Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Truth

TEA and Will were talking about truth and belief, and it brought to mind this Beliefnet discussion I had. I start posting at post 23 (as James123). The important bit here is my discussion with runegurl.
I was taking the position that truth is truth, and doesn't vary from person to person.

This is from her post 35, starting out quoting me:
I don't understand 'What's true for me may not be true for you'. Where 'I don't understand' means 'I don't know what these words mean'

in terms of belief, what you believe to be true may very well work, for you, because it's internally consistent with what you believe otherwise about life and the world and gods and etc. there is always a subjective element to belief, and there will always be. so believing that your personal beliefs are the "right" and "true" ones for every other person on the planet, or even just for me, ignores my own subjective reality and my own similar truth.

i'm not talking about "beliefs" that are objective facts here, like the sun coming up tomorrow, etc., which are the same for all of us. i'm talking about the subjective. the level of faith.

Later on, I touch on some old-school Universalism. ("Belief in the eventual salvation of everyone, including Satan and demons is called Apocatastasis.")

What got to me in this was the phrase 'a subjective element to belief'. What I relate to there is that some things I believe independently of logic or experience. I am a theist, but I wouldn't even try to make a case that God exists. My belief is entirely irrational in origin. It is reflexive, like flinching when jabbed in the eye.
So in perhaps many cases, it is as pointless to to try to talk someone into a belief as it would be to talk them out of flinching when jabbed in the eye.
They just believe.

This is in agreement with findings that there is a genetic component to belief or relgiosity.

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