Truth

Questions directed to the Star of Azazel.
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Insanus
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Re: Truth

Postby Insanus » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:45 pm

I think truth is a skill you use whereas fact is a tool you use.
Truth is more like an activity as in "being true" to someone or something. "Being truthful" is not one separate activity either, but a continuous attitude of devotion, contemplating, gaining deeper insight into, or getting closer to the "deeper essence" or whatever of things, purifying, or opening them.
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Re: Truth

Postby Wyrmfang » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:47 am

I compare my view to Nefastos´ since I think that demonstrates best a fundamental difference between different views that may seem close to identical.
Nefastos wrote:
thelostcoin wrote:
Is there a difference between truth and fact?


I think that these two can be interpreted as the spiritual & concrete (physical, material, empiristical) sides of the question. Truth as an idea is spiritual, and it necessarily belongs to the non-material part of psyche (theosophical "manas"). Fact is something that is "verified" by bringing it to the realm of physical experience (which in mind is perceived by "kâma manas", the form of intellect that operates with the results of sensory data).
I agree, but I would stress that the most important key questions on the area of truth can never be brought under empirical investigation. An obvious (although evidentialists disagree in this) example is what I take to be the core of religiosity, the idea of "meaning of life". I know nothing so utterly misguided than arguments such as that the magnificent ordered manifold of nature speaks for a purposeful design or that all the evil in the world speaks for that there is no design. The purpose of life is simply not anything empirical. Although we use the word purpose, it has nothing to do with purpose in the sense that for example a spoon is made for eating. It is only about one´s subjective experience, and all facts which allegedly speak for or against the meaning of life gain their meaning only in relation to the chosen non-empirical conviction behind.

On the other hand, the modern period has been marked by an over-emphasis of facts. Natural scientific reductionism in the 19th and early 20th centuries even claimed that facts are everything that matters; if something is not a fact, it carries no significance except for fools.
Nefastos wrote:
thelostcoin wrote:There seems to be numerous scientific studies about meditation and they are beginning to describe what is happening during meditation. Does this process itself affect the religious aspects of meditation? I do not think so but I would like to hear other people's opinions.


I don't see that any scientifical explanation of meditation actually explains it, rather than opening one small window to see in what way the energies operate within the brain matrix. In Fosforos I wrote briefly about this brain–spirit -connection: how the former is a receptacle for the latter.
Again I agree; I quite certain that the idea of explaining mental phenomena physically is not only impossible but it is a conceptual fallacy. In my view mental is always identical to some physical process, but these are completely different levels of explaining. No causal explanation can tell what something is subjectively like, no matter how accurately mental can be exactly identified with the material. Still, no doubt brain study can say something that is of importance to meditation.

On the other hand, I reject the ontological idealist view of mind presented in Fosforos that mind can operate outside any body. Between physicalist reductionism and ontological idealism there are numerous views broadly materialistic in the sense that they accept supervenience, the view that all mental phenomena require physical ground. I myself am a panpsychist: I am suspicious of neo-Kantian view of strong emergence of mind from matter. Rather I believe everything is matter, but there is also a mental element in all matter. In my view any conscious differentiated mind must have some kind likewise specified physical organism grounding it.
Nefastos wrote:
Wikipedia reminds us:

The word fact derives from the Latin factum, and was first used in English with the same meaning: "a thing done or performed", a use that is now obsolete. The common usage of "something that has really occurred or is the case" dates from the middle of the sixteenth century.


Our modern culture's idea of truth as something that is bound to tangible experience is so fundamental to us that it might be sometimes hard to even remember that there are distinct cultural roots where it has grown & still grows, namely, the idea that the West (most of all the Greco-Roman cultures, which are very near & visible to us even today) has built is fundamentally different to - for example - those of the Far East, Hindu, or Buddhistic philosophy. In the latter, there has been fundamental & consuming search after truth, but in "facts" in our later sense of the word people do not necessarily believe at all, because the whole structure of metaphysics is fundamentally different. Thus the Roman root for the word is important to consider.
This is also in my view important to remember, and few philosophers today recognize this. On the other hand, few esotericists understand how and why today´s empirical sciences that deal with facts have evolved. The ancients did understand almost nothing of the standards properly objective empirical study must fullfil. The most important in this is not that they were not able to develop the technical applications we have today - this has its well known negative sides as well - but the theoretical-philosophical implications. Put poetically, the unity of facts and truths in ancient thought is a lost paradise in which we cannot return, but an idea of new unity drives us forward. In this we must not be too hasty, and indeed, if a new unity would be established it would basically mean literal end of time, because the experience of time itself is already tied to the separation of the objective and subjective worlds.
thelostcoin wrote:What I understood from what a couple of you have said is that religion does not seek scientific justification because you are working for a different set of goals than science.
I think we all have agreed in this, but there are great differences how this can be interpreted. Religious truths do not need scientific justification because they cannot be justified, they are entirely different from observable facts. However, each one must stay in its legitimate realm. Religion cannot say anything about facts and science cannot say anything about religious truths, even both can use each other´s ideas in their own realms.
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Re: Truth

Postby thelostcoin » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:53 am

Coincidentally, I was reading a book on Christian mysticism and ran into a quote about this subject. This is from The Life of Moses by Gregory of Nyssa. ‘In my opinion the definition of truth is “being free from error about the nature of reality.” A lie is an illusion in the soul about what is unreal, which suggest that what does not exist in fact exits. … It seems to me that what the great Moses learned in the theophany is simply this, that neither those things grasped by sense, nor those that the mind can understand, have a real existence. The only reality that truly exists is the one that is above all of them, the cause of all from which everything depends.” Do you agree?

