Brett Rants

Is Truth?

Study the following pictures carefully, as there will be a test at the end.
One Study leads to the next, knowledge increases, as a function of the awareness of the question, image shows three sequentially larger curves, a clear march of progress

The above is intended to be reminiscent of those Evolutionary Diagrams that show a fish in water, something climbing out, a monkey, and then a man. It's forward progress.

In my mind, this is the Classic View of Knowledge, ever increasing, unidirectional.

A small curve to left, larger to the right, largest in the center, we are dancing around the issue, closing in on the truth... that is the theory, anyway

Not much changes in the image above: rather than denoting a trend line, the advancing knowledge oscillates around a central point.

It can very much look like Truth is Static; and therefore, very much knowable.

This rant is all about why that might not be so.

more curves, three in sequence, like the first image, with a fourth curve outlyer, continuing the trend, with the last reverting back to the center, who knows what the trend line is, but knowledge is increasing

Here, we have the initial trend-line (three discoveries in ascending order) with a further outlier... and then a return to the mean. I'll just say that since I drew all of these images up, I could just have easily placed the final curve anywhere: a further continuation, left of the initial point, or... anywhere.

After all, these are abstractions of ideas, so they represent fluff.



I recently skimmed Thomas S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. And since I merely skimmed it, I did not take in all its nuances. But I believe it is safe to say that Kuhn does not believe there is a linear progression of knowledge. Rather, new ideas change the way we look at old data, which in turn leads to new ideas, which lead to new data, and so on and so forth. I'm sure much of the theoretical nuance is lost.



I say that given a progression of Scientific Discoveries, there is no way to predict the nature of the next change. Will things go this way? That way? Revert to something closer to an old idea? Or branch out into something new?

I do not believe this is particularly revolutionary. After all, if we could predict the nature of the next advance, discovering it would be a lot easier. And if you can do something like that, why haven't you?



I don't deny that if one looks at The Universe in a certain way (through a certain lens, a certain cognitive filter), it appears a certain way.

We can define this as Truth.

Truth: 1 + 1 = 2
False: 1 + 1 = 1

Only, I'm sure for a few bucks, I can get any {most, some, all} Mathematician(s) to show how the first is False and the second it True... you know, depending upon one's assumptions... and how quick you are at spotting someone else's Mental Trickery.

So, lest it be said I am trying to engage in Mental Trickery, heads up.

Here I go.



See, Truth (any meaningful version of Truth) requires two people to agree on Bedrock Truth, Facts, The Universe, and/or The Nature of Things.

By why should I (or anyone) assume that what you see is what I get... or conversely, what I see is what you get?

It's just an assumption.

And assumptions can't be proved... or disproved.

And as such, I shall not try.



But for the sake of fun, let us assume your Universe is different from mine. Then, when we are talking about Truth, whose Truth are we talking about when those two Truths do not converge?

Well, I'm going to talk about mine... and not necessarily yours, because this is my website.



'So, now we are just talking about nonsense?'

Sure, if that's the way you want to interpret it.

I, on the other hand, think there is something to be learned.



See, if my Truth is not the same as your Truth (and since this is my website, I will be focusing on my Universe), then discussions of Truth become less meaningful... and actually, start getting in the way.

I mean, talk about Freedom!

Can you think of anything more liberating than being able to exist in any Truth (and therefore, any Universe) you desire?

I think you can see the appeal.



More importantly, it allows us (or at least me, because you don't have to live in my Universe if you don't want) to cease thinking about What Is; and instead, concentrate on Desire: as in, How do I want things to be?



I hope you can see the Magic in that.

Or does Magic not work in your Universe?



It's pure nonsense, of course... or could be.

I mean, at times, it is pure nonsense.

And at others, not so much.



If one wanted (but then, I don't really think either one of us really wishes to bother), how would one go about proving it was nonsense?

I don't know.

But I do know how one goes about proving such a thing to themselves (the only opinion that ultimately matters); and that's by Making Something Manifest in Reality by Force of Will!



I mean, work that bit of Magic and one can do anything.



Let us assume Heaven on Earth is possible by Force of Will, by simply desiring something (the same thing) often enough, hard enough.

Then, what does that Heaven look like?

And while The Universe is busy changing on my behalf, what simple actions am I willing to take to meet it halfway?

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Oh, this rant has gotten terribly out of hand.

But then, what do you expect from someone who is willing to question the underlying validity of Truth?

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paufler.net@gmail.com