Relative Truth

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relativetruth's picture
Relative Truth

Is that a oxymoron?

Surely truth is absolute!!

Mathematics will , of course, lead us to the truth!!!!

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LogicFTW's picture
Math is the language of

Math is the language of precision. I love math, but I do not think it will lead to any "truth" by it self. It can be a valuable tool however.

Grinseed's picture
"Mathematics will , of course

"Mathematics will , of course, lead us to the truth!!!!"

Ummm....maybe not.


Truth, in life, is always relative and subjective as far as I understand, but then I can't even be sure my view is even true. It works for me for the meantime.

boomer47's picture
@Relative Truth

@Relative Truth

Just in case you are not a troll

"Mathematics will , of course, lead us to the truth!!!! "

Be nice, but not quite right. .

There are no absolute truths in mathematics as far as I'm aware. ; we have invented the rules for maths.

Pretty sure the term' absolute' is not used in philosophy or Science.

As well as an atheist, I'm also I'm a skeptic.This means I question EVERYTHING . Have yet to discover an absolute truth

Of course many believers claim exclusive, absolute truths. Have not yet seen any proof of those. Besides, they do not survive the most rudimentary investigation.

relativetruth's picture
It seems, that you agree with

It seems, that you agree with me!!

relativetruth's picture
OK, what is truth?

OK, what is truth?

Is it results in a lab?

Is it a social media poll?

boomer47's picture
@Relative Truth.

@Relative Truth.

As you have made the claim, it's up to you to define your terms.

So, what does truth mean TO YOU? What is YOUR definition of absolute truth?

Addendum; seems not everyone agrees with you. I'd be thrilled if you can cite ONE post agreeing with you..

Nyarlathotep's picture
"Mathematics is the logic of

"Mathematics is the logic of certainty." - Joe Blitzstein

I'm always suspicious of people who put adjectives on the word "truth".

Cognostic's picture
@Relative Truth: The

@Relative Truth: The answers are actually out there. Why not read a book.

Sheldon's picture
Personally I never think of

Personally I never think of truth as an absolute, as this negates objectivity, rather I think of it as being supported by sufficient objective evidence. There is likely a tipping point where the amount of facts supporting a proposition make disbelieving it irrational, see creationists who deny evolution, or people who deny climate change, or flat-earthers. However even when a fact is demonstrably beyond any rational doubt, it must remain tentative in the light of new evidence. If a claim has no objective evidence to support it then believing it is true is absurd, as you would have to do this for all such claims, and could therefore believe literally anything. The likelihood objective facts will be substantially reversed is again directly proportional to amount of objective evidence that currently supports them.

Falsifiable claims can teach us nothing, by definition, since they cannot be falsified even if they are false. Again believing an unfalsifiable claim because it cannot be falsified, see Jo's endless errant nonsense on this one, is irrational. It also should be obvious you'd have no objective way to differentiate between all unfalsifiable claims, thus they would all immediately have to have equal credence, something theists who use argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacies of this sort never seem to want to acknowledge for fairly obvious reasons.

relativetruth's picture
In reply to Cognostic and

In reply to Cognostic and also cranky47.

So Cognostic, I am reading the link that you posted.
It is a long document!!

This was at the beginning
'It would be impossible to survey all there is to say about truth in any coherent way. Instead, this essay will concentrate on the main themes in the study of truth in the contemporary philosophical literature.'

So to cranky47.

What is my definition of truth?

Of course, I don't have one.

Noam Chomsky, I believe, wrote a paper about paradoxes in language.
in which he demonstrated that however simple the underlying rules,
You always have a paradox.

Start with basic arithmetic, you cannot describe the world with just addition and subtraction.
So you include multiplication and division.
This is just an extension of the theory (multiplication is addition repeated many times)

Chomsky showed that, even if, you have a system that completely incorporated ALL the other sub-systems.
Paradoxes would STILL exist.

These are linguistic paradoxes. Human traits.

What about science and the Universe??

don't get me started!!

Einsteins theories are they the truth or just a tiny fraction of it?

To me Truth is relative.

I rest my case.

citroen91's picture
The essay really deserves

The essay really deserves attention. As for me, only professionals can write such an essay, which I have been convinced of many times. Works turn out to be of high quality.

boomer47's picture
@Relative Truth.

@Relative Truth.

