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  1. #1
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    All objective truths are really opinions

    I hold that all claimed objective truths are in fact opinions, and that all the authority we give to objective truths, facts, etc... are really a huge appeal to popularity.

    Opinion is defined as "a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty." (first definition from dictionary.com)

    Now, what is meant by "complete certainty?" Certainly, if there is room for any doubt then there would not be complete certainty. 99% certainty is not complete certainty. Room to doubt exists in everything, and the most common source for doubt - human error - always applies. If you are to stare at a red apple for 20 minutes, and I immediately ask you after "what color is the apple?" You will easily answer "red," but if you are truly being careful and precise, you would still doubt your answer because you will realize that it is possible for you to make a mental lapse and think the incorrect thing. It's a good bet anyway, since the likelihood of you having a mental lapse in judgment is so small that it's negligible. However, if it is possible for you to be wrong, then it is not possible for you to hold complete certainty.

    Now realize that just because you might make a mistake about the color of the red apple doesn't necessarily mean that the apple isn't red in color. However, since everything must be interpreted first by human faculties anyway (all external information and knowledge come from the senses, and then passed among individuals through communication), the error is inescapable. Therefore, no matter how strongly you believe in something, you can never say that you have grounds for complete certainty. 99% certainty is possible, but not complete certainty.

    Hence, although objective truths may exist, no objective truth can be claimed with complete certainty as claiming something brings in an imperfect human factor that renders complete certainty impossible. Now, when you don't have grounds to produce complete certainty, objective truth is degraded to an opinion (see definition). Hence, all claimed objective truths are, in fact, opinions.

    This makes "there are oxygen in the air" an opinion. Although it's commonly regarded as a well known scientific fact, you have to realize that science can never produce 100% certain results, and hence any "scientific fact" is by definition an opinion. But obviously, "there are oxygen in the air" is better than "there are unicorns in my pond," so how can it be if both are opinions? Well, opinions are not all the same; some are more convincing than others, some are more desirable than others, some are more widely accepted than others, etc...

    If everybody in the world thinks that there are oxygen in the air, it doesn't make it any more than an opinion since that requires complete certainty. However, it's merely that everybody in the world shares the same opinion. This is what makes an opinion strong. Since things of this world are mostly driven by people, who are in turn driven by their opinions, the strong opinions survive and the weak opinions fall. The useful opinions survive and the impractical opinions fall. Opinions rise because they gain popularity, which give rise to more popularity since people trusts mainstream, popular opinions more than outlandish opinions that very few people shares. Opinions fall because they lose popularity, which makes it even less likely to rise since people are less trusting of outlandish ideas.

    Now let's take a look at what contributes to more people sharing the same opinion: credible, likely opinions with evidence and good reasoning for backing are usually endorsed by more people. Meanwhile, strange, arbitrary opinions with no backing are usually not endorsed by many. If there is no clear probability (e.g. evidences are weak so opinion might or might not be true), then appeal plays a greater role in determining its popularity. This is where most value judgments lie.

    So, the rate of popularity of opinions depend on two types of factors - the factor intrinsic to the opinion itself (its credibility, appeal, etc... stuff that makes belief easy) and its popularity. My model is thus this: All claims are in fact statements of opinion, and the strengths of opinions depend on their popularity among people.

    So then, what about our objective truths? I've established why they are really in fact opinions, so why do they have so much authority? It's because they are extremely popular or, at least, derived from extremely popular principles using extremely popular methods. That's why we give so much authority to said "objective truths." The true nature of all claimed objective truths is opinions with extreme popularity. A corollary might show that in general, what really matters (effective) in debate or discussion is not how true something is, but rather how convincing something is. Although usually how true something is makes it convincing, it is still the case that how convincing an argument is is the focus of discussions and debates.

    Now, I'm pretty sure this is a controversial point, and I'd like to see the rebuttal points and claims, so let the topic begin!

  2. #2
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    I challenge you to demonstrate any uncertainty in the statement "1+1 = 2".
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

    Pray - To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy - Ambrose Bierce
    Faith - Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel - Ambrose Bierce

  3. #3
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    I would ask you the question "can you be wrong?"

    If your answer is "yes." Then the uncertainty is demonstrated.

    If your answer is "no." Then I think you are overconfident. I know that no matter what I say or how convinced I am of it, there's still a tiny chance, even if it has to be a 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 1% chance, that I am wrong.

    In the case of 1+1=2, I believe we both share the conviction that it's true very, very strongly.

