• OpinionsMatter
    85
    If I say that I would never not tell the truth, would you believe me? Just because someone says they are telling the truth does not necessarily mean what they say is truth. "I never lie." is untrue, because there will always be someone who doesn't agree with you(Not to mention that white lie you told). When you tell the 'truth' it is more of a percentage of truth, rather than the whole truth. An example would be: Plants need soil to survive. Is that true? No, not completely. Rather it is about 90% true, because some plants grow in amongst rocks or in the sand. This discourse in its self is only a percentage of truth. If the world could all agree (on everything) there would be what I would call 'absolute truth'. This would be the climax of truth, a world that it based upon and is nothing, but truth. However, this is merely a fantasy. Disagreement leads to everything being only partially true, and over all I think that finding someone, or something that holds an absolute value of truth is impossible, unless you believe in the Christian God, who is supposedly 'perfect'.
  • OpinionsMatter
    85
    Truth, in reality, is more of a concept. It's a way of trying to simplify the age old, what's wrong and what's right? Saying that something is truth, however, does not make it right, neither does it make it actual truth.
  • wax
    301
    Is the concept of truth linked to the concept of objective reality?
    If so Idon't think objective reality is possible even if you include the concept of god.
    God couldn't know what it was like to be a starving person in a poor part of the world, or know what it was like to be a rich person living in Beverly Hills...so he would just be an observer with his subjective reality in a similar way that other beings were.
    So I would say that truth was always subjective and arrived at based upon person reference frames.
  • I like sushi
    1.3k
    The absolute can only be framed without a set and rigid context. 1+1=2 is true by means of the rules of arithmetic.

    A set of abstract rules can be constructed to produce an absolute truth. How these abstract truths apply to experienced reality is another matter altogether, I’ll grant you that!
  • Kenshi
    14

    I disagree with your statement about God. If such a being exists, it would have infinite knowledge and intelligence. If this being were the creator of all things like the Judeo-Christian/Islamic Gods are credited as, then it seems to me that an understanding of how someone feels based on their experience should be easy for God to understand, as He (theoretically, at least) created the neurological systems that cause those feelings.
  • wax
    301


    Yea but a starving person isn't God, so how could God understand that perspective?
  • Kenshi
    14

    I think where we're having a problem is in our definition of the word "understand". If what you're saying is that "understanding" occurs when one has had an equivalent experience to that of another, then you're right. My view on this is that one needn't NECESSARILY experience something in order to understand it. It should also be noted that we cannot hold a being of infinite power and knowledge like a God, to the same standard as human beings. As God would be maximally great, He could easily grasp things that we never could. It could also be fun to toy with the idea that if God is infinitely more knowledgeable than us, and we are at least somewhat capable of understanding feelings that we, personally never have had, then it follows that God is capable of understanding those feelings fully. I kinda made that up on the fly, but we should be understanding of what a tricky concept "infinity" can be, as well as how it plays a role in reality. In theory, at least.
  • wax
    301
    I think to have an objective view of reality one would also need a subjective view, of anyone who had one...these two are contradictory positions. God cannot have the subjective experience of a starving person in a poor part of the world, however he might try, or think he understands that person.
  • I like sushi
    1.3k


    To add to that ... “subjectivity” and “objectivity” have certain kinds of values of opposition depending upon the conext in which they are used. Language has a limit, because it’s limited.

    There are different kinds of antonyms and “subject” and “object” don’t sit neatly in any particular place.

