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By Bi0Hazard | Mar 4 2017 7:04 PM
Krazy: "All truth is relative"

Is that statement true?

"It is relatively true"
By Krazy | Mar 4 2017 7:44 PM
Bi0Hazard: Yeah. You sound like a crazy person.
Benji Alexander Smith
By Benji Alexander Smith | Feb 13 2018 6:32 AM
I want to hear more about this 'I don't believe in truth' position.

Sure, the gay marriage issue is one that is absolutely rife with personal feelings, anecdotes, fears, etc. I've done the rounds on that one, and I've seen the arguments that come up. You're lucky if you even get past the slippery slope fallacy on that issue.

But then there are topics that most definitely have 'truth' at the core of the issue. Things like 'Can information be transmitted faster than the speed of light?', or 'Can a chemical reaction actually run backwards?'. These are not ridiculous ideas to be debating, and yet they are not based on personal feelings or anecdotes. There are truths to be known about these questions. Obviously, if you've got the truth in your back pocket on an issue like this, then you have the winning card. But those are real truths that can be demonstrated.

Tell us more @admin (when you have a moment)
By admin | Feb 13 2018 9:46 AM
Benji Alexander Smith: So like, yes, there is an objective world out there and it's testable to a degree.

But scientific theories are only as good as what we think we've understood about the world so far. Anyone who claims to know an absolute, objective answer to questions like this, I would treat with a big dose of skepticism. Perhaps one day we'll find out more about those theories and our whole perception of reality will be different. Those kinds of shifts in scientific thinking have happened plenty before, and I am certain we have much still to discover about the universe.
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Benji Alexander Smith
By Benji Alexander Smith | Feb 14 2018 1:14 AM
admin: Right, OK. Well I certainly wouldn't disagree with that. The body of human knowledge that we generally call 'truth' clearly shifts, like dunes in a desert.

For instance, at one time it was 'known' that the Earth was flat... until it wasn't 'known', because it was then 'known to be untrue'.
It was once 'known' that the Solar System revolved around the Earth... again, until it wasn't 'known'. People were even imprisoned for claiming 'untruths' about this topic (sorry Galileo, old chap).

I use inverted commas because the concept 'to know' is dependent upon the concept of 'that which is true'. Classically, to 'know' anything, three criteria must be met: 1) The person must believe the claim; 2) The person must /have good reason/ to believe the claim, and; 3) The claim must actually be true.

If you take away 1), then you have ignorance, if you take away 2), then you have a madman who is accidentally correct, or someone who happens to be right for poor reasons, and if you take away 3), you have a person who is simply wrong, but possibly for good reason.

So, on a very grand level, I completely agree with you. But then, on a day to day level, I think we would probably agree on some basic truths about the World, we just wouldn't claim 100% certainly... only a kind of 'operational-level certainty'. For example, I am grumpy in the mornings without coffee. That's why I buy coffee ahead of time - so it's there in the morning when I need it. In this act of planning, I assume to know several truths: that I will wake up in the same house tomorrow (or that i will even wake up at all). That when I wake, I will be grumpy. That coffee will fix this problem, etc etc. You can break it down a million and one ways.

But essentially... in a way I guess you could see 'truth' as being like a set of Cartesian coordinates that fall along two axes (as in 'axis'; plural); likelihood of being true, and consequence for being false. Most of what I would consider 'true' is very likely, but falls all over the spectrum of consequences. E.g. it's unlikely that I will not desire a coffee tomorrow morning, but the consequences either way are minuscule. The likelihood that I will accidentally fall out of a plane is very low, but the consequences of such an occurrence would be huge (for me).

Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud. As it happens, I don't actually believe in free-will... but I don't think it makes a difference, however you look at it.

By admin | Feb 14 2018 3:40 AM
Benji Alexander Smith: Brains take a lot of shortcuts in terms of day-to-day decision making. That's why really dumb marketing is often really effective. But truth isn't really about the decisions we make, but rather what is objective reality. I'd argue that at best those decisions are subjective reality. If anything I'd say they're not even reality, as they're typically based on some of the most tenuous premises (if anything at all).
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Benji Alexander Smith
By Benji Alexander Smith | Feb 14 2018 3:57 AM
admin: No, truth isn't about the decisions we make, but the decisions we make point to some understanding of 'truth'... what is was trying to get at are that we often make decisions based on past experiences and reasonable (there's that word again) expectations of how the World will be. I mean, I'm not disagreeing with you, and I understand what you are saying, but the fact that we both share the knowledge that the Sun will come up tomorrow is an example of where our subjective realities overlap, and we could call this agreement 'truth'. We basically do that, in fact. We do it in science, most notably.

Again, I'm just thinking out loud, and I don't disagree. I'm just saying; a word like 'truth' can have meaning, and can be useful if we both understand what is meant by it. Same with 'good'. It could easily be argued that there is no objective good - but we can still say "Hey, that was a good debate", or whatever. It's not completely meaningless just because it's impossible to pin down with certainty.
Benji Alexander Smith
By Benji Alexander Smith | Feb 14 2018 3:58 AM
Benji Alexander Smith: Lol, sorry for the mess of a reply; I'm trying to rush to get back to my debate. Cheers :)
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