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Truth


Forums Forums Philosophy Truth

This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  TimBandTech 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #19241

    Lausten
    Participant

    This could be a science question or politics or general. Anyway. I have had two facebook discussions this week. One with a libertarian, who I eventually blocked. The other with a guy who ran an environmental education org all his life. One was about truth in general, then slid into global warming, the other about aspartame causing dementia, then slid into GMOs. Both of these people, polar opposites in intelligence and politics, claimed I didn’t know what science was. Both accused me of cherry picking data. I never even presented data, they just assumed that because I disagreed with them, I must be selecting my sources based on my own bias.
    Anyone else get this?
    Is there any hope for a world that doesn’t trust it’s smartest people? (Not me, the scientists)

    #231420

    Beltane
    Member

    I think the best policy is not to engage in serious discussion on social media.

    #231423

    Lausten
    Participant

    Someone else said that, but I said this is not new. Not trusting science began in the 70’s. It’s just easier to track now. Demon Haunted World was full of stuff like this.

    #231438

    GdB
    Participant

    ‘Science’ is a bit of an overall concept. It can mean anything from ‘established science’ to ‘everything a scientist says’. ‘Science’ can also mean anything ‘science’ has ever thought. And as you gave this thread the title ‘Truth’: grosso modo, one can say that established science presents truths. But everything a scientist says certainly doesn’t. And under pressure of the need of publishing, boost scientist’s egos, and a not quite justified belief that technology progressing will make everything better, science itself contributes to getting a bad name. It is also not easy for everyone to find meaning in life, where science demolishes all beliefs in a general, given meaning of life. This is more than many people can cope with, and they might prefer to believe things that cannot be scientifically proven, or even contradict science.
    The problem as I see it is that established science gets snowed under for the public. Many see science as just another belief, promoted by certain interests (and partially they are right!), and then deny everything science has to say. So people can believe in homeopathy (“Science only sees what it can measure”), in the young earth, or that global warming is not happening: all examples of contradicting established science.
    People who do not see the difference between established science, ongoing research, scientific speculations, and unjustified beliefs can always say that you are cherry picking data.
    Yes, I am very worried too. A society that does not know the difference between facts, probabilities, beliefs and lies, cannot cope for its real problems.

    #231439

    GdB
    Participant

    Wow, I wanted to correct a typo in my previous post, but the software considers my posting suddenly as spam, I cannot edit it anymore at all. It hasn’t even a link in it! It’s getting worse and worse…

    #231441

    Lausten
    Participant

    Wow, I wanted to correct a typo in my previous post, but the software considers my posting suddenly as spam, I cannot edit it anymore at all. It hasn’t even a link in it! It’s getting worse and worse…

    I’ve found I can do that sometimes, but not always. Not sure if it’s a timing thing.

    #231442

    Lausten
    Participant

    Good point on the “many see science as just another belief”. Once you toss evidence, collected in a meticulous way, using cross checks, double blinds, repeated, statistical analysis to eliminate variables, etc. into the same bucket as “my mother said”, it’s hard to get it back out. Arguments about some science that was wrong 200 years ago become relevant.
    If that was it, I wouldn’t be so worried. Someone who completely misunderstands what science is can be educated. The ones that worry me are the ones who recognize the use and power of science in one field, usually the one they like, like clean air or global warming, but can’t see they aren’t applying the same standards to something they don’t like, like chemicals in food or pesticides. John Loftus coined the term “Outsiders Test for Faith”, and I think there is a general name for it, other than its application to religion.

    #231454

    GdB
    Participant

    I’ve found I can do that sometimes, but not always. Not sure if it’s a timing thing.

    Yeah, right. From home I could edit it now…

    #231455

    GdB
    Participant

    Someone who completely misunderstands what science is can be educated.

    The problem is most people don’t want to be educated. They want to stick to their belief.

    #231457

    Lausten
    Participant

    Someone who completely misunderstands what science is can be educated.

    The problem is most people don’t want to be educated. They want to stick to their belief.
    That’s a big problem, but I can identify it and deal with it.

