Does truth have many versions?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by wegs, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. river

    What Hive is not creative ?
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  3. river

    The fundamental truth is this ;

    That all things cannot be other than what they are . Snow is not steel .

    Steel is not life .

    A mountain is not a tree. Never could be . In its present form .

    There is a common sense to truth . We just don't look for it .

    When though you look for it , it becomes obvious .

    Volcano is hot .

    The northern and southern extremes are cold .

    Ocean currents exist .
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  5. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    If they see facts differently, then what they are each seeing can not be objective.
    Objective is what remains when all differences of viewpoint, perspective, bias, interpretation, are removed.

    Two people see the same play.
    They are asked to describe what the play was about.
    One says “It was about two people: Romeo and Juliet”.
    The other says “It was about two families feuding”.

    Both are correct.
    Both are stating objective truths about the play.
    Neither is wrong.
    But these aren’t opinions, they are facts.

    If they had instead been asked to describe the most important thing the play was about, their answers become matters of judgement, as what one considers to be important the other might not.
    Their opinions are matters of “truth to me”, or “truth to you”, where as objective facts are “truths for all”.
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  7. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    A larger "horse" will have to be beat a little bit in terms of what "truth" is and is not, to understand why it is "yes".

    "Truth" is not a synonym for existential affairs and happenings which are not a representation. "Objective truth" is not a synonym for existence that is not a representation.

    So it's unavoidable that different domains of human endeavor (systems, practices, cultures, etc) are going to output representations of human experiences, sensations, and inferences about them which vary (they will not be like identical products cranked-out by an assembly line at a particular factory).

    Representation = cognitive orientation, description, account, portrayal, likeness, simulation, etc. Most if not all brain/body or human-outputted representations of things they perceive and think about are also synopses and generalizations. Vastly incomplete, since they can't include every specific detail.

    A truth is a representation that is approved by whichever human agency (and/or direct environmental experience outcome) as accurate or satisfactory with regard to representing something deemed actual or that has been the case in the past (like Lincoln being assassinated). Truth may also refer to an effective principle that reliably predicts, manages, or brings about expected results if adhered to.

    An absolute truth is immutable and universal. It's invulnerable to relationships (doesn't change via connection or contingent association with other things). In everyday encounters this "global and without exceptions" idealization will usually only apply to the territory of an institution, system, practice, etc that accepts and uses it.

    Obviously "truths" with contingent, warranted, revisable, and other adjectives affixed to them belong to opposite or alternative species.

    "Objective" and "subjective" are a couple of the many contexts or classifications that can apply to truths. The latter refers to a representation built around personal interests and viewpoints; or a group version of that if the members are in agreement but potentially in conflict with other groups. The former (objective) designates a representation without personal affairs and biases (or wherein there is an effort to at least minimalize such).
    wegs and Quantum Quack like this.
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Do you think that there is any value in considering the issue in non-dualistic terms?
    A's statement is truer or more true than B's statement about event C
    Rather than A is true and B is false

    so truth by degree ?
  9. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, you can truly be, or you can truly be happy.
  10. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Dependence upon a system of verity rankings especially if a practice has to deal in information that is subject to uncertainty, ambiguity, constant change, delayed updates, etc.

    Whereas other work areas may need strict true/false assessments (even if those are vulnerable outside the canon of the profession) to ensure smooth operation / coordination, adherence, avoidance of errors and disasters, litigation, etc.
    wegs likes this.
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    sure ... but in a strictly philosophical sense everything is false.... as you suggested truth has to be immutable and unchanging. As everything is constantly changing there can be no sustainable truth.

    There is only one no-thing that I know of that is utterly immutable and that is nothing. It's universal constancy ( zero) is immutable and sustainable.
    Therefore one can state with out question that the absolute objective truth doesn't exist.
  12. geordief Valued Senior Member

    If ,as some (I think) say the world is made of information then ,as QQ seems to say this information is an ever changing sea of entropy and ,as the curator of "truth" is a damn poor custodian.
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  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    An apparent self contradiction:
    In a way, yes, very true... however there is a need to extend ones approach to this question beyond the conventional, mainstream view to note that a truth in the present moment (t=0) is constantly evolving so we are left with the notion that seeing as nothing is everything and everything is evolving in the present moment then nothing is constantly evolving. Thus the absolute truth is one that constantly evolves and is never in stasis.
    So the notion that the absolute truth is unchanging is a part of the fundamental paradox that this question brings up and exists with in everything...
    absolute truth = immutability
    absolute truth = constant change.

    A mouthful for sure...
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
  14. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    There are two truths, that of life, and that of the individual.
  15. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    In other words, it boils down to...perception. My perception of a situation could be true, but you might hold an entirely different perception. Yet, yours could be true, as well.

    What do you mean by absolute truth?

    If two people disagree over a particular topic, would one person always be ''wrong,'' and the other ''right?'' After reading through the responses here, I'm nearing the conclusion that if we omit relative and partial truths from the discussion, we are left with only one truth, not versions of that same truth.

