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  1. #1 Determining the truth... 
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    The way you determine the truth in science is by empirically testing a hypothesis. Through thousands of experiments, observations, and empirical testing we have as a result modern science. All things in modern science were unproven during the time period when they were empirically untestable (and useless in science), like atoms

    Modern science can only determine the truth of what is within the realm of empirical testability, but what is in this realm is very limited, and this is a great limitation.

    So what can be done if a hypothesis is empirically untestable? Will the truth forever be unknown? Is there any way to determine the actual truth, as it is?

    Are all other methods just speculation and will the actual truth remain forever a mystery?


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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Good philosophical question, but like all philosophical questions, in modern analyt6ical philosophy the first approach is this: what value of truth will satisfy you?

    (I'm not mocking - just asking for a serious, or thoughtful, response.)


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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Good philosophical question, but like all philosophical questions, in modern analyt6ical philosophy the first approach is this: what value of truth will satisfy you?

    (I'm not mocking - just asking for a serious, or thoughtful, response.)
    I don't understand what you mean by value? What do you mean what "value" or truth will satisfy me?

    The only thing that will satisfy me is the absolute, actual truth, the way reality really is, the way things really are, the true nature of things
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    You cant arrive at any truth without making an assumption somewhere along the way, even if its only a very small assumption. So truth becomes a measure of the integrity of an idea.

    The scientific approach is to establish as much integrity as possible by reducing assumption as much as possible. There are other ways to get answers to questions, for example theologies, but such ways have little integrity.
    The fact that science rejects many questions is imperative to maintaining that integrity - it is a limitation but its a deliberate and essential one.

    When a hypothesis is untestable there is no conclusion you can reach that will have any integrity whatsoever, so any conclusions will be speculation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Good philosophical question, but like all philosophical questions, in modern analyt6ical philosophy the first approach is this: what value of truth will satisfy you?

    (I'm not mocking - just asking for a serious, or thoughtful, response.)
    I don't understand what you mean by value? What do you mean what "value" or truth will satisfy me?

    The only thing that will satisfy me is the absolute, actual truth, the way reality really is, the way things really are, the true nature of things
    CMR80606 has provided an insightful notion as to the nature of truth, so let me (and I promise I'm not being elliptical or deliberately obtuse or abstruse here) ask yet another question to go along with it:

    How do you know there is such a thing as "the way things really are"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606
    You cant arrive at any truth without making an assumption somewhere along the way, even if its only a very small assumption. So truth becomes a measure of the integrity of an idea.

    The scientific approach is to establish as much integrity as possible by reducing assumption as much as possible. There are other ways to get answers to questions, for example theologies, but such ways have little integrity.
    The fact that science rejects many questions is imperative to maintaining that integrity - it is a limitation but its a deliberate and essential one.

    When a hypothesis is untestable there is no conclusion you can reach that will have any integrity whatsoever, so any conclusions will be speculation.
    This assumes using the mind and constructs of the mind to find the truth.

    Given that 'you can't arrive at any truth' using this method is it more rational to continue using this method (by continuing to reduce assumption as much as possible) or to give up on this method completely (understanding that it will never lead to truth) and try one that you don't know to be imperfect; like meditation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideforever
    Given that 'you can't arrive at any truth' using this method is it more rational to continue using this method or to give up on this method completely and try one that you don't know to be imperfect; like meditation.
    Why restrict yourself to meditation. Why not set up a series of scenarios which you then select with a random number generator? Or, work on the entrails of chickens (or emu's if you wish to sort out the really big problems). Or choose the truth provided by one of the world's religions. Would that meet your needs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    ..
    Yes. Try whatever appeals to you. See where it takes you.

    Or ... you can continue doing something you know won't work.

    What do you do ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideforever
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    ..
    Yes. Try whatever appeals to you. See where it takes you.

    Or ... you can continue doing something you know won't work.

    What do you do ?
    I use can openers to open cans. I use a steering wheel to direct my car. I use science to provide the answers that science can provide. If you want to know everything perhaps you should apply to the "I Want to Be God" society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by rideforever
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    ..
    Yes. Try whatever appeals to you. See where it takes you.

    Or ... you can continue doing something you know won't work.

    What do you do ?
    I use can openers to open cans. I use a steering wheel to direct my car. I use science to provide the answers that science can provide. If you want to know everything perhaps you should apply to the "I Want to Be God" society.
    I want to know whatever can be known in this life. I know lots of science already. I find it interesting in terms of facts, but limited otherwise.

    And now I keep looking.

    I hope to close no doors (for instance the "I Want to Be God" society) without investigation.

    Does this not seem 'rational' to you ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideforever
    Does this not seem 'rational' to you ?
    Well it may be 'rational', but I doubt it is rational.
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    rideforever, when you find this truth you are seeking, how will you share it? Will you expect people to simply have faith in what you discover, even if its a truth that only you can see? Or are you looking for something just for yourself?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606
    rideforever, when you find this truth you are seeking, how will you share it? Will you expect people to simply have faith in what you discover, even if its a truth that only you can see? Or are you looking for something just for yourself?
    For me only ! I just thought I would look around whilst I am here.

    A lot of people don't like looking around though and hold on to beliefs (of any sort).

    Everyone is in the same position as a human. We have a lot of different confusing drives. Nature's bounty to us is an automatic life : our hearts beat, our immune system functions, our attraction works, socialising works ... all unconsciously. Being awake is barely required.

