Debate:Absolute truth

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This came to me as a kind of tangent on my fundamentalism debate. It was correctly pointed out that starting out by declaring that "we're right and fundies are just stupid and wrong" is not a good way of trying to communicate with them. An important component of any view of "right and wrong" is whether or not absolute truth exists. So, since being demoted to sysop has inspired me to spam you all with debates (I'll probably start a couple more soon), here's another one.

Ok, so a definition of what "absolute truth" and/or "absolute fact" mean has been requested. Having to define either of these seems odd to me, but I'll try with an example.

Many of the honest users of Conservapedia believe that a supreme being that they refer to as "God" exists; most believe that this "God" is described by parts of or all of their holy book, the "Bible". Many users of RationalWiki believe that this supreme being does not exist. There are many people that believe that these beliefs, or other sets of conflicting beliefs, are equally valid. In a universe in which absolute facts or truths exist (I'm going to consider them the same for the sake of simplicity), it would not be possible for the "God" described in the "Bible" to both exist and not exist. One of these positions would have to be incorrect. Is that the case?

Does absolute truth exist?[edit]

The question of whether Absolute Truth exists blurs into whether Certainty is possible. The truth of any particular assertion is obscured by uncertainty. All the conceivable shortcomings of our senses, our memory and our rationality make almost everything we perceive or think, hopelessly uncertain. That inevitability is the Human Condition.

There is a glimmer of light left for us fortunately...if you doubt everything uncertain, then you are left with two unassailable truths that are both Absolutely True and Absolutely Knowable...The Existence of your being right now (Descartes 'I Am'), and the existence of your perceptions (qualia) also only in the here and now.

If you try to use logic to build on those truths to extend certainty any further, you will fail... Once you prove something to yourself, is your memory that you just proved something really true? Are you absolutely certain you are completely rational? This Universal uncertainty makes the all rest of philosophical inquiry moot.

Your only hope of escape from this dilemma is if there is someone with the powers of a God; a supreme being who has the reality making power to go beyond the limits of the Human condition. --Dobsley (talk) 19:26, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Truth itself comes from God alone, therefore is absolute. The reason truth can not and will never be more than an idea or belief is due to the fact the source of the truth is an idea or belief. The variable in preventing truth from being a fact is our higher being. How is it possible for anyone to deny God and truth when you divinely have a moral compass? -Ryan Masters August 27, 2015

It is absolutely true that absolute truth does not exist. (sorry) ToastToastand marmite 23:10, 4 December 2008 (EST)

Nice. OneForLogic 01:39, 5 December 2008 (EST)

I've been thinking about this myself lately. Postmodernism holds that we all experience the world with our own biases, our own worldviews; therefore we never see an object, but only the representation of that object which is appropriate to our worldview. What postmodernists often forget is that whether or not we actually see the object, the object is still there. I believe that by taking many different views and using their common features,the points at which they agree, we can build an accurate view of the actual object... a true view of the object. This view can only be absolutely true if we can take account of every possible bias and cancel them all out, but we can develop a working view by taking a large number. When a view completely counters what is there, however, it has to be accepted that one view or the other is wrong. Science in general is less biased than religion, because it takes its view of what the object really is primarily from the representation actually seen by the investigators, whereas a fundamentalist will often preconceive their view of an object and ignore any part of the representation they see that don't agree with that preconception.

I personally think postmodernism goes too far, but as an analytical tool it's very useful. WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 05:28, 5 December 2008 (EST)

Postmodernism can be a very useful tool, and it's done a lot for art and philosophy. But on occasion has a bad habit of refuting itself if it goes too far. I agree with them to a degree, in that we DO experience the world through our own biases. But that can't cover everything. Here's a pretty good illustration of Wazza's (and an extension of Toast's) point:
A: There is no absolute truth.
B: Do you believe that?
A: Yes.
B: Do you hold that statement to be absolute?
One can't believe that there is no absolute truth and that that is absolutely true. If true, it's self-refuting; if false, it's useless. It gets tricky one starts defining precisely what absolute truth might be, or even what truth itself is, but there you go. Food fo' thought.--Purple George!YossieSpring in Fialta 12:35, 5 December 2008 (EST)

