Learning and Truth
Truth can only be found in two ways: one is by finding an absolute truth through reasoning and other mental methods, and the other is through your senses. An example of the first is the famous quote from Descartes “I think, therefore I am”. This simply means that the proof for your own existence is the fact that you are asking yourself that very question. The reason that this is an absolute truth is that the question solves itself since in order to ask yourself whether or not you exist, you have to exist in the first place to ask that question. This means that you atleast know for sure that you exist. To disprove this would need a complex counter argument which I cannot think of, other than doubting that you’re asking the question in the first place, but I do not know how you can answer a question when you doubt that you asked it.
The second kind of truth that you can learn is through acquiring information from your senses. Things that you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell are sent to you through different media, are received by your senses, converted into signals and sent to your brain where they are converted into information for you to process. This is called communication theory, and is important because it shows that errors can occur in several of the stages involved in communication theory. Ultimately, the most important consequence of these errors is determining whether or not what you sense is accurate. The most obvious examples of this are optical and auditory illusions, which are quite common both in nature and from man. There many ways to trick the senses, for example showing someone something completely false and portraying it as reality, or to trick the brain into thinking that it sees something which is not there. There are two examples of the latter, dreams, and the Matrix concept from the Matrix films and other similar stories. In both of these examples it is extremely hard if not impossible to determine if what you are experiencing is reality or not. What all of this suggests that whatever information you perceive from your senses can be flawed, so theres no point in using your senses unless you can determine as accurately as possible whether or not what you are seeing is real or not. If you do not do this, then you could not use your senses and just lie to yourself, since the effect is the same.
This is scientific method. While science tries to detemine the truth through rigourous experiments, it knows that it does not yet have a way to determine whether or not it is absolutely correct. The best science can do is conduct enough trials of an experiment and run the experiment carefully to eliminate as much error as possible. Scientific method is the main way in which physical knowledge is obtained, since all science is is essentially being logical, careful, and not making any assumptions. While science is currently limited, there is no evidence yet that science cannot find all truths. I however believe that certain things, such as free will and love are not deterministic or random, but free, and therefore might not be able to be explained by science.
Absolute and Subjective Truth in Reason and Emotion
Both of these methods, absolute and subjective truth, require that you use several methods to process the information. I consider these two main methods to be needed to use reason and emotion. These are often seen as opposite, but infact are both needed to know the truth. With only logic, one can not be truely happy, and with only emotion, one would make terrible decisions and conclusions since many decisions can not be made without logic. When a conclusion is made without logic it becomes an assumption, lacking evidence or checking and only relying on your instinct and emotions, which are flawed by themselves. The extremes of these two are scientists who have no humanity, and Romantics who are illogical to the point of insanity. These extremes are easy to live with since they require less work and get some things achieved, but this comes at the expense of having to lie to yourself to ignore things that would have otherwise helped you, because if you considered them then your extremist point of view would not work.
Using Both Logic and Emotion, Resulting in Reason
This means that you need to be logical and know how to distinguish what emotions you are feeling are true. I believe that “true” emotions are ones that are not determined by instinct or only caused by chemicals in your brain. True emotions are ones that are brought about by things that you know to be true, not by chemicals you put into your body or lies that you tell yourself. In order for an emotion to be true, it must originate in the mind, not the brain.
A true emotion, such as true happiness, love, or sadness, is caused because you know certain facts which are by their nature happy, sad, etc. While this can also bec caused by simply injecting chemicals into someone’s brain, this is induced and therefore a false emotion. It is also false because this emotion would not have any rational cause. When someone feels an emotion without a meaningful reason, they can distinguish that they do not know why they are feeling that, which can ultimately be used to eliminate that feeling through reason. This shows the importance of being able to determine which of your emotions are true, and which are simply caused by meaningless chemical reactions.
Logic is a field of mathematics, which is universal and thus is related to the first method of learning. THhs means that you can learn about and use logic without having to rely on your senses. Logic is essentially a set of rules so abstract and general that is is universally applied within certain boundaries. Since logic is a set of rules, if someone knows some of them but is either misinformed or does not thnk carefully about the rest, they could easily have an incorrect view of what logic is. Since logic is neccessary for finding the truth, if someone does not use logic then most of their conclusions will be flawed, which will cause them to make further false conclusions based on those false conclusions, and so on. Since logic is objective, people who do not use it enough will make objectively wrong conclusions and will go further from the truth.
When someone uses both logic and emotion, I consider them to be reasonable. While this term is ussually associated with logic alone, I think that the root of the word is more important, the fact that both logic and emotion should have a reason for being. This does not imply a physical reason, but instead a philosophical and mental reason that you know to be true through both of these methods. Living like this would mean that true emotions such as love should be considered when thinking logically. For example, while it is difficult to measure emotions, logic can be used to determine which path would lead to the emotion that you have determined to be true. An emotion should not be considered as irrational unless it is a false emotion. In this way, science and humanity are balanced, leading a person to be balanced and able to find truth and therefore true happiness