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The search for truth

  1. The greatest thing in the universe

    7 vote(s)
  2. Total waste of time

    2 vote(s)
  3. An entertaining pasttime

    2 vote(s)
  4. What is truth?

    9 vote(s)
  1. Jun 8, 2003 #1
    About this I actually was asked by a friend. Its bold direct and makes one think. I enjoy such questions.

    Is the search for truth, in the end, worth it? What about truth is there that makes it so prized by so many philosphers? In the end is it really worth taking the blue pill? (pardone the allusion). Has anyone here have truth, or rarer still, for does who do, how has truth affect you personally?

    I have a feeling that the answer to this question will be in the form of just barelly a few words, though I would of wished very much to know these words.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2003 #2
    in the end, i suppose, the truth will mean nothing and everything. by this i mean that knowing truth (if it is possible or if such a thing exists) will change nothing, but give us the greatest understanding anyone could hope for, which to many is the only purpose of life. a good post as usual, Fenix.
  4. Jun 8, 2003 #3
    The truth of the matter is I just replied to your thread ... Which is to say, I guess? ... that truth is all-inclusive. That indeed, there's nothing about existence that doesn't entail "the truth." Even if that's the truth about the lie or, the truth that says, "we don't know."

    Isn't truth, afterall, a matter of "conscious acknowledgment" of what is?
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2003
  5. Jun 8, 2003 #4
    Western philosophers tend to espouse the search for the truth as the ultimate purpose of philosophy and modern ones admit the truth is really a vague term. In my own search for the truth I discovered finding the truth can be work, but otherwise not too difficult. The really difficult part is accepting the truth. For that, you have to find acceptance within yourself first or the meaning of the truth and the search is diminished.
  6. Jun 9, 2003 #5
    I cannot vote in this poll, because I think that truth is more than an entertaining pasttime, I don't think that it is "the greatest thing in the universe," either.

    I think that in our world, the search usually is worth it, because there is so much BS informationg going around, which leads to tragedy.
  7. Jun 9, 2003 #6
    IMO There is Truth and truth. Truth (with a capital T) is a universal truth that is true everwhere and everywhen for everybody, an absolute truth. The other truth (with lower case t) is true here and now but may not be true everywhere,when nor for everybody. Truth and truth is for us to find and accept. That IMO is one of the reasons that we're here, whether philosophic, scientific or spiritual or all of the above. Is it worth the search? Yes, even if we don't find it.
  8. Jun 9, 2003 #7
    Well, your statement might be true. :wink:
  9. Jun 9, 2003 #8


    User Avatar

    I agree with Dan. The search for truth is one of possible personal semi-transcendental goals for life, but I don't think it is true that it is the greatest, or the only. And to find truth is something far far more than an entertaining past time.

    An analogy is that the search for truth is one main course on the menu of life, not a side dish as "pastime" suggests, but it is only one of many on the list.