^ Circular reasoning and begging the question. What you've done was simply created a straw-man that falls prey to this classic sophist trick. It is fallacious to use “truth” to EVALUATE “truth”, it is a self-referential statement. I have a question for you, is it absolutely true that you stopped beating your wife?— Unsigned, by: ‎ / talk / contribs

I think I should mention that you are responding to a post made five years ago and that poster is no longer around. :-( --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 18:16, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

^ I'd say logic is tautologically true, and that logic is nothing more than finding out what else is tautologically true, or true by definition. Everything that is true must also be tautologically true. The problem with tautology is that while it proves something to be valid 100% of the time, including logic, it does not explain what the terms "valid," "logic," or "100%" means. Interpreting the meaning of those terms is up to our imaginations. Understanding how that works is simply unanswerable, so I'd say we should stop there. In any case, because logic is tautologically valid, we know that logic is valid 100% of the time. I would also like to add that using tautology to prove logic is not circular reasoning because tautology is distinct from logic. Using tautology to prove tautology may be circular, but it still assures 100% validity, because without language it is impossible for anyone to think or find meaning in anything at all. There is no need to "prove" language. Language just is. One could also say that something being its own definition is axiomatically valid. From that point on, its either that the mind gets it or it doesn't. — Unsigned, by: Gcc333 / talk / contribs 2014-05-31T21:39:07‎

I would also like to add that the argument "if P then P" is both valid and a tautology. Of course, such validity adds no additional meaning or proof other than the validity of "if P then P." This is the reason why circular arguments are rejected - the "if" is questionable. However, saying "logic is valid" is truly equivalent to saying "P then P." There is no "if" in such a statement because "logic" and "valid" both mean exactly the same thing.

Finally, circular reasoning fallacy, aka begging the question, is nothing more than a test for whether or not the premises/explanation for a conclusion are a step closer to logical axioms such as A=A. For instance, the explanation "pigs fly" for the conclusion "pigs fly" does not provide any explanation for why the conclusion "pigs fly" follows from any logical axiom. The premise "pigs fly" is not a single step closer to "A=A," that something is itself, than is the conclusion "pigs fly." Obviously, A=A is A=A, so there is no explanation for A=A that is closer to A=A than A=A, since A=A is A=A itself. But this is also why A=A passes the circular reasoning test. Before considering circular reasoning to be valid, one must first consider A=A to be valid, or else circular reasoning fallacy cannot be used (since circular reasoning fallacy is a test for whether or not an explanation for a conclusion is any step closer to A=A). It is also impossible to know nothing for certain because then one would know for certain that one can know nothing for certain - one must know at least one thing for certain. As long as one knows something is certain, then one knows A=A is true because one cannot know anything without also knowing A=A. I've also considered whether a demon could be deceiving me - however, A=A being true is prerequisite for the existence of anything, so deception cannot exist unless A=A is true. So A=A truly is a 100% certain, absolute truth. — Unsigned, by: Gcc333 / talk / contribs 19:29, 11 July 2014‎ (UTC)

I believe users here share my main points to defend absolute truth, I have nothing much to add, but I would like to respond to unsigned who said "is it true you stopped beating your wife?" and I say its false, because to stop i should have begun, and i didnt begin anytime. DONT EVER FORGET YOUR PRESUPPOSITIONS.--Yako — Unsigned, by: Yako / talk / contribs

Are inconsistent positions really equally valid?[edit]

Reductio ad absurdum[edit]

I believe that the statement "fundies are just stupid and wrong" is quite correct, but it is also correct that this does not constitute an argument.