"What is my definition of truth?

Of course, I don't have one."

Really? kind of necessary for the argument you are trying to make. .

Perhaps toddle off and learn a bit about reasoned discourse and logic.. Until then, your posts are word salad. Not interested .

Cognostic's picture
@Cranky: "What is my

@Cranky: "What is my definition of truth? Of course, I don't have one."

"Really? kind of necessary for the argument you are trying to make."

DITTO!!! You got there first Cranky. WITF was the OP about?

relativetruth's picture


It is because that I don't have a definition that I am trying to raise the question.
And, I believe, using reasoned discourse and logic might get some feedback from more learned folks.

I am disappointed that you see my posts as 'word salad' but whey hey I have been through worse things in my life.

I don't think that the concept of absolute truth is viable.
That is why I introduced this post.

I was hoping for more interesting discussion on the topic rather than a personal attack on the presentations of my posts.

Cognostic's picture
@Relative Truth: When you

@Relative Truth: When you want to raise a question..... (HINT) .......

USE A QUESTION MARK.... (?) It just might help.

Obviously truth has been shown to be less than absolute. If you read the article that should be abundantly clear. Still, that may not negate something called absolute truth some day. We certainly have not seen it yet.

Surely truth is absolute!! (I suggest: Does anyone think truth is absolute?)

Mathematics will , of course, lead us to the truth!!!! (Can absolute truth be achieved or understood from mathematics?)

I kinda like the second question. To me mathematics is a closed system of rules applied to the outside environment. What is real in the world / universe or cosmos, does not always cooperate with mathematics.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Cognostic - To me mathematics

Cognostic - To me mathematics is a closed system of rules applied to the outside environment. What is real in the world / universe or cosmos, does not always cooperate with mathematics.

Oh that is well said. Mathematics is true, but only because as you put it, it's been set up that way in what you described as the "closed system". If you can accurately express your real world problems in that special system; then mathematics is super useful. If you can't express it in those terms; it is basically useless/unreliable, perhaps even dangerous.

boomer47's picture
@Relative Truth

@Relative Truth

"I was hoping for more interesting discussion on the topic rather than a personal attack on the presentations of my posts."

From what you actually wrote, I was unable to grasp your intentions. I reiterate; if you want to discuss anything, the first step is to define your terms. Especially when you want to discuss a concept as broad and as imprecise as 'truth' .

I have neither the obligation nor the interest in trying to work out what you mean. If you expect me to propose a few ideas for you, I'm afraid you're out of luck. It's up to you to make clear the ideas you want to discuss. You have not managed so far.

I wasn't trying to insult you when I suggested you learn the basics reasoned discussion and logic. The content of your posts truly suggest you're a bit lost.

Apologies to the forum if y'all think I'm being unkind.

relativetruth's picture
I joined this site to learn

I joined this site to learn other peoples opinions.

NOT, to preach my theories to the world!!!

Cognostic's picture
@Relative Truth: The writer

@Relative Truth: The writer is responsible for the writing. The reader is not responsible for trying to interpret what the writer meant and then get it right. It is the writer's responsibility to write clearly.

Whitefire13's picture
Personally, the word “truth”

Personally, the word “truth” was used as ownership of an idea or doctrine. JWs were/are fond of saying “We have the truth” or “Aren’t you grateful Jehovah has revealed the truth to us through his organization?” Blahhh, makes me shutter to write it.

I think there is “my truth”, eg. I witness a crime. I’ve processed it mentally and do my best to relay that information to the police. I’ve been “truthful” in that I haven’t lied - however, what if the police show me video of the incident that was captured? What if I didn’t include some important detail in my remembering the account? Or reported a different color (black instead of dark brown)?

To define truth is like trying to define all the various forms and types of “love”.

I try my best to keep out lies and falsehood - however I recognize that is an ongoing process given “more information”.

So, for myself - I rarely use the word “truth” or expect “truth” from others. I look for purposeful deception (whether it’s being given to me innocently or with an intention).

Nyarlathotep's picture
Relative Truth - To me Truth

Relative Truth - To me Truth is relative.

I have no idea what you mean by that. For starters: maybe you could explain what the capitalization of that word signifies?
/e: If you want to go further down the rabbit hole: consider A = A. Presumably you think that is true; what EXACTLY is that truth relative to?

relativetruth's picture
I am asking a question, in my

I am asking a question, in my way.