  4. #4
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    My answer is "no". With 0% uncertainty. Please demonstrate why I should be uncertain (even a tiny, tiny amount) that "1 + 1 = 2".
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

    Pray - To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy - Ambrose Bierce
    Faith - Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel - Ambrose Bierce

  5. #5
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    1) You are human
    2) Therefore all your concepts come from interpretations done by your senses
    3) And in order to claim something, you are using your mental processing.
    4) Humans are imperfect, this includes their senses and mental processing
    5) In order to claim 1+1=2, you're using mathematical concepts, which are taught to you (interpretation). You are also using the concept of numbers, which are either taught to you or interpreted by you from your senses which processes input from reality. On top of this, you are also making a mental calculation or a mental "fetch" of information. All these use your senses and mental processing.
    6) 4) and 5) provide good enough grounds that 1+1=2 has small chance for error, doesn't it? Of course, chance is so small that we usually just neglect it. I'll bet some person with a screwed up mind probably is just as convinced that 1+1=3 as you and I are of 1+1=2. He might have a totally different concept of reality that we can't understand. If you are basing your absolute certainty on your conviction, then this might tell you something.

  6. #6
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    Just because I may not be certain in a specific claim does not mean that I am not stating objective truth.

    Either the earth rotates the sun or it does not. If I claim that it does and yet have reason for doubt, my doubt about my claim does not make my claim any less true.

    And of course if you claim is undeniably true, then your claim itself is objective truth. And if it is wrong, then objective truth likewise exists.

  7. #7
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by FDEL View Post
    I hold that all claimed objective truths are in fact opinions, and that all the authority we give to objective truths, facts, etc... are really a huge appeal to popularity.

    Opinion is defined as "a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty." (first definition from dictionary.com)
    By your own argument, then you concede...your claim about objective truths...is not a truth at all...it is merely an opinion. Opinions have no logical merit or value (they do not contain truth values by definition). Since it doesn't have a truth value and it is merely your opinion, it can be dismissed as being the truth of the matter. If it isn't the truth of the matter, it is an irrelevant statement (as it pertains to the truth) and can be dismissed logically.

    Argument over.

    Wait...unless you wish to give the opinion that opinions do matter (which would be contrary to logic, and any logic student or prof would attest to that)...in which case I'll counter with an opinion: My opinion trumps yours, therefore your argument is defeated.

    See the problem with working only in the realm with opinions (hopefully)?

    In short, you can't have your cake (make a truth claim and hold it is the truth of the matter) and eat it too (by not applying your own logic to your own statement/claim and concede that it too, is merely an opinion, nothing more).


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    FDEL...there are serious, serious problems with your "logic" here.

    1) You are human - According to your argument...this is only your opinion. Therefore, we need not accept it as objective fact/truth.

    2) Therefore all your concepts come from interpretations done by your senses - According to your argument...this is only your opinion. Therefore, we need not accept it as objective fact/truth.

    3) And in order to claim something, you are using your mental processing. - According to your argument...this is only your opinion. Therefore, we need not accept it as objective fact/truth.

    4) Humans are imperfect, this includes their senses and mental processing - According to your argument...this is only your opinion. Therefore, we need not accept it as objective fact/truth.

    5) In order to claim 1+1=2, you're using mathematical concepts, which are taught to you (interpretation). - According to your argument...this is only your opinion. Therefore, we need not accept it as objective fact/truth.

    You are also using the concept of numbers, which are either taught to you or interpreted by you from your senses which processes input from reality. - According to your argument...this is only your opinion. Therefore, we need not accept it as objective fact/truth.

    On top of this, you are also making a mental calculation or a mental "fetch" of information. All these use your senses and mental processing. - According to your argument...this is only your opinion. Therefore, we need not accept it as objective fact/truth.

    6) 4) and 5) provide good enough grounds that 1+1=2 has small chance for error, doesn't it? - No. According to your argument...this is only your opinion. Therefore, we need not accept it as objective fact/truth.

    Of course, chance is so small that we usually just neglect it. I'll bet some person with a screwed up mind probably is just as convinced that 1+1=3 as you and I are of 1+1=2. He might have a totally different concept of reality that we can't understand. If you are basing your absolute certainty on your conviction, then this might tell you something. - According to your argument...this is only your opinion. Therefore, we need not accept it as objective fact/truth.

    ____________________________________

    Opinions are not truths. We only address truths in logic. Therefore, your argument is illogical and is logically dismissed (since it is obviously flawed).

    Logic triumphs over opinion any day FDEL.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; June 20th, 2008 at 07:26 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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    -------------------------

    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson




  8. #8
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    Just because I may not be certain in a specific claim does not mean that I am not stating objective truth.

    Either the earth rotates the sun or it does not. If I claim that it does and yet have reason for doubt, my doubt about my claim does not make my claim any less true.

    And of course if you claim is undeniably true, then your claim itself is objective truth. And if it is wrong, then objective truth likewise exists.
    I'm not saying objective truth doesn't exist. I'm saying that anything you claim is really an opinion, regardless of whether it actually is true. This is because you claiming it attaches uncertainty which makes the claim an opinion rather than objective truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    Wait...unless you wish to give the opinion that opinions do matter (which would be contrary to logic, and any logic student or prof would attest to that)...in which case I'll counter with an opinion: My opinion trumps yours, therefore your argument is defeated.

    See the problem with working only in the realm with opinions (hopefully)?
    Why does your opinion trumps mine?

    In short, you can't have your cake (make a truth claim and hold it is the truth of the matter) and eat it too (by not applying your own logic to your own statement/claim and concede that it too, is merely an opinion, nothing more).
    First, I never explicitly stated that I made a truth claim. You assumed this.

    Next, I think you greatly undervalue opinions. Let me bring out the definition again:

    Opinion is defined as "a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty." (first definition from dictionary.com)
    I think you have a preconception that opinions are merely subjective wondering, light value judgments, that don't hold much water in real debate, and you're making your argument from that. Realize that by this definition, any evidence-based argument would be classified as an opinion, since evidence only raises likelihood and never allow likelihood to reach 100%.

    But if you undervalue opinion so much, let's play logic.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Logic is a process that takes in premises and generates conclusions. Agree or disagree?

    If logic is not flawed, conclusion is always true if premises are true. Agree or disagree?

    If logic is not flawed and premises are true, conclusion is always true regardless of how weird or strange it looks. Agree or disagree?

    If logic is not flawed yet it leads to a contradiction or non truth claim, then premise is flawed. Agree or disagree?

    1) You are human
    Agree or disagree?

    2) Therefore all your concepts come from interpretations done by your senses
    Agree or disagree?

    3) And in order to claim something, you are using your mental processing.
    Agree or disagree?

    4) Humans are imperfect, this includes their senses and mental processing
    Agree or disagree?

    5) In order to claim 1+1=2, you're using mathematical concepts, which are taught to you (interpretation). You are also using the concept of numbers, which are either taught to you or interpreted by you from your senses which processes input from reality. On top of this, you are also making a mental calculation or a mental "fetch" of information. All these use your senses and mental processing.
    Agree or disagree?

    6) 4) and 5) provide good enough grounds that 1+1=2 has small chance for error, doesn't it?
    Agree or disagree?

    If the result is contradictory, then tell me which premise or logic element is flawed please. I'll concede the argument if you can show me (and make me understand) that a particular premise or logic element is flawed. If not, then it means my argument has perfect premises and logical progression, so any conclusion it generates must be true, right?

  9. #9
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by FDEL View Post
    1) You are human
    Granted.
    2) Therefore all your concepts come from interpretations done by your senses
    Nope; some truths are not based on sensory evidence.

    3) And in order to claim something, you are using your mental processing.
    True.
    4) Humans are imperfect, this includes their senses and mental processing
    Perhaps on the former; I would like more evidence on the latter. Are you suggesting that basic laws of logic are flawed?

    5) In order to claim 1+1=2, you're using mathematical concepts, which are taught to you (interpretation). You are also using the concept of numbers, which are either taught to you or interpreted by you from your senses which processes input from reality. On top of this, you are also making a mental calculation or a mental "fetch" of information. All these use your senses and mental processing.
    Nah, I can make it up on my own. Skip the interpretation and sense step. Again, I would like evidence that a "mental fetch" can be flawed.

    6) 4) and 5) provide good enough grounds that 1+1=2 has small chance for error, doesn't it?
    Nope.

    I'll bet some person with a screwed up mind probably is just as convinced that 1+1=3 as you and I are of 1+1=2. He might have a totally different concept of reality that we can't understand.
    S/he's wrong.

    If you are basing your absolute certainty on your conviction
    Nope; it's a definition. Definitions get to be true by default. No convictions required.

    Ah, yes, and Apok made an excellent point. So excellent it deserves reposting. Each and every one of those 6 points is a truth claim; you have claimed that all truth claims are just opinions. Is it just your opinion, then, that, say, "Humans are imperfect" or is that true?
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

    Pray - To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy - Ambrose Bierce
    Faith - Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel - Ambrose Bierce

  10. #10
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    In short, you can't have your cake (make a truth claim and hold it is the truth of the matter) and eat it too (by not applying your own logic to your own statement/claim and concede that it too, is merely an opinion, nothing more).
    Hypocrisy is not enough to defeat a claim. What problems are there with the claim itself in its application to every other claim? Recognizing that what we know is based on certain unsupported premises isn't that drastic an assertion.