    #231460

    CuthbertJ
    Participant

    Someone who completely misunderstands what science is can be educated.

    The problem is most people don’t want to be educated. They want to stick to their belief.
    That’s a big problem, but I can identify it and deal with it.A bit of a tangent, but I think some of that is by design. Certain groups thrive from chaos and uncertainty. The more they can create, the more they know most people will just give up and turn on the TV. I have to admit too that I’m starting to get in that group as I get older.

    #294569

    Phenomena
    Participant

    I’m new here and I felt that this is as good a place to start as any. After all, one would expect that inquiry should be more about ascertaining the truth than anything else. Not surprisingly however it seems to me that people often don’t have a solid understanding of the fundamentals about truth as a concept. So for the record, the context of truth I most often defer to is a philosophical version known as Correspondence ( The Correspondence Theory of Truth ).

    #294586

    Lausten
    Participant

    Not going to disagree with you there Phenom (hope you don’t mind I shorten people’s usernames).

    I had to develop my own sense of truth after experimenting with various non-workable systems earlier in life. It took a while to sort out the basic vocabulary, “fact”, “reality”, “probability”, and perhaps the biggest concept is the one in the title of your link, “theory”. I offhandedly said something about free will the other day and this guy went off on me about how he could disprove my theory. I shut him up by saying, “oh, sorry, I assumed that everyone here knew that we don’t know what consciousness is and that we were free to speculate and share our thoughts.” So, sometimes it’s a matter of agreeing we have limits to knowledge and establishing some background agreement on our degree of certainty. On the other hand, I frequently start “winning” a discussion, and suddenly the other person starts breaking down reality and claiming we don’t anything and can’t prove anything and can’t be sure we even exist. This is not a personal problem, Gary Johnson used this tactic in an interview and still received 3.3% of the vote.

    #294658

    Phenomena
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply, and it’s fine if you abbreviate my username. You make some good points. The thing that ties them together is that claims and theories tend to require a particular context in order to be properly conveyed and received as intended, and there are certainly different contexts to the concept of truth, just as there are with the question of what consciousness is, and what is meant by free will. No meaningful discussion or debate can happen unless participants are formulating the problem based on the same set of premises. It would therefore be very premature to claim one could disprove your theory unless one first understood how you look at it.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Phenomena.
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Phenomena.
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Phenomena.
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Phenomena.
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Phenomena.
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Phenomena.
    #297281

    TimBandTech
    Participant

    Wee humans are fraught with issues, and we do not have direct access to the truth. Recent developments in American politics have shed a whole new light on how propaganda works. Repetition is a key part of propaganda, and mimicry is the key agent within us which they access. We have mirror neurons. When I say the word ‘apple’ an apple pops into your head. I don’t mean any harm in this; it’s just a fact of linguistic communications. The degree to which we can communicate accurately without corruption of information could even be a sore point.

    I have begun looking into the climate change deniers as a means of looking into my own assumptions about the truth. I do see some significant details that get wiped out in most discussions. Primarily the fact that water vapor is the strongest greenhouse gas, and that OCO is down in the 0.04 percent range; it just doesn’t get a fair mention or analysis. The planet is greening thanks to the added OCO, which plant life is in need of. The old theory of carbon competition is ignored. These details do not put me in a binary position; we exist on a continuum.

    We have to treat the truth as inaccessible even while we seek it out. Whether it is politics or science, cause for an open mind is necessary, but that openness I think has to be coupled to skepticism. The weakest part of a chain is discovered by skepticism and it is those weak links which need mending. We are engaged in a progression. Some are arguably engaged in a digression.

    The ability of humans to propagate false belief systems for thousands of years is securely established e.g. the Abrahamic religions. Modern human interactions are provably low grade for instance on the uncensored USENET. We are primates struggling to figure things out. We’ve had a lot of success, but how much is totally accurate; how much lays atop a foul basis? Science is cause for great skepticism. It is an accumulation; and the pile is rather large. If at the foundations something cracks what then? We’ve been regurgitating particle/wave duality now so that it becomes a modern assumption. That is wrong. When quantum computers fail to work then what?

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