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been borg again

" we create our own Truth and Reality"

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I don't know if it is Sheldrake or not, as I am not familiar with that name. The 100th Monkey theory, as I understand it, has found that in studying the evolution of monkeys, that once a new idea presents itself from one monkey... very soon on another island, the same idea displays itself from another monkey. These two never had means to have had contact with each other... so some postulate that their is some kind of conscious awareness manifesting and culminating amongst us all from an unconscious source. Carl Jung also speaks of the collective consciousness.

 

You are going to like Dr. Sheldrake http://www.sheldrake.org/ . I can't decide if he is crackpot or not.

 

The 100 monkey thing was based on falsified data by Lyall Watson.

 

(quote from here) Watson’s "100 Monkeys": Some time in the 70s Lyall Watson was travelling through Japan when he heard, or misheard, someone talking about Koshimo Island, and he elaborated from this a beautiful fiction which he named the "100th monkey". His fabrication was this:-

 

The yam washing "pre-culture" spread gradually through the troop as young animals learned it by watching and imitating their brethren, until... until a certain mass was reached and then the knowledge spread explosively, reaching everyone. One autumn day, Watson says, the critical point was attained. "Let's say 99 monkeys had learned the behaviour," he said. When the 100th monkey learned it a "critical mass" was passed and now, suddenly, all the monkeys started to show the behaviour. It became part of their collective unconscious/conscious, not only on Koshimo Island, but all over Japan! The idea is that when enough individuals repeat a particular thought pattern, that pattern is facilitated for the whole species. We'll come back to the concept, but first let's look at the data.

 

In fact in the period in question, autumn '69, two new animals learned the behaviour bringing the total of creature displaying the behaviour from 36 to 38, and there was no subsequent acceleration in the acquisition of the pattern. Nor did it spread to the mainland, to other troops. Though it might have, for the ethologists observed one of the Koshimo Island monkeys, an adult males, did move to the mainland where he joined a new troop. He stayed for four years, and then swam back to the island.

 

The whole 100th monkey story was a fiction, and Watson did not take the trouble to read the data, to get the story straight, though it's published in readily accessible journals. Oh well: never let the truth stand in the way of a good idea.

 

The thought that an idea has a certain inertia is not unique to Watson's 100th monkey. Rubert Sheldrake has generated a wonderful body of thought around this 100th monkey theme.

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You are going to like Dr. Sheldrake http://www.sheldrake.org/ .  I can't decide if he is crackpot or not.

 

The 100 monkey thing was based on falsified data by Lyall Watson.

 

Thanx chef. I know I read that story somewhere and it's good to get the debunker machine going. :)

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does the Agnostic know the truth or does Christianity?

 

I don't know for sure, but at least Agnostics are willing to admit that they don't know. Although I am pretty certain that Christianity is a lie (otherwise, I wouldn't have left).

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You are going to like Dr. Sheldrake http://www.sheldrake.org/ .  I can't decide if he is crackpot or not.

 

The 100 monkey thing was based on falsified data by Lyall Watson.

 

I thought I responded to this once... it must be lost. Anyway...

 

I forgot the significance of the 100th monkey till you presented the theory here. I probably had heard it when it first came out... and was unaware it was discredited. Thanks for updating me to the current accuracy of my poorly remembered resource. Appreciation for the Sheldrake site too, I put it in favorites! I've read some... will read much more. Veeerrry interesting. :thanks:

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The thing you're all missing is that the truth is not governed by opinion. It is not decided upon by a vote. Regardless of what anyone believes events that have taken place have taken place. People may believe whatever they like but whether a particular set of events occurred or not is a true or false proposition.

 

People perceive reality differently and so form different opinions in their mind about what is the truth; but that's the thing - human beings can only form a perception of the truth - a perception that may be on the money or completely wrong - but their perceptions do not define the truth in absolute. The truth remains the truth regardless. There's an important distinction between truth and perception of truth. Or truth and belief.

 

However the question posed in this thread is whether we create our own Truth and Reality. My answer to that is no - we believe in a perception of an absolute truth and an absolute reality, and those perceptions and therefore beliefs differ widely due to factors like believing in false second-hand information, or being restricted from knowing enough information.

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Human beings believe many things to be true. Look how many people believed in Bush's weapons of mass destruction. That which can be proven is true, and that which is true can be proven, eventually. Everything else is supposition.

 

I know, for example, that Evolution is true. Not because a majority of people believe it. Not because my father or mother said so. Because Science has tested Evolution for 150 years and it has never failed a single test. Scientists don't believe blindly, they test for truth.

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People perceive reality differently and so form different opinions in their mind about what is the truth; but that's the thing - human beings can only form a perception of the truth - a perception that may be on the money or completely wrong - but their perceptions do not define the truth in absolute.  The truth remains the truth regardless.  There's an important distinction between truth and perception of truth.  Or truth and belief.

 

Funkenstein, then ALL we have is a perception, ultimately ALL is an opinion, as ALL is an interpretation in which many may agree or not, which is probably an illusion when compared to the absolute Truth of anything. It use to be the obvious truth that the world was flat. How could anyone even prove absolutely that THIS present individual state is reality and not lucid dreaming? Or do we start by making Truth relevent to something else... which may not be truth either? I suppose to create our own reality, we have to make a leap of faith into something?

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Funkenstein, then ALL we have is a perception, ultimately ALL is an opinion, as ALL is an interpretation in which many may agree or not, which is probably an illusion when compared to the absolute Truth of anything. It use to be the obvious truth that the world was flat. How could anyone even prove absolutely that THIS present individual state is reality and not lucid dreaming? Or do we start by making Truth relevent to something else... which may not be truth either? I suppose to create our own reality, we have to make a leap of faith into something?

 

You're asking the same as Rene Descartes. He came to the conclusion, at minimum, of "I think, therefore I am." To be aware that he WAS aware was the one thing that he could not deny, even if some all powerful being were deluding him about everything else.

 

Actually, ALL could not possibly be an opinion, either. Reality, from which we draw 'facts' via our experiences and rationality, sometimes has a strange way of imposing itself upon us--then our opinions become shattered or heightened. Furthermore, the intensity of the various elements present in reality do not seem to share the same levels, so we each perceive some elements more accurately than other elements--with the God question being among the most difficult, if not the most difficult. What people need to do is be more hesitant about spawning opinions--but we like our opinions because it contributes to making us who we are.

 

The point? Reality is complex, but our brains tend toward simplicity, simplicity being more akin to in our limited sense of order. The problem is that reality continues to be complex and we can many times never know if we have, or even can, gather all of the relevant facts about any particular question.

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The thing you're all missing is that the truth is not governed by opinion.  It is not decided upon by a vote.  Regardless of what anyone believes events that have taken place have taken place. People may believe whatever they like but whether a particular set of events occurred or not is a true or false proposition.

 

People perceive reality differently and so form different opinions in their mind about what is the truth; but that's the thing - human beings can only form a perception of the truth - a perception that may be on the money or completely wrong - but their perceptions do not define the truth in absolute.  The truth remains the truth regardless.  There's an important distinction between truth and perception of truth.  Or truth and belief.

 

However the question posed in this thread is whether we create our own Truth and Reality.  My answer to that is no - we believe in a perception of an absolute truth and an absolute reality, and those perceptions and therefore beliefs differ widely due to factors like believing in false second-hand information, or being restricted from knowing enough information.

 

Again absolute truth, if real, is it relevant to humans who must perceive truth according to their physical structure and learned experience. If there is an actual "important distinction" between truth and perception of truth, it is, as they say, useless as tits on a boar hog as far as humans are concerned.

 

For example, the scientific method is constructed to help humans ignore their sensibilities and thereby arrive at some agreement about how the physical universe works. This is the modern search for absolute truth. However, Science inappropriately assumes that human sensibilities should have no role in determining what truth is. Even though there appears to be some usefulness in trying to set aside aside human sensibilities actually taking them out of the equation elicits insane behavior such as producing 13.5 quadrillion lethal doses of plutonium, or spraying our food supplies every year with millions of pounds of nerve agent poisons, or assuming the best way to make a living is establishing economic systems based on cancer as a model.

