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Author Topic: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?  (Read 3943 times)

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Offline Sabby

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #75 on: December 30, 2012, 08:24:52 AM »
...what? o.o I really have no idea what you mean. You want me to disprove that these two people have these two thoughts, or that these two people value their own thoughts? What am I trying to disprove?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #76 on: December 30, 2012, 08:25:57 AM »
You said the contradictory statements were opinions, not true statements.  Prove the statements are not truth, but instead opinion.

Offline Sabby

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #77 on: December 30, 2012, 08:28:56 AM »
Okay, you need to clarify what it is you are trying to prove as true.

It is true that this person disapproves of abortion.

It is true that abortion is wrong because this person believes it is.

Which is it? Because there is nothing to disprove with the first, and the second is wrong. If neither applies, please explain.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2012, 08:31:18 AM »
I am saying prove that either abortion is wrong is not a true statement or that abortion is right is not a true statement. 

Offline mrsjaz

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #79 on: December 30, 2012, 08:32:20 AM »
Quote
I am still wanting to see how this personal truth concept differs from the concept of opinion and belief.

@ mj2002

Thatís not a simple question, just as other social constructs are hard to define and create objectivity for. Please donít ask for the near impossible! I am a social subjective animal striving for a state of balance. Pure objectivity from humans is asking a lot, and it may be an infatuation of ours, a belief in fact; you believe as has been point out somewhere I think - that an pure objective state uncompromised by subjectivity - ultimate truth - can be achieved by humans. Thatís what you choose to believe, but itís still ( just) what you desire to be true. Tracing my personal truths back to upbringing does not lead  me to opinion and belief, in fact I can reject them or hold tight to them at will, my personal truth are gained through knowledge and experience and understanding. empathy etc. If I say Iím good at something say art, nobody accepts that based on my opinion or what I believe about myself, so Iím asked to produce evidence. Semantics? (not putting word into your mouth here) Some would say yes, but I still lean more towards the subjective nature of humans as not. I do take vtboyís point that we may well get to the ultimate science of emotion and feeling, but an unbiased methodology for empathy, love and morals?  Wow ... who knows. :o   
 
Quote
To this point in the conversation the subjective debate has focused on the concrete, which is not really where the argument rests. The moon being rock and cheese, while having some glimmer of truth in meaning, is rather ridiculous in practice.


Can I also add I am not stating what holds true for me is universally true. I do have opinions like everyone else; objective truth and subjective truth may both be - as others have pointed out- idealist nonsense. I know these are hard ideas to debate. I did not mean to derail the thread. Sorry Pumpkin :-X

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #80 on: December 30, 2012, 08:45:02 AM »
I am saying prove that either abortion is wrong is not a true statement or that abortion is right is not a true statement.

Because for something like this to be proven, you would need some way of objectively evaluating that such an act is morally correct or incorrect. Some people agree with abortion, some people don't; that odesn't mean abortion is a contradiction. It means two people feel differently on a sensitive subject.

For an example of believe =/= truth, take the Flat Earth Society. We do know, for a fact, that the world is round. This does not stop people having a different opinion, despite the fact we -can- prove that the world is round. Also, there are groups out there who believe that we don't need food to survive, only 'life giving energy from the sun'. While it's their -opinion- that they don't need food to survive, the fact is people have starved to death from doing this, which points to the fact that their opinion is not made anymore truthful because it's their opinion.

Offline Sabby

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #81 on: December 30, 2012, 08:52:44 AM »
I am saying prove that either abortion is wrong is not a true statement or that abortion is right is not a true statement.

You really want me to try and answer that?

Read it back to yourself out loud please.

Prove that something is wrong is not right? Okay, I'm going to go ahead and rephrase your question, because I can't answer it in it's current state.

"Demonstrate that 'abortion is wrong' is a truthful or false statement"

My answer is that abortion is a procedure that terminates pregnancy. Some are for it and some are against it. Some have well informed opinions regarding the topic, some do not.