The only way to show that a certain position is wrong, without relying on any external premises (for fundamentalists give these no credence), is through the means of the reductio ad absurdum, such as that used above by "User:Toast" to demonstrate that there is such a thing as absolute truth. --- ListenerX 23:24, 4 December 2008 (EST)

While it has been implied elsewhere, it should be said under this heading that the statement, "It is absolutely true that there is no absolute truth", is an absurdity. — Unsigned, by: Myhan / talk / contribs

Here is how one starts such a discussion[edit]

First, define absolute truth for the purposes of the discussion in a manner which draws from the common perception of the idea and is also sufficiently specific as to enable a useful discussion. Then provide your own cogent thesis on the matter, taking a position either "for" or "against" (unless you are undecided, in which case put your best thinking and main conundrum). From that point, further useful discussion can begin as people take issue with your position, clarify, or make new assertions. It will be much more productive than creating a debate page with a few headings and no content. Just my opinion.--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 23:35, 4 December 2008 (EST)

Until you can define "absolute facts" you can't define absolute truth. So the question should be about FACTS not TRUTH. ToastToastand marmite 23:53, 4 December 2008 (EST)
How's that ^ ? OneForLogic 01:58, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Well, say the allegedly "True" statement is "A is B", then, until "A" and "B" have been defined absolutely the statement Cannot be absolutely true. So it boils down to definitions of fact. Once the facts are 100% determined (difficult?) then the truth will be apparent, whether or not it is "A is B" or something else e.g. "A is Z". ToastToastand marmite 02:15, 5 December 2008 (EST)

Sorry, that wasn't clear at all; I meant "How's my attempt at providing an example (up at the top)?"

You seem to be asserting that it is actually possible to determine absolutely what is or is not a fact. That would make it seem like your answer to "One of these positions would have to be incorrect. Is that the case?" would be "Yes", but I may be misinterpreting the subtle distinction you still seem to be making between "fact" and "truth" (to avoid this kind of subtlety, I just considered them to be the same as I thought about the example). OneForLogic 04:02, 5 December 2008 (EST)

On the contrary, I don't think any 'fact' can be determined absolutely and consequently do not believe in absolute truth. ToastToastand marmite 04:14, 5 December 2008 (EST)
(EC) Are you saying that absolute truth is unknowable, or that it simply does not exist (even independent of human thought, i.e., metaphysical truth)? If the former, I'd be somewhat inclined to agree. If the latter, I think it's self-refuting. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding? --Purple George!YossieSpring in Fialta 12:45, 5 December 2008 (EST)
Hey, after all these years we're still flying with Pontius and asking "What is Truth?".--Herbert the Hamster 12:44, 5 December 2008 (EST)
I'm inclined to agree with Yossarian's logic. Attempting to assert that nothing is or can ever be absolutely true seems to contradict itself. I consider it unlikely that, with our inherent flaws of observation and reason, humans will ever know with 100% certainly any significant set of absolutely true things. The best we can do is approximate the truth, and that's where we get to science. OneForLogic 07:03, 6 December 2008 (EST)

From Debate:Bigotry towards Christians[edit]

Is there an absolute moral truth? This is probably one of the biggest sticking points I have with organised religion.

Personally I believe that ethics is relativistic and evolutionary. Certain moral codes survive and become more ingrained because they facilitate a successful society. Altruism is a positive survival trait. I realise this will be seen as hard and unfeeling but I see it as just the way it is. Does the 'fact' that my love for my wife comes from the genetic desire to breed detract from the fact that it's the most wonderful thing I know? Not in my eyes.

Furthermore, I am very suspicious of anyone who claims to know of an absolute moral truth. Far too many atrocities have been committed by those with god on their side. The KKK sees it as an absolute truth that the white race is superior - and use the bible to justify it. Some Christians put their children at risk by refusing blood transfusions because their absolute moral truth is that taking blood is wrong. Some Christians tell me that some of my friends, people whom I consider caring and sharing, morally 'good' by my compass, will, according to their 'absolute moral truth', burn for eternity in hell because their partner of choice has the same gender. The rampant spread of AIDS in sub Saharan Africa isn't helped by the teaching of the 'absolute moral truth' that using condoms is wrong.

