helpfuldemon

Is truth relative?

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Is truth relative?  Is it really all in the eye of the beholder?  Are there any absolutes, and if so, what are they based upon?

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Yes. 

Relative, based on available knowledge (that includes scientific "truths"), and circumscribed by ones own willingness to take in and accept that available knowledge (bias). 

 

This is closely guarded by two fierce Guardians: Ego and Mammon. 

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My take...

 

In Buddhism and Bön, there is a teaching known as the Two Truths.

It says that there is both a relative truth and absolute truth, both of which are valid.

 

The relative truth relates to the validity of everything we see, feel, know, and think in our lives framed in the dualistic nature of our life experience. I am me, you are you, I see and feel things, I am separate from those things, I am separate from you, I have likes and dislikes, I am born and I will die, things are solid and tangible, all of that. 

 

The absolute truth refers to the perspective of the non-dual nature of being that may be accessed through our practices. The absolute truth is that while all of the dualistic experiences we have are real and valid to the subject, they do not tell the whole story. The way things are is different than they seem to our selective and limited sensorium and intellect; and this absolute nature of abiding precedes or transcends labels, conceptualization, and intellectual understanding. It can be grasped or understood, only glimpsed and realized through direct connection.

 

While the two seem opposed and contradictory, they are both equally valid and critical to realize when we begin to dance between the two in our practice and in our lives. 

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Let me put this another way:  are there no absolute rules that all must agree upon?  Something universal, like say, killing another human is wrong?  Or, theft is wrong?  

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Whatever is, is

Any thoughts about it, whether spoken or silent are relative.

It is the eye of the beholder that is relative.

 

Anything manifested is an absolute. Anything unmanifested a potential.

One could say that it is based upon the unraveling of the quantum state of reality into state of causal reality that leads to absolutes from a potential.

 

 

Now, reality is an absolute, but we as eye of the beholder are not. We cannot perceive reality as reality is, we perceive reality as we are

through our paradigms and stories.

 

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1 hour ago, helpfuldemon said:

Let me put this another way:  are there no absolute rules that all must agree upon?  Something universal, like say, killing another human is wrong?  Or, theft is wrong?  

 

My approach is to look at whether there are rules that I personally must abide by to live a good life. An authentic life is one guided by one’s core values. We can not determine values for each other, only ourselves. Certainly there are guidelines for behavior that help promote a peaceful and stable community, the mods are focused on what those are to help this community flourish, but I don’t think these are absolute.

 

Killing and stealing are usually “wrong“ but there are exceptions.

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2 hours ago, Cleansox said:

No, those are just cultural biases. 

 

How does this line of thinking not lead to absolute selfishness and lawlessness?

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31 minutes ago, helpfuldemon said:

 

How does this line of thinking not lead to absolute selfishness and lawlessness?

Because we live in a culturally biased society, where we create rules of behaviour enforced by that society. 

 

So while being relative and not absolute, they are still, for all practical reasons, real. 

 

And I didn't say that all theft and killing was included, you were driving the idea of this as an absolute. 

 

Most societies have justified some theft and some killing, mostly directed at individuals belonging to another society. 

 

War =plunder =profit and so on. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, helpfuldemon said:

Let me put this another way:  are there no absolute rules that all must agree upon?  Something universal, like say, killing another human is wrong?  Or, theft is wrong?  

All dont agree though, or else we wouldn't have the number of thieves and killers that we do.

I came from a town where there was a saying; "killers gonna kill, thieves gonna steal, but you dont know what the hell a liar is going to do."

Reading through the thread, the OP is asking is truth relate-ive.

Scrolling through, it seems like this is more of an- can we agree to basic norms and mores to avoid out and out lawlessness.

Two different topics.

Edited by zerostao
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I think in the tik tok world there are many certain truths.  I have one drinking glass on this table.  You can play semantic games, you can play philosophic games but there is only one glass on this table.   A real truth captured by photo.  Again you can jimmy it up, cause certain illusions but in a court of law, its proof beyond a reasonable doubt. 

 

On the other hand philosophy shlimosophy.  This gives me a better feeling for what truth is:

 

There is Truth, the truth of the Truth and there is Peace.  The truth is "the boy stole an apple", the truth of the Truth is "the boy was hungry" and Peace is "nobody stole anything, now, give the boy an apple."

 

 -Nachman of Breslov

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2 hours ago, thelerner said:

...