Offline mj2002

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #82 on: December 30, 2012, 09:00:33 AM »
i
Opinion and belief is what someone calls another personís truth.
No, you're just changing the definitions now. Truth is in accord with fact. It is what most accurately represents reality. You can't just make up new realities where you 'personal truth' is different because you don't like the actual truth. It doesn't work that way.

You said the contradictory statements were opinions, not true statements.  Prove the statements are not truth, but instead opinion.
They are opinions because they they are a value statement. The person is making a judgement over abortion and they're expressing their subjective beliefs. They're not stating truths, they are making claims at best.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #83 on: December 30, 2012, 09:19:05 AM »
Yet you donít know reality and so cannot make a statement that something is true because it accords with reality.  That would be like standing in a dark room saying the walls are black when there is no certainty that the walls exist at all.  A value statement is simply a statement of belief and a belief, by the dictionary definition people now want to take, is the acceptance of something as true.  Nowhere in those definitions is something labeled as not true, so a value statement can be true.

As for requiring an objective measurement that would imply that truth only exists if something can objectively prove that truth.  More to the meaning that because something cannot be measured, discovered or proven means that the something is not true until such a time.  So the Earth was flat until it was discovered to be round.  Abortion is right until an instrument is created that proves abortion is wrong (or vice-versa).  The other side of the coin is that something was always true, always existed, and we merely confirmed that truth.  The Earth was always round and so on.

Well Sabby, if you cannot prove that either statement is untrue then your statement that they are not true is kind of preplexing.

Offline mj2002

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #84 on: December 30, 2012, 09:29:32 AM »
Yet you donít know reality and so cannot make a statement that something is true because it accords with reality.  That would be like standing in a dark room saying the walls are black when there is no certainty that the walls exist at all. 
Sure we know reality. I don't see why not. Our knowledge might not be complete or perfect, but that doesn't mean we can't make statements about it that are in fact true or false.

A value statement is simply a statement of belief and a belief, by the dictionary definition people now want to take, is the acceptance of something as true.  Nowhere in those definitions is something labeled as not true, so a value statement can be true.
I'm not saying a value statement can't be a true statement, but not all value statements are either true or false, they can just be statements of opinion. Such is the case in your example.

As for requiring an objective measurement that would imply that truth only exists if something can objectively prove that truth.
This is just nonsense. Just because no measurement is available, has been done or if the technology doesn't exist yet doesn't mean that no truth exists on the matter. We're simply unable to establish it with a great amount of certainty. It is/becomes an unknown. You can speculate about it all you like, have personal truths that you feel are right, but those don't enter into it because someone else can just claim the opposite and there's nothing you can do determine which one (if there even is one available) is actually true until you can objectively verify it.

More to the meaning that because something cannot be measured, discovered or proven means that the something is not true until such a time.  So the Earth was flat until it was discovered to be round.  Abortion is right until an instrument is created that proves abortion is wrong (or vice-versa).  The other side of the coin is that something was always true, always existed, and we merely confirmed that truth.  The Earth was always round and so on.
You don't understand the scientific method if this is how you believe it works. If something (a claim) cannot be measured, discovered or proven it is an unknown.

Well Sabby, if you cannot prove that either statement is untrue then your statement that they are not true is kind of preplexing.
Of course it isn't perplexing. Subjective opinions aren't true or false, they're opinions. There is no universal right or universal wrong, whatever emotionally charged example you come up with. Therefor, your demand that people prove subjective statements like that true or false is a meaningless demand.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #85 on: December 30, 2012, 09:33:12 AM »
Yet you donít know reality and so cannot make a statement that something is true because it accords with reality.  That would be like standing in a dark room saying the walls are black when there is no certainty that the walls exist at all.  A value statement is simply a statement of belief and a belief, by the dictionary definition people now want to take, is the acceptance of something as true.  Nowhere in those definitions is something labeled as not true, so a value statement can be true.

As for requiring an objective measurement that would imply that truth only exists if something can objectively prove that truth.  More to the meaning that because something cannot be measured, discovered or proven means that the something is not true until such a time.  So the Earth was flat until it was discovered to be round.  Abortion is right until an instrument is created that proves abortion is wrong (or vice-versa).  The other side of the coin is that something was always true, always existed, and we merely confirmed that truth.  The Earth was always round and so on.

Well Sabby, if you cannot prove that either statement is untrue then your statement that they are not true is kind of preplexing.

Except we do know reality. I can grab this cup of tea infront of me and say that it exists in reality; it quenches my thirst, because it's a liquid. I know the cup exists, because it holds the water. I know it's tea, because I know what tea leaves smell and taste like. It doesn't matter if five hundred people tell me they don't believe I have a cup of tea; that won't make the cup poof out of existance or turn into coffee because I believe it's tea and five hundred people believe it's coffee. Reality does not change based on collective belief. The world was not flat, and then round because we changed our opinions on it. We were wrong about the shape of the Earth, and then later down the line, we found out it was round. Which doesn't stop people holding their beliefs that the world is flat, but their beliefs don't retroactively change the truth that the Earth is round.

You can get vaguely into arguing something like that, but by that point, you're arguing definitions. Just because the whole world starts calling the colour green blue insted won't change every item in the world which was once green blue; we just call it something different.

Maybe there will be an instrument one day which measures objective morality. But until that time, the baseline isn't 'abortion is wrong' or 'abortion is right' until otherwise proven. The baseline is 'what you think about abortion, you think about abortion'.

It's also rather silly to expect Sabs to be able to objectively prove or disprove whether something is moral for everyone. He can explain to you why he supports, or doesn't support it. Or why he thinks it's right, or why he thinks it's wrong... to him. He can't prove or disprove blanket statements on the morality of an entire subject. That's just a ridiculous expectation to think that he can.

Offline Sabby

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #86 on: December 30, 2012, 09:40:52 AM »
Well Sabby, if you cannot prove that either statement is untrue then your statement that they are not true is kind of preplexing.

You're using a malformed question that I cannot answer. That is why I did not give you the answer you wanted. The answer you want is absurd. You assert that something is true because someone believes it is. I say that is wrong.

Y believes that X is wrong.

Z believes that X is right.

This is true.

You're asking me to demonstrate why Y and Z are wrong, and if I can't then they must be right. This is broken logic.


Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #87 on: December 30, 2012, 09:48:35 AM »
Yes, but to five hundred other people that drink being held is a cup of coffee.  So the problem with the example comes that subjective belief changes reality for you.  Therefore the reality you know and are aware of existing is not the reality that, in this example, five hundred other people know and are aware of existing.  Your statement of accord with reality is then different than theirs because your reality is different from theirs.

What is preposterous about Sabs having to support statements?  Sabby said the statements were not true, either of them.  I only asked for him to prove the statements were not true, either of them. 

Also, I did not say something could not be true if it cannot be measured.  Vt did or at least inferred that with his statement before. 

I also find it perplexing how an opinion is not true or false, but all research begins with essentially an opinion.

Offline mj2002

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #88 on: December 30, 2012, 09:50:50 AM »
Yes, but to five hundred other people that drink being held is a cup of coffee.  So the problem with the example comes that subjective belief changes reality for you.  Therefore the reality you know and are aware of existing is not the reality that, in this example, five hundred other people know and are aware of existing.

What is preposterous about Sabs having to support statements?  Sabby said the statements were not true, either of them.  I only asked for him to prove the statements were not true, either of them. 

Also, I did not say something could not be true if it cannot be measured.  Vt did or at least inferred that with his statement before. 

