The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight. Discuss The Unbound Soul Now

The May Philosophy Book of the Month is Misreading Judas by Robert Wahler.

Doubts about believing someone

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
Post Reply
User avatar
Joker2510
New Trial Member
Posts: 2
Joined: January 28th, 2019, 10:59 am

Doubts about believing someone

Post by Joker2510 » August 14th, 2019, 8:10 am

Is believing someone the same as being certain they're saying the truth? Or is it just an assumption? Can you ever know if someone is saying the truth when they say things like "I love you" or "this is cool"? It just seems to me like I can't exclude the possibility that the person is lying and acting.

User avatar
h_k_s
Posts: 794
Joined: November 25th, 2018, 12:09 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle
Location: Rocky Mountains

Re: Doubts about believing someone

Post by h_k_s » August 15th, 2019, 1:28 pm

Joker2510 wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:10 am
Is believing someone the same as being certain they're saying the truth? Or is it just an assumption? Can you ever know if someone is saying the truth when they say things like "I love you" or "this is cool"? It just seems to me like I can't exclude the possibility that the person is lying and acting.
I have learned to disregard statements about the profession of "love."

As a substitute, replace the word "love" with "want to have sex with …" and then the sentence has more meaning.

Otherwise, not.

User avatar
chewybrian
Posts: 480
Joined: May 9th, 2018, 7:17 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Epictetus
Location: Florida man

Re: Doubts about believing someone

Post by chewybrian » August 15th, 2019, 8:10 pm

h_k_s wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 1:28 pm
I have learned to disregard statements about the profession of "love."

As a substitute, replace the word "love" with "want to have sex with …" and then the sentence has more meaning.
But, I don't want to have sex with my dog.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

User avatar
Consul
Posts: 2610
Joined: February 21st, 2014, 6:32 am
Location: Germany

Re: Doubts about believing someone

Post by Consul » August 15th, 2019, 10:28 pm

Joker2510 wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:10 am
Is believing someone the same as being certain they're saying the truth? Or is it just an assumption? Can you ever know if someone is saying the truth when they say things like "I love you" or "this is cool"? It just seems to me like I can't exclude the possibility that the person is lying and acting.
That's the question of the reliability or trustworthiness of testimony: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/testimony-episprob/
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

User avatar
Mark1955
Posts: 731
Joined: July 21st, 2015, 4:02 am
Favorite Philosopher: David Hume
Location: Nottingham, England.

Re: Doubts about believing someone

Post by Mark1955 » August 16th, 2019, 3:13 am

Joker2510 wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:10 am
Is believing someone the same as being certain they're saying the truth? Or is it just an assumption? Can you ever know if someone is saying the truth when they say things like "I love you" or "this is cool"? It just seems to me like I can't exclude the possibility that the person is lying and acting.
I might believe someone is honestly expressing opinions about what they consciously think, or not. I'd still expect their subconscious to impact their actual behaviour, see h_k_s comment about having sex with. I gave up on truth so long ago that part isn't worth addressing.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 3791
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Doubts about believing someone

Post by LuckyR » August 16th, 2019, 9:08 pm

Joker2510 wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:10 am
Is believing someone the same as being certain they're saying the truth? Or is it just an assumption? Can you ever know if someone is saying the truth when they say things like "I love you" or "this is cool"? It just seems to me like I can't exclude the possibility that the person is lying and acting.
I think you've got it backwards, believing someone means you aren't certain they are telling the truth (but you believe them anyway). If you only believe folks who you know are telling the truth, you have no faith in their truth telling.
"As usual... it depends."

User avatar
Kilvayne
New Trial Member
Posts: 2
Joined: August 16th, 2019, 9:46 pm

Re: Doubts about believing someone

Post by Kilvayne » August 16th, 2019, 10:13 pm

Generally, I take on an "Innocent until proven Guilty" mindset where I generally believe a person until it is proven I can no longer trust them. This has burned me a couple time in the past, including by my parents(which really sucks). For me, once you have burned that bridge, that's the end of it.

User avatar
h_k_s
Posts: 794
Joined: November 25th, 2018, 12:09 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle
Location: Rocky Mountains

Re: Doubts about believing someone

Post by h_k_s » August 18th, 2019, 3:36 pm

Kilvayne wrote:
August 16th, 2019, 10:13 pm
Generally, I take on an "Innocent until proven Guilty" mindset where I generally believe a person until it is proven I can no longer trust them. This has burned me a couple time in the past, including by my parents(which really sucks). For me, once you have burned that bridge, that's the end of it.
Credibility is certainly a major issue with most other people.

User avatar
TheQuixoticAgnostic
New Trial Member
Posts: 2
Joined: August 19th, 2019, 7:27 pm

Re: Doubts about believing someone

Post by TheQuixoticAgnostic » August 19th, 2019, 11:07 pm

Joker2510 wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 8:10 am
Is believing someone the same as being certain they're saying the truth?
This seems to be a specific example of some general epistemological principles, mainly the relationship between belief and certainty or knowledge. Would you say believing that your favorite sports team will win a game is the same as saying you know they will win? Probably not.

The best representation of belief I've seen is that of a spectrum, where, given a proposition, you can believe that proposition is true or believe that proposition is false, to some degree of certainty. So for the proposition "my team will win the game", you can believe that to be true, but have a low degree of certainty. Same for the proposition "My friend is telling the truth". You can believe they're telling the truth and be uncertain about it, or believe them with absolute certainty. And just like with other propositions, you believe based on the evidence, such as if their actions follow or contradict their words.

Post Reply