## Does absolute truth exist?

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Scott Mayers
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

I Like Sushu wrote: Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:03 am
Just in case no one has pointed this out already ... there is a difference between scientific fact and truth. Science doesn’t deal in ‘truths’.

So-called ‘absolute truths’ exist within set limits. In arithmetic 1+1=2 is TRUE. Please note I am referring to the abstract set rules of arithmetic NOT the application of mathematics to physical phenomenon.

What 1+1=2 and Newtons laws have in common is they cannot be held as ‘opinions’. They are both applicable rules/laws within a set limit - Newton’s being applied to reality necessarily makes them more or less accurate on certain cosmological scales, but as a formula it is a mathematical set.

Logic deals with truths and science deals with facts.

Truth is truth. Absolute Truth is a set meaning within set limits. Given that we don’t know the limit of reality we’re in no position to claim any kind of universal absolute knowledge of anything, only absolute knowledge within defined limits - such as mathematics.
The mechanisms of reality THROUGH the laws of physics ARE a logic. It is this Universe's Logic. Reality doesn't actually require anything to operate with if it has absolutely everything. Science seeks to determine what the logic of reality is by induction guessing the logic, then running it. Worlds are composed of every combination of possibilities. Those that have 'pattern' get further consistent in an evolutionary way.

I wouldn't dictate what 'science' is permitted or not. Both logic and science operate together and cannot exist without the other.

If you disagree, tell me what you think 'laws' are and why does Nature at the root of things require 'obeying' them? Reality has to begin as 'abstract' concepts. You cannot escape this without simply ignoring it at stating sets of laws.
Sculptor
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Systematic wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:28 am It seems to me that proof of absolute truth is of major importance to epistemology. So, when I heard Robert Sapolsky lectures on youtube, I was surprised to find that, in scientific literature there is a constant. That constant is error. Sapolsky doesn't study physics nor chemistry, but rather, the causes of behavior in biology.
But, every scientific field, that he uses to discover the causes of behavior, seems to be fraught with exceptions to the rules that they observe.
I realize that there is a leap involved in concluding that all scientific theories will have exceptions, but I don't know it to be false.

That leaves us with the epistemological concept of a statement being usually true, yet acceptable anyway.
You can absolutely have your own personal absolute truth, but you may not be able to convince other that it is the case.
I Like Sushu
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:34 pm
I Like Sushu wrote: Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:03 am
Just in case no one has pointed this out already ... there is a difference between scientific fact and truth. Science doesn’t deal in ‘truths’.

So-called ‘absolute truths’ exist within set limits. In arithmetic 1+1=2 is TRUE. Please note I am referring to the abstract set rules of arithmetic NOT the application of mathematics to physical phenomenon.

What 1+1=2 and Newtons laws have in common is they cannot be held as ‘opinions’. They are both applicable rules/laws within a set limit - Newton’s being applied to reality necessarily makes them more or less accurate on certain cosmological scales, but as a formula it is a mathematical set.

Logic deals with truths and science deals with facts.

Truth is truth. Absolute Truth is a set meaning within set limits. Given that we don’t know the limit of reality we’re in no position to claim any kind of universal absolute knowledge of anything, only absolute knowledge within defined limits - such as mathematics.
The mechanisms of reality THROUGH the laws of physics ARE a logic. It is this Universe's Logic. Reality doesn't actually require anything to operate with if it has absolutely everything. Science seeks to determine what the logic of reality is by induction guessing the logic, then running it. Worlds are composed of every combination of possibilities. Those that have 'pattern' get further consistent in an evolutionary way.

I wouldn't dictate what 'science' is permitted or not. Both logic and science operate together and cannot exist without the other.

If you disagree, tell me what you think 'laws' are and why does Nature at the root of things require 'obeying' them? Reality has to begin as 'abstract' concepts. You cannot escape this without simply ignoring it at stating sets of laws.
You’ll have ti show me that TRUTH is the same as FACT. They are not the same. That is all I was stating followed by a brief outline of the kind of ‘knowledge’ that is completely closed off from opinion.
I Like Sushu
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Scott -

To add, physics roughly works in the assumption that there is some overall formula - physicists don’t agree that this is so and whether or not it is so is a matter of opinion only. Theories are refined and for all we know there may be no absolute answer.