I also find it perplexing how an opinion is not true or false, but all research begins with essentially an opinion.
Research doesn't begin with an opinion at all. It begins with questions, hypotheses, etc. Researchers don't start with conclusion and then try to prove they're right. That's not how science works. That's how pseudoscience works. Also, a cup of tea doesn't change to coffee depending on the view of other people. It might be coffee to other people, but those other people are wrong.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #89 on: December 30, 2012, 09:57:18 AM »
Actually research begins with an observation and then a statement of opinion.  From that statement an experiment must be extrapolated making the statement a hypothesis, a well worded guess and/or opinion.  Once more though, the tea might not be tea at all to the other people but instead coffee.  Vt might suffer from a rare condition whereby his taste buds do not register the taste of coffee as coffee, but instead as tea.  So once more the connection Vt has with reality is through a sense that can be deceived and so can be wrong.  Vtís concept of reality is then not what he would believe, but 500 people are not going to make that cup of tea into coffee for him.

Offline mj2002

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #90 on: December 30, 2012, 10:07:07 AM »
Actually research begins with an observation and then a statement of opinion.  From that statement an experiment must be extrapolated making the statement a hypothesis, a well worded guess and/or opinion.
A hypothesis is not an opinion. It's an proposed explanation. That's not the same thing.

Once more though, the tea might not be tea at all to the other people but instead coffee.  Vt might suffer from a rare condition whereby his taste buds do not register the taste of coffee as coffee, but instead as tea.  So once more the connection Vt has with reality is through a sense that can be deceived and so can be wrong.  Vtís concept of reality is then not what he would believe, but 500 people are not going to make that cup of tea into coffee for him.
What people perceive is irrelevant. Perception doesn't change facts and it doesn't turn coffee into tea or the other way around, unless youre purposefully messing with the definitions along the way. In that case, you're example is flawed and cannot be used in this discussion. When person x is drinking a cup of tea, then millions of people who aren't there to witness this can say whatever the hell they like. They can come with personal truths, opinions, guesses, beliefs, statements, the whole lot. None of this changes what we agreed upon as being tea at the beginning of this example.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #91 on: December 30, 2012, 10:08:13 AM »
Yes, but to five hundred other people that drink being held is a cup of coffee.  So the problem with the example comes that subjective belief changes reality for you.  Therefore the reality you know and are aware of existing is not the reality that, in this example, five hundred other people know and are aware of existing.  Your statement of accord with reality is then different than theirs because your reality is different from theirs.

What is preposterous about Sabs having to support statements?  Sabby said the statements were not true, either of them.  I only asked for him to prove the statements were not true, either of them. 

Also, I did not say something could not be true if it cannot be measured.  Vt did or at least inferred that with his statement before. 

I also find it perplexing how an opinion is not true or false, but all research begins with essentially an opinion.

Their belief on what is reality is different but it doesn't stop them being wrong. You can claim, somewhat, an arguement from ignorance; if those five hundred people disbelieve me for whatever reason, and I don't show them what I'm drinking, then it's completely completely understandable -why- they're wrong, and why they hold the belief that I'm drinking coffee and not tea, but it doesn't make the assumption any less wrong. Just because we kept saying the world was flat without any other evidence doesn't mean we had a different view on reality, it means what we thought about the world was wrong. You can hold an opinion which is blatently contradicted by fact (Once again, the Flat Earth Society exists, despite evidence that the world is not flat).

And an opinion isn't true or false, because that's just it; it's an opinion. I don't like sprouts and that's my opinion; I think they taste awful. This does not mean that everyone else with the opinion of 'I like sprouts, I think they taste nice' are wrong. If one opinion is right, that means the opposite of that opinion has to be wrong, but that's not how things work. One person can think a film is good and another person watching the same film can think it's bad - this doesn't mean one of them is right and one of them is wrong. They hold two different opinions on the same topic. Neither of them is right, neither of them is wrong; it's simply how their personal tastes work.

And what is preposterous is that you're asking Sabs to not just support his statements. You're asking him to prove that abortion is, in all cases, either morally right or morally wrong. Not why people hold their beliefs, or why he himself thinks abortion is right or wrong. You're telling him to prove to you that either abortion is always right or always wrong, because that's the only way to prove that belief is reality isn't true. It's like asking some random guy on the internet to prove to you what the meaning of life is.

