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View Poll Results: Is truth relative?
Yes, all truth is relative 8 36.36%
No, truth exists independent of the speaker 14 63.64%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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  #221 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2008, 10:39 AM
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This of course could be translated as, truth is always present and truth is always good.
 
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  #222 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2008, 02:35 AM
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I quite like that view Atom

I've not had time to read all this thread but the first few pages seemed to focus on reality vs perception.

I (and computing in general?) define truth as "the evaluated correctness of a statement".
This does not have to be a statement about reality.
Notice that evaluation must occur and the implied context of a language in which to express the statement. The statement can only be evaluated as true or false by using the same language to interpret the statement as was used to express it.
(So 2 + 2 can only = 4 unless expressed in another language where '2', '+', '=' and/or '4' mean something different than commonly expected).

More generally, there are always assumed contexts in addition to the language used, for example: where and when!
If I said "The sky is blue" in order to evaluate the truth of it, you would have to look up at the sky from where I said it and when I said it.

Therefore truth is a quality of a statement; it has 2 values, true & false, meaning the statement is correct or incorrect, these can depend on the context used if the context is not defined in the statement itself.
The statement can also be impossible to evaluate in which case the truth of that statement has no value (is undefined).

Truth vs Lies and perception vs reality are extending the topic somewhat

As for the vote, you could say truth is an absolute value attributed to any evaluated statement, but does truth have an existence independent of a statement and associated context?
Or, truth is relative to the context of the statement...?

"My brain hurts"
True or False?
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  #223 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2008, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atom View Post
This of course could be translated as, truth is always present and truth is always good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyJim View Post
I quite like that view Atom ...
But, let us examine this statement.

1) I'm in severe pain. My logical deduction = True

2) Truth is always good. My logical deduction = False

This example seems to confound the truth is always good statement.
 
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  #224 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2008, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Atom View Post
But, let us examine this statement.

1) I'm in severe pain. My logical deduction = True

2) Truth is always good. My logical deduction = False

This example seems to confound the truth is always good statement.
But it is always better to have the truth than a lie. Suppose for example that you were deceived into believing you were not in pain, that would be a lie which would be worse than... erm, no. Hang on, let me think this through.

OK, I've got it. It isn't possible to attach values to facts in a universally meaningful way. Take the Holocaust. To a Nazi, the fact of the Holocaust might be seen as good. To anyone else, it's evil. So value judgements really mean nothing when tacked onto facts. Facts are neither good nor bad. If I say 'The earth goes round the sun', it's pretty foolish for someone to reply 'That's not very good, is it?' Or indeed 'That's super!"

So your scepticism is well-founded, Atom.
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  #225 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2008, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Rankenstein View Post
OK, I've got it. It isn't possible to attach values to facts in a universally meaningful way. Take the Holocaust. To a Nazi, the fact of the Holocaust might be seen as good. To anyone else, it's evil. So value judgements really mean nothing when tacked onto facts. Facts are neither good nor bad. If I say 'The earth goes round the sun', it's pretty foolish for someone to reply 'That's not very good, is it?' Or indeed 'That's super!"
You should have been around to defend Galileo, he had some trouble with saying something like that. The pope has a lot to answer for.
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  #226 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2008, 09:05 AM
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... OK, I've got it. It isn't possible to attach values to facts in a universally meaningful way. ...
Nice one, Rank. I'll be thinking a while on this one, I have a feeling, evidenced by the fact that I've been beating my brain and haven't come up with a thing thus far.

: )
 
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  #227 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2008, 09:19 AM
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If this were true,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rankenstein View Post
... It isn't possible to attach values to facts in a universally meaningful way. ...
would this not mean that truth is indeed relative? I think so. But does this also mean that absolute truth cannot exist?

Last edited by Atom; 02-12-2008 at 09:22 AM.
 
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  #228 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2008, 09:25 AM
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Depends how you define truth - what colour is green to a colour-blind person? Everything we think we know is only an interpretation conjured by our brain. Whatever information we get is pre-filtered to an astonishing degree.

