Dear friends at Strong Atheists, I have no idea where or how this will be posted, but if any of you do end up reading it then please note that I am still looking for some critical feedback to an essay that I think has substantial potential for advancing our agenda. I will post the abstract and URL below. Any and all comments gratefully received.
This essay is a direct attack on the rational legitimacy of our concept ‘truth’. It suggests that we have observably been using this concept as a reason independent – and thereby reason opposable – basis for knowledge justification. Its main line of attack is that if we have been using ‘truth’ for anything less than this (if we have not been meaning by “is true” something more than we have been meaning by ‘is observable” or “is demonstrable” or similar) then the concept’s overall contribution has been obfuscation. While if we have indeed been using it for this (the implication of ‘something more’) then we have been doing so in the face of our inability to offer any coherent understanding as to what that ‘something more’ might be. The attack is additionally pressed from many other observations and philosophical positions, but our ability to understand and demonstrate to each other the superiority of some knowledge proposals over others is strongly defended. On-demand-repeatable physical observation is offered as, and is shown throughout the essay to be, our most powerful and reliable determinant for knowledge. It is not offered as a basis for ‘proof’, or thereby, for ‘objective truth’. I merely suggest that it could be extended to underpin all of our other knowledge that it does not logically rule out through reference to our scientific knowledge, in essentially the same way that Sir Karl Popper showed that it could – and indeed must – support our scientific knowledge.
If none if the above seems new or exciting then I would offer that the essay takes that turn when it moves from the theoretical to the practical level. Immediate practical implications that arise from the essay’s case being found compelling are (A) that we should stop using ‘true’ and ‘truth’ in our own speech and writing, and (B) that from having in that sense put our own house in order we might begin to exploit as an Achilles’ heel the truth dependence of all of our ancient systems of emotionally seductive irrationality (most particularly, our theisms).
URL to full text: http://poppersinversion.blogspot.com