Existence, Logic, Evidence, Truth, Knowledge & Bigotry

Existence

Matter is everything that has a detectable mass. It consists of elementary particles. Some particles form electrons and protons. Those in turn are the basis for atoms. Multiple atoms can form molecules. Matter is what forms the different objects that we can observe around us.

There are also some other particles which do not constitute matter, but are rather considered force carriers, such as a photon which is a carrier for light.

In any case, the existence of an object is broadly defined as its consisting of one or several connected particle(s).

Human Observation

A human being, too, is an object that consists of matter. He can observe and confirm the existence of other objects via his senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch, if need be aided by certain devices, which are all means to trigger chemical reflexes in his neural system and his brain. Man’s consciousness, the sequence of all such reflexes, is an effect of the existence of his brain.

Consciousness allows man to formulate propositions, that is statements about (1) the physical observable properties of an object and (2) its actual movements relative to other objects. It also allows him to group objects with similar observable properties into the same conceptual categories and thus to speak of objects in the form of concepts.

Logic & Validity

Logic is the examination of a proposition’s compliance with 3 axioms: the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, and the law of the excluded middle. These laws are derived directly and objectively from the consistency of reality.

The law of identity says that the statement A = A (at the same time and place) is always true. For example, the statement “that rock on the ground is that rock on the ground” is always true. The statement “I am myself” is also always true in that same regard. The proposition “The law of identity is invalid” implies that A = A is false. This would mean that A = non-A is true. This would imply that the statement “The law of identity is invalid” is identical to saying “The law of identity is valid”. Thus anybody who tries to oppose the validity of the law of identity affirms the law of identity in the very process, making it an irrefutable axiom.

The law of non-contradiction says that claiming A AND non-A (at the same time and place) is always false. No proposition can be true and false at the same time. The statement “I am sitting at my desk and I am also not sitting at my desk at the same time” is always invalid. The proposition “The law of non-contradiction is invalid” validates the law of non-contradiction. For if it was invalid, then the proposition “The law of non-contradiction is invalid and valid at the same time” would be correct. But then the person advancing the proposition would always have to affirm as valid the statement “The law of non-contradiction is valid” as well. Thus the law of non-contradiction, too, is an irrefutable axiom.

The law of the excluded middle says that either A OR non-A is always true. This means that, for example, the statement “I am either sitting at my desk or I am not sitting at my desk” is always true, there is nothing in-between. The proposition “The law of the excluded middle is invalid” validates the law of the excluded middle. For if it was invalid, then the statement “The law of the excluded middle is either valid or invalid” would be false. But that would mean that “The law of the excluded middle is invalid AND valid at the same time” would have to be true. But in that case the party advancing that proposition would always have to affirm as valid the statement “The law of the excluded middle is valid”.

The logical examination of a proposition is very helpful because it can save you a lot of time. If a proposition fails the test of logic, there is no need to move on and look for evidence. If I say that there are cookies in the jar and these very same cookies are also on the moon, then you don’t need to open up the cookie jar, fly out to the moon, search the whole planet for cookies, etc. Since reality is consistent, and logic is just a derivative of reality’s consistency, any proposition that fails the logic test is by definition false.

A proposition that passes the logic test is valid. In order for it to be considered true, however, it still needs to pass the test of evidence.

Evidence & Accuracy

Evidence is the sensual, sufficient, and direct observation of objects in reality with the objective of testing the accuracy of a certain proposition. If the observed properties and/or movements of existing objects match those advanced in the proposition then it can be said that evidence exists to corroborate that proposition.

Any proposition that cannot be confirmed by evidence is inaccurate and thus its truth, if any, cannot be confirmed until proven accurate.

Any proposition that is confirmed by evidence can be considered accurate. The more evidence exists to corroborate a proposition the higher its degree of accuracy.

Truth

A proposition that is both valid and accurate can be considered to have been proven to be true. But as humans are fallible in their observations and thinking, they may, at times, make mistakes that lead them to ascribe truth to propositions that are actually false. Thus, there is always room for correction in the pursuit of knowledge. This of course does not mean that reality or truth are in any way relative.

Knowledge vs. Bigotry

One’s knowledge is the set of those propositions that one subscribes to that have been proven to be true via logic and evidence. Any activity that involves the discovery of true propositions may be referred to as the pursuit of knowledge.

Bigoted beliefs are the false propositions one subscribes to in spite of missing or even contrary evidence. Any activity that involves the defense of false propositions in the face of missing or even contrary logic and evidence may be referred to as bigotry.

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The Invention of Truth

Today I watched “The Invention of Lying”. The main theme of the movie has enormous philosophical implications. The striking humor in almost all conversations in the movie lies in the fact that people tell each other the truth on all occasions.

It shows us how lying, a thing most of us profess to consider immoral and wrong, is in fact one of the most basic elements in our societal fabric. We act surprised and upset whenever we find out that some government official or CEO lied about something at some point in time. But we fail to realize how much we and our friends actually lie in our personal lives.

The idea that “the family” is more important than non-family, the idea that your school teachers are right and good and that you are bad if you don’t listen to them and do your homework, the notion that a god exists, the notion that a government is necessary – all these are lies that most people are completely incapable of revealing to themselves.

Anyone who is new to the consistent application of such ideas is likely to roll their eyes, brush it off as nonsense, or resort to plain ridicule. This is expectable behavior and should not concern us in the pro-truth movement too much. For we are asking people to give up on lies that they have clung to for decades, have arranged their entire lives around, and may, at times, have greatly benefited from.

Isn’t it possible that some of the most basic falsehoods and lies at the root of our societies which only very few people are capable of seeing, actually stem from every single one’s proneness to lie in certain situations? Couldn’t it be that the above mentioned manifestations are but a mere result of our own disregard for the truth in our own day to day lives?

How can we strive for more truth and accountability in political and business affairs if we ourselves aren’t even capable of consistently being truthful on our personal lives?

We all know that real societal change necessitates a new philosophical revolution, a movement that widely spreads the true facts about all the falsehoods we grew up with. We can’t get rid of the government, religion, blind family-alleciance, and public schools, if the majority of the people has not been guided toward the shining light of truth. But as such people must first and foremost accept its benefits. So long as we deem it expedient from time to time to delude ourselves and others on vital matters, it is likely to be impossible for most to see any value in truth.

Thus such a philosophical revolution almost necessitates something like a reversal of what happens in the movie, namely “The Invention of Truth”.

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Thoughts on Society, Truth, Statism, and More

Interesting clip by Stefan from Freedomain Radio:

… in there he talks about how most people basically have no interest in the truth and actively oppose and deny it. This is the reason why rational people, true philosophers, contrarians and the like are constantly confrontend with the same old, tired, boring, shallow, and predictable reactions from the unenlightened masses.

And here he explains (the rather obvious but little understood reasons) why statism equals terrorism:

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