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53
23
Absolute Relative
Debate Score:76
Arguments:43
Total Votes:79
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 Absolute (28)
 
 Relative (14)

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NuclearFish(182) pic



The Truth: Relative or Absolute

Contemporary systems of thought have lead to an idea that the truth of this world is not set in stone. Some beliefs even subscribe to a sort of "consensus reality," which says that the reality of a society is only what is accepted by the majority. The idea is loosely touched in the George Orwell novel 1984. Which begs the question?: Must two plus two always make four, or can it be whatever it is decided to be? Is the world we live in filled with absolute truths and laws or are they far more relative than we instinctively believe?

Absolute

Side Score: 53
VS.

Relative

Side Score: 23
9 points

Truth is absolute. Our perception of what the truth is is relative.

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Side: Absolute
1 point

Damnit! I was gong to say that but longer and harder to follow ><

Side: Absolute
1 point

lol, "brevity is the soul of wit." ;)

__________________________

Side: Absolute
TheThinker(1712) Disputed
1 point

I may be getting the wrong idea about this debate so please correct me.

Anyway, i don't think the truth is always absolute.

Issac Newton's law of motions doesn't work at the speed of light.

And i believe my calculus 3 professor told my class that 0 x 0 is not always zero when it comes to matrices.

Side: Relative
Apollo(1608) Clarified
1 point

Well then Isaacs laws of motion are not absolute truths for all scenarios. Contradictory statements cannot both be true (in the same universe). Just like the first law of thermodynamics is not universally true.

Side: Absolute
3 points

One can say that two and two makes five, and if everyone in the world agrees with him- it's still wrong. How can the laws of science work if there are not certain "rules" and truths to the world which are absolutely applicable? If the truth is merely a peception of the viewer, then would I not be totally alone? Would the various simultaneous and conflicting "truths" cause a sort of "universe" crash? I say the truth is absolute. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but it's still a flower.

Side: Absolute
Thewayitis(4071) Disputed
2 points

You then believe that 2+2=4, I beg to differ. Any number including the number 1 can be broken down into smaller units. 1 apple is not 1, but represents the total sum of all protons, neutrons and electrons contained within the apple. Truth is always relative.

Side: Relative
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
2 points

Any number including the number 1 can be broken down into smaller units.

Yes, but if you break it down (the number 1 into 4 parts for example) you still get the same result if you add them together.

1 divided by 4 = .25

.25 x 4 = 1

1 + 1 = 2

.25(4) + .25(4) = 2

You can say 1 divided by 4 equals 4 parts, and 4 parts plus 4 parts equals 8 parts, but if all the parts do not change in dimension, then you will still be left with two wholes in the end or one whole that is twice as large as the one you started with.

This is like elementary level math, Thewayitis.

Side: Absolute
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
2 points

... unless number are defined by us. Which they are.

You can't argue the relativity of self-defined things, but the relativity of the perception of self-defined things.

Which means ultimately you can only argue consciousness itself is relative, which, okay but in that case you might as well lock yourself in a padded room and learn to enjoy turning feces into wall-art... no offense to your avatar.

Side: Absolute
BlackSheep(203) Disputed
1 point

You are playing with words. One apple is indeed one apple. It is of course able to be broken down but the parts are not apples, but parts of apples. It is not relative it is a matter of definition. And yes 2+2=4. If you wish to break the units down then that is a separate equation and has no bearing on the truth of the first.

Side: Absolute
2 points

At one point most people thought the word was flat. It wasn't.

At one time people thought illness was caused by the supernatural. It wasn't.

It doesn't matter how many people believe something, it has no bearing on whether it is true or not.

There three sides to every story. Your side, my side and then there is the truth.

Side: Absolute
2 points

The truth is absolute. We have an absolute God, so there is absolute truth.

Side: Absolute

I believe the truth is absolute.

In our world of mathematics 2+2=4

However, if we were to say 2+2 = 5, then the equation is not wrong when you make the value of 4 equal to 5. And the value of 5 equal to four.

I see no difference other than visual. But mental, the math is the same.

Side: Absolute
Thewayitis(4071) Disputed
1 point

Is 2 actually 2 or is it some number rounded to 2? Is this rounded number 2 plus a rounded number 2 equal to 4? Math is not absolute. 2 maybe close to 2, but 2.0000000000000000000000000000000001 is not 2. Everything is relative.

Side: Relative
NuclearFish(182) Disputed
1 point

Then you are no longer exploring the truth value of 2, but a number between 2 and 3 which is defined independently. Rounding changes the value of numbers and thus the value of the equation. When you change a variable, you change the answer, not the value of a different question.

Side: Absolute
1 point

the accepted truth is relative but their can only be one absolute answer wich is the actual truth. example could be you talk to a bunch of religious people and their truth is god exists. wether god exists or not is not actually up to them. he either exists or doesn't exist wether they believe or not, making the accepted truth relative to this group but the actual truth absolute.

