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Are You Searching For The "truth"?

Are you searching for the TRUTH?

If this is your starting premise, then your next logical question should (or might) be "the TRUTH about what?" or "What kind of truth, assuming there may be several varieties of TRUTH?".

For instance, suppose I was searching for the truth about water. I may ask the following questions;

1) What is the boiling point of water at standard atmospheric pressure?

2) What is the chemical composition of water?

3) What substances are indissolvable in water?

4) Is the surface tension of water capable of supporting a human, an insert etc?

5) What is the refractive index of water?

etc, etc.

And a host of many questions about the physical nature of water. Of course, I could also ask non-naturalistic questions about water, such as the following;

1) Is it true that witches are loathe to cross a body of water?

2) Can water wash away quilt?

etc, etc.

But do these non-naturalistic questions make any real sense? Can they reveal any "truths" about the nature of water? How could one go about investigating the "truth" quality of these non-naturalistic question?

What sorts of "truths" do the main religions or theistic traditions address? Are these "truths" amenable to naturalistic and non-naturalistic questions? For instance,

1) Do the "truths" of the religions address the questions of human origins?

2) Do they address the question of the origin of the universe?

Further, of all the various religious claims, how does one distinguish and discriminate as to which possesses the "TRUTH"?

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15 answers

where did acquire the knowledge that there are things beyond our understanding? are you omniscient? the tool of reason is very powerful.

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@post.

Relative or absolute truth?

Life is a masquerade. . .its full of illusions! Our truths in life are constantly in motion and no one can ever truly experience absilute truth and remain alive. Reality itself, as we experience it, is half the total possibilities.

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Oh huxley. I like you. I really do but I always wonder why you put so much effort into talking sense to us all superstitious humans. What's in it for you? What could you possibly gain from that. Eternal 'I told you so' rights? What? The way I see it, not all things that are unprovable are untrue. For instance, take your water examples. We know hydrogen combines with oxygen to make water but we cannot really know how. All we do is theorize. Also the seemingly unshakable belief you have that is the most intelligent animal makes it impossible for you to accept that there are simply things beyond your understanding. Even the things we understand and accept now (such as electromagnetism, gravity, gravity, earth's shape, the living cell etc) are probably as unbelievable and out of a neanderthal's scope and are only a culmination of the cumulative little discoveries and breakthroughs throughout the history of man. But I talk too much. It is infinitely harder to prove something does not exist than to prove it does. So if you ask why I think God exists, I might ask you why not.

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dear Huxley, Are you acquainted with Plato's Allegory of the Cave?

Plato

Book VII of The Republic

The Allegory of the Cave

Here's a little story from Plato's most famous book, The Republic. Socrates is talking to a young follower of his named Glaucon, and is telling him this fable to illustrate what it's like to be a philosopher -- a lover of wisdom: Most people, including ourselves, live in a world of relative ignorance. We are even comfortable with that ignorance, because it is all we know. When we first start facing truth, the process may be frightening, and many people run back to their old lives. But if you continue to seek truth, you will eventually be able to handle it better. In fact, you want more! It's true that many people around you now may think you are weird or even a danger to society, but you don't care. Once you've tasted the truth, you won't ever want to go back to being ignorant!

[Socrates is speaking with Glaucon]

[Socrates:] And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: --Behold! human beings living in a underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.

[Glaucon:] I see.

And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall? Some of them are talking, others silent.

You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.

Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?

And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?

Yes, he said.

And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?

Very true.

And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow?

No question, he replied.

To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

That is certain.

And now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, -what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, -- will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?

Far truer.

And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take and take in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?

True, he said.

And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he 's forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated? When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities.

Not all in a moment, he said.

He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day?

Certainly.

Last of he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is.

Certainly.

He will then proceed to argue that this is he who gives the season and the years, and is the guardian of all that is in the visible world, and in a certain way the cause of all things which he and his fellows have been accustomed to behold?

Clearly, he said, he would first see the sun and then reason about him.

And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them?

Certainly, he would.

And if they were in the habit of conferring honours among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before, and which followed after, and which were together; and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honours and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Would he not say with Homer,

Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner?

Yes, he said, I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner.

Imagine once more, I said, such an one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?

To be sure, he said.

And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the den, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.

No question, he said.

This entire allegory, I said, you may now append, dear Glaucon, to the previous argument; the prison-house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and you will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world according to my poor belief, which, at your desire, I have expressed whether rightly or wrongly God knows. But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally, either in public or private life must have his eye fixed.

From http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html

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What TRUTHS do the religions possess?

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General consensus is not required before something can be a fact. In fact the majority consensus is so very often wrong.

All those 3 things that you say about the earth are indeed facts. Yesterday the earth was spherical, and revolved around the sun and rotated on it's axis. To say these things will be true tomorrow is not a fact it is a possibility based on conjecture. A massive enough meteorite could hit the earth tomorrow and believe me when that happens there will be no day or night or rotating revolving sphere. Plus there was once a time the earth didn't exist as with all things factual it has it's span.

I think you are missing my point. You are right that it is not the witnessing of the fact that makes it a fact. It's the happening of the fact in some point in time that makes it a fact. All facts are conditional so you are right when you state that it depends on the Correct specification of ALL the appropriate conditions. These conditions include a certain atmospheric pressure, the purity of the water and possibly other conditions that we are not aware of yet but hasn't been called to our attention because these conditions have remained uniform for as long as we have known about the boiling point of water. But conditions are subject to change. We know that atmospheric pressure is a condition because we've had the opportunity to experience varying states of atmospheric pressure and witness the change boiling point of water.

Let me give an example that I'm just pulling out of my hat (this is not scientific fact) but imagine that the degree to which the water is ionised by the atmosphere also has an effect. That would mean that the boiling point of water would change when the level of ions in the air changes. Or imagine that the container that the water was boiled in was made of a material that was a catalyst to the process and suddenly the water boiled sooner. Of course such conditions have not been discovered YET.

My main point is that Facts are conditional and all conditions are subject to change. Or as Giringory would sing:"No condition is permanent in this world".

Whether the existence of fairies can be stated as Truth or not would depend . . . on whether it were true. I don't know. I personally have never seen or experienced a fairy. However from the descriptions that are given of them they seem to occupy space and time so I would be more inclined to established whether or not they are FACTS not Truths.

Water and H2O are synonymous. What you said above amounts to asking if it is a fact that water is water.

I am not presenting you with an Idea. I am offering to show you a practice. I will need you to be committed to the quest for truth. If you already know truth then you wouldn't need the quest or to commit to it.

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christ is truth, if u r looking for truth beyond him, u r looking in vain and u`ll keep searching 4eva, trust mi

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Facts belong to the temporal world. They are happenings. They happen. What is the real meaning of the word Happen? In french they say Passer. To pass. In old English they say it comes to Pass. A happening is a passing thing. It has it's beginning when it comes to pass, and then it's end when it finally passes away.

Truth on the other hand belongs to the Aionios. That is the Eternal world. To know Truth you must first have the faculties for discerning Eternal things.

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@Huxley:

The Truth is what purpose of life is. When you know what is the purpose of your life, then True religion, will help you achieve it. However get going with the quest of finding the purpose of your life, first. After that, you will be able to know that there must be a path (the exact religion) that is designed and available today, to help you achieve it.

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Current usage of the word FACT refers to items/events/material accepted at verifiably true "by the general consensus". For instance,

1) The earth is spherical

2) The earth revolves around the sun.

3) The earth rotates on its axis. On this basic one could say with great certainty that it is a fact that tomorrow will experience a period of darkness and a period of light, although tomorrow is yet to come.

You are wrong in this. It is not the witnessing that makes it a fact. For instance, no one witness dinosaur walking the earth, but it is a fact that they did exist. Correctly specified with all the appropriate condition, you could say it is a fact that pure water (0% impurities) at atmosphere pressure, boils at 99.99899 degree celcius. A great deal of industrial processes are designed around this fact. If the boiling point of water was unknown, until it has boiled all of these processes would be unachievable.

Supposing I were to say, "The existence of fairies is not a fact, but a TRUTH", would that be correct?

Some facts have spatial and temporal elements but not all. For instance, it is a fact that ordinary water is composed of H2O. While this molecule may occupy space, this fact has no time on spacial component.

In the market place of ideas, every idea must be evaluated on its merit. I cannot commit to an idea before I know what it is about, Neither would you.

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Facts are True, but not all Truth is fact! What is a fact? A fact is a done thing.

The word fact derives from the Latin Factum, and was first used in English with the same meaning: "a thing done or performed", a use that is now obsolete.[

From here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fact

Facts can only exist in history. That Croatia will win Euro 2008 is not a fact until it has happened. Facts are dependent on Time's process. They occur at some point in time. That water boils at 100 degrees celsius is not a fact until it has happened and when you have witnessed it happening then it becomes a fact. There are other facts that may not be witnessed but deduced from prior facts through various methods of conjecture.

Truth on the other hand is not limited to occurring temporally. Truths exist also in eternity. Eternity doesn't mean a long time but rather No Time. The existence of God is not a fact. It is a Truth. Another thing about facts is that they occur in time and have a span. All temporal things have a span. Everything that is a fact has a beginning also has an end. God has neither beginning or end.

The truth about water is the essence of water, the spiritual origin of water. No amount of facts about water is going to reveal this to you.

How does one go about discovering Truth? Was it you who said you were looking for a religion and I offered to help but you did not get back to me? you must be committed to the quest from the start. The quest for truth that is. I guess you were expecting me to present you with a doctrine which you could then pick apart and criticise. Well that was not what I was proposing for a religion. I was proposing a Practice which is a totally different proposition from a Doctrine. I can still suggest some practices for you if you are truly on a quest for Truth.

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Admittedly, these are facts about what, which incidentally if answered "correct" may reveal the truth about the nature of water.

BTW, what is your definition of TRUTH and how does it relate to human life? How does one go about uncovering such truths?

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These are not questions about Truth or truths but rather questions about Facts. The boiling point off water at standard atmospheric pressure is 100 degrees celsius. That is a FACT. Not a Truth.

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A lot of truths have been hidden from us, of the over six hundred books written in the biblical times when God revaled himself to man only sixty six remain in the holy bible in fact most of these books never found their way in to the bible in the first instance, such books as "the land of eden",book of enoch, book of melchiezedek, sixth and seventh books of Moses e.t.c which reveal a lot of truths about the origin of man and God' relationship with the early Men where never included in the bible becuase this books were assesed to to be too powerful and reavealing and the catholic church which was in possesion of a number of these books decided to monopolise these books and the knowledge in it for their own selfish reasons. It is my belief that if these books were to be made public, we would find the answers to a lot of question we ask ourselves today but alas a group as decided to monopolize this knowledge for them selves.

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