    And even if we don't know what truth really is, or whether we can really reach it, we can still search for it, or at least the truth about truth. :smile:
  10. Jun 9, 2003 #9
    I would go by the reasoning that the great difficulty in truth is not in finding it but in being able to accept it for what it is. I belive that that is the greates chanellge about truth and why is so obessed with it. There are many people who would say that Trurth is a very important undertaking in life,... but to them I would ask why the faith? What or who says that truth is a good thing? Why is it that man natureally assumes that it is a good thing to know truth? It is as if somehow we all are born with the concpet that if we search for truth and find it, that all things will be for the better. I question this presuppostion. And I am suspects all human ideas that would say that by only have this one thing, that all ansewers could be had. My question really is who really knows weather it is better to know? Is there any logical agrument for or against? In definition will it ever be possible to find truth? These are the question I tinker with in the wee hours of the morning.
  11. Jun 10, 2003 #10
    In my own personal and subjective experience there is no greater pursuit than for truth, but that the journey is far more rewarding than actually obtaining some small piece of the puzzle of limitless probable truths. The only running truth I've found in my limited search is that there is no truth but we often call it truth when it's almost a certainty, although it is only high or low probability truthfulness. I can only guess at what drives philosophers to pursue the truth, that it is human nature to want to know and understand and satisfy curiosity. I choose to have faith that there is certainly a God and everything else is suspect. I don't think I've ever found any novel truth, maybe just for myself I refined some idea that had already been there long ago in a simpler form or not so simple, but that only I just finally got it to a bit more of a degree than I had before. The affect of understanding is improvement like rubbing sticks together makes fire it can be used for good or bad.
    Thanks for the question it is a deep one. Although I fail to see the consequences sometimes, that this is not without trial and peril, but then what isn't?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2003
  12. Jun 10, 2003 #11
    Why the "inherent need" to search for truth? ... If, in fact it wasn't a search for "The Truth."
  13. Jun 11, 2003 #12
    "There are and can be only two ways of searching into and discovering truth. The one flies from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms... this way is now in fashion. The other derives axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent, so that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all. This is the true way, but as yet untried." -Francis Bacon, Novum Organum 1620
    They make good sense.
    "When in doubt tell the truth"-Mark Twain
    I get the impression that most of the seekers of truth are hardcore rebels.
    If one looks at a cloud long enough they can see anything they want to see.
    We never hear about all the prognosticators that guessed exact times and circumstances because they failed and who wants to hear about that, within vagueness anything can be true... but then the good ones may have had some fair notion of what was to come.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2003
  14. Jun 11, 2003 #13
    Is there not a standard by which all things are judged? Yes. "The ground of our being." How else would we know anything, without the capacity to see it for ourselves?
  15. Jun 11, 2003 #14
    I live in denial mostly, so much so that it becomes the truth. My mind cannot seperate the two anymore. Although I have been reality slapped or God smacked before. A big dose of truth hurts man. I don't realy think anybody wants to know the truth about anything. They just want to hear what resonates with what they believe the truth is. Hitler stated if you tell a lie long enough it becomes the truth. Is this absolute truth? I guess the definition of real truth comes to mind, I think more often than not the truth is only a collaboration of the idea of a truth that is accepted via the majority. Although it may not be the absolute truth it is our perception of it. So what is absolute truth? Take the blinders off and wow, I would bet our minds aren't capable of seeing the whole truth. As far as the search for truth, Is it worth it? hmmm I would have to say no. My reason is simple, you will spend all your time searching for somthing that for all you know is unatainable and the whole time your only life that you may have is passing you by, the loved ones and the beautiful things around your existance going unnoticed because you are wrapped up in some theory of what the truth is, Then on your death bed you look back at your life and realize you were the truth and you gave it up to search for yourself and forgot about everybody else that loved and needed you.
  16. Jun 11, 2003 #15
    The truth is of the moment. The moment we become conscious and say, "Aha! I'm alive!" This is the ground of our being, by which everything else can only be based. Aside from that, what else is there? ...
  17. Jun 12, 2003 #16
    Good point Sheldon, it's the simple things that give the most pleasure, we don't really need computers, or cars, or million dollars houses to be happy and what is good for one can be bad for another.
    Did you mean to say red pill Fenix, or is blue pill closer to truth-believe what you want? I think it was Mentat that remaked never trust something that seems to explain it all.
  18. Jun 13, 2003 #17
    Fishes in aquariums

    We, humans are like fishes in aquariums. These fishes think that the aquarium is the real world, which is not true.
    We are constantly discovering 'real worlds', from discovery that the earth is round to the discovery of clusters of galaxies. But the search is never ending, so why bother to search for it?

    Physicskid [zz)]
  19. Jun 13, 2003 #18


    User Avatar

    Hmm... that one sounds familiar.

    Why do humans seek truth when we won't get it? Because a big aquarium is always better than a smaller one. And though we can't have an aquarium of INFINITE size, our little aquarium of knowledge can expand to any finite size, and cover any target we seek.
  20. Jul 23, 2003 #19
    Would agree with that, but finding it isn't always as simple as we would like, sorta, cause, lots of times you will not really be looking, and it will find you!

    Plato asked; "What is God?"
    Mr. Robin Parsons (thats me) answered; "The Truth!"
  21. Aug 2, 2003 #20
    In the end the search for truth is definitly worth it. I believe the search for truth is the meaning of life. The sad thing is, no one will ever have the truth in this world, because it is easy to prove that it is impossible to prove anything without a few assumptions first. Once you've done that, it's impossible to prove the assumptions true. (This is vaguely related to Godel's incompleteness theorem.) Along these same lines, a TOE is also impossible. The axiom system used in a TOE would have to apply everything, even though it's easy to prove that in any axiom system there are unanwserable questions, and so there will always be two incomplete and mutually inconsistent theories describing the universe. It's the most fundamental paradox and the most fundamental truth.
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