1. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Truth is what you feel.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by hilal, Mar 30, 2016.

    In the real world, people are more likely to react according to what they feel and not according to what the truth in their heads says. You have probably observed how many people have eaten ice cream “just because.” They would not argue that a hormone told them to do it, and it is because of the firing of neurons in their head. They eat ice cream because they believe that they are just happy to do it.

    Doesn't that make the truth subjective?And actually truth comes second to emotions and thus truth isn't that important as we think it is.
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well...no. Truth isn't subjective. If you're having a heart attack, and your subjective "truth" is that it's just indigestion, the objective truth is going to be the one that kills you.

    Now, if your emotional "truth" is that eating ice cream today is worth the eventual higher risk of a heart attack later, you may or may not be right, but that's a matter of emotions and opinions, and it mostly just affects you, so, yes, you can treat that opinion as truth. Your truth, not anybody else's truth.

    But behaving as if truth is what we want it to be, is usually not a good plan.
     
  3. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    That's what I thought but then the majority of the time we are doing the latter.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    By "the latter", you mean behaving as if the truth is what we want it to be?

    Yes, most people do that most of the time. That doesn't make it good. It may be an essential coping mechanism--for example, I remember reading that depressed people actually see the world more accurately than non-depressed people. So maybe rewriting the truth a little is unavoidable if you don't want to be depressed.

    But it's still IMO not something to embrace. It's a coping mechanism to keep an eye on.
     
  5. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    The truth is whatever the most common tendency authenticates. If that's a feeling, so be it. If that's a car that hits you because you were dancing in the streets, so be it. If that's an authority that dictates you, you make it so.
     
  6. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    This really got me curious as I'm a firm believer in Natural Selection. I think it has a purpose and you have already pointed it out in your answer. Also a lot of things which we do which requires our system 2(Term from thinking fast, thinking slow) don't seem logical(they seem like a waste) from the lens of evolution.
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    We may treat it subjectively. That doesn't actually make it subjective. As @ChickenFreak pointed out earlier, my opinion that the stunning pain in my chest and the numbing spreading through my arm is just indigestion does not mitigate the autonomous reality of the heart attack in progress.

    Again, the fact that we me treat the above as de rigueur does not actually make it a preferred or ideal state of engagement.

    This conclusion is based on the argumentative fallacy of begging the question. It is pretexted on the supposition that prior statements are factual, but this has not been established, nor do I see it as logically panning out.

    We are technically a pack animal. Like canines. Ever wonder why we get along so well with dogs or why the dog is undoubtedly the first of all domesticated animals? They are very similar to us in social dynamics. But humans have been living as hive or heard animals for about five to 8 thousand years now. This is not enough time to rewrite the 2 million years worth of programming of "OS Pack Animal". We have many behaviors that seem illogical because they are subroutines being forced to function in a platform for which they were not designed. Luckily, we, more than any other animal, have the ability to write new subroutines on the fly and not rely only on our basic operating system. But, like any application written on the fly, sometimes our makeshift subroutines are a little "crashie", to borrow IT lingo. ;)
     
  8. HelloImRex
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    HelloImRex Contributing Member

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    Eating ice cream isn't true or false. What is the truth in your head supposed to say about eating ice cream? Unless you mean it's unhealthy and no logical person would eat it. If that's where you're going then people eat it because they weigh the benefit of it tasting pleasant with the risk of it being unhealthy and decide they don't want to muddle up their present for a marginally better future. They don't eat it "just because", they eat it because it tastes good (this is just release of chemicals, most people would admit that). From that perspective the most logical path is to eat the ice cream even if it is unhealthy. In fact, you can observe this weighing of the truthful risk by looking at how people decide on the consumption of other substances. Most people are willing to eat ice cream because the risk isn't very high. Heroin on the other hand, that takes a special kind of person, the kind that misjudges risk benefit analysis. So no, the truth isn't subjective. There are plenty of examples of people not judging things truthfully and paying for it.
     
  9. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    What we're talking about here is the difference between The Truth and the truth.

    In some sense there is a Platonic ideal of the truth that exists out in the metaspacial whatever. Objective truth does exist in lots of situations but not all and it's wrong to suggest that it does. To seek The Truth and The Truth alone is a path down which madness leads. When we're talking about astrophysics and string theory then we should be seeking some great perfect objective truth but not in our personal lives.

    When we start dealing with people there's always a big chunk of stuff that is unknown and frankly unknowable. People do certainly do stuff without really thinking about why. That's not a bad thing, that's just people. You can think and try to figure out what's going on but you can never really know. Did the Son Of Sam really hear his dog telling him to kill people? Who the hell knows. Maybe? Personally I wouldn't kill people on the say so of my pets but it's possible. There's more to this than just biological determinism too. Your genes and your mental chemistry effects things for sure but you can't just inject someone with an extra dose of hormones and make them suddenly crazy.

    On a fundametal level this is at the core of epistimology; how can we know anything? And there is no easy answer to this. We can be certain of things, but that's more to do with out feelings that actual reality. Last year I was certain that my Steelers would win the superbowl and that didn't really pan out.

    As a human being I would broadly say that yes the truth is what you feel to be the truth. But that's not really a satisfying answer here. What makes you feel the truth is the important part. A lot of the time simply being demonstrably true is enough to make people believe something but in other cases it's simply not. There's something implicit in humanity that makes us want to believe in things beyond our own mortality and we can be very certain about such thing even though that is absurd in a functional sense.

    Honestly; don't worry too hard about the difference between objective and subjective truth. As a writer you can play with the boundaries and create interesting narratives as a result but as a person I really wouldn't advice you think too hard about this stuff. Not because it's not interesting, just that truth seeking almost always leads to people embracing anything that seems to offer answers even when those answers aren't satisfactory. Even if you skirt around that the end result (as with most things) is simply nihilism. If you focus on it too much then the only really logical conclusion is that life has no meaning and no value and that's really not healthy place to be. If there is no objective truth then there is no morality; there are no absolute standards and what I feel is the only thing of value. I wouldn't advise that as a life choice.
     
  10. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    What @Wreybies said, but that's always a good idea. Also, here's a good article called Decisions Are Emotional, not Logical: The Neuroscience behind Decision Making, which goes along with some of what you're saying. Often, people will say they do a thing for a particular reason (lots of thinking involved, and a supplied narrative from them to us), but the science shows emotions influence logic. There is no such thing as pure logic, in the neuroscientific sense. Your ice cream example is one that seems a more obvious tendency toward impulsiveness and hedonism, but someone who says "I'm voting for X candidate because [logic stuff]" most likely has a lot of emotion-brain processes guiding their "logic." And yet, you can't discount logic or higher-brain processes as if they're mythological. They're very real. But they're influenced by emotion in ways that the decision maker tends not to have any conscious awareness of.

    My favorite part of Wreybies' post is that we treat objective reality subjectively. Extremely well put.
     
  11. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is such a fun trip to travel sometimes. Sober, after a toke or a drink, with friends. To just sit back and go "we don't know a damn thing about anything," and feel all warm and fuzzy. Gives life some very rich meaning, IMO. Not something to really argue or fight about, though. It's a shame when people try to troll these arguments into the ground.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    This discussion is reminding me of the book Bright-sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America by the author of Nickel and Dimed. I have yet to finish it because...it's too depressing. :)

    But until I read the first few chapters, I had not realized that the whole "thinking positive" thing is taken, by some inspirational speakers and seminars and books, to the point of believing that doing so can actually change reality. NOT just that thinking positive will give you more energy and motivation for your goal and that you will then change reality by your own work and efforts, but that in some pseudo-quantum-mechanics way, it will actually change reality. The thoughts, directly, changing reality, directly.

    Imagine me shaking myself rapidly like a dog shaking off water. Brruuugggh.

    This is the sort of thing that makes me feel that perhaps it's not all that surprising that the United States is in the mess that it is. (Because apparently much/most of this is coming out of the United States.)
     
  13. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is what made me reluctant to take Positive Psychology seriously, until I found that Positive Psych doesn't espouse such silliness. I am often infuriated by what you're talking about. When I was an activist, I constantly found that the people who pretend like they love the world, and show they do by putting up prayer flags, doing yoga and eating organic foods, tend to be the least willing to become politically engaged. I had a friend who called it the "cult of comfort." This could tangent pretty hard so I'll stop there.
     
  14. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    I have seen a completely serious self help book based on the premise that we live in the Matrix. I agree that this kind of stuff is depressing to see but I'm not actually that surprised. People have a religious impulse; we want answers to difficult questions and particularly we want a specific kind of answer. We want to believe we can survive death, that life has meaning and bad things happen for a reason. All of these are totally understandable to want to believe. If they are true then the universe isn't just a giant vacuum whose unfeeling tendrils will inevitably tear everything we care about apart. Even if we know rationally that that's probably all there is we still want to believe there's more to it. We'd rather lie to ourselves or seek some truth than come to the conclusion that it makes no difference what we do and we should all just kill ourselves. And that's broadly speaking a good thing. Nihilism is licence to do bad and I think that even if there is nothing beyond this world we still have a duty to try and make it and ourselves the best we can.

    The reason I kinda like all those weird ass self help books is that frankly I'd rather see people finding them than finding religion. I think it's a much healthier impulse to find things that (in theory) lead you to improve yourself than to go back to the comforting baby blanket that is religion. Self help books say literally 'You have to make yourself happy' and while they've dressed it up in a bunch of different ways that is something that is worth taking on board. I don't know how OK I am with authors lying to people to get them to believe it but selling people on the idea that positive thought literally changes the world will certainly make them think positively going forward and that's broadly a good thing.
     
  15. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    But the thing is even the mother of all sciences has been criticized of being 'religious'

     
  16. EmeraldRaven
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    EmeraldRaven New Member

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    That is completely up to the person, in my opinion. Some of us grow up in certain conditions, lifestyles, or whatever and think and react differently. I was taught a while ago, to use your head before emotions. And even before than. EMotions I could care less about, because facts, is what I needed, and wanted. And often it was key for my survival of a healthy lifestyle, or well, at the time, a lifestyle that kept me from falling into despair.
    My emotions couldn't tell me if I was gonna be able to find a job, or if we were gonna finally find a home. But data from my city, job rates, unemployment rates, and networking intel could. It was pointless if I FELT I was gonna get a job.

    I disagree. Truth is not what you feel.
    For one, many times I have felt things, that weren't true. I realized this later. And Im sure many of you have too.
    Whether it was a friend you thought was a friend but wasnt. A Dad you thought loved you. Or even pets.
    Often, facts win out versus emotions.

    It was a fact that despite my friend back in Baltimore, liked to hang out with me, and what I felt to be true, him liking me, really only was hanging to use things in my house.
    My emotions told me it was true, but it wasnt at all.

    And now for a more literal definition. Truth are facts, and most facts you can't really apply emotions to because people feel differently about different facts, and anything in general. But truth is also absolute.
    Truth is a very powerful word. Because it means, indefinitely, it is so. Now though ones truth can be different from the other. The most basic example in a linear style of thought is Mathematics. But more abstract, is in example.. the well being of a country.

    Why one person may argue you need to live on the coast to have a great lifestyle, one may also TRULY believe you need to be landlocked. But neither of those are definite truths.
    REAL truth to me, is like what I said above.

    Things you know either after experience, and things you don't know while they are happening.
    Unfortunately, most the time, truth is harsh, but it almost always makes us more knowledgeable.

    So I heavily disagree, truth isn't emotions. Emotions, to me, is actually usually delusions or the unknown.
    Especially in social life. Does your wife or husband really love you no matter what? You don't even know the truth to that, until after a long time for most people. He/She may be swooned by some rich Spaniard gal/stud. Some may just get bored.
    Is there really no life on Neptune?
    Some... never find out the truth.

    Emotions are ignorance, and at worst, delusions. In my opinion. Because emotional knowledge, is the learning process. FACTS, and what you uncovered, after things like emotion, is what is really true.
     
  17. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Theory of Relativity states that nothing is absolute MUHAHAHA! Okay so that is what Einstein said.

    Also many times we know something to be right and still we do what benefits us and not what is right. So in that case the 'truth' isn't given the preference.
     
  18. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Well what about phantom pains ? What about Placebo ?
     
  19. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds like Truth vs Truthiness. Word of the year for 2006. I can't find a clip of Colbert introducing it as The Colbert Report is really aggressive about geoblocking non-Americans, but we probably all remember it?

    In other words - lots of people being wrong doesn't mean there is no truth; one person being wrong doesn't mean there is no truth. The truth being hard to determine doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The truth being complicated or even nebulous doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
     
  20. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    There are ways in which emotional truth is important.

    Thinking on a universal scale, we as individuals are an insignificantly tiny part of the whole, existing for a insignificantly short amount of time compared to time as a whole.

    So why does it matter if we keep or ourselves alive for as long as possible, or achieve anything with our lives, or if we raise our offspring to lead productive lives?
    Society only functions because we have an emotional belief that certain things matter.
    But the usefulness of emotional truth doesn't stop a logical truth from existing, and as shown by other responses to this thread their are many situations where logical truth is more important than emotional truth.
     
  21. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Sadly truth is a double edged sword. Empirical truth that has logic and evidence to support it. Subjective truth is the truth that is perceived to be true. Unfortunately humans use both whether they realize it or not. The degree at how much of each is used, is based on the individual and their perceptions.

    Overall though we have both inside. We just choose which we want to believe over the other. Somethings should be more Empirical based, and not subjective. Mainly due to the fact that type of knowledge has consequences that have potential to affect us. Things not based so much on principal and knowledge, are more subjective and are less like to have consequences attached to them.

    Basically be afraid of the willfully ignorant, as well as the people with imaginary friends they want you to meet.
    This could go on forever because truth is up to the individual to decide whether it is true or not. Maddening on the face of it. :p
     
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  22. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Truth is as truth may be [the truth]. What is as my truth, or yours, or a timeless truth, or a truth that traces the child's face starving in the meadow of edible grasses? Who would want such truth to transpire? There can be no truth if we deny one true voice of truth, but first we must find it, if it were ever there. I believe that is truth, to me..
     
  23. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    No body said that it didn't exist.
     
  24. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    To me, if we're saying all truth is subjective, we're saying that truth as the term is generally used does not exist.
     
  25. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    Well said, well said and said well!
     

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