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False notions of Truth

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renuka

Well-known member
The topic area may be more relevant for someone who genuinely wants to know the 'Truth'
Anyone with shraddha and right attitude will be able to find the answers they seek.
Dear TKS Ji,

May be I can put forth my 1st question:

1)How do we know that the Truth exists?
 

tks

Well-known member
Dear TKS Ji,

May be I can put forth my 1st question:

1)How do we know that the Truth exists?
When all the false notions we hold are understood as false, existence of Truth will shine without any effort on our part
 

renuka

Well-known member
When all the false notions we hold are understood as false, existence of Truth will shine without any effort on our part
To a great extent we have been made to believe that all that we perceive or hold on to is "false"...but on a logical level it is better denoted as Transient since its subject to change.

Its the state of flux or change that we tend to call "false/untruth".

My next question:

1)Why are we so uncomfortable with a state of flux or change?


In normal human psychology..resistance to change is a sign of anxiety...where one constantly searches for a balanced auto pilot unchanging state.

Is there a possibility some "learned" people of the past were actually individuals with severe anxiety that they isolated themselves from the world and looked for a non existent Unchanging State and did not want to address their anxiety but preferred to call their quest as the search for the Truth?
 

tks

Well-known member
To a great extent we have been made to believe that all that we perceive or hold on to is "false"...but on a logical level it is better denoted as Transient since its subject to change.

Its the state of flux or change that we tend to call "false/untruth".

My next question:

1)Why are we so uncomfortable with a state of flux or change?


In normal human psychology..resistance to change is a sign of anxiety...where one constantly searches for a balanced auto pilot unchanging state.

Is there a possibility some "learned" people of the past were actually individuals with severe anxiety that they isolated themselves from the world and looked for a non existent Unchanging State and did not want to address their anxiety but preferred to call their quest as the search for the Truth?
No one can make anyone believe in anything. Rather than generalize what people feel or believe it is best to talk about one's personal beliefs. If you are uncomfortable with change then find ways to deal with that discomfort. False notions about reality can create anxiety, hence one can take the steps required to know the false notions as false.
 

renuka

Well-known member
No one can make anyone believe in anything. Rather than generalize what people feel or believe it is best to talk about one's personal beliefs. If you are uncomfortable with change then find ways to deal with that discomfort. False notions about reality can create anxiety, hence one can take the steps required to know the false notions as false.
Its not about generalization....its just a different perspective.

In fact what you wrote "When all the false notions we hold are understood as false, existence of Truth will shine without any effort on our part" can be also considered a Valid Generalization from a different angle even though I would accept what you wrote as C&P from our religious/philosophical understanding.

The fact is the State of Change/Flux has been linked with False/Untruth by religion.

My question is why?

Change/Flux is inevitable at almost every level.

So if that is Untruth/False..that would translate as entire existence as stemming from Falsehood or Untruth.

Is our whole existence a lie?


 

auh

New member
The opening post is about describing false notions that exist, not to assert what the truth is.
False notion about "what"? To describe that there is a false notion about a particular "entity", there has to be factual proof that the entity exists. For example, anybody can start a thread describing false notions about "just anything not under the sun". How does that even make it valid?

In that spirit, above post is an example of a false notion. However it can be made more acceptable and logical if it reads as follows.
Yes, I agree that my post might be an example of a false notion IF there exists a "true notion" about some "entity" that is PROVEN to exist beyond doubt.

"Everything around is only relative (to what?) and hence only relative truth seems to exist or that my understanding of our scriptures is incomplete" If you think the bolded case above is impossible then no more useful discussion is possible with you.
Everything around is only relative to time, space, sensory perception and existence. If it is difficult for you to understand the previous bolded part, I can help you with it. With whatever effort I can muster.

Let us leave my understanding of the vedas/scriptures aside and focus on what your understanding is and how good it stands the test of logic and reason.

You could begin by re-reading my previous post and try to attempt to contemplate on it and respond, instead of rhetorics.
 

auh

New member
The Truth...The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth that everything we see around is only a Relative Truth.

May be that is what Truth is all about? A Truthful Relativity!!
I will safely say - "I dont know" !
 

