Revisiting Truth: Different Disciplines and with a New Perspective (week seven, post one)

08Mar07

I found of one of our classmate’s comments that didn’t post in the site’s spam basket– (as an aside, I would like to remind you that I am relatively new to this blogging technology, and because of that I need you to email me when you are having problems. I might be able to help you! In this student’s case, her comment got posted to the “spam” pile! Can you imagine how surprised I was when I saw that she was not the only one who had tried to post their submission a number of times, but all the copies never got there– and can you imagine how FRUSTRATED they are? — Chrislynn, Rudy, Steepy, and Jamie- the problem has been rectified!)

But as I was reading her response I felt that this might be a nice one to include as a revisit. Remember, we have been using the lens of truth to visit the topics we’ve been reading about in this class. The lens offers us the ability to question what truth is and its meaning, as well as whether there is a truth. It also allows us to look at how different disciplines substantiate and validate the truth their disciplines support. This week’s Stephen W. Hawking’s and Bertrand Russell’s essays are no exception. Here are two writers approaching the topic of science and religion’s relationship to the Universe. We have been discussing the history of the struggle of scientists and religions in answering the questions: When was the Universe created? and How was the Universe created?

What is important to remember is that finding an answer to these monumental questions has been linked to the penultimate question of: What does it all mean? Human kind has been searching for meaning in the universe and in our existence. We have been looking at the postulated theories of why we are here and what meaning that may have.

So what I invite you to do in commenting on this blog is to read through Chrislynn Porta’s response, think over the semester’s reading through to now, pick one of the quotations that she has offered about truth, and relate that quotation to one or more of the reading that we’ve read and of course the topic of truth!

And if you have about six minutes you can watch this!
or if you have about an hour, this!

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

I would like to revisit the very first blog on truth (in case you haven’t noticed,
I like that one!) Ever since that blog was posted, I realized just how much of life
is based on truth.

This past weekend I attended a leadership/ diversity retreat and one of the
workshops was about truth. Here are a few quotes we briefly discussed ..

“There are no whole truths: all truths are half- truths. It is trying to treat them
as whole truths that plays the devil.” – Alfred North Whitehead

“Believe those who are seeking truth; doubt those who find it.” – Andre Gide

“We know the the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.” – Blaise
Pascal

“Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry from then and cover them up, at
least a little bit.” – Edward R. Murrow

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to
discover them.” – Galileo

I find Murrow’s quote to be very interesting. I think it implies that truth is
always changing. Most people embellish the truth as to protect other’s feeling. When
they embellish the truth, it changes, whether it be a lot or a little. I feel that
when a truth changes, it stops being a truth. There is evidence to support the original
truth, but not this new “truth” a person has come up with.” Chrislynn Porta

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10 Responses to “Revisiting Truth: Different Disciplines and with a New Perspective (week seven, post one)”

  1. Just checking to see if I can comment here…

  2. 2 vengrove

    “Believe those who are seeking truth; doubt those who find it.” – Andre Gide

    I agree with this quote. It is basically saying that there is no truth. People are constantly searching for it but how do you know once you actually find “truth”- you don’t. It may be true to you, but its most likely not true to others. It is so hard to actually find the truth on certain matters because stories become so fabricated and changed that it eventually is far from the truth. In Parker Palmer’s “The Community of Truth” he says “…so we refuse to use the word for fear of embarrassing ourselves.” Which shows that if you clearly state that something is true and then somehow it is found that it is the opposite of being true, than you are looked upon as a liar.

  3. 3 innerberto

    “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to
    discover them.” – Galileo

    If one is to take Galileo’s quote and apply it to a impossible magic trick. Once the audience finds out how the trick was performed, the once impossible trick becomes easy.

  4. 4 jacksonru

    “Most truths are so naked that people try to cover them up, at least a little bit.”

    I think this quote is so true, most truths are so naked that people try to embellish them to make thing sound better than the are. Embellishment sells and we are all guilty for it. Look at the tabloids and magazines that are on the shelves in the grocery store. While waiting in line even if you don’t want to by it, you most likely end up reading some made up story about another person. Even pictures which we see with our eyes are not always what they seem. Sagan helped me realize that truth is not always as cut and dry as we think.

    I actually went on the retreat with Chrislynn and it was really an experience. I used to think that all truth was blatant and universal, but that is not always the case. I used to think of truth for a scientific perspective and not one that was relative to the times we live in. What is true now might not have been that way years ago.

  5. “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to
    discover them.” – Galileo
    This quote is very true. People try to figure out the truth in life and in others. Many do not know what to believe because they dont know what acutally happened, or what the actual answer is. Once people know what is true and what an amswer is or what actually happened, than figuring out and knowing the truth is easy. If you dont know the truth than it is difficult to try to understand it. The whole point is talking to somone and trying to understand them to figure out the truth in them.

  6. “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to
    discover them.” – Galileo

    I think this quote can apply for many types of truths: scientific truth, personal truth, historical truth, and religious truth. When the truths are discovered, the way to understand the truths is also been discovered; therefore, other people can easily understand the truths. In the essays about scientific truth, people tried to discover the real truth behind the present truth. When scientists discover something new which is opposed to the old theory, then people can know why and how the old theory is wrong easily. In the essay of “Can we know the universe”, the author points out some of the scientific theories that are been changed or disproved, and been substituted with new theories. The scientists thought they found the real truth, but actually they did not. For personal truth, if we can discover the characteristics of the person, then it is easy to understand the person or the personal truth of the person. For historical truth, we need to discover the fashion, culture, religion, etc of the time, then we can easily understand the reason of why some historical events happened. For religious truth, we have to discover the religion that the person or community is believed in, then we can understand their values and behaviors. So, if the truths are discovered, then it will be easy to understand. I think this concept is somehow related to the last post of restriction. Since, we do not understand, so we put restriction of what we think on the things that we want to discover. This makes harder for us to understand. But once, the truths are discovered, the boundaries are taken away, then we can easily understand. Like what innerberto said about the magic trick. Our brains put the restriction, so it is hard for us to understand it. But once, we know how it is performed, we then can easily understand it. But how can we get rid of the restriction to help us to discover and understand?

  7. 7 brianpolashuk

    “Believe those who are seeking truth; doubt those who find it.” – Andre Gide.

    I think this quote could be taken in many different ways. In my opinion it is suggesting that those who are constantly seeking truth realize that things change. Just because something is true at one point does not mean it will always be a fact. They are more trust worthy because their knowledge is more “up to date”. Where as, people who “find” truth are convinced and stuck on their own ways. They come to accept what they have already learned and put no effort into looking at reasons or explanations. I think this may apply to many things. Religion is the one exception that I believe can be believed and found. I think people can continue to seek their own religion, by becoming more and more educated about things, but I don’t think you can not believe a Priest because he believes he found truth. I think this can be seen in Scott Russel Sanders’ Earth, Air, Fire, and Water in many ways. He talks about how he used the periodic table as a lens to organize the things in his world. However, that table changed a lot from the time he was a kid to the time he was an adult. Just another example of how things change. Also when looking at Hawking’s Our Picture of the Universe he talks about the different time periods through out history. Each time period had a different set of beliefs that they thought was the truth. As smart as some of the philosophers and scientists were in that time period, how intelligent do you think they would be if they lived today and believed the exact same things?

    Commenting on Sara’s post, I disagree that it is “basically saying that there is no truth”. Truth tends to change throughout time, but it does exist. Take for example the planet Pluto. Until recently many of us would agree that the statement Pluto is a planet is a true statement. However today, many people would disagree with you. The statement WAS true, but now it’s not.

  8. 8 montemarano

    “Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and try to cover them up, at least a little bit.” – E. Murrow

    Sometimes, the truth can be hurtful, and people find it hard to accept the truth as naked as it is. So, to avoid the having to face the nakedness of the truth, people tend to cover it up, blinding or hiding themselves from the truth. This happens a lot in today’s society, and because of this, the truth is never really the truth.

  9. I find Murrow’s quote, “Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry from then and cover them up, at
    least a little bit.” is related to The Naked Face. In the Naked Face, the author speaks about people who are able to hide their feeling by using a different facial expression. Murrow is saying that because of these different facial expressions that we can make, we are able to cover up our true feelings to please others. He’s in a way saying that people are fake.
    You can also look at Murrow’s quote as being a coverup to something said. For example, if someone told you a joke, and the punchline was something that you didn’t understand, and rather than feel stupid or be embarrassed by your friends, you say “OH I get it!That’s funny!” and begin to laugh; when really you have no idea what the joke was.

  10. 10 moraa

    “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to
    discover them.” – Galileo

    All truths are out there to be discovered its just a matter of time when most if not all of them will be discovered by science. But i believe some things about truth and some aspects that havent been connected with a truth should be left alone to let future generations continue to speculate the greatness of the world. The question now is rather if finding out all the truths is acutally good or hurting us in the long run?


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