So, call me a godless commie, but keep your 'absolute moral truths' to yourself. Silver Sloth 08:42, 15 December 2008 (EST)

What about the existence of 'constructed' absolute moral truths? What if, from a utilitarian standpoint, it's of net benefit to say that 'the idea of 'X' (golden rule, all humans have intrinsic worth, etc) is an absolute moral truth'? Furthermore, what about ideas that do seem universal? Most cultures have come up with some form of ethic of reciprocity, and, at their most basic level, the idea of human rights does seem pretty universal, even if it's pared down to a minimum. --מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!
Interestingly enough, I started a short debate related to this kind of thinking recently, here. That particular debate didn't attract too terribly much attention, but the conclusion we seemed to come to (forgive me if anyone involved in that debate disagrees) is that absolute truth (in general, not just in morality) must exist for logic to work, but humans, with their flawed senses and reasoning, are extremely unlikely to ever know what that absolute truth is. I then made the small leap that we deal with this situation by approximating as best we can and that this is essentially what science is: a systematic way to test and improve our approximations on the nature of the universe.
Sorry, unnecessarily wordy. Bottom line: I assert that absolute truth exists and that humans can never know what that absolute truth is. Carry on. OneForLogic 15:26, 15 December 2008 (EST)
A WILD KANTIAN APPEARS! --מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!
(ec) Despite the inevitable epistemological ballache, moral truth is worth arguing for, SS. If you follow the "relativistic and evolutionary" route to its logical conclusion, all you end up being able to say about horrific shit like this is No, sir, I don't like it! I don't like it one little bit! Which is obviously unsatisfactory (unless your head works in a completely different way to mine). The (rough) idea is that moral truth transcends the mores and practices of the day - i.e. slavery was always wrong, whether or not, say, the Romans were capable of knowing it. Likewise, same-sex relationships have always been fine, regardless of any scriptural or cultural prohibitions. --Robledo 15:49, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Exactly. (I apologise for the above annoying interjection - Kant was right, even if he was pipped to the post by 1 Corinthians 13:12, etc). We can't objectively prove absolute moral truth, but you can either construct it, or derive it from some religion/belief system. Sure, there are bad religions/belief systems, but there are good/helpful ones too. --מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!
But how do you distinguish between the good and the bad religions and/or belief systems? Sure, I believe slavery has always been wrong, and that homosexuality has always been acceptable, but I have no logical reason to believe so, nor has anyone else. I'm all in favour of greatest good to the greatest number or similar systems but when it comes down to the given word of god - sorry, that doesn't wash with me. Silver Sloth 16:09, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Then you believe in moral truth, my man. :) A proper "relativistic and evolutionary" treatment of slavery would give you no basis for making a moral judgement about those who kept slaves when it was considered to be part of the natural order of things. You'd be forced to accept that it was fine because they thought so. --Robledo 16:20, 15 December 2008 (EST)
I had a point, but Robledo made it in half as many words. Also, on the subject of good belief systems, Jesus states the entire law to be equivalent to 'a) love God, b) love thy neighbour, enemy, etc, doing unto them as you would have done unto you, etc.'. No logical proof for it, but hard to argue against part b). --מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!
It does raise the question of how we can be so certain that it is our particular values that should form the basis for these supposed absolute values. Personally, I find that pretty hard to answer. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:33, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Well, you can do quite a bit by citing the way that similar value systems underpin a lot of different cultures. It wouldn't be impossible to write a vague ethical system which one couldn't tell to be from any of the major religions. Again, it's pretty much just bashing all issues on the head with a huge hammer labelled 'pragmatism', but it can help. Hell, you could just ask people if they thought it was a reasonable idea. --מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!
@AK: That's where the ballache sets in. In terms of their "knowability", you generally end up making a kind of reverse argument from queerness. Very roughly: yes, moral properties, if extant, seem very weird indeed, but so do the key components of the mathematical/scientific edifice (number, causation, time, space, etc.) if you examine them closely enough. The immediate, intuitive appeal of statements like "wanton cruelty is wrong" (cf. Russell) suggests that there is something of substance and meaning there, even if we're never going to isolate that "wrongness" in the lab, as it were. --Robledo 17:17, 15 December 2008 (EST)
OneForLogic is right: logic demands the existence of an absolute moral law (anti-relativism) but we are never going to know it (scepticism). The real problems arise if people try and invalidate the scepticism. Some confuse scepticism with relativism. Both Silver Sloth and the theo-absolutists like Aschlafy do this, Silver Sloth reasons (or appears to, sorry if I am strawmanning you) that as we cannot know the absolute moral law then moral laws are not absolute. Aschlafy et al reason that as there is a moral law then we must know it (and, surprise surprise it's what Andy thinks). Others sort of “redefine” what we're looking for into something we can find. “Morals as social construction” or various naturalised theories of morals are ways of doing this. The problem with these is that they are just not ethics: an absolute moral law cannot be “constructed”, there is no necessary connection between a 'description' (a naturalised theory) of the way we behave and a 'judgement' (ethics) on that behaviour.
What we can do is criticise our existing ideas and get better ones. But we can't do that if we allow any non-scepticism about ethics. Truth is a place we may travel towards but we will never get there. If we pretend we have then we give up the journey. We don't know, we only get better ideas by criticising the ones we have. If we “base” our ideas in anything we stop criticising that basis and, thus, prevent progress. We dogmatise something that must be, at least in some respects, false.--Toffeeman 16:44, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Well said, Toffeeman. (I tried posting more and edit-conflicted with all of the last three posts, so I'm just going to quickly agree.) OneForLogic 16:49, 15 December 2008 (EST)

