Category Archives: Truth

Anh Tai Trang – The Arts

Art is a picture of color that is not tied to any one framework. Art is made of sounds, colors and feelings. We can see and feel art through many dimensions such as paintings, songs, etc. Because art is created through each person’s own rich imagination, there will be two streams of praise and criticism. There are many people who think the same way that a song or a picture is highly artistic, on the other hand, it is not an art.

Over time, the art becomes richer and the separate wings are created. When a large number of people listen to a song, they may “imitate” the lyricist because the melody is so ingrained in their minds. So can art be copied?

Good design is redesign.

No. Art is not copied because it has an individual’s personality and color. It can be “remixed” and carried a different color so that an idea can be enriched instead of being confined to one’s thinking.

Art has been redesigned to bring a different color fresh and positive. Therefore, the current images and colors all have a moment to honor the original. For example, the melody of a guitar can be used in addition to other instruments to “remix” and give a new color but still honor the guitar.

In short, art is a picture created in our imagination. It all has a unique color and meaning depending on each person’s thoughts. But, it’s called art.

Anh Tai Trang – History

History is like a book about things that happened in the past. It explains why, the course, the end or the continuation to the present time. In addition, some historians add some information to make the timeline more reasonable.

“History is written by the victors.”
-Winston Churchill-

The above statement can clearly show that the story taking place in history will have some details that will always be a mystery. The numbers we see when reading or viewing some historical documents are due to what is left over from history. For example, we know how many bombs there are in the war and the number of deaths. But, there will always be a missing number of people and sometimes people will find a few unworkable bombs and the number will increase when we find a new bomb stuck that somewhere deeply in the ground.

It is often said that we study history (war) so that we do not repeat these things in the future. But, it is not 100% sure because if we look back to the years from 100 to about 1000 we can see the wars getting more and more advanced. Let’s say we use swords and from there to guns and bombs. So far, I think the war will still take place because otherwise, why would developed countries like Russia or the United States study nuclear and “advanced weapons”?

Universal Moral Values

There are no universal values, we appear in this world in different starting positions, some are better than others. Country, family, appearance, intelligence – some things from the top of my head, which is already a great influence on human’s life. Moreover, I could start talking about genes or permanent disabilities, what has even bigger effect. As we say that every one is different, there can’t be same expectations from everyone, so can’t be same rules. However, we are good at finding patterns, which lead to survival. One’s who are not, don’t survive. So as the time was going on, people, who were killing each other- happened to be dead. However, people, who decided not to kill each other, stayed alive. Alternatively, if somehow most aggressive people, were to survive, we would decide on the rule that murder is good. Even though, this rules  often work, they are not universal. In order to take the right decision, we should be considering only our decision, and do what ever we think is right.

I think that there are no thing such as moral fact. It is better to use something like “Most common thought”. However, we can’t say that some kind of action is right in any situation.

Earl Morris on truth, history, science, and relativism

Source: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/the-ashtray-this-contest-of-interpretation-part-5/

For those who truly believe that truth is subjective or relative (along with everything else), ask yourself the question – is ultimate guilt or innocence of a crime a matter of opinion? Is it relative? Is it subjective? A jury might decide you’re guilty of a crime that you haven’t committed. You’re innocent. (It’s possible. The legal system is rife with miscarriages of justice.) Nevertheless, we believe there is a fact of the matter. You either did it or you didn’t. Period.

If you were strapped into an electric chair, there would be nothing relative about it. Suppose you are innocent. Would you be satisfied with the claim there is no definitive answer to the question of whether you’re guilty or innocent? That there is no such thing as absolute truth or falsity? Or would you be screaming, “I didn’t do it. Look at the evidence. I didn’t do it.” Nor would you take much comfort in the claim, “It all depends on your point of view, doesn’t it?” Or “what paradigm are you in?” When I was investigating the murder of Robert Wood, a Dallas police officer, and the capital murder conviction of Randall Dale Adams for that murder, would it make sense to describe my viewpoint as one paradigm, and the viewpoint of the Dallas police as another? Surely, we had different ways of looking at the evidence, different interpretations of the evidence, different ways of looking at the crime. Suppose someone said, there’s no way of comparing these two paradigms. They’re incommensurable. You can’t say one is true and the other false. There is no absolute truth. Perhaps they could gussy up the claim by citing police procedures and practices. Different traditions of looking at crime scene evidence. . . .

The difficulty of ascertaining the truth in history is often confused with the relativity of truth. Two very different concepts. (We may have difficulty fixing the exact date and location of the Battle of Hastings, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen at a specific time and place.) “The past,” as L.P. Hartley has written, “is a foreign country. They do things differently there.” [90] But when Homer speaks of the “sun,” is he speaking about a different object than T.S. Eliot? If Newton were to give Einstein a copy of the “Principia” and Einstein were to give Newton a copy of “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies,” would they be unable to understand each other or their respective theories? There would be a discussion, perhaps even disagreements about ideas and principles. Clarifications would be needed. But would they look past each other in numb stupefaction? The past may be a foreign country, but I do not believe that people there speak a language that we can not understand.

On the ‘3 theories of truth’ [#26: Monday’s class]

Perhaps it will be useful for me to summarize the main points I argued in today’s class.

  1. I disagree with van de Lagemaat when he speaks of three theories of truth. The first, which he calls the ‘correspondence theory’, seems to me to be simply the definition of truth: if what I say matches what is actually the case, then I have spoken the truth. Truth, that is, is a correspondence between what we say, and what is. The difficult part is knowing what actually is.
  2. The other two ‘theories’ that van de Lagemaat discusses seem to me to be tests: ways of checking to see whether what has been said matches what really is. So I will refer to them from here on as tests of truth.
  3. The pragmatic test asks, “If I assume that x is true, do things work as expected?” If the answer is yes, then we may feel more confident that x is in fact true. Another sense of the pragmatic test is to ask, “If x is true, is that somehow useful to me or to others?”
  4. The coherence test of truth is based on the idea that the totality of our beliefs form a web. In other words, all of our beliefs are connected to each other in multiple ways. That ‘web of belief’ constitutes our view of the world, our understanding of who we are, where we are, and what we are doing. If someone says, “X is true”, we automatically check that statement against all our other beliefs. If the statement conflicts dramatically with our web of belief—if there is no coherence with everything else we know and believe—then the statement fails the coherence test, and we reject it.
  5. I would add another test of truth: scientific and mathematical reasoning. To test a statement mathematically or scientifically requires time, work, and expertise—which is why very few of us actually do it. We may accept an expert’s conclusions, but we rarely work out the evidence ourselves.
  6. All three of these tests of truth—the pragmatic test, the coherence test, and scientific/mathematical reasoning—can lead us astray. We feel most assured, therefore, when a statement is supported by all three of the tests.
  7. All of the above assumes that we reach conclusions about the truth by thinking. This seems doubtful to me. Instead, I would argue that most of our conclusions about truth are reached via emotion. We began exploring this idea with Robert Burton’s article on certainty, and will continue exploring it via the work of Jonathan Haidt and others.