Side: Absolute
1 point

Truth is what can be explained and proven. You cannot prove that God exists to everyone so that is a claim, a belief. You can prove that babies are formed from the fertilization of the egg by a sperm, making it a fact. Fact=Truth. Simple.

Side: Absolute

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, is absolutely relative. Wait..... ;)

Side: Absolute

ABSOLUTE....

Absolutely yes.

An accident happens at the corner down the street...ten people see it...but give ten different accounts of what happened. There is still one truth...only one way it happened. Truth is more than our subjective reporting of a car crash. It has objective existence. It has universal application.

And the car crash...the truth is still the truth even if no one knows it or admits it. It's still the truth even if no one agrees what it is. Still the truth if no one follows it.

How would a relativist view this? For him, no fact is in all times and places true. Because everyone has a different point of view we can't ever know what the truth is...and in the case of the car accident...what happened. Some people would even question whether the crash actually happened or not. Relativism does not hang together logically.

The thing is you can't in one breath say that nothing is universally true...and then say my view is universally true. You would be applying your view to everyone but yourself.

Can two people believe contradictory ethical views and both still be correct?

Can rape ever be ok?

Can murder ever be ok?

Can child abuse ever be ok?

Can slavery ever be ok?

Lets take slavery....To speak out against such an atrocity implies the existence of a moral standard to which all people should conform. Insert anything in place of slavery...rape, murder...etc?

Was it wrong that the Allied forces imposed their morality on Hitler who murdered over 6 million Jews? Is it wrong our government imposes morality on those sitting in prison? Was it wrong that the North stopped the South from imposing slavery on blacks? And if you saw someone being raped...would you stand by because you would not want to enforce your morality on someone else?

If moral relativism is true...and there is no one truth....there is no basis then for opposing genocide, racism, terrorism, torture.

Side: Absolute
4 points

if you talk to a group of ppl of different faiths, you soon find that 'truth' is relative. they all hold their fully unsubstantiated beliefs as the ultimate truth. fact is absolute. truth is whatever anyone says truth is.

Side: Relative
BlackSheep(203) Disputed
4 points

Just because they believe it is the truth does not make it so. What people claim is the truth is their claim not the truth.

Side: Absolute
nahga(81) Disputed
2 points

yea. i use to think that. then i looked up 'truth' in the dictionary. you should as well. I'm not saying that in a sardonic or assoholic way. seriously. look it up in more than one dictionary you'll find multiple definitions. some that clearly do not denote fact. then tell me what you think.

Side: Absolute
4 points

Truth is a human concept that insists it is possible to describe something in a way that isn't somehow untrue, in that all necessary information and events are communicated. However, what is necessary varies from person to person, and any perception always muddles some other angle of observation. Also, it is debatable whether one can talk without a motive to sway a description, be it for interesting conversation, political agenda, or as a method of distraction.

Side: Relative
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
2 points

Truth is a human concept

So is reality, so is physics, so is life. So is any concept of thought considering we are the only sentient life forms that we know of. But apart from being utterly arrogant, this way of thinking can get out of hand if you are not careful.

Epistemological debates (although childishly fun at times) can be reduced so far to the point to where we get into ideas like those presented by the Matrix movies, where we are essentially nothing but brains plugged into a computer program.

Personally, I prefer to speak in terms that are practical and useful.

insists it is possible to describe something in a way that isn't somehow untrue

Untruth is another human concept by the way.

And it is possible to test for something’s truth value, so what’s the problem?

However, what is necessary varies from person to person

Can you please give an example of how the ‘criterion of truth’ can vary from person to person? I’m having trouble understanding what you mean.

any perception always muddles some other angle of observation.

Variables are considered during observation, which would include observation at different angles. And, if two people observing the same thing (at the same angle) perceive it differently, it is an issue with their perceptions, not the thing being observed.

Also, it is debatable whether one can talk without a motive to sway a description, be it for interesting conversation, political agenda, or as a method of distraction.

Irrelevant.

Side: Absolute
Akulakhan(2973) Disputed
1 point

-Truth is a human concept

So is reality, so is physics, so is life. So is any concept of thought considering we are the only sentient life forms that we know of. But apart from being utterly arrogant, this way of thinking can get out of hand if you are not careful.

Well it's not arrogant, it's an observation. And what do you mean by out of hand? Oh no I'm going to blink away existence. And of course all things we understand are concepts, because they rely on us perceiving.

Epistemological debates (although childishly fun at times) can be reduced so far to the point to where we get into ideas like those presented by the Matrix movies, where we are essentially nothing but brains plugged into a computer program.

It's childish because you feel like you're above it? Who's being arrogant again?

Personally, I prefer to speak in terms that are practical and useful.

Ahahaaaa, yes, which is why you joined a debate website and partook in a debate about truth's relativity.

-insists it is possible to describe something in a way that isn't somehow untrue

Untruth is another human concept by the way.

Yup, it sure is...

And it is possible to test for something’s truth value, so what’s the problem?

There isn't a problem. I feel like you either misread or don't understand my post. To remove any ambiguity: truth is, as far as communicating it goes; explaining the contents of an event or object, or what have you, thorough enough to not exclude needed information, and define something as it was perceived genuinely.

