Objective truth - from a Buddhist perspective #01

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Quantum Quack, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    What I would like to do is generate with your help a series of discussions on this vexatious issue.
    I do realize that in the main philosophy has concluded that the possibility of observing an objective truth is very unlikely due to as the Buddhists would say in their cryptic way, the discursive nature of the mind.

    In a sense they are saying that is is the nature of the mind to assess and analyze what it perceives and in doing so apply reductional - istic techniques thus reducing the whole to suit the pre-existing minds paradigm or world view.
    Thus what we perceive is subjectively what we are only capable of "seeing" and not what is actually there.
    So in this sense Buddhist thought is compatible with Western thought on this issue [ please correct me if I am wrong and note that is the intent of this thread to be corrected and extended]
    1. That absolute objective truth is unavailable to our perception
    2. That this is due to our desire to apply reductional techniques
    3. That we do so to fulfill our desire to find "meaning" that makes sense to us and is compatible with our pre-existing world view.
    Yet whilst we know that this form of truth is unavailable in saying so we acknowledge by default that it possibly exists, as to claim something is unavailable necessarily extends to the possibility that it is existent.
    A perpetual tease so to speak and very much like the idealism of perfect knowledge and beauty.
    "We know that perfection is nonexistent yet we strive our hardest to achieve it."

    So Absolute truth is simply another one of those ideal perfections that we endlessly journey to wards the discovery of.

    In the Buddhist and other Yogic style ideologies removing ego [ aka desire ] one has the potential to "see" your self in a reality that actually exists and not as a dream like subjective creation generated by the distortions that desire [ suffering] create.
    Within the Buddhist position it is held that to do so one would cease to exist and become one with that reality [ identity would be annihilated [ destruction of the ego [ desire ] whilst "living" means to become entirely passive to your environment [ in the extreme ] whilst awake and active.
    It is held that it is only when one is entirely passive to themselves and the environment that one becomes one with that environment and not in competition with that environment.
    It reminds me of an old question I used to ask my self:

    "Do I want the "truth" that should be or the "truth" that is?"

    Hence acknowledging that in absolutism truth is prevented from being experienced because it is not the truth that we want. [ A form or instinctive self denial]

    "An old and wise Buddhist monk took his novice to the field and sat him down near a large tree. He asked the novice to tell him what he saw of the "tree".
    The novice started to describe the tree, it's branches, it's leaves, it's color, and vibrancy. The monk said "nope, that is not what you see try again"
    The novice confused again started to describe the tree wondering if he was describing it incorrectly. Again the Monk said "nope, that is not what you see try again"

    Eventually after many attempts the student gave up and exclaimed to his mentor in frustration, " I see what I see !!" .
    To which the monk replied, " ahhh! well done, tomorrow we shall look at some flowers....""


    Obviously the point this makes is that in Buddhist thought absolute truth is available but near impossible to achieve in fact even the Buddha himself failed to do so as he is no longer alive and one with his universe a he died of food poisoning. If he had succeeded he would live as long as the universe does and be alive and effectively a God on Earth.

    Such are the ideas of Buddhism.
    Of course the notion of ego destruction is anathema to Western thinking and of course this means that the Western thinker will fail to grasp how his own mind will act to defend it's ego position [ self justify it's desires ]

    In essence Buddhism can be considered as another manifestation of the "god complex" that seems to haunt humanity. [ a whole philosophy built on the ambition of becoming God - oneness with creation]

    I have discussed Buddhist philosophy because it offers a possible insight IMO to how absolute truth [ objectivity ] may be available and what obstacles are deemed to be in the way of perceiving it.

    Care to discuss?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    .
    .
    .
    Note : the insight in to Budhhist thinking is only my own inbrief assessment and I apologise if I am incorrect. Also I am not a Buddhist as I am more inclined to more Panthenistic lifestyle choice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    My Definitions:

    Absolute or Objective Truth:
    In absolutum can only be arrived at as self justifying and self evident.
    In Eastern thought it would be referred to as the "IS" and is not subject or conditioned by belief or meaning.
    In Physics it could be arguably the "Hyper Surface of the Present" utilised by Albert Einstein when talking about Light Cones in relativity theory.

    It is a state of absolute self validation where by it's own existence is sufficent for it to be true to itself.

    "a supremely arrogant state"

    Note: This also ties in with the essay I posted on "Ego - in the service of lesser Gods"

    posited: The position of ego is always one of superiority. That all things perceived by that ego are true to that ego. "all experiences are self evident truths" even if later proved to be incorrectly interpreted, they remain a truth of experience.....
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,423
    I think we experience the objective every day and we have several categories of restrictions that limit the experience and skew its interpretation:

    * Input
    * Cognitive
    * Bias
    * Defect

    Input restrictions are our senses in terms of quantity, quality, and range. What the senses pick up is a small fraction of the objective and visibility tools such as microscopes, telescopes, and radio-scopes allow us to see alot more of it.

    Cognitive restrictions would be memory and intelligence. They affect the quantity and speed of information we can think about in a single moment.

    Bias restrictions would be our beliefs and psychological filters. They affect our ability to correctly relate units of information with each other. While learned biases can be undone, we're stuck with the psychological ones and have to pay attention to ensure we're not doing thinks like, for example, skewing our interpretation with anthropomorphism.

    Defect restrictions can be brain damange, chemical imbalances, developmental problems, etc. They can create, modify, and delete cognitive information in real-time or after the fact.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    In a sense, but not exactly. More secifically, it is the nature of the ego to do all this. This is how the ego thrives and survive. The ego would rather for you to be correct than for you to be alive.

