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Passions in Poetry

Truth

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CwboyAtHeart
Senior Member
since 04-14-2001
Posts 686
Selah, WA, USA


0 posted 10-31-2002 06:37 PM       View Profile for CwboyAtHeart   Email CwboyAtHeart   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit CwboyAtHeart's Home Page   View IP for CwboyAtHeart

Something I wrote while I was sitting in English...  Just wondering what your guys' thoughts might be on the subject.      

        Life revolves ultimately around truth.  Life consists of a never-ending series of decisions.  In order for a decision to be made, however, there must be truth to base the decision upon.  What, exactly, is truth?  Truth is perceived as correct in a given situation.  Everything involves a certain element of truth, whether it be proven to be truth or thought by the individual as being true.  
Faith is a category of truth because faith is decidedly true for a certain individual.  If you have faith in something, you believe it to be true, therefore it is true for you in your mind.  Although one thing may be true for the individual with faith, it may not be true for another individual has either no faith or a faith different from their own.  Faith cannot be proven because it is a person having a strong feeling toward the truth of one thing.  
Another element of truth is fact, as well as opinion.  Fact is an obvious, well-known truth because it has been proven to be true.  Fact is the only form of absolute truth.  Opinion, on the other hand, is quite different.  Opinion is based on something that is thought to be true by an individual.  Opinion cannot be a fact because an opinion is only seen to be fact by certain individuals who perceive it as a truth.  Even though some see it as true, others see it as false. Varying thoughts on what is true make an opinion unable to be proven.  An opinion cannot be a fact and in contrast a fact cannot be an opinion.  Both are truths, but their meanings and roles are very different.
In conclusion, life does revolve around what is true.  What is right and what is wrong is determined by what we know as being true.  Since very few truths are fact, therefore many truths go without being proven.  Truth often varies between individuals, so what is right and what is wrong can never be accurately determined.  

      - Cody -

Note To Self:  If Pigs Can Fly, So Can I!!!

If someboy laughs at me, does that make me funny or just plain stupid?  

Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


1 posted 11-02-2002 12:19 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

CwbyAtHeart,

you wrote, "Faith is a category of truth because faith is decidedly true for a certain individual.  If you have faith in something, you believe it to be true, therefore it is true for you in your mind.  Although one thing may be true for the individual with faith, it may not be true for another individual has either no faith or a faith different from their own.  Faith cannot be proven because it is a person having a strong feeling toward the truth of one thing."


What if two blind men are walking toward a large chasm... One decidedly stops and says "I believe there is a hole around here somewhere, so I choose not to walk this way any longer", and stops.  His friend amazed and indignant replies, "Bahhh!  There is no such hole.  I will continue to walk.  You are an idiot to stay.  The sun is hot.  And I believe some shade is coming up.", and then keeps walking.  Thirty seconds later the walking man is heard plummeting down the chasm, "ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh".


Now, each had "faith".  One was right, the other wrong.  So how is faith a special kind of truth, rather than real commonly understood truth?  In other words, how is faith to be considered "true" merely because I believe it to be true?  Is there not an intrinsic element of belief that requires it to be true or false?  The law of non-contradiction?


    
You also wrote, "Opinion is based on something that is thought to be true by an individual.  Opinion cannot be a fact because an opinion is only seen to be fact by certain individuals who perceive it as a truth.  Even though some see it as true, others see it as false."


Opinion is rather the thought that something is true.  But opinion can certainly be fact.  Example ..."It is my opinion that those shoes are leather".  This really means, "I believe those shoes are leather."  This state of being of the shoes themselves is the only determining factor as to whether my opinion is fact or not.  But if the shoes are leather, then my opinion is a fact... or the truth.  
     But you are suggesting that my opinion about certain shoes being leather cannot be a fact, because there are others who disagree with me.  Brian and Sally insist that they are canvas.  So none of our opinions are factual?  Nonsense.  If the shoes indeed are leather (an independent state of being apart from all of our opinions), then my opinion comports with what is true ... hence factual.


"Varying thoughts on what is true make an opinion unable to be proven."


Really?  I disagree with your above  statement.  Does that make it unable to be proven?  I think the statement "Varying thoughts have nothing to do with the proveability of opinions" is proveable ... and that despite what you think about it . . . lest you think your mere thoughts invalidate it.  If you do disprove it, it will require much more than opinion.  There are people who think that space travel was a farce and that no man ever walked on the moon.  The fact that men have walked on the moon is eternally unaffected by these thoughts.  


" What is right and what is wrong is determined by what we know as being true.  Since very few truths are fact, therefore many truths go without being proven.  Truth often varies between individuals, so what is right and what is wrong can never be accurately determined. "  


How can you say that "very few truths are fact"?  Do you mean actual truths, verified and certain, or correct opinions yet unproven, or incorrect opinions yet unrefuted?  Correct opinions, yet unproven, are still true and factual.  Incorrect opinions, yet unrefuted , are still untrue.  

Right and wrong, referring to morality, or in general usage?  Either way I disagree.  Are you stating that philosophically there is no certainty?  This is skepticism which I reject as a philosophy.  If a rational God created a uniform world, and maintains that uniformity, then right and wrong are knowable.  You seem to be reflecting much post-modernistic and relativistic thinking here.  

Stephen.


      


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (11-02-2002 12:21 AM).]

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


2 posted 11-02-2002 05:43 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Stehan,

Ah, don't be so rough on the guy. He's not that bad yet.

quote:
Life revolves ultimately around truth.


This is Platonic, not Postmodernish.

quote:
Life consists of a never-ending series of decisions.


Who wants to argue with that? Actually, I can but we have to redefine the decision as far more important than what most people do.

quote:
In order for a decision to be made, however, there must be truth to base the decision upon.


Not necessarily. The decision can actually be against truth.

quote:
What, exactly, is truth?  Truth is perceived as correct in a given situation.  Everything involves a certain element of truth, whether it be proven to be truth or thought by the individual as being true.


Of course, in order for the above to work, he has to redefine truth as the perception of truth. This is quite common these days but it's not exactly Postmodern (defined here as the stuff I try to get across). This is just a subject-centered version of truth.  This is relativism, and, yes, your usual argument against such thinking is successful. The belief that their can be different types of truths negates the idea that their is one truth and so one can not fully accept the idea of a personal version of truth (the one truth) and not be self-contradictory.  
  
quote:
Faith is a category of truth because faith is decidedly true for a certain individual.


In other words, people who have faith believe it to be true.

quote:
If you have faith in something, you believe it to be true, therefore it is true for you in your mind.


So, all forms of delusion are then true? A lot of people are saying this these days but nobody acts like that. What they're doing, I think, is attempting to combine traditional ideas of truth (it's superiority, it's importance, it's beauty, it's goodness) with the Liberal view of tolerance. They are hard to square theoretically (though not, as I see it, hard to square practically).

quote:
Although one thing may be true for the individual with faith, it may not be true for another individual has either no faith or a faith different from their own.[quote]

Yeah, by substituting the perception of truth for the truth, this makes sense. Unfortunately, people, many people, seem to find this more palatable than saying, "Well, I think you're wrong but I'm not going to kill you for it."

I suppose that would actually engender a conversation and we all know how dangerous that is. Better to stay safe and sound in isolated beliefs, not challenging others for fear of having your own beliefs, and probably more importantly, your identity challenged. To jump a bit, I also think this is society's scientism rearing it's ugly head. Because not everything can be placed in a controlled experiment, it's up for grabs.

[quote]Faith cannot be proven because it is a person having a strong feeling toward the truth of one thing.


This is far too general to be meaningful. Different faiths can and have been proven all the time. I suspect what Cowboy really wants to argue is that God can't be proven.

quote:
Another element of truth is fact, as well as opinion.  Fact is an obvious, well-known truth because it has been proven to be true.


Okay, fact is obvious and well-known, it has been proven. That is, we can't argue over the facts.

quote:
Opinion, on the other hand, is quite different.  Opinion is based on something that is thought to be true by an individual.  Opinion cannot be a fact because an opinion is only seen to be fact by certain individuals who perceive it as a truth.  Even though some see it as true, others see it as false. Varying thoughts on what is true make an opinion unable to be proven.


Loot at what happens here: a fact is unarguable because it's obviously true, an opinion is unarguable because it's unprovable. This is scientism. Furthermore, he cloaks both fact and opinion in the cape of truth. They are both true:

quote:
An opinion cannot be a fact and in contrast a fact cannot be an opinion.  Both are truths, but their meanings and roles are very different.[quote]

[quote]In conclusion, life does revolve around what is true.


This is just a reassertion of the opening sentence. I see nothing here that shows this to be true.

quote:
What is right and what is wrong is determined by what we know as being true.


Actually, I always thought what is right and what is wrong are determined by what we feel is right and what is wrong.

quote:
Since very few truths are fact, therefore many truths go without being proven.  Truth often varies between individuals, so what is right and what is wrong can never be accurately determined.


See the shift here. Cowboy individualizes truth, but objectivizes right or wrong. So, truth can be determined (it is whatever you believe it to be), but somehow being right or wrong must be objectively determined rather than whatever you believe it to be.

This is not a Postmodernist position. A postmodernist position, mine anyway, is that truth and right and wrong are inter-subjectively determined and we don't need anything other than some type of politics (preferably democratic) to determine what they are. I often talk about usefulness and I still think that's important but if something is useless or harmful, it's either neutral and therefore allowable or we'll change it.

Note, the inherent risk that I've left untalked about is intended. It is a scary proposition.

    
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


3 posted 11-03-2002 03:51 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,

You are correct.  I do not see pure postmodernism here, but a mixture.  But here is the contradiction.  Either there is a metaphysical standard above us all to arbitrate what is "true", or truth is a total human construct.  Going with the presupposition that truth is a mere human phenomenon, ie based on biology alone, then it is necessarily arbitrary and leads to total skepticism.  If truth is based on biology alone, how can we even trust our sensory perceptions?  There is nothing to guarantee that the apparatus of my eye will accurately show me what I am really seeing.  It goes deeper... I cannot even be sure that the computer screen I am now looking at even exists.  Truth based in biology may be decieving me, as there is no guarantee of the uniformity of nature... yet in practical life, we a priori assume it at every turn.  This was David Hume's skepticism about a universe born of irrational forces, and it has never been answered that I can see from a naturalistic world view.  

Pragmatist that you are, you will no doubt say that we a priori assume what works and always has.  I agree.  But your underlying worldview seems not comport with your daily actions, for according to naturalism, there is the glaring question, "Why should we assume uniformity and be right time and time again"?  Your answer:  "We just are."  My answer:  "There is a rational sustainer of uniformity ... God".  

But thanks for pointing out that "Cowboy's" post is not a complete reflection of postmodernism, but a comixture of traditional thinking and postmodern thinking.  I am not so much concerned about the mixture, as I am about the direction.  I never want anyone to blindly accept assumed popular views of truth, whether they be traditional or otherwise, without weighing them in the balance.  


Stephen.  
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


4 posted 11-06-2002 04:19 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Life revolves ultimately around truth"


I hold deem with you.  I believe there is no eschewing what is true and no revolving othergates.  Truth is our own natures and the natures surrounding, that we cannot fully control but fully control us, that we cannot fully define but fully define us.  The more we understand, the more we gain control and the more we can define.  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (11-06-2002 04:21 PM).]

 
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