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Passions in Poetry

Truth and Reality

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LoveBug
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0 posted 07-31-2004 09:53 AM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

"What is true in our minds IS true, even if other people don't know it"

Is that statement true?

My boyfriend believes that God is sort of like that.. people believe in Him, so He exists. If everyone stopped believing, He would cease to exist.

I think it's, well, not like that at all, but I thought it would make an interesting topic! God or anything... if it's true to one person, or to a million people, does that make it true?

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Local Parasite
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1 posted 07-31-2004 10:17 AM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

I've never agreed with that idea, because it makes it seem to me like there's no distinction between percieved truth and absolute truth, which seems pretty stupid to me.  

Makes me think of Zarathustra's cry that God had been killed... not that He had literally been killed, but that nobody truly believed in Him anymore, and thus He was dead.  

If I wrote a word on a piece of paper and then burned it, and died, there would never be any way of knowing what was written on that piece of paper, but that wouldn't change the fact that it had happened, and that it was a certain word that had been written.

Likewise things such as atomic structure have always existed regardless of whether or not there was anyone around to realize that was how it worked.  We've had diseases for longer than we've been able to understand them, for example.

Descartes had argued that, because God is by definition perfect, and it is more perfect to exist than not to exist, then He must exist by definition.  Now doesn't that sound just a little silly to you?  It does to me.  How can something as sacred and mysterious as existence be found by nothing but bland logic?  No more than this can belief or simple faith constitute existence.  You can't deny that there are people who have faith in things non-existing.

Hopefully you can see how the great mystery of all things forbids absolute truth from being a matter of mere belief...

"God becomes as we are that we may be as he is."  ~William Blake

Ron
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2 posted 07-31-2004 11:57 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Hopefully you can see how the great mystery of all things forbids absolute truth from being a matter of mere belief...

Careful, Brian. You're positing the existence of absolute truth without offering any support for its existence. If there is no such thing as absolute truth, your whole argument falls apart.


LoveBug
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3 posted 07-31-2004 01:14 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

Nicely put, Brian. I also believe in Absolute Truth. Could you elaborate on how there may not be absolute truth, Ron?

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Brad
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4 posted 08-01-2004 09:53 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

It's a great question. Unfortunately, I'm not completely sure I understand the next question.

The first is correct. There is such a thing as absolutely true in time and place. I'm not sure, however, if the next part truly reflects the first question.

Thoughts do not make the world happen, but they can make the world happen.

LoveBug
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5 posted 08-01-2004 10:56 AM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

Are things true because they are true in the mind? Is that enough or not?

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Brad
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6 posted 08-01-2004 08:14 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

No, but the interesting part is that your boyfriend, perhaps intuitively, understands that truth really is about a relationship, or interaction, between mind and world, reality and how we describe it.

He's just got the causal relationship reversed.

Things are true in the mind because they are true in reality.

Say we walk down a mountain path and both of us see a cat. I say "That cat is true".

This makes no sense (Unless of course we're talking about Puss 'n Boots and whether or not he's true to his word or his lover or whatever).

If I say, "There's a cat over there," you might respond, "Yes, that's true," and that makes perfect sense.

What's the difference?

True things must always be in the form of a proposition or statement and in order to do that you require a language or mind.

No language or mind, no true statements.

  
Local Rebel
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7 posted 08-01-2004 08:42 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The student of Derrida....  

Eyes and hands....

(sorry for the sp last night... too hurried to go to bed... try these search words instead -- you know who you are   )

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (08-02-2004 06:36 PM).]

Essorant
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8 posted 08-02-2004 01:53 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Angels hold up the stars

Is this true?
Essorant
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9 posted 08-02-2004 02:21 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The most indispensable point in truth I believe is to acknowledge at least that everything exists.  If one may fathom that then he shall be in the right orb and thew.  
Is a dragon nonexistant because he is not physically "here and now".  Nope;  He is simply elsewheres.    
Everything exists; we don't always refer to everything in the right places, times, and orders though.
Local Rebel
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10 posted 08-02-2004 05:50 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Excerpt from Derrida's 'Differance'
http://www.hydra.umn.edu/derrida/diff.html

Do you see a martini? or bikini?
http://www.janushead.org/JHFall98/rolsen.cfm
Local Rebel
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11 posted 08-02-2004 06:32 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

One of the paragraphs I wanted..

quote:

