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Absolute Truth

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Why would he need to be absolutely sure?

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Are you refuting his statement about absolutes?

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That would be solipsism would it not?  That by thinking you know you exist.  Because if you didn't then what would be doing the thinking?

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No, solipsism is the belief that the only thing somebody can be sure of is that he or she exists, and that true knowledge of anything else is impossible… It’s making the case that nothing else can be proved but one’s own existence.

 

Skepticism on the other hand is being of the mind that something is not true until proof is posited. A skeptic may not believe in absolutes, or they may believe absolutes are possible is given enough evidence, but a skeptic doesn’t think all knowledge is impossible…

 

 

And by the way, the Bible calls for its followers to be skeptical, to test and prove things to be true….

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Have you ever been so certain of something that you were sure it was real, only to change your mind later?

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Absolutely, that’s why you test things to know if they are true or not… But this does not refute absolute truth. When you find a truth that has been empirically proven to be an absolute truth, and you deny it, then it’s you that has the problem, not the absolute…

 

2+2= 4… That is an absolute truth that you cannot disprove (just one of the many)…

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The problem is that nobody told the vast majority of the scientists this or even remotely showed this in any scientifically acceptable way. 

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So you’re saying that if the majority believes it to be true, then it’s true? Might makes right?

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How is this absolute truth.  You are very certain that you are driving your car but the amount of certainty that you have assigned to this action is based off of human senses which are extremely fallible.  Maybe you are dreaming that you are driving your car.  Maybe we are all computer simulations and we are nothing but artificially intelligent sub routines.  Of course I do not believe this however I cannot show this to be true or false.  Ultimately we are left with degrees of certainty.

He cannot be absolutely certain...but he would be fairly certain that you acted like a jerk.

lol.  This is absurd.  True and false tests are not tests of absolute truth and absolute untruths. 

I see you that you do not understand the impossibility of showing that something is absolutely true.  We accept things as true but we cannot show them to be 100% true.  It is not that I do not accept absolute truth its that I cannot fathom any experiment that shows absolute truth and neither can you.

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Actually A.Sphere, the question would be how is this not absolute truth. You see making an experiment to find absolute truth is just about the easiest experiment you can do. There are hundreds of ways to prove absolute truth.

 

Stab yourself in the arm. Are you going to argue that you did not absolutely stab yourself in the arm? If you did actually stab yourself in the arm, and then you denied that you did, then you would be absolutely wrong.

 

You are attaching certainty to the wrong things. I can be almost certain that a car will perform the way I want it to, but something could go wrong. But I can be absolutely sure that I started the cars engine after I turned the key, and the engine turned over.

 

You see, World War 2 absolutely happened, and there is absolutely no arguing that. Because it absolutely is an absolute truth. No one has to have a level of certainty about those who actually experienced the war. Both of my Grandfathers know that they were absolutely involved, and experienced the war.

 

There truly is no point in arguing that absolute truth does not exist. Because it is an absolute fact that absolute truth exist.

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Actually A.Sphere, the question would be how is this not absolute truth.  You see making an experiment to find absolute truth is just about the easiest experiment you can do.  There are hundreds of ways to prove absolute truth.

 

Stab yourself in the arm.  Are you going to argue that you did not absolutely stab yourself in the arm?  If you did actually stab yourself in the arm, and then you denied that you did, then you would be absolutely wrong.

 

You are attaching certainty to the wrong things.  I can be almost certain that a car will perform the way I want it to, but something could go wrong.  But I can be absolutely sure that I started the cars engine after I turned the key, and the engine turned over.

 

You see, World War 2 absolutely happened, and there is absolutely no arguing that.  Because it absolutely is an absolute truth.  No one has to have a level of certainty about those who actually experienced the war.  Both of my Grandfathers know that they were absolutely involved, and experienced the war.

 

There truly is no point in arguing that absolute truth does not exist.  Because it is an absolute fact that absolute truth exist.

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Absolutely!

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You didn't answer my question - why?

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Looks like he absolutely answered it to me (You may not have liked the answer).

 

Oh-and-by-the-way.... I answered it as well :lol:

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Looks like he absolutely answered it to me (You may not have liked the answer).

 

Oh-and-by-the-way.... I answered it as well  :lol:

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A.Sphere said:

 

I see you that you do not understand the impossibility of showing that something is absolutely true. 

You said:

 

Are you absolutely sure?

I said:

 

Why would he need to be absolutely sure?

Adam777 said:

 

>a whole bunch of stuff about sophism, which means an intentionally misleading and false argument<

I said:

 

You didn't answer my question - why?

I see why you may have misunderstood that to mean that I was wondering why Adam777 didn't answer my question (which by the way he didn't, but I sort of already know why, so that wasn't what I was wondering). I was trying to rephrase my original question, which was, "Why does A.Sphere have to be absolutely certain about anything? Why does anyone, for that matter? Why is this absolute certainty so important to you and Adam777?"

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Folks on both sides are a little hit-and-miss on one point. Absolute truth and absolute certainty are not the same thing. There's been some confusion.

 

I'd point out that even positing a "Matrix" scenario is not actually in opposition to absolute truth existing; it actually assumes it. It says that although you'll fall for the illusion, you are actually ...xyz. That actuality is an absolute truth.

 

Gotta watch things mighty close when they're polywrong.

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That would be solipsism would it not?  That by thinking you know you exist.  Because if you didn't then what would be doing the thinking?

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No I definitely used the right word.

 

Sophism - a specious argument for displaying ingenuity in reasoning or for deceiving someone.

 

This is at the heart of trying to question absolutes when they are self-evident and yes I agree with you we do have the capacity to be mistaken about what is true. That is why we should have humility and brokenness because not only are we finite but we're corrupt.

 

The only hope we have to be transformed is by the blood of Jesus. If not, solipsism is the runner up and a good case of nihilism is the logical conclusion.

 

I'll keep my trust in Jesus, thanks. There's plenty of grace for everyone but you have to receive it like good nourishment and not just play with it like a child that doesn't want to eat his vegies.

 

Adam

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You didn't answer my question - why?

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Judy, you ask bad questions sometimes. I'm not avoiding it but your question kind of works like this.

 

Adam - Judy, there is a car on the road, do you see it?

 

Judy - Why do I have to see it?

 

:lol:

 

I like what CTD added and we should all take note. There is a difference between absolute truth and absolute certainty.

 

However, the primary question isn't about why should we be sure but can we be sure?

 

Philosophically, the idea that truth must be tested and verified is scientific suicide because the idea that; truth must be able to be tested and verified, is itself a truth that can't be tested or verified.

 

The idea here really comes back to, are there such things as self-evident truths?

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A.Sphere said:

I see why you may have misunderstood that to mean that I was wondering why Adam777 didn't answer my question (which by the way he didn't, but I sort of already know why, so that wasn't what I was wondering).  I was trying to rephrase my original question, which was, "Why does A.Sphere have to be absolutely certain about anything?  Why does anyone, for that matter?  Why is this absolute certainty so important to you and Adam777?"

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On the contrary, in order to say absolute truth doesn’t exist is making just as “Absolute” a statement. And by A.Shpere saying:

impossibility of showing that something is absolutely true.

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he made an absolute statement.

 

Yes, he was making an absolute statement, and therefore needs to either stand by it, or see the fallacy in it.

 

And absolutes do exist; you and I both know it, therefore correcting a mistake should be important to everyone.

 

We both answered your question, no misunderstandings...Do you see where you were mistaken?

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Well. I'm not absolutely sure I should keep the thread open. LOL. It's getting very ridiculous.

 

Those who believe there are no absolutes, will continue because that is the only way their reality can work.

 

So the thead is going to become the never ending thread. I'll let it continue under one condition. No flame wars.

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I suppose you may be absolutely correct… When you can’t get a relativist to answer a simple question like “isn’t 2+2=4 absolutely correct”? Then one must move on to those who aren’t hiding from that absolute truth…

 

 

No "Flame" just fact :(

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Judy,

 

Here are great questions, that need careful consideration:

 

I was trying to rephrase my original question, which was, "Why does A.Sphere have to be absolutely certain about anything? Why does anyone, for that matter?

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First, you don't have to be certain about anything. This is the beauty of your freewill. You can doubt everything. In fact, you can be so goofed up in your philosophy that you can be absolutely certain that you can doubt everything.

