When can we trust our senses to give us truth? | INFJ Forum

When can we trust our senses to give us truth?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Pristinegirl, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. This is the title I have to write an essay on so I'm thinking INFJ's could provide great tips and observations that I have perhaps overseen.

    As you can tell, the question is perhaps a trick question because firstly one has to decide what 'truth' is and then there is the 'is there truth' argument.

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  2. According to Descartes never because we can never be 100% sure the info is correct, and I tend to agree for the most part in theory. We can most of the time of course, but hallucinations occur; the brain is a very powerful thing, which we only know a small amount about. You don't even need to be in a psychosis or be under the influence of drugs to have hallucinations. Assuming you could be hypnotized, hypnosis can very easily give you a suggestion that you feel, see, hear, smell or taste something that doesn't exist or isnt happening at that point in time.
  3. Always and never.
    As long as the sensory circuitry is in place (nerves and such), you can only trust that the information is transmitted correctly. This probably doesn't make too much sense, but when you dream, you see smell and feel etc, but all of that is created in your brain. So is it true? Depends on how you wish to define truth. If you mean actuality, reality, then what you're dreaming is not actually happening, but your brain thinks it is... in a way.

    So as far as sense transmit information, all you can hope to trust is that they are transmitting correctly. (that's the always part)

    That's a more rational/scientific way of looking at it.

    Honestly, when I first saw this, I was thinking along a different line, like when can I trust my general 'sense' of a person to match 'reality'. Meaning if I meet someone, and I think I get a sense of them, then how close is that to reality...and that really depends on the skill/acuity level of the person.

    As an aside, in an INFJ forum, I think you'll get all possible sides of the answer, but maybe no definite answer :)

    I'm interested in seeing how this goes.

    I'm a little crazy right now, so if that didn't make sense, I'll be back in about 5 hours to clear it all up...
  4. I think you gave a well reasoned argument. Always and never. Although the general 'sense' that you explained is the perception (interpretation) of the information that comes through the different senses. So that is a righteous interpretation of the question actually, among the million interpretations. xD ^^
  5. I was going to reply to this, but I'm already quite impressed with the answers that have been given.

    Descartes gave perhaps the best answer on what we could consider the most probable foundation for truth with that old saying of his...

    "I think therefore I am."

    We know we exist because we think. Outside of that, there isn't much we can be too certain about.
    #5 Satya, Jan 18, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  6. Always. :thumb:
  7. Our senses give us sensory inputs. That is all they do. Our minds interpret these inputs and as my fave poem says:
    Even Einstein was known to admit that the results of the most scientific of experiments are due more to what the experimentor's are looking for than any sort of absolute truths.
  8. Great mayflow, LOVE THE SAYING, wiih I'm inspired. I define our perception as 'what we acknowledge' from our outside through the senses, so if everyone was fed with the exact same would the conclusion be the same among everyone you think?

    So far the ideas are great :)
  9. The problem with relying on our senses is that there is a consciousness and personality that is interpreting that sensory stimulation.

    It is said that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" -- if people can't even agree on beauty how can they agree on truth?

    What is it exactly that perceives things? It is the consciousness, it is the mind. What is the mind? It is a collection of energy, constantly firing, constantly interpreting. It produces a personality. If you concentrate, you can observe your own on mind, your own thoughts. Is that the mind observing itself, or is there something beyond the mind? In my view, that's the real question....

    Also, too, what is truth? Is there one, objective "Truth", or is truth subjective? Does everyone have their own truth?

    I think if there is one "Truth," then by definition that means there is something that is uniquely shared by all things, by all observers. That, to me, suggests a Universal connection, which in turn opens up more questions. What is the nature of that Universal? Is that God, or a collective consciousness of some sorts?

    These types of questions are so interesting to me :) let me know if you have any answers.
  10. "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

    I *always* take my deep philosophical advice from talking vases. I'm enthralled with my senses, but I think they are more distraction than sages. I trust my senses to do exactly what they are supposed to do: perceive. But as far as my perceptions being TRUTH... no. I actually want to mull this over for a while....I'll be back later...
  11. Of course there's the parody of that, and its actually worth pondering:

    "I think I think, therefore, I think I am"

    How do you know that you're thinking? (actually "thinking" about that makes my head (or at least my supposed perception of my head) hurt).
  12. It seems kind of inherent that we are thinking. Otherwise we wuoldn't even be speaking or even considering whether it is possible that we are not thinking.

    Occam's Razor has to come to play at some point, and the simplest explanation is that we are thinking, as there is no reason to suggests that we aren't.
  13. Hmm, could you say that ideas are just "appearing" instead of just thinking? Sort of like a Eureka! moment? And you might not be aware that you are doing that at all times?

    I am terrible at debating philosphy, I just really like to think/ponder/formulate/wonder about it :)
  14. Speaking of merely thoughts merely 'appearing' I have read theories saying that we might be destined to think/dream/act everything that we do in beforehand.

    Anyways people interested in this further could watch this:
    (SO INTERESTING) it is about our senses and the 'external world' scientifically. You will love it :)
  15. Does Epistemology relate to this discussion at all?
  16. It does not have to be brought up. It is merely the info on the senses that are of interest to this question :) However because the nature of what truly exists is determined by our senses it could be of use.

    I interpret 'truth' in the title as 'what really exists in the external world as opposed to illusions/hallucinations - deceptions. So how do we know for sure what is an illusion and not?

    One example of how easily we are decieved by our senses is the MCGURK effect.. [pretty amazing]
  17. Absolutely NEVER.


    According to most eastern religions you can control what you feel/see/taste etc. just by will power. Also: I'm inclined to believe we make our day to a certain extent.
  18. Wyote

    Wyote FRESH For Supreme Galactic Queen
    Staff Member Administrator

    Sep 28, 2008
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    If you agree that there is always a certain level of uncertainty to every circumstance, then your life becomes dependent upon probability. It is relatively safe to rely on senses because the probability of them being incorrect somehow is very low. Senses are reliable relatively speaking, but our ability to correctly assess the input/information sometimes isn't. You could also relate this to intellect; the more intelligent you are or the greater amount of overall awareness you possess, the safer it is to rely on senses.
    #18 Wyote, Jan 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  19. THE essay is finished and I would love to say thank you to everyone for the wonderful ideas, some I have used, some I have considered. Although ultimately revised.

    Love . Pristine girl.
  20. So................what was your unltiamte conclusion? :m075: :)

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