1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    24 Jan '08 20:29
    What does it mean to ask how or why in relation to ultimate truth?

    Surely if ultimate truth can be explained then it stops being ultimate because we have found a reason for it to exist. Then it would not be ultimate truth any more but the truth that explains the ultimate truth would become the ultimate truth instead.

    Is it not logical that given countless trillions or eons of time science could never stumble on an explanation for ultimate truth because to do so would be an immediate logical paradox.

    If this ever happened would not science then have to conclude (maybe tipping it's hat to the mystics ) that the ultimate truth just "is" and there's no explaining it?

    Maybe existence just IS and that's the end of it. Maybe God just IS period. Is there any logical reason to assume that everything has an explanation?
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    24 Jan '08 20:483 edits
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    What does it mean to ask how or why in relation to ultimate truth?

    Surely if ultimate truth can be explained then it stops being ultimate because we have found a reason for it to exist. Then it would not be ultimate truth any more but the truth that explains the ultimate truth would become the ultimate truth instead.

    Is it not logical that give d just IS period. Is there any logical reason to assume that everything has an explanation?
    What is "ultimate truth" supposed to mean?

    You're talking here about considerations of sufficient reason, and you're inquiring whether or not there might be brute facts. No?
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    24 Jan '08 20:56
    If the universe just is, there may in be no truth at all. There may be only fact. Truth implies meaning; we have no reason to assume there is meaning.
  4. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    24 Jan '08 20:59
    Originally posted by darthmix
    If the universe just is, there may in be no truth at all. There may be only fact. Truth implies meaning; we have no reason to assume there is meaning.
    In that case "fact" would be the truth. Truth is what is. Truth may or may not imply meaning , maybe it does to you though.
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    24 Jan '08 21:00
    It doesn't have to; I was just using the different words, with their slightly different shades of meaning, to illsutrate a larger point.
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
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    24 Jan '08 21:03
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    What is "ultimate truth" supposed to mean?

    You're talking here about considerations of sufficient reason, and you're inquiring whether or not there might be brute facts. No?
    I think so. The ultimate truth to me is when we scrape something down to it's bare bones , right down to it's core. For example , the ultimate truth of all biology could be said to be carbon (maybe we could go further) but there must be a point where we can go no further and explanation stops , science then stops as well and rational enquiry too.
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    24 Jan '08 21:05
    If the universe is infinite - or if anything is infinite, if infinity is a quality that exists in the universe - then there may actually be no end to the things we can discover rationally. We could literally explore forever and never run out of new things to learn.
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    24 Jan '08 21:25
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    What does it mean to ask how or why in relation to ultimate truth?

    Surely if ultimate truth can be explained then it stops being ultimate because we have found a reason for it to exist. Then it would not be ultimate truth any more but the truth that explains the ultimate truth would become the ultimate truth instead.

    Is it not logical that give ...[text shortened]... d just IS period. Is there any logical reason to assume that everything has an explanation?
    And conversely, maybe god just ISN'T ...
  9. Standard memberknightmeister
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    25 Jan '08 19:56
    Originally posted by darthmix
    If the universe is infinite - or if anything is infinite, if infinity is a quality that exists in the universe - then there may actually be no end to the things we can discover rationally. We could literally explore forever and never run out of new things to learn.
    That may be true but if it was ultimate truth would elude science.
  10. Standard memberknightmeister
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    25 Jan '08 19:59
    Originally posted by darthmix
    It doesn't have to; I was just using the different words, with their slightly different shades of meaning, to illsutrate a larger point.
    The truth would be the truth , the brute facts of existence itself. If it was not the truth it would be a lie or not true or missing the plain facts of existence.
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    25 Jan '08 20:03
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    That may be true but if it was ultimate truth would elude science.
    Think of this: if the universe is infinite, there may be no "ultimate" truth, but simply a continuous and endless string of subordinate truths, never terminating in one "ultimate." In that scenario, ultimate truth only eludes science because it doesn't exist; all truths are accessible, but they all lead to greater mysteries which science must then tackle. Science can never learn everything, but that's only because everything is without limit; another way of stating it is that there's no limit to what science can learn.
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
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    25 Jan '08 22:31
    Originally posted by darthmix
    Think of this: if the universe is infinite, there may be no "ultimate" truth, but simply a continuous and endless string of subordinate truths, never terminating in one "ultimate." In that scenario, ultimate truth only eludes science because it doesn't exist; all truths are accessible, but they all lead to greater mysteries which science must then tackle. S ...[text shortened]... hout limit; another way of stating it is that there's no limit to what science can learn.
    Your mistake is that it is impossible for ultimate truth to not exist because the non-existence of ultimate truth would be...erhem...the ultimate truth.

