• curiousnewbie
    30
    Someone answered in another post 'No, it just means the claim that absolute truth is impossible is itself a contestable claim rather than unchallengeable' but I am struggling to see how that reasoning means that the claim is not contradictory.
    A statement is either true or false. If it is true that 'there is no objective truth' then that seems like a contradiction.
    If it is false that 'there is no objective truth' then that means objective truth exists, so the claim is not contradictory. So the only time that statement makes logical sense is when it is false, which is rather trivial. So what am I missing?
  • Bitter Crank
    7.8k
    Tell me how I can identify truth, subjective truth, and objective truth.

    Thank you,
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    It is true that you cannot determine objective truth, but your inability to determine it does not mean it can't exist. There is no contradiction there.
    But to state that there is no objective truth already presents a contradiction.
  • Echarmion
    379
    A statement is either true or false. If it is true that 'there is no objective truth' then that seems like a contradiction.curiousnewbie

    But what is the definition of truth? Saying "it's objectively true that there is no objective truth" is an obvious contradiction. But what if I define "truth" in this context as "reasonable assumption". Then I am just saying " I don't see how we can reasonably assume an objective truth", which isn't contradictory because it's reference is only myself.

    In the context of metaphysics, the object of the objective truth is hard to pin down.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    A statement is either true or false.curiousnewbie
    Somebody that didn't believe in objective truth would not believe that, and hence would be liberated from a potential contradiction.

    Of course they would also need to say "I don't believe in objective truth" rather than the "There is no objective truth" that you suggested, as the latter sounds like a statement that is intended to be taken as objective truth. But provided their position is the former and not the latter, there is no apparent contradiction.
  • Devans99
    1.9k
    A statement is either true or false. If it is true that 'there is no objective truth' then that seems like a contradiction.curiousnewbie

    I think it is the case that the statement 'there is no objective truth' is an abbreviation for one of the following:

    - 'There is no objective truth including this statement'. This is contradictory as you say.
    - 'There is no objective truth apart from this statement'. This is not contradictory.
  • leo
    364
    It is true that you cannot determine objective truth, but your inability to determine it does not mean it can't exist.curiousnewbie

    What do you call objective truth? Something that everyone can agree on?
    What do you call subjective truth? Something that someone believes?

    How could you know for sure that no one will ever disagree with an objective truth, rendering it not objective truth anymore? Or that someone won't replace one of their beliefs with another, rendering their subjective truth not truth anymore?

    It appears that truth has a temporary character rather than an absolute eternal one. Truth remains truth as long as something doesn't come and contradict it. And what I just said remains true as long as you don't find something that would somehow give you the knowledge that something would remain true forever, but then you could doubt the truth of whatever it is that gave you that knowledge.

    Truth seems like an ideal that we can never quite reach. It seems there is just temporary beliefs and agreements. "There is no objective truth" would remain true as long as you don't find an objective truth, which itself would remain true as long as it doesn't get contradicted, and so on and so forth.

    I think we want absolute truth because we want an absolute standard on which we can rely on no matter what, amidst the unpredictability of existence. But if that unpredictability can never be quite removed, maybe the better course of action is to accept it.
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    "Of course they would also need to say "I don't believe in objective truth" rather than the "There is no objective truth" "

    But that is just semantics really, to say you don't believe something to be true is interchangeable with thinking. And if a person added the caveat that it was just their opinion, that would suggest they have doubts about the veracity of their own statement, which makes it an unremarkable declaration.
  • Banno
    5.3k
    Drop objective truth, subjective truth and absolute truth. They are confusing impediments.

    Just work with truth.
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    'There is no objective truth apart from this statement'. This is not contradictory.Devans99

    I don't see how adding that caveat makes the statement less contradictory. For me to believe you I would have to believe that it is universally true that there is no objective truth, which is a truth. It still feels like a contradiction.
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    Somebody that didn't believe in objective truth would not believe that, and hence would be liberated from a potential contradictionandrewk

    If they didn't believe in objective truth then they could not possibly believe in the veracity of their own statement.
  • Banno
    5.3k
    "No statements are true except for this one" is not contradictory... just false.
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    "No statements are true except for this one" is not contradictory... just false.Banno

    So if is either false or contradictory then to state 'there is no objective truth'?
  • Banno
    5.3k
    Go back to @Bitter Crank's question - how do you identify an objective truth?
  • Tom Palmer
    4
    The term "objective truth" can be viewed as a tautology. If something really is true, it is by definition objective. Also, if something is subjective, it can't be true. You're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts. Say, a dictator of the country of Fargo says, "The people in my country are happy." Then he trots out several smiling families who present a picture of domestic bliss. Hidden away are those who live in grinding poverty and who can't even get clean water to drink. Then the U.S. worsens their misery by declaring an economic embargo on the country. The dictator will shout, "The U.S. is a fascist country that attacks its peaceable neighbors! That is a fact." Well, it's not a fact. In order for a country to be fascist it has to meet certain criteria that the U.S. doesn't meet. Then the U.S. responds by saying, "The dictator of the country of Fargo is the worst tyrant to appear in South America in a hundred years." That isn't objectively true also. There have been several worse dictators in South America during this time. They say the first casualty of war is the truth. The dictator keeps escalating the situation, and the U.S. finally decides to invade Fargo and put someone they like in power. The thing is, when we don't have rigorous standards of discourse and reasoning bad things can happen.
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    Go back to Bitter Crank's question - how do you identify an objective truth?Banno