Vaagmi

Well-known member
What I have stated is that the discussion here is about false notions one may hold for any number of reasons.
Having said that, people are welcome to have their own opinion about anything including our scriptures.

The topic area may be more relevant for someone who genuinely wants to know the 'Truth'
Anyone with shraddha and right attitude will be able to find the answers they seek.
Dear tksji,

Please rise above the distractions and start moving with your presentation. It appears you have identified a set of false notions held by people and want to write about them. I am waiting for you to do that. Please, also write about the truth as it occurs to you (may be with your understanding of the scriptures)--giving original references, so that we can understand your thought pathways. Also kindly tell us in detail why you think each of your identified false notions as false. And you may also tell us what would be the truth in those cases.

You may, for the present, take the arguments of members here about the nonexistence of absolute truth (though they too have solid reasons to support their view point) as a point of view and move ahead. There is no need for you to get mired in arguing it out at this stage of your presentation.

For heavens sake, please move on. Thanks.
 

tks

Well-known member
Its not about generalization....its just a different perspective.

In fact what you wrote "When all the false notions we hold are understood as false, existence of Truth will shine without any effort on our part" can be also considered a Valid Generalization from a different angle even though I would accept what you wrote as C&P from our religious/philosophical understanding.

The fact is the State of Change/Flux has been linked with False/Untruth by religion.

My question is why?

Change/Flux is inevitable at almost every level.

So if that is Untruth/False..that would translate as entire existence as stemming from Falsehood or Untruth.

Is our whole existence a lie?


What I responded should be understandable without any labels of religion or philosophy or whatever.
One is welcome to hold onto whatever imaginations and notions about truth - I will not be commenting or responding further.
 

tks

Well-known member
False notion about "what"? To describe that there is a false notion about a particular "entity", there has to be factual proof that the entity exists. For example, anybody can start a thread describing false notions about "just anything not under the sun". How does that even make it valid?

Yes, I agree that my post might be an example of a false notion IF there exists a "true notion" about some "entity" that is PROVEN to exist beyond doubt.



Everything around is only relative to time, space, sensory perception and existence. If it is difficult for you to understand the previous bolded part, I can help you with it. With whatever effort I can muster.

Let us leave my understanding of the vedas/scriptures aside and focus on what your understanding is and how good it stands the test of logic and reason.

You could begin by re-reading my previous post and try to attempt to contemplate on it and respond, instead of rhetorics.
The topic area is 'false notions of truth'; Truth is the entity.

Yes, everything we perceive is relative to time, and space. Sensory perception is but one means to know what is happening.

What I pointed out earlier by restating your prior post is to fix the logical option that was missing in your claim.

Once again let me say that you are welcome to hold onto your views.

To illustrate why further discussion may be unproductive from my point of view here is an imaginary conversation (exaggerated for a bit of humor but intent is not to mock you or anyone).

There is a person let us say we call him SAI (acronym for Self Assumed Intellectual) and meets a Physics Professor (PP) in a public place.

SAI: So what do you teach?

PP: I teach Quantum Mechanics, Theory of Relativity at the Undergraduate level.

SAI: I think these theories and much of pure mathematics are bunkum but I do think experiments and resulting progress make sense to me because I can see useful things coming out of those. I do not think we know truth of what it is all about, no one will ever be able to know. These theories are just flavor of the century.

PP: What makes you say that? A theory is but a model. Do you know that the microscopic world is described by pure potentialities of events in an infinite dimensional space?

SAI: Talk to me in reason and logic and not mention any buzz words. Do you agree that we live in a three dimensional world? Or do I have to make you understand that? If you want to call Time the fourth dimension I can grant you that. How do we know there are infinite dimensional systems exists before you fellows come up with another cockamamie theories? You and I cannot fathom anything beyond three dimensions of space.

PP: Do you think square root of -1 exist? You cannot feel it, it is not any of the numbers in our world. They are called imaginary numbers. Do you think imaginary numbers exist?

SAI: These are just some tricks of mathematicians at best. Go back to my original statement, understand and defend it.

PP: You know there is a nice canteen here, do you want to come along? I will treat you to a plate of Idli and Sambar along with a very satisfying tumbler of decree coffee. Let us talk about weather and places we have visited recently

.
.
.
 

tks

Well-known member
Dear tksji,

Please rise above the distractions and start moving with your presentation. It appears you have identified a set of false notions held by people and want to write about them. I am waiting for you to do that. Please, also write about the truth as it occurs to you (may be with your understanding of the scriptures)--giving original references, so that we can understand your thought pathways. Also kindly tell us in detail why you think each of your identified false notions as false. And you may also tell us what would be the truth in those cases.

You may, for the present, take the arguments of members here about the nonexistence of absolute truth (though they too have solid reasons to support their view point) as a point of view and move ahead. There is no need for you to get mired in arguing it out at this stage of your presentation.

For heavens sake, please move on. Thanks.
Sri Vaagmi,

Thank you for your suggestion. I give some time between my posts so that many people are somewhat caught up. The first post had 500 views or so simply because of the time offered. The topic area is dense and people may be turned off if there are too many posts in a succession.

I do not intend to engage in chit-chat type discussion going forward with the 'usual' points of views expressed here.

Our scriptures do not describe reality (Truth) but only tell you what it is not. Obviously I cannot do any better !

Here is a verse from Kathopanishad -
अशब्दमस्पर्शमरूपमव्ययं
तथाऽरसंनित्यमगन्धवच्चयत्।
अनाद्यनन्तंमहतःपरंध्रुवं
निचाय्यतन्मृत्युमुखात्प्रमुच्यते


‘ashabdam-asparsham-arupam-avyayam' means that the reality or truth is soundless, touch-less, formless, endless

‘arasam-nityam-agandham-anaadyantam-mahatam-paramdhruvam' means it is tasteless, always ever present, odorless, has no beginning or ending, changeless with respect to space and time.

How can we humans living in a three dimensional space and Time, endowed with only sensory perceptions of touch, smell, taste,hearing and sight can possibly fathom the meaning in the above verse? We can at best try to imagine but false notions have a way of creeping in via social, cultural and religious inculcation.

One can dismiss the above verse as a point of view and feel satisfied in one's own logic and simply move on.

For someone with the 'grace' of Shraddha and an intense desire to know the Truth can make progress here. Average person is not endowed with Shraddha and desire to know the Truth.

Human beings are endowed with the grace of discriminatory thinking and wisdom. But most will waste that precious endowment and that is the way it is.

My modest posts here are just to illustrate false notions held by people who call themselves as believers of various schools of thought. The approach where possible is to point out the contradictions in those few selected notions. First of those discussed was 'I believe in Brahman and I am an Advaitin'
 

prasad1

Well-known member
In general, absolute truth is whatever is always valid, regardless of parameters or context. The absolute in the term connotes one or more of: a quality of truth that cannot be exceeded; complete truth; unvarying and permanent truth. It can be contrasted to relative truth or truth in a more ordinary sense in which a degree of relativity is implied.

1) In philosophy, absolute truth generally states what is essential rather than superficial - a description of the Ideal (to use Plato's concept) rather than the merely "real" (which Plato sees as a shadow of the Ideal). Among some religious groups this term is used to describe the source of or authority for a given faith or set of beliefs, such as the Bible.

2) In science, doubt has been cast on the notion of absolutes by theories such as relativity and quantum mechanics . Attempts to tie together all the known facts about the universe into a single unified theory (one example is string theory ) could be seen as efforts to discover absolute truth about this set of facts.

3) In pure mathematics , however, there is said to be a proof for the existence of absolute truth. A common tactic in mathematical proofs is the use of reductio ad absurdum , in which the statement to be proved is denied as a premise, and then that premise is shown to lead to a contradiction. When it can be demonstrated that the negation of a statement leads to a contradiction, then the original statement is proved true.

The logical proof of the statement, "There exists an absolute truth," is almost trivial in its simplicity. Suppose we assert the negation of the statement, that is, that there is no such thing as absolute truth. By making that assertion, we claim that the sentence "There exists no absolute truth" is absolutely true. The statement is self-contradictory, so its negation, "There exists an absolute truth," is true.

This proof applies only to logic. It does not tell us whether any particular statement other than itself is true. It does not prove the existence (or non-existence) of God, the devil, heaven, hell, or little green people from another galaxy. Neither does it assert that we can always ascertain the truth or falsity of any arbitrary statement. The Incompleteness Theorem , proved by Kurt Gödel and published in 1931, actually showed that there exist logical statements whose truth value is undecidable, that is, they cannot be proved either true or false.

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/absolute-truth
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Renukaji, you said
Is there a possibility some "learned" people of the past were actually individuals with severe anxiety that they isolated themselves from the world and looked for a non existent Unchanging State and did not want to address their anxiety but preferred to call their quest as the search for the Truth?

In the
'Taittariya Upanishad' II.1, Brahman has described in the following manner: "satyam jnanam anantam brahma", "Brahman is of the nature of truth, knowledge, and infinity." Infinite positive qualities and states have their existence secured solely by virtue of Brahman's very reality. Brahman is a necessary reality, eternal (i.e., beyond the purview of temporality), fully independent, non-contingent, and the source and ground of all things. Brahman is both immanently present in the realm of materiality, interpenetrating the whole of reality as the sustaining essence that gives it structure, meaning and existential being, yet Brahman is simultaneously the transcendent origin of all things (thus, panentheistic).

All reality has its source in Brahman. All reality has its grounding sustenance in Brahman. It is in Brahman that all reality has its ultimate repose. Hinduism, specifically, is consciously and exclusively aiming toward this reality termed Brahman.

http://hinduism.about.com/od/basics/a/brahman.htm

So what we call absolute is Truth. So it is a concept.
This word truth is completely different from the common word Truth or opposite of lie. In our limited experience we see that there is a basis for the movements around us. This basis is unmoving in that movement, so we deduce that there must be a basis for the changes. And we call it absolute Truth.
 
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prasad1

Well-known member
Sri Vaagmi,

Thank you for your suggestion. I give some time between my posts so that many people are somewhat caught up. The first post had 500 views or so simply because of the time offered. The topic area is dense and people may be turned off if there are too many posts in a succession.

I do not intend to engage in chit-chat type discussion going forward with the 'usual' points of views expressed here.

Our scriptures do not describe reality (Truth) but only tell you what it is not. Obviously I cannot do any better !


One can dismiss the above verse as a point of view and feel satisfied in one's own logic and simply move on.

For someone with the 'grace' of Shraddha and an intense desire to know the Truth can make progress here. Average person is not endowed with Shraddha and desire to know the Truth.

Human beings are endowed with the grace of discriminatory thinking and wisdom. But most will waste that precious endowment and that is the way it is.

My modest posts here are just to illustrate false notions held by people who call themselves as believers of various schools of thought. The approach where possible is to point out the contradictions in those few selected notions. First of those discussed was 'I believe in Brahman and I am an Advaitin'
When we are in a open forum, it is dangerous to demonstrate "ONES" superiority. If one thinks that they are superior, consequently others are inferior then there can be no discussion, there can only be pravachan or speech.

There are some people who can not see others question their post, and immediately attack the poster (may not be physically,,,,,, but deride them, or just start calling names, and form groups to beat up the opposition).

If we come with open mind we should accept alternative views, and may even have to change our own belief.
 

renuka

Well-known member
So what we call absolute is Truth. So it is a concept.
This word truth is completely different from the common word Truth or opposite of lie. In our limited experience we see that there is a basis for the movements around us. This basis is unmoving in that movement, so we deduce that there must be a basis for the changes. And we call it absolute Truth.
Dear Prasad Ji,

Thank you...its clear now to me that Truth is a concept.

The Truth seems like the Substratum I guess.

I guess Sat is not the same as the English word Truth.

Your answer made me look up the definition of Sat and I am pasting it here to share with everyone.


Sat (Sanskrit: सत्) is a Sanskrit word meaning "the true essence and that "which is unchangeable" of an entity, species or existence. Sat is a common prefix in ancient Indian literature and variously implies that which is good, true, virtuous, being, happening, real, existing, enduring, lasting, essential.

Wikipedia
 

renuka

Well-known member
For someone with the 'grace' of Shraddha and an intense desire to know the Truth can make progress here. Average person is not endowed with Shraddha and desire to know the Truth.

'
Shraddha/Grace/Average/Learned are personal opinions and subjective to add.

In the quest for any sort of knowledge its still the best to shed any pre conceived notions cos that too might be a false notion we hold on too.

Its strange we talk about False notions yet we hold on to it.
 
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renuka

Well-known member
What I responded should be understandable without any labels of religion or philosophy or whatever.
One is welcome to hold onto whatever imaginations and notions about truth - I will not be commenting or responding further.
I recently met a person from a different country/culture/religion...a learned persona Phd in his own field of language and religion.

He told me "If a student fails to learn anything....the student is not to be blamed...its the fault of the teacher who failed to impart knowledge"

Wise man.
 

tks

Well-known member
When we are in a open forum, it is dangerous to demonstrate "ONES" superiority. If one thinks that they are superior, consequently others are inferior then there can be no discussion, there can only be pravachan or speech.

There are some people who can not see others question their post, and immediately attack the poster (may not be physically,,,,,, but deride them, or just start calling names, and form groups to beat up the opposition).

If we come with open mind we should accept alternative views, and may even have to change our own belief.
Prasadji,

When we are in a open forum it is not good to periodically offer gratuitous advice to members. You have been called out on this before by other members. I was going to ignore your comments but this type of repeat is getting tiresome. You cannot violate the spirit of your own advice. The best thing to do is to be the change we want to see in others.

Discussion can take place between members as they see fit and there is no need for you to start attacking people by saying who is demonstrating superiority or inferiority. There is no need to characterize a thread as a speech or pravachan. These are actually patronizing remarks. Besides this kind of tactics only derail threads.



All - If anyone thought I am acting superior, my apologies. I try to be hard on issues, insist on logic, reason and some scholarship if you take strong positions. I would like to think I am easy on people provided they come across a genuine to me.

If someone's posts repeatedly does not come across to me as genuine then I choose not to waste my mental energy engaging with their posts. One does not have to agree with me in order to have a debate or discussion. But their posting has to be respectful the topic area and to the forum.



Let us get back to the topic, please.
 

tks

Well-known member
Brief comments on few of the posts:

Prasad ji has provided useful references in Post #32 and #33

Post #32: I could not have put the following succinctly - "The logical proof of the statement, "There exists an absolute truth," is almost trivial in its simplicity. Suppose we assert the negation of the statement, that is, that there is no such thing as absolute truth. By making that assertion, we claim that the sentence "There exists no absolute truth" is absolutely true. The statement is self-contradictory, so its negation, "There exists an absolute truth," is true."

Also about 5 years ago in a thread titled 'God Exists' which was active for a long time I had made detailed references to the Incompleteness Theorem and its implications to asserting human capacity to know (the truth). In this thread too it is possible to make further comments which will be too technical/boring for some people (hence skipping that). But it is nice to see the theorem being referred to in this thread

Post #33
"In the 'Taittariya Upanishad' II.1, Brahman has described in the following manner: "satyam jnanam anantam brahma", "Brahman is of the nature of truth, knowledge, and infinity.""

let us contrast the above to the verse from kathopanishad I shared in Post #31
There is a seeming contradiction - Brahman is understood as not describable by words or understood by any thoughts and yet there are words used such as satyam, jnanam and anantham in the context of referring to Brahman. Are these words adjectives or attributes? How can something that cannot be described have adjectives or attributes.

Our scriptures have brilliant means to teach - It is to seemingly provide contradictory statements. Only in reconciliation without any concession can a correct understanding possible. This requires support of a qualified teacher. I have shared my views on who can be in the role of a qualified teacher in the opening post (Post #1)

Post #36

In the reference below with a set of posts I have shared my understanding of Shraddha to a specific question.
http://www.tamilbrahmins.com/showthread.php?t=27035&p=315384#post315384

We use words to convey points based on the context. All those are relative to that context only.
Let us say an immigration officer asks a Mahatma (say a Mumukshu) while looking at his/her passport - 'What is your date of birth' - it is not appropriate to answer "I was never born and I will not die" . The thing to do is to answer within the context of the question. Same is the case here with respect to usage of many terms to convey an idea. However if there is an assertion of a notion in the context of describing the truth it is completely realistic to examine if the notion is false.


