How does one find True Knowledge?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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RJG
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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 8th, 2019, 10:27 am

Steve3007 wrote:I just want to know whether you appreciate the reasons why the laws of physics are modified, or not modified, and how they are modified when they are.
If these "truths of science" ("laws"), and their constant changes (revisions; modifications) contradict simple logic, then I have no appreciation for these "fairy tales" whatsoever.

As you've probably noticed, I "appreciate" the unchanging truths of simple logic, much more so than the constantly changing truths of science.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 8th, 2019, 10:57 am

RJG wrote:If these "truths of science" ("laws"), and their constant changes (revisions; modifications) contradict simple logic, then I have no appreciation for these "fairy tales" whatsoever.
Neither do I. Please explain to me the sense in which the example I chose (Newton's law of universal gravitation) contradicts simple logic so that I can decide whether I need to dismiss it as a fairy tale.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 8th, 2019, 11:12 am

I can see that you are using the term "fairy tale" to mean "a tale which contains logical contradictions and constantly changes". If all of the laws of physics are constantly changing and contain logical contradictions then you are quite right to reject them, and I ought to reject them too. Since you have proposed that that this is true of them, you must have studied them and found good reasons to propose that. (I'm sure you wouldn't make comments like that about something without knowing anything about it.)

So, Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation is an example of such a law. I've read that it was invented in about 1686. (I know you've told me before that we shouldn't believe anything that we've read/heard any more than anything else we've read/heard, but let's just say for now that it probably was invented about then). Please tell me the research you did into that law which led you to the conclusion that it was self-contradictory and constantly changing.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 9th, 2019, 7:18 am

RJG wrote:If these "truths of science" ("laws"), and their constant changes (revisions; modifications) contradict simple logic, then I have no appreciation for these "fairy tales" whatsoever.
Steve3007 wrote:Please explain to me the sense in which the example I chose (Newton's law of universal gravitation) contradicts simple logic so that I can decide whether I need to dismiss it as a fairy tale.
Where did we say this particular "truth of science" contradicts simple logic? ...you are making up stuff again.

Steve3007 wrote:I can see that you are using the term "fairy tale" to mean "a tale which contains logical contradictions and constantly changes".
Not so. That is just your "spin" on my words. Re-read my words. It is the "contradiction of simple logic" that makes them a "fairy tale", (...not their changing).

Steve3007 wrote:If all of the laws of physics are constantly changing and contain logical contradictions then you are quite right to reject them, and I ought to reject them too. Since you have proposed that that this is true of them…
Steve, you are just making stuff up again. I think you know very well that I never said "all the laws of physics contain logical contradictions". Again, re-read "my" words, (not your "strawman's" made-up words!).

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 13th, 2019, 7:31 am

RJG wrote:Where did we say this particular "truth of science" contradicts simple logic? ...you are making up stuff again.
I think the point when we stop these kinds of discussions generally tends to be the point when they stop being interesting to us. In my view, in order to be interesting they don't necessarily need to lead to a definite conclusion or agreement (which is just as well because they rarely do), but the arguments that we use have to continue to be non-trivial and to not simply get stuck endlessly in very small loops. It's a bit like a game of chess. A game of chess often stops being interesting when the players each repeat the same 1 or 2 moves over and over again. In fact, in chess, I may be wrong but I think there's a rule whereby if the players repeat the same simple moves 3 times the game is deemed to be a stalemate. I think that's the point we've reached here.

In my view, we have reached the point where, for some reason, you deny saying things that you said pretty explicitly in the previous post, or few posts.
If these "truths of science" ("laws"), and their constant changes (revisions; modifications) contradict simple logic, then I have no appreciation for these "fairy tales" whatsoever.
This came after I attempted to start a discussion as to why and when scientific laws/theories are deemed to require modification, by using a specific example of a scientific law, in order to examine your proposition that "scientific laws change constantly". It fits with many comments you've made in the past seemingly expressing the view that the discoveries of science (and, by extension, any process of creating a generalisation from a set of specific empirical observations) have no truth-value, which I take to mean that they have no information content. I have to assume that you mean they are, as you've put it, just some stuff that we've read and heard, of no more or less value than anything else that we might read or hear. You appeared to confirm this with your comments about the example of climate change, offering the opinion that all arguments on that subject, on either side, are equally truth-value-free because they are just a bunch of stuff we've read.