 

There is Truth, the truth of the Truth and there is Peace.  The truth is "the boy stole an apple", the truth of the Truth is "the boy was hungry" and Peace is "nobody stole anything, now, give the boy an apple."

 

 -Nachman of Breslov

 

I wish more people would have this sentiment.

It feels that nowadays we are arguing and mad about hypothetical situations and ideology while if we were in the situation most of us would just give the hungry kid an apple.

 

I feel a lot of us may have lost the value of human conduct already before covid, by spending too much time reading and watching news instead of walking in our streets and towns.

 

Maybe the truth is both listening to your heart and to your head and integrate the two. Who cares about the unknown big truth when you can make the world a better place with your own experience of what your feel and understand to be true.

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1 hour ago, Hannes said:

Maybe the truth is both listening to your heart and to your head and integrate the two. Who cares about the unknown big truth when you can make the world a better place with your own experience of what your feel and understand to be true.

Yup.  Well put. 

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1 hour ago, Hannes said:

Maybe the truth is both listening to your heart and to your head and integrate the two. Who cares about the unknown big truth when you can make the world a better place with your own experience of what your feel and understand to be true.

 

I personally feel that this is precisely the way toward that “bigger” truth, no other way really, IMO.

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6 hours ago, helpfuldemon said:

 

How does this line of thinking not lead to absolute selfishness and lawlessness?

 

It does... :D

 

 

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On 7/15/2020 at 10:44 AM, helpfuldemon said:

Let me put this another way:  are there no absolute rules that all must agree upon?  Something universal, like say, killing another human is wrong?  Or, theft is wrong?  

I'm reminded of the writer Robert Heinlein- “Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful -- just stupid.)”

 

<<addon my definition would be a bit wordier.  I don't like the word 'sin', too emotionally charged.  Too likely different parties using the same word mean different things.>>

 

A girl I went out with long ago explained her vegetarianism like this "If I don't have to kill something, I won't".  Not my way, but an approach I highly respect.  She simply didn't want to add to the pain in the world, if she didn't have to.  That was her rule.  Whereas I.. I'm willing to ignore, some of the pain I cause. 

 

I guess we each have to draw up our own rules.  Acknowledging that life requires adaptability to thrive.  At best we pick our wise men and our paradigms consciously. 

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On 7/15/2020 at 7:48 PM, welkin said:

 

It does... :D

 

 

 

If truth is relative, and cultural bias, then that sort of defeats the law of karma and reincarnation, no?

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If truth is relative,

then its more of a

mother-in-law who

only visits occasionally. 

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12 hours ago, helpfuldemon said:

 

If truth is relative, and cultural bias, then that sort of defeats the law of karma and reincarnation, no?


Not really as the cultural biases and relative truths are karma, in my understanding. :shrug:

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I think we are our own judge.  The only Karmic truth is the one we find within- should we disagree with our actions, we find there is a blockage of justice.  Ignorant people, and people of no conscience do not suffer from karmic blockages.  

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The Laws of Nature are that the strong get what they desire, and the submissive follow. When two strong creatures meet, one must prevail, or they reach a compromise. These are the Laws of Nature.

Subjectively speaking, our spirituality is chosen by us, and we define its rules. When we betray our own rules, we are out of line in the karmic sphere, and it is only then that we suffer for it. However, though truth in this light is relative to the observer, there are the laws of society to which we have to be observant, for it is enforced and governed by those that can punish us. These laws are transitory, and change from culture to culture, Age to Age. It is wise to observe them, and it is wise to change them as necessary.

If there is reincarnation, I believe that it is based on your subjective rules, and not the cultural ones.

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Good is good, and Evil is evil- and we usually fail at the greatest good, though we believe we intend well, we are also prone to evil.  Such is our condition.  To be extraordinary is to be a master of good or evil, and that requires health and knowledge, and strength and power.  

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34 minutes ago, helpfuldemon said:

Good is good, and Evil is evil- 

Ahhh, sounds so easy. 

 

But what is good? 

And what is evil? 

 

And if someone yells "GOD wills it" and everyone in the vincinity believes that is good, is it? 

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Good is to aid, to create, to nurture, to educate, to protect, to inspire.

 

Evil is to oppose, to destroy, to thwart, to deceive, to steal, to harm, to humiliate.

 

God wills it, is it good?  That depends on if you submit to Gods authority and power.  Does God have a plan for everything to work out for the better, or does God just do what God wants to do?  Is God reasonable?  

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