    The mind is actually a constant observer. That is all, and nothing more. The ego thrives on solving problems. Thus it can even create problems where problems do not exist. This requires duality. Good/bad. Right/wrong. Etc. Without ego, there is simply observation in which you are not making any judgements, you are not analyzing, you are not dwelling on past or future. You are simply observing.


    Wrong. What we perceive is not necessarily "not actually there." What we preceive is subject to what is there. What we perceive may or may not be actually be there.

    It is not that truth is unavailable. It is that truth is not dependent on our perception.


    You are saying that in order for something to be unattainable, it must exist. Something that does not exist can be neither attainable or unattainable. Often people equate "truth is unatainable" with "truth doesn't exist". Or does this simply point to the conclusion that objective truth doesn't exist?


    Desire is nothing more than uncontrollable attachment. IOW, when you are in a state of full control over your own thoughts, feelings, and actions, this is the elimination of desire. You are not uncontrollably compelled to thinking, feeling, and acting in certain ways. Desire is used in the sense of lack of control. Desire in the sense of your control is not the same thing. Elimination of desire simply means to eliminate the control your desires have over you, and instead having full control over them. You think what you want to think. You feel how you want to feel. And you act how you want to act. You are in control over your self.


    The idea that absolute truth does not exist cannot be logically possible. Truth exists beyond human perception. Humans conclude what is true and what is not within the scope of their perception. The objective of discussion is to arrive at the truth. Thus you discuss things to find out the truth. Any statement a person makes must imply "IMO" regardless of whether or not the person states "IMO" out loud.
    The statement "X is true." = The statement "IMO, X is true."
     
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    Interesting response guys.!
    I'll respond mroe later but a quick note:

    What I am going on to eventually state and logically prove is that Truth is extistence or more precisely Truth is a state of "existing"

    Anything that is existing is true unto itself, even an incorrect interpretation is a true incorrect interpretation in that it is the expereince of interpretation that is true.
    For you LIX your rules of logic are true to you there is no doubt about that, to me they are too arbitary and not developed nor explained enough - this is a truth to me.

    Either way neither position is false until they are compared to each other.
    anyways later...
     
  9. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    Either position cannot be false until anything. If I claim X is true, and you claim not X is true, then only one of us is correct. Both cannot be false until they are compared. It is impossible. "X is true" and "X is false" cannot both be false at the same time. A comparison is not required for either of them to be true.

    The only thing is that each observer has opposing perception. But only one of them is correct. Thus is the purpose of discussion. For both observers to procced with productive discussion in order to find out. If one observer does not approach the discussion with that intention, then that observer is concerned about image, and productive discussion cannot continue.

    If any observer must approaches discussion not with intent on proving they are right and the other one wrong, then discussion cannot be productive. If observ approaches discussion for purpose of determining which one is correct, then production can proceed productivelly. This is a rule for all discussions.
     
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    nice thoughts Lix...
    actually I try to go into a discussion to discuss things hmmmmm......nothing to do with right or wrong
     
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    The point of discussion IMO is not so much to reach agreement but most importantly to acheive understanding. An agreement if possible happens by default and not by ambition. And full agreement is very rare I can assure you....
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    oopsy! Did I just derail my own thread!!!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  13. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    The purpose is to pursue truth. That is why purpose of discussion is to understand things. To come to an agreement, all you have to do is agree with anything anybody says. The purpose is to reach understanding is the same thing as the purpose of pursuing truth. You cannot discuss whether or not something is true unless truth exist objectively. There is no reason to approach truth as subjective as the only thing that can be subjective is perception.
     
  14. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,423
    I would say you are on the right track but not quite there. Look at an apple, picture the apple in your mind, and look at the apple again. Did what you pictured in your mind correspond to the real thing? If so then you had achieved truth. If not then falsity was achieved. That's what truth really is, it's when something in your mind corresponds to actual reality. That's why we also have the concept of 'false' (i.e. when something in your mind doesn't correspond to actual reality).
     
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    lets have a look at this post:
    1. The purpose is to pursue truth.
    2. That is why purpose of discussion is to understand things.
    3. To come to an agreement, all you have to do is agree with anything anybody says.
    4. The purpose is to reach understanding is the same thing as the purpose of pursuing truth.
    5. You cannot discuss whether or not something is true unless truth exist objectively.
    6. There is no reason to approach truth as subjective as the only thing that can be subjective is perception
    I note that not once have you invited discussion with these points.

    and BTW it is the issue presented by point #6 that is the topic of this thread. So I am doing your job for you...ha
     
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    hmmm...I'll get back to your response soon CC and as usual I value it enough to take some time to consider it properly...
    [ I gotta go xmas shopping is actually the real reason...[chuckle]]
     
  17. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    Yes. If a mind concludes that something is true, it doesn't mean that it is true. There is perception and there is truth which exists independent of perceotion. While a matter can only be either true or false. The perception may arrive at a conclusion that doesn't correspond to the actuality matter.
     
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    is there anything else you wish to add?
     
  19. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,072
    Like what?
     
  20. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,423
    Brutal, Xmas shopping on a Sunday evening before Xmas week. May the force be with you

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    .
     
  21. Tnerb Banned Banned

    Messages:
    7,917
    That's a scary truth, y0. I want to see it laid out more clear. I believe the OP did a good job, but I can't understand it.
     
  22. Tnerb Banned Banned

    Messages:
    7,917
    Like this,

    This is like I said sounding to be very scary. I think it has to do with an observer observing that is not the observer. Or is the observer. Or is other observers.

    Anyway, I guess that'd make sense.
     
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,527
    Well unlike Santa C I can't do everything at the one time....ha

    Typing from coffee shop [el - plaza]
    btw it is Monday afternoon here...but brutal shopping it is...ha
     

Share This Page