There are people who think they are Napoleon. To them, it is 'true'. So there is such a thing as a relative truth, but then surely 2+2=4 is an absolute truth?
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  #229 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2008, 09:52 AM
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Depends how you define truth - ...
So would this mean that your idea of truth is always definable?
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... but then surely 2+2=4 is an absolute truth?
2+2=4 isn't found in my personal definition of absolute truth.
 
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  #230 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 01:22 AM
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So would this mean that your idea of truth is always definable? 2+2=4 isn't found in my personal definition of absolute truth.
I think truth is definable, but don't ask me to define it. It should take into account that human perception is skewed, that's for sure.

Maybe it's just from my own point of view that truth isn't relative. Now there's a thought.

But you don't think numbers are absolute truth? We can describe pretty much everything with them whereas language can't (you can't use language to explain quantum physics very well, it seems to me). An understanding of the numbers and maths involved would seem necessary to a proper study of quantum physics.
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  #231 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rankenstein View Post
I think truth is definable,
By whom?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rankenstein View Post
but don't ask me to define it.
Ok.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rankenstein View Post
It should take into account that human perception is skewed, that's for sure.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rankenstein View Post
Maybe it's just from my own point of view that truth isn't relative. Now there's a thought.
Yes, but not a thought for you, as you actually believe truth to be relative. True?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rankenstein View Post
But you don't think numbers are absolute truth?
I didn't say that I don't think numbers are absolute truth, I said that 2+2=4 isn't found in my personal definition of absolute truth.

This, incidentally, is because I personally define the equation as a relative truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rankenstein View Post
We can describe pretty much everything with them whereas language can't (you can't use language to explain quantum physics very well, it seems to me). An understanding of the numbers and maths involved would seem necessary to a proper study of quantum physics.
I agree.
 
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  #232 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 08:05 AM
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By the way, Rank, stop being so lazy and grouping two completely separate statements of mine together as a single sentence, as you did in your post #230, and without indication of having done so. I hate that. It could be construed as deceitful, especially if it continued as a common practice.
 
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  #233 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 08:51 AM
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If you like, Atom. I just quoted your whole post, I didn't 'group' it in the sense I think you mean. Click 'quote' on the post where you said it, you'll see what happened. There wasn't any deceit whatsoever, unless machines are deceitful. I just clicked 'quote'. I can see why it looks that way though.
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  #234 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 09:12 AM
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If you like, Atom. I just quoted your whole post, ...
No, you didn't quote my whole post. If you disagree with me, then put the two side by side and compare them.
 
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  #235 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Rankenstein View Post
If you like, Atom. I just quoted your whole post, ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atom View Post
No, you didn't quote my whole post. If you disagree with me, then put the two side by side and compare them.
Hey, don't snip my post like that!

Did you click quote like I said?

Anyway, since you hate it, I won't do it again, OK?
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  #236 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 09:19 AM
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My point is, don't include yourself in a faulty forum default. Please, that's all I ask.
 
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  #237 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 09:22 AM
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Hey, don't snip my post like that! ...
If you really don't want me to, even though I always add indication of the snip, I will make a point not to with you. I don't mind that at all. I'll just quote the entire post and then add my snips underneath it, within the same post.

Last edited by Atom; 02-13-2008 at 09:26 AM.
 
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  #238 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 09:38 AM
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Nah, I was only kidding, Atom. What annoys me more is when people quote the whole nine yards, please don't quote my whole post... just take the bits you want to quote, leave out the irrelevant bits.
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  #239 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 09:47 AM
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... leave out the irrelevant bits.
DOH! Smacks forehead with guilt.
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  #240 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2008, 09:51 AM
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Nah, I was only kidding, Atom. What annoys me more is when people quote the whole nine yards, please don't quote my whole post... just take the bits you want to quote, leave out the irrelevant bits.
Ok cool! BTW, I said that deception could be construed, but I didn't mean by me, I meant by an observant but unwitting general public.
 
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