    But we have (probably a weird by-product of evolution) a strange ability to be awake and observe ourselves and go beyond this stuff - what is out there in this domain ? ... I don't know but I think it is worth looking. This is spirituality btw.

    What's this got to do with truth ? A lot, if you don't know who you are then how can you know what you are looking for ? And if there are mutliple 'domains' perhaps each has it's truth.
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    There is no spoon.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideforever
    A lot, if you don't know who you are then how can you know what you are looking for ?
    I'm not sure your conclusion follows. For instance, baby kangaroos do not appear to know 'who' they are, but they sure know what they're looking for: the spit trail from vagina to pouch so as to latch on to the teat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMR80606
    You cant arrive at any truth without making an assumption somewhere along the way, even if its only a very small assumption. So truth becomes a measure of the integrity of an idea.

    The scientific approach is to establish as much integrity as possible by reducing assumption as much as possible. There are other ways to get answers to questions, for example theologies, but such ways have little integrity.
    The fact that science rejects many questions is imperative to maintaining that integrity - it is a limitation but its a deliberate and essential one.

    When a hypothesis is untestable there is no conclusion you can reach that will have any integrity whatsoever, so any conclusions will be speculation.
    I understand how science works, I'm not trying to change how science works, science requires hypotheses to be empirically testable for a good reason.

    But empirical testability is seems to only cover such a small fraction of knowledge. In the past, as technology advanced, and things previously empirically untestable became testable, that's when science started to change a lot faster.

    So you just agree that there's no way to determine whether an untestable hypothesis is true or false and the actual truth will be forever unknown?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Good philosophical question, but like all philosophical questions, in modern analyt6ical philosophy the first approach is this: what value of truth will satisfy you?

    (I'm not mocking - just asking for a serious, or thoughtful, response.)
    I don't understand what you mean by value? What do you mean what "value" or truth will satisfy me?

    The only thing that will satisfy me is the absolute, actual truth, the way reality really is, the way things really are, the true nature of things
    CMR80606 has provided an insightful notion as to the nature of truth, so let me (and I promise I'm not being elliptical or deliberately obtuse or abstruse here) ask yet another question to go along with it:

    How do you know there is such a thing as "the way things really are"?
    I never thought you were being obtruse or whatever

    How I know there's a such thing as "the way things really are" is an interesting question.

    But that would be just like asking how do you know what your senses tell you aren't fictional

    The way I know there is a such things is because certain things are repeatable, objective, and unchangeable, therefore they are not unreal or false
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    How I know there's a such thing as "the way things really are" is an interesting question.

    But that would be just like asking how do you know what your senses tell you aren't fictional
    I don't. That's Kant's point when he distinguishes between the phenomenal (that which our senses tell us, or our experience does, no matter how consistently), and the noumenal ('reality' which, because we cannot 'know' it using our senses, may or may not exist).

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    The way I know there is a such things is because certain things are repeatable, objective, and unchangeable, therefore they are not unreal or false
    Objective could be cavilled at, but even if not, as I said above, all this is evidence of is consistency of your experience. We cannot make (at least philosophically speaking) the leap from that to knowledge of reality, whatever realit6y might be.

    This is one of the reasons that modern analytical philosophy focuses on epistemology (how we know things) rather than ontology (the way things 'really' are). Most modern 'ontologies' are conditional in that they don't make claims about absolute reality or truth, only about what is conditionally consistent within our experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    How I know there's a such thing as "the way things really are" is an interesting question.

    But that would be just like asking how do you know what your senses tell you aren't fictional
    I don't. That's Kant's point when he distinguishes between the phenomenal (that which our senses tell us, or our experience does, no matter how consistently), and the noumenal ('reality' which, because we cannot 'know' it using our senses, may or may not exist).

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    The way I know there is a such things is because certain things are repeatable, objective, and unchangeable, therefore they are not unreal or false
    Objective could be cavilled at, but even if not, as I said above, all this is evidence of is consistency of your experience. We cannot make (at least philosophically speaking) the leap from that to knowledge of reality, whatever realit6y might be.

    This is one of the reasons that modern analytical philosophy focuses on epistemology (how we know things) rather than ontology (the way things 'really' are). Most modern 'ontologies' are conditional in that they don't make claims about absolute reality or truth, only about what is conditionally consistent within our experience.
    But if it's consistent with all experiences, then it's at least real in the sense that it has an effect on our experiences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    How I know there's a such thing as "the way things really are" is an interesting question.

    But that would be just like asking how do you know what your senses tell you aren't fictional
    I don't. That's Kant's point when he distinguishes between the phenomenal (that which our senses tell us, or our experience does, no matter how consistently), and the noumenal ('reality' which, because we cannot 'know' it using our senses, may or may not exist).

    Quote Originally Posted by VitalOne
    The way I know there is a such things is because certain things are repeatable, objective, and unchangeable, therefore they are not unreal or false
    Objective could be cavilled at, but even if not, as I said above, all this is evidence of is consistency of your experience. We cannot make (at least philosophically speaking) the leap from that to knowledge of reality, whatever realit6y might be.

    This is one of the reasons that modern analytical philosophy focuses on epistemology (how we know things) rather than ontology (the way things 'really' are). Most modern 'ontologies' are conditional in that they don't make claims about absolute reality or truth, only about what is conditionally consistent within our experience.
    But if it's consistent with all experiences, then it's at least real in the sense that it has an effect on our experiences.
    Yes, and if it is consistently so, and resists the arguments of the Relativists and Post-Modernists, then you might have the beginnings of a 'Coherentist' ontology there.
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