Nature does what it does and the fact that we can understand and predict anything at all about anything is quite magical don’t you think

We map the world and our map, to date, is not a one to one map and maybe it never will be (I don’t see how it could be). We can make one to one maps in abstraction; a non-physical item corresponding to another non-physical item (abstractions) and make absolute statements.

Understand what I mean now?
Skepdick
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

I Like Sushu wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:45 pm You’re not making any sense to me I’m afraid. If you accuse me of a logical fallacy and then in the next breath call ‘truth’ BS I’m at a loss what I can say in response.
Which indicates to me that you think logic and truth are coupled notions? Sure. Logic mentions "truth" like arithmetic mentions "2". It's just a value.
I Like Sushu wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:45 pm The point I was making was that is there are defined rules of play then if they are broken the same game is not being played anymore - not that this can apply to the physical reality (obviously, or not? Need I explain that?).
OK. It seems to me that you are claiming that the rules of philosophy are different to the rules of reality.
I am happy to go with that for the time being. Can you show me the rules of philosophy?
I Like Sushu wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:45 pm Truth applies to rules not to reality.
Then we have no leg to stand on. Once you get to the notion of "Turing completeness" (Lambda calculus, Logic, Computation, Recursion) then it gets tricky - because you (the programmer of the computer, or the designer of your own mind) get to decide what the rules are.

Do you want me to construct you a system in which A=A is FALSE? e.g dispense with Identity axiom. I can do that.
Do you want me to construct you a system in which P and not-P is TRUE? e.g dispense with the "Law" of non-contradiction? I can do that too.

Once you arrive at the doorstep of constructivism (epistemic or mathematical) and you embrace para-consistency then logic/mathematics becomes just another instrument.

The most important question which remains to be asked (and answered) is this: What are the rules? Are there any and on whose authority?
I Like Sushu wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:45 pm Is there any common ground here? If not perhaps you can suggest something else?
Can there ever be any common ground in narrative? Methinks common ground is only found in teleology.
I Like Sushu
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Skepdick -
Can you show me the rules of philosophy?
No. I never claimed there was a set of philosophical rules. I can, and you can, look up the rules for a game of chess and we can play the game. Just because ‘chess’ doesn’t relate to every single facet of what we know of reality (via in/direct experience and/or guesswork/opinion/prediction) doesn’t mean we cannot play a game of chess and understand what is and isn’t a false move. If we make a mistake then I do grant you that we merely ‘believed’ we were playing chess AND that we were genuinely playing chess too. That is more or less a discrepancy in language use because really it could also be said that we were ‘playing chess badly’ - I don’t, and haven’t, made any claim that language - what we’re using here - is anything like an exact science.

Historically mathematical logic has reigned in previously held philosophical applications of logic. The abstraction of logic from everyday colloquial speech into abstracted symbolic forms of finite use ha sled to the discovery of infinite investigation into the natural world via the sciences. Apologies if that is badly worded, I’m doing my best as quickly and efficiently as I can atm.

I’m not claiming what the “rules of philosophy” are let alone what the “rules of reality” are; and I certainly wouldn’t say outright that I can know what the rules of ‘reality’ are because I am well aware that many people use the term “reality” to apply to a whole array of different perspectives. This could be cleared up easily enough if the terms of speech are set out - which they haven’t been in the OP. This leas back to my initial point that what is TRUE can be more finely applied if the rules of play are understood. In exchanges like this we almost certainly have to give up some degree of ‘truth seeking’ because even though we share a common means of communication we’re LIMITED but, and it’s a BIG BUT, we don’t know the limits we’re working within or what the limit of the other we’re conversing with are either. We can adumbrate and work towards some proposed common field of interest and know there is such a thing, to SOME degree because we’re able to communicate.

You did get me with the “truth applies to rules not reality” - a little generosity is all I can ask for. I will make slips here and there. I don’t think I need to explain what I meant further? If so ... truth applies 100% to set rules, but for reality we’re not aware of the rules (or if there is anything humanly comprehensible as ‘rules’ that can be applied to reality beyond the limits of scientific investigation in an error based level). By this I mean that Newton’s laws are factual truths to a limited degree - as an abstract mathematic proposition it is completely true (it just doesn’t map 100% to physical reality, but does a good enough job within a certain scale).