Actually research begins with an observation and then a statement of opinion.  From that statement an experiment must be extrapolated making the statement a hypothesis, a well worded guess and/or opinion.  Once more though, the tea might not be tea at all to the other people but instead coffee.  Vt might suffer from a rare condition whereby his taste buds do not register the taste of coffee as coffee, but instead as tea.  So once more the connection Vt has with reality is through a sense that can be deceived and so can be wrong.  Vtís concept of reality is then not what he would believe, but 500 people are not going to make that cup of tea into coffee for him.

It may not taste like tea to him, but that doesn't change the fact that it -is- tea. The taste is irrelevant. He believes thats what the taste of tea is, but that doesn't change the fact that it's made with tea leaves, that it has the chemical and nutritional content of tea and not coffee. If I had a rare disease which makes a nice, fatty steak taste like salad, it doesn't make the steak healthier because it tastes like salad; it's still a huge lump of meat.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 10:15:39 AM by Vanity Evolved »

Offline Sabby

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #92 on: December 30, 2012, 10:09:38 AM »
Quote from: Pumpkin Seeds
What is preposterous about Sabs having to support statements?  Sabby said the statements were not true, either of them.  I only asked for him to prove the statements were not true, either of them.

Okay, that does it. I'm done with this discussion. Have a good day.


Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #93 on: December 30, 2012, 10:17:52 AM »
Once more, I am asking Sabby to simply explain what he said and support the claims.  That is sort of basic in any discussion.  Sabby is not able to do so, which I didnít expect Sabby to be able to do either.  Yet if he cannot prove something then he should not state something as if that something is true.

Yeah, I think at this point you two are confusing the word opinion as a statement of something not true or of something that does not have any truth associated.  That is, to my understanding, false. 

Also MJ, I did not agree that the tea was tea at all.  I am highlighting how reality viewed through the senses is flawed and so we cannot say our understanding of reality is sound or even that we are capable of doing so.  At least not with the tea example.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #94 on: December 30, 2012, 10:20:55 AM »
No, they are equating an opinion with something that may or may not have any 'truth-value' to be assigned.  If A believes that 1+1=fish and B believes that 1+1=squirrel, then neither one is right, because assigning animal names to addition problems is not appropriate.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #95 on: December 30, 2012, 10:24:31 AM »
Well no, their statement is than an opinion is not true or false.  Meaning that an opinion has no truth or possibility of truth, while at the same time stating that an opinion has no ability to be not true.

Unless what they are saying is that an opinion is "not true" or in other words false.

Offline mj2002

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #96 on: December 30, 2012, 10:26:57 AM »
Once more, I am asking Sabby to simply explain what he said and support the claims.  That is sort of basic in any discussion.  Sabby is not able to do so, which I didnít expect Sabby to be able to do either.  Yet if he cannot prove something then he should not state something as if that something is true.

Yeah, I think at this point you two are confusing the word opinion as a statement of something not true or of something that does not have any truth associated.  That is, to my understanding, false. 

Also MJ, I did not agree that the tea was tea at all.  I am highlighting how reality viewed through the senses is flawed and so we cannot say our understanding of reality is sound or even that we are capable of doing so.  At least not with the tea example.
You can disagree all you like, but in the set example the object was identified as tea, period. Now you can start by saying that what is tea to one person might be coffee to someone else, but at that point your entire worldview implodes because everything can be anything and you haven't got a single frame of reference to discuss. That's the reality you believe you live in? Because I'm pretty sure the reality I live in is an objective one (as per Occam's Razor) and even if that might not be the absolute truth, I have no choice but to accept that I have to act as if I am in one. Everything that ever happened indicates that this is the case. A reality where facts are subject to change because of the beliefs of another is a pure fantasy world. I don't think there's much use arguing over truth if you believe that to be the case, because then truth loses its meaning.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #97 on: December 30, 2012, 10:27:46 AM »
Assigning the value of 'true' or 'not true' to a moral opinion is as inappropriate as assigning the value of 'good' or 'evil' to the statement that 'cheese is made from curdled milk'.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #98 on: December 30, 2012, 10:32:36 AM »
Once more, I am asking Sabby to simply explain what he said and support the claims.  That is sort of basic in any discussion.  Sabby is not able to do so, which I didnít expect Sabby to be able to do either.  Yet if he cannot prove something then he should not state something as if that something is true.

