An anthropic observation

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by arfa brane, Dec 28, 2022.

  1. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    If there is anything scientific about sciforums, it must be at least because experiments are performed--bending what the word experiment might mean, whether you should be wearing a lab coat etc.

    One of these I think just happened in the thread--What is Truth--where I think that question was indeed answered in an, experimental, way. To me, the answer appeared to be something like, it's what happens when people try to discuss something they all think they know something about.

    The truth is, humans aren't very good at discussing what the truth is. Because it depends what you mean by "the truth", in the first place. So there is no truth without context (Truth 101).

    To back up my claim, so-called void logic in which the logical state "True" is defined as a void with a bounded region.

    But that's logical truth, and it's kind of arbitrary; I mean, what does a question like "what is truth", really even mean? Is it wanting to know what early Greek philosophers were "looking for"?

    It's such a broad question, mostly because of its brevity, its lack of context; and that's a problem.
    And, shouldn't you know that if you ask "the question"?
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2022
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Put it in a functional context: What does it matter whether this or that information is accurate, or not?

    That's the first part.

    Eventually that question of purpose can come back to mysterium, such as the meaning or purpose of life. In between are myriad contexts, and not all such pathways lead anywhere functional.

    But, sure, there comes a point at which it doesn't really matter what's true, but if we take a look at the world around us, what would be different if we all accepted that there is no truth, full stop?
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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    One such functional context springs to mind: you want to design an algorithm, and you want it to check if certain "input data" is accurate or a forgery. There must be lot more such examples, such as in a courtroom during a hearing or a trial.
    I'm not sure I can agree with that; it would only not really matter if context didn't matter either. Thar's a problem because I think we all have an existential context--unless it doesn't matter whether or not you exist . . .

    Just an observation
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    You might be overthinking it, but therein you find a beginning for how to assess what a question like "what is truth" actually means.

    What American football and a police shooting have in common, for instance, is that you can ask a question: Did this happen? and if the answer is yes, then something wrong has happned. But in neither case is the question why it happened requisite.

    In American football, we have a game-ejection penalty called "targeting"; it means a tackler initiated helmet-to-helmet contact against a ball-carrier. When the penalty is called, it is automatically reviewed on video. Accidents are not excusing, and the question of being "blocked into", or even illegally blocked into someone is subjective to any given field official. Imagine getting thrown out of a game because an opponent broke the rules; it's even worse if the ball-carrier is injured. What is truth?

    Similarly, the police might shoot you for reaching for a gun you don't have, and if the motion that scared a cop into killing you was the way your hands reached away from your body after another cop pushed you, the only question we ask the inquest jury is if the jurors believe the police were genuinely frightened for their lives. You weren't reaching for a gun you didn't have when they shot you; rather, you were falling over because one of them pushed you down, and falling down when pushed is a terribly frightening and aggresive behavior if a police officer says it is. We might have the incident on video, but what is truth?

    What is "truth"? Generally speaking, it is a valid and reliable application of accurate facts.

    Think of the prior thread, and how it started. The idea of an experimental context suggests a couple meanings, and inasmuch as watching the rats in the cage is either explicitly or implicitly the purpose of such questions, remember that series of questions. And remember who was asking.

    In a more formal context, our answers would be quantified and analyzed, and let's face it, we're not turning up in any scholarly paper, anytime soon. A more colloquial context would be if the questions themselves were the sort of thing where the answers are objects for the querient to then turn around and criticize. It's a bit more subtle and actually kind of ridiculous, but if you want a reliable method for muddling discourse, getting someone to answer a nonsense question so you can tell them they're wrong is pretty effective; it's amazing what rabbits people will chase, and not exactly uncommon, around here. Still, if there is any reasonable inquiry to be pursued thereby we've yet to encounter it.

    There are research and nearly scientific contexts you and I might consider notorious simply for the fact that the subjects will never be debriefed, or the results will never be properly peer reviewed. Proprietary research toward AI analytical and expressive capabilities, tends to hold results in-house, as does certain consumer behavioral economics. Moreover, those aren't necessarily the sorts of field research anyone announces they're on about.

    Such as it is, our answers in that thread aren't of any scientific value. Like I said, at the time↗, sit back and watch, wait and see where he goes with it; but something came up along the way, and I guess it was a fan of some sort, because everything seemed to hit it. In the end, I don't think we learned anything from the subsequent discussion that we didn't already know.

    Oh, right, this part:


    Sometimes there comes a point at which, y'know, whatever. Whether you, I, or the next person have any use for that application, e.g., doesn't really matter whether anything is true, is its own question.
  8. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Given your two paragraphs previous to this, it seems that the valid and reliable application depends on the question: were the rules being followed?

    Football rules of play vs police rules of . . . engagement with the public. Rules being followed establishes a context, sorta.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Is that a valid and reliable application, though? In either case, rules of play or conduct, what are the presuppositions? By fair play in American football, it should be easy enough to codify a rule to patch the gap. The flip-side is that it doesn't come up enough to foul the sports books, so one of the tests of the integrity of the game remains steadfast. Rules of police conduct are a tricky question, but insofar as we might pretend justice, we see why it matters—i.e. #2↑ above—whether particular information is accurate.
  10. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    The kind of truth that you're meant to know because it sets you free, is that the kind that has to be inherent in the question--what is truth; there isn't any context in there, so what about rules of play or engagement?

    Is it like a hunt, and if it is, what do we do when we find it, this beast called Truth. Not "The" truth, or maybe it is, if it sets you free when you find it (is that a rule?). Will you recognise it, anyway?
  11. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

    Looking in, as an observer, at the discourse between two people as it unfolds, I choose to involve myself not knowing if the discourse is meant to be isolated between the two active participants, nor if choosing to involve myself "truly" permitted or if my contributions will be accepted. This is my truth as an uncertain onlooker of a conversation between two participants, all of which are clear and present truths.

    Truth then, and I would suggest transparency in that, is typically evident and matters. With each truth, I suspect, is yet another truth attached, if not many directly. So, the search for truth, be it viewed as arbitrary or not, is I would think, personal as to extent in which it is endeavoured to those who choose to.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2023
  12. ThazzarBaal Registered Senior Member

    If I may offer a personal insight into Greek terms and philosophy, per the reference made in the opening post, the term Logos comes to mind, which by definition means language to put it simply. Attached to that truth is yet another truth, a deeper truth, if you will, which implies creativity. And yet deeper still is another truth attached, which by implication becomes an illuminating factor of the definition of the term itself - Logos. So, if truly interested in Greek philosophy and the quest for truth itself, it might be a worthwhile endeavor to understand this basic premise.

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