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Reality dictates truth
It is the facts of reality that dictate what is true. The facts of reality dictate how electricity is generated, or how one form of energy can be transformed into another. This may sound so obvious that it doesn’t need to be said. But these days it does need to be said because so many people seem to be dangerously out of touch with truth on so many issues. They seem to swallow any old nonsense as long as it is presented convincingly by an impressive authority or believed by most people they know.
It is reality that we must discover if we seek truth. We must identify the nature of objects and the properties they possess that govern how they behave. We must discover the principles that govern how various forms of matter interact with one another before they can be harnessed for our benefit. The cars planes and computers that many take for granted all work by strict rational adherence to the facts of reality, and it is the same for all successful human endeavours. We succeed to the extent that we act in accordance with the facts of reality and we fail to the extent that we do not.
This is why we all have a vested interest in discovering what is true and what is not. It is the difference between success and failure. And with respect to growing food, knowing how to be healthy, whether or not to vaccinate or harnessing cheap and abundant energy, it is the difference between life and death.
It serves us individually to act on truth and we have the power to do this if we use our minds. But is also serves us individually to live among other people who are acting on truth, in a society that pursues and values truth. It serves us to live in a rational society. Unfortunately this is not what is happening today. This is an age of disinformation, propaganda, fake news and lies. The truth is still there somewhere, buried under all of the above, and it is your job to find it.
If we value truth, reality is the page where we must all meet in any and all human exchanges of ideas or theories. Most importantly, we must all meet each other on that same page if we are to have any chance of enjoying peace, freedom, wealth and abundance. It is that important.
So what do I mean by all arriving on the same page, called objective reality?
There is only one reality. Reality is the way it is. Things are what they are. You cannot pick and choose between competing ways in which things work. Electricity is generated the way that it is. Its properties and how it behaves are the way they are. They are not open to debate. There are competing theories, only one of which corresponds to reality. One of which is true. When two people have contradictory ideas about how something works at least one of them is wrong and does not possess knowledge.
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Being wise to the lies
The same principle applies when you are examining stories in the mainstream ‘news’ narrative. One piece of evidence that contradicts a given story renders the whole story questionable, at best. If you find several facts that contradict that story you must put the whole thing aside and not consider it truth. You must certainly NOT move forward and act on this idea as though it were true. Furthermore, once a news media has been seen to lie it must not be trusted again. Just as you would rationally not trust a known liar.
We live in an age where fiction is widely touted as truth. There are many ideas out there in the mainstream culture that are easily falsified by presenting already known facts of reality that contradict the official story or version of events. The tragedy is that no one needs to be misled and influenced to act against their own self-interest. No one needs to suffer the inevitable negative consequences of doing this. Everyone can find out the truth. But it requires knowing how to think, how to reason, how to follow an argument and understand the logical connection between propositions and thus arrive at an understanding of why something corresponds to the facts of reality. In short you need to know why you know the things you claim to know in order to make sure they are indeed knowledge and not hearsay of false ideas.
The thinking individual steps up to the challenge of discovering truth like a detective solving a crime. But there are many traps to be wary of. There are many ways in which the unthinking can be led to believe something is true in the absence of any thinking or reasoning. In the absence of any facts, and even in contradiction of known facts. These are called logical fallacies.
The standard of truth
Logic is the standard of truth because in reality contradictions do not exist. You can’t be hot and cold at teh same time. You can’t be happy and depressed at the same time. You cant be alive and dead at the same time. Because contradictions do not exist in reality this means that when we identify one in an argument or any issue, when we see that one person says something that contradicts another point of view, at least one of those points of view must be wrong.
Then, further investigation is required to eliminate the untruth by a process of reasoning. We must examine all the facts and discover the error. This process is not as hard as it seems. However, it does require effort and thinking. The best way to approach it is like a detective solving a crime or a murder mystery. Remember logic is your friend. The rules of logic famously formulated by Aristotle are…
- The law of identity
- The law of non contradiction
- The law of excluded middle
I will take you through a closer look at these in a future post.
How To Find Truth Details
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Ultimately the best way to discover what is true is to use your own personal experiences. With so much controversy with ideas in the world it can be hard to decide what is really true. If you can’t trust your own experiences with ideas, then you really can’t trust any information. Since all information basically comes to you as an indirect experience, if you can’t trust direct experience how can you possibly trust indirect ones?
Science may be able to provide some truths, but I believe strongly that science still has a very long way to go in providing real truths. It will probably take hundreds of years until science has figured out how ignorant we truly are right now. Until the time when we know exactly how the universe works, personal experience must be the primary guide in our decisions and beliefs.
We may live in uncertain times where information is both plentiful and truth is often disguised, but that doesn’t excuse us from constantly trying to improve our own perception of reality. An inaccurate perception is like trying to play a game with the wrong set of rules. Play to win and find your own truth in information.