You're going to have to prove that there logically is an absolute moral truth, even if we can't know it. In a materialistic universe, there's no need for any such thing as a moral truth. As for relativism preventing me from doing anything about what I see as wrong... philosophy is all very well when everyone's fat and happy, but when the chips are down I will fight for my point of view. The point of establishing a liberal democracy with a strong economy and wide tolerance for others' beliefs is to avoid the chips ever being down. WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 19:01, 15 December 2008 (EST)
Ok, so Toffeeman's explanation may have overstepped just a little. I never said anything about there being an absolute moral truth, and I wouldn't immediately assert that such a thing exists. Proving that an "absolute moral truth" exists would first require defining such a thing, which would be extremely difficult. I asserted only that something must be absolutely true for logic to work. It seems reasonable to me that, if one were to know all the things in the universe that are absolutely true (or at least some significant set of those true things) and define "moral truth" in some meaningful way, one could use that knowledge to make some absolutely true assertions about morality. However, due to my second point, this isn't really possible. So we approximate. Because we have different sets of experiences and, presumably, reason about those experiences differently, each of us will arrive at a unique particular approximation of morality. OneForLogic 19:40, 15 December 2008 (EST)
The argument would be that if there is any moral law then there is an absolute one and a denial that there are any moral truths whatsoever is pretty well self silencing: “you cannot say there are moral truths” claims a moral truth. We can also be confident that anyone we are discussing morality with does think there is some moral law. Running on from there being moral law, let’s get all relativist:
  1. B is morally true relative to A
  2. C is true relative to D
So “B is morally true relative to A and C is true relative to D” is “absolutely” true. (Sure we could have nested relativities, but the above process would work ad infinitum.)
“As for relativism preventing me from doing anything about what I see as wrong... philosophy is all very well when everyone's fat and happy, but when the chips are down I will fight for my point of view.” That’s because you’re not being consistently relativist: when the chips are down you get all absolutist on us. But that’s absolutist about the factivity of morals, not about knowledge of morals. At least I hope you would be prepared to criticise your beliefs and improve them.
The chips get down, often and with a thump, when people refuse to do this. “Fundamentalists” have “fundamentals” which makes two claims:
  1. There exist absolute moral laws
  2. I am in possession of them
The first is true, and harmless. The second false and dangerous. Fundies can get away with this sort of shit because people do not call them on the difference between P and knowing P. --Toffeeman 05:24, 16 December 2008 (EST)
I have always held as one of my personal fundamentals that no one should ever hold a belief that they can't defend by debate. That's part of the reason I'm here; I also hold that no belief is worth holding that you don't apply to yourself. But my beliefs are not what I would call fundamental truths; rather, they're things I value. They don't have to be true, they just have to be things I like. I know for a fact there are several things that are false in my belief system. But pretending they're true has effects I like, so I will continue to argue for them. It's a huge, subjective, messy lump of contradictions... but it's my huge, subjective, messy lump of contradictions. One of the contradictions is that I believe anyone's allowed to believe whatever they want, despite what I said earlier about having to defend beliefs in debate. Another contradiction is that I will defend that last principle against anyone who believes otherwise. See what I mean about messy? :P WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 05:57, 16 December 2008 (EST)
If you tweaked that first fundamental to “Nobody can insist that someone else agrees with them without giving adequate reasons” then it would all be simpler. It doesn’t contradict the right of people to hold other beliefs to start off with. They can believe any old crap they like just so long as they don’t go round forcing it on others.
It also lets you off being contradictory about your own beliefs. You do believe them to be true. Even if you are prepared to change these beliefs, right now, you do believe them to be true. And vast numbers of them you cannot defend by debate. But that's not a problem, because you won't press these beliefs on others unless you can give them reasons. Toffeeman 10:11, 16 December 2008 (EST)
Yes, but that first fundamental gives me an excuse to entangle people in enormous fiery arguments! Which is also my reason for becoming a philosophy student... I love the cut-and-thrust. WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 10:37, 16 December 2008 (EST)

