Truth and Opinion

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Fox of the Oaks
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Truth and Opinion

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 16 Sep 2010, 01:41

“The old believe everything; the middle aged suspect everything: the young know everything.”
- Oscar Wilde

I would like to discuss a few things around Truth, perspective, opinion and paradigms.
Having just gone through a discussion on the Skeptical Druid(http://www.druidry.org/board/dhp/viewto ... 48&t=36052),
I wanted to follow on with some ideas, but felt this forum was more appropriate.

The above quote by Oscar Wilde resonates with me here, and it's neither proven science nor anything supernatural, it's just one person's voice. One person's wisdom if you think it so. To me wisdom is the central goal of Druidry, and this works for me regardless of whether the world is considered concrete or mystical, or both, or neither, or something altogether different.


Science may consider the world concrete, i.e. materialism. It may require empirical evidence before it will conclude a rational truth or scientific law. Note here I am including Science as a point of view, in the sense of a paradigm, or lens to view the world through, with it's knowledge and practical effects just like any other worldview - be it a religion, philosophy, art, tradition, personal opinion, etc.

The supernatural, in the sense of otherworldly, non- or semi-concrete things, is by definition not possible to be measured as a concrete phenomena. Many materialists will dismiss it as non-existent, fantasy, or 'make-believe' (the last one is a good one to ruminate upon :raven: ). The non-concrete does not fit within the scientific scope of truth because it cannot be measured - 'there is no proof, no evidence' is often the response. So it is often reduced to non-existence - non-truth simply because it does not fit the worldview (or at least it one day may come to the light of science, which is more fair I think). The same happens in many other paradigms - so I need not just target certain viewpoints within science.

Often rather than people moving beyond their paradigm and utilising other paradigms to understand that wider world, they seem to close to it - it does not fit into 'their' world - even intellectually - let alone experientially. Thus from the beginning it seems to be misunderstood, misrepresented, and portrayed in an erroneous light - hardly the approach of a being who is truly learned. This can be the case for the science and the supernatural, or for any other paradigm that does not encompass the entire universe in it's scope.

I reflect in this way: Just because I am convinced of something does not mean it is true (even if it is true, I would never assume it to be 100% true and solid enough to make me closed to alternative points of view). Even being convicted to the point of starting to slam any opposition to validate myself won't help a thing. The fact that other people are not convinced should make me question my point of view in an open minded way (or am I to consider myself the most intelligent here?... :thinking: )
But usually as humans we do the opposite and defend our territory. If my view is A, and yours is B, rather than attempt A + B, we may want to keep it at A and reduce B to zero (in our eyes), never growing beyond ourselves to learn more varied points of view. I find it hard to understand the value in this habit of closed mindedness... Knowing A, and knowing B, I will know more will I not? Knowing Science, and knowing Religion, will I not know more... or are they both too contradictory to serve each other? To me that possibility points to them both having little worth beyond their own musings.

To the ultimate level, if we are not able to encompass and genuinely respect and understand every single point of view (yes it's an eternal journey through many cycles), how can we claim one point of view (our own personal favourite) to be the greatest? If I were to suppose another person's viewpoint were more ignorant, I become smarter than them in my eyes, but not wiser, because I have closed off living inquiry into things - the mind becomes stagnant and one-sided - the quest for truth becomes stagnation of opinion.

To me having an open-mind to every point of view in order to understand them for what they are is part of wisdom, given you are not deceived into unethical or ignorant ways through them - clarity and strong integrity and ethics is important. The problem seems to be that too many worldviews have opinions upon other worldviews that are not supportive of this open learning.

Walking this talk is not easy though - yet the path to wisdom was never meant to be easy. :wiz:

Oneonine

Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Oneonine » 16 Sep 2010, 11:42

There are THREE sides to every reality

How you see it
How others see it
And how it REALLY is.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Frog » 16 Sep 2010, 13:41

It's an interesting post, Pine raven, but one which has a number of personal perceptions.

