Convince me of the truth! Watch

Miss Posh
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When a new discovery is made in a particular sphere of knowledge, it fits seamlessly with what is already known to be true. However, is truth merely incidental to our consciousness? Suppose another intelligent species exists and visits Earth to examine our logic. Is it possible that they could find our 'truth', in fact,'false'? What implications, if any, would this contradiction have on our notion of truth?

So, even if a new discovery is made, a new formula derived and a theory extended, how do we know that they're universally true?

Should you show me the irreducible proof that 1+1=2, how do I know this is true outside of the human mind?
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kelefi
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we, of course, do not. but do not forget that new discoveries do not "fit seamlessly with what is already known to be true".

what about when the theory of a spherical (non-flat) earth was thought of. that did not seamlessly fit at all!

think about rutherford. the "plum pudding theory" was accepted, and then the model of the atom DRASTICALLY changed!

but, we cannot, have irreducible and irrefutable proof that 1+1=2 (you should take a look at the "proof" for it. its quite long). for all we know 1+1=banana. and 2=carrot.
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Arbolus
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Well, the rules of logic are pretty much fixed. There's no conceivable way in which something can simultaneously be defined as two opposites. (I'm not counting quantum uncertainty, the whole point of which is that some properties aren't defined). The only things that can change are the axioms and assumptions that our logical conclusions are based upon.

As for 1+1=2, there's nothing to prove because that's how the number 2 is defined in the first place.
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KeepYourChinUp
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(Original post by Miss Posh)
When a new discovery is made in a particular sphere of knowledge, it fits seamlessly with what is already known to be true. However, is truth merely incidental to our consciousness? Suppose another intelligent species exists and visits Earth to examine our logic. Is it possible that they could find our 'truth', in fact,'false'? What implications, if any, would this contradiction have on our notion of truth?

So, even if a new discovery is made, a new formula derived and a theory extended, how do we know that they're universally true?

Should you show me the irreducible proof that 1+1=2, how do I know this is true outside of the human mind?
Logic is universal but for obvious reasons aliens will have different logic to us but the logical statements will be true. A+A = 2A and this is true anywhere in the universe. Same goes for statements like A < B then B > A.

Any intelligent life besides us would deem our logic to be true, same goes for our mathematics although the reasoning behind our logic may be different, but the statement itself will be true.
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Nogoodsorgods
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A reason that people get married is to cement some version of some truth in their minds.

They then spend the rest of their life trying to get together with married people who have a similar version of some truth in their minds.

Meanwhile, they don't know or don't care how harmful their idea of truth is to others.

Yes, an alien could have a different idea about it all. In fact, most talented humans - or humans in great dire straits - have a different idea about it all than the people who pretend to be normal. If life is mainly a see saw between 2 kindred spirits then still be aware that some kindred spirits are far superior than others. I'm not talking about qualifications - although that can be some barometer - but emotional intelligence too that is used for good (sometimes at the expense of the person who has it) rather than as a psychological advantage.

People seem to make up rules on the fly- or keep hold of clearly rotten rules that serve them - or dig up old rules that are useful to them. 1+1=2 might be true but the unspoken law between people of 'I trust you- I respect you - I fancy you- I would go to the ends of the earth for you- you never age to me- you are eternally wise' are worth more than all the lawbooks of what constitutes minimum expected behaviour between people- one of the things that people base a lot of their assumptions about logic on about what is a fit and proper way to have a human life. We are made to feel to be guilty to not to be working even if we have done the job of 10 people for many years.

A key question regarding logic should be 'Is there a God?'
If there's a God then we are , more or less, supposed to regard what we see as what is unless proven or suspected otherwise. So if you feel bad but don't tell anyone else about it then you'd only be carrying that burden alone and should never feel that any human should feel affected by it.

But if there's no God then all bets are off as to what we are supposed to regard as being. The nature of everything might be hidden in a tiny part of ourselves and everything else is like a mere puppet show. What is the meaning of what you do every day? How many people do you affect? How many people would care if you didn't exist? Would they care because it's you or because of what you do? What would happen if you didn't exist?
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DErasmus
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(Original post by kelefi)
we, of course, do not. but do not forget that new discoveries do not "fit seamlessly with what is already known to be true".

what about when the theory of a spherical (non-flat) earth was thought of. that did not seamlessly fit at all!

think about rutherford. the "plum pudding theory" was accepted, and then the model of the atom DRASTICALLY changed!

but, we cannot, have irreducible and irrefutable proof that 1+1=2 (you should take a look at the "proof" for it. its quite long). for all we know 1+1=banana. and 2=carrot.
That's probably because that didn't happen, if you read classics the vast majority of scientists from at least the period of the Ancient Greeks knew the Earth was spherical.

1+1=2 can be proven easily using the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peano_axioms
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Comus
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OP, you might want to look up the half-life of knowledge and paradigm shifts.

(Original post by kelefi)
what about when the theory of a spherical (non-flat) earth was thought of. that did not seamlessly fit at all!
Sorry to be a pedant but the belief in a flat earth has almost always been a minority view - though some societies have believed in ziggurat shaped worlds etc. The ancient Greeks were even able to, with a reasonable degree of accuracy, calculate the size of the earth.
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