But such a move toward knowledge, Heidegger reminds us, represses the brute fact of a thing’s being, beyond any split reference between the species and genus of things. In other words, to know the "what" of a thing sublates the very facticity of its being, its isness. We do not see, or we forget, that the figure before us is for us as it is. That is, the martini glass is only as it is, a martini glass. The hermeneutical-as structure conceals the very fact that the martini glass also and simply is. With this, we must take care not to see Heidegger’s hermeneutic as that which reveals the latent meaning and ground as if it were behind some curtain, waiting to be uncovered; rather, Heidegger means for us to glimpse what is the twisted relation of the figure to its ground, which is, accordingly, the ontological complexity of things. From this ontological point of view, the difference we see between martini and bikini figures obscures the common ground of their being, what is for Heidegger their more fundamental relation. The question "what is," then, becomes the site of an irreducible knottedness. Under Derridean critique the "what is," the first and smallest unit of thought in philosophy, is at odds with the text of its own terms--what and is. No term or thing or figure is ever simply present; it can only be present under erasure, in its textualized doubleness. In other words, "what is" is by virtue of its being (in relation to) "what is not"—with every not being the negative condition which enables every letter to appear as we see it. The identity of a thing, its name, then, is always tied to its non-identical trace, and all this at one and the same time. For Derrida such critique is a re-marking and re-making of the time frame which thus has no origin and no outside this indivisible fold.


http://www.janushead.org/JHFall98/rolsen.cfm
Local Rebel
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12 posted 08-02-2004 07:36 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

And ya gotta love this;

quote:

What am I to do in order to speak of the a of différance? It goes without saying that it cannot be exposed. One can expose only that which at a certain moment can become present, manifest, that which can be shown, presented as something present, a being-present in its truth, in the truth of a present or the presence of the present. Now if différance is (and I also cross out the 'is') what makes possible the presentation of the being-present, it is never presented as such. It is never offered to the present. Or to anyone. Reserving itself, not exposing itself, in regular fashion it exceeds the order of truth at a certain precise point, but without dissimulating itself-as something, as a mysterious being, in the occult of a nonknowledge or in a hole with indeterminable borders (for example, in a topology of castration). In every exposition it would be exposed to disappearing as disappearance. It would risk appearing: disappearing.


http://www.hydra.umn.edu/derrida/diff.html

(what was the difference between Dierde and Derrida?)
Brad
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13 posted 08-03-2004 11:58 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

LR,

You realize I actually think that makes sense. As long as we take true to be the absolute presence that Derrida talks about, I think he's right, but we can also deflate it a bit and still, I think, retain all of the useful things that we reserve for that word.

In a nutshell:

"Frogs are green" is true if and only if frogs are green.

The difference (without the a), I think, is best exemplified by 'really':

"What is it?"

"It's a green frog."

"Yeah, but what is it really?"

You ain't gonna get there because there's no there there.

Local Rebel
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14 posted 08-04-2004 10:53 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

You ain't gonna get there because there's no there there.



It's a fantastic start for this topic point though Brad.

If you remember frog is as much an attribute as green.

Or better still, frog, in this case is a marker (to use Derridan terminology), or a data point.  Better still, in the instance of 'The frog is green', it's a key field to a record.  In your statement, 'It's a green frog', frog becomes even more apparent as merely a field, an attribute of 'it'.

But what is it?  Really?  Or what is the data a record of?  

What we prefer to think of as an it, a WHAT,  a something, a noun, (and is in this case represented by the information we recognize as frog) is like all 'whats' better understood as an event.  Or better said a culmination of events.  It, is the culmination of events that we understand to have the attributes associated with a green frog,

NOW.  

As opposed to the entire body of events that might be associated with being any other set of events at any other point in time.  Or non-events.

In time, if the what is associated with the set of events we recognize as a chameleon frog, what we recognize as a green frog may become a brown, or red frog.  Or yet still a dead frog.  Or topsoil.

And, lest we forget HUP, it is the set of events that we understand to have the attributes associated with a green frog, now, that the sets of events known as we, are OBSERVING.

But if there are two frogs, we would, obviously need to add another identifier that would in that context become the key field -- the green frog, the red frog, the big green frog, the little green frog --

And like smells in a room, that we might notice when we walk in,  our senses become tired of them quickly -- that is to say our brain ignores the data when there is no differentiation or new data, and we don't 'smell' the smell anymore, but it doesn't mean the smell isn't there... but with no further need to differentiate the data sets as green or frog -- big and little become sufficient...

or if there were ten green frogs we may even resort to proper names -- Fred, Ethel, Ricky, Lucy, Little Ricky...Kermit.