In the above quoted sentence you reference two concepts which you appear, judging by the structure of the sentence, to see as linked to each other: "the truths of science" and "their constant changes". The sentence is then a simple "IF X THEN Y" structure about these two concepts. The X is that the two concepts contradict simple logic. The Y contains two propositions in one. The first is that the two concepts (the truths of science and their constant changes) can be given the label "fairy tales" and the second is that you have no appreciation of them.

Therefore, the inevitable conclusion from this sentence, combined with your previous words, is that, in your view "the truths of science" change constantly and contradict simple logic. Since you don't qualify the expression "the truths of science" I have to assume that you mean all of them, including the example I chose. If you didn't meant that, then presumably you would have said something like this:

"The example you gave doesn't change constantly and contradict simple logic. But some of the propositions of science do. I propose that the subset of scientific propositions that change constantly and contradict simple logic should be given the label 'fairy tales' and I do not regard them as having any valid information content."


Now, I don't really want to have to do all of the above analysis of your words. It's not very interesting to have to try to examine why you say something and, when challenged over it, deny having said it. It will just lead to one of the small, uninteresting loops that I mentioned earlier. That's why I decided to leave it here.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 13th, 2019, 10:04 am

RJG wrote:IF these "truths of science" ("laws"), and their constant changes (revisions; modifications) contradict simple logic, THEN I have no appreciation for these "fairy tales" whatsoever.
Steve3007 wrote:Please explain to me the sense in which the example I chose (Newton's law of universal gravitation) contradicts simple logic so that I can decide whether I need to dismiss it as a fairy tale.
RJG wrote:Where did we say this particular "truth of science" contradicts simple logic? ...you are making up stuff again.
Steve3007 wrote:...for some reason, you deny saying things that you said pretty explicitly in the previous post, or few posts.
Again, you continue to make up stuff! --- Please note: "IF" does not mean "ALL". --- IF X and Y contradict simple logic, THEN they are "fairy tales"!

Steve3007 wrote:I attempted to start a discussion as to why and when scientific laws/theories are deemed to require modification, by using a specific example of a scientific law…
The "why and when" some science laws change is irrelevant. The point is that they do change (or "require modification").

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 13th, 2019, 10:16 am

RJG wrote:The "why and when" some science laws change is irrelevant.
Irrelevant to what?

If the question of when they change is irrelevant, then why did you propose an answer to that question? (Your answer was: constantly).

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 13th, 2019, 10:25 am

RJG wrote:The "why and when" some science laws change is irrelevant.
Steve3007 wrote:Irrelevant to what?
...to its logical contradiction(s).

Steve3007 wrote:If the question of when they change is irrelevant, then why did you propose an answer to that question? (Your answer was: constantly).
It was to highlight the 'unreliability' of science, as opposed to logic.

The truths of Science CONSTANTLY change, whereas...
The truths of Simple Logic NEVER change.

"If Science contradicts Simple Logic, then Science is a fairy tale" --- RJG

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 13th, 2019, 10:38 am

RJG wrote:...to its logical contradiction(s).
To what's logical contradictions?

As you have been at pains to point out to me over the last few posts, you used the word "IF" not "ALL". So you are not saying that ALL of science contains logically contradictions. Right?

For the avoidance of doubt: In your view, does the example I gave a few posts ago contain logical contradictions? Can you give me an example of one of these "constantly changing" pieces of science that does not contain logical contradictions?

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 13th, 2019, 11:05 am

"If Science contradicts Simple Logic, then Science is a fairy tale" --- RJG
From the style in which you wrote this, I presume you intend it to be taken as a kind of RJG fundamental principle. So it's important that I precisely understand what it means by "Science". Which, if any, of these things does it mean:

1. If everything stated in the name of Science contradicts Simple Logic, then everything stated in the name of Science is a fairy tale.

2. If a particular thing stated in the name of Science contradicts Simple Logic, then that particular thing is a fairy tale.

3. If anything stated in the name of Science contradicts Simple Logic, then everything stated in the name of Science is a fairy tale.

I agree with 1 and 2, but not 3 (assuming we're using the term "fairy tale" to mean "a self contradictory set of propositions" in this context.)

I assume you have in mind statements about the finite age and size of the Universe that you regard as contradicting simple logic (but, as you know, I do not).

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 13th, 2019, 12:39 pm

Steve3007 wrote:So you are not saying that ALL of science contains logical contradictions. Right?
Correct.

Steve3007 wrote:For the avoidance of doubt: In your view, does the example I gave a few posts ago contain logical contradictions?
No, not that I'm currently aware of.

Steve3007 wrote:Can you give me an example of one of these "constantly changing" pieces of science that does not contain logical contradictions?
I will go out on a limb and say "MOST pieces of science do not contain logical contradictions". ...but those that do, are most certainly "fairy tales!"

RJG wrote:"If Science contradicts Simple Logic, then Science is a fairy tale" --- RJG
Steve wrote:From the style in which you wrote this, I presume you intend it to be taken as a kind of RJG fundamental principle. So it's important that I precisely understand what it means by "Science". Which, if any, of these things does it mean:...
It doesn't have to necessarily be "science". The point is "If 'anything' contradicts simple logic, then that 'anything' is a "fairy tale" (in my opinion).

Steve3007 wrote:I assume you have in mind statements about the finite age and size of the Universe that you regard as contradicting simple logic (but, as you know, I do not).
Correct. A 'finite' universe is a "fairy tale" as it contradicts simple logic.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 13th, 2019, 1:32 pm

RJG wrote:It doesn't have to necessarily be "science". The point is "If 'anything' contradicts simple logic, then that 'anything' is a "fairy tale" (in my opinion).
Obviously I agree with this (given the way in which we're using the term "fairy tale" here).
A 'finite' universe is a "fairy tale" as it contradicts simple logic.
As we know, I disagree with this.

---

I think most of our disagreements stem from your use of the term "objective truth" to mean the same as the term "logically certain truth" and things like this:
RJG wrote:Those that claim Climate Change is true (or false) are only regurgitating what they've "read and heard". That's all. And no one's "regurgitation" is anymore valid (truer/realer) than another's.
and this:
Steve, forget about the "observations"!!! ...they are wholly unreliable and non-trustworthy in determining objective truths.
and this:
Again, "observations" are useless in determining truths. For example, I observe the world is flat. I see an end point/edge to the ocean. If a boat sails out there far enough it will fall off the edge. Etc etc. Moral of the story: "Observations" are not to be trusted when ascertaining truths. ...forget about them!
All of your exhortations to me to ignore the findings of science (and, by extension, any other attempt to find knowledge by empirical means, such as looking out of the window to see if it's raining) give the distinct impression that you think that there is no information content in propositions that are about a proposed objectively existing world and which are based on perceptions that the proposer attributes to that world, such as "it's raining" or "unsupported objects fall". For example the part I've highlighted in bold in the quote about Climate Change above strongly suggests this.

For obvious reasons I disagree. And, as I've said before, your choice of examples shows that you don't really believe what you say. You do not believe that observations are useless in determining truths. You do not forget about them. You remember them. You do not believe, as you've previously claimed, that the Earth is spherical simply because you've heard it said more often than you've heard it said that the Earth is flat. You believe it for other reasons. I've tried to draw you into a discussion about how these things work, by trying to talk about the circumstances under which laws derived from observation change, and the way in which they change, but you're seemingly not going to take the bait.

That's what I think, anyway.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 13th, 2019, 2:45 pm

Steve3007 wrote:I think most of our disagreements stem from your use of the term "objective truth" to mean the same as the term "logically certain truth" and things like this:
Yes. Bingo!

RJG wrote:Those that claim Climate Change is true (or false) are only regurgitating what they've "read and heard". That's all. And no one's "regurgitation" is anymore valid (truer/realer) than another's.
...it's all just "hearsay", that's all!
RJG wrote:Steve, forget about the "observations"!!! ...they are wholly unreliable and non-trustworthy in determining objective truths.
RJG wrote:"Observations" are not to be trusted when ascertaining truths. ...forget about them!
Steve3007 wrote:All of your exhortations to me to ignore the findings of science (and, by extension, any other attempt to find knowledge by empirical means, such as looking out of the window to see if it's raining) give the distinct impression that you think that there is no information content in propositions that are about a proposed objectively existing world and which are based on perceptions that the proposer attributes to that world, such as "it's raining" or "unsupported objects fall". For example the part I've highlighted in bold in the quote about Climate Change above strongly suggests this.
Correct. Empirical means, and Subjective truths (those reliant upon the uncertain nature of experiential objects; i.e. "observations") can NEVER be trusted to yield 'objective' truths. ...so forget about 'em!!

