Modeling the contexts of Believing in Absolute Truth and Believing in Truth as Interpretation (with the purpose of bringing mutual understanding to both contexts)


I see many disagreements between people living in two contexts that are often assumed to be mutually exclusive: believing in absolute truth and believing that it is impossible for two different agents or interpreters to see truth in the same way. This is an attempt to model the two contexts in such a way that might bring understanding to both sides.

For the Absolute Truth context, let's assume a belief in God. (This assumption is not required and other assumptions could be made to construct different contexts for the same purpose, but since this is a demonstration that it is possible for the two contexts to come to mutual understanding, this is the one I'm choosing for the example.) In this context, we assert that there is an omniscient God and that an Absolute Truth exists. We assert that God sees that Absolute Truth, but that all other creatures see it "through a glimmer darkly," i.e. imperfectly. The imperfections introduced in the perception of that Absolute Truth therefore create differences in how that truth is perceived, thought about, judged, striven for, and proclaimed.

For the Truth as Interpretation context, let's assume belief that there is no omniscient God and that the only perceivers are approximately equal beings or agents. Each agent views the world (the supercontext of all contexts)and constructs an internal representation of knowledge about its own perceptions of that world. Those completely define truth in the agent's context.

Different agents will believe different things about the world, and communication, interaction, and cooperation toward goals can only happen if there is sufficient overlap and agreement in the agents' internal representations. If 1) a creature from the Absolute Truth context can accept that an agent from the Truth as Interpretation Context is an imperfect creature like itself, and 2) the agent from the Truth as Interpretation context can accept that the creature's internal representation necessarily differs from its own, but both can seek the areas of overlap and agreement, then there can be an element of mutual understanding.

Anyone care to comment?

Tags

  1. modeling
  2. context
  3. truth

Comments


Mark de LA says
Welcome to FastBlogIt (or fbi for short). I started a somewhat different inquiry on truth recently 16185 & over the years with Seth most of which hinged on his use of the term "better truth".  I think the term "absolute" before the word truth is a red herring. Truth is a good word of & by itself. I hold that existence is something & that truth is language expressing the same. If it is congruent with what's so it is truth. If not it is falsehood.  No God needed to grok that. God in this discussion is a red herring as well.


Seth says
hi Lisa ... nice to talk with you again about this stuff

I think everybody agrees that everybody has there own interpretations.  That assumption is shared by both points of view.  Correct me there, Mark, if you disagree.  I could mentograph that situation as follows ...

Were P1 and P2 are persons, agents, and A is something in the world that they both perceive.  I1 and I2 then is their respective interpertations ... perhaps expressed out in the world as some kind of language.

I labeled the whole frame "God's point of view" just because no real person could ever see the situation from that point of view. 

The problem is the A outside of the "contextCaves" .. which i labeled, using Marks's term "what is so" and also using what i presume "truth" meant in Lisa's paragraph. 

My claim is not that the A outside of the P1 and P2 doesn't exist ... but rather that nobody can know it ... so why talk about it as if we could.   My philosophy assumes that that A, that what is so, that truth, does in fact exist.  Shit would be very peculiar and strange and science fictioney if it did not exist. 

So, if we are to picture the situation more honestly, we cannot even represent it in a frame from God's point of view.   Here is the best I can do at the moment ...


The large squiggly lines on the right of the diagram represent my mouth.  The Is is then what i say out in the world about A.

Obviously each of you can draw a similar diagram representing your own personal perdicaments.  But what none of us can do is to honestly say the first diagram above ... because the A, labeled "what is so" and "truth" is non-referential.  It does not refer honestly to anything that is in our minds.



Mark de LA says
      Yes & no.
      Since the doesn't accept there is any truth (knowledge outside opinion), outside of individual opinion, he should start by not putting God in the argument. That is one word, I am certain, everyone has a different opinion about. Yes, everyone has a different opinion. If you want to get stuck there & throw truth out that is fine with me, but don't assert any claim to having the truth (of any kind) any longer with me in discussions; don't assert any claim to being able to pass judgement on anything I say as being a lie as well. 
     Nobody here has yet proven that there is any mechanism for getting beyond living in separate worlds.
     I would start with the perceptible, perception & percepts & the common language used. With children, as they begin to talk in imitation of adults the first words about the perceptible world are developed by pointing at something & uttering a word associated with it like hot, apple, milk .....

You could also reference Hellen Keller of whom it is said that the World emerged for her only after she groked language.

Mark de LA says
In my study of ontology as it equates with zen there are two words context & distinction which must be mastered. Distinction is what separates something out of the perceptible world (internal, external & otherwise) from the background of all percepts for attention & discussion. Something is distinct from the background of chaos not yet become cosmos.  Context is a distinction about the way you hold stuff. We can hold distinctions as if they are in an objective world or we can hold them in a solipsistic world or in a material world, a monistic or dualistic &/or in lots of other ways. Shifting context can make an entirely different semantic.


Lisa Cox says
M 2012-09-29 09:04:04 16221
. . . Context is a distinction about the way you hold stuff. We can hold distinctions as if they are in an objective world or we can hold them in a solipsistic world or in a material world, a monistic or dualistic &/or in lots of other ways. Shifting context can make an entirely different semantic.


Agreed. 
(I'll start with the simpler-to-me stuff first.  Y'all are way out ahead of me, so thanks for being patient. )

Seth says
... ... well strangely enough we agree there far more than we disagree ... your personal barbs notwistanding. 

Here let me summarize our agreements ...

(1) "different agents  see truth" differently [essentially Lisa's framing above]
"everybody has there own interpretations" [my wording of the same thing]
"everyone has a different opinion" [mark above]

But what is so very strange is that ...
source: Mark claims
"the doesn't accept there is any truth [snip] outside of individual opinion"
... but the , (me, Seth), explicitly state the opposite ...
source: Seth above
"My philosophy assumes that that A, that what is so, truth itself, does in fact exist." 

It exists, of that I have no doubt whatsoever.  The point is that no one can know it.  Nor can they honestly claim that they do. 

Mark de LA says
seth 2012-09-29 10:05:10 16221
M 2012-09-29 09:57:46 16221
What is interpretation if not opinion, ,
Yep it is the same thing to me ... that's why i put all three sentences under our agreement (1).
I don't agree that
( above): ... The point is that no one can know it.  Nor can they honestly claim that they do. 
... Your opinion on that differs from mine & hence can't be a point of departure.

Seth says
M 2012-09-29 09:57:46 16221
What is interpretation if not opinion, ,
Yep it is the same thing to me ... that's why i put all three sentences under our agreement (1).

Mark de LA says
Another way of saying that is that you() have no way, by your own rules, to limit or evaluate another's perceptual/cognitive abilities.


Seth says
M 2012-09-29 10:16:56 16221
Another way of saying that is that you() have no way, by your own rules, to limit or evaluate another's perceptual/cognitive abilities.

Sure you do.  You keep looking for better and better matches between someone's  interpretations and your own.  Where people are honest about their interpretations of their perceptions, those will tend to converge ... the match getting better and better  .

Seth says
M 2012-09-29 10:14:16 16221
seth 2012-09-29 10:05:10 16221
M 2012-09-29 09:57:46 16221
What is interpretation if not opinion, ,
Yep it is the same thing to me ... that's why i put all three sentences under our agreement (1).
I don't agree that
( above): ... The point is that no one can know it.  Nor can they honestly claim that they do. 
... Your opinion on that differs from mine & hence can't be a point of departure.

Yes, I know.  You think that you can know absolute truth.  I think nobody can, not even you.  That is, in fact our disagreement.

Please stop with the () stuff ... it is quite unnecessary.

Mark de LA says
seth 2012-09-29 10:39:17 16221
M 2012-09-29 10:14:16 16221
seth 2012-09-29 10:05:10 16221
M 2012-09-29 09:57:46 16221
What is interpretation if not opinion, ,
Yep it is the same thing to me ... that's why i put all three sentences under our agreement (1).
I don't agree that
( above): ... The point is that no one can know it.  Nor can they honestly claim that they do. 
... Your opinion on that differs from mine & hence can't be a point of departure.

Yes, I know.  You think that you can know absolute truth.  I think nobody can, not even you.  That is, in fact our disagreement.

Please stop with the () stuff ... it is quite unnecessary.
In spite of your strawman surrounding truth with the word absolute which I have NEVER USED, you have no evidence to back up that nobody else can limited by your opinion/belief - mostly belief.
is a nice punctuation which relieves the monotony of using your name or just a pronoun in this 3-way conversation. It is affectionate when I use it.
 

Mark de LA says
seth 2012-09-29 10:34:17 16221
M 2012-09-29 10:16:56 16221
Another way of saying that is that you() have no way, by your own rules, to limit or evaluate another's perceptual/cognitive abilities.