 

That is not to say there is not something real with which we must deal in order to survive. Human sensibilities evolved for just that purpose, and it worked quite well for many thousands of years. Rational thought is relatively recent in evolutionary terms and is an adjunct constructed from the rest of human sensibility. It is a mistake to suppose that humans can shed their evolutionary construction in favor of this one adjunct in order to arrive at something called absolute truth, which is usually something we force others to comply with. There will be many views of the truth. Of course that includes your view, which you don't have to give up.

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It's funny that we keep on getting to gravity as the proof of absolute truth, while we still don't know how to explain gravity. We don't know the machinery behind it. Scientists are talking about gravity waves and ripples in universe, so we could have distortions of gravity, and situations when gravity doesn't work as we're used to. So is gravity on Earth the absolute truth about gravity or not?

 

The answer is that everything we perceive as an absolute truth is only a truth within a restricted framework. Gravity as we know it only works when certain conditions are met. The same apply to speed of light, time, space and maybe even thought...

 

 

***edit**

Spell check done!

 

I spell like a monkey, so I know evolution is true…

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It's funny that we keep on getting to gravity as the proof of absolute truth, while we still don't know how to explain gravity. We don't know the machinery behind it. Scientists are talking about gravity waves and ripples in universe, so we could have distortions of gravity, and situations when gravity doesn't work as we're used to. So is gravity on Earth the absolute truth about gravity or not?

 

The answer is that everything we perceive as an absolute truth is only a truth within a restricted framework. Gravity as we know it only works when certain conditions are met. The same apply to speed of light, time, space and maybe even thought...

***edit**

Spell check done!

 

I spell like a monkey, so I know evolution is true…

 

I agree with what you are saying, Han, for the most part. For me, (and this is my opinion) the problem with asserting an 'absolute truth' is that when people say 'truth' many of them equivocate this with 'reality.' It seems to me that truth is a human linquistic/conceptual construct, much as is a painting or, better yet, a photograph. People (and I'm not implying you as such) tend to assume that their sentences fully reflect their experiences and confide too much in the power of explanation. Gravity, for instance, may be something we think we understand, but we may yet still have much to learn about it--even here on earth. It's pragmatic relevance here on earth, though, is all we are usually concerned with, not to say that that is all we should be concerned with. Gravity might have a different nature elsewhere, but I doubt it. The problem, I think, is that we think we know all there is to know about some physical absolutes 'here', and then we begin to project that things might be different elsewhere.

 

Reality, on the other hand, is imperfectly articulated perhaps in language. Reality remains "out there." However, even though it is "out there," our inarticulation of its nature does not prevent its relevance. So, when we say something is absolute truth, we may want to limit the way in which we use this term and save it for special cases of generality. The more specific we are with our explanations, the less we should claim absoluteness.

 

We have to remember that absolutes are not determined by humanity, but discovered. And as you implied, absolutes are hard to come by. This might even imply that the absolute truths we perceive of reality do not bend at our beck and call--perhaps even, reality is bending us. We just like to think that we have a handle on most of it.

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You're asking the same as Rene Descartes.  He came to the conclusion, at minimum, of "I think, therefore I am."  To be aware that he WAS aware was the one thing that he could not deny, even if some all powerful being were deluding him about everything else.

Might I add Philosopher Dave... Or if some all powerful being were deluding ALL parts of itself so that it could have this wonderful multifaceted experience?

The point?  Reality is complex, but our brains tend toward simplicity, simplicity being more akin to in our limited sense of order.  The problem is that reality continues to be complex and we can many times never know if we have, or even can, gather all of the relevant facts about any particular question.

And that's a good thing, as well as each with their own views and opinions, because if we ALL knew everything... and ALL thought the same way... wouldn't that be boring?

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Again absolute truth, if real, is it relevant to humans who must perceive truth according to their physical structure and learned experience.  If there is an actual "important distinction" between truth and perception of truth, it is, as they say, useless as tits on a boar hog as far as humans are concerned.

