Something new

rapmaster0#AC

Member
Feb 10, 2011
13
1
0
Visit site
I have been thinking to write a thread like this for a while now, but due to work and life in general it had held me back from doing so.

Social media, or media in general, has been skewed (if I may) with peoples opinion. I would like to have a discussion about media and the current news that happens in the world that is based upon fact rather than someones opinion.

In today's society peoples opinion that has been publicized under networks such as MSNBC, FOX, ect... has been portrayed as fact since, well as long as I can remember. That opinion has then been turned into fact in people's mind which is then turned into them making a decision under that person opinion.

I would like to start a thread about fact and not just people speaking mumbo jumbo about what they think and have the general public portray it as fact. Come on guys, the internet has made it so that fact can be proven in seconds, so lets do it. If someone wants to make a statement that what President Bush did was bad, or what President Obama is doing is wrong then prove it. Do you have anything to back that up? Article? Source? Interview? Anything? Do a freaking Google search and see if what you believe is actually what you believe. There are enough people that can verify that claim.

I think this can be a very interesting thread, lets see where it goes!
 

RUSH

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2010
4,120
285
0
Visit site
Yes, this is a very interested thread. However, people don't seem to care much about the 'truth' anymore... especially when it comes to politricks. You would however find a vast amount of people who don't mind giving their opinions.

I'm sure when the right persons see this thread - you might have too much post to keep up with.
 

jdbower

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2010
615
59
0
Visit site
I would argue that such a discussion cannot take place. Truth is relative, not absolute.

When it comes to defining whether an action is good or bad most facts you can present are simply representations of other people's opinions, not only failing to adhere to the mantra of fact-based discussion but also invalidating your own opinions in the process. And then we can get into moral relativism, most of us think nothing of slaughtering pigs and cows for food but couldn't that be considered evil? And what about eating fresh vegetables? They're not even fully dead yet!

Think numbers will satisfy your needs? Scientific studies can be flawed or outright fraudulent. Even good science is only temporary - Newton's laws of motion were fine for their time but Einstein proved them wrong with relativity (and pretty much killed the idea of calling anything a Law again). Peer review is also not a panacea, there's a big difference in the credence you should give an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine over some near-tabloid like the Lancet but how is the layman supposed to know which is which? Statistics can be arranged to prove either side of an argument. Polling questions often have very leading phrasing. Numbers can't be trusted any more than people.

In the huge, massively multivariable system we call the universe we like the idea of finding paths where A --> B --> C but in reality there are about four billion things that led from A to B and while A may have been involved, there's a chance B happened all by itself. We tend to like to fit the world into a mold we've made for it. Once you realize that every single person (including myself) feels the same way it becomes nearly impossible to find true facts about any subject with even a hint of emotion to it.
 

rapmaster0#AC

Member
Feb 10, 2011
13
1
0
Visit site
Well when talking about fact, one would make the statement about something that actually exist. Such as gravity, you can't see it but you know it's there. Proving it, in this instance, is relatively easy. Throw something in the air and it comes back down.

Since the definition of fact means (yes I'm quoting because that was the purpose of the thread, to verify information as well as converse) is "knowledge or information based on real occurrences", from thefreedictionary (my Evo can't copy from Merriam Webster!), so it has to happen and be proven.

Going back to one of your points. I do think agree that it is damn near impossible to find any truth without any emotion, but I do believe that you can find facts that are emotionless.

With that being said, with facts comes morals and with morals come someone's opinion to the ultimate meaning of what is good and bad.

Now if I understand you correctly, are you saying when people believe that President Obama was not born in the United States cannot be proven by fact?


Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk
 

jdbower

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2010
615
59
0
Visit site
Now if I understand you correctly, are you saying when people believe that President Obama was not born in the United States cannot be proven by fact?

That's an excellent example of two truths living in harmony. Evidence for either side is simple to forge and therefore simple to dismiss as a forgery. Both sides view themselves as knowing the truth.

But gravity is a much more interesting example. What is gravity? I define it as a little-understood force that exists between objects with mass. However, that doesn't make gravity a "truth", it makes it a tautology. I defined it based on observational evidence therefore proving it based on observational evidence is insufficient. Some people define it using Newtonian physics, as I mentioned above they're wrong and yet they still feel that they are not because for most observed behaviors Newtonian physics adequately describes the motion of objects. Those who define it based on general relativity also think they are correct and it was "closer" to the truth than the Newtonian crowd, but it's also still wrong - relativity is still off by just a little bit at astronomical scales. I believe that gravity needs to be defined using a combination of relativity and quantum mechanics but the formulae have yet to be discovered. However this is also likely just a stopgap measure until an even better formula is found. The "truth" of gravity is a moving target, each truth accurately described the world it lived in but, as the world changed, the truth changed as well.
 

rapmaster0#AC

Member
Feb 10, 2011
13
1
0
Visit site
So we can see something, ex: gravity. It is something known (not fully understood), but can't be proven on observational evidence, since it will have to be based on observational evidence, correct?

If I'm correct with your logic, how can we be certain if anything is fact and therefore exists?

With that in mind, why would people at the LHC try to figure out and find the Higgs? Since in reality you can define anything as being proven by observational evidence, but then can't prove it by it?
 

hath801

New member
Dec 11, 2010
0
0
0
www.dvd-creator-converter.com
We tend to like to fit the world into a mold we've made for it. Once you realize that every single person (including myself) feels the same way it becomes nearly impossible to find true facts about any subject with even a hint of emotion to it.
 

jdbower

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2010
615
59
0
Visit site
So we can see something, ex: gravity. It is something known (not fully understood), but can't be proven on observational evidence, since it will have to be based on observational evidence, correct?

If I'm correct with your logic, how can we be certain if anything is fact and therefore exists?

With that in mind, why would people at the LHC try to figure out and find the Higgs? Since in reality you can define anything as being proven by observational evidence, but then can't prove it by it?

You misunderstand. The layman's definition of gravity involves trite circular logic. "Dad, why do apples fall from the tree?" "Well, son, it's because of gravity." "But dad, what's gravity?" "Did you see that apple fall down?" The layperson doesn't understand gravity, he just "knows" it exists and trusts that smart scientists around the world aren't lying to him. The use of gravity as a fact is no more relevant to this person than saying aliens built the pyramids because I read it on a blog.

To the physicist gravity is a set of equations. He's got a much deeper understanding of the topic, but we know that those equations are wrong. This isn't a fact or the truth either. Science isn't about finding the truth, it's about trying to make sure your next answer is less wrong than the previous one. The evolution of equations to express the relationship between bodies of mass illustrates that eloquently. The fact that all our equations are wrong, and that the next one will also probably be wrong, should not dissuade the scientist from finding that next best equation.

Let's take some non-scientific truths and see how they change through history.

1820: Thomas Jefferson was a Founding Father and owned many slaves.
1950: Thomas Jefferson was a Founding Father.
1990: Thomas Jefferson was a Founding Father and owned many slaves.

Two of these statements are identical, all of them are fact. In 1820 the fact that he owned many slaves indicated he was a wealthy man and likely highly educated - someone worthy of respect.

In 1950 the fact that he owned slaves was less important, men of his social standing owned slaves as a matter of course but the idea that he was a slave owner painted him in a negative light despite not doing anything out of the social norms. Just like today we slaughter animals and feast on their tasty, tasty flesh, if 100 years from now we've all turned vegetarian we wouldn't suddenly be evil because we adhered to social norms. Vegetarians, however, may be evil for scarfing down all those lentils once we discover that they're a super-intelligent life form... In 1950 this statement was about hero worship and protecting the image of the great men we wanted our kids to aspire to become.

In 1990 it was in vogue to kill white male heroes. By explicitly pointing out that Jefferson owned slaves you are passing judgement on him and trying to point out that our country was founded on inequity. This statement is designed to undermine a white-male dominated history by bringing down the heroes instead of finding new ones to replace them.

All three statements are truth, but they have political agendas associated with them. Moreover, the "truth" represented by these statements changes over time as the context changes. With even these simple concepts it's hard to have an unbiased truth without passing on an agenda. With more complicated or emotional topics this becomes exponentially more difficult.