A discussion about truth and reality

The other day I was talking with a friend and I made the statement “it doesn’t really matter what I do in this life because when I die I’ll just appear in another life having that which has lacked in this life be fulfilled in that.”

And my friend, I’ll call him Miguel, replied, do you really believe that?”

To which I said “what I believe has nothing to do with it. It’s just a fact.”

And he said, “so you really believe that?”

“No. I don’t believe it. It’s just the truth.”

“what do you mean it’s the truth? Sounds to me totally ridiculous.”

“yes it’s ridiculous. But why does that matter?”

I was smiling. And he was smiling but I could tell that there was something way off, he felt that something was disturbing him in this line of discussion.

“dude. Are you being real?”

“Well, I’m not gonna — I know what you’re saying. So, you don’t think that when we die that we start another life which takes up from that whatever was left over from the previous life. That’s what you’re saying to me.”

“what, are you Buddhist or something?”

“you know I’m not Buddhist.”

“it sounds like you’re talking about reincarnation and that sounds pretty Buddhist.”

“are you telling me that I cannot have an opinion without you referencing it to some catalog of named belief?”

“you can have whatever opinion you want.” He said.

“OK. Well, what are we referencing this opinion about? Why is It just an opinion? Sure, I just used the word opinion, but I was just really referencing your responses. It’s also nothing that I believe. It’s just a fact.”

“A fact? It’s hardly a fact. Sounds to me like your fantasy.”

“well, again, what are you referencing these opinions, these fantasies to?”

“are you kidding me man? Reality. I’m sure you know what reality is right?”

“OK. Reality. All right. Well let’s put it this way. So, we are all allowed to have our own opinions and beliefs, we can believe whatever we want to believe, but all of those opinions and beliefs are merely opinions and beliefs. So, again, what are you referencing these to? What is this reality by which I am able to have an opinion or be able to believe anything?”

“that’s the question isn’t it? Isn’t that the philosophical question?”

“Yeah, in certain contexts, for sure people would have to reference it to the philosophical question, but still I would push you further and ask you against what is Philosophy referenced?”

We went on like this A little while, back-and-forth, referencing ideas that various philosophers had or have, getting a lot of the names screwed up.

And then I said, “look, regardless of what we’re arguing about, I’m sure we both admit that this is the problem. Sure, we could call it a philosophical problem, but ultimately were left in this world of discourse, right? And ultimately the discussion that we’re having right now really has no basis, except to rely on something that neither of us are ever approaching, nothing about anything philosophical, nothing about our discussions here is reaching what we’re trying to attempt to reach. Doesn’t that seem odd to you?”

Miguel chuckles, “it’s all discourse, man. It’s all negotiation of various subjects”

“Yeah, and, so what? This is why I say that’s a significant philosophical issue has to do with what we are trying to achieve in the discussion, and then at root, what project are we trying to assert? Yeah, OK everything is negotiated in discourse. That just leaves me no reason at all to continue this discussion. It just basically says, hey bro let’s go drink some beers and smoke some weed and go back to work picking weeds or fighting the oppressive ideology. But this is not what’s occurring. Obviously we’re talking about shit, we are discussing some thing. And, as we find in our discussion, we are never finding any substance to even the discussion, not even in ideology; our talk has no substance. So, if you want to know where I get the truth of the matter is that when I die I’m just gonna have another life that continues off from where this one left off,  It’s because the discussion now we’re having occurs in reality, and ultimately only has to do with reality. I’m not saying I believe it, I am saying that any conclusion about what occurs after life, this life, follows from what is known, and that life arises in the discussion. Again, to what am I referring when, say, I speak of ‘when I die’? So, given this real situation, this is true, and not merely real. The analysis falls out side as an accounting for reality while also arising in reality as only real, already compromised as belief or opinion, or whatever. There’s nothing else we could say about it, Except so much that I believe, that I have an opinion, about what this reality may be and what we are referencing as real things. But, it is not true. What is true is true. So I say that if we are going to begin to be responsible for what is actually occurring, Instead of always deferring responsibility in the real discursive negotiations, then The issue becomes how we are oriented upon things. Not so much about meaning. Orientation upon objects concerns what is true of the universe, and thus what is true of reality.”xx






7 responses to “A discussion about truth and reality”

  1. Jon Awbrey Avatar

    “It doesn’t matter what one does,” the Man Without Qualities said to himself, shrugging his shoulders. “In a tangle of forces like this it doesn’t make a scrap of difference.” He turned away like a man who has learned renunciation, almost indeed like a sick man who shrinks from any intensity of contact. And then, striding through his adjacent dressing-room, he passed a punching-ball that hung there; he gave it a blow far swifter and harder than is usual in moods of resignation or states of weakness.

    Robert Musil • The Man Without Qualities


    1. landzek Avatar

      Said the man oriented upon the idealism of either/or reasoning. 😛

      What “doesn’t make a difference”is referenced to that the conclusions about what is actually occurring can be encountered and analyzed along a manner of reason and knowing that does not answer, not entirely subject, to the reductionism which would end at either full immanence or nothing.

      So not “either/or” or nothing, but rather the truth arises as both, in a Nonphilosophical unilaterally dual manner.


      1. landzek Avatar

        …w indeed can and are able to believe all sorts of things. And what is true indeed appears subject to real ethical/reductive semantics for action. But not under every condition does ethics/idealist reductionism contain what is true of the universe. Even as we are able to believe that reductionism grants all all that is knowable by which to act.


    2. landzek Avatar

      And ironically thinking about your quote here: Gives us an example of how reasoning upon a certain line of thought, even though it seems totally rational and it makes sense philosophically, yields from people actions that are inconsistent with the reason. Because they refuse to understand that the reason is true it does not inform necessarily what we have to act upon. Which is to say it is a truth, but it doesn’t necessarily say anything about what you’re supposed to do. And so I see this as an example of the fallacy of what I call conventional philosophy. Because people see a natural extension of reasoning beyond what is really reasonable so far as how one is supposed to act, so far is the equation between what one thinks and what one is supposed to do.


      1. Jon Awbrey Avatar

        As a pragmatist I believe belief is that on which a person is disposed to act, and actually does act when the antecedents of the disposition at issue are actualized. Der Moe’s existential trajectory is already in motion as he shrugs and the thrust of what he believes is measured by his impact on the punching ball . The sample of “reasoning” we are given does not determine his course of action but is a defensive reaction to it.


      2. landzek Avatar

        So, people do what they do, and they do things when they actually do things ? 😋

        I believe that I’ll have a chocolate milkshake. I do not believe anything about why I might have believed it, except in the sense that I believe that I’ll have a belief about that and in that way.

        I guess I am not a pragmatist because I have no philosophy of belief except for very practical applications; for example, I believe I will not go out because there is too much snow in the road. I see all belief in this way. I believe that belief is always a justification. Never a motivator. Perhaps. That is, maybe, unless I have a belief that I will believe that belief is a motivator. 🤓


      3. landzek Avatar

        …but your statement makes me think: when did the antecedent occur? I must answer: only within the belief that an antecedent arose.


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