Sure you do.  You keep looking for better and better matches between someone's  interpretations and your own.  Where people are honest about their interpretations of their perceptions, those will tend to converge ... the match getting better and better  .
Nah... you have no way to match what is in your mind with that of someone else by your rules & you don't know whether they are lying or just agreeing with you for some other reason.


Lisa Cox says
M 2012-09-29 00:30:00 16221
Welcome to FastBlogIt (or fbi for short).

Thank you!
I started a somewhat different inquiry on truth recently 16185
Yes, that's where I entered this world, I think.
& over the years with Seth most of which hinged on his use of the term "better truth".
Since I haven't yet grokked the distinctions (will work on that on the other comments) between yours and Seth's meaning of the word "truth" (definition, connotations, assumptions, linkages, etc.), I'll skip that for now, but "better" necessitates a judgement, whether that be an individual's or that of a consensus.  I usually don't find such judgements useful unless they are in a context with an explicitly defined (and hopefully measurable and consensus-agreed-upon) goal.
I think the term "absolute" before the word truth is a red herring.
Anything can be a "red herring" if it doesn't contribute toward your goal.  I'm sorry if I was trying to explain something from my thoughtWorld instead of helping your goal.  I don't yet understand your goal, but after I do, I may try to help.  My apologies.
I used the word absolute in front of truth in an effort to communicate that I believe in the existence of an Absolute reality that exists outside of my perceptions.  I believe that we can encounter that reality and learn about it and test what we've learned by throwing stuff back at that reality and watching what happens.  Some philosophers I've read seem not to believe that that sort of reality even exists.  I was trying to communicate that I believe it exists and that we can encounter it, but our perceptions of it are imperfect.  My goal is to be understood.  I apologize if that is somehow counter to your goal.
Truth is a good word of & by itself.
I agree. Every word is a good word of & by itself.  However, it takes work on my part to come to understand the meaning behind the word when you use it compared to and contrasted with the meaning behind the word when Seth uses it, and then to understand the similarities and differences to how I understood the word before my encounter with you, and then finally to make a decision as to whether I want to change my own understood meaning of the word.
I hold that existence is something & that truth is language expressing the same.
Thank you.  That is very useful.  I can see a distinction now.  If your truth does not exist outside of language (the language of logic comes to mind), then I have not been talking about the same concept at all.  My apologies.  The way I use the word truth is more like the way you use the word existence. 
For me, language about existence is interpretation (that you seem to call opinion) of that existence put into output form with the goal of communicating with others who live in that existence.  My goal is usually to understand and modify my output in such a way as to become able to work together with others living in that existence.  For me, language can never be truth in and of itself.  We obviously have different worldviews. However, I am very interested in understanding yours, so I will keep trying.

If it is congruent with what's so it is truth. If not it is falsehood.
I may agree with you.  I cannot tell.  If you are saying that:
if perception+interpretation of existence seems to match good enough for the current goal we can call that "truth"
I may agree with you.  But if you are saying there is still no truth outside of language, I cannot agree.
No God needed to grok that. God in this discussion is a red herring as well.

Again, I apologize.  I have most often encountered arguments using words such as yours in God-centered conversations where one individual believes "interpretation" is somehow sacriligious to their theology.  If I superimposed those experiences onto your conversation in error, I apologize. 
I agree.  There is no necessity to "posit a God" for the presentation of the two contexts that I talked about, and I think I said so, but I'll go check to make sure.  You have stated that God is a red herring when measuring against your goal.  At the time, my goal was to communicate with a person (that I apparently fabricated in my own head since I misunderstood you) about what I thought was a contextual misunderstanding.  That goal is now discarded and I have substituted the goal of communicating with you. 

Thank you for the interaction.  It is a good exercise to try to communicate clearly with someone I have newly met.

Seth says
M 2012-09-29 10:49:29 16221
seth 2012-09-29 10:39:17 16221
M 2012-09-29 10:14:16 16221
seth 2012-09-29 10:05:10 16221
M 2012-09-29 09:57:46 16221
What is interpretation if not opinion, ,
Yep it is the same thing to me ... that's why i put all three sentences under our agreement (1).
I don't agree that
( above): ... The point is that no one can know it.  Nor can they honestly claim that they do. 
... Your opinion on that differs from mine & hence can't be a point of departure.

Yes, I know.  You think that you can know absolute truth.  I think nobody can, not even you.  That is, in fact our disagreement.