 

However, if someone is speaking like this above. Is that an example of true reason or is it more correctly illogical?

 

See, nobody is going to make anyone logically consistent. You can fall prey to all kinds of mental tricks if you aren't aware of the implications as you're doing it. This is the ugliness of deception and Christians, with unrenewed minds, aren't immune to this either.

 

There are people who pride themselves in being rational and reasonable and are neither, like Richard Dawkins. Even some more educated atheists find his arguments embarrassing and with good cause.

 

Why is this absolute certainty so important to you and Adam777?"

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Here is why this discussion is so important:

 

Judy, ever since you and I have been engaging in this debate I've been introduced to the more unusual variety of atheist/agnostic. People who were pastors, elders, and others who claimed to once be Christians. By name this would include:

 

Michael Shermer

Dan Barker

Julia Sweeney

 

...and there are a bunch of people at freeratio.org that have similar stories, including you.

 

What do I recognize that these people were convinced of? Well, it's interesting really, because what they were convinced of didn't have to do so much with hard facts or a superior belief system, they were convinced that true integrity meant doubting everything.

 

How do I know this is so?...

 

Well, one short glance at a cross-section of atheists shows quickly that you don't agree on much of anything because there is no foundation just doubt. Except, bashing on Christianity and lifting up Darwin. Even these concepts can be doubted because doubt is the ruler over the skeptic.

 

I believe skepticism is a valuable tool but it makes a lousy foundation. De_skudd's signature sums up the skeptics dilemma:

 

"If we want to be intellectually honest skeptics, we must be as skeptical about our skepticism as we are about our knowledge."

 

Many ex-doubters make great Christians not because they're trophies, but because their experience with unbridled doubt makes them hold on to Jesus tight with both arms. We have a living breathing example right here in de_skudd.

 

Others that come to mind, are individuals who's thoughts that I've been showcasing: William Lane Craig, Alister McGrath, G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis aren't just 'trophies for the cause' but constitute some of the most steadfast and logical variety of believer because they know exactly what it feels like to be falling down the endless black-hole of doubt and they were saved from it.

 

On the other hand, when I consider the odd perspective of atheists who were once Christians it is self-evident that consistency and efforts to truly represent what they oppose are far from a prerequisite. In fact if they can showcase the most unusual beliefs as mainstream Christianity, they will. Sometimes I think the speech of high profile atheists isn't as concerned with getting converts as they are with strengthening the faith of people who are already atheists.

 

So there is a high level of contradiction at the base of atheism/agnosticism. I know that not all Christians are logically consistent but here is the rub:

 

A Christian who is Illogical is so on peripheral issues. Their core is sound and as long as they rely on God's Word and the Blood of Christ, they have the foundation with which to correct bad thinking which also results in right behavior. Your beliefs govern who you are. This is why we're told to renew our minds. The Christians who are week or maybe Christians in name only are that way because they ignore the concept of having their minds renewed and instead just try to 'act right'.

 

On the other hand, the foundation of atheism/agnosticism is no foundation. contradiction #1. The rule of the day is; be skeptical about everything, except skepticism. contradiction #2. The only thing we're sure about, is we can't be sure. contradiction #3. and on and on...

 

These aren't peripheral to the mind of the eternal skeptic, it's the staple of the day. The Bible warns us to look out for this...

 

8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

If the skeptic's philosophy doesn't lay bare under the light of this scripture, I don't know what does.

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What do I recognize that these people were convinced of? Well, it's interesting really, because what they were convinced of didn't have to do so much with hard facts or a superior belief system, they were convinced that true integrity meant doubting everything.

 

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Here is the core of your problem, in bold print.

 

You are utterly convinced of the superiority of your beliefs, not just in relationship to other world religions, but even in relationship with other Christians who may see things differently than you do. And why wouldn't they see things differently? This "absolute" truth of yours is anything but. It's based on a baseless presupposition - as Ravi Zacharias and others put it "God exists - agreed?"

 

I don't agree. Why should I?

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Here is the core of your problem, in bold print.

 

You are utterly convinced of the superiority of your beliefs,

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Who isn't? There's not much point in believing something inferior.

 

not just in relationship to other world religions, but even in relationship with other Christians who may see things differently than you do.  And why wouldn't they see things differently?  This "absolute" truth of yours is anything but.  It's based on a baseless presupposition - as Ravi Zacharias and others put it "God exists - agreed?"

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Valid conclusions are not baseless presuppositions. Would you like some links?

 

I don't agree. Why should I?

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If there's truth, you should agree therewith to the best of your ability. Also self-evident. (And if it weren't, there'd be no motive for rejecting the self-evident fact that there is truth.)

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Who isn't? There's not much point in believing something inferior.

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Exactly! All belief systems are human inventions. In the end, the human being who believes something is the final judge of whether or not that belief is true.

 

This is especially true of religious beliefs, which cannot be empirically and independently tested.

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All belief systems are human inventions.

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Is this belief a human invention or is this one the exception?

 

Posted Image

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But you said you are absolutely sure about what you believe in.  So there is no room for doubt whatsoever.

 

I'm sure a devout Jew or Muslim could assert the same thing.

 

And yet the things the three of you believe in so absolutely are not the same thing.

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Ah but, Judy, you're missing a valuable component to this. My certainty doesn't shut the discussion off, it actually boldens me to discuss these matters, to turn them over in my mind, to keep seeking to think God's thoughts after Him.

 

When I say I'm certain about something, it doesn't place it in a store house of safety away from scrutiny, it actually gives me the desire to defend and discuss these self-evident truths.

 

3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

This is evidenced by the fact that us Christians who have true mature confidence in God's Word love to talk about it and contend for it because it truly has the power to transform people.

 

I haven't put any belief of mine off limits to scrutiny. I welcome it, as long as the questions are rational and sound.

 

Adam

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I have been reluctant to participate in this thread. I think I have a high tolerance for absurdity, but I know it is finite.

 

However, I am usually up for fun, and I think a some reductio ad absurdum may be just the ticket. I mean, look at the head start! Arguably it may be more accurate to say increasio ad absurdum in this case.

 

To say one cannot know anything at all is self-contradictory as a sentence, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

 

How can one make the statement in the first place without knowing the meaning of the words that make it up?

 

How can one know the meaning of the words without knowing one has encountered them?

 

How can one know one has encountered the words without knowing one exists and the words exist?

 

How can one know the meaning of words without knowing one has the capacity to learn.

 

How can one have the capacity to learn without having the capacity to know what one has learned?

 

This is a tragically, viciously, self-defeating proposal. It not only defeats itself quite handily, it absolutely ensures anyone who adopts it must defeat themselves. Considering that everyone who promotes it always claims to pursue knowledge, it's the very worst tool they could include in their kit. "I'm going to pursue something I believe I can never attain." It doesn't get any more self-defeating than that.

 

The sheer hypocrisy of sharing such a premise, let alone promoting it, is monumental. What are you sharing? By what means are you sharing it? With whom are you sharing it? If you can't answer any of these questions, you certainly cannot explain why you are sharing it.

 

If one knows nothing, one has no business asserting, reasoning, or concluding. One can only assume, and all such assumptions must be utterly baseless. Therefore it is safe to assume these assumptions will be false.

 

Now I expect some will claim they never said one cannot know anything at all. I may be even accused of attacking a straw man. I did not invent this. It has been claimed by others. But it doesn't matter.

 

We have seen it claimed in this thread that one cannot know anything absolutely, and they may say this differs from claiming we cannot know anything at all. But how can they be absolutely certain the meanings differ?

 

You see how self-defeating this stuff is? You have to know words, syntax, grammer; you have to know what a straw man is if you are to defend the premise from such ploys. Fortunately there's not much call. The whole point of constructing a straw man is to build a weaker version and then defeat it. Your case defeats itself in so many ways it's beyond 'not funny' and cycled back around to funny! That's an impressive feat, BTW.

 

There's another issue: we know things our whole life long until we encounter someone who hypocritically tells us we cannot know. Guess what? They have the burden of proof. They are making an outlandish claim, and if they believe it to be true, they had no business sharing it, and by their own rule they may not construct any argument or present any evidence. It is impossible for them to meet the burden of proof honestly.

 

So we have one more self-defeating aspect.

 

Also implicit in any argument they choose to disingenuously present is the assumption that people share a common state and common experiences. The sad joke of an idea does not only lack merit, it has negative merit. An indescribably large surplus of negative merit, bordering on infinite, I must say. Can any line be drawn between accepting the proposal of no truth and intellectual suicide?

 

(Edited a verb tense.)

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The truth as I, a human like you, sees it.

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Well, I pray that the truth you see, someday lines up with reality. :(

 

I'm not being snarky, the fact is I continue to pray this for myself. I am in the process of having my mind renewed. I acknowledge that it is not a done deal yet.

 

However, mind renewal must start in that which is actually true. Post-modern relativism has no hope of giving someone truth because it doesn't start with truth but the falsehood that there is no absolute truth or at least the falsehood that truth is unknowable.

 

Going at life like this is like standing in a bucket and trying to lift yourself up by that handle.

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CTD,

 

Did you just write that yourself? That was a marvelous exposition. Thank you.

 

Adam

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CTD,

 

Did you just write that yourself? That was a marvelous exposition. Thank you.

 

Adam

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Thanks, man.

 

Looking back over things, I was getting a little bummed because I could've done some things better. I guess it'll do.

 

I don't think anyone who realized up front just how self-defeating this stuff is would be likely to buy into it. I really should've stressed the burden of proof a little more, and maybe had a little less fun. And other stuff.

 

...but

it's too late/I'm too lazy/it does the job

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I didn't say that. Please don't put words in my mouth.

 

God is omniscient. I put my trust in Him.

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Her logic follows from a couple of posts back where she effectively asserted omniscience-or-nothing; there are no subsets in the realm of knowledge.

 

here, with timi-saving bold

The truth as I, a human like you, sees it.

 

I would wager to say that, despite your protest to the contrary, you're not 100% absolutely sure about your beliefs either.  All we can be, with our limited human intellect, is pretty much completely sure.  Otherwise, you and I would have to claim a knowledge of everything!  I certainly don't claim that knowledge, because to do so would be to claim that I am omniscient.  Are you omniscient?

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A notable assertion because it is so far away at the other end of the spectrum from self-evident. I'm guessing until it's debunked she'll claim the right to put the term 'omniscient' in your mouth. Handy way to dodge the burden of proof, if it were valid.

 

Edit: Apologies for using the term 'logic' so loosely. It's still permissible, although I hope to maintain a good reputation for precise employment of terms and don't intend to stretch them so much in the future.

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I really think this issue of truth is the only logical starting point for theological discussion with people who don't trust scripture because they have been convinced of skepticism as the 'noble' way.

 

There's a guy called JohnnySkeptic, who has his own web-site showing all the "contradictions" in the Bible and all the historical "evidence" "proving" that Jesus either wasn't who the Bible said He was or that He didn't exist at all.

 

Every time I've talked to him, he was hot and anxious to get me to rebut his claims and his "evidences".

 

I've told him several times that I would be glad to but I want to examine his epistemology first. I wanted to examine his methods for determining truth. There was a thread that was quite humorous, in a way, because for five pages I had a bunch of atheists and agnostics wondering why it was so important for me to know how they approach truth. They dodged every attempt I made to get to the heart of how they approach knowing things.

 

The thread was ultimately dismantled because, no one would answer my questions and it turned into a big derail. I think they dismantled it so people couldn't look at the carnage as a whole.

 

I'm sure that's why they dismantled that thread. We're a sneaky bunch over there, and our moderators have to use these sorts of tactics to overcome your brilliant debating techniques. :(

 

I have since offered such titles to start thread with JohnnySkeptic like:

 

"Agnostic Epistemology" (How's that for an oxymoron  :( )

 

...and he's refused. He doesn't want to expose his trade secrets for how he dupes people with unbridled doubt.

 

I know we use some sarcasm here but this is really serious stuff. This faulty reasoning is destroying entire groups of people. If this is how it must be exposed so be it. I can't help it if absurd things look truly absurd after close examination.

 

Adam

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I'm very curious to know what you think Agnostic or Atheist Epistemology consists of. Or are you trying to make a point about how we don't even have an epistemology?

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