Johnny Posted May 8, 2007 Share Posted May 8, 2007 (edited) Johnny:>If something may turn out to be false, then you haven't demonstrated you have found something to be true by using sound logic. If it may be false, then you cannot say it is true.But I don't say it is true. I say I think it is true, but might be wrong.To say something might be wrong is to say you doubt the validity of your statement. So you actually can't say or think the statement is true.To say you think something is true, is redundant. It's just the same as saying something is true, you of course would have to think it is true if you are claiming to make a true statement by saing is true! Duh!If you believe a statement to be true, it is implicit that you have ruled out the possibility the statement is false, that is what the definition of a true statement is!Daniel:>Thus I cannot, and do not, claim it is irrefutably true. Johnny:>Then you haven't demonstrated what you claim is true. What are you talking about here? What is it I am supposed to "demonstrate"?Whether it is true or false! Duh!!>At best, you appear to be claiming one can only hope to attain what appears to be true...Yes, now you're getting it!....>but this proposition doesn't work either. In order to know what appears to be true, one must be able to distinguish between a true scientific statement, and a false scientific statement (just as you would have to know the difference between a car and a horse to be able to distinguish one from the other). ...and now you're losing it! Your error here is that you think in order to "distinguish between a true scientific statement and a false scientific statement" I have to somehow "demonstrate" what a true statement looks like.YES!! You do! Otherwise what the hell are you talking about? If you don't know what a true statement looks like how in the hell would you ever know you say something that is true? You wouldn't!Actually, in order to distinguish between the two, what I need is not a "demonstration", but some rules for establishing truth and falsity in the first place; that is, a theory of truth.To demonstrate something is true certainly requires rules for establishing truth and falsity, did I ever say otherwise? My preferred theory of truth is the correspondence theory of truth; that the truth is correspondence with the facts, and falsehood is likewise non-correspondence.You with me so far?Now we come to an important asymmetry; between the conditions of truth and falsity for such a theory.Note that to be considered true, a theory would have to correspond to all the facts.Unfortunately, human knowledge has some limits, the most fundamental being we never have all the facts. Bummer!So what? You don't need every fact to come to a true statement. That's a non-sequiter. For a statement to correspond to reality it does not require omniscience or knowledge of all the facts. Fortunately, the upside is the conditions for falsity. For a theory to be false, it only has to be contradicted by a single fact! Thus, in principle, we can take advantage of this logical asymmetry to at least demonstrate that a theory is false by the rules we have established. However, contra you, establishing falsity obviously does not require truth be equally established. This is were you've come unstuck.What I believe you are trying to say is, because we don't know everything there is to possibly know, that we must therefore concede we may be wrong about being true, because we have been wrong before, and there is information that could falsify our propisition. But that's not a valid argument either.On the contrary, you can exclude a possibility your statement is false if you have no reason to believe a contradiciting fact exists to invalidate it. In order to say that you may be wrong, you need evidence to doubt the truth of your statement. If you lack such evidence, then you have no rational grounds to say that you could be wrong. The fact that we have been wrong in the past in regards to making a true or false statement, is not evidence that you could be wrong now, any more than the fact that your reasoning was mistaken in the past is evidence that it could be mistaken now.Johnny:>But according to you, one can never really know we have attained a truth, which means one can never really know what is a truth! Yes! We can of course have a theory or definition of "truth" (eg correspondence with the facts), if that's what you mean by "know what is a truth". That is how we can decide what is false or not. But we can't know that we have an absolutely true theory.There is no such thing as anything other than an absolute truth. Either a statement is valid when it corresponds to reality or it doesn't. If you are not certain a statement is valid, it does not mean you can say you know it is true but there are no "sorta trues" or "sorta falses". So "absolute" is a redundant term. A true or false statement is eternal. Statements do not "become" false if we find a fact that contradicts a proposition, the statement always was false but we were simply wrong in believing it was true. If one can determine the possibility of future falsification, then one must assume the possibility of current verification. because it is only by discovering what is true that one can discover what is false. But to discover that a proposition is true means one discovers that it cannot be false, because that is what it means to say a proposition is true. A true proposition is one that cannot be false. Thus, to regard a proposition as true means one regards its falsification as impossible. Just as one cannot believe that a proposition is true and believe simultaneously that it could be false, (a contradiction) so one cannot believe that a proposition is true and believe simultaneously that new evidence could prove it to be false.Of course, people can be wrong. Just as someone can regard a proposition as true and be wrong about its truth, so too can they regard it as incapable of being falsified and be wrong about that. But if they have no evidence that they could be wrong, then they cannot with logic recognize that possibility. This is not Objectivist fallacy, it is non-contradictory identification.Johnny:>Or, it is conceivably a perefectly illogically inconsistent position, and is a fallacy. This naive Barnian argument against self-refuting fallacies is itself, a fallacy, and a tiresome one at that. So once again, my position is clearly not a fallacy; or at least, your argument fails. I agree it is somewhat tiresome to explain it however - I have done it rather a lot now - but hopefully you've got a better handle on it.So once again, your position is clearly a fallacy, or at least, your argument fails. I agree your explanations are somewhat tiresome (and wrong) you have repeated the same fallacy a lot now, but hopefully you've got a better handle on it. Edited May 8, 2007 by Johnny Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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