Please stop with the () stuff ... it is quite unnecessary.
In spite of your strawman surrounding truth with the word absolute which I have NEVER USED, you have no evidence to back up that nobody else can limited by your opinion/belief - mostly belief.
is a nice punctuation which relieves the monotony of using your name or just a pronoun in this 3-way conversation. It is affectionate when I use it.
 

Yes, you are right.  I have no evidence or proof that some people can not know things absolutely.  In fact i am quite sure that they think that they do.  That is an assumption that i make and believe quite without any proof.

Lisa Cox says
seth 2012-09-29 07:44:59 16221
hi Lisa ... nice to talk with you again about this stuff
Hi!  Thank you, same here, and it's been a long time.    I've recently started working on "chunkifying" my dissertation research in order to try to get it on the web in a way that's usable and free to everyone (in the wild, befuddled hope that it may someday help some poor soul).  I found your site when I was searching for a place to "plug in" to the current discussions about the issues.
I think everybody agrees that everybody has there own interpretations. That assumption is shared by both points of view.
Ok. I didn't get that.  Thanks.
snip I could mentograph that situation as follows
I remember your mentographs from before.    I think I've caught up.  Thanks.  I agree with the way you have explained it in the first graph.

snip because no real person could ever see the situation from that point of view.
Do both Seth and Mark agree that "no real person could ever see the situation" from that outside, perfect point of view, or is there some distinction in the opinions on that point?
The problem is the A outside of the "contextCaves" .. which i labeled, using Marks's term "what is so" and also using what i presume "truth" meant in Lisa's paragraph.
Do you mean that the "problem" with A is that Mark, Seth, and/or Lisa use different words to describe A, that they have different beliefs about A, or that they talk about it in ways that are not useful?
My claim is not that the A outside of the P1 and P2 doesn't exist snip Shit would be very peculiar and strange and science fictioney if it did not exist.
I agree.
but rather that nobody can know it ... so why talk about it as if we could.
The disagreement may hinge on what the different people mean by "know".  My epistmology professor got very red in the face and called me a skeptic once, and I think it's because we used that word very differently. The physicist/pragmatist in me distinguishes between "know" and "know good enough for some explicit goal or use."  I think most people use the word in the 2nd sense (although often glossing over or not even thinking about the "goal or use"), and I think they think I'm crazy for making the distinction.
snip The large squiggly lines on the right of the diagram represent my mouth. The Is is then what i say out in the world about A.
  I like that.

So, if we are to picture the situation more honestly, we cannot even represent it in a frame from God's point of view. Here is the best I can do at the moment ... [snip]
But what none of us can do is to honestly say the first diagram above ... because the A, labeled "what is so" and "truth" is non-referential. It does not refer honestly to anything that is in our minds.
I think I disagree with you, here.  We have the ability to establish fictitious contexts, belief contexts, and what-if contexts that are separate from the context of what we have "asserted," in logic-fashion, of our personal belief about truth.  (Fitzgerald's quote on holding two contradictory ideas at the same time without accepting either or being able to accept both comes to mind.)  Sowa showed it was possible to have p and ¬p co-existing as long as each exists in a different belief context.  (One of the reasons I did posit a God in the scenario I started with is because there are people who believe something cannot exist without a referent or interpreter.  For those, I would surround anything they fuss about with a "I believe", "let's pretend", or "what if" context.)

However, I may be wrong about my disagreement.  It probably hinges on what you mean by "honest" and "honestly."  I'm unsure.  Sorry.   (That emoticon looks like she's sleepy on my screen, but the hover-over said "sorry".  I'm not sleepy.  Actually, I'm very interested in the discussion.)

I hope I haven't made you tired of me yet. 

Mark de LA says
M 2012-09-29 11:26:22 16221
I call "absolute" a red-herring because that word comes with the usual baggage that "nothing is absolute!  Seth's use almost assumes his conclusion that nobody can know the truth because of absoluteness. Bringing the word God into the picture is similar if not more egregious to communication.  I would have to see a mentograph of the meaning of the word & so on since God is sometimes interchangeable with everything, the creator, a grey-bearded old man sitting on a throne in the sky playing with his human puppets etc. & then too there is the trinity thingy. Zen ontology holds everything as unity & individual human development & capacity determines how much of that we grok over a lifetime & beyond.  Truth depends upon language and our ability to express what we grok of existence to ourselves and others. What we hold of existence depends upon our consciousness. There is lots of stuff that I can grok without being able to put it into language.  The "I am" experience is one of them.  We can dance all around it but I have yet to meet someone who can communicate that to another so that that experience crosses the threshold between them.

I amend that last sentence to the context of using words.  It can be done without words. I have done it many times in various degrees of depth.

Lisa Cox says
M 2012-09-29 08:31:27 16221
 snip the doesn't accept there is any truth (knowledge outside opinion)
Am I wrong that Seth uses the word truth like you use the word existence?  Am I wrong that you asserted that truth exists only inside of language? 
I'm having trouble understanding this definition of truth as "knowledge outside of opinion."  Do you mean the same thing I mean when I say "true enough" when measured against some goal using data we get when we test the theory and "throw stuff at existence"?  Or do you mean something like "truth agreed upon by consensus"?  Or do you mean something abstract like from the world of math where 2+2=4 is TRUE in the sense that they believe that transcends anyone's perception?

Maybe it would be useful for me in the goal of understanding you better if you gave me an example of "truth as knowledge outside of opinion," one that seems clear to you ?
snip don't assert any claim to having the truth (of any kind) snip don't assert any claim to being able to pass judgement
 I concede that I have not read your history of discussions, so I may be asking really dumb questions.  If so, I apologize.  But I haven't seen where Seth claims to have the truth (as he defines it) or of having the truth (as I'm fallibly understanding Mark's definition of it).  Maybe that's in another post?

But I'm even more confused about the judgement word.  Did you mean "pass judgement" in the disparaging sense as in saying someone is wrong, or did you mean "pass judgement" as in deciding what he thinks and updating his view of the world?
snip Nobody here has yet proven that there is any mechanism for getting beyond living in separate worlds.
I would start with the perceptible, perception & percepts
I don't personally believe that's provable at all, unless the fact that lots of people live together and get things done together could be taken as a form of proof.  After all, we seem to manage (sometimes clumsily and sometimes destructively) to communicate on some level, however imperfectly.  And I agree that's a good place to start.
snip With children, as they begin to talk in imitation of adults the first words about the perceptible world are developed by pointing at something & uttering a word associated with it like hot, apple, milk .....

And thus begins that sloppy and very necessary process of learning to communicate clearly.  But it is a very complex process.  The child, without being able to articulate it, has goals:
- Mom seems to really, really want me to say that sound, so I'll make her happy and get her off my back,
- Saying that sound seems to make the adults silly with glee, and it's lots of fun to watch that,
- I'm hugely hungry and I want that milk!  What was that sound, again?  If I say that sound, will that big person hand me the milk?
- Wow, I can say 45 sounds and point at things and everyone in the room thinks I'm a genius!
- Cool!  Everyone around me seems to think that this is the perfect sound to go with that object.  This standardization thing rocks!

You get the point.

snip
You could also reference Hellen Keller of whom it is said that the World emerged for her only after she groked language.

I love reading Hellen Keller!   She proves at least one of my theses.  I find it fascinating that language held the key to the world for her, but she still had thoughts, ideas, goals, emotions, and judgements before learning traditional language.  That leads me to believe that there is the possibility of a language of thought that can exist without words or even pictures.  I may be using this word wrong, but I think that's what "memes" is all about.  (Feel free to educate me more indepth on memes.)

Thanks for the discussion.  It's giving my brain a nice workout. 

Lisa Cox says
snip Yes, I know[vernacular].  You think that you can know[epistemic] absolute truth.  I think nobody can, not even you.  That is, in fact our disagreement. snip
Thank you! <where's that happy dance emoticon?>  The point at which the belief contexts collide, and it's simple enough even I can understand it!  Thank you.

But of course, it leads me to wonder next how each of you define and understand that word "know". . . .

Lisa Cox says
M 2012-09-29 10:52:23 16221 snip
Nah... you have no way to match what is in your mind with that of someone else by your rules & you don't know whether they are lying or just agreeing with you for some other reason.


You two are too fast for me!  <where's the emoticon with sweat dripping?>

Ok, Seth says we keep testing our beliefs agaist "what's out there" (Lisa's vague, informal term = Seth's truth = Mark's existence, right?) to get more confidence, i.e. to think our belief system is "better."

I agree with that.

While we cannot "match what is in your mind with that of someone else" (from Mark, and I wholly believe that), the act of communication is, in my opinion, the way we attempt to accomplish our goals in lieu of being able to go in there and look at and understand another person's mindmap.

