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Chacham's Journal: Philosophical: Actual Fact as opposed to Believed Fact 18

Journal by Chacham

I was wondering what fact was. I came to the realization that people rely on their senses. But those can never be proven to be factual. But people rely on them. Why? Because it makes sense.

Thus, the general definition of fact, it that which makes sense. But makes sense to one person may not to another. So, it would have to be a universally agreed upon opinion. But, that's nearly impossible. So, it would have to be the plausible to the majority of people. But fact is many times not plausible to anyone (even if they believe it to be true). So, that leads to ... it'll never end. So much so, that I go back to the original definiton, of "what makes sense". Which means that the facts are different to different people. But groups get together and make their own facts, and have generally agreed upon "facts" defined loosely by the social system.

The problem is, that is not what people believe fact to mean. So, (IIRC) one day I was driving, I saw my younger brother, I rolled down the window and asked him, "what is fact?" He replied, "that which is". *Poof* I was enlightened.

So, fact is what is. But, noone can *prove* that what they believe to be fact is acutally fact. The proof for that is that many people believe incorrect things. And if you'll say, "they're in the minority", I'll reply, "so the majority defines that which is?"

That leads to two forms of fact. Actual Fact, or that which (actually) is. And Believed Fact, or that which is believed to be fact. (Until now I personally, have been using the terms "Real Truth" and "Human Truth", but I am open on that.)

Actual Fact can be known, but people don't know that it is known. Unless "know" is in quotes, but that is belief anyway. :-)

Believed Fact is per person. And Believed Fact may also be Actual Fact, but that cannot be known.

Hmm...

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Philosophical: Actual Fact as opposed to Believed Fact

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  • Is reality fact? Or is perception reality?

    It's all just the firing of electrons. "If a tree falls in the forest..." and all that.

    • Reality is factual existance. And, as Chacham said, there are both Actual Facts and Believed Facts. So, there is Actual Reality and Believed Reality. Therefore, it follows that sometimes our Believed Reality is, in fact, Actual Reality, and sometimes it isn't.

      Personally, I try to learn as much as possible that my Believed Reality may coincide with the Actual as much as possible.

      Nice topic, Chacham!
      • Nice topic, Chacham!

        Thanx. :-) I actually wasn't sure anyone would care.
      • But that's part of what I'm saying. Without the collective "us", are there facts or reality? Is there reality on Mercury? If there is no one to do the perceiving, or catalog it as "history", what is there?

        And yes, nice topic. :)

        • Without the collective "us", are there facts or reality?

          That is a good point. However, the responce can be on so many different levels it is nearly impossible to give an answer on the subject. What you could do, however, is explain the question more deeply, so as to set the "realm" for the question, so we can give a reply.

          In my belief, the normal answer is yes. The ultimate answer is no. But, there's too much to say. I'll leave it at that for now.

          If there is no one to do the perceiving, or catalog it a
          • However, if something happens, it happened. Regardless of if anyone saw it.

            If only to stretch the point, did it really happen? I mean, of course it does, but then that gets back around to your "facts" question. We perceive things as facts, and they do happen, but it's our perception that makes them fact, or reality. If there is no perception, no record, then what can be said of the event?

            • "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That is, it would be what it is regardless of whether or not I observe and name it.

              You can go all Schroedinger-ish and claim that a thing's state isn't certain until it's observed, but Schroedinger only applies to probability. There's no -real- way for a cat to be both alive and dead.

              Of course, we assume we're the only ones around to do any observing. Ever read Terry Pratchett? According to his Discworld books, the "missing mass" of the universe is paperwor
            • but then that gets back around to your "facts" question. We perceive things as facts, and they do happen, but it's our perception that makes them fact, or reality.

              I both agree and disagree. But without further explanation of what I call the "realm" of the question, I cannot possibly give an answer. Simply, because the answer is both "yes" and "no", depending on the realm. You must explain it in great detail. Basically, your perceiving of how people interreact and what "do" means. Only with those definitio
        • If there is no one to do the perceiving, or catalog it as "history", what is there?

          Nothing as far as the collective consciousness perceives, I suppose. Though the Big Bang was not perceived by us until very recently, but that does not mean it was there.

          An interesting case, though, would be: what happens if something happens that simply could not be observed in the future, and nobody was there to observe it.

          The collective "us" is a rather scary concept - in a lot of societies that promotes group sol

          • Though the Big Bang was not perceived by us until very recently, but that does not mean it was there.

            Did you mean "...it was not there"? It seems like that's where you were going. But that's kind of what I'm saying. If we didn't observe that it had happened, how would we say that it had? We can see, using telescopes, beyond ancient history of the event. We see it's telltale signs. But it still is a "theory" not a "fact". If we never discovered dinosaur fossils, would they have "existed"? Most of what we k

            • Did you mean "...it was not there"?

              Oops, yes. That's what I meant. Interesting though - rest assured I don't think you're trolling - if we go far enough, everything is to do with perception. Does it matter that we are aided by telescopes? Although, good point, the existence of an original singularity is derived by extrapolating our observations of an expanding universe to the past.

              Animal perception.. interesting. Different species have different range of vision, so they could sense things that for al

  • by MiTEG (234467) *
    I learned long ago that common sense, is, in fact, not. ;]

    In life, everyone is walking through the fog, and we can only speculate as to what is really there. It's just that some people must endure more dense fog than others.
  • And our knowledge of "Actual Fact" is based on the assumption that (as they say in investment ads) past performance predicts future results, which would fall into your category of "Believed Fact." David Hume says just because the Sun has risen every day in the past is no reason to believe that it will ever do it again.
    • My question to Evolutionists is, "So you say the worlds been around for billions of years, and you've seen order in a couple hundred of them. And from this you assume the billions of years were also order and not chaos?" Even pi, with its non-repeating sequences, has sequences that appear for a short bit of time. I challenge some by saying the world is chaos, and we just happen to be in what "looks" like order, but it may end tomorrow. In the end, they agree that they *believe* it to be true, but they (obvi
  • A good way to illustrate your point is to use a real world example. Many people would say "It is a fact that lowering taxes increases economic activity." This is a good example of believed fact. No one really knows how human society and the economic part of it works perfectly. So we have no way of knowing if a statement like the above (cast in absolutes) is a fact. Even if the statement seems to be born out by history there could be many exceptions, or other complications that we are incapable of knowing.

    A
    • A good way to illustrate your point is to use a real world example.

      True.

      Even if the statement seems to be born out by history

      Whih actually would make it an historical fact, but not a real fact. Which may be subtypes of Believed Fact. Other types of facts are scientific, philosophical, and religious. Which means that first the designated group must be deemed by the individual as capable of providing fact. Many scientists "believe" in science (or Evolutionism [slashdot.org], as I like to call it). Philosophers believe
      • While no one can absolutely prove that perception is correct, for the sake of living normal lives we have to assume it is. I've identified two fundamental assumptions that I make,

        1). My senses are mostly accurate.
        2). The physical universe is generally consistant.

        It is with these two assumptions that I function. If these things were not true, there would be no point in me studying copmuter engineering. If the transistors in an IC behave according to whim and not law then what point is there is designing an
        • It is with these two assumptions that I function.

          Exactly. And that is the definition of Believed Fact.

          My question therefore is: So what?
          So what if I'm wrong, can I know this, and how does it affect the way I live my life?


          While it does not change the facts that things are based on, it does change our perception of others. To say that our "facts" disprove someone else's "facts" is incorrect, since in reality, we both have Believed Fact on our side.

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