I don’t apply logical truths to reality. I would, nevertheless, say it is true I am human - that doesn’t require me to define human 100% but I’m sure some genetic anthropologist would do a sterling job of trying to do so within a certain margin of error - which means we’re talking about a factual truth rather than a logical truth. I’ve seen it countless times on forums where people, unintentionally conflate scientific facts with logical truths so I am not complaining about your probing at all.

I am very interested in the what, when, where and how of the delineation between pure logic and the natural world - which I believe to be only a delineation of convenience, yet a necessary one for rational investigation into aspects of reality. I don’t wish to drag views on ‘consciousness’ into this thanks - that is just one more term that suffers from a multiplicity of interdisciplinary definitions I’m frankly tired to the back teeth of (another day)

Thanks
Scott Mayers
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

I Like Sushu wrote: Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:05 am
Scott Mayers wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:34 pm
I Like Sushu wrote: Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:03 am
Just in case no one has pointed this out already ... there is a difference between scientific fact and truth. Science doesn’t deal in ‘truths’.

So-called ‘absolute truths’ exist within set limits. In arithmetic 1+1=2 is TRUE. Please note I am referring to the abstract set rules of arithmetic NOT the application of mathematics to physical phenomenon.

What 1+1=2 and Newtons laws have in common is they cannot be held as ‘opinions’. They are both applicable rules/laws within a set limit - Newton’s being applied to reality necessarily makes them more or less accurate on certain cosmological scales, but as a formula it is a mathematical set.

Logic deals with truths and science deals with facts.

Truth is truth. Absolute Truth is a set meaning within set limits. Given that we don’t know the limit of reality we’re in no position to claim any kind of universal absolute knowledge of anything, only absolute knowledge within defined limits - such as mathematics.
The mechanisms of reality THROUGH the laws of physics ARE a logic. It is this Universe's Logic. Reality doesn't actually require anything to operate with if it has absolutely everything. Science seeks to determine what the logic of reality is by induction guessing the logic, then running it. Worlds are composed of every combination of possibilities. Those that have 'pattern' get further consistent in an evolutionary way.

I wouldn't dictate what 'science' is permitted or not. Both logic and science operate together and cannot exist without the other.

If you disagree, tell me what you think 'laws' are and why does Nature at the root of things require 'obeying' them? Reality has to begin as 'abstract' concepts. You cannot escape this without simply ignoring it at stating sets of laws.
You’ll have ti show me that TRUTH is the same as FACT. They are not the same. That is all I was stating followed by a brief outline of the kind of ‘knowledge’ that is completely closed off from opinion.
A "fact" is a universal TRUTH often linked to a sentence or statement. Where this degree of truth is about something in this universe (contingent), truth is a relative AGREEMENT between two or more people about something they agree to IS a 'fact'.
I Like Sushu
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Scott -

We agree then? Abstractions are absolute. Science certainly makes good use of abstraction, but it isn’t ‘absolute’ - it necessarily relies on possible errors.

I’m well aware that physics and mathematics are married.

‘Absolute’ means permanent in philosophical terms. ‘Universal’ is not necessarily the same as ‘absolute’ - not that I am accusing you of saying so. I don’t see how anyone can propose relativism in terms of absolute logical knowledge (and it is absolute, not true ‘sometimes’ or within a margin of error simply because the boundaries are set).

I guess my possible confusion here is due to the difference between the meaning of “absolute” in logic and “universal” in logic. Are they just used interchangeably? Do you know? I understand that ‘universal logic’ is the investigation into common features of logic between various species of ‘logic’, yet when ti comes ot usin gthe term ‘absolute’ it appears to have a variety of meanings (be it mathematical or in semantics). I guess I may be guilty of conflating semantics with mathematical logic - or simply not making it clear which I am referring to at any given time?
Scott Mayers
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

I Like Sushu wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:05 am Scott -

We agree then? Abstractions are absolute. Science certainly makes good use of abstraction, but it isn’t ‘absolute’ - it necessarily relies on possible errors.

I’m well aware that physics and mathematics are married.

‘Absolute’ means permanent in philosophical terms. ‘Universal’ is not necessarily the same as ‘absolute’ - not that I am accusing you of saying so. I don’t see how anyone can propose relativism in terms of absolute logical knowledge (and it is absolute, not true ‘sometimes’ or within a margin of error simply because the boundaries are set).

I guess my possible confusion here is due to the difference between the meaning of “absolute” in logic and “universal” in logic. Are they just used interchangeably? Do you know? I understand that ‘universal logic’ is the investigation into common features of logic between various species of ‘logic’, yet when ti comes ot usin gthe term ‘absolute’ it appears to have a variety of meanings (be it mathematical or in semantics). I guess I may be guilty of conflating semantics with mathematical logic - or simply not making it clear which I am referring to at any given time?
When I first begun (re-begun, more appropriately) self study into foundations, I read Plato's works and found that I interpreted in light of their day as opposed to reinterpretations by others. But there is a distinction between meaning. One is that there is a real 'form' that acts similar to the concept of a 'law' that then defines what something means. What is conflicting to some is whether the 'laws' of behavior in reality are themselves real or if the law just describes the patterns already extant. Plato first used the idea of a 'chair' to express his meaning and then it evolved into his famous "Cave" thought example. It is identical in the modern way to use those simple dimension worlds to help describe higher dimensions. ("Flatworld" models that demonstrate how those things in that world could not perceive the existence of a third dimension but how they can infer it possible by shadows. I can't remember the precise source but it has become common place as an example you may be familiar with)

I first imagined it on my own by trying to think of an 'absolute' empty space and how Nature could define distance. Since any two points in an empty space can set a standard, whichever is 'first' suffices to act as the 'form' or model to which all other things are 'copies'. We do this when each of us learn concepts. We denote the first association of the word 'chair' to a specific unique original one and then narrow down the following associations to adjust to that first idea. Math calls the scalar measure of something without concern to a specific place an 'absolute' in this way.

"Twoness" for example, might be thought of as an 'absolute' fact: THAT there exists 'some universal reality of a pair of anything' then is an example of what is meant by 'absolutes' from Plato's original meaning. It gets more complex though to then extend this to something like the concept of 'beauty' to be some 'absolute'. Totality itself is such an absolute also, even though we could never hope to determine this specifically other than in models of expressing it.
Peter Holmes
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Does absolute truth exist?

I think this is a standardly misleading - because misfiring - philosophical question. It misleads or misfires, because it seems to be a factual question with a yes/no or true/false answer - even if we don't or can't know the answer. 'Does truth exist?' is another and obviously more fundamental question.

The way out of the confusion such questions have been causing (for at least two and a half millennia) is to understand that the abstract noun 'truth' is not the name of a kind of thing that may or may not exist. Or, perhaps more precisely, the burden of proof for the claim that there are such abstract things as truth, knowledge, beauty, justice, and so on, seems never to have been met - so to believe they do exist is irrational.

Given this, all we can do is ask how we use or could use the word 'truth' and its cognates, in different contexts - which was the later Wittgenstein's hard-won and - in my opinion - most profound insight. When we see that there's no foundation, for what we say, beneath our linguistic practices, the delusive nature of questions such as 'does absolute truth exist?' becomes apparent.
Immanuel Can
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Does absolute truth exist?

Were you expecting an absolutely true answer?

If you were, then you were presuming the answer to your question.
Walker
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Yes. The absolute truth is, I am.

That's it, the root of all inference.
Nick_A
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

There Is Nothing Permanent Except Change. ~ Heraclitus

If change is the absolute universal truth then the question becomes if change is chaotic or a response to universal laws science is yet to fully understand.
Walker
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Chaos is unperceived order.
Nick_A
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### Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Walker wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:42 pm Chaos is unperceived order.
More proof of male superiority opposed. A mother enters her son's room and demands he clean up this mess. He replies that it isn't a chaotic mess but really order beyond her ability to appreciate. She must open herself to its artistic merits. See how far he gets with that one.