  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Not quite IMO.
    Using Michael's example of two people witnessing a third moving from one side to the other between them, where one person sees right to left and the other sees left to right.
    Both are true and neither are false because the truth is already known to be dependent on perspective. In other words person A knows that the other person B will witness the opposite and one possible solution is to make use of a compass and determine the go-betweens direction that way. They can then agree on direction.
    If Person B witnessed the Go -between going in the same direction as the opposite person A witnessed then one of them is false.
    In the case of the OP story, for one person to reach a different conclusion to another is neither wrong nor right. Perhaps a different depth or cleverness is involved... who knows?
  17. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Unless it is an objective truth, in which case perspective is irrelevant to its veracity.
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Try :
    "It is objectively true that A witnessed G go to their right and that B witnessed G go to their left"
    G being the go-between.
    or "It is objectively true that Tom expressed a subjective opinion"
  19. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Any "objective truth" (including this attempt at one) are "in fact" subjective truths dressed up as absolutes.

    We have a need to consider some truths as objective to provide us with a bedrock to navigate the choices we make (a bit like axioms). It is a (extremely) useful choice of belief but not worth** chasing down into the shadows where it shows itself as a retreating mirage.

    ** except as mental sport
  20. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Well, in the principle rather than representation context, "it's an absolute truth that there is no absolute truth" either contradicts itself or is a paradox. But aside from conceptual territory like that, I lean toward it being impossible for representations... yet agnostically hesitate to step over that line because there always seems to be a twist lurking around the corner for other possibilities that I've dismissed in the past.

    It would require an omniscient cognitive and motivated system to hold a representation (i.e., invulnerable truth account) of this cosmos and its different developing states from all technical-descriptive perspectives or coordinates from microscopic to macrocosmic, so that it could be static and immune to change (due to containing all the latter in the representation). That kind of "world-mind" or panpsychism or whatever label is ruled-out preconditionally by scientism. Which is to say, existence overall lacks mental properties and thereby does not dabble in understandings and manifestations of itself, albeit containing insignificant bits of exception to that (humans, possibly ETs).

    Arguably even a simulation hypothesis (where a next-level "computer" might hold such a representation while also maintaining the existential archetype it corresponds to) can have no respectable foot wedged in the door of that philosophical orientation. Typical simulation proposals result in a figurative scenario of endless Matryoshka dolls inside other Russian dolls, anyway, since it replicates the same ontological situation (space/time) at each level with an outrageously potent network of computational devices residing in each. It mimics the homunculus fallacy, which repeats the very circumstance it is trying to explain. To end that cycle, something completely different from a spatiotemporal realm and its cause-effect infrastructure would have be introduced for the nature of a next level. Which again, is likewise too woo for scientism.

    Of course, if the universe (as commonsense custom seems to desire it) is instead the result of a process that is outputting different states of its existence that replace/eradicate each other in a sequence (only this immediate state of development called "now" exists rather than all differences co-existing)... Then what would be (potentially) immutable is the (Platonic) principle or set of generative principles that produce and regulate that process. But that shifts to that other meaning of "truth" as just that: Principle rather than representation.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I'm very much a realist and am inclined to think that objective states of affairs simply exist. The 'geography' of Mars was up there prior to our sending orbiters and landers. Its reality was in no way dependent on any sentient being (whether us or God) perceiving it in some Berkeleyan 'to be is to be percieved' system. Our space probes discover what's already out there, we don't create it by bringing sentient awareness to shine on it.

    That being said, truth (and falsity) are properties of propositions, the things that we believe, write and say about reality. Truth isn't a property of objective reality itself.

    As far as I'm concerned, an objective truth is a proposition whose truth (generally speaking, though I'm less sure what to make of mathematics) is a function of the proposition's correspondence to an objective state of affairs. The proposition 'Paris is the capital of France' is T iff it's in fact reality that Paris is the capital of France.

    And a subjective truth is a proposition whose truth is a function of something about me and not about the world. The proposition 'I believe that Paris is the capital of France' is T iff I actually believe it. (Regardless of whether Paris is or not.)

    'I like steak' doesn't really say anything about steak or its properties, it's a statement about me.

    The problem with treating truth as correspondence is that we can't step outside ourselves and view our relationship to reality with a "God's eye view". All we can know is what we know. Truth in the correspondence sense isn't something that we can directly perceive.

    So I'm inclined to tread truth as a cognitive ideal, something that we strive towards. We want to make our beliefs conform better and better to reality. That's where we find ourselves using pragmatic criteria like scientific confirmation. The theory that underlies our predictions is more likely to be true (in the sense of corresponding to how reality really is) if the theory produces successful predictions.

    This is why I tend to be a fallibilist. Anything that we think is true nevertheless might not be. The possibility of error always remains. But that doesn't mean that all beliefs are equally plausible. Some are going to be far more likely than others.
  22. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    If we don’t believe something, say a particular philosophy - does that mean it’s not true? I don’t like the phrases “my truth,” and “you do you,” because many “truths” lead people to ruining their lives. Destroying their finances and health.

    So, if someone likes to get high on a daily basis, it’s their “truth,” do we have a responsibility to stop him/her? (Because our truth tells us that he/she is heading down a dark path.)

    I didn’t want to get philosophical as it relates to the OP - but, I guess we can’t avoid it. Lol

    It’s a fact that daily meth use will harm someone’s life, that’s not merely my opinion. But to the meth user, he/she is convinced that they know what they’re doing and no harm will come to them.

    I submit facts, they submit their version of truth. I’m using drug addiction as an example - but, any example of addiction will do.
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    You submit facts about other people that happened in the past (i.e. statistics). That only applies to the addict as a prediction.

    And while it's a good predictor, your prediction can easily be wrong.

    For all you know, this addict has access to leading edge medical tech that eliminates drug effects, or has Bill Gates as his Godfather, who can give him the world's best rehab and a job.

    But never mind how or why, this addict's path is not carved in stone.

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