I believe Robert Anton Wilson has pointed out that the one Absolute Moral Truth that just about every culture in history has agreed upon is the necessity of punishing those who defy the rest of the local arbitrary Absolute Moral Truths. --Gulik 20:08, 15 December 2008 (EST)

Punish me if you must, but I have to say it... THAT'S DEBATABLE! There, I said it (some people think it's better to rehabilitate than to punish) WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 03:33, 16 December 2008 (EST)
I'd agree with you there. Don't get me wrong I can see the use in sticking someone in prison (stops them doing the crime, at least whilst there in there) and there are certain benefits in doing nasty things to them (deterrence). "Pure" punishment, punishment not to gain anything, not to influence others, just to fufil some idea of "deserts" is just pointless. --Toffeeman 10:15, 16 December 2008 (EST)
WARNING!! Here starts a very interesting debate on a somewhat different subject - what is the purpose of the judicial system. Crime prevention? Punishment of 'wrongdoers'? Rehabilitation? I'd love to digress into this but it's not really absolute moral truths? Silver Sloth 10:22, 16 December 2008 (EST)
And Absolute Moral Truths aren't really about bigotry towards Christians. We haven't even seen any real evidence it exist yet, apart from me admitting I feel angry about what they do sometimes... WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 10:30, 16 December 2008 (EST)
My point about AMT's was about my distrust of religion. Religion tends to be about a particular version of an AMT, as written down in the holy book. As such my distrust of AMT's logically leads to a distrust of religion. Silver Sloth 10:38, 16 December 2008 (EST)
I figured, but things were getting a little far afield. I think we already have a debate page for this one though... WazzaHello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me... 10:41, 16 December 2008 (EST)

Another user contribution: The real quid is if reality has any intrinsic values, and what our liberty means thereof. I mean, its kind of undeniable that 2+3=5 and that nothing changes that. But it is important if you are a merchant and dont want to be stealen. ITs not important if you are having sex with your wife (unless you miscounted the condoms).

My stake at this topic is that even if in principle there is no moral ground, there is in practice and its almost impossible to violate it. This worlds seems to value something above anything else, and that is reproduction potential. If you are not able to grow you shrink and die. The fact that there are impossible things (like trisecting the angle with ruler and compass) forces everybody to not do that. Can you imagine anyone spending his life in an action he knows is futile(it REALLY looks that there are intrinsic values)? Can you imagine him doing it "for fun" AND he knows is futile? Can you imagine him refusing to sleep with beautiful woman, earning money or else and obsessing with it at the point of no eating?

You can always challenge logic, but it challenges you back better than you, even people who deny absolute truth will defend themselves if a nutjob attacks with a wooden stick, they are afraid to die even if they can imagine somehow the stick not hurting them.

WHAT COMES IS HORRIBLY SPECULATIVE, FEEL FREE TO DISCARD. The important question of free will is if it exists and what meaning it has (What do you want free will for? hurting yourself?). I believe we mostly put it naively and believe that everything is punctured. We dont have free will because we cant choose 2+3=4 so everything is predetermined. It sounds childish doesnt it? I believe we indeed have free will, but there are just fucking common sense rules. You can do whatever you desire in your playground, except, ya know, destroying the damn playground. Reality seems like freedom-maximizing (its like a playground that you help grow in size, with infinite (uncountable) routes to explore). and you can do anything that at least, doesnt violate freedom, its better if it actually enchances it. Of course, you would like to do anything with your life, but you must live first to do something so feeling sad because you cant do something with your life and dying first looks kind of lame. Reality loves freedom, but not to the point of self-destruction, that would hinder freedom on the first place. That way we are indeed free, and absolute moral good still exists.

Moreover, here are important issues because whatever you think of free will, you are not defending against the helluva potential threats that logic allows. Maybe you have a debt with some muscular alien from a previous life and you are not preparing for the quarrel. Maybe you are the goddam unlucky boy with 1% of falling prey with AIDS with a functional condom, take the test not twice but trice!. etc etc etc. So, obviously, natural selection helps living beings achieve some important milestones that promote survival.

Here is what explains why then education is a good thing to people. People may act wrongly but it mostly is an act out of ignorance, because the results of acting wrongly impact mostly oneself, so forget about the evil villain who wants to destroy others for the sake of being cool. If you are not hurting yourself enough what you do is not so bad, the converse is also true. We are collections of genes, thats why we can grow and destroy previous henious behaviours, its more unlikely that a person in a high money place acts with clear intentions to damage others because he understands that doing that would impact his already had freedoms, not because of some stupid love for others bullshit. The same way, a poor boy will most likely (and you should know how it feels) destroy because of the perceived injustice, if he can gain some good things to live for in the process of living, he will abstain from destroying, and thats the only reason. Thats why nobody goes against killing a burglar that came inside of your home (and opposing killing him is just plain stupidity, hope those genes die soon). We just dont hurt others because others given services are freedoms, and society was created to enhance freedom, want to make a change in the world? do it from the inside of society, enchance freedom of others and you enhance yours, you dont need to love the helluva mass of stupid people out there. .

Its a good world indeed.

Some additional conclusions:

  • We dont hate bad people, we hate people incapable of feeling peace and pleasure, because we dont like that in ourselves, and also those people are inclined to be vindictive.
  • Why are the previous people vindictive? because of society dependency. If you depend in what you are told and you get betrayed, then you are hurt and you retaliate. Thats why its better to think and create for yourself, and make those memes formate society to your image, good sells itself alone.
  • Less is more: Feeling peace and tranquility increases productivity. Protecting this state also guarantees better results. Dont rush for pleasure because of unintended consequences.
  • Specificities are not needed. Any specific knowledge or habit or action you think you need is not necessary, knowledge is the boundaries of reality (the more specific, the more innecessary and difficult to attain). Habits are broad and not specific and that is enough. (I mean habits need not cover quick repetitive routines as in obsessions but tranquility and ease-like habits are more desirable, useful and enough than the previous kind. )
  • Reality is unique: Logic connects it all, create two separate realities, then reality actualizes itself to be the bigger one that encompasses both two.
  • Anything that "cant" be slayed by logic is plain oppression: Religion has done a good work but spirituality can be enchanced (and purified) by logic.
  • (Restatement) Moral goodness is reproductive ability: You can do whatever you want, you can play mariokart and fall off the road for plain fun. But its sure you will have more fun if you try to live and communicate and reproduce your ideas and memes (even if they dont turn out succesful they at least tried to reproduce, way better than self defeating ideas and behaviours) This is not to be taken naively, if you have tons of kids irresponsibly you will be killed and punished and i doubt your debt will make your life easier to help you further reproduce and your kids and ...... Trying to live and have peace another day is a goddamn success.
  • Knowledge is the biggest tool of all: Experiences are better emotionally and physically than knowledge, but knowledge is the limits of reality so knowledge cant be beaten.

YAKO — Unsigned, by: Yako / talk / contribs

Two kinds of Truth?[edit]

I think this debate may be mixing up two kinds of Truth.

  • There's reality: "That which doesn't go away when yous top believing in it." I am unlettered enough in philosophy to still cling to the naive notion that there is an objective reality that exists independent of anyone's perceptions of it.
  • Then there's absolute moral truth, which a lot of people claim to have, and which is a heck of a lot harder to verify.

Do You Believe That? --Gulik 15:48, 16 December 2008 (EST)

There are certainly lots of subtleties here that aren't getting explained fully, but that's because there are lots of potential subtleties and complications in this kind of discussion. I'm trying to keep my take on things as simple as possible; I can't really speak for anyone else. So, my views, as concisely as possible (in list form, even):
  1. There are things in the universe that are absolutely true. (Roughly equivalent to your claim about "reality", maybe?)
  2. Humans are not capable of knowing those absolute truths exactly.
  3. If one were to know all of the absolute truths described in #1, they could use that knowledge and an exact definition of what "absolute moral truth" is to construct this "absolute moral truth". "Absolute moral truth" cannot be constructed separately from the set of universal moral truths ("reality").
  4. Without having both an exact definition and knowledge of the universal absolute truths, constructing an "absolute moral truth" is not possible.
  5. Humans can and do approximate absolute truths and attempt to approximate this "absolute moral truth". They don't necessarily make it clear that they're approximating, possibly because it doesn't seem like an approximation to them. This may be where the mixing up that Gulik is concerned about comes from.
Is this reasonably clear? OneForLogic 19:02, 17 December 2008 (EST)


Logical debate is futile. Logic is about starting with premises and the going 'therefore this is true if the premises are accepted'. The hidden assumption in that is that the 'therefore' actually proves anything. Broccoli 19:07, 27 March 2009 (EDT)

Yeah, it does. Unless you accept literal absurdities. All the basic operations of prepositional logic can be derived from accepting that contradictions cannot be true. All higher forms of logic can be derived from prepositional logic. Ikanreed (talk) 18:51, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Antique logicbomb[edit]

I know, that I know nothing

--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 19:54, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

That is some malformed grammar. And since it's translated you don't even have the excuse that it's an exact quote. In non-grammar nazi contributions, there's a lot that can be known, inferred, or understood. At the very least, tautologies are hard to reject. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:12, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Are they? Don't be too sure. ;) (talk) 20:29, 27 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
The great thing about this class of bullshit is that absolutely no one means it. They say it as if it's supposed to be humbling, but it's just tediously and flagrantly untrue. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:37, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Which class of bullshit? The class that asserts absolute certainty or the class that asserts absolute uncertainty? (talk) 21:12, 27 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
The latter. No one takes it seriously in their day-to-day lives. There's a lot I don't know, but it's exciting because I believe I can eventually learn it. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:14, 27 August 2015 (UTC)