On a personal perception, I would suggest that is a foolish person that would not be prepared to compromise their belief if it is proved that their belief is wrong in a factual, pragmatic nature. i would agree though that there are people who are prepared to believe what is written in the papers, provided it ties in with their perceptions (football players are uneducated, stupid people who are paid far too much to kick a ball about; the only reason anyone appears on a reality show is because they will become famous immediately; that there is a double decker bus on the moon). For anyone that thinks about what they belief - rather than just accept someone else's considerations - then they will question their belief repeatedly.

However, to put that into perspective - and make use of the scientific statement reference:
"Science" has now agreed upon Quantum Theory. Not Quantum Fact as the proof is only through logical equation.

Similarly, from fossils washed up on the beach and found in rocks we have deduced the evolution of man and how occurences such as oil came to be. However, this "proof" is often linked with the words "over many thousands of years..." which is (in consideration) quite a challenging proof - how do you accurately prove this except by watching something over the same time period?
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Enjoy this life. It would be a shame if we looked forward to the next, only to find we forgot the one before.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 17 Sep 2010, 02:20

The trouble is when people claim to speak on behalf of REALITY, at the expense of a different point of view.
Our knowledge is still very small. I highlight the importance of humility in learning here, because often there is a lot of hubris about when it comes to such perennial questions, which is a shame - considering the aim is Learning.


Someone Should Start Laughing
by Hafiz

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

How are you?

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

What is God?

If you think that the Truth can be known
From words,

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean

Can pass through that tiny opening
Called the mouth,

O someone should start laughing!

Someone should start wildly Laughing -
Now!

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby FoxPhantom » 17 Sep 2010, 09:10

Very Interesting Pine Raven.

So with the truth the person has, it will always be hard to find the right answer unless the person is willing to learn what is there out there?
Mischief Managed. Problems Vanished.
This white fox remains.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 17 Sep 2010, 09:42

A contradiction between two different viewpoints may not mean one is right and the other is wrong, but there is yet a greater 'truth' that can encompass both in a non-contradictory way. Usually as humans it may be easier to defend what we know than expand our world-view to include a different point of view, but to blindly accept is also a danger - we need to understand in a genuine sense - and understand from the foundation or basis of the new view (not just in terms of our established beliefs, preconceptions, or assumptions).
Many may criticize religious dogma because it is blindly accepted without the 'followers' actually examining the roots and 'nuts and bolts' of their tradition - it's history, philosophy, counter viewpoints, practices and language, etc...

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby wolf560 » 21 Sep 2010, 05:19

"Truth"

A simple word of one syllable and five little letters.
Funny how it has caused so many conflicts both large and small.


There is only one 'Truth' by definition and someones 'Opinion' does not change it.

Someone once told me this story. Two people are in a room together. The walls are all painted the same color. One person sees the color of Purple and the other sees Blue. He asked me who was right, what color was it?

I answered that the color was the color, and that despite both peoples opinion the color would not change. What changed was the opinion of the observers and how they interacted with each other of the correct color of the wall.

The color was a reflection of light reacting to the pigments in the paint. By definition; When white light passes through or is reflected by a colored substance, a characteristic portion of the mixed wavelengths is absorbed. The remaining light will then assume the complementary color to the wavelength(s) absorbed.

That is the 'Truth' and both of the people sitting in the room can offer only 'Opinion'.

Too bad most Meta-Physical discussion (sub. 'arguments') cannot be solved by a simple application of reason and physical laws.

/|\ Mark
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 21 Sep 2010, 09:10

Should we just be submissive to the 'truth' of science, because in my understanding, science has changed it's 'truth' about things like light and matter and so on over the years (often against the headwind of many a sceptic of the times) - every theory is only an approximation anyway, thus it is not 'truth' but a model for truth, and it is only useful in practical terms within a certain limited range of physical parameters (as in technology).

