Truth is greater than knowledge

If you have a Reality, you have a Truth. :sunglasses:

In my above post, the first sentence is a statement of fact about what we call a book–the second sentence is a statement of fact about the reader of the book. Which is the more accurate?

If we label what we see, ‘book,’ and if that label is an abstraction of what we see, where is there ‘Truth’ in our label? Is it truth because we say our label is truth? What if you gave a book to someone who’d never seen a book before and s/he immediately sat down on it, doesn’t it then call for a new label in order to define the new ‘reality’ of what we call a book?

Or take the American Flag, which has several levels of abstraction. It’s a piece of cloth; it’s a piece of cloth woven into red and white stripes with one corner woven in 50 white stars within a field of blue. Each section has symbolic meaning to those who know the symbolism. Each level of abstraction (and I use this word because that’s the word Korzybski used) has a different label. The flag in it’s entirety is a symbol, but to some people, it’s nothing more than a piece of cloth that could be used as an article of clothing, a door to a dwelling, or a nice piece of wall-art.

What do we see and at what level of abstraction do we see it?

This is what I understood from the op-- can we know total truth?

Try it yourselves–start by defining yourself as other people ‘see’ you and work through the various abstractions until you can no longer abstract the labels that make you, you.

psychopaths prefer knowledge over truth every time. lol idk random claim :mrgreen:

Precarious territory: “a Reality,” “a Truth.” Are we talking solipsism?

Definitions and their concepts.

Vaaague. Care to explain Sir?

Truth cannot be refuted - even by contrary evidence, so by definition it must be accurate. It is also universal and absolute.

Unlike priests, scientists using the scientific method make mutable models of reality. Truth is not at issue - only the match between model and experiment.

A priest will tell you the absolute truth, and if experiment disagrees - well, it’s a matter of interpretation of the truth revealed by whatever God the priest wants you to believe in.

Excellent response mines! It is also important to remember that most of the [empirical and scientific] knowledge we hold as ‘objective’, ‘universal’, ‘absolute’, or “true” is formulated as such that it is necessarily mutable, or falsifiable. Therefore, we largely base “truth” on predictability, which says little about any universal or absolute Truth. Now, if a theory is not falsifiable, we are dealing with an article of faith that can only be affirmed by those who share it.

I’m just catching up…

Well partly the intangibility of a truth, add to that also that a ‘truth’ tends to contain a collection of knowledgeable items [as with the glass of wine] irrespective of weather or not we can fully know that truth. Naturally if we can then it is then knowledge, so it would seam we are more speaking about a journey than destinations.

As concerns the infinite or reality etc, such things will always be greater than any knowledge we can possibly have about them, this simply because of the limited nature of knowledge. Unless we are talking about ‘meaning’ of knowledge, but then we would be heading in the same direction as truth.

I separated ‘truth’ from ‘knowledge’* as I see the former as a ‘metaphoric’ description, and the latter as an ‘abstract’ [both being similar again]*, so here there are different levels of understanding [rather than right and wrong variations on the case].


Our inability to understand such truths is due to the way we categorise and perceive things, the very intellect we use limits us. I think that in some cases we can round-up all the knowledge and kind of bag it all up as a thing, ~ a truth. Mostly though I think the very way we define and describe things, is faceted each being right to their own angle and understanding, such that as with the glass of wine we end up with descriptions of a thing that bare no relation to what we began with. Each description has its own tangent and that takes it a step away from its truth.


Right and to some that flag represents freedom, to others oppression and in varying degrees. I always hate to tell people even what I do for a living, because to some that represents who you are in some way, though I don’t know how that can be so. Same goes for the looks one may appear to be giving people.

When we open our eyes after a sleep in the countryside, is the scene the truth or items within it, or the collection of items within it.

We could also take a journey through the entire library of knowledge, if we knew all things would we know ‘everything’ or everythingness.

What describes reality better; statelessness [1], state [2], or the collection of states [3]?

[1] truth
[2] knowledge
[3] the library


"Conviction in God is not Truth - that is belief.

Knowledge that has been proven by evidence is Truth. So truth and knowledge may be equals.

Yup. I agree with all that. For clarity’s sake, my post was directed more towards James’ post than your own, minesadorada.

Strong belief (conviction) = Truth. Truth is a value statement, an absolute, and an error of the individual.

So objects are truth?
This is not how the word ‘truth’ is generally used. It sounds like you are saying that language can never completely describe reality. So knowledge = language (or some part of it).
Since you are contrasting truth with language/knowledge, we can assume that since your post was written in language and is a description of things, it is not truth.

I shouldn’t answer for Quetz, but we seem to be on the same page with this one. Objects, as seen, are not the totality of the reality of those objects. Objects, as described, are even less so. Think of the blind men describing an elephant–none of them ‘see’ the elephant, so none can describe the holistic animal accurately.

It’s a rather old and well-accepted linguistic theory, actually, and rather self-evident, given quantum physics. :smiley:

But then according to QM, reality is whatever and only what you see. If you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist except in an alternate reality.

What about blind people?

In any case, that’s not really what QM says.

Quantum physics? You’ll have to show me how you weave that one in or why you would need to. You don’t need to refer to QM to back up the notion that any language description of an object will be missing things, especially if you consider the relationships of said object.

My problems with his or her post was that it was calling objects truth. Truth is usually thought of as some kind of description of the way things are. Something that refers to reality.

I also think there is a problem with both of you asserting things, in language, if you are also claiming that language and descriptions cannot be - ontologically that is ‘truth’. One can ask ‘what are you doing, then?’

And since knowledge - which Q equated with descriptions - tend to be viewed as true beliefs, how can knowledge not be true (and thus a form of truth). Must every truth be all inclusive? If so even the elephant is not ‘truth’ since the elephant is not the tiger.

Oh, but it is what is now preached in colleges and believed throughout the Western world (along with a lot of other non-sense).
The Double Slit experiment and the collapsing wave. “Mind over matter.

But I agree that “Truth” is the language or model representation of the Reality, the Map not the Terrain.

Sorry, Moreno, I have a cat that walks over my keyboard and takes me off-line. I had responded to JSS but lost it when keyboard Cat hit my f2 key.

I said to JSS that multiverse theories couldn’t be proven and that, therefore, I didn’t believe QM included them and, perhaps I would have been clearer if I’d simply said “…given the discovery of sub-atomic particles.”

I also suggested that this isn’t the place to discuss quantum theories, since most of us–including myself–don’t really understand them.

Is that okay?

I don’t think it is what is preached or believed through the Western world. It didn’t fit with what I have read on the subject.

The double slit experiment does not prove that only what is seen exists. It demonstrates that observations can affect what is observed, but they do not demonstrate that this is the only thing that affects things or collapses the wave. And it certainly does not restrict observation to sight. It says nothing about alternate realities. In fact the whole notion of a multiverse was first raised as a way to protect determinism, and again multiverse hypotheses do not restrict existence to the set of things observed, in fact they pretty much go against that notion directly.