RE: Truth at all costs (was RE: virus: from the Skeptic's

David McFadzean (
Tue, 09 Feb 1999 16:23:22 -0700

At 02:22 PM 2/9/99 -0800, Eva-Lise Carlstrom wrote:
>To elaborate on Richard's remark:
>Truth is representation of reality, statements about reality. For
>example, the phenomenon of gravity is part of reality. The law of gravity
>is not part of reality (except in the sense that it exists as a meme); it
>is a part of our approximation of truth, part of our knowledge about

To elaborate on Eva's remarks:
I see truth as a property that can only be sensibly applied to models (representations of reality). For example, you could say that the prevailing theory of gravity is more or less true, but it would be nonsensical to claim that gravity itself is more or less true.

To further complicate matters, the degree of truth attributed to a given model depends largely on its purpose, that is, which aspect(s) of reality it purports to describe. If an artist's portrait is meant to capture some psychological essence of her subject, the painting (or sculpture or short story or whatever) need not resemble the subject in any superficial way. And mathematical equations do not look much like a stone falling to the earth.

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus