This conversation is closed.

What things/thoughts/beliefs do you accept as your self evident truths?

While much of what I believe has some basis in reality (or at least I would I like to believe that - one of my self evident truths) I do have a number of ideas or beliefs or for me self evident truths that I just believe and if required I could not find a convincing argument for my "truth". I believe it because I do.

A couple of examples. Songs as my philosophy. Or maybe Pop Psychology. As I struggled through my life in my school years I was not liked and a good day was everyone just ignoring me. As I moved through my army years after high school and others treated me differently and I purposely attempted to be different, the song "I Can See Clearly Now" was repeated with each new move and different treatment from others. I had actually thought I had become significantly different than with the last location and persons. Of course now I think it was more of an illusion, but I still on occasion have that sense I can see clearly now. Or another song, "Lying Eyes". While a song about cheating, it was a line late in the song that stated my philosophy"...funny how your new life didn't change things..." Just two examples of the numerous songs that clarify my philosophy through songs. A self evident truth for me. I found/find some of my philosophy through songs.

Another. We all have talents, abilities, and weaknesses as well as some of us have destructive addictions. My self evident truth is that when great talent meets great passion is when great things emerge. Things most think are impossible become possible. While I have a few abilities, maybe talents, none are great and as for passion, I have a passion for the couch, learning, and maybe even an addiction. But great passion, no.

So with the limited space here, I have provided just a couple of my self evident truths. I hope you get the idea I'm trying to get across. What are some of your self evident truths that if you had to explain or defend, would be difficult to do, but you believe them anyway.

Closing Statement from Milo Kelley

Most missed what I was trying to communciate. But still gained insight into what others may think.

This was more of a question about what do you believe that you can't prove? Not only that, but you hold to some ideas that have no or limited rational support. We all have some basic filters for how we look at the world and make the 100s of decisions daily. Many of those decisions likely would have difficulty under scrutiny of logic or reason. Maybe not.

I have been looking at myself and wondering how I differ frrom those successful persons. Regardless of how one defines success, what filters did I use to make the decisions I made that lead to where I am today? I'm not looking to justify or defend those filters, just stating what they are and how they may have effected my life.

  • thumb
    Jun 19 2013: Hi Milo,
    There is some GREAT philosophy which evolves in song, and I agree with you that "when great talent meets great passion...great things emerge". In order for this to happen, it is important to believe in ourselves, and not allow others to define who and what we are. People certainly give us feedback all the time, which is beneficial. We have the ability to sift through information, and as thinking, feeling, intelligent human beings, WE determine who and what we are and how we want to "BE" in this life adventure.

    I am sorry you had that experience in your school years, and thrilled that you can "See Clearly Now":>)

    I tend to "be" in the moment, so the ONLY self evident truth for me at the moment, is that I am a human, sitting at a computer writing to you HERE and NOW......this moment has never "been" before, and it will never "be" again, so it is the only reality...my only self evident truth:>)
  • thumb
    Jun 19 2013: Your post is hard to follow.

    The only truth you need to concern yourself with is you, take care of yourself.
  • thumb
    Jun 19 2013: A self evident truth for me is that I will not be commenting in TED after my death. I have not tested it yet...but...
    • Jun 19 2013: Perhaps you will not contribute new comments, but your old comments will still remain to be appreciated by future generation of TEDsters. :)
  • Jun 18 2013: I think there are very few truths that are self-evident. I consider some of my fundamental truths to be simply obvious, even if others disagree with that assessment. These are a few:

    I am responsible for my actions and the consequences of those actions.

    There is a real world that is independent of my perceptions. My perceptions are imperfect and so are my memories of those perceptions. My internal model of the universe is imperfect and this must be a factor in my decisions.

    The vast majority of people are all alike in that we just want to have the best life we can for ourselves and our families. Most people prefer to go about their business without hurting others.

    The basis for ethics is that harm is bad and empathy has a positive function.

    Logic and math are content neutral. They are just tools and cannot provide a philosophical foundation

    There is no purpose inherent to existence. Purpose is a human concept; it exists only when we create it.

    Humans are an animal species; we are part of nature and not separate from nature.

    Each of us is experiencing only a tiny fraction of all human experience. We can probably all benefit by sharing those experiences.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jun 19 2013: "A Self-evident truth would be a truth based on observation and that has the same or similar results over many trials."

      it is the exact opposite of a self-evident truth. it is something that requires experimentation to find out, hence, without experimentation, we don't know its validity. self evident implies no need for testing.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jun 19 2013: take for example this statement "Otherwise it is not a truth and only an opinion". it is just an opinion? or you have evidence supporting it?
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jun 19 2013: i did not ask for proof for that statement. i asked for proof for this statement:

          "Otherwise it is not a truth and only an opinion"

          to be precise, the entire statement goes as this:

          (1) A statement is either supported by evidence, or just an opinion.

