Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

TRUTH IS WHAT WORKS

August 1, 2017

Debating what “Truth” means is not new, and has been a very hot subject not just in the Twelfth Century Paris’ Cathedral School/University (when the great philosopher Abelard fiercely, at the risk of his life, opposed Saint Bernard about launching a Second Crusade).

Some of the greatest names in philosophy and foundations of physics  or logics of the Twentieth Century have thrived in questioning the notion of truth (Karl Popper, Einstein, Heisenberg, Jules Henri Poincaré,  for physics; Alfred Tarski, Carnap, Russell, Robinson, and many others, for logics).

As usual, just as Nietzsche made philosophy with a hammer, I deconstruct it with an H-bomb (melting all these hammers in the process). My conception of truth is simple, I have no time to twist truth is all direction, in the hope of being tolerated by all and ideologies. Why would be clear by the end of the essay (where the venom is located, as in the scorpion’s tail).

I will try to approach the truth about truth, by answering some of the comments of Eugen R, a dedicated commenter on this site, in the hope some would have similar position. I know plenty well enough that postmodernism basically asserted there was no truth (that makes Foucault’s .

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Eugen: Science is just an instrument, how can be an instrument truth or false?

Answer: Science is what humans do. “Science” comes from the Latin for “to know”. One may then ask what “knowing” is. “Knowing” is what can be checked experimentally. Many animals use tools. Chimps who break hard nuts with stones are practicing science. They know that the stone will enable to extract the delicious innards.

Notice in passing that all advanced animals have culture: they transmit science to fellow creatures: it’s unlikely that chimpanzees,, or gorillas learn their entire pharmacopeia of plants they know (more than 50) by the experimental method (especially as some plants can be deadly). Transmitting science can be viewed as the definition of both culture and “advanced”.

Eugen: “Is science about finding out the truth”. The answer is no. Science is about to try to understand the non-understandable.

Answer: Well, scientific RESEARCH is about to try to understand what’s not understood. An attempt to stand-under. For example, there is NO science of Sub Quantum Reality. Not yet. But there are attempts to elaborate some (String Theory, Supersymmetry, SQPR: Sub Quantum Patrice Reality).

If you told a prehistoric man that Earth is round, like a ball, he would have asked what a ball is. So one would have had first to make him understand what a ball is. To understand the shape of the Earth, one needs to have a modicum of mathematics most two years old have now, but prehistoric man didn’t.

Eugen: Science also limits itself only to the natural phenomena, that can be experimentally observed.

Answer: Ex-per means out (ex) trying (per, a Proto Indo-European root). There are three ways to acquire knowledge: experimentation, culture and… FAITH (here we come!)

Some will be stupefied by the preceding. Faith??? What has faith to do with it? Everything: everybody climbing up into an aeroplane, has faith. Faith in thousands of engineers, mechanics, the laws of physics, and the pilots. Faith is what anchors knowledge into certainty (take that, Jihadists and priests).

Therein a hierarchy: because both culture and faith ultimately depend upon experiments.

Science, as a body of knowledge, not as a method, is a set of logics each unifying bodies of experiments each defining elements of TRUTH(s).

That definition also fits mathematics itself (mathematicians experiment with baby examples, and then write overarching theories unifying those baby examples; an example is that the definition of curvature for sphere, thought of in general enough a fashion, provides with a definition for the curvature for a saddle)

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Eugen: As science advances with its understanding of the reality, and developing new sophisticated instruments, like the Hadron Collider, which is in a way extension of our limited human senses, it slowly pushes the limits of what is field of scientific research and what is not. For example the phenomena of life and consciousness were taboo for scientific research until recently.

Answer: Entirely true. For example Galileo’s X30 magnification telescope enabled to observe mountains on the moon and four satellites around Jupiter.

CRISPR allows gene editing, and thus for us to control our fate more than ever before. AI and the Quantum Computer, let alone neurology, enable us to become life and consciousness creators. We will have to elucidate what true progress really consists of, before creating with CRISPR all over. Not only we have become gods, but we have to admit it. Hence it’s all the more important that we tighten up the notion of truth, and not leave it for Jihadists and plutocrats to design, and impose truth according to their self-interested whims.

NO TRUTH, NO MORALITY

[I am very critical of the cult of Gandhi, considering what happened after he got control of India: more than ten million dead, and counting. However, I do use the occasional quote, and not just to keep my cynicism in shape…]

Eugen: Science also doesn’t ask if this or that finding about reality, even if thousand times experimentally verified, is truth or not. Science is claiming hypothesis that can be verified or refuted. If refuted, then the hypothesis is not valid, if verified, it means, it still was not refuted.

Answer: You start to sound like Karl Popper, who thought that science was all about refutation. But when a crow uses a spike to extract insects from tree bark, you are not going to tell the crow that it didn’t refute that the spike couldn’t be used to extract insects. The crow would, rightly, think you don’t know how to think.  

