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Truth, Lies posted 20 Apr 2004, 21:04 by Wil, Head Moderator

I thought it would be nice to open another subject for debate. A few questions: 1. What is truth? Is there such a thing as absolute truth, or are things only "true" because a majority of the intellectual society (scholars, scientists, etc.) claim it as right? 2. What constitutes a lie? I would be tempted to say "something that is false, misleading". But as mentioned in the other thread, perceptions of experiences are different for each person that experiences them. Two people can experience something, and in describing it to others, have different stories, and neither of them be what really happened? Are they both telling the truth? Also, the idea of "half-truths" (i.e., Robert Jordan's Aes Sedai's "truths"), that for all intensive purposes are true, but can be very misleading. view post

posted 21 Apr 2004, 16:04 by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

I consider a truth to be something that can be rationally explained to any person regardless of personal experience. People may choose to not believe a truth, but if there is no rational counter-explanation and there is a rational one, it is a truth. Some things cannot be either shown or shown otherwise rationally; these are beliefs. Personally, I think a lie is anything someone does or says or communicates which they know to be false with the intention of conveying a false impression. These are tough ones. view post

posted 21 Apr 2004, 19:04 by Replay, Auditor

What is truth? Well for a start i guess it all depends on your point of view. You can look at something from relative, the absolute, the subjective, the objective, even the pre subjective-objecive. For instance, from a subjective point of view you could say that you create the world, since without you there would be noone to experience it. And from an objective point of view you could say that the opposite was true--that the world creates you, as without any world to experience there could be no you. So which is the truth? Well perhaps in a way perhaps both are even though they contradict each other. They are both valid ways at looking at the world (as are others) and shouldnt be thrown away because of some conflict. Infact the more views you have (and perhaps the more contradicitions), the better. You can jump from one view to the next, and each one gives you a better picture of what you are discussing/looking it. Each view kind of acts like an arrow pointing inwards and outlines what is there. As for truths such as the ones in science, well i would say that they are agreed upon facts of the highest value that are always open to change if new information comes along (that sentance is a bit of mouthful huh?). Like i said in the other thread, truths such as gravity are always changing/being made better as people start to look at them in new ways. Whether there are any truths that are more concrete than that, i dont know. Simple truths such as "everything changes" certainly seem to be though. What constitues a lie? Well theres not much to say on this one. I think we all understand what a lie is even from an early age. Though i suppose there can be many different types of lies, such those that have intent to harm, those that have intent to spare a person suffering, or even those that you tell just because you have no wish to give another person certain information. Because of this, I don't think theres anything really bad about lying--it all really depends on the circumstances. view post

posted 22 Apr 2004, 09:04 by Iceman, Candidate

I’d like to throw in this quote from Henrik Ibsen’s [i:3k2748m4]An Enemy of the People[/i:3k2748m4] (1882): [quote:3k2748m4][b:3k2748m4]Dr. Stockman.[/b:3k2748m4] Good heavens – of course I am, Mr. Hovstad! I propose to raise a revolution against the lie that the majority has monopoly of the truth. What sort of truths are they that the majority usually supports? They are the truths that are of such advanced age that they are beginning to break up. And if a truth is as old as that, it is also in a fair way to become a lie, gentlemen. Yes, believe me or not, as you like; but truths are by no means as long-lived as Methuselah – as some folks might imagine. A normally constituted truth lives, let us say, as a rule seventeen or eighteen, at most twenty years – seldom longer. But truths as aged as that are always worn frightfully thin, and nevertheless it is only then that the majority recognises them and recommends them to the community as wholesome moral nourishment. There is no great nutritive value in that sort of fare, I can assure you; and, as a doctor, I ought to know. These “majority truths” are like last year’s cured meat – like rancid, tainted ham; and they are the origin of the moral scurvy that is rampant in our communities.[/quote:3k2748m4] Since then, the lifespan of a ‘truth’ has likely been reduced. Due to time constrains, I have to come back with my view on the matter. I would just like to state that I believe there are few absolute truths out there. view post

posted 12 Mar 2006, 14:03 by Sokar, Auditor

Interesting to see a connection between truth and morality of this Dr Stokman.. What one conceives as truth must go hand in hand with his moral conceptions. Thus, as morality has no definite value, the same can be said of truth. What is interesting to me is that truth and lie are seen as opposite of each other, which I would not agree on. Truth is not necessarily the opposite of lie, especially in connection with both morality and the perception of majority. There is no moral lie and there is no conception of majory in lies. This, in return, shows that lies do have a definite value, probably as lies are more personal, they become a personal burden. This reminds of the passage from The Darkness That Come Before. I don't have the book at hand, but it shows the difference between being deceived and being ignorant. Being the slave of one and being to slave to the world. And finally the first, being deceived, having a higher impact on the individual, then the second. view post

posted 12 Mar 2006, 15:03 by unJon, Auditor

It's a good point Sokar. Think on the maxim: You can tell the truth by accident but a lie is only told on purpose. view post


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