2012-09-11

Truth

I once read the introductory chapter to a book on philosophy. It explained that there are two kinds of objective truth: what happened and your experience of what happened.

The first one is easy: it's the time it happened, the weather, the color of the buildings in the background, the event itself.

The second is what you experienced, what you saw, what you felt, if you were cold or warm, happy or sad. But what's not part of the objective truth is your interpretation. And that's where things get tricky. Your experience is objectively true even if you are delusional. If bright lights appear above, and a strong wind almost blows you off your feet and aliens step our of a craft to grab you and drag you back in, that's objective truth because that's what you experienced.

If strong lights appear above and a strong wind blows you off your feet and you infer that aliens are coming for you. Then the lights and the wind are objectively true but the conclusion about the aliens is a subjective interpretation.

In the first instance you'd be telling the objective truth if you said you were abducted by aliens because that was what you actually experienced, even though it was a hallucination.

In the second case you'd be making shit up.

I think about this a lot because I spend so much time trying to make people acknowledge what I experience as valid. It's very hard, especially when whet I experience is an implicit criticism. For example, "what you said made me sad." It would save me so much pain and anguish if I didn't need other people to confirm that what I think is OK,

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