I believe the main way we “learn about our world” is through an internal process of reasoning based on previous experience, preferences, prejudices, drive, and mental capacity. Our data sources are experience, observation, or what others tell us, which should not be confused with learning. But, I believe the processing of this data from all three streams is just as important as the other.
- Some people learn from their mistakes (experiences), while others are doomed to repeat it.
- Some people observe others do dumb things, and refrain, while others don’t.
- Some people believe every word anyone tells them, while others do not.
poet1b
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by poet1b »

Yeah, we all build our unique perspective of this world, starting with what we know from childhood on, picking up our beliefs from our parents, and the people and the culture we grow up in.

These days, especially in the western world, big media has more to do with shaping what we see as true more than possibly anything, and that is a sad thing indeed. Big media is built on whatever grabs our attention, a psychotic take on human nature, that needs not worry about reality, only about grabbing viewers.

Whether or not we like it, big media has more influence over our perspective of this world than we would like to admit.
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LuvPimpinYou
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Re: Does anyone know the truth?

Post by LuvPimpinYou »

poet1b wrote:Our line of sight to the realities of this world, what we determine to be true, depends on more factors than we can ever account for.

Everything we do, we base upon our perception of the truth, even when we try to run or hide from the truth. Our knowledge is limited, leaving us to make decisions based on what we know, and what we think we don't know.

We gather our perspectives of the world, try to filter out the biases, apply logic and reason, and come up with some probabilities. The broader our perspective, the more time we have been given to identify the patterns, the better our chance of making reasonably accurate predictions. For all our lack of knowledge about this world, it is still very predictable.

There are three main ways we learn about our world, through experience, were we are able to test our observations, through observation where we are able to witness the events taking place, and through what others tell us. Most of the information we get comes from others. It then follows that our ability to determine good sources from bad is completely critical to our ability to sight the truth.

"The Pursuit of Common Sense"
Everything we know is a truth, until proven otherwise ;)
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