Where I go with this concept is that the things around us, things that we can sense, are so insubstantial and have so little influence that in the larger picture and as you pan out from your immediate experience they cease to exist. Maybe then the goal is to slowly bring this view down into smaller frames so eventually you can understand consistently throughout your life what is actually important/what truly exists.
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Re: Truth

Postby Insanus » Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:41 am

thelostcoin wrote:Coincidentally, I was reading a book on Christian mysticism and ran into a quote about this subject. This is from The Life of Moses by Gregory of Nyssa. ‘In my opinion the definition of truth is “being free from error about the nature of reality.” A lie is an illusion in the soul about what is unreal, which suggest that what does not exist in fact exits. … It seems to me that what the great Moses learned in the theophany is simply this, that neither those things grasped by sense, nor those that the mind can understand, have a real existence. The only reality that truly exists is the one that is above all of them, the cause of all from which everything depends.” Do you agree?
I agree.
thelostcoin wrote: Where I go with this concept is that the things around us, things that we can sense, are so insubstantial and have so little influence that in the larger picture and as you pan out from your immediate experience they cease to exist. Maybe then the goal is to slowly bring this view down into smaller frames so eventually you can understand consistently throughout your life what is actually important/what truly exists.
I'd put it like this: the absolute, unquestionable truth can never be a fact, but the very "fact-ness" of a fact.. The goal in my opinion would be to make the mind completely empty so that you don't understand anything, but simply experience the understanding itself & staying with this "insight" or whatever would be equal to practicing real truthfulness and/or spirituality.
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Re: Truth

Postby Wyrmfang » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:01 am

thelostcoin wrote:Coincidentally, I was reading a book on Christian mysticism and ran into a quote about this subject. This is from The Life of Moses by Gregory of Nyssa. ‘In my opinion the definition of truth is “being free from error about the nature of reality.” A lie is an illusion in the soul about what is unreal, which suggest that what does not exist in fact exits. … It seems to me that what the great Moses learned in the theophany is simply this, that neither those things grasped by sense, nor those that the mind can understand, have a real existence. The only reality that truly exists is the one that is above all of them, the cause of all from which everything depends.” Do you agree?
I don´t know. There are two equally appealing philosophical traditions, the other denying that it is meaningful to talk about "reality as it is in itself" and the other arguing that finite reality could not exist without an Absolute infinite "real" reality. Then there are of course attempts to unify these traditions. Lately for example Markus Gabriel´s domain ontology, which, however, seems somehow an artificial construct to me. Or then I just don´t get his point, which is actually more likely, and still does not of course mean that Gabriel is right either.
thelostcoin wrote: Where I go with this concept is that the things around us, things that we can sense, are so insubstantial and have so little influence that in the larger picture and as you pan out from your immediate experience they cease to exist.
I think this is a misguided idea in the context of the above quote. The problem is not that we cannot immediately sense everything possible at the same time, but the possibility that all our sensations and conceptions about the world might be wrong or at least limited representations of how the world is in itself. The other option is of course to deny the legitimacy of the very idea of a "world as it is in itself" in the vein of Wittgenstein or Heidegger, or to conceive it as a "mere" regulative idea in the vein of Kant.
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Re: Truth

Postby thelostcoin » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:34 am

Wyrmfang wrote: The other option is of course to deny the legitimacy of the very idea of a "world as it is in itself" in the vein of Wittgenstein or Heidegger, or to conceive it as a "mere" regulative idea in the vein of Kant.
Does this have to do with dependence? Is our reality dependent on the divine realm whereas the divine realm is completely independent?
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Re: Truth

Postby Wyrmfang » Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:47 am

thelostcoin wrote:
Wyrmfang wrote: The other option is of course to deny the legitimacy of the very idea of a "world as it is in itself" in the vein of Wittgenstein or Heidegger, or to conceive it as a "mere" regulative idea in the vein of Kant.
Does this have to do with dependence? Is our reality dependent on the divine realm whereas the divine realm is completely independent?
Yes I think it does. Modern anti-realist metaphysics was largely an answer to Cartesian skepticism. When the idea of reality as really existing absolute totality is presented, a skepticism immediately rises do we represent it correctly. Anti-realist metaphysics argue that the whole idea of "true" reality, be it divine or physical or anything, is actually misguided.

A positive answer to the latter question implies one variant of realist metaphysics.

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