Originally posted by twhitehead
That is because you are using the word true in one of its alternative meanings.
That is because you are using the word true in one of its alternative meanings. But it is also nonsensical to state that if a Bach fugue is “true” the the Bach fugue is "the truth" as that would be a misinterpretation of the word 'true' as used.
The use of the word 'true' as you are using it is closer to 'equals' or 'uniform' than it is to 'logically cor ...[text shortened]... nce' even if the experience was one of a non-existent entity ie not the truth.
Granted. I am proposing that, by and large, the “alternative” is more reasonable in religious/spiritual contexts.
But it is also nonsensical to state that if a Bach fugue is “true” the Bach fugue is "the truth" as that would be a misinterpretation of the word 'true' as used.
This is my point. And I think that one can speak of (again, for lack of a better word) spiritual “truth” in the alternative sense of my suggested “trueness,” rather than in the propositional sense.
Of course, one must try to be clear about what one means. In the alternative sense, the opposite of true is not
false. It might be inconsistent (as in an oak tree exhibiting grain particular to a pine tree), or discordant or “out of line” (as in a crooked house).
One can have a 'true religious experience' even if the experience was one of a non-existent entity ie not the truth.
Or, one can have a “true religious experience” even if one confuses the immediate conceptual “translation” of the experience into particular content, with the experience itself—and takes the “translated” mental content as expressive of “the truth.” (Which, from my non-dualist position, may be pretty much what you’ve said here.)
An analogy I have used: My brain translates certain visual stimuli into a picture in my head of a tree. An animal with a different neuro-physiology may have an entirely different picture. Both may be “true”—neither may be “the truth.” (A direct realist would have to assert that one was the actual “truth”; a representational realist would not—she would simply be able to say that both pictures are “true,” each in relation to the perspective of the viewing agent. The underlying reality may not be accurately described by either picture, although both may be—and probably are—pragmatically sufficient to allow that creature to navigate in the real world.)
I might drop the notion of “trueness” in a spiritual context altogether, if that were not taken to imply falsity.
A shade of blue would be 'true' if it is the exact shade desired. A Bach fugue is “true” if it is consistent with the definition of a fugue (or possibly a good fugue) keeping in mind that the definition in question might be an experience we have when listening to it rather than an mathematical definition.
Agreed. Translated into a spiritual context, however, the first example would imply that one had a desire for a predetermined experience—Krishna or nothing.
The second example I need to think about a bit. At the moment I’m thinking something like: one’s Christianity (Bach) is “true” if one’s understanding accords with, say, traditional interpretations of the Nicene Creed; one’s Vedanta (Shankar) may be “true” if it accords with the Upanishads. However, from a larger perspectivist point of view (ala the visual analogy above), the “trueness” of each does not necessitate the “falsity” of the other.
Helpful comments, tw—thanks.