Its all a case of mistaking the map for the terrain. Reality is not produced by our theories, our theories come from us examining reality. Facts are just theories that are sound enough to become practical tools.
Certainly Reality is true, but science is merely one model of this. It all depends what your goal is. If your goal in truth is to measure the objective world, theorise and build technology, then science is quite fitting as a model for truth. Yet is there not more to life than just this as a goal?

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 21 Sep 2010, 11:27

Hi Wolf560,

I think I misunderstood what you were saying somewhat, apologies. I agree opinion is certainly not truth. Yet I'm still not willing to hold to any ultimate answers about the nature of Reality or truth - thus I call it a Mystery. Personally I don't believe science to be the whole truth, or one day have all the answers, but that's my opinion, after having explored Science for some years. I do acknowledge the place it has as in my above post.

PineRaven.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby wolf560 » 21 Sep 2010, 18:07

Hello PineRaven..!!

I agree with your remarks on "Science" since in the long run it is simply another 'Opinion' rather than the "Truth" (which is a 'Hidden Mystery' to most).

My view on Meta-Physics is that of the original Greek attitude from Aristotle. . Physics and Meta-Physics operates on the same principles in most terms and conditions. If every action has an equal yet opposite reaction then Meta-Physics must obey the same rules. After all "Meta" Physics simply means "Beyond" Physics rather than "altered" or "different" Physics as some might suggest. "As Above, So Below" or in simpler terms..

I believe that is we can gain an understanding of normal Physics that we can begin to understand (see a part of the "Truth") Meta-Physics.

Personally, I think that until we make the permanent transition beyond our physical realm (in other words after we leave this mortal coil) we will not actually understand what the heck is going on. :cloud9:

/|\ Mark
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Fox of the Oaks » 22 Sep 2010, 00:48

Yes indeed, as above so below, as below so above. That's a good way to relate metaphysics and physics. Thanks.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby wolf560 » 22 Sep 2010, 07:16

Hello again,

I used to tell my students that they should consider physics when conducting any kinetic manipulations. To concentrate upon what they wanted to achieve and see how best to use the gathered energies at their disposal.

I used a closed door as an example of Metaphysics in action.
If a kinetic manipulation could actually be used to open a door, how would they do it?
Every student gave a variation of the same solution.....
They would concentrate enough energy to blow the door off its hinges.

I smiled and simply stood up, walked over to the door, and opened it using the handle.

I then asked why they had not thought to apply a lesser amount of force.
A little to the turn door handle, a little more to gently push the door open.
...and everything else still at their disposal for other tasks at hand.

I told them all that I was not doing this to make them look silly.
Everyone just needs to think outside the box and examine their universe with a more critical viewpoint. "As Above, So Below".

Just a thought.....

/|\ Mark
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Frog » 22 Sep 2010, 13:00

Apologies, but I got a Michael Caine voice in my head when I read
They would concentrate enough energy to blow the door off its hinges.
No idea why... :shrug: :grin:
"Don't look to the end of the rainbow for the pot of gold; it's already under your feet"
Enjoy this life. It would be a shame if we looked forward to the next, only to find we forgot the one before.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby wolf560 » 22 Sep 2010, 18:00

LOL..!!!

...and here I had a James Earl Jones voice in mine.....

" Oh Wooden Door..... you have Failed me for the Last TIME..!!!"
:grin: :grin: :grin:

/|\ Mark
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Heddwen » 24 Sep 2010, 12:18

Hi Pineraven,

Thank you for this interesting and thought provoking thread.Our opinions are formed through many things; personal experiences, nurture,value judgements,habits,the ego etc. It is difficult sometimes to achvieve true open mindedness, even more difficult to recognise our lack (and sometimes denial) of any open mindedness as we are entrenched and socialised into thinking patterns that are sometimes self serving. Getting to the truth is like peeling away these patterns like onion skins, but sometimes the difficulty is knowing when we have 'got there'.To the truth of the matter.