"don't know whether they are lying or just agreeing"
That is too true, but assessment of motive is a whole 'nother can of worms, and how we choose to address this problem is more a matter of personality and choice than of argument, right? 
Deciding
- when to assume a person is being honest (trying their best to communicate what they really think, feel, understand, believe),
- when they are deliberately misrepresenting what they think, feel, understand, believe (lying),
- when they're simply deluded,
- when they're just not so good at communication,
- when they're so uncomfortable they'll agree with you to get you to go away,
- etc.
is the activity that makes us either more or less successful in the world, no?

Lisa Cox says
M 2012-09-29 11:31:28 16221
M 2012-09-29 11:26:22 16221
I call "absolute" a red-herring because that word comes with the usual baggage that "nothing is absolute!  Seth's use almost assumes his conclusion that nobody can know the truth because of absoluteness. Bringing the word God into the picture is similar if not more egregious to communication.  I would have to see a mentograph of the meaning of the word & so on since God is sometimes interchangeable with everything, the creator, a grey-bearded old man sitting on a throne in the sky playing with his human puppets etc. & then too there is the trinity thingy. Zen ontology holds everything as unity & individual human development & capacity determines how much of that we grok over a lifetime & beyond.  Truth depends upon language and our ability to express what we grok of existence to ourselves and others. What we hold of existence depends upon our consciousness. There is lots of stuff that I can grok without being able to put it into language.  The "I am" experience is one of them.  We can dance all around it but I have yet to meet someone who can communicate that to another so that that experience crosses the threshold between them.

I amend that last sentence to the context of using words.  It can be done without words. I have done it many times in various degrees of depth.

 
Technical question: I can't find where the comment you "quoted" is.  Does that mean you deleted a comment after adding the addendum?  Can we edit comments?  If so, I'd like to go back and put carriage returns in a couple of mine!

Lisa Cox says
Lisa Cox 2012-09-29 13:10:41 16221
snip Technical question: I can't find where the comment you "quoted" is.  Does that mean you deleted a comment after adding the addendum?  Can we edit comments?  If so, I'd like to go back and put carriage returns in a couple of mine!

Duh!  <need that emoticon of hitting myself in the head with a brick> 
You were pointing to a post in another "room" or group or such, right?

Lisa Cox says
seth 2012-09-29 10:59:21 16221
snip
Yes, you are right.  I have no evidence or proof that some people can not know things absolutely.  In fact i am quite sure that they think that they do.  That is an assumption that i make and believe quite without any proof.

Oooooohhhhhh, if those people exist, then in my belief system, I call them gods.

But you're right, we'll never be able to prove they exist, I don't think.  That proof will have to be someone else's dissertation, 'cause I'm done.

Mark de LA says
Lisa Cox 2012-09-29 13:10:41 16221
M 2012-09-29 11:31:28 16221
M 2012-09-29 11:26:22 16221
I call "absolute" a red-herring because that word comes with the usual baggage that "nothing is absolute!  Seth's use almost assumes his conclusion that nobody can know the truth because of absoluteness. Bringing the word God into the picture is similar if not more egregious to communication.  I would have to see a mentograph of the meaning of the word & so on since God is sometimes interchangeable with everything, the creator, a grey-bearded old man sitting on a throne in the sky playing with his human puppets etc. & then too there is the trinity thingy. Zen ontology holds everything as unity & individual human development & capacity determines how much of that we grok over a lifetime & beyond.  Truth depends upon language and our ability to express what we grok of existence to ourselves and others. What we hold of existence depends upon our consciousness. There is lots of stuff that I can grok without being able to put it into language.  The "I am" experience is one of them.  We can dance all around it but I have yet to meet someone who can communicate that to another so that that experience crosses the threshold between them.

I amend that last sentence to the context of using words.  It can be done without words. I have done it many times in various degrees of depth.

 
Technical question: I can't find where the comment you "quoted" is.  Does that mean you deleted a comment after adding the addendum?  Can we edit comments?  If so, I'd like to go back and put carriage returns in a couple of mine!
There is no way to edit the comments themselves so when I want to change my comment as in the above I quote myself & delete the original.  Only the author can edit the base item.


Lisa Cox says
M 2012-09-29 11:31:28 16221
M 2012-09-29 11:26:22 16221
I call "absolute" a red-herring because that word comes with the usual baggage that "nothing is absolute!  Seth's use almost assumes his conclusion that nobody can know the truth because of absoluteness. Bringing the word God into the picture is similar if not more egregious to communication.  I would have to see a mentograph of the meaning of the word & so on since God is sometimes interchangeable with everything, the creator, a grey-bearded old man sitting on a throne in the sky playing with his human puppets etc. & then too there is the trinity thingy. Zen ontology holds everything as unity & individual human development & capacity determines how much of that we grok over a lifetime & beyond.  Truth depends upon language and our ability to express what we grok of existence to ourselves and others. What we hold of existence depends upon our consciousness. There is lots of stuff that I can grok without being able to put it into language.  The "I am" experience is one of them.  We can dance all around it but I have yet to meet someone who can communicate that to another so that that experience crosses the threshold between them.

