EppsNet Archive: Truth

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.— William Faulkner

Can Religion Cure Our Troubles?

 

I do not myself think that the dependence of morals upon religion is nearly as close as religious people believe it to be. I even think that some very important virtues are more likely to be found among those who reject religious dogmas than among those who accept them. I think this applies especially to the virtue of truthfulness or intellectual integrity. I mean by intellectual integrity the habit of deciding vexed questions in accordance with the evidence, or of leaving them undecided where the evidence is inconclusive. This virtue, although it is underestimated by almost all adherents of any system of dogma, is to my mind of the very greatest social importance and far more likely to benefit the world than Christianity or any other system of organized beliefs. — Bertrand Russell, “Can Religion Cure Our Troubles?” Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of: “Science”

 

Here’s a meme finding its way around the internet: If you are not a scientist, and you disagree with scientists about science, it’s actually not a disagreement. You’re just wrong. Science is not truth. Science is finding the truth. When science changes its opinion, it didn’t lie to you. It learned more. That is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. “Science” doesn’t have an opinion. Scientists have opinions but they often differ. When a scientist disagrees with another scientist, which one is wrong? If science is not truth, why is it wrong to disagree? If “science” can change its opinion, then everyone who previously held the new opinion was right, and “science” was wrong. Why must people who know nothing about science attempt to give science lessons to the rest of us like we’re all morons? OK, I know the answer. It’s this COVID… Read more →

Gimme Some Truth

 

I’m sick and tired of hearing things from Uptight short-sighted narrow-minded hypocrites All I want is the truth, just give me some truth I’m sick to death of seeing things from Tight-lipped condescending mama’s little chauvinists All I want is the truth, just give me some truth I’ve had enough of watching scenes from Schizophrenic egocentric paranoiac primadonnas All I want is the truth, just give me some truth — John Lennon, “Gimme Some Truth” Read more →

Notes on Existential Well-Being

 

I’m taking an online class on existential well-being . . . posting some notes and thoughts: Well-being implies physical health, comfort, pleasure. It is also essential for human beings to have relationships with other people and to have a place in society. We speak of personal well-being when a person is able to develop their talents and feel at peace with him or herself. Beauty, compassion, truth, love — these are experiences of the “life force” or the “spirit.” In these spiritual experiences we transcend our limited self. We become part of something bigger and participate in universal qualities that nourish and enhance life. We are conscious of the physical, the social, the personal and the spiritual dimensions of human experience. We make no hierarchy between these dimensions. We recognize that human life is also characterized by suffering, pain and many limitations. We acknowledge that because of limitations, we are… Read more →

Aside

Confess, ye miscreants, sight unseen, the truth of what I have proclaimed, or meet my vengeance in the field of battle!

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

 

The notion that we have limited access to the workings of our minds is difficult to accept because, naturally, it is alien to our experience but it is true: You know far less about yourself than you feel you do.   A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.   It is the consistency of information that matters for a good story, not its completeness. Indeed, you will often find that knowing little makes it easier to fit everything you know into a coherent pattern.   The exaggerated faith in small samples is only one example of a more general illusion — we pay more attention to the content of messages than to information about their reliability, and as a result end up with a view of the world around us that is simpler and more coherent than… Read more →

Whatever the Party Holds to Be the Truth

 

“I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.” — George Orwell, 1984 Read more →

I Was Never More Hated Than When I Tried to Be Honest

 

I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I’ve tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth. No one was satisfied — not even I. On the other hand, I’ve never been more loved and appreciated than when I tried to “justify” and affirm someone’s mistaken beliefs; or when I’ve tried to give my friends the incorrect, absurd answers they wished to hear. In my presence they could talk and agree with themselves, the world was nailed down, and they loved it. — Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man Read more →

The Gettier Problem

 

What does it mean to say that you “know” something is true? According to traditional philosophical thinking, you can be said to know that some proposition P is true if and only if: P is true. You believe that P is true. You are justified in believing that P is true. These three conditions jointly form the concept of justified true belief (JTB). As an example, let’s examine my claim that I know Paris is the capital of France. Unless an edict to the contrary has come down in the last few minutes, Paris is the capital of France, I believe that Paris is the capital of France, and I’m justified in believing that based on available evidence. So according to the concept of justified true belief, I know that Paris is the capital of France. Gettier Problems Here’s a thought experiment: Let’s say I wake up in the morning,… Read more →

Watch Out for the Gospel of the Times

 

everything is permitted absolute freedom of movement that is, without leaving the cage 2+2 doesn’t make 4: once it made 4 but today nothing is known in this regard — Nicanor Parra, “Watch Out for the Gospel of the Times” Read more →

LinkedIn Recommendation

 

Even though sin and injustice and temptation are all around us, we know that there is on this earth a holy man, a saint who is just and knows the truth, and this means that truth and justice have not vanished from the earth and so will come to us too and rule over all the world as has been promised. Read more →

The (Limited) Importance of Success

 

I don’t have a problem with someone using their talents to become successful, I just don’t think the highest calling is success. Things like freedom and the expansion of knowledge are beyond success, beyond the personal. Personal success is not wrong, but it is limited in importance, and once you have enough of it it is a shame to keep striving for that, instead of for truth, beauty, or justice. — Richard Stallman Read more →

Do Not Withhold the Truth

 

Did Laius obey Apollo? Did he not go away in his drunken stupor and dismiss the oracle from his mind? What then? Did Apollo withhold the truth from him for that reason? Indeed I do not know whether you will obey me or not, but Apollo knew most certainly that Laius would not obey, and yet he spoke. Why did he speak? Nay, why is he Apollo, why does he give oracles, why has he set himself in this position, to be a Prophet and a Fountain of truth, so that men from all the world come to him? Why is “Know thyself” written up over his shrine, though no one understands it? — Epictetus, Discourses, Book III, Ch. 1 Read more →

The Best Measure of Truth

 

If you act as if something is true, you will shortly find out whether it is or isn’t. Any reduction of effort or increase of abundance you enjoy as a consequence of your new belief is the best measure of its truth. — Jim and Michele McCarthy, Software for Your Head Read more →

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