What do you think?

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Frog » 24 Sep 2010, 12:59

Interesting though heddwen, but I wonder if there's a differnt aspect to come at this.

Why do "we" feel the need that we have to arrive at the truth of everything, if we can accept and tolerate people's opinion?

As a trivial example: if I watch a stage magician practice his craft, using sleight of hand, misdirection and cleverly constructed gadgets, I allow myself to accept what is being done. I may say "hmm I wonder how we managed to get that person to float in the air" but what I don't do is jump up and down in the middle of the audience yelling "It's a fake! It's all a fake! He's not really doing that - there's a hidden wire!!"

I'd rather be curious and left to that wonderment than to go to the same theatre with all the houselights up and see a bloke on stage saying

"Right, I've got my paid stage hand to walk up from the audience. They've laid on this specially constructed board - as you can see, it's a false front as it's actually supported by the framework here and here. I pick up this adapted loop of metal so I can slide it over the frame and then wave it pointlessly over my chum. ta da! That's not magic!"


Similarly, I would hate to walk through a wooded area and think "that's a perfectly constructed piece of fauna with the colour arrangement such that it would attract the bees to pollenate it"... I'm much happier going "what a pretty flower". A simplistic life perhaps... but is that so wrong?
"Don't look to the end of the rainbow for the pot of gold; it's already under your feet"
Enjoy this life. It would be a shame if we looked forward to the next, only to find we forgot the one before.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Heddwen » 24 Sep 2010, 14:01

Yes Frog LOL :grin: Quite right.

I'm not sure that everyone can accept and tolerate other people's opinions-it's that lack of open mindedness thing. I guess it's back to the scientific debate again, some people would find it hard to believe in anything unless there is hard scientific rationale behind it. But I think it's more grey than a black and white issue - I certainly couldn't function without aesthetics or a sense of the spiritual. It's that sense of wonderment that helps me to connect with the landscape around me.

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby wolf560 » 24 Sep 2010, 17:05

Why do "we" feel the need that we have to arrive at the truth of everything, if we can accept and tolerate people's opinion? A simplistic life perhaps... but is that so wrong?
Yes Frog LOL :grin:
I'm not sure that everyone can accept and tolerate other people's opinions-it's that lack of open mindedness thing.
Hello again..!!!

I will admit that I have a special sense of wonder at just walking through the forest and marveling at the trees, plants, and animals that I find there. However, what I find most satisfying is that "the Natural order of things has not been disturbed by Mankind". Although I do not understand all of it, I can see the "Truth" in the place because there has been (hopefully) no attempt to modify it.

To actually try to figure out why this tree grew that way, or why that animal won't survive the next few seasons....... that would be to attempt to "discover the Truth" at another level entirely.

It is my connection to the "Balance of the World" that is my one driving need to discover the "Truth" if I can. Not only "feeling the Balance" around me, but attempting to live within it without disturbing too much. To setting right "the Balance" where possible (planting fauna, clearing streams, acting as a mediator between friends, etc.) These are what define me as a "Druid", not the books on my wall, or the knowledge I have attained.

Although I have some pretty cool Staves and other magical tools, I rarely take them out for public gatherings. I do not wish to be seen as trying to upset the 'Balance" of the group I am in by showing off anything. Many are surprised to see me standing there in my darker robes because I have not overly advertised my arrival.

As long as I feel everything is in "Balance", I try not to disturb it in any way.
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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby Heddwen » 24 Sep 2010, 19:07

I think 'balance' is a good thing to strive for, nothing worse than a big ego in a group IMO.
I'm just a bit puzzled, what are staves, is it the same as the staff?

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Re: Truth and Opinion

Postby wolf560 » 24 Sep 2010, 19:20

Hello Heddwen...!!!

Yes, I have more than one Staff.
I kept my previous ones rather than give them away or destroy them.
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The Druids wrote nothing down, and memorized everything...
/|\ Mark /|\

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