Steve3007 wrote:That's what I think, anyway.
And what I think is that... Your love affair with Science (i.e. "observational" truths) keep you from seeing the 'real' truths; the 'objective' truths.

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by Steve3007 » November 14th, 2019, 4:03 am

RJG wrote:...it's all just "hearsay", that's all!
Clearly the things I've heard said are indeed "hear-say". I guess the things I've read are "read-say". But you didn't just say just. You said "no one's 'regurgitation' is anymore valid (truer/realer) than another's.". You make it obvious with your words and with the examples that you choose that you don't really believe that. I've tried to discuss the criteria that you use to choose between competing hearsay's and readsay's.
Correct. Empirical means, and Subjective truths (those reliant upon the uncertain nature of experiential objects; i.e. "observations") can NEVER be trusted to yield 'objective' truths. ...so forget about 'em!!
Once again: They cannot be relied upon to yield logical certainties. They do, by definition, yield objective propositions.
And what I think is that... Your love affair with Science (i.e. "observational" truths) keep you from seeing the 'real' truths; the 'objective' truths
Could you expand more on what you mean by the idea of a "love affair with Science"? What are the symptoms of that condition? Could you also clarify that when you refer to "Science" you're actually referring to all objective propositions based on observation, such as "it's raining outside"? So when you say I have a love affair with Science, what you're saying more generally is that I have a love affair with the idea that looking at things is in some way useful, yes? I have a love affair with the notion that if I want to know whether it's raining, looking out of the window is of some use towards that goal. Yes?

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Re: How does one find True Knowledge?

Post by RJG » November 14th, 2019, 8:14 am

RJG wrote:...it's all just "hearsay", that's all!
Steve3007 wrote:Clearly the things I've heard said are indeed "hear-say". I guess the things I've read are "read-say". But you didn't just say just. You said "no one's 'regurgitation' is anymore valid (truer/realer) than another's.". You make it obvious with your words and with the examples that you choose that you don't really believe that. I've tried to discuss the criteria that you use to choose between competing hearsay's and readsay's.
I think you misinterpret my words. Subjective opinions are one thing and objective facts are another.

If I claim my hearsay (my "read and heard"s) are truer than your hearsay, then that is just my 'opinion', not objective fact. If my opinion is that global warming is a hoax, it doesn't mean that it is objectively true. It just means that my "read and heard"s (hearsay) was more convincing to me than your hearsay.

In any case, we can never get 'real' truths (objective truths) from hearsay (and opinions)!

RJG wrote:Correct. Empirical means, and Subjective truths (those reliant upon the uncertain nature of experiential objects; i.e. "observations") can NEVER be trusted to yield 'objective' truths. ...so forget about 'em!!
Steve3007 wrote:Once again: They cannot be relied upon to yield logical certainties. They do, by definition, yield objective propositions.
You and I apparently have a different definition (understanding) of "objective". I use the philosophical meaning, whereas you use another(?) meaning. You believe we can get objectivity from subjectivity, whereas I don't.

RJG wrote:And what I think is that... Your love affair with Science (i.e. "observational" truths) keep you from seeing the 'real' truths; the 'objective' truths
Steve3007 wrote:Could you expand more on what you mean by the idea of a "love affair with Science"? What are the symptoms of that condition?
The man symptom is that you trust your subjective "observations" as 'objective' truths. You believe subjectivity is objectivity. You confuse hearsay as truth.

Steve3007 wrote:Could you also clarify that when you refer to "Science" you're actually referring to all objective propositions based on observation, such as "it's raining outside"?
Firstly, truths/propositions based on "observations" are 'subjective' truths/propositions, NOT 'objective' truths/propositions!

Secondly, if you experience it raining outside, then this is just 'subjectively' true to you, and not necessarily 'objectively' true. In other words, It is true to 'you' and to your 'subjective' experiences. -- For who knows, maybe you are delusional, hallucinating, or are dreaming it is raining outside, or maybe you really just have a water leak on your roof falling over the window that you are looking out of.

Again, we can't trust our subjective "observations" as objective "truths". We need something more certain (...we need deductive logic; Simple Logic).

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