    In any case how could science know that existence was infinite ? How would you know whether the truth you had come across was the last thing to find?

    Would your theory say that existence was without beginning or end?
  13. Donationrwingett
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    25 Jan '08 22:371 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    What does it mean to ask how or why in relation to ultimate truth?

    Surely if ultimate truth can be explained then it stops being ultimate because we have found a reason for it to exist. Then it would not be ultimate truth any more but the truth that explains the ultimate truth would become the ultimate truth instead.

    Is it not logical that give d just IS period. Is there any logical reason to assume that everything has an explanation?
    Did it ever occur to you that maybe science isn't in pursuit of the "ultimate truth"? Whatever that highly speculative concept is supposed to be.

    It sounds more like an exercise in metaphysics than in science.
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
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    25 Jan '08 23:03
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Did it ever occur to you that maybe science isn't in pursuit of the "ultimate truth"? Whatever that highly speculative concept is supposed to be.

    It sounds more like an exercise in metaphysics than in science.
    I would have thought it was unscientific for anyone to limit what science is in pursuit of.

    Are you saying that science is interested in the subordinate truths that eminate from whatever lies at the heart of existence but not the ultimate truth itself?

    Isn't that a bit like wanting to talk to the monkey whilst ignoring the organ grinder?
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    25 Jan '08 23:043 edits
    Originally posted by knightmeister

    Your mistake is that it is impossible for ultimate truth to not exist because the non-existence of ultimate truth would be...erhem...the ultimate truth.

    Maybe, but all this really reveals is that "ultimate truth" is itself an artificial concept; it only exists in our own imagination, and is not an actual quality of the universe. You're just insisting that "ultimate truth exists - whatever it is," which is semantically true but essentially meaningless. For the statement to have any meaning you have to make some assertions about what that ultimate truth actually says.

    I also don't think you're taking into the full scope of possibility with regard to what sience might find as we explore the universe further. The more we learn about quantum reality, for example, we find that pieces of the universe behave in ways that fundamentally defy what we think of as "the rational." A particle in an electron cloud can exist in precisely one location within that cloud, and also in all parts of it, simultaneously. There may be many ways in which a premise can be simultaneously true and false - not as a result of our limited understanding, but as an actual quality of the universe itself. It's possible that the ultimate truth, whatever it is, may be a lie, while still remaining true. That doesn't conform to our conventional ideas about what's rational, but there's no guarantee that the universe conforms to those ideas, either.

    In any case how could science know that existence was infinite ? How would you know whether the truth you had come across was the last thing to find?

    The idea that infinity can exist as an actual quality in the universe - rather than just a concept - often comes up in theoretical physics, for example in the study of black holes. It seems that it may actually be possible for a star to collapse so small that it's size is exactly zero - it's still there, but it takes up no space. Its density, therefore, is literally infinite. This is just a hypothesis right now, and as a hypothesis, it may eventually be proven mathematically as we study black holes further. If it is, we still won't have actually explored that infinite density, but we will have proven that it is in fact infinite.

    It might be possible, as science expands, for us to actually mathetmatically prove that the universe is infinite in many different ways, even if we can never explore or experience the full variety presented by that infinite nature.

    Would your theory say that existence was without beginning or end?

    It might, but it doesn't have to; the universe might be infinite in other ways that have nothing to do with time or space. The infinite pyramid of truth I alluded to in my last post - wherein everything that is true depends for its truthfullness on another, larger, more profound truth - may itself describe a universe that is infinite, even if it has a distinct beginning and end.
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