Interesting how different our conceptions can be.
For me, the classical idea of truth is illusion.
It seems logically inescapable that the best any of us can hope for isn’t Truth, but rather a model or map that is useful within contextual limits that can be reasonably reliably distinguished.
If you start out with the idea that Truth is possible, and create ever more refined experimental methods and tools to test that idea in reality, then eventually you run into sets of limits.
Heisenberg uncertainty doesn’t simply impose real limits on knowledge (though it does that), it also seems to point to a fundamental balance between order and chaos.
At another level, Wolfram’s explorations of computational complexity indicates infinite classes of processes that are not predictable by any means simpler than letting them do what they do.
When you add in the neurophysiological reality that our experiential reality seems to be a subconsciously created model, its tough.
Classical ideas of knowledge and truth have a tough time dealing with what appears to be such a reality.
One has to get comfortable with uncertainty at every level.
A lot of people seem to have great difficulty with that.
When you add in the idea that logic and mathematics seem to be modelling tools that only approximate the reality we find ourselves in, it deals another difficult blow to many.
If you accept the quantum nature of reality, then it deals a real blow to mathematics.
Just consider a circle.
In a perfect circle the ratio of the diameter to the circumference is a number known as Pi.
Pi is an irrational number.
That means there is no integer relationship between the diameter and the circumference.
Thus a perfect circle is impossible in a quantum (integer) world.
Any real circle must contain imperfections compared to the mathematical pure form, even if those imperfections are below the level of measurement of our instruments.
That’s needs contemplation.
[followed by in response to Mark]
For me there is great value in freedom if it comes in the service of life and liberty universally.
So it comes with responsibilities.
Freedom is not freedom to follow whim irrespective of consequence.
Freedom can only be positive if one uses all reasonable care to mitigate the risks to the life and liberty of others.
And that is a very powerful form of freedom – far more so than any set of rules or cultural norms.
[followed by added July 2017]
I like the Marianne Williamson quote (though I can be loosely classified as a skeptical humanist):
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
The Nike quote comes next:
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
I also rather like the Bene Gesserit Litany against fear:
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.