None of which is possible without first having assembled the data, or paradigm, 'frog'.  Without the abstraction we cannot recognize Kermit IS a green frog, let alone that he is KERMIT the green frog.

Now.  

But since WE are observing Kermit there are really two Kermits, KERMIT/Hawke, KERMIT/Brad.

And since all events exist in time and have a beginning and end the culmination of events we associate with Kermit will indeed end, and with the end of events known as we the specific abstractions of Kermit also end  -- without ever really understanding the culmination of events KERMIT/n (the abstraction) represented.  We may tell people of Kermit and they may have their own abstraction of frog, and Kermit the green frog -- but with our demise KERMIT/Hawke, KERMIT/Brad is gone.

quote:

True things must always be in the form of a proposition or statement and in order to do that you require a language or mind.

No language or mind, no true statements.




So, within our own langscape we can 'know' that this specific statement IS 'true';

The culmination of events under observation right now match the data sets retained by Brad and Hawke that define the attributes frog, green, and Kermit and having done so satisfy the greater abstraction of KERMIT/n.

Does anyone begin to see why in Hebrew thought God could have no name but only be described as the great 'I Am'?  Is the aversion to idolatry equally understood?  Even 'I Am' is somewhat lost in the English langscape because ours is a syntax driven language where Hebrew is given equally to morphology.  

Naming God, even the word God, eventizes the IS.  

IS is IS and not was or yet.  

Therefore it could only be written YHWH -- not even a word -- but the acronym of the words, because even in word an abstraction is formed -- an idol becomes erected in the mind.  (By word all (abstractions) are created.)

God becomes a 'What', and not, IS.  

The WHAT of God does exist -- as abstraction -- as people alter the WHAT then THAT God may cease to particularly exist.  

It is the ISNESS of God that IS but, is not -- 'there'.

Brad
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15 posted 08-05-2004 03:36 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
So, within our own langscape we can 'know' that this specific statement IS 'true';

The culmination of events under observation right now match the data sets retained by Brad and Hawke that define the attributes frog, green, and Kermit and having done so satisfy the greater abstraction of KERMIT/n.


Yep.

And the reason we know that we know this is precisely because we agree on a point, "green frog" that's outside (distal object) and maintain two views from different points in the world.

Triangulation.

More later,

Local Rebel
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16 posted 08-05-2004 04:54 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Sounds like fun.. I'll be around.
Sunshine
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17 posted 08-05-2004 05:08 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


It is a frog.

But it's not green.

But it IS a frog.

So if I'm picking this up right, it all relies on how specific one wants to be with what IS, in order to avoid confusion.

Right?
Toerag
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18 posted 08-05-2004 05:37 PM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

Sometimes I post things that I know are true....Ron deletes them....does that mean since they're gone they weren't true?...Does that mean if Ron didn't delete them and everyone didn't believe what I wrote I'd be dead?...Sometimes I wake up the next day, see my post gone..and wonder if I really posted one?....I'm not sure if I posted this?...Did I?..who the hell's posting under my name?...Just go ahead and delete this Ron....
Essorant
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19 posted 08-05-2004 06:09 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Why does he delete them?
Local Rebel
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20 posted 08-05-2004 06:17 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

So if I'm picking this up right, it all relies on how specific one wants to be with what IS, in order to avoid confusion.



Not specifically

'It', isn't a frog.  But it isn't NOT a frog.  Frog simply doesn't encompass 'It'.

'Frog' is a metaphor.  'Green' is a metaphor.  They both are used to communicate the information contained in the concept of green and frog.  You understand what I mean when I say 'frog'.  But not completely.  Which is Brad's next point.  

Did you see a bikini?  Or a martini?  If I saw one, and you saw the other... which one of us is correct?  Are either of us correct?

Ron
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21 posted 08-06-2004 12:34 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Brad said: No, but the interesting part is that your boyfriend, perhaps intuitively, understands that truth really is about a relationship, or interaction, between mind and world, reality and how we describe it.

Bah humbug?  

It has been slightly less than 500 years since Nicolaus Copernicus self-published his hand-written book, Little Commentary (1514). For thousands of years prior to Copernicus (and actually for a whole lot of years after), pretty much everyone believed the universe revolved around the Earth. The ego of mankind is no small thing.

Reality doesn't revolve around man, nor would it suddenly cease to exist in the absence of man. There might not be anyone around to talk about it, but truth would survive human hubris. Egocentricity isn't new and probably isn't avoidable, but I don't see a lot of value in steeping ourselves in it, either. It's not a gateway, it's just a limitation of perception.

quote:
Why does he delete them?

Because sometimes Toe confuses humor with shock value. I've heard enough crude jokes about sex and drugs to last a lifetime already. They stopped being funny a long time ago. Quite unlike Derrida, who is still worth a small chuckle here and there.  
Toerag
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22 posted 08-06-2004 07:21 AM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

Boy, it's easy to confuse you Ron....Actually Essorant, it's because I do, (and admit it)...write some things that I probably shouldn't...but, I try to bring a tad of humor to an all too sad world..seems to me the world could use some humor...maybe I can't bring that to everyone..obviously not Ron...but to some I think...at least the emails I receive from many of the folks here at Ron's wonderful site thanking me for being silly make me believe so?....I have no ill feelings about being deleted here and there...I understand why they're deleted, and, my post above was not a "jab" at Ron for deleting...it was cutting myself for being the Toerag that I am..(small chuckle)....

Brad
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23 posted 08-08-2004 01:04 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Ron,
Truth is a dimension of assessment. It is not reality, it is a way of judging our statements about reality. Certainly, I don't believe that Uri Gellar can bend spoons with his mind (telekinesis) anymore than you do, but I don't deny that he does bend spoons and that his mind does have some factor to play there -- that he's consciously fraudulent for example.

So while I think I understand the gist of your statement, I think technically its wrong. The mind does indeed influence reality because it is a part of that reality just as reality influences the mind -- or would you deny that as well.

This is both trivially true and goes to the heart of the complaints against the Myth of the Given. The Myth of the Given is the belief that the world is simply there and it's the job of the mind or consiousness to describe it as exactly as possible. Where do you begin doing that if you aren't there (this is the trivial part -- and it's easy to think about horses and rocks and things by using counter-factuals, "If I were there, I would see. . .), and where do you begin if you have no point from which to start?

No mind, no starting point.

No starting point, no description.

No desciption, no truth.

Which gets us into the whole problem of absolute presence.

Rebel makes the point that I will never know completely, absolutely, his thought of the frog. This is true. But differance comes into play the moment any particular proposition or thought is born in one's own mind as well.

So does he know completely, absolutely what he means by 'frog'?

And before that, of course, he had no thought of it at all.

And this turns out to be a very good survival trick if I'm understanding some of my (extremely quick) reading of how are brains are wired.

If you picture a frog in your brain, do  you see it as green (I do.). Look at Sunshine's picture, is there anyone here who would deny that it's not a frog?



Local Rebel
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24 posted 08-08-2004 12:20 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

There might not be anyone around to talk about it, but truth would survive human hubris.



Human hubris?  Certainly.  Cogito ergo sum.  Now that's ego-centric!  

(made in the image of.. who?   dominion over all the what?)

Western culture isn't just steeped in egocentrism -- it's cast in it.  All (human) perception is limited.  That's the whole point.

The conditional 'Truth is a dimension of assessment. It is not reality, it is a way of judging our statements about reality.'  could be more quickly said -- if a tree falls in the forest -- the impact, the acoustic vibrations --EXIST -- but sound does not unless there is an ear to hear and a mind to interpret.

But, if there is a tree frog on the tree??  


quote:

So does he know completely, absolutely what he means by 'frog'?



Certainly.  Frog, it's um, yeah... what was it I was going to say?  (And unfortunately I CAN say that Sunshine's Frog is a Red X... )  

Kermit is a muppet.  Kermit is a frog.  Kermit is a photograph, movie, electronic image.  Kermit can be a lot of things.  Frog can be a lot of things -- in context -- we know what each of us means when we say frog -- so long as we understand that what we perceive of an event is merely the portion of the iceberg that extends above the waterline and is the side that is exposed to our view.  

Certainty becomes a kind of operative ignorance.  

We don't need to say 'that event has frogness'.  It is sufficient for everyday functioning to say -- it's a frog.

Unless it has toadness.

How do you know a blackbird isn't red on the other side?
 
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