Posted by: Hope | October 2, 2007

Absolute Truth?

I got into my first debate as an Agnostic last night on the phone with a friend of mine. It was a very interesting subject and something that continuously came up was whether or not there is absolute truth. And quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how to answer that question. I assumed that there is not, but then he went on to say in several instances that it then does not matter what I believe, he believes or anyone believes because we all have our own truth and there is no absolute truth. So obviously, he believes there is an absolute truth (God, Christianity, etc.).

So I have a simple yet confusing (at least for me it is) question for all of you. Is there absolute truth? Explain as well as you can your answer if you could, I truly would like to know your thoughts!

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Responses

  1. There is an absolute truth in the sense that there is an objective reality. However, we can only form an imperfect image, or reflection, of that reality through our interaction with it an reasoning. With time and experience our picture of reality improves, becomes closer to the real reality. We presumably will never have a perfect picture of reality(it being infinite in time, space and complexity) but the fact that we can produce theories which enable us to interact with the real world, change it for our own purposes, etc., suggests that our working picture of reality can be pretty good.

    Where theist try to confuse the picture is by claiming that their is part of reality which is supernatural, a part we can never understand, etc. However, they claim to understand this supernatural reality – even claiming that they know what god is thinking, which to me is arrogant. It’s arrogant to say you know that part of reality cannot be understood and then extra arrogant to say you understand it.

  2. Absolutely correct!

    Absolute as a term has no meaning in any environment in which absolute does not exist.

    For example, absolute truth means that the facts about whatever is under examination is absolute fact.

    But, interpretation of that fact can never be absolute unless whatever is doing the interpretation is itself absolute, which is absolutely not possible, or it would not be necessary to be attempting an interpretation.

    So, the fact of that which is not absolute requires that should it search for truth, the truth when found will not be absolute.

    Q.E.D.

    Expunge the proliferation of the word absolute from the vocabulary of those who insist that they are absolutely correct.

  3. Hey. Check out the video I posted on my blog called “A man fell into a hole”.

    http://cassidyspencer.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/a-man-fell-into-a-hole/

    I really think you’ll appreciate it. Have a good day.

  4. Hey Ken,

    But at what point do you know who has the right truth? I don’t think there is really anyway to truly know.

  5. A theory really isn’t worth anything unless it is tested in practice – that’s when problems show up – where the theory doesn’t correspond with reality or reflect reality correctly. That’s when the theory has to be modified, updated, or thrown away and replaced with a better theory. Your theory is “right” until it shown to be wrong – but, of course, no theory is a complete and accurate reflection of reality. “Right” seems to imply some sort of moral judgement and I don’t think that is appropriate.

    So, of course there is a way to know if a theory is “correct” according to current knowledge and testing – but all knowledge is relative. Be very suspicious of anyone offering “absolute” truth – especially when it is divorced from any real testing.


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