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  1. #61
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recoleta View Post
    I don't think this topic has been discussed here yet, but if it has, sorry...please disregard.

    This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, and in the end I have come to the conclusion that there is a need for absolute truth, because if absolute truth does not exist, then what standard do we live by?

    Sure, I could say that "I live by my own standards and morals," but that is really just saying, "Hey, I can do whatever I want because it's right for me." There is absolutely no accountability or standardization of right and wrong....it's all relative. So basically, following with that line of thought, everything should be permissable given certain circumstances.

    Yet, I find it amazing that once "our own standards and morals" are violated by someone else we are the first to appeal to a higher authority by saying, "Hey, that's not fair/right." For example, you've been waiting patiently in the post office line for the last 10 mintues, you are the next one to be helped when all of a sudden some guy just breezes in to the post office and totally cuts you (and everyone behind you) off. Chances are, you or someone else is gonna tell that person to get in the back and wait their turn. But what if he responds, "Well, I'm late for work, and getting to work on time is more important than waiting in line so I'm sure you all won't mind if I just go next." Well, this guy has no problem cutting in line, because he puts his own needs/wants in front of everyone else's. If what is right and wrong is truly relative then you really have no authority to tell the man to get to the back of the line, right?

    To me, relative truth seems like a catch 22. What do you think? I'd like to hear your thoughts.
    Facts are built on make believe.
    Make believe is built on facts.

  2. #62
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    It's so elusive, isn't it? Although if we had it, what would we have left to seek? Perhaps that's why we can't be certain... because if we were, what would we have left to influence?
    Well that's the kicker isn't it. We look for it almost knowing it cannot be found. It's a little like the whole concept of "true love". It's something we can claim we have found but we can never prove that it's true, only if it lasts as a claim.
    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Facts are built on make believe.
    Make believe is built on facts.
    Shame on you. You claimed to have no wisdom. Charlatan!
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  3. #63
    Member MX5's Avatar
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    If one defines truth as "an accurate verifiable description of a state or condition conforming to a standard and transcending perceived experience" (and I formed this definition from a distillation of the dictionary definition of truth), then truth is dependant on the applied standard. The question then becomes (if we seek to determine whether truth is absolute) whether the standard is absolute in its application to the state or condition it is being applied to.

    For example; 1+1=2 is true. The standard being applied is mathematical summation. The state is the state of all non-relativistic units of measure. Within this state 1+1 will always equal to two; one ball plus another ball is two balls. However, in a different state 1+1 does not necessarily have to equal to 2. One particle of matter plus one particle of anti-matter does not equal two particles of (something). Therefore, what is true in one state of matter is not true in another. Therefore 1+1=2 is not absolute truth, because truth is dependant on the standard and on the state or condition.

    Absolute truth becomes even less so when perceived experience is factored in (which the definition categorically excludes, but I'll cheat). This is because each individuals experience is unique and therefore the standards and conditions are likewise unique. In the banana experiment the determination of which person likes bananas more is entirely subjective. What constitutes more? How is more measured? If I eat more bananas (a condition that can be measured) does that mean that I like them more (or just that I can eat more)? Like Kiddo says, its entirely relativistic (or subjective, as I term it).
    MBC - writing bad poetry, kickin' ass.

  4. #64
    Member Camelopardalis's Avatar
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    One particle of matter plus one particle of anti-matter does not equal two particles of (something)
    Well said.

    I don't believe in absolute truth or absolute morality. For example, do you deny that I exist? Most people wouldn't, but one could always debate that I don't exist, because technically I'm an illusion created by the repelling electrons, and if they lose their charge, I wouldn't be anything. Morality is even less absolute than truth, in my opinion. For example, it is NOT ok to use one person (in consequence, killing the person) to save five without the unfortunate victim's consent, but is it still ok if the victim just happened to be there, and killing them is necessary to save the five people? The tangible result is still the same. One dies. Five lives. 'Real' consequences aside, we still have much to discuss. Morality is just too 'grey' to be black OR white.
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  5. #65
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    The "absolute" part of "absolute truth" is redundant, because if a proposition is not entirely and absolutely true, then it must be false, by definition. If there is no "absolute truth" then there is no truth, period. The distinction is erroneous for anyone who, assuming that something called "the truth" exists, is interested in discovering it. That includes everyone, even those who claim otherwise, something betrayed everytime they do not walk idly out onto a busy road.

    Whoever said that you can't argue definitions, eh?
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by MX5 View Post
    For example; 1+1=2 is true. The standard being applied is mathematical summation. The state is the state of all non-relativistic units of measure. Within this state 1+1 will always equal to two; one ball plus another ball is two balls. However, in a different state 1+1 does not necessarily have to equal to 2. One particle of matter plus one particle of anti-matter does not equal two particles of (something). Therefore, what is true in one state of matter is not true in another. Therefore 1+1=2 is not absolute truth, because truth is dependant on the standard and on the state or condition.
    This doesn't say anything about absolute truth, it says something about the definitions you are using. The absolute truth in this case would be that 1 + 1 = 2 of the same object, quantity, etc., when counting. In the case of a particle of matter and a particle of antimatter do make 2 total particles when counted. When interacting, they won't make 2 of a particle, but that is not what "1 + 1 = 2" describes. (it would describe that if both particles had carried 1 unit of energy, a total of 2 units of energy would be released, but that is a case where counting and addition work.)

    In terms of the abstract math, the absolute truth would be that "In this universe, the 'counting with numbers' mathematical system has 1 + 1 =2 at all times". (There are other mathematical systems where this is true also, I'm guessing.)

  7. #67
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    The "absolute" part of "absolute truth" is redundant, because if a proposition is not entirely and absolutely true, then it must be false, by definition. If there is no "absolute truth" then there is no truth, period. The distinction is erroneous for anyone who, assuming that something called "the truth" exists, is interested in discovering it. That includes everyone, even those who claim otherwise, something betrayed everytime they do not walk idly out onto a busy road.

    Whoever said that you can't argue definitions, eh?
    Piling 2 fence panels on top of 2 fence panels means you have a stack of four fence panels (assuming certain parameters). This we know is true within those parameters.

    There is truth but it is currently limited by those parameters we created. Is that absolute truth?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  8. #68
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    There is truth but it is currently limited by those parameters we created. Is that absolute truth?
    I have no idea what you are talking about. A proposition is either true or false i.e. either corresponds to the facts or does not correspond to the facts, "parameters" be damned!

    There is an irritating tendency to confuse the truth of a proposition with our ability to confirm, verify or test it. The latter are all very interesting problems regarding the methodology of investigation, but the truth would be true even if nobody existed, so such methods are not integral to a discussion about truth, which is always absolute. If a proposition is not absolutely true, then it is false.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  9. #69
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I've decided that if there is an absolute truth, then I'm simply going reject it and substitute it with my own. Tis the blessing of being an NF.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  10. #70
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    I've decided that if there is an absolute truth, then I'm simply going reject it and substitute with my own. Tis the blessing of being an NF.
    NFs are Gods? The universe has an irritating habit of ignoring what we think is true in favour of what is actually true, and we all suffer when what we think is true does not correspond to what is actually true. The universe forces us to make decisions and act, and we all choose how to act relative to what we think is true, even when we recognise that such thoughts are human and fallible. Sometimes we are wrong, and we call this "making a mistake".

    That is, unless we are God, and what is actually true depends on what we think is true. God doesn't make mistakes.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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