I amend that last sentence to the context of using words.  It can be done without words. I have done it many times in various degrees of depth.

Context: I'm admittedly fatiguing, so if I say something that sounds like "fight me," I don't mean it that way.  It just means that I'm not taking as much time and effort to choose my words carefully as I have been doing.

I think I see where you're coming from, but just because your experience puts baggage onto the term "absolute," doesn't mean that everyone's context carries that baggage.  Now that I know it has baggage in your context, I'll try to be more careful using it.  Sorry.
The word "egregious" has baggage in my context.  I don't understand how perfectly rational people can start frothing at the mouth when the word God is used.  I would think that people who want to investigate truth or reality or knowledge or understanding would be perfectly able to posit a context in which any concept, including that of God, exists and examine the ideas surrounding it.  Sowa uses the word "unicorn," I think, in such a way, maybe to avoid the fistfights? 
I agree that if people were actually interested in conversing about what any word means, they should go into the details about the meanings and maybe a mentograph would help.  I also agree that there are so many different concepts of "God" floating around that it takes a lot of work to understand someone's view.

I am unfamiliar with Zen ontology, so I apologize for any offensive things I say unknowingly.

If I correctly understand what you have written, I think you are saying that in Zen ontology someone who understands existence better is evolving as a spiritual being?  I'm still probably not understanding what you mean by "truth depends upon language and our ability to express. . ." unless that is also an ability that exists at higher evolved levels?

I completely agree that "there is lots of stuff that I can grok without being able to put it into language," but without language I can't begin to try to see if your "I am" experience is anything like my "I am" experience, however that language may be a language of being with someone, walking with them, caring for them, understanding them without words.  Which, I guess, is what you mean with your last sentence and the addendum.

It takes a lot more work and a lot more emotional investment to truly communicate to another human being that you *know* them (if I am correctly using the word know in Mark's sense).  It involves time together, or an almost magic connection of understanding, or a sense of experience and moods, sometimes an experience of hardship together. 

Am I anywhere close, Mark, to what you are speaking of?

Mark de LA says
Lisa Cox 2012-09-29 13:17:14 16221
seth 2012-09-29 10:59:21 16221
snip
Yes, you are right.  I have no evidence or proof that some people can not know things absolutely.  In fact i am quite sure that they think that they do.  That is an assumption that i make and believe quite without any proof.

Oooooohhhhhh, if those people exist, then in my belief system, I call them gods.

But you're right, we'll never be able to prove they exist, I don't think.  That proof will have to be someone else's dissertation, 'cause I'm done.
Yep, I'm done with the absolute thingy. That's Seth's hangup - he keeps putting in there. I speculate that is because he sees truth as an evolution whose goal is absolute truth which can never be reached. That's somewhat like in projective geometry where parallel lines meet at infinity.


Mark de LA says
If I had one goal in this discussion it would be to get Seth to quit using the term better truth.  I also have the secondary goal to rid the discussion of absolute truth . Other than that, the goal of having a third user for fbi is fun & enjoyable & accomplished.  You keep up well.


Lisa Cox says
M 2012-09-29 13:27:19 16221
snipThere is no way to edit the comments themselves so when I want to change my comment as in the above I quote myself & delete the original.  Only the author can edit the base item.


Thanks!  I think that makes more sense to me, now! 

Mark de LA says
Lisa Cox 2012-09-29 13:39:52 16221
M 2012-09-29 11:31:28 16221
M 2012-09-29 11:26:22 16221
I call "absolute" a red-herring because that word comes with the usual baggage that "nothing is absolute!  Seth's use almost assumes his conclusion that nobody can know the truth because of absoluteness. Bringing the word God into the picture is similar if not more egregious to communication.  I would have to see a mentograph of the meaning of the word & so on since God is sometimes interchangeable with everything, the creator, a grey-bearded old man sitting on a throne in the sky playing with his human puppets etc. & then too there is the trinity thingy. Zen ontology holds everything as unity & individual human development & capacity determines how much of that we grok over a lifetime & beyond.  Truth depends upon language and our ability to express what we grok of existence to ourselves and others. What we hold of existence depends upon our consciousness. There is lots of stuff that I can grok without being able to put it into language.  The "I am" experience is one of them.  We can dance all around it but I have yet to meet someone who can communicate that to another so that that experience crosses the threshold between them.

