Monday, May 1, 2017

Two Models of Truth (unfinished)

The first model of truth is that of a map that allows one to make it through a maze.  In this case the map must match reality exactly.  Truth is made of all true statements that pertain to the objective world.  In the second case truth is a raft one uses to get across a river.  But in this case also, truth is made of all true statements that pertain to subjective needs.  Anything that floats well enough and holds together and is made of true statements that promote my needs is truth.

The map model of truth represents scientific truth.  The raft model represents morality.  Science must accurately model reality as closely as possible.  Morality, on the other hand, must provide a way of weathering the turbulence of reality.  What are rights? What are responsibilities?  These are constructs.  But pain and pleasure are at least real.  Morality maps pain and pleasure.

If I say that I have the right to freedom of speech, that is a true statement, but that is true because someone else has the obligation to let me speak my mind.  Here, however, truth is not a map that must be followed lest I reach a dead end but an allowance that must be granted so that I don't perish beneath the waves.

The disagreement between science and philosophy sometimes comes down to a disagreement as to which model best represents truth.  I have needs that must be met.  Whereas the objective world makes demands that also must be met.  But both must be acknowledged.  To ask whether my needs match the objective reality is wrongheaded.  The two often have nothing to do with one another.

It must never be the case that reliance on one model completely supplants the use of the other model, because if that occurs then most people will fail in the world model that has been destroyed or displaced.

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