    I have no idea how a person would determine objective truth, or truth if you will, but I can't deny that it exists just because I don't know how I would determine it.
  • SophistiCat
    763
    A statement is either true or false. If it is true that 'there is no objective truth' then that seems like a contradiction.curiousnewbie

    "No statements are true" would be a self-contradictory statement. "There is no objective truth" or "No statements are objectively true" is not obviously self-contradictory, because the subject is qualified with "objectively" - whatever that means.
  • Pattern-chaser
    1.3k
    ↪curiousnewbie
    Go back to Bitter Crank's question - how do you identify an objective truth?
    Banno

    This, I think, is the core of this issue. Like most English words, truth has several meanings. Worse, in the case of truth and other similar (general) terms, it's supposed to have several meanings, because it is sometimes useful to refer generally to any/all of the related meanings that truth can have. And, of the meanings that truth can carry, "objective truth" is one of the more difficult ones. It refers to a concept we are convinced exists, but we have no means to verify such a truth. So, despite its apparent clarity, it is merely confusing to us humans.

    Someone might advance the suggestion that there is no such thing as objective truth, meaning that we cannot recognise one?
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    "There is no objective truth" or "No statements are objectively true"SophistiCat

    So would that mean that the statement itself is not objectively true?
  • Banno
    5.3k
    Identify, not determine.
  • christian2017
    295


    I agree with this but i would like to add that for simple things like does the sky reflect the electro magnetic spectrum (a particular frequency) that usually appears to be blue to most people or that 1+1 = 2, those things in fact are objective truth. That being said when you get into things that have millions of data points such as a compact disc (cd) or large compilations of statistical data the objective truth is much harder to come by. Compact discs appear to do a good representation of a recorded song because they have what is called a high sampling rate and how this pertains to objective truth is that when you increase the amount of data points you come much closer to reaching objective truth.

    The greeks had what was called the greek method of exhaustion for solving calculus problems. In calculus you never actually in the purest form achieve your goal but you do come so close that it is deemed close enough. The greeks used the above method and just kept plugging away (it took alot of time) until they got close enough that they said they found the correct answer. You can watch a youtube on calculus if you would like.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    I'm someone who says there is no objective truth.

    Shouldn't it then be obvious to you that I'd not be saying that "There is no objective truth" is objectively true?
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    Shouldn't it then be obvious to you that I'd not be saying that "There is no objective truth" is objectively true?Terrapin Station

    So then why would you claim something you didn't believe?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k


    Which is another way of you saying that it's not obvious to you that I'm not saying that "There is no objective truth" is objectively true.

    So now we need to diagnose why that wouldn't be obvious to you.
  • curiousnewbie
    30

    Do you make a distinction between truth and objective truth, or do you treat them as one?
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k


    Sure--a distinction in that "objective" is adding a category-error adjective to the term "truth."
  • curiousnewbie
    30
    I'll leave this alone then, It seems as though it has just as much to do with semantics as it does logic.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k


    It has to do with ontology. You asked about making a distinction between terms, however.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    Anyway, you wound up skipping that it's worth diagnosing why it wouldn't be obvious to you that I'm not saying that "There is no objective truth" is objectively true.

    Maybe the point to the last question was that you treat the term "objective" as a null term, as if it doesn't signify anything and it's superfluous to even write it?
  • Harry Hindu
    2k
    If it is false that 'there is no objective truth' then that means objective truth exists, so the claim is not contradictory. So the only time that statement makes logical sense is when it is false, which is rather trivial. So what am I missing?curiousnewbie
    Any time someone makes a claim about some state-of-affairs that is the same for everyone - like the claim that there is no objective truth - then that is an objective truth claim. The claim defeats itself.

    If there is no objective truth, then there is no subjective truth, as the subjective is simply a skewed, or incomplete, view of the objective.

    Tell me how I can identify truth, subjective truth, and objective truth.Bitter Crank
    Subjective truth would be an eyewitness's testimony, where the objective truth would be all of the facts of the case (which includes eyewitness's testimony) that coincide and support each other and lead to one conclusion.
  • Terrapin Station
    9.7k
    Any time someone makes a claim about some state-of-affairs that is the same for everyone - like the claim that there is no objective truth - then that is an objective truth claim. The claim defeats itself.Harry Hindu

    What if the objective/subjective distinction isn't correlated to "the same/not the same for everyone"?
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