Post #37

"When the student is ready the teacher appears"

Post #38

When I am making comments about humanity it is not to assert anyone's superiority or inferiority. It is a statement of what appears to be the way it is. When someone expresses the belief that in Kali Yuga most people will do bad acts or some such statement, it does not mean the person is calling himself or herself as superior.
 

auh

New member
The topic area is 'false notions of truth'; Truth is the entity.
Truth is the entity that is yet to be proved.
To illustrate why further discussion may be unproductive from my point of view here is an imaginary conversation (exaggerated for a bit of humor but intent is not to mock you or anyone).

There is a person let us say we call him SAI (acronym for Self Assumed Intellectual) and meets a Physics Professor (PP) in a public place.

SAI: So what do you teach?

PP: I teach Quantum Mechanics, Theory of Relativity at the Undergraduate level.

SAI: I think these theories and much of pure mathematics are bunkum but I do think experiments and resulting progress make sense to me because I can see useful things coming out of those. I do not think we know truth of what it is all about, no one will ever be able to know. These theories are just flavor of the century.

PP: What makes you say that? A theory is but a model. Do you know that the microscopic world is described by pure potentialities of events in an infinite dimensional space?

SAI: Talk to me in reason and logic and not mention any buzz words. Do you agree that we live in a three dimensional world? Or do I have to make you understand that? If you want to call Time the fourth dimension I can grant you that. How do we know there are infinite dimensional systems exists before you fellows come up with another cockamamie theories? You and I cannot fathom anything beyond three dimensions of space.

PP: Do you think square root of -1 exist? You cannot feel it, it is not any of the numbers in our world. They are called imaginary numbers. Do you think imaginary numbers exist?

SAI: These are just some tricks of mathematicians at best. Go back to my original statement, understand and defend it.

PP: You know there is a nice canteen here, do you want to come along? I will treat you to a plate of Idli and Sambar along with a very satisfying tumbler of decree coffee. Let us talk about weather and places we have visited recently
Let us assume that the guy labelled as "SAI" is a person with common sense "PCS". The conversation continues...

PCS: (after polishing of the Idli and Sambhar) So do you think that there is an entity called truth that is agreed upon by all?

PP: (signalling to the waiter for a coffee): Yes, of course. How ridiculous of you not to know it. But then, just as you cannot understand physics and mathematics, you would not be able to understand the "truth".

PCS: Well, you could give it a try instead of labelling me...

PP: For that you have to have sraddha, understand what is in the vedas... but before that you have a find a real guru who knows the truth.

PCS : So how do we know that the guru knows the truth? There are a lot of people who claim that they are the ultimate spiritual guide.

PP: The real seeker with sraddha will "know" his guru. You do not know imaginary number and I do not think that you know that the "microscopic world is described by pure potentialities of events in an infinite dimensional space". Hence, by logical deduction, you are ill equipped to "know" even a guru, let alone the truth.

PCS : It seems that this is something that you only seem to understand but unable to explain. Or this could be something that is your belief and an unproven statement.

PP: How dare you question my knowledge? "I" am telling you that you are not eligible to know this because of your sraddha...

PCS: (interrupting him) You know, my next door uncle also behaves the same way you do. He says that there are invisible people around him. Strange creatures that only he could see and hear. It seems that they whisper instructions to him. He calls them "revelations". He says that we have to have a separate "power" to see what he sees. The family had him checked and found that he was suffering from some sort of schizophrenia or the like. Net result - he is confined to a room now, as he was found to exhibt violent behaviours (but perfectly justifiable to him) and was found dangerous to those around him.

PP: (clearly uncomfortable now) Well, these are not comparison. I am saying that there is something called absolute truth that could only be figured out by those who have sraddha and have found a true guru who know the absolute truth. You cannot call that an equal with a psychological disorder!

PCS: Ok, so do you have any scientific proof that it actually exists? Is it something that can be studied and attained through an objective method? Do all the people who seek the truth agree on its characteristics? Is it similar to physics or mathematics that can be derived through equations? You seem to test my knowledge on subjects that apparently have no correlation with the original query.

PP: <<silence>>

PCS : (signalling to the waiter) bill please
 
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