The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
There is the matter of problem solving, which requires obtaining the most accurate information possible because, when it comes to politics, policy, governance etc. -which is presumably our interest here-, our actions effect everyone, so we owe it to them to use the least discriminatory way of making decisions. The thing about evidence is that when new, even contradictory evidence is discovered, we can adjust our repertoire of knowledge to integrate and reflect the new information.
Truth, on the other hand, by definition, is always true. I think it is a dangerous concept because to presume to know the truth is to presume you have all the information you need - ever. Once you agree on a Truth, you stop challenging and testing it, and if something should come along which contradicts this Truth, it is the new information, not the Truth which is discarded. I guess there is something both willfully ignorant and arrogant about the truth. Call me a relativist. But at least my relativism has some humility, is always seeking knowledge and can admit mistakes. I'm like a reed, rooted but can bend in the breeze.
Truth is a matter of philosophy; factual evidence is a matter of science and honesty is a matter of social responsibility. I approach philosophy like religion - believe what you want and allow me to do the same. Few of us can prove our beliefs, but we can all share our knowledge. I think the latter is FAR more rewarding.
"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
But there IS another category of factual evidence that is VERY unlikely to change. For example, I seriously doubt if the acceleration due to gravity will change much no matter how refined the instrumentation gets. There are literally millions of such examples.
And then there are practical considerations. We can know the distance between the 86th floor of the Empire State Building in New York and the clockworks in Big Ben in London to within a few centimeters. Of course we should want to be willing to update our information but in such a case, whatever would be the point?
When facts get so solid, mature, and unlikely to change, they in fact become secular truths. My father was a Lutheran clergyman. We argued about the nature of truth--a LOT!! I have been arguing that scientific investigation could produce better truths than any ever found in religious books (including self-help and philosophies) since I was quite young and have spent my life collecting good examples. I am regularly astonished at the complex insights that come directly from my simple hobby.
"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 26 3 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 22 3 comments
by Cat - Jan 25 33 comments
by Oui - Jan 9 21 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 13 28 comments
by gmoke - Jan 20
by Oui - Jan 15 90 comments
by gmoke - Jan 7 13 comments
by gmoke - Jan 29
by Oui - Jan 2731 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 263 comments
by Cat - Jan 2533 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 223 comments
by Oui - Jan 2110 comments
by Oui - Jan 21
by Oui - Jan 20
by gmoke - Jan 20
by Oui - Jan 1839 comments
by Oui - Jan 1590 comments
by Oui - Jan 144 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 1328 comments
by Oui - Jan 1219 comments
by Oui - Jan 1120 comments
by Oui - Jan 1031 comments
by Oui - Jan 921 comments
by NBBooks - Jan 810 comments
by Oui - Jan 717 comments
by gmoke - Jan 713 comments