Sunday, November 15, 2009

TRUTH - the path forward

What I'm getting at with this "fact" and "belief" blabber is this:

We Post Moderns suffer the constant fallibility of fact; of truth.  On the one hand history has taught us that no fact is secure.  On the other we are assaulted by facts so numerous there's no time to pick and choose which are justifiable, secure, true.

The inevitable result has happened.  We "believe" the "facts" that we "value" and this becomes our "truth".  Stated another way: we accept as true, the knowledge that we find beneficial, useful.  Often, we are not equipped to determine if this knowledge is actually "true" in the full objective, undeniable, linear sense.

This situation erodes the meaning of "true".  However, we will only notice this erosion when we encounter those whose package of truth contains items that contradict those in ours.  

The path forward requires an understanding of the unsubstantiated (but beneficial) portions of our truth package.  Otherwise, we are doomed to cliques and conflict.

1 comment:

  1. "doomed to cliques and conflict"

    that phrase sounds so powerful. here on this blog is the only place where you will find that phrase anywhere on the internet. well at least anywhere that google sees, which might as well be everywhere.

    All three postings caused fireworks to go off in my head.

    I wonder about the power of belief given our human history and the things we have beleived in the past. After all for many years humans believed in many things that we no longer believe in. Stories we now call myths were once believed to be true and shaped the decisions and reason of the time.

    I think if we were willing to accept a belief at a more abstract level then it becomes much easier to let it rest, not as fact but as an indisuputable unknown. When we ground our beliefs in historical proof is where we get ourselves into conflict and cliques. Take for example the following belief statement:

    Agent X believes that:

    God: An undetectable force at the edges of the universe
    Goal: infinite life
    Humans: a life force within the universe
    Goal: contribute love, respect, inner-growth and outer-exploration to infinite life
    The ecosystems of the earth: a glimpse into the heart, mind and spirit of god and the vision of infinite life
    Goal: balance
    God Force: an intricate and foundational network of ideals, intents and consequences that are beyond our control and complete comprehension
    Life Force: A breath of God force created as a consequence of God's love and intention to share all that exists

    Now if we go on to say that planets x, y, and z are the energy source for blah, blah and humans are interconnected by an energy force then people have something they can throw the scientfic theory at.

    I think, sadly, that the “issue” links back to incentive and the sense of satisfaction that comes from feeling right. When we feel like we have found “the truth” we can be happy in knowing that 1) we know it 2) someone else doesn't 3) we found it before someone else (perhaps) 4) this truth proves someone else wrong and therefore further expands the greatness of our rightness. When we can share that truth with others who agree than we are validated and so it continues.

    I do wonder though, being a person with little education in matters of philosophy, spirituality or theology what “truth package” that conflicts with our current world will we see in the future. At the moment we seem to only see the extreme edges clashing over beliefs and some truth regarding environment and health emerging but neither of these are mysteries by any stretch of the imagination. I am hoping for a break through in space travel personally.

    I like the idea of teaching my children a healthy exploration of truth, albeit cautiously as I don't begin to have all of the answers. I think the path forward's real adventure is the -why- questions! The challenge is how do you investigate why something is the way it is without your beliefs messing with your research and once you have heard new information it is inside you whether your beliefs dismiss it or not but how do you process it. After all, if you have smelt the poison then its too late, it already inside of you, the question is...... did you inhale enough for it to damage you or harm you or just enough to make you irritiated? An idea on the other hand can be consumed and our mind can file it as an example of something that is invalid and everytime we see this evidence elswhere we will automatically file it the same way.

    Take a speed limit sign, once you have decided that the number on the sign is always 7 kms slower than what you can get away with you always interpret the sign that way. What happens when it snows?

    the more I write down my thoughts on this stuff the more I realize that my mind is far less like a map and much more like rotting piece of cheese.