    Apart from axiomatic and logical truths (like math), which are given by definition, I would claim that there is indeed an element of uncertainty to all claims. It is possible that we are wrong about everything. But in terms of practical implications, I think pragmatics supersedes abstract philosophy. We accept certain axioms (like the validity of empiricism) for utilitarian reasons.
    [CENTER]-=] Starcreator [=-

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by starcreator View Post
    Hypocrisy is not enough to defeat a claim.
    Agreed. Self-referential hypocrisy within attempts to prove claims never prove them false; though they just usually make the attempt a bit more difficult, that doesn't make it impossible.

    Particularly in this case, when FDEL's point is that human attempts in claiming objective truths can be affected by error such that they are not certainly true. All this would indicate in a self-referential perspective is that FDEL can't be certain that all human claims are uncertain or uncertainly "proven."

    It's hardly a matter of both having cake and eating it. Recognizing that claims are uncertainly demonstrated while also understanding the recognition to be uncertain is fine; those recognitions are incompatible.
    Had FDEL said that humans have NO capability to claim objective truth, he'd have more of an issue with his attempted proof.



    Really, this thread shouldn't be so very troubling. Humans and the biological processes entailed in the individual make errors; that we might also make intellectual errors in cognition and - ok, fine, this is troubling - biological errors in the intake of information and processing of it is just the result of that.
    It's troubling because of all things, we'd like to think our cognition and logical capability is free from "intruders." Alzheimer's is scary that way.

  12. #12
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    @Castle
    Nope; some truths are not based on sensory evidence.
    Name one.

    Note that senses don't only include the external senses. The external senses bring us information of the external environment. Other senses are internal. Our fundamental awareness of our own existence, for instance, I think would be an internal sense.

    Perhaps on the former; I would like more evidence on the latter. Are you suggesting that basic laws of logic are flawed?
    I'm saying that your use of logic or your interpretation of logic may be flawed without you, or anyone else, knowing. I'm not attacking reality itself, but rather human's ability to interpret reality into knowledge and use the knowledge appropriately.

    People make fallacious statements all the time and many times they go unnoticed. Of course, if you get thousands of people well versed in logic to try to check for such things they are pretty much always found. However, I did say chance for error is 0.00000000000000000000000000000001% right?

    Nah, I can make it up on my own. Skip the interpretation and sense step. Again, I would like evidence that a "mental fetch" can be flawed.
    First, are you saying mathematics's invention is totally independent of real world phenomenon?

    Next, are you saying that people's minds are perfect when it comes to processing information? I think the popular view is that they're not perfect but mostly reliable. If this is true, then I've merely used a well accepted view while you've presented an extraordinary view, so I would push the weight of substantiating views with evidence to you.

    If this is false and that the well accepted view is in fact that people's minds are perfect, then I'll concede this point for my lack of knowledge in popular views.

    Lastly, if you are to respond with that although people's minds are imperfect, the specific area of "fetching information" is in fact perfect, then I would call this arbitrary and ask for evidence, because I don't really think this is how most people understand their own minds to be.

    Nope.
    You realize that you've just stated that even if 4) and 5) are true, it still doesn't lead to 6).

    Why not? Elaborate. I think you should have elaborated because that would have made progress of topic quicker.

    S/he's wrong.
    Now suppose that the person with the screwed up mind still functions in society just as well as you. My question is, how do you know it's not you who is wrong instead of him?

    Nope; it's a definition. Definitions get to be true by default. No convictions required.
    Definition of what? What exactly are you talking about?

    Ah, yes, and Apok made an excellent point. So excellent it deserves reposting. Each and every one of those 6 points is a truth claim; you have claimed that all truth claims are just opinions. Is it just your opinion, then, that, say, "Humans are imperfect" or is that true?
    The fact that you can still ask something like "Is it just your opinion, then?" and hope it'll weaken my argument shows that you're making the same mistake Apok is made. Both of you seem to have preconceptions about the nature of opinions. I don't really care about the common view that opinions are worth nothing. I'm merely working from the definition I got:

    Opinion is defined as "a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty." (first definition from dictionary.com)
    Under this definition, lots of facts become opinions. For instance, any scientific claim becomes opinions because there is no such thing as 100% certainty in science. The laws of gravity, for instance, becomes opinions. Don't underestimate the definition of opinion for this topic.

    Lastly, I am honestly frustrated at people who attack my argument's conclusion and saying how they are incompatible, this is because if you do this, you don't contribute a solution. You contribute another problem. If you want to contribute a solution and enlighten me, then show me the problems with either the premise or the logical procession of the argument. Don't show me the effect of a problematic argument, show me the source of the problem! Though to be fair, unlike Apok, you've tried to do this, so thank you and let me summarize this post to make future discussion easier:

    You have claimed that there exist knowledge that humans can possess even if humans never had any senses. However, do you agree that humans have both internal and external senses? If so, then do you agree that without basic senses both internal and external, human beings are as dead as rocks?

    The other objection you've made to my argