• Gnomon
    224
    Well, ok, but there was definitely a whiff of the rationalist condescension people use toward spiritual or religious ideas in your response.T Clark


    There's condescension on both sides. If you Google "knowing and feeling" you will quickly notice that it's a popular topic among Christians, who are annoyed that scientists arrogantly assume that the knowledge of Reason (fact ) is superior to the knowing of Faith (feeling). So they feel encouraged by a quote from Francois Lelord : "knowing and feeling are two diferent things, and feeling is what counts." That assertion simply turns the Reason/Emotion equation upside down to "prove" that Faith (in the word of God) should take precedence over Fact (word of Man, Science). Some scientists feel that religious Faith and rational Facts are mutually incompatible, and propose to resolve the conflict by assigning each approach to Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NOMA). Many defenders of Revelation over Reason, believe that, although different ways of knowing, they are compatible as long as Faith has the last word, and reigns supreme. So who is condescending to whom?

    I think that Human animals are motivated primarily by subjective feelings and intuition. But they also have the ability to look at the world objectively and rationally from the perspective of the Other. That allows us to settle differences of opinion by exchanging views rather than by exchanging blows (fighting). Which way of knowing dominates depends on the context. Muslims and Christians put their faith in different Revelations. So, they have a strong inclination to fight over who's right. Or to simply condescend to those who cannot accept their version of The Truth. I am a compatiblist, but I can critique both sides.

    Feeling is much more personal and persuasive (and real) than abstract knowledge. But by translating passionate Feelings into impartial neutral Facts, humans can try to find some common ground between opposing beliefs. And that is the function of Philosophy : to reconcile objective empirical Facts with subjective biased feelings.


    My reality versus your reality :
    "The difference between knowing something to be true, and feeling like something is true is that feeling like something is true allows you to actually experience what your mind knows. When you feel like something is true, then that principle can genuinely operate in your life. When you feel like something is true, it becomes a reality for you."

    https://letyourselflearn.com/2013/08/05/the-difference-between-knowing-the-truth-and-feeling-the-truth/


    PS__My reference to Evolution was to the general Darwinian principle of adaptation to context, not to the later genetic interpretations. The simplistic "one gene, one trait" notion was a popular meme, but was quickly abandoned by scientists.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Some scientists feel that religious Faith and rational Facts are mutually incompatible, and propose to resolve the conflict by assigning each approach to Non-Overlapping Magisteria (NOMA).Gnomon

    Love Stephen Jay Gould, who came up with that. His writing amazes me. I learned a lot about writing and truth from reading his essays. Hate NOMA. Complete bologna. ....Ok, now I've calmed down. Gould could condescend with the best of them.

    So who is condescending to whom?Gnomon
    Yeah, but I'm talking to you, not them. Also, we claim to be the ones using reason. We're the ones who have to keep inappropriate emotion out of our arguments if we don't want to be hypocrites.

    Feeling is much more personal and persuasive (and real) than abstract knowledge. But by translating passionate Feelings into impartial neutral Facts, humans can try to find some ground between opposing beliefs. And that is the function of Philosophy : to reconcile objective empirical Facts with subjective biased feelings.Gnomon

    I really disagree with this. There is no reason to translate feelings into facts. Facts are never neutral. As I've said, you can't reach the truth without human values. As I alluded to in the OP, there is only one world.

    The difference between knowing something to be true, and feeling like something is true is that feeling like something is true allows you to actually experience what your mind knows. When you feel like something is true, then that principle can genuinely operate in your life. When you feel like something is true, it becomes a reality for you.Gnomon

    I'm not clear - is this what you believe or what you think I believe? Either way, I have no argument with the thought.
  • Gnomon
    224
    I really disagree with this. There is no reason to translate feelings into facts. Facts are never neutral. As I've said, you can't reach the truth without human values. As I alluded to in the OP, there is only one world.T Clark

    Then we will have to agree to disagree. In my opinion, the function of Philosophy, as opposed to Religion, is to find some objective worldview that all reasonable people can agree on. Religion is inherently subjective and biased, and its power comes from appealing to feelings.

    I'm not clear - is this what you believe or what you think I believe? Either way, I have no argument with the thought.T Clark

    That was a quote that seemed to answer the implicit intent behind the topical question. I agree with the quote as stated, but it omits the pragmatic reason for Philosophy's attempt to discover absolute Truth in order to mediate between the relative truths of human feelings. The TV series Closer to Truth was an example of a scientist trying to find common ground between personal opinions and objective facts. Rational philosophy will never reach absolute Truth (God's values), but by canceling-out conflicting human values, we may get closer to a general truth that we can all live with.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closer_to_Truth
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    In my opinion, the function of Philosophy, as opposed to Religion, is to find some objective worldview that all reasonable people can agree on.Gnomon

    Has anyone ever, in the long history of the world, come anywhere close to finding "some objective worldview that all reasonable people can agree on?" Answer - No. Reason - because there isn't one, never was one, never will be one, never can be one. Although I refuse to agree to disagree on principle, I will agree to leave it there.

    Rational philosophy will never reach absolute Truth (God's values), but by canceling-out conflicting human values, we may get closer to a general truth that we can all live with.Gnomon

    Again, there's not one small, sweet chance.
  • creativesoul
    6.7k
    Knowing consists - in large part at least - of true thought/belief. All thought/belief has emotional content. Knowing is - in large part at least - emotional.
  • sime
    413
    What estimating feels like.
  • Gnomon
    224
    Has anyone ever, in the long history of the world, come anywhere close to finding "some objective worldview that all reasonable people can agree on? Answer - No."T Clark

    That's true, but has any subjective worldview come close to absolute Truth? We can either strive to get closer to objective truth, or give-up that dream of mutual understanding, and just retreat into our little isolated cells of solipsism. It's the realization that an insular worldview leads to misunderstanding and mutual distrust that drives us to seek the holy grail of unbiased objectivity.

    Our disagreement may be a case of Ethical Subjectivism (realism) versus Ethical Objectivism (idealism). There is some validity to both views. But I am too aware of my own ignorance to have the know-it-all feeling of certainty that some people seem to take pride in.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)

    "Successive epochs are associated with an ever expanding body of knowledge and, possibly, bandwidth of understanding. Such growth, what is more, is driven by a willed sense of our ignorance, by cultivated doubt, by active uncertainty, by the feeling, based on previous experience, that our objectivity has serious limits."
    ___Raymond Tallis, LOGOS
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    That's true, but has any subjective worldview come close to absolute Truth? We can either strive to get closer to objective truth, or give-up that dream of mutual understanding, and just retreat into our little isolated cells of solipsism. It's the realization that an insular worldview leads to misunderstanding and mutual distrust that drives us to seek the holy grail of unbiased objectivity.Gnomon

    You seem to have very different ideas of how the world and knowledge work than I do. I don't believe the idea of objective or absolute truth is a very useful one. I think a search for it is one of the primary causes of the misunderstanding and mutual distrust you refer to. There are a lot of people on the forum who agree with you. This probably isn't the place to get deeply into that.
  • Gnomon
    224
    I don't believe the idea of objective or absolute truth is a very useful one.T Clark

    Chasing the dream of absolute Truth is not practical for materialistic purposes. Pragmatic empirical scientists like Richard Feynman are sometimes dismissive of idealistic theoretical philosophers. They waste their time chasing unicorns. But Einstein was an idealistic theoretical scientist, and there were no known applications for some of his flights of imagination (like riding on a light beam). But his abstract and paradoxical concepts opened the door to technologies that would have seemed like magic in his day. It's necessary for scientists in atom smashers and chemical labs to be realistic. But it's also necessary for theoretical scientists (and philosophers) exploring beyond the current paradigm to be somewhat idealistic. It takes all kinds. :smile:


    Shoot for the stars, but if you happen to miss, shoot for the moon instead.
    ― Neil Armstrong
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Chasing the dream of absolute Truth is not practical for materialistic purposes.Gnomon

    I was trying to make a stronger statement. I do not believe that absolute or objective truth exists. That's not quite right, because the existence of absolute truth is a metaphysical question. Metaphysical questions don't have true or false answers. It is a matter of usefulness. I don't think the idea of absolute truth is useful and I think it is misleading.

    I don't want to go off topic, which I think we're starting to do. There are lots of threads on the forum that discuss this issue. I've started some. It's an issue that is near and dear to me. I don't think there are any active right now. Actually, there is one "Metaphysics - What is It," that @Pattern-chaser started and which closed out last week. Maybe PC wouldn't mind us reopening it to discuss this issue.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.8k
    I was trying to make a stronger statement. I do not believe that absolute or objective truth exists. That's not quite right, because the existence of absolute truth is a metaphysical question. Metaphysical questions don't have true or false answers. It is a matter of usefulness. I don't think the idea of absolute truth is useful and I think it is misleading.T Clark

    :up:

    I don't want to go off topic, which I think we're starting to do. There are lots of threads on the forum that discuss this issue. I've started some. It's an issue that is near and dear to me. I don't think there are any active right now. Actually, there is one "Metaphysics - What is It," that @Pattern-chaser started and which closed out last week. Maybe PC wouldn't mind us reopening it to discuss this issue.T Clark

    By all means! :smile:
  • Gnomon
    224
    Actually, there is one "Metaphysics - What is It," that Pattern-chaser started and which closed out last week. Maybe PC wouldn't mind us reopening it to discuss this issue.T Clark

    I don't think that's necessary. We are simply talking about two kinds of knowledge : the personal kind that is validated by feelings (physical), and the abstract kind that is out there beyond our grasp (metaphysical). If you don't think metaphysics is a "useful" concept, then there would be no point in discussing it regarding the private "feeling of knowing" versus the general set of "what is known" (science), or the universal set of "what is knowable" (epistemology).

    My original comment was simply an attempt to point-out that the visceral feeling of knowing is equivalent to Faith --- what's true for you, may not be true for me. Faith is based on a fractional understanding of reality. Only by sharing and comparing our personal beliefs can we get a feeling for truth and knowledge in a more general sense.

    "The paradox is that for knowledge to count as knowledge at all, it must be processed in an individual consciousness"
    ___Stephen Anderson review of LOGOS

    "The point, however, remains : we individually know little of what is known."
    ___Raymond Tallis, LOGOS
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    If you don't think metaphysics is a "useful" concept,Gnomon

    I find it a very useful concept. What I said is that 1) the concept of absolute reality is a metaphysical one. 2) As a metaphysical concept, it isn't true or false, it's useful or not useful and 3) I believe it is not useful because it is misleading.

    My original comment was simply an attempt to point-out that the visceral feeling of knowing is equivalent to Faith --- what's true for you, may not be true for me. Faith is based on a fractional understanding of reality. Only by sharing and comparing our personal beliefs can we get a feeling for truth and knowledge in a more general sense.Gnomon

    All knowledge is based on a fractional understanding, science no less than other types. I think you have misunderstood what I mean when I say knowledge includes feelings. The body of knowledge I've been talking about is everything I know - intuition, observation, personal experience, what I feel, what I perceive, what I remember, what I've studied and read, and every other thing I've done that gives me experience and understanding of the world. That incorporates uncertainties about the knowledge included. It also incorporates other people's understanding of how things works when I decide it's relevant and useful.

    When push comes to shove, the body of knowledge is mine. It has to be, because it's invented, developed, evolved, figured out, made up, whatever - for my personal use making the decisions I am responsible for. I don't think I can give a better explanation than I put in the OP. I think you and I are far apart in our understanding of how these things work. I think that the distinction between reason and faith is not a very helpful one in this context. My understanding of your belief is that they are the heart of the matter. Please set me straight if I'm wrong.

    As we've gotten into this, I think I now agree with you that this subject is relevant to the theme set up in the OP. Given that we're so far apart, I'm not sure where we go from here.
  • Gnomon
    224
    I think that the distinction between reason and faith is not a very helpful one in this context. My understanding of your belief is that they are the heart of the matter. Please set me straight if I'm wrong.T Clark

    My personality is self-critical. So I have never had the feeling of self-confidence and certainty that you, and many others, seem to have. Consequently, I am constantly testing my personal beliefs and feelings against those of other people -- as in this thread -- to see if they know something I don't. Likewise, I have learned that my intuition often jumps to unwarranted conclusions, so I use my meager reasoning abilities to examine my BoK closely, looking for flaws. I also was raised in a fundamentalist religion, where human reason was considered dangerous in matters of faith.

    Hence, for me personally, you are correct, that making a distinction between Reason and Faith is essential to my search for a reliable body of knowledge. Although that critical attitude toward beliefs in general causes my BoK to be less rigid than the firm ground of True Believers, as you said : "When push comes to shove, the body of knowledge is mine." That's why I take care to keep it cleaned-up and weeded-out from contamination with false beliefs. :smile:

    PS___If my comments are off-topic and irrelevant, I will apologize for hijacking your thread.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    PS___If my comments are off-topic and irrelevant, I will apologize for hijacking your thread.Gnomon

    As I wrote in my previous post, I was wrong when I said the subjects you have raised do not belong in this thread.

    I am constantly testing my personal beliefs and feelings against those of other people -- as in this thread -- to see if they know something I don't.Gnomon

    I don't know something you don't, I just see things differently than you do. These are metaphysical questions, it's not a matter of .... wait, I've already said that. A lot.
  • Shamshir
    856
    I do not believe that absolute or objective truth exists.T Clark
    If there is no objective truth, is there subjective truth?
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    If there is no objective truth, is there subjective truth?Shamshir

    Let me restate or expand my statement - I don't believe that what we call objective reality is useful in many situations. I have no trouble thinking of things that way when we're talking science in a limited fashion, e.g. when we're talking about broader issues of knowledge, e.g. reductionism, I think it's misleading.

    So, yes, I don't think that the idea of subjective truth is useful. In some ways, it is the heart of the matter for me.
  • Shamshir
    856
    Could you elaborate further on the following:

    A simulation is an objective reality - its subjectivity relies on its relativity to our own.
    Is it misleading or are we mismatching - tempo or rhythm?
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    A simulation is an objective reality - its subjectivity relies on its relativity to our own.
    Is it misleading or are we mismatching - tempo or rhythm?
    Shamshir

    Not sure if I understand. The simulations I've worked with - groundwater and surface water models - are systems of simplified equations that are solved by a computer and then put together into description of the system - either visual or written. It's no more objective than the equations and data that go into it.
  • Shamshir
    856
    I'm refering to a mutual relationship.

    Whether we view the weather physically or virtually - both are simulations, who relate to the same derivation of possible weather.

    The tempo of physically observed and virtual weather is the same. Which is to say they are principally and/or functionally the same.
    But the rhythm of the two, which is to say the composition, does not align. This makes them practically different.

    To illustrate:
    A client must pay 18.75 for groceries and gives you 20.

    You may either add to 18.75 til 20 or subtract 18.75 from 20 to deduce his change. Same tempo, different rhythm.

    Going back to the topic at hand: What knowing feels like
    I'm curious why you would consider an objective truth a hindrance - as the title sets an objective tempo?
    All answers would thus follow to be principally objective, yet practically subjective and I think it would be hard to be mislead by one due to their layered functions.

    If there is no objective truth to the query, then any posited quality would be worthless - methinks.

    To summarise: How do you question without objectivity? How do you question, for lack of a better word, void?
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Whether we view the weather physically or virtually - both are simulations, who relate to the same derivation of possible weather.

    The tempo of physically observed and virtual weather is the same. Which is to say they are principally and/or functionally the same.
    But the rhythm of the two, which is to say the composition, does not align. This makes them practically different.
    Shamshir

    I really don't understand this. The modeler has created the weather model to allow her to predict the real weather. They are no more the same than the word "weather" is the same as the rain and clouds.

    I'm curious why you would consider an objective truth a hindrance - as the title sets an objective tempo?
    All answers would thus follow to be principally objective, yet practically subjective and I think it would be hard to be mislead by one due to their layered functions.

    If there is no objective truth to the query, then any posited quality would be worthless - methinks.
    Shamshir

    I wrote elsewhere, I can't remember if it was in this thread, I don't believe that objective reality exists. That's not quite right. What I really believe is that it is not a very useful way of thinking about things in many situations. As I've said many times, the existence of objective reality is a metaphysical question and, as such, it doesn't have a yes or no answer.
  • Shamshir
    856
    I really don't understand this. The modeler has created the weather model to allow her to predict the real weather. They are no more the same than the word "weather" is the same as the rain and clouds.T Clark
    Pardon me, if my explanation is shoddy.

    I'm simply asking - why do you add 'real'?
    What is the difference besides practical semblance?
    They are based on the same principles, so their derivations of weather - excluding how each is made - are functionally the same.

    I wrote elsewhere, I can't remember if it was in this thread, I don't believe that objective reality exists. That's not quite right. What I really believe is that it is not a very useful way of thinking about things in many situations. As I've said many times, the existence of objective reality is a metaphysical question and, as such, it doesn't have a yes or no answer.T Clark
    And that's the - problem, maybe?

    Objective reality is inescapable and the metaphysical question you propose, is situated within its stable ground.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    I'm simply asking - why do you add 'real'?
    What is the difference besides practical semblance?
    They are based on the same principles, so their derivations of weather - excluding how each is made - are functionally the same.
    Shamshir

    I still don't understand. I don't see how the weather we experience in the world is any more like the weather model than the George Washington Bridge is like a picture of the George Washington Bridge.

    Objective reality is inescapable and the metaphysical question you propose, is situated within its stable ground.Shamshir

    I don't see it that way. I don't see any reason to just repeat my arguments.
  • A Gnostic Agnostic
    79
    "What knowing feels like..."

    I find knowledge is in knowing the who, what, where, why, when and how *not* to "believe" (in) something by virtue of either: being not necessarily true, or certainly not true.

    A hypothetical that has application to the real world:

    Person A "believes" book Q is the perfect, unaltered word of a god. They "believe" their 'state' empire has preserved it without blemish and it unreservedly reflects true revelations by god, to a man, through an angel. The entire worldview of person A is constructed upon this "belief" and thus relies on it exclusively.

    Person B "knows" book Q is *not* the perfect, unaltered word of a god. They are acutely aware of certain information/facts which undermine and/or render the claim regarding book Q necessarily false, thus have "knowledge" of who/what/where/why/when/how and if not to believe.

    I feel the difference is a matter of conscience. Whereas person A has not subjected their "beliefs" to scrutiny, person B has actively used the conscience (ie. asked the who, what, where, why, when, how and ultimately if) and tried the claim, tested if/where necessary, and finds something to either be necessarily true or necessarily untrue.

    I find ultimately the quality of the conscience can be determined by the quality of the questions it is able to form and pursue. A good conscience asks good questions that derive meaningful answers that advances their understanding, allowing them to ask even more meaningful questions.Those who are bound to "believe" without subjecting the "belief" to scrutiny via (con)science do not use the conscience in this way, if at all.

    I would denote the "dark ages" as the "age of belief" and say humanity is due to drop "belief" as a viable basis of existence. This "believer" vs. "unbeliever" division that has existed is essentially the most principle division over the past few thousand years responsible now for the deaths of hundreds of millions.
  • Shamshir
    856
    I don't see it that way. I don't see any reason to just repeat my arguments.T Clark
    It's simple.

    Without an objective reality - there's nothing to base your question on, and it is void.

    The very rejection of an objective reality denotes an objective reality as a prerequisite.
    How could you come to reject what isn't? You would be rejecting nothing.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Without an objective reality - there's nothing to base your question on, and it is void.

    The very rejection of an objective reality denotes an objective reality as a prerequisite.
    How could you come to reject what isn't? You would be rejecting nothing.
    Shamshir

    I don't understand your point. Does this make sense? "The very rejection of the existence of Superman denotes the existence of Superman as a prerequisite."
  • Shamshir
    856
    And it does.
    Are you suggesting the imperceptibility of Superman denies this?
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    And it does.
    Are you suggesting the imperceptibility of Superman denies this?
    Shamshir

    Sorry, you've lost me.

    I'll say it again - objective reality neither exists no doesn't exist. It is a metaphysical concept. We can choose to use, consider it or not. I often choose not to consider it.
  • Shamshir
    856
    And I'm pointing out to you that this metaphysical concept is not objective reality but its composite.

    You, along with the aforementioned proposition are composed of objective reality - and if you were not, you would be inconceivable, and thus void.

    There is no choice in the matter - it is inescapable.
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