1. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Feb '12 03:311 edit
    “Since there is no telling in advance where it may lead, reflection can be seen as dangerous. There are always thoughts that stand opposed to it. Many people are discomfited, or even outraged, by philosophical questions. Some are fearful that their ideas may not stand up as well as they would like if they start to think about them. … Reflection opens an avenue to criticism, and the folkways may not like criticism. In this way, ideologies become closed circles, primed to feel outraged by the questioning mind.”

    —Simon Blackburn, in his lovely little book, Think.

    A priest-theologian friend of mine once said that religious doctrine was a way of putting “a fence around the truth”. However, without (continuing) critical reflection, does not such a notion of “truth”, that needs a protective fence of required belief (unquestionable—for the “faithful” anyway—doctrine), become little more than asserted presumption?

    Blackburn’s thought here is not directed strictly against religion. But it does strike me that it is directed against any presumptive beliefs, and the ideological “closed circles” that sometimes seem used to fence them in.
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    22 Feb '12 03:431 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    “Since there is no telling in advance where it may lead, reflection can be seen as dangerous. There are always thoughts that stand opposed to it. Many people are discomfited, or even outraged, by philosophical questions. Some are fearful that their ideas may not stand up as well as they would like if they start to think about them. … Reflection opens an a ...[text shortened]... umptive beliefs, and the ideological “closed circles” that sometimes seem used to fence them in.
    Don't fence me in man!! 😠😛
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    22 Feb '12 04:101 edit
    gaston: lefou, i'm afraid i've been thinking...
    lefou: a dangerous pastime...
    gaston: i know.
  4. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Feb '12 04:181 edit
    Originally posted by VoidSpirit
    gaston: lefou, i'm afraid i've been thinking...
    lefou: a dangerous pastime...
    gaston: i know.
    EDIT: Remove embarrassing inquiry: got it. 😳
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    22 Feb '12 04:32
    disney's beauty and the beast.
  6. Hmmm . . .
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    22 Feb '12 04:341 edit
    Originally posted by VoidSpirit
    disney's beauty and the beast.
    Yep. Your answer and my removal of embarrassing inquiry crossed. 🙂
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    22 Feb '12 04:52
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Yep. Your answer and my removal of embarrassing inquiry crossed. 🙂
    could've avoided the whole thing if i had properly credited it the first time around 🙂
  8. Cape Town
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    22 Feb '12 08:28
    Originally posted by vistesd
    However, without (continuing) critical reflection, does not such a notion of “truth”, that needs a protective fence of required belief (unquestionable—for the “faithful” anyway—doctrine), become little more than asserted presumption?
    I have been thinking about this recently. Does the truth need protection, and is it ever personal.
    Two examples highlighted this for me:
    1. On tv, I see that some Muslims in Afghanistan are protesting because somebody burned some Qurans. Their justification is that the Quran is the word of God and is holy. But they seem to take it as a personal insult. Surely if the Quran was really the word of God, then there would be nothing personal about it.
    2. In a recent thread I hypothesised about Adam doing something, and a poster was offended and accused me of making up scripture. But this is a person that believes Adam really existed. Surely if Adam really existed, then I was at best making up history (not scripture) and again, there is nothing personal about it.

    So is the truth ever personal? Does it ever need defending? Do I feel like an 'evolutionist' who needs to defend 'evolution'? I don't think so. I think it is very rare to see anyone identifying themselves as an 'evolutionist'. That tends to be a label applied by those who think evolution is not fact.
    What about a theory, like the Theory of Relativity. Does it need defending, and does Einstein own it? Should scientists feel personally offended when someone criticises the Theory of Relativity?

    The only time I think personal offence with regards to the truth might be justified is when denial of the truth is deliberately intended as an insult, for example in the case of holocaust denial.
  9. Standard memberblack beetle
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    22 Feb '12 09:51
    Originally posted by vistesd
    “Since there is no telling in advance where it may lead, reflection can be seen as dangerous. There are always thoughts that stand opposed to it. Many people are discomfited, or even outraged, by philosophical questions. Some are fearful that their ideas may not stand up as well as they would like if they start to think about them. … Reflection opens an a ...[text shortened]... umptive beliefs, and the ideological “closed circles” that sometimes seem used to fence them in.
    Greeting from Athens, Greece, my friend, I hope all is OK with you and yours🙂