I amend that last sentence to the context of using words.  It can be done without words. I have done it many times in various degrees of depth.

Context: I'm admittedly fatiguing, so if I say something that sounds like "fight me," I don't mean it that way.  It just means that I'm not taking as much time and effort to choose my words carefully as I have been doing.

I think I see where you're coming from, but just because your experience puts baggage onto the term "absolute," doesn't mean that everyone's context carries that baggage.  Now that I know it has baggage in your context, I'll try to be more careful using it.  Sorry.
The word "egregious" has baggage in my context.  I don't understand how perfectly rational people can start frothing at the mouth when the word God is used.  I would think that people who want to investigate truth or reality or knowledge or understanding would be perfectly able to posit a context in which any concept, including that of God, exists and examine the ideas surrounding it.  Sowa uses the word "unicorn," I think, in such a way, maybe to avoid the fistfights? 
I agree that if people were actually interested in conversing about what any word means, they should go into the details about the meanings and maybe a mentograph would help.  I also agree that there are so many different concepts of "God" floating around that it takes a lot of work to understand someone's view.

I am unfamiliar with Zen ontology, so I apologize for any offensive things I say unknowingly.

If I correctly understand what you have written, I think you are saying that in Zen ontology someone who understands existence better is evolving as a spiritual being?  I'm still probably not understanding what you mean by "truth depends upon language and our ability to express. . ." unless that is also an ability that exists at higher evolved levels?

I completely agree that "there is lots of stuff that I can grok without being able to put it into language," but without language I can't begin to try to see if your "I am" experience is anything like my "I am" experience, however that language may be a language of being with someone, walking with them, caring for them, understanding them without words.  Which, I guess, is what you mean with your last sentence and the addendum.

It takes a lot more work and a lot more emotional investment to truly communicate to another human being that you *know* them (if I am correctly using the word know in Mark's sense).  It involves time together, or an almost magic connection of understanding, or a sense of experience and moods, sometimes an experience of hardship together. 

Am I anywhere close, Mark, to what you are speaking of?
The nesting is getting difficult.  I would guess you have about 75% of what I was talking about. I am just going to talk about what I think was missing from your understanding in another comment.


Lisa Cox says
M 2012-09-29 13:50:31 16221
If I had one goal in this discussion it would be to get Seth to quit using the term better truth.  I also have the secondary goal to rid the discussion of absolute truth . Other than that, the goal of having a third user for fbi is fun & enjoyable & accomplished.  You keep up well.


I've found goals that involve getting people to do a certain thing or not do a certain thing are beyond my capabilities (Just ask my husband for verification ), but good luck to you!  Trying to get my dogs to do certain things and not do certain things is more my speed.

And like I said in one of those comments-to-comments, now that I know that absolute truth and better truth carry baggage in your context, I'll make an effort to change my words (with the goal of communicating better).

It *is* fun to interact with two really intelligent minds!    Thank you both for being interested and for making me welcome.
3rd user for fbi?  I thought I saw mentions of lots of other groups/rooms?

Mark de LA says
The HTML on this 16221 is effed up!
source: ...
If I were to say: "this statement is a better statement than that one" ... i will bet that Mark would have no complaint.  In essence that is all I am saying when i say this is a better truth than that.
... Nope! It forces the question "better in what way?"  ... that's part of the Meta Model of NLP - precision in language.



Mark de LA says
Seth: ... "Absolute truth", "knowledge apart from opinion", "what is so", "the natural world apart from interpretation", "God's eye view" ... to me those are all the terms referring to the same thing and it doesn't matter which we use just that we agree that we are talking about the same thingey.
... nice try!  Conflating all other distinctions to agree with your own muddles the language & makes the discussion moot (for you). There is nothing particularly useful in this discussion. After it is over you will still have not be able to access exactly what is so in the Universe because your belief will act as a wall & I will keep on trying if not occasionally succeeding. 
     From my zen studies there was an exercise to meditate or contemplate a rose in a glass vase with some water in it at the table in front of the room. Peter charged us "to experience the rose as itself for itself" & not from our own point of view.  (I'm pretty sure Seth would have argued with the zen master at that point ). The experiment was not without some results. Clue #1 you have to throw away almost all your concepts & knowledge about flowers, roses, plants, colors .....etc to even get a grip.


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