• Cidat
    84
    For example, does anyone continuously hold an absolute truth for how to speak? Does anyone continuously hold an absolute truth for never robbing a bank? Etc.

  • Cheshire
    911
    Yes, probably a lot of people. But, the nature of truth in an absolutist sense means we don't always know who or when it's perfectly true.
  • Deleted User
    0
    Absolute, objective, means separated, indipendent, autonomous. How can it be autonomous, since, if we try to consider reality, objectivity, we can’t ignore, among the things we perceive as real, the fact that anything we think about is dependent from our brain?
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Trouble is that folk often think along these lines and conclude that no one had have any absolute, objective understanding of reality. They drop the modifiers.

    And its the modifiers that cause the problem.

    Do you know what language this post uses? Of course you do, It's English.

    Do you know absolutely and objectively what language this post uses? What changed when you added those two words? The post is still in English, and you are certain of that because you understand what is written here. Something extraordinary would have gone wrong if I were to insist that this post is in French.

    So a simple solution is to leave out "absolute, objective".

    But you seem to want something else, since you ask how to ensure you never rob a bank. The obvious way to do that is by never robbing a bank. Does that help?
  • Tom Storm
    2k
    For example, does anyone continuously hold a truth for how to speak? Does anyone continuously hold a truth for how they can ensure they never rob a bank? Etc.Cidat

    It might help if you expand on your idea and contextualize it so we can understand better what you are asking. Who is anyone? Us on the forum, or philosophers?

    :wink:
  • Cidat
    84
    Many probably have landed at absolute truths, but they probably either cannot communicate them or separate them from non-absolutely-true beliefs.
  • Cheshire
    911
    ↪Cheshire Many probably have landed at absolute truths, but they probably either cannot communicate them or separate them from non-absolutely-true beliefs.Cidat
    I would tend to agree. As Banno demonstrated there is nothing preventing us from seeing and uttering true statements. However, as theories get more complex and rely on increasing amounts of evidence the chance of error increases leading to what some call approximations to absolute truth. As a result we can hold truth as tentatively true awaiting either increasing confidence as they pass our tests or their falsification and replacement with better approximations.

    Regarding the idea of communication I tend to deviate from the belief their is some perfect way to speak. Even if I did produce the perfectly objective phrasing there is no guarantee it will be understood exactly as I meant it. So, the world is real and we have access to it, but in the process plenty of mistakes will be made and others will be uncovered. It seems like our job is to decide the degree of skepticism this rationally implies. Interesting topic.
  • Cheshire
    911
    So a simple solution is to leave out "absolute, objective".Banno
    Unless you are discussing the LNC. As a necessary truth is certainly absolute and objective; no?
  • 180 Proof
    5.7k
    H. sapiens, like all mammals, are born sufferers. Sooner or later every action produces or reduces suffering. Being is gratuitous; beings are gratuitous; therefore, all suffering is fundamentally gratuitous. And yet: To be grateful or not to be grateful? – that is the moment-to-moment question. And also this: What kind of ancestor are you – one who net produces or reduces foreseeable (therefore, preventable) suffering for generations of descendents?

    "Absolute truth"? We're not "absolute" entities, so that qualifer is irrelevant. Does this reflect the Human condition, our ineluctable facticity? Yes, without a doubt.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    ...a necessary truth is certainly absolute and objective; no?Cheshire

    What is added to necessity by saying it is absolute?

    What does it mean to say a logical truth is objective?
  • Cheshire
    911
    You really want to give me two targets?

    What is added to necessity by saying it is absolute?Banno
    Nothing it's redundant if anything. I think we could switch the two and still convey the same point. Which is basically that the option of denying the truth of the matter is irrational. But, the point of raising it is to highlight that there are in fact reasonable ways to qualify a truth and yet the way it's done seems arbitrary.

    Simply put, it appears arguing for the validity of necessity for 15 pages could be hypocritical to dismissing the term "absolute" at a glance.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Simply put, it appears arguing for the validity of necessity for 15 pages could be hypocritical to dismissing the term "absolute" at a glance.Cheshire

    But necessary has a clear use, and a branch of logic to go with it.

    Absolute, at best is a philosophical anachronism.

    And most assuredly, they are not the same.

    You might not want to toss the word "hypocritical" around with such abandon.
  • Cheshire
    911
    You might not want to toss the word "hypocritical" around with such abandon.Banno
    Noted, it was intended to highlight perspective not establish a state of affairs. I'm not threaten by the term, so I get a little casual with it.
    And most assuredly, they are not the same.Banno
    I agree. But, I don't think this means absolute doesn't carry any weight at all. If an absolute truth appeared in conflict with a statement I would automatically defer to the absolute truth. Or is that just restating the meaning of necessary. Not trying to evade the point.
  • T Clark
    6.4k
    Does anyone have any absolute, objective understanding of reality?Cidat

    Not to be too cute, but if I refute the existence of an absolute, objective reality, does that mean my understanding is absolute and objective?
  • Apollodorus
    2.5k


    I think it depends on what you mean by "truth". Truth tends to change if the relation between the factors that constitute the truth change.