Yeah, I think at this point you two are confusing the word opinion as a statement of something not true or of something that does not have any truth associated.  That is, to my understanding, false. 

Also MJ, I did not agree that the tea was tea at all.  I am highlighting how reality viewed through the senses is flawed and so we cannot say our understanding of reality is sound or even that we are capable of doing so.  At least not with the tea example.

I'm not sure what you're trying to get at, here. Sabs did answer you. Your question made little sense, and he did attempt to answer you. You asked him to give you absolute proof of absolute morality on a subject, and he couldn't answer that, because no-one can; of course he wasn't able to answer it how you wanted. No-one could.

And no, a statement is your opinion. If you say you like a film, or you think a film is good, then that is your opinion. Opinions don't have truth attached to them. You can hold an opinion that is contradictory to truth. Flat Earth Society has proof that the world is round, and they choose to believe that's a lie in their opinion.

Viewing reality through the senses is the only way you can view reality; that is how we interact with the world. It's true that the senses can be fooled, but that is where independent verification comes into play. If you say 'Hey, look at that pink bunny over there handing out golden eggs!' and your five friends say 'What pink bunny?', then there's a pretty good chance you're seeing something which isn't there. Add into this modern technology, where we can take pictures and observe the world in ways our senses can't be fooled. You can take a photograph, and what you see on the photo is what is there, barring any problems with the photograph.

Well no, their statement is than an opinion is not true or false.  Meaning that an opinion has no truth or possibility of truth, while at the same time stating that an opinion has no ability to be not true.

Unless what they are saying is that an opinion is "not true" or in other words false.

It's not true and it's not false, because it's not asserting a fact; a fact can be true or false, but an opinion is a statement of what -you- believe which may or may not be supported by the facts. People believe the Bible is the word of God, with no proof to go along with that. Someone can say they love a film, but that's not a statement that the film is good or bad or that it's a fact that people will love that film. I can say I hate fish when I havn't even tried fish. You don't need facts or proof to have an opinion.

You can disagree all you like, but in the set example the object was identified as tea, period. Now you can start by saying that what is tea to one person might be coffee to someone else, but at that point your entire worldview implodes because everything can be anything and you haven't got a single frame of reference to discuss. That's the reality you believe you live in? Because I'm pretty sure the reality I live in is an objective one (as per Occam's Razor) and even if that might not be the absolute truth, I have no choice but to accept that I have to act as if I am in one. Everything that ever happened indicates that this is the case. A reality where facts are subject to change because of the beliefs of another is a pure fantasy world. I don't think there's much use arguing over truth if you believe that to be the case, because then truth loses its meaning.

It's also a theory which is very easy to test. If you believe that something changes based on your belief, let someone hand you two plain boxes. Both of them have coffee in them, but your friend has told you it's tea. They make you a cup, and you drink it. Will it taste like tea, because you have no reason to think it isn't tea and you believe what you have in your hands is tea? Or will you go 'Hmm... are you sure this is tea? Because this tastes like coffee, to me.'

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Truth: What is it, and do we really need it?
« Reply #99 on: December 30, 2012, 10:35:11 AM »
Only if you do not believe there is an absolute truth in regards to morality.  If you consider those questions of life and death to be similar to ďthe moon is made of cheeseĒ then certainly.  Yet if there is an absolute truth then words true and false are applicable to questions of morality.  As the OP asked about beliefs being truth, I will go with that area.  If this is not a discussion of absolute truth then the discussion is simply, do people believe science.  Not what I read the original post as being.

So Sabby said a statement that nobody could backup.  That would not be my fault or doing.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 10:39:10 AM by Pumpkin Seeds »