 

The distinction is important because I feel that the reasons people have different beliefs is because of their different experiences. I don't think we should have to respect someone else's belief if what they believe runs counter to reality, and in fact is a dangerous belief. The key to resolving problems between groups of humans is to try and come to an agreement about reality - where there is disagreement on a point it can only come from one side's (or perhaps both sides') false perceptions. So the name of the game is correcting perceptions, removing false information, and perceiving the truth as accurately as possible.

 

Let me try and think of an example. A man walks under a tree, a branch falls and kills him. Another man sees this and decides therefore that trees are evil because they attack humans and must be destroyed. He goes and tells a whole bunch of people about how evil the trees are, and a great mob decides to go lopping down trees left right and centre.

 

For that man, his perception of reality was warped due to the fact that he based his beliefs on too narrow a perception of reality. His perception governed his belief - but his belief was wrong. If all he ever saw was a tree branch falling on someone then he wouldn't understand that in fact it's a rare event and there's no reason to take such extreme measures to prevent the problem.

 

So what is needed is better methods for perceiving the truth, better ways of understanding the truth so that the beliefs we hold fit more accurately with the absolute truth. Expanding our understanding of the world around us so that we don't waste our time and energy on useless pursuits (such as worshipping deities that don't exist).

 

For example, the scientific method is constructed to help humans ignore their sensibilities and thereby arrive at some agreement about how the physical universe works. This is the modern search for absolute truth.  However,  Science inappropriately assumes that human sensibilities should have no role in determining what truth is.  Even though there appears to be some usefulness in trying to set aside aside human sensibilities actually taking them out of the equation elicits insane behavior such as producing 13.5 quadrillion lethal doses of plutonium, or spraying our food supplies every year with millions of pounds of nerve agent poisons, or assuming the best way to make a living is establishing economic systems based on cancer as a model.

 

I think you're confusing the scientific method with ethics. The scientific method is merely a way of proving or disproving a hypothesis. It doesn't say anything about whether or not a particular act is ethical. The scientific method can prove or disprove the hypothesis that plutonium can produce huge quantities of energy, but has no bearing whatosever on the ethical question of whether such a technique for producing energy should be used and if so under what sort of controls.

 

The problems with society you've mentioned are not a result of the scientific method - they're the result of greed. Human beings are animals, animals with instincts, instincts that drive them to want to ammass possessions and territory and social status. It is those instincts that have led us to make errors in judgement. But the reason we've made mistakes like this is because we're not perceiving reality well enough - if we only think in the short-term about things like profits then we're not perceiving reality accurately - we're not seeing how our actions are going to have far-reaching consequences. If that reality were well-perceived, perhaps the actions would be different.

 

That is not to say there is not something real with which we must deal in order to survive.  Human sensibilities evolved for just that purpose, and it worked quite well for many thousands of years.  Rational thought is relatively recent in evolutionary terms and is an adjunct constructed from the rest of human sensibility.  It is a mistake to suppose that humans can shed their evolutionary construction in favor of this one adjunct in order to arrive at something called absolute truth, which is usually something we force others to comply with.  There will be many views of the truth.  Of course that includes your view, which you don't have to give up.

Absolute truth actually does not require anyone's cooperation in order to be true. That's the beauty of absolute truth - it is just true whether you believe it or not. It's true that humans evolved to be a certain way, and that governs our perception of the truth. I referred to this in my previous paragraphs - we're animals that are greedy and have a drive to gain territory, money and social status. But here's the thing - evolution hasn't finished. Our brains have evolved now to the point where we are capable of transforming this planet immensely - we can in fact destroy our environment and social order and everything that is required to support us as a species. And this is where the next evolutionary step will take place: either humans will evolve to perceive reality better, and in so doing avoid actions that will ultimately end up in our demise, or we won't evolve and do things that cause our eventual destruction. We're at an evolutionary crossroads right now; it's make or break time for human beings. And to be honest - sometimes I worry about us.

 

If we're going to make it as a species we've got to do several things, including:

- Not fighting wars over non-existent deities.

- Not take actions that benefit us in the short-term but will ultimately ruin our environment or social structure.

 

In order to achieve those goals we have to have an accurate perception of reality. We have to be able to see that a) religious wars are a completely useless expense of resources, since religion itself is false, and B) we have to stretch out our minds in terms of timespan to take actions that benefit us in the long-term.

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