    Here are some of the different types: https://medium.com/@hdi.prateek/what-are-the-different-types-of-antonyms-in-english-language-3a19db18504a
  • Kenshi
    14

    I think you're just re-affirming what I said, that experience is required to understand a feeling pertaining to that experience. Which is OK, I just disagree.
  • wax
    301


    oh yea you can have some understanding of a feeling pertaining to an experience, but that doesn't really give you any certainty that you are right. I would say we can be fairly sure about our own feelings and experiences.....including for the starving person,...well more sure than someone who just tries to understand.
  • Kenshi
    14

    I don't think that God can possibly be wrong about anything because His knowledge is infinite. Logically, if God says that something is true and believes it, it therefore must be true. You and I are finite humans, so your logic fits perfectly with us. You can't draw false equivalency between God and Men and expect to reach a logically accurate conclusion to the nature of either.
  • unenlightened
    3.9k
    1. Absolute truth is impossible.

    2. If 1. is true, it is impossible that it is absolutely true.

    3. 2. is absolutely true.

    4. 1. is absolutely false.
  • wax
    301


    God's knowledge could be infinite, but that wouldn't necessarily mean he knows everything..he could just know all the digits of the number pi.
  • Kenshi
    14

    I understand what you're saying, but in the case of God, He must be maximally great, else not be worthy of the title. He can, in no way, be limited in his ability. You gave an example of knowing all of the digits of pi. Because pi is an infinite decimal sequence, to know all of the digits is an example of knowledge that, when quantified, equals infinity. But to do this is just to show infinity in relative terms.

    Suppose that I have an infinite number of coins, each labeled with a number starting at 1 going up infinitely. You take away all the coins labeled with odd numbers. Now we both have an infinite number of coins. Mine are labeled with even numbers, yours with odd.

    NOW suppose that instead of the odd numbered coins, you take away all of the coins labeled a number greater than 3. Now you have an infinite number of evens and of odds. Even though in both cases you're left with an infinite number of coins, it can be argued that you have more in the second example because you have an infinite number of 2 different things. I reiterate: God's knowledge cannot be limited in any way. Period. Lest he not be a true God.
  • wax
    301
    God's knowledge cannot be limited in any way. Period. Lest he not be a true God.Kenshi

    I don't like to ask this question, but suppose that God has thoughts, and exists in a kind of time sequence dimension.....does he know what he will think in his future?

    I think the answer is that we just can't know the answer to this question, but it shows that our ideas about what God knows and doesn't know are all so limited to the human experience....
  • Kenshi
    14

    Time is relative to matter which is relative to space. God exists outside of space, as He must preexist that which He creates (which is a limitation of space, not God). So, if God exists outside of space and time, which He must if He created them, then they have no hold over Him. From His perspective, time is only meaningful in his interaction with us. There, he is inserting his presence into a point in time, from the perspective of man. But in his reality, time is utterly meaningless, there are no thoughts he's yet to have, unless he chooses not to have them. We're getting into pretty dicey territory here, as it's difficult to explain scientifically how something works non-scientifically but still realistically. Basically, we can't apply our own experiential knowledge to our understanding of God's intellectual ability. That must be done through hypothesis and other forms of philosophy.

    P.S. In answer to your question, I'd say that a "God" that exists in a time sequence dimension is not an actual God. Like I said, the creator of time logically cannot be subject to time.
  • wax
    301


    obviously I didn't mean out time dimension, but another sort of time-like sequence or order of thoughts...

    Like I said, we can;t know what the answer would be, or even if the question is relevant, and like I said we are limited to the human experience.....so I would apply that to statements that you were making, about god having infinite knowledge etc...it's all guesswork really.
  • Kenshi
    14

    I agree. It's pretty much all speculation and I certainly wouldn't say that any of this shows whether God more plausibly exists or doesn't. I see this as just a fun thought exercise between colleagues. That said, you've been an excellent sparring partner! Cheers!
  • OpinionsMatter
    85

    1+1=2 is true by means of the rules of arithmetic.I like sushi

    But who made those rules? 1+1=2 could also be 1+1=II. It is not always true, we could symbolize two with objects, or use another numerical language to show what we mean. Like I said, it is only ever a percentage of truth.
  • I like sushi
    1.3k


    They are ABSTRACT rules. I stated quite clearly the difference between the real and the abstract in my post.