Does absolute truth exist?
whatever 'truth' or 'absolute' means.

I don't have the answers.
I just wondered if you'all had some thoughts on the matter?

In this post I used capital letters because it also happens to be my name on this site.

Maybe I am saying that I am a contradiction.
And is normal in the world!

Nyarlathotep's picture
Relative Truth - In this post

Relative Truth - In this post I used capital letters because it also happens to be my name on this site.

So in the sentence in question, are you using Truth as a regular noun or a proper noun? I don't mean to nitpick, but since I don't understand what you are saying, I feel I need to ask. For example: Christians often use the word Truth (capitalized) as an alias for Jesus. You sentence seems to be non-sense if it is a reference to yourself.

Nyarlathotep - ...consider A = A. Presumably you think that is true; what exactly is that truth relative to?

Cognostic's picture
@Relative Truth: I am

@Relative Truth: I am asking a question, in my way.

"And there is your problem. I see you went ahead after that and are now attempting to explain things in regular English. Perhaps next time we can begin with the regular stuff. "

Cognostic's picture
@Relative Truth: I think

@Relative Truth: I think you are going to find that most people on the site, most I am aware of, do not support the idea of an Absolute Truth. A truth dictated by a God like being. The Theist version of Truth.

Instead, let's expand your vocabulary a bit. "Justified true belief." That which is deemed to be true can be justified with facts, logic, reason, and examples. That , in no way, implies that it may not be overturned some day. I like to say "Belief is allocated to the degree of evidence provided." I would say something similar about "Truth or truth." It is all contingent on the degree of evidence.

David Killens's picture
I am attempting to help.

I am attempting to help.

Rrelative Truth, you started a thread to discuss something. But for us to properly deal with this topic, we need to know precisely what you are exploring.

It is like I create a thread and state "I am talking about kerboofuzzles". Then when asked what a kerboofuzzles is, I state I don't know. So how can a rational exchange of opinions happen when we have no idea what you are talking about? When one begins a conversation, all parties must agree on definitions, else everyone is talking about different subjects.

"Sin" to me means something different than what it means to a theist. If we can not arrive at common ground, then we are talking around each other and the conversation is going nowhere.

So please, I request that you offer what you understand right now, what "truth" means. It can be modified later as we explore this term. But right now I am standing on quicksand.

Alchemy123's picture
I just want to drop by to

I just want to drop by to tell you that I am a long time lurker, and this is finally the thread that inspired me to make an account. The poor guy just wanted to speculate about the concept of Truth and he was berated and attacked. I am just going to point out that, in my experience, Atheists, especially internet athiests are generally associated with a very very "neurotic" levels of resentment to people that want to speculate. I'm not making any claims about the nature of truth but Im pointing out that if you want to be taken more seriously, you can't just attack these people that want to talk. I want Atheism to develop more coherent arguments and the same with theism, yet you are demoralizing a guy that dosent even disagree with you.

Tin-Man's picture
@Alchemy Re: " can't

@Alchemy Re: " can't just attack these people that want to talk."

Howdy. Good of you to finally chime in on the threads. That being said, it does not seem to me anybody has been attacking Relative Truth. So far as I have seen, folks are simply asking for clarification as to the point he is trying to make or the question he is asking. At this point, even I have refrained from being my usual smart-ass self with RT, because he has not yet shown any reason for me to do so. Through no real fault of their own, some people simply have a hard time expressing themselves in written format. Doesn't mean they are trying to be a nuisance or intentionally difficult. Therefore, if that individual sincerely wants to have a productive discussion, then we must ask for clarification in areas that have not been made clear. That is NOT attacking. For the moment, it looks as though everybody is trying to give Relative Truth the benefit of the doubt until he shows himself to be insincere in his motives. Just an observation...

Nyarlathotep's picture
What does it tell us about

What does it tell us about the world we live in; where being skeptical of a vague claim is considered an attack?

Whitefire13's picture
@Alchemy...I can’t speak for

@Alchemy...I can’t speak for everyone, but I didn’t offer an attack. Rereading the posts - I didn’t read into the comments as “attacking”. Asking for clarification is not an attack.

Mind you, when I read the posts, I “hear” everyone’s talking voice as though they’ve huffed helium.


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