          This is your statement. Now answer the question: is this statement only an opinion, or it is supported by evidence?
      • Comment deleted

      • Comment deleted

      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jun 19 2013: Your posts contain incompatible elements.
          Krisztian knew that pointing them out would piss you off, so technically he's a troll.
          But still, it's an interesting philosophical disscussion and it's still your turn to defend your view.
  • Jul 2 2013: Interesting, (thank you), I've recently been asking myself, "What are the things that I'm assuming," throughout my days. I think it's helped here and there.

    Sometimes (most times) I think that all people make the best ('positive,' from their viewpoint) choice they know how to make at that time.

    That I have a 60-90% integrous mind, (unhindered by the centuries of accumulated lies cast by the ruling classes, fogs of wars, disinformation, false-flag terrorism, propaganda, television commercials, etc., etc.) with which, I may have a possibility of integrating the rest of my mind/body/spirit.

    I feel, as I have since 5, barely valued, vilified for my positive instincts, and 'worthy' of abandonment at any moment.

    I feel that my philial affections are mostly (94.6+%) positive, and my love is pure - possibly Holy.
  • thumb
    Jun 26 2013: What is the truth? I see it could be in different ways.
    1 - truth by our body existance. We feel, our brain works, we could touch by ourselves or have a kick from anothers, sometimes body could feel so clear then we could stuck at it as stuck in sexual desire. It is truth for body but may be not so to else levels. Sometimes bodies could produce enlightment to our souls and mind, is like a vertical process. For example in grave denger people change their models of thinking, so it becames much more then body experiance.

    2 - emotional truth. Being logical I used to deny that kind of truth, it seems too much subjective and I saw many examles how people failed by it. But then I learned about emotional intelligence and changed my opinion. Emotional truth could be a driving force to something vertical and also support horizon possibilities just making life better. So it`s truth.

    3 - Mind truth. As I have good models to explain what`s really happens in the world and my models are correct, it`s a kind of truth too. The difference is mental models usually comes from science, so it proved. But people has own models also. When we are enlightened by bright understanding covers a process, it`s a kind of truth. For example when we realize whats happens in details and every part comes to it`s right place.

    4 - Superiour truth when we suddenly see the own way to live and impact our possibilities to the world.
    4+ is mixture from 1-4

    5 - Ethernal Truth - very hard to gain but if it takes place once, it changes us forever. It`s unforgettable. That one we can`t prove because it lays above words. But people could feel it in our movements and eyes. I saw how it could spread in 1-4 levels and then partly disappeared if people don`t care to develop themselves.
  • thumb
    Jun 20 2013: The only self-evident truth that I cannot refute is that while I may know many things about life both relative as well as subjective yet, when comparing what "I" know to life; this knowledge is minuscule and seems to change along with the tides...
  • thumb
    Jun 19 2013: About five years ago John Brockman asked the scientists and scholars who make up the Edge community: "What is one thing you believe but cannot prove?"

    Here are their answers: http://edge.org/responses/what-do-you-believe-is-true-even-though-you-cannot-prove-it
    • Jun 28 2013: Thanks for the link.
      I noticed Leonard Susskind's thoughts on probability were included.

      Somewhere in a TED conversation I had contributed that same information.
      But I got it from Kathryn Shulz book, where she talks about Susskind's observations.
  • Jun 19 2013: Another one of mine would be, internal consistency is just to difficult for me. So when faced with a statement where I contradict myself, I'm fine with being inconsistent. While it may not be self evident to you it is to me that being internally inconsistent with thoughts, feelings, or arguments, can be acceptable. While I don't set out to be inconsistent, there are reasons one may be so. Again, I have no reasonable explanation to defend this, just that I believe this.

    Are there others out there that believe things without arguments to rationally support your belief?
  • thumb
    Jun 19 2013: motivation is the greatest issue facing modern first world consumers. basically because that's all we are encouraged to be.

    one thing i have learnt is that there is no one truth and if there is, it changes (if you are mildly self-analytical) over time.

    about the only one i will venture is: humans are the best and worst thing about existence.
    • thumb
      Jun 19 2013: "one thing i have learnt is that there is no one truth and if there is, it changes"

      this statement defeats itself. if there is no one truth, this statement can not be the one truth either.