    Methinks reflection is a superposition –we connect the dots (we perceive) and we calculate making our way through the arising events (the way we perceive and evaluate them). The capacity to learn constantly during connecting the dots in an everchanging environment is not a gift and the outcome is not written in stone, there is no such a thing as “absolute truth”. The ability to learn is a skill and the outcome becomes a personal truth; the willingness to create a truth by means of learning, is a personal choice; and the reward for a personal choice is not what one gets out of it but what one is becoming by adopting it –we are products of our products I reckon.
    Fences? I give away what I cherish most and I travel light😵
  10. Cape Town
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    22 Feb '12 10:38
    Originally posted by black beetle
    The capacity to learn constantly during connecting the dots in an everchanging environment is not a gift and the outcome is not written in stone, there is no such a thing as “absolute truth”.
    So you believe that some people may think hard about 2+2 and come up with 5 as an answer and this will be as equally true as my 4? I disagree. The person who got 5 failed to connect the dots correctly and has not found the truth. And 4 is written in stone.
  11. Standard memberblack beetle
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    22 Feb '12 11:48
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So you believe that some people may think hard about 2+2 and come up with 5 as an answer and this will be as equally true as my 4? I disagree. The person who got 5 failed to connect the dots correctly and has not found the truth. And 4 is written in stone.
    It always depends on the conditions we are setting up. There are triangles with three right angles afterall😵
  12. Cape Town
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    22 Feb '12 12:56
    Originally posted by black beetle
    It always depends on the conditions we are setting up. There are triangles with three right angles afterall😵
    Please expand on that. I suspect you are trying to get around the obvious flaw in your claim by using word games.
    Do those right angled triangles exist for everyone, or only you?
  13. Standard memberblack beetle
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    22 Feb '12 13:32
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Please expand on that. I suspect you are trying to get around the obvious flaw in your claim by using word games.
    Do those right angled triangles exist for everyone, or only you?
    Eucledian geometry, Rhiman's geometry. Math, Geometry, all sciences are merely languages and you have to use them fluently should you need to come into conclusions in their context. 2+2=4 is conventionally true because it is validated as right under specific circumstances; the three right angles are a common conventional "truth" for the navigators and for the ones who are fluent in Rhiman's geometry. What is the "obvious flaw" as regards the existence of triangles with three right angles (on a shpere)?

    And where exactly lays the "absolute truth" as regards 2+2=4, when you do not share the same consensus, ie the same prerequisites and rules, with the one you are talking with? Methinks all languages are conventional -unless you can demonstrate that the word "tree" is not arbitrary and conventionally used in order to describe something that could be well described by another word too (once we have agree that this other word will describe the same thing we conventionally name "tree", that is).

    😵
  14. Standard memberblack beetle
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    22 Feb '12 13:53
    Oh I misspelled Riemann's name, as you already noticed😵
  15. Cape Town
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    22 Feb '12 15:00
    Originally posted by black beetle
    What is the "obvious flaw" as regards the existence of triangles with three right angles (on a shpere)?
    Sorry if I wasn't clear, I meant 'obvious flaw' in your claim that all truth is relative. I have no objections to the existence of right angled triangles in certain geometries. But as I said before, you only bring them up as a kind of word game. You are essentially deliberately misunderstanding a claim that a triangles angles add up to 180 degrees, and pretending that the particular geometry is not specified, when in reality it is assumed that we are talking about a specific geometry.

    And where exactly lays the "absolute truth" as regards 2+2=4, when you do not share the same consensus, ie the same prerequisites and rules, with the one you are talking with?
    And that is what I am challenging you on. If two people have never met, never communicated, never read the same books etc, will it be impossible for them to get the same answer for 2+2? or will getting the same answer be purely a matter of chance? Would aliens get the answer 5? Or are the prerequisites and rules you are talking about a fact of the universe anyway? (and thus universal)

    Methinks all languages are conventional -unless you can demonstrate that the word "tree" is not arbitrary and conventionally used in order to describe something that could be well described by another word too (once we have agree that this other word will describe the same thing we conventionally name "tree", that is).
    Once again, you descend into word games. Labels are unimportant except for communication. The tell us nothing about the object (unless possibly we know the words etymology). But this does not take away from the fact that we can both see and understand and discuss trees without ever having agreed on a common language between us. The tree itself is an absolute truth.
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