The Dallas Examined Life Philosophy Group Message Board › TRUTH... it seems to be a starting point and a stumbling block, so how about

TRUTH... it seems to be a starting point and a stumbling block, so how about this explanation?

A former member
Post #: 8
"TRUTH"... is it absolute or relative? Is it the beginning of knowledge of reality or the conclusion?
-I submit these statements for your consideration: "Reality is available to anyone who opens his eyes and ears. TRUTH, on the other hand is one's understanding perfected by simplicity and the faith that one is capable of holding about constant recurring factors of life. TRUTH is the breadth and depth of consciousness which transcends reality and distills it into simple understanding!" "Liberate TRUTH from the Ivory Tower. TRUTH does not precede reality, formulate it, nor replace God as source." "TRUTH is not archetypal. Reality is fundamental! God is archetypal! TRUTH is the fulfillment of understanding verified by its constancy in experience and the power of equilibrium it brings to life." -from "Love Without End" by Glenda Green.
yours, Dale Miesen
Gregg
gregglll
Lewisville, TX
Post #: 102
Sorry I had written my thread before I saw this one.

Thanks for the quote.

But it seems like the author is using different definitions from what I am used to. Truth in my reading has been defined as that which corresponds to reality. I am not sure what her definition is. And I am wondering what is the basis of her assertions.

She says

"Reality is available to anyone who opens his eyes and ears."

What reality is she talking about. I have been fooled many times with simple observations. (e. g. optical illusions for example) Is she just referring to consciousness?

Liz
bizzy127
Dallas, TX
Post #: 10
It sounds like Glenda Green is saying that TRUTH is our possession of an accurate understanding of reality.

I can relate to that. I've experienced denial in many different areas of my life over the years. Philosophy is part of my quest to weed through those areas and continually prune away falsehoods and distractions. I pray that I possess more TRUTH every day, so in that sense I think I agree.
Ryan
Ryan9999
Dallas, TX
Post #: 72

-I submit these statements for your consideration: "Reality is available to anyone who opens his eyes and ears. TRUTH, on the other hand is one's understanding perfected by simplicity and the faith that one is capable of holding about constant recurring factors of life. TRUTH is the breadth and depth of consciousness which transcends reality and distills it into simple understanding!" "Liberate TRUTH from the Ivory Tower. TRUTH does not precede reality, formulate it, nor replace God as source." "TRUTH is not archetypal. Reality is fundamental! God is archetypal! TRUTH is the fulfillment of understanding verified by its constancy in experience and the power of equilibrium it brings to life." -from "Love Without End" by Glenda Green.
yours, Dale Miesen
My reaction is similar to that of Gregg's.

Also, I don't think the author is even providing a useful definition of truth. Every definition she gives itself needs clarification, definition, and some degree of nailing it down: "TRUTH, on the other hand is one's understanding perfected by simplicity and the faith that one is capable of holding about constant recurring factors of life.", "TRUTH is the breadth and depth of consciousness which transcends reality and distills it into simple understanding!", "TRUTH is the fulfillment of understanding verified by its constancy in experience and the power of equilibrium it brings to life."

So, those are nice flowery things to say, but they're terrible ways to communicate. Imagine if you were asking for directions and somebody answered you in a very similar rhetoric: "First you go towards the departure of Helios' chariot until you are gripped with the raw essence of decadence, and then you turn in the direction of dominance until the road guides you towards Mecca"

Can we have a translation? The act of reading this is itself more likely to inspire a hermeneutical debate than to aid understanding of epistemology, ontology or any other subject. After all, many of the things said actually seem nonsensical, so: " consciousness which transcends reality", seems problematic because reality could be defined as the set of all real things(yeah... I know, there are problems with this usage, but it captures a useful intuition that any reconstruction would seek to also contain) the problem is that if consciousness is real, then it must be a member of this set. To transcend is to go beyond the limits of something. However, the problem is that going beyond the limits is incompatible with remaining within the limits of something, so consciousness can't be real and go beyond the limits of what is real. Then this requires a metaphorical interpretation, which itself is a terrible thing because metaphors work because they ground what we don't understand by relating it to what we do. And if we only use terms we poorly understand, then we can have an interesting pseudo-conversation, but we're really only playing a game.
A former member
Post #: 9
OK, let's take this from scratch. -Can we agree that it is the nature of the mind/brain to pick, choose and assemble what it can from simple awareness to various perceptions, to concepts, thoughts, and build upon patterns (perceived and implied) of complexity to formulate a personal frame(s) of reference and belief(s) of many types to serve itself? If so, can we further agree that these provide a reliable, consistent and valuable understanding of reality? Further, can we agree thatvthe brain/mind will claim to know, even to possess, the "truth" when its beliefs and patterns of reference seemingly verified repeatedly as expected? (So far so good?) Thus, the "truth" for a particular brain/mind is based on its experience, whether direct or vicariously gained and incorporated into its beliefs and patterns of reference. -However, limitations are also based on the extent of said experiences and ability for verification. In the pursuit of TRUTH, there are two main ways of being mistaken. One is to assume you have ALL the information and the other is to assume that all you believe is correct. History has proven this countless times. What is quoted on TRUTH in the book by Ms. Green is not her words, but you can read Love Without End for yourself if you find it compelling enough to know more. (hint)
The main point from it is that TRUTH is NOT archetypal! (Platonic ideals are not therefore valid as a source of perfection/truth.) Again, "Truth is the fulfillment of understanding... and the power of equilibrium that it brings to life". From that, I conclude that truth is relative and specific, and can be improved on as experience(s) add to the body of verified personal and accepted vicarious knowledge upon which his/her truth is based. It is a distillation of experience that serve a person in a place, time and spectrum of experiences that is within the scope of that person's life... thus providing equilibrium.
BTW, I didn't perceive anything "flowery" in what Ms. Green quoted, and I can't break it down to the fundamental components and steps any more than I have. Hopefully, these clarifications are sufficient. The rebuttal (if any) would be based on any experiential evidence to the contrary pertaining to Platonic ideals as to first being "real" and how, and next as to being the "source of truth".
Nathaniel
user 10963465
Group Organizer
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 182
From the discussion at the last meetup as well as here in this forum, I can see that we're talking about entirely different definitions of truth. This is not helped by statements such as "what is true for you is not true for me" which seem to place truth in our minds when it doesn't really. Such a statement could simply be "it is true for you that cheese is awesome, but for me it is murder". These could both be truths, they just happen to apply to two different people.