Popper thought too much about refutation. Sure, that’s how truth is established, so what? When a massive bell is tuned, metal is carefully removed by a lathe, until the bell sounds the right (“true”) tune.

In general, to find out what’s true, one eliminates what’s (experimentally) false. Initially Galileo looked at Jupiter and noted the “chance” alignment of several tiny stars with Jupiter and the ecliptic plane. The next night, looking at Jupiter on a whim, he noticed the “stars” had moved with Jupiter. So the hypothesis that they were “stars” was erroneous. Truth was established by elimination.

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Eugen: Truth is a very different phenomenon. Truth, either you believe or you don’t.

Answer: No. In the entire human experience, truth is experimentally determined. Truth is why planes fly. Truth is experimentally determined, even in mathematics (and that’s the difference between mathematics and pure logics, where the notion of truth is much more restricted and still a matter of debate)

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Eugen: You can’t prove or disprove truth.

Answer: This is the situation, only in pure logic, where “truth” is introduced by axioms (“propositional logic”), and, externally, by the universe within which the logic sits (the “context” in usual human parlance; there true propositions are introduced by hand). Still, it’s less easy than it looks as extremely elaborated debates on the notion of truth, even in this arena of logic and metalogic, was intensely debated around the 1950s (with unclear resolution; my conclusions about truth in logic are mine alone, and tend to simplify, if not oversimplify…)

In mathematics, baby examples are true (inasmuch as their axioms are true; many axioms were long implicit, even in Euclid and Archimedes… Or in today’s math. If you tell that to a research mathematician, s/he will often tend to get very angry…)

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Eugen: Patrice spoke about Euclidean geometry as being truth. Yes within its limited frame as a closed system or as Patrice called it, “attached context” it is truth. The same can be said about sentence like, “the water has property of wetness”. It is truth always, after all wetness can’t exist without water, and water can’t be not wet. But exactly as in case of wetness of water, Euclidean geometry, is only a system of words within themselves.

Answer: 1) water is not always “wet”. Ice is slippery as long as it is covered by a thin film of water. Without it, solid water is adherent. Pluto has towering ice mountains.

2) Science has found water is mostly H2O (there is some heavy water too: D2O).

3) Euclidean geometry is NOT just a “system of words”. It’s a system of words and a system of implications (either explicit, or implicit: all logic, except computer programming, contains implicit semantic drift). All together Euclidean Geometry is a logic, a “logos”.

The Christians were crafty enough, in the beginning to make “The Logos” GOD. That seduced the Neo-Platonists who ruled the empire, just below the plutocratic level. That was the bait.

Right now, many US pilots pass out in their jets: a F22 Raptor, the most sophisticated fighter in the US arsenal, crashed in 2010 that way, and the pilot, captain Haynes, was killed. Others followed since. Entire types were grounded at times for weeks. The entire fleet is affected, including F16s, F35s, etc. The cause is unknown. Some guess that the cause has to do with the very complicated software which controls the air given to the pilots and their pressure suits (one needs pressure to breathe at altitude…) This problem is still unsolved. Why? The truth has not yet been found.

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Fake News, The Passion for Fiction, etc:

The Nobel Prize in literature was not given to non-fiction authors, for half a century (until Belarusian Svetlana Alexievich). You know people such as yours truly, Winston Churchill, Bertrand Russel, Bergson, etc. Why? Because nonfiction is an inconvenient truth. Fiction writing is, by definition, not true, with fake news, fake creatures, and fake reality all around. Alexievich, a Bielorusian, implicitly criticizing the Bielorusian dictatorship, is safely removed from the leading dictating elite of the planet, so she is free to tell all the truths she wants… We may as well encourage her, to distract the Commons…

It’s no coincidence that France has seen its prominent industry collapse in recent decades, the mood turn gloomy, while so many French truths turned to lies. Naturally enough, France is now the most tobacco drugged out advanced country, especially young women. Something not right in France, just there! At the same time, the French writing establishment is obsessed with fiction. And out there roll out another sort of fake news: insipid “novels” which have nothing novel about them.

Lest the denizens of the sister Republic, the USA, start to chuckle, I will point out that the Clinton, Bush and Obama presidencies were fueled on so many lies (“Look at me, I’m brown, thus who cares that inequality is the highest ever, thanks to eight years of my policies??… which were actually mostly those of Clinton-Bush, where it counted most“). Thus the drug epidemics in the USA is now the most lethal ever. Opiates alone kill more than either guns or car. Why? Average people want to forget the lies. That’s also why they voted for Trump (who, at the very least, is more entertaining than the look-at-my-skin type… First orange hair is funnier than bronze skin…)

Most of the establishment has been intoxicated on its fake news, fake pre-occupations, etc. What it takes to sail a sea of lies.