-However, what is necessary varies from person to person

Can you please give an example of how the ‘criterion of truth’ can vary from person to person? I’m having trouble understanding what you mean.

No, no, that has nothing to do with this. What I feel may be necessary to make a note of, you may find excessive or useless. And that goes both ways.

-any perception always muddles some other angle of observation.

Variables are considered during observation, which would include observation at different angles. And, if two people observing the same thing (at the same angle) perceive it differently, it is an issue with their perceptions, not the thing being observed.

Variables are of course considered, but not all are apparent from one vantage point, and perhaps other vantage points find other variables unimportant. When two people perceive the same thing with changes as minimal as nuance, there is an ambiguity in truth. To assume that there must be a true object is just as bold as claiming that one's perception is more valid than another.

-Also, it is debatable whether one can talk without a motive to sway a description, be it for interesting conversation, political agenda, or as a method of distraction.

Irrelevant.

VERY relevant. When one describes something with an intended reaction or action, they are either intentionally or unintentionally skewing their own observation.

Side: Relative
BlackSheep(203) Disputed
1 point

I disagree. It is not about description, it is the concept. The earth has a shape. That shape changes over time but at any moment in time it has a shape that is it's true shape. It well be very well be true that we in most circumstances will never know the absolute truth, but it does exist.

Side: Absolute
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
1 point

All true I'd say. But you seem to be talking about perception of truth, not truth.

Even if say, every human on earth was wrong about what a tree in truth was, it would not change I think what a tree is. We'd just all be wrong.

If truth were subject to perception actual perceivable things around us would shift according to shared misconceptions or even individual misconceptions it would seem.

Side: Absolute
Akulakhan(2973) Disputed
1 point

You bring up a good point, but how sure can we be of the 'truthful object,' as we could call it? In fact, if there is any merit to quantum mechanics, our obervations affect the 'truthful object's' very existence. Which is to say, "shit!"

Side: Relative
2 points

"Relative truths are statements or propositions that are true only relative to some standard or convention or point-of-view. Usually the standard cited is the tenets of one's own culture. Everyone agrees that the truth or falsity of some statements is relative: That the fork is to the left of the spoon depends on where one stands." See link

Supporting Evidence: Definition of truth (www.wordiq.com)
Side: Relative
Conro(767) Disputed
2 points

He's not asking whether "relative truths" are relative or absolute; obviously relative truths are relative. He merely has asked whether or not there are such things as absolute truths, or is truth as we understand it relative. At first glance, the question is paradoxical in nature: how can we decide whether all truths are absolute or relative if we are being asked about absolutes/relativity by the very nature of the question? However, it depends on the definition of truth.

It really would only make sense to discuss truth in relation to its independence of our (read: human) observation. That is, if something exists and behaves independent of our observation, or something can be modeled by us but without including us in the model, then that model or observation could be said to represent an objective reality, and is therefore true. That is saying one is equal to one (in the absolute sense of one physical point equaling one physical point).

Side: Absolute
Thewayitis(4071) Disputed
2 points

I was merely pointing out that truth can be relative and so one can concluded that truth cannot be absolute. I am a firm believer that for every rule, there is an exception. So there must be an exception for absolute truths as well which would not make them absolute. The only truth that remains is relative.

Side: Relative
1 point

Under extreme circumstances I have to support the truth at least being in the realm of possibly absolute.........(i just googled it from a religious point of view)

However..............

It has to be mostly relative because one definition of the truth is the opposite of a lie

Lies vs truths go 3 levels deep

(id ego superego)

or mentally emotionally spiritually

Side: Relative
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
2 points

It has to be mostly relative because one definition of the truth is the opposite of a lie

This debate is not referring to that definition of truth. This debate refers to the definition of a ‘truth’ as what is known to be factual within reality (in a practical sense).

And even if we were to use the definition of ‘truth’ being ‘the opposite of a lie,’ this does not allow for a relative outlook on the matter, the truth is still the truth and the lie is still the lie regardless of perception.

Lies vs. truths go 3 levels deep

(id ego superego)

or mentally emotionally spiritually

This is far off topic. Truth and untruth are a dichotomy of the ‘truth value’ of a thing and determined by ‘criterion of truth.’ There is not a third level to it.

The id, ego, and super-ego have no effect on the truth value of a thing; they aren’t even topically related in any way.

Besides, you grossly misinterpreted Freud’s concept of what the id, ego, and super ego represent.

Id = Unconscious, instinctual urges, ‘pleasure’ principle.

Ego = Mediator between unconscious and conscious thought, rationalization.

Super-ego = Conscience, moral urges, ‘ideal’ principle.

Side: Absolute
1 point

well thankyou for responding-

and my thoughts are that sometimes a debate SHOULD sway off topic-

SMILES

Next the id ego super ego

Sometimes people start "arguments" over trivial matters when in fact there are under lying issues at hand-

that IS a truth-

The truth is multi layered

Side: Absolute