For me, truth must be something which is external to me. That is, somethings are true regardless of what I think about it. I might be able to make the statement "Australia doesn't exist" but that statement would not be true. I might experience the "nonexistence of Australia" but the experience itself doesn't map to reality. To me, it may SEEM as if the statement "Australia doesn't exist" is a true statement, but I would be mistaken.

The mere possibility that a belief can be true or false, indicates to me that truth cannot be a belief. No matter what I believe about Australia, it is true that it either exists or it does not exist. On top of that, reality does not concern itself with truth. It simply is what it is. Truth is a logical concept which basically refers to a state of affairs. If all pips are mims and all mims are wops then it is true that all pips are wops. The boolean logic doesn't change, nor does the answer to the question just because of someone's opinion or perspective.

I once heard someone say that there was no such thing as truth, only opinion. I told them that was just an opinion, it wasn't true. The idea that truth is relative simply does not withstand any degree of scrutiny.

Basically, truth isn't something you are allowed to make up. Truth is discovered, it is not invented.
Gregg
gregglll
Lewisville, TX
Post #: 103
<<OK, let's take this from scratch. -Can we agree that it is the nature of the mind/brain to pick, choose and assemble what it can from simple awareness to various perceptions, to concepts, thoughts, and build upon patterns (perceived and implied) of complexity to formulate a personal frame(s) of reference and belief(s) of many types to serve itself?>>

Without going into detail and mentioning all the qualifyers, I would say I can accept most of this. The problem is that some patterns perceived may or may not actually exist. We see faces in toast, for example. Most would realize the pattern is just an illusion, but some really believe that they are actually seeing the Virgin Mary.

(I am not trying to make fun of anybody. If I were raised in certain circumstances, I might believe it too.)

<<If so, can we further agree that these provide a reliable, consistent and valuable understanding of reality?>>


Here, I would disagree. It depends on which part of reality we are talking about. If a pattern really does exist, our minds can often pick it up very well. But some things we simply get wrong: It is very natural and understandible to first believe that the earth is the center of the universe. The smartest people on earth used to think that. But once people (finally) rigorously analyzed the movement of the objects in the sky, they found this was not "true", i. e. it did not reflect reality.


Ultimately, I also agree with Ryan that we seem to be using different definitions of the word 'truth'.
A former member
Post #: 10
How about we add a qualifier? "Accepted" as truth vs being totally relative or totally absolute. Truth IS or HAS a primary quality of veracity that serves the perceiver/believer in a manner consistent with his/her experiences of reality, within a limited contextt. It does not come with an iron clad guarantee that further perceptions or discovery will not over-turn the belief as "truth". Since human beings may (as such) never know ultimate truth (if there is such a thing) then we must accept our limitations and go with what works in the context we apply it. Again, the point of the initial post was to examine the concept of truth as archetypal (or not) relative to Platonic ideals. -Come back down to Earth here and view it from the standpoint of what is "workable" in our everyday reality, which is foremost to actually applying "truth" and living our lives.
Jim B.
user 4260314
Arlington, TX
Post #: 376
What is truth? Is it whatever works? Correspondence to reality? Or how well a belief fits into an overall coherent system of beliefs? Or a norm that humans are trying to reach but that we will almost certainly never reach, more like an ideal? Or some other alternative?
Ryan
Ryan9999
Dallas, TX
Post #: 75

Here, I would disagree. It depends on which part of reality we are talking about. If a pattern really does exist, our minds can often pick it up very well. But some things we simply get wrong: It is very natural and understandible to first believe that the earth is the center of the universe. The smartest people on earth used to think that. But once people (finally) rigorously analyzed the movenement of the objects in the sky, they found this was not "true", i. e. it did not reflect reality.
Gregg, technically isn't your position that "these CAN provide a reliable, consistent and valuable understanding of reality"? I don't think you accept that we are denied certain true claims, but you DID accept his model of how human brains gain information. If so, then isn't he saying something more agreeable than not.
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