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Truth Is What Works:

When what was well-known before has been proven false, what is left is the truth. What does “truth” mean? It means that, when making a tool, or following a procedure while avoiding all known errors we end up with a tool, or procedure which works, something which is “true”. Because whatever does not work is an error.

It’s not very difficult to understand. But of course people who are in power are there because of an ideology, a system of thought, and, for them, that is the tool which is true, because it works for them.

It’s precisely because truth is what works that ideologies are true for their practitioners. But they are not THE TRUTH.

THE TRUTH, within, or about, an ideology, any ideology, even one with scientific pretense, is what’s left when an ideology’s lies have been detected and rejected.

Part of the mental intoxication from the elite has been to pretend that truth is all relative, can’t be proven, does not exist, never has, never will, and the “postmoderns” have been their prophets, while eating caviar and drinking champagne, while encouraging hard core Islam, and giving a pass to all things plutocratic. Weapons have been few and far between… Until Trump, a live Molotov cocktail to throw at the establishment.

Truth is what works: a definition of truth which works, a definition which is not supporting faith denying truth, the latter being the sort of faith I have no faith in!

If truth is what works, as I believe, the state of the planet is proof enough that we are collapsing under the weight of lies and errors ruling us into oblivion. Amen.

Patrice Ayme’

Why Oh Believers, So Little Faith?

January 17, 2015

I will expose the fundamental reason why some otherwise seemingly clever Muslims are so enraged: because they are clever enough to not believe in their own “faith”. Same story with the Pope and his angry eyes when saying that “provoking the faith” justified murder. It is a case of Bad Faith (Bad Faith as technically meant by Existentialism).

Provocative thinking drags those “faithful” fanatics out of their own minds, out of their own little ignorance, out of their little mental caves, it makes them less comfortable in their rage, thus it hurts.

A Pakistani lawyer in international lawyer garb, tie and suit said: ”One must pass an international law to prevent to hurt Muslims…” Muslims get hurt when a bearded man proposes that “All is forgiven”? Basically, “Muslims” get hurt when we talk? They believe so little in their own delirium, that the smallest idea hurts them so bad, that they absolutely have to kill somebody?

Mahomet Overtaken By Integrists. It’s Hard To Be Loved By Idiots

Mahomet Overtaken By Integrists. It’s Hard To Be Loved By Idiots

This is why, oh Believers, you are so mysteriously, and murderously, enraged. (Or, more exactly, it’s the proximal reason; the religious strings of the fanatical puppets and mobs, are pulled by their oil thirsty plutocratic masters in Arabia, themselves in the grip of their even richer masters.)

From Pakistan to Senegal (!), mobs are rising in fury against Charlie Hebdo for a cover with a bearded man holding a “Je Suis Charlie”. In Pakistan, hundreds of lawyers (!) did so. People died. It is curious that they see a drawing as an “insult” to their so-called “Prophet”. Nowhere it is said by Charlie Hebdo that the picture represented a prophet, or a rophet, or a pro-fête (pro-feast?). The French are very much profête…

Are those outraged fanatics really hurt, or playing one on TV? Or paid to play one on TV? I lived my childhood in Senegal, and French satirical magazines were for sale, and bought massively. How come so changed? In the meantime, gentle native Senegalese Sufi “Islam” (not really Islam), has been replaced by Salafist from Saudi Arabia. The feudal plutocrats from Arabia have spilled all over the world (with complicity of the USA).

Let’s say in passing that Obama said that American Muslims felt American first, that was the strength of the USA. It’s true that American patriotism is strong. When exposed to my theories on history, several American “friends” immediately stopped the relationship. American philosophy sites have censored me.

Obama even mentioned North African Muslims coming to France. What Obama does not seem to know is that there are 5 million of recent Muslim immigrants in France (8% of the population of metropolitan France). Scaled to the USA, that would be nearly 30 million people. But there are only two million Muslims in the USA. More exactly, 2.75 million. That’s .7%, that is, less than one percent of the population of the USA. Moreover, Muslims of the USA come from all over the world, not just a few countries: they don’t even meet. And finally one cannot compare a Muslim from Indonesia (say), and one from Hamas (say; with its kill-the-Jews Charter…)

But Obama is paid to say that the USA is on top, and all the others got it wrong. While heading the world’s top police state (as measured by percentage of incarceration and prosecution… except for an Islamist state or two).

In Paris a play telling the true story of a Dutch woman who married a Yemenite and ended up killed by stoning for disobedience, was stopped. It was scheduled for another 30 times. It was played only three days. Terror reigns: telling facts that really happened is now a potential death sentence.

There is infamy, and then there is ignominy.

Infamy: to beat, terrorize, and kill people because of a difference of opinion, a drawing. (Jesus, who was the first to order to kill unbelievers, see “Jesus Lethal Threats” is followed rigorously by Jihadists, and on a matter of principle, by the Pope.)

Ignominy: To keep on singing the praises of (literal) Islam after terrorist massacres and Islamists, supported by millions, killed people because they made a joke.

Not even a joke against someone living. No, a joke that could be interpreted as “slandering a Prophet” (the expression Ayatollah-in-chief Obama used at the UN, 2012). A prophet dead 13 centuries.

OK, the Prophet was vigorous and rigorous. He disposed of the treacherous on an industrial scale. An entire Jewish tribe “betrayed”, the Banu Qurayza. It was disposed of. As Wikipedia puts it:

“[A Jewish] tribe was charged with treason and besieged by the Muslims commanded by Muhammad. The Banu Qurayza were forced to surrender and the men were beheaded, while all the women and children were taken captive and enslaved.”    

So the great prophet personally exterminated an entire Jewish tribe. Great prophet, great exploits. Alleluia. Islam, Submission, Religion of (Eternal) Peace. Also most helpful to (slave) free market.

There are three levels of explanation for fanaticism:

1) The charitable explanation for fanatics is that all they know is their sacred texts, and that’s all they know. The Sacred Texts say to kill the enemy, and eat it (a Hummingbird god, in the case of the Aztecs). And that’s it. These texts are typically hyperviolent, as they exist to justify the existence of a hyperviolent reigning plutocracy. They also have to pay homage to goodness, as human beings need it, and would be suspicious if there was none to be have to justify the hyperviolence.

Vicious Islamists and their supporters always quote good passages (say in the Qur’an) and say that, from those few passages, the whole thing is good. Same for the Bible, Mein Kampf, or various other fundamental hate texts.

2) Thinking is hard. Brainwashing followed by mental reconstruction is even harder.

3) The fanatics have interest to hate their victims, as that allows them to steal them: this is what happened with the Nazis. The Nazis’ hatred of the Jews enabled them to steal them, and distribute the spoils to their supporters. The prescription in the Qur’an to “kill unbelievers” allowed the Arab Muslim army shortly after 632 CE to defeat both the Persian and Roman empires. In no small measure because the Jihadists used lethal methods so brutal that they took their adversary by surprises (the wounded were killed by Arab women on the battlefield, and soon all men of military age killed in Syria).

So now what about the present hatred of all too many followers of the Qur’an? Many of those who are pretty clever know full well that their superstition is not that believable: they just have to look around. So, to make it believable, those who have interest to push for it, decide to kill absolutely any of this looking around.

Another look at any of their ways is mortally dangerous for the collective hypnosis the “believers” foster. Unfortunately, European intellectuals, and especially French ones, have fed this for decades. The notion of “Islamophobia” has been identified to “racism”.

In 2005, the Council of Europe identified “Islamophobia” as “fear, or a vision tinged with prejudice of Islam, and Muslims, and related questions…” In other words individual persons are identified to a religion. That would be a bit like identifying Nazism and Germans. The Council of Europe is racist.

However, the Haut Conseil à l’intégration founded by Michel Rocard reminded us unanimously in 2003 that:

  • “En République, la critique de la religion, comme de toutes les convictions, est libre
  • Elle est constitutionnellement garantie et fait partie de la liberté d’opinion et d’expression.
  • Elle ne saurait être assimilée au racisme et à la xénophobie.”

In other words, criticizing any religion is free, constitutionally guaranteed, is part of Freedom of Opinion and expression. And ought not to be assimilated to racism and xenophobia. In other words, exactly my position. It’s OK to have Islamophobia. It may even be safer. If Charlie Hebdo had been more Islamophobic, the terrorists would not have 12 at their headquarters.

(By the way, Le Mouvement des musulmans laïques de France (MMLF) agrees with me, pointing out that moderate Muslims get accused of « Islamophobia », and thus racism, especially in Africa. So the concept of “Islamophobia” feeds Salafism. This is why places such as Senegal are getting infected. That and Arabian money. The war starts with correct semantics!)

I have total superstition phobia, superstitiophobia, but that does not make me a racist. Respecting violent superstitions (such as ‘don’t draw bearded men’) would make me a proto-racist, though, because most of the definition of racism is unjustified hostility.

The essence of humanity is reason. Unreason is as inhuman as it gets. Against humanity, reason has never struggled in vain.

Those who believe in obviously idiotic legends of the vicious type know this very well, very deep down inside, and that is exactly why they have little faith in their own religious derangement. They are cornered, cornered by reason, the ultimate essence of man. That makes them even more vicious.

Bad Faith they have, and asking us to revere Bad Faith will serve only those who want to enslave us. To serve, you know, the guys in suits, the richest plotters in the world, the usual suspects… The very same ones who have interest to keep the Middle East in a subjugated mess.

Patrice Ayme’