    We cannot have an opinion about 1+1=2. Universally abstract terms are not the same as saying one apple and another apple making two apples.

    Another way to think of this is to refer to Wittgenstein. If we’re playing a game of chess and you make an illegal move, then you’ve ceased to play chess ... obviously in life we’re neither sure if there are any set rules or whether we can come to understand them if there are. We can, and do, create any number of abstract rules that produce absolute answers.

    It is by these abstract rules that we’ve come to explore the world and apply them as best as we can. Our application of these abstract rules is limit by our understanding of the universe and the technology with which we’re able to measure.

    To repeat, 1+1=2 by the rules of arithmetic NOT as applied to dogs, cats or monkeys as they are not universal terms (cats, dogs and monkeys differ in both spacial and temporal positions in and of themselves).

    Note: “universal” terms are always the same, whereas a “dog” can mean different dogs not the same dog. Terms like “and” and “five” are universal terms.
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k
    Truth/falsehood is different idea than honesty/dishonesty.

    Truth/falsehood have to do with whether a proposition has a specific relation, such as correspondence, to the way the world is (facts).

    Honesty/dishonesty have to do with whether someone is accurately reporting what they believe, what they feel, etc. If they're accurately reporting this, they're being honest.

    If your neighbor believes that he's really Count Dracula, he's being honest with you when he tells you as much--"I'm really Count Dracula."

    But most people are not going to think that it's true that he's Count Dracula. So honesty and truth are different.
  • OpinionsMatter
    85

    You have good reasoning, this was definitely the kind of response I would have considered myself. Still, do we even have such thing as an absolute? Whether honesty or truth?
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k


    I'm a relativist in general, so . . .

    Also, re a term like "absolute honesty," I'd want to even clarify just what that's supposed to amount to.
  • OpinionsMatter
    85

    I would think it would be something that is honest to a point in which we could consider it a truth. Whether or not the truth in question is absolute, the honesty could become truth.
    Example:
    Sam: Hey, Buck! I believe that when I walk around without floating into space, it's called gravity.
    Buck: Oh, really, how can you prove that?
    Sam: I'm being honest, I swear! I can prove it by stating Newton's Law of Gravity.
    Buck: Oh yeah! Well than, it must be true.
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    Not trying to be a troll or to be specious, but if absolute truth does not exist, does that mean that your statement that 'Absolute truth is impossible' is also false? Is that a contradictory statement, or can it be possible that the statement is the only exception to the claim?
  • Joshs
    716
    No, it just means the claim that absolute truth is impossible is itself a contestable claim rather than unchallengeable.
  • James Statter
    54
    i would agree that absolute truth can rarely be found using discrete mathematics or boolean algebra but must be found using statistical data points, high sampling rates for something akin to a graph (2d, 3d, 4d). If you have ever seen the movie Charlie Brown (the new one) they have a scene where he is doing a book report on some famous book and he is using strings to connect and cross connect different ideas in his room. I believe absolute truth is rarely found unless you use complex sentences that have the qualities of complex mathematical equations. Some people claim eventually people will just communicate with algebra. That sounds depressing to me.
  • James Statter
    54


    1 + 1 = 2
    if x = 1
    and
    y = 1
    then
    1 + 1 = x + y


    i hope this helps
  • Banno
    5.6k
    Sometimes folk are just wrong.
  • Devans99
    2.1k
    i would agree that absolute truth can rarely be found using discrete mathematics or boolean algebraJames Statter

    If you have a proposition X and also propositions Y and ~Y then you can prove X is absolutely false if you can show:

    X AND Y = false
    X AND ~Y = false

    Then by exhaustion of the probability space, we can absolutely conclude that X is false. Note that we have not used any axioms to prove that X is false so it is 'absolute knowledge'.

    The actual process of proving X AND Y = false, X AND ~Y = false might introduce other axioms though so we might not end up with pure 'absolute knowledge'.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.