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thorninmud's avatar

What would be an example of one of Niels Bohr's "great truths"?

Asked by thorninmud (20495points) March 22nd, 2012

Niels Bohr (one of the pioneers of quantum theory) was a veritable gusher of pithy quotes. Almost any collection of his quotes includes some variation on the following: “There are trivial truths and there are great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.” (he seems to have restated this on several occasions, in slightly different forms).

How do you understand this? Can you give an example of a truth that would qualify as “great” by this standard?

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7 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

“I missed meeting @gailcalled when she was a junior in college and chose, inexplicably. to study for an exam instead of having lunch with me and my wife while we were in Cambridge.”

mattbrowne's avatar

Speech is silver, silence is golden, meaning speaking is good but saying nothing is better.

It’s a great truth, but the opposite is also true.

marinelife's avatar

This one is true as is its opposite:

“Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question.”


ragingloli's avatar

“The purpose of life is to end”.

rebbel's avatar

Prebirth and death are the same thing.

(their is no life in death.
life is life.
death is death.
as scary as this might seem to most the acceptance of it is noteworthy.
we dont fear prebirth.
and its the same thing as death.)

Found on a Zen forum.

flutherother's avatar

It is true that truth is beautiful, it is also true that the truth is ugly.

filmfann's avatar

“Most Republicans wish they weren’t screwing their friends wives.”

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