What Truth Is and Why We Like It, Part 2
by Woody Brison

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9. We can usually detect when our senses are impeded or not clear in some way - our vision is blurry, or blocked, or we're in the dark; or our hearing isn't working right, etc. But we can't always detect this. By getting information about the world over several channels, we can verify things. Our brains are constantly checking that things match, even tho we don't often think of this consciously.

To test a sensor, we might feed it a standard test pattern. But using common sense. Many old men have been passing eye tests for years because the pattern is always "E FP TOZ LPED" etc.

We automatically correlate our hearing with our vision. Just hide a small mp3 player somewhere and observe how people immediately notice, and start hunting for the voice that they hear but don't see, and how perplexed they look.

10. In addition to our brain, we have a second processor: our endocrine system, ie. our various glands. These put hormones into our bloodstream, in response to various stimuli, including nerve messages from the brain. The hormones have various effects on various organs, which generate nerve messages back to the brain. And thus an anomaly detected unconsciously may get amplified, calling our conscious attention to the fact that things aren't matching up. We feel bad, or we feel danger, or that something's not right. Or, if everything's going well, we probably feel good. Thus, our feelings add power and meaning to our experiences. We might have a "hunch", or a "gut feeling". It's interesting that we traditionally say that we feel things with our heart, since our hearts pump the blood. And indeed, the heart is one of the organs that responds to various hormones.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. -Antoine de Saint Exupéry

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing -Marc Chagall

In your heart, you already know. -Zen saying

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. -Helen Keller

To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun? -Katy Graham

11. When many things match up, we tend to have very high confidence that our observations are accurate. This is very close to certain knowledge. But, we can occasionally be mistaken.

An old trapper is wrapping up his traps for the summer. Some tourist asks him, "Are you done trappin'?" He answers, "Yes, I am; but then again, no I ain't." Some questions are more complicated than a Yes or No can answer. And some answers are simply unknown.

12. We tend to see what we want to see, and not what we don't. And we often fail to notice this tendency in ourself. Self-deception, pride, anger, desire, hate, fear, stress, guilt, jealousy, self-pity, rationalization; all these can cripple our ability to observe, remember, and realize. Untruthfulness lies at the heart of all too many of the problems we face as individuals, as a nation, and as a global community. -Houston, Floyd & Carnicero, Spy the Lie
Exodus 20:16) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth. -Aesop
False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. -Plato
13. Sometimes people get into a wierd condition where they are reluctant to admit the truth or don't want to hear it. And sometimes liars get dug in so deep they can't speak the truth any more; and then they find that they aren't able to identify the truth either. It may take a friend who is not afraid to tell the truth, to get such people to turn around. Or it may take a "Gethsemane" experience, where they are confronted with stark reality, such as being in grave danger.

Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad, and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time. -Renee Auberjonois
Galatians 4:16) Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
2Nephi 9:40) ... Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth... I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken.
Truth, part 3 (advanced topics)

1. Woody Brison is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but this website is not affiliated with the church. It may be thought of as an additional, somewhat independent witness.

2. I want this page to be as accurate as I can make it. If you have a correction, please email me.

3. All biblical quotations are from the King James unless otherwise noted.

Copyright 2013 Woody Brison. All rights reserved.