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Re: What is truth?

> I promise to be mercifully brief. This is a subject that we could all go on
> and on about. I used the ironic "What is truth?," a la Pilate, to indicate
> some degree of ambiguity. How Jim concluded that I have some absolutist
> viewpoint from this simple line is unclear to me.

Actually from your statement I would conclude that you don't believe truth
exists at all. That was the original in context intent of the quote you
used. Ambiguity is like pregnancy, it is there or isn't. Bottem line being
whether your position is that there is or isn't an absolute it falls to the
same line of argument...faith. 

My personal opinion is that we are way to ignorant/stupid to ever answer
the question.

> In any case, I don't believe there are "independent and ubiased parties"
> who can determine what truth is. Not that there is no measure of truth. I
> am no solipsist, and I believe we have a much clearer view today of how
> things work than we had, say, 500 years ago. Courtesy of science and the
> core idea of falsifiability.

This is exactly the opinion of the great minds of their time as well. I
suspect you are just as wrong as they were. If this isn't solipsism I don't
know what is. We are no valid measurer of our ignorance. We are simply to
close to see where the horizons truly are. The catch here is we will always
be to close.

The real issue is not whether there is an observer who can discern the truth
but rather; is there a truth to discern in the first place?

> And the law stays out of confirming or refuting religious claims. If
> Preacher Bob says that praying to Baal will save one's soul, no law officer
> will step in and stop this "lie." As I like to put it, of the N different
> religions, at most _one_ of them is "true," and the other N - 1 are based
> on lies. So, if we are to "allow" religious freedom we must surely allow
> lies to be told. Q.E.D.

You are confusing 'lie' and 'opinion'. No religion is true, they are based
on faith and therefore unprovable. That which is unprovable is neither truth
or lie, it simply is.

> Somewhere along the line we've adopted the new view that government needs
> to correct all incorrect thoughts, needs to protect people from "hurtful"
> ideas and speech, and needs to determine what is true and what is not true.

Who is this 'we' kimo-sabi? If this were true 'we' wouldn't even be having
this discussion. As to it being a new idea, hardly.

> "evolutionary epistemology," especially the writings of William Bartley and
> Karl Popper.

Read some of them, believe they are as full of shit as all other philosophers
when taken as a whole. While individual ideas that these folks have presented
have quite a bit of merit as a whole not a single philosopher has ever
produced a work that has really been ground shattering. You disagree? Then
explain why no philosopher has managed to over shadow all the others?

{And for those Christians out there who will invariably send me mail,
Christianity is not the largest religion in the world, only in the US does it
hold a numerical superiority.} 

The reason is quite simple and one of the main problems with philosophers
and politicians. They keep making the same damn mistake, they assume that
since it works for them it will work for anyone (and therefore everyone) else.
This is an incorrect assumption. The real problem with philosophers and
politicians is that at some point they start to believe their own press

Consider this, if 'truth' is so hard to define or observe why is there not a
equaly biased discussion about 'lie'? Few people have a problem with the
concept of a lie. We can argue blissfully for centuries over what truth is
but if we question what a lie is we get termed pathological. What is it about
human psychology that causes this?

Take care.