Re: RELIGION: The meaning of Life

Gregory Houston (
Fri, 14 Feb 1997 01:52:37 -0600

Guru George wrote:

> Gregory Houston <> wrote:
> [SNIP]
> >What is truth?
> [SNIP]

Though it is difficult to see out of context, the quote above was a
rhetorical question, but I appreciate your response none the less.

> However, since we can't step outside ourselves to check words against
> reality, when we call something true that means we *conjecture* it to be
> true.

So we are saying one thing, but we means something *slightly* different.
This is one of my difficulties with the term truth, by definition it
does not include this element of conjecture or skepticism. By definition
it is absolute, and not particularly questionable. Do you not imagine
that we might come up with a better term for what we are talking about.
One which is a bit more accurate or *true* [to use the term loosely].
The dictionary definition of truth is not entirely consistent with the
manner in which it is being used by science. Would it not make more
sense to create a more accurate word ... and then while doing so,
questioning all the priorities which truth and the new word both entail.

I like the word conjecture. It is derived from "com" which means
"together", and "jacere" which means "to throw"; to throw together. The
term conjecture seems much more dynamic than that of truth, which seems
extremely static. Perhaps the word "conjection" would be more suitable.

con-jec-tion n. something thrown together or conjectured in an attempt
to contextually accord with reality.

con-jec-tive n. the degree to which a conjection accords with reality
compared to, or relative to, another conjection. adj. when stating that
one conjection is more or less so than another.

See now, where it sounds silly to talk about arriving at a more true
truth, it is very natural to speak of a more useful or conjective
conjection, e.g., ...

Newton's truth is not as accurate or useful as Einstein's truth", versus
Newton's conjection is not as accurate or useful as Einstein's

Instead of seeking truth or ultimate truth, we seek metaconjection, a
better conjection than the one we have now.

Unlike the term true, conjective does not have an opposite, it is
specifically a continuum of degrees. Something can be said to have 0
degrees of or very little conjective, but cannot be said to be
nonconjective, for it is conjective, it is just 0 degrees conjective.
This keeps the emphasis on the greyscale rather on something simply
black or white.

Conjection is a synthesis and refinement of the terms "truth" and
"theory". Conjective is a response to the true-false dichotomy. Thus
instead of saying that a theory is either true or false, we could say
that a conjection is more or less conjective.

Where truth is a statement of relation to reality alone, conjective is a
statement of relation to both reality and to other conjections. Thus
conjectively, a conjection is intrinsically open to criticism. Its
degree of conjection will be lessoned if a better conjection is "thrown

I believe these terms or terms created with similar meaning, would be
more suitable to PCR.

I don't expect anyone to take this whole conjection/conjective thing too
seriously, but it illustrates a problem and the beginnings of a
solution. For several reasons, some mentioned above, the term "truth" is
not wholly appropriate to our use of it. I believe the term is
inhibitory in one sense due to its bias on a specific modality of
consciousness, and inhibitory in another sense due to its static nature,
and its reference to reality without relation to anything else.
Reality changes, there is no absolute reality, so how could there be an
absolute truth. How can we seek absolute truth, something that is
suppose to accord with reality, when reality itself is not absolute and
unchanging. I believe this problem can be solved by more refined, more
appropriate and thus *useful* terminology.

Our theoris progress, shouldn't our terminology also?

Perhaps the term truth is not yet archaic or obsolete, but I imagine it
will one day be so. It merely requires that enough people find it
neccessary for more *useful* terminology.

I'm not sure how exactly this relates, call it an intuitive addition.
But I recall someone mentioning once how a surfer can recognize between
twenty or more different kinds of waves, whereas when I look out at the
ocean, I just see big or small waves [I live in the midwest so I don't
see the ocean or waves often]. I guess I'm proposing in a sense that we
begin to differentiate truth by creating more accurate and less loaded
terms for it. Perhaps that wasn't a good metaphor, but heres another one
along the same lines. In the orient [and elsewhere] many people
generally recognize seven different chakras [some esoteric groups
differentiate between many more]. These chakras are intended to
represent states of consciousnes or modalities of consciousness. Compare
this to the three or so that we tend to focus on, rational [cognitive],
irrational [emotive], and non-rational [intuitive]. I think there is a
great deal of room here for some sophistication and greater sensibility.
Hitherto I have only been pushing for more balance between the three we
recognize, enhancing the emotive and intuitive, but then there are still
other modalities yet. They could all "prove" to be useful in some
fashion where science is concerned.

If we do not have language for something, we might not even recognize
it. There is a great deal of literature on how our language shapes our
perception of reality. I do not believe arguments of semantics and
semiotics are wasted time. Isn't this one of the key elements of


Gregory Houston