    For example, the truth of not robbing a bank may be valid today. But tomorrow, if you desperately need the money, then tomorrow's truth may override today's. And if the day after tomorrow you find yourself in jail, then that truth may override tomorrow's truth, and so on.

    I think something similar applies to our understanding of objective reality.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    How does an absolute truth differ from a plain ordinary truth?
  • Banno
    14.3k
    the truth of not robbing a bank may be valid today.Apollodorus

    Truth usually ranges over proposition. Odd to have it range over actions. We usually speak of right or wrong, rathe than true of false, actions.
  • Cheshire
    911
    Absolute incorporates a natural tendency to want to qualify truth, because the lack of a perfect source of knowledge implies things are known to varying levels of certainty in a collective sense.
    ↪Cheshire How does an absolute truth differ from a plain ordinary truth?Banno

    Whatever the most extreme level of certainty would be; denotes absolute certainty or truth. Whether the truth of the matter is critical to support a greater construction of implications determines whether it is necessary. So, unnecessary but equally true.
  • Apollodorus
    2.5k
    We usually speak of right or wrong, rathe than true of false, actions.Banno

    Correct. But that would be in terms of moral value. Whereas the truth of an action would refer to the action taking place. That's why I said it depends on what @Cidat means by "truth".
  • Apollodorus
    2.5k


    Quite possibly, "absolute truth" is a "continuously held truth", i.e. a truth that is always held to be a truth.

    The question is, how long do we need to hold that truth for it to become "absolute"?
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Whatever the most extreme level of certainty would be; denotes absolute certainty or truth. Whether the truth of the matter is critical to support a greater construction of implications determines whether it is necessary. So, unnecessary but equally true.Cheshire

    Certainty, or truth? They are not the same. To be absolutely certain is presumably to be without doubt, sure.

    How does being absolutely true differ from just being true? Truth admits of degrees?
  • Cheshire
    911
    Certainty, or truth? They are not the same. To be absolutely certain is presumably to be without doubt, sure.

    How does being absolutely true differ from just being true? Truth admits of degrees?
    Banno

    Wouldn't an absolute truth be the subject of absolute certainty? One can't be certain of __________. So, the absolute nature extends to the subject. But, rightly means what you say it does.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Quite possibly, "absolute truth" is a "continuously held truth", i.e. a truth that is always held to be a truth.Apollodorus

    One can hold something to be true that is not true - that is, one can be wrong.

    It's probably better to keep "belief" for things we think are true, and "true" for things that are true whether we believe them or not.

    So you are setting "absolute truth" up to mean things that are true at every given time, as opposed to things that are true only at given times, and things that are true by necessity?
  • Banno
    14.3k
    Wouldn't an absolute truth be the subject of absolute certainty?Cheshire

    So you think something could not be absolutely true and yet unknown to us? We believe every absolute truth?
  • Cheshire
    911
    So you think something could not be absolutely true and yet unknown to us? We believe every absolute truth?Banno
    Last bit first.
    We maintain that belief in an absolute truth, should one be discovered, can not be rationally questionable. I believe there are unknown statements that could potentially be absolute truths. I believe there are statements we say we know that fall short of being absolute truths for one reason or another. It's mostly just a metaphysical furniture sale.
  • T Clark
    6.4k
    How does an absolute truth differ from a plain ordinary truth?Banno

    I think an absolute truth is a proposition that is true in all possible circumstances, for all possible observers, in all possible times and locations, really, truly, we really really mean it.
  • Janus
    10.7k
    Does anyone have any absolute, objective understanding of reality?

    No, absolutely not...objectively speaking...
  • Pop
    1.4k
    Does anyone have any absolute, objective understanding of reality?

    We can be certain there is no certainty! :lol:

    Given everything is relative, and relational, in an ongoing evolutionary process. Even mathematics incurs Gödel's incompleteness.
  • Banno
    14.3k
    I think an absolute truth is a proposition that is true in all possible circumstances, for all possible observers, in all possible times and locations, really, truly, we really really mean it.T Clark

    A necessary truth, then.
  • Apollodorus
    2.5k
    So you are setting "absolute truth" up to mean things that are true at every given time, as opposed to things that are true only at given times, and things that are true by necessity?Banno

    Well, when we say "absolute" it presumably means more complete or less conditional.

    So, if you were to take a hierarchy of truths that are less and less conditional and more and more complete in ascending order, then the "absolute" truth would be at the top.

    But then the title also says "absolute, objective understanding of reality".

    It seems a bit of a mystery to be honest. Unless he/she means the truth we perceive or hold after having a certain unspecified quantity of Absolute Vodka .... :smile:
  • Banno
    14.3k
    We maintain that belief in an absolute truth, should one be discovered, can not be rationally questionable. I believe there are unknown statements that could potentially be absolute truths. I believe there are statements we say we know that fall short of being absolute truths for one reason or another. It's mostly just a metaphysical furniture sale.Cheshire

    Sounds like an affirmation of faith.

    I still don't see a difference between an absolute truth and a plain ordinary truth, except that you don't doubt absolute truths; but thats a curious piece of biography, not a conceptual distinction.
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