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What Is "reality" And What Is "truth"?

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Posted by Alexander on February 1, 2001 14:08:45 UTC

I just happen to notice one very important topic, which Richard posted a few days ago:

{So let's define what truth is. By my definition, it's reality, something that few of us will ever get to understand with confidence. Most of us just guess or are told what truth or reality is and believe in it as a matter of faith.}

I think, what Rick posted deserves to start new discussion thus to be brought "to front page".

Indeed, in quest for "reality" and "absolute truth" we somehow forgot to define them, or at least to explain to others what do we mean by those words in order to speak about "same animal".

Let's say that we see a human. Being curious, we question ourselves: what is a human? To answer this questions, we begin investigate the human (let thus call us scientists). After a while, by observing humans, and by discecting some dead bodies, we noticed that they seem to consist of certain parts interconnecting with each other. We then call those parts "organs", and name them (stomach, heart, eyes, brain, etc.). Then we write dissertations, publish papers and announce in a popular magazine that what we think of a human, "in reality" is a bunch of interacting organs. Applauses, degrees.

Then next generation of scientists comes across with better tools (microscopes), and discovers suborgans (and label them "cells"), so now "the truth is" that a human is a bunch of interacting cells. Papers, degrees, grants for futher research.

Next generation with electron microscopes discovers subcell structures (and calls them ribosomes, organellas, chromosomes, etc.) - and now "reality" is that a human is a bunch of interacting chromosomes, protoplasms, etc. Papers, degrees,conferences, new labs, Nobel(s), etc.

Next generation discovers molecules - and now every textbook says that "in reality" a human is a bunch of interacting molecules.Monographs, awards, schools, Nobels, national institutes, microbiology industry, etc.

And on and on.

So, what is then a human "in reality" ?

And what is a "reality", and a "truth" (or "the truth", "the reality" if you wish) ?

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