Does absolute truth exist?

Known unknowns and unknown unknowns!

Moderators: AMod, iMod

surreptitious57
Posts: 3517
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:09 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by surreptitious57 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:28 am

The absolute truth is contained within reality - one could even say that reality itself is the absolute truth
Reality is existence and existence is eternal - it is the only thing that is eternal so it is the absolute truth

The seer sees reality through their own eyes but the seer is themselves a part of reality
So one can never see reality from the outside - one can only see reality from the inside

I Like Sushu
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by I Like Sushu » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:03 am

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.
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.

Skepdick
Posts: 1708
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by Skepdick » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:42 pm

I Like Sushu wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:03 am
So-called ‘absolute truths’ exist within set limits. In arithmetic 1+1=2 is TRUE.
It also depends on the system/context within which you are interpreting the meaning of your symbols.

1+1 = 10 in binary.

So if I told you that 10 = 2 is TRUE... I am not really lying so much as I am translating meaning.
This leads directly to the symbol-grounding problem , which many deem unsolved and unsolvable.

I Like Sushu
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by I Like Sushu » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:32 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:42 pm
I Like Sushu wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:03 am
So-called ‘absolute truths’ exist within set limits. In arithmetic 1+1=2 is TRUE.
It also depends on the system/context within which you are interpreting the meaning of your symbols.

1+1 = 10 in binary.

So if I told you that 10 = 2 is TRUE... I am not really lying so much as I am translating meaning.
This leads directly to the symbol-grounding problem , which many deem unsolved and unsolvable.
Obviously I meant arithmetic not binary arithmetic.

Dubious
Posts: 2209
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by Dubious » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:37 pm

Only if it's in our favor.

Skepdick
Posts: 1708
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by Skepdick » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:57 pm

I Like Sushu wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:32 pm
Obviously I meant arithmetic not binary arithmetic.
'Obviously' how? You weren't explicit about it, so it's rather ambiguous.

The expression '1+1=2' is false in binary arithmetic, but it's true in trinary arithmetic.

Is trinary arithmetic what you meant?
Quatrinary arithmetic perhaps?
Octal arithmetic?
Duodecimal arithmetic?
Hexademical arithmetic?

Just go right ahead and admit that you are committing a bandwagon fallacy by assuming a decimal system.

Q.E.D the problem with all language (as Wittgenstein pointed out). ALL symbols are open to interpretation.

I Like Sushu
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by I Like Sushu » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:11 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:57 pm
I Like Sushu wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:32 pm
Obviously I meant arithmetic not binary arithmetic.
'Obviously' how? You weren't explicit about it, so it's rather ambiguous.

The expression '1+1=2' is false in binary arithmetic, but it's true in trinary arithmetic.

Is trinary arithmetic what you meant?
Quatrinary arithmetic perhaps?
Octal arithmetic?
Duodecimal arithmetic?
Hexademical arithmetic?

Just go right ahead and admit that you are committing a bandwagon fallacy by assuming a decimal system.

Q.E.D the problem with all language (as Wittgenstein pointed out). ALL symbols are open to interpretation.
That is like me saying apples are great and they taste delicious then you denying this by saying Apples are phones, tablets and computers (and probably several other things) ignoring the ‘taste delicious’ - in the above case ‘taste delicious’ would be the “2”.

It is not like I said something silly like “I helped my uncle jack off a donkey” instead of “I helped my Uncle Jack off a donkey.” I’m sure Witty would say if a common rule of thumb follows unless the rules stop to fit.

If it helps add parenthesis and then amend the original statement I made and try and say it is “false”. The point I was making was that “truth” exists within set limits. Do you deny this? If not why the pedantry?

puto
Posts: 145
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:44 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by puto » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:18 pm

For your answer, read David Hume 1711-1776 C. E..

Skepdick
Posts: 1708
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by Skepdick » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:23 pm

I Like Sushu wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:11 pm
That is like me saying apples are great and they taste delicious then you denying this by saying Apples are phones, tablets and computers (and probably several other things) ignoring the ‘taste delicious’ - in the above case ‘taste delicious’ would be the “2”.
False analogy. You are claiming that the only possible interpretative contexts for "1+1=2 is TRUE" are the binary context, and the context you meant.
I am pointing out that this is not the case. There are N-1 interpretative contexts in which "1+1=2" is TRUE. And I don't know which one you meant.

All that I can infer from your words with 100% certainty is which context you DIDN'T mean.
I Like Sushu wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:11 pm
The point I was making was that “truth” exists within set limits. Do you deny this? If not why the pedantry?
Begging the question: Are the limits "true" and in what context-free language would you set/define them?

The pedantry is the distinction between context-free and context-sensitive languages in the Chomsky hierarchy.

If philosophy is on a mission to discover "absolute truth" - it's not exactly a problem that can be overlooked. It seems obvious given Philosophy is the game of linguistic (re?)interpretation.

English and Mathematics are context-sensitive - "absolute truth" requires a language that isn't. Hence the question begged.

I Like Sushu
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by I Like Sushu » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:22 pm

Skepdick -

What exactly do you mean by Absolute Truth then? I am not saying anything ridiculous here.

If all apples are yellow there are no green apples. That is a true statement.

If, by basic arithmetic - for example 1+1=2 and 2+2=4 - then 1+2=3 is TRUE (absolute in the sense that one cannot have an opinion about the matter).

Is that clear enough? If not I won’t bother you any more.
You are claiming that the only possible interpretative contexts for "1+1=2 is TRUE" are the binary context, and the context you meant.
I am pointing out that this is not the case. There are N-1 interpretative contexts in which "1+1=2" is TRUE. And I don't know which one you meant.
No, I’m not claiming any such thing and no one who isn’t being purposefully argumentative (in an unproductive manner) would say otherwise. I said if you wish to amend it to 1+1=2 in the binary context it will then be TRUE? What would satisfy if this doesn’t? Please tell me.

I Like Sushu
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by I Like Sushu » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:26 pm

Skepdick -

While you’re at it can you explain why my analogy was ‘false’ too please? I imagine if you asked almost anyone who understands English what is 1+1? They would say 2, and similarly they would assume you were talking about eating the fruit called apple not eating a mobile phone.

What is “Absolute Truth” to you then anyway? I’m intrigued.

Skepdick
Posts: 1708
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by Skepdick » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:45 pm

I Like Sushu wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:26 pm
I imagine if you asked almost anyone who understands English what is 1+1? They would say 2, and similarly they would assume you were talking about eating the fruit called apple not eating a mobile phone.
Yes. That's called argumentum ad populum. I think it's a logical fallacy?
I Like Sushu wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:26 pm
What is “Absolute Truth” to you then anyway? I’m intrigued.
To me. It's bullshit. Like the whole idea of 'truth'.

Language is for communication, not truth.
Last edited by Skepdick on Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Skepdick
Posts: 1708
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by Skepdick » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:48 pm

I Like Sushu wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:22 pm
What exactly do you mean by Absolute Truth then? I am not saying anything ridiculous here.
OK. Lets see how pedantic I can get with "Absolute truth".

Abbsolute truth is not open to interpretation.
Absolute truth prevents you from playing stupid language games.
Absolute truth is unambiguous, precise and concise.

Absolute truth is the absence of uncertainty. Which is broadly - the Pyrrhonian conception.
I Like Sushu wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:22 pm
If all apples are yellow there are no green apples. That is a true statement
Well, lets see. Is that even a statement? It sounds like a proposition to me. I notice that you prepended your 'statement' with "IF". Why IF?
Why didn't you just say "'All apples are yellow'. That's a true statement"? Are you being purposeful obscurantist?

Are you uncertain of your eyes' ability to discern 'yellow' from 'green'? Are you keeping the back door open for apologetics once you are contradicted?
So I am going to guess that your appeal to the modus ponens was intentional, but then I question your ommission of the modus tollens?

So let me fill in all the true statements (which you chose to leave unsaid).

If there are green apples, then all apples are not yellow. That's a true statement.

But that's not all the truth. There's more!

If there are Chartreuse apples, then all apples are not yellow.
If there are Xantic apples, then all apples are not yellow.
If there are Lemon apples, then all apples are not yellow.

There are many shades of 'yellow', and while you can claim that Lemon is definitely not green, you can't say the same for Chartreuse.
You have yourself an edge case. An exception to the rule. A yellow apple that is ALSO a green apple!

If all the apples are yellow, and some of those yellow apples are Chartreuse apples, then some of those apples are green.
Last edited by Skepdick on Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Skepdick
Posts: 1708
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by Skepdick » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:51 pm

I Like Sushu wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:22 pm
If, by basic arithmetic - for example 1+1=2 and 2+2=4 - then 1+2=3 is TRUE (absolute in the sense that one cannot have an opinion about the matter).
Why do you keep saying IF? Are you suffering from commitment-phobia?

What you seem to be implying is that IF one is of the OPINION that 1+1=2; and IF one is of the OPINION that 2+2=4 THEN one cannot have an opinion on 1+2=3

So, one needs to have TWO opinions in order to NOT to have an opinion. That makes perfect sense!

So on the matter of 1+1=2 I have 50% chance of it being FALSE.

1+1 = 2 could be true.
1+1 = 10 could be true.

On the matter of 2+2=4 I have 66% chance of being FALSE.

2+2 = 4 could be true.
2+2 = 10 could be true.
2+2 = 11 could be true.

So where does that leave me with respect to 1+2=3 being TRUE?
I Like Sushu wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:22 pm
No, I’m not claiming any such thing and no one who isn’t being purposefully argumentative (in an unproductive manner) would say otherwise. I said if you wish to amend it to 1+1=2 in the binary context it will then be TRUE? What would satisfy if this doesn’t? Please tell me.
Purposefully argumentative? Unproductive? Well, that's just your opinion! I haven't heard you express a teleos of any sort any more than you expressed the interpretative context from which you are making your claims!

If I am to allow myself the same leeway on the argumentum ad populum, then most Philosophers would agree that philosophy has no teleology. Certainly none that anybody has ever been willing to state, yet you dare speak of 'productivity' without so much as having goal posts on the field...

I am showing you the artefacts of context-sensitive LANGUAGE. This is how language (doesn't?) work... If you want 'absolute truth', you may want to fix that. Or abandon the logocentric tradition altogether...

I Like Sushu
Posts: 111
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Does absolute truth exist?

Post by I Like Sushu » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:45 pm

Skepdick -

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.

For the record I’m not keen on using the term “absolute” and I can certainly understand your ire as I’ve seen many people insist this or that is “absolutely true”. 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?).

Some games you can play badly and if you break the rules of the game you’e no longer playing the game because you’re no longer playing by the rules. My point is that if there are set rules then we can say what is and isn’t true in regard to the set rules.

All abstractions are IF’s but it just so happens that mathematical abstractions do a pretty neat job of helping us understand the world. I’m not suggesting there is some universal absolute truth or that there isn’t.

Truth applies to rules not to reality. Sometimes the rules are similar enough to our perceived reality to be of use ... hence why we use rules and have mathematised nature through the natural sciences with great success.

Maybe you’ve got the wrong idea of what I’m saying and/or I’ve got the wrong idea of what you’re saying. I find the title of this thread to be a free for all battle with people attaching different selective meanings and contexts to the term ‘truth’, ‘absolute’ and/or ‘exist’. It’s a minefield, and if you cannot understand what I am suggesting as a spring board for ‘truth’ (outside the day-to-day human world of “it is true I am human”) by saying abstract truth couls be regarded as “absolute” in some sense as the abstract deals with universal values not ever changing items - universal items such as “and” or “five” (meaning we don’t stop someone mid-sentence and ask “What species of ‘five’ are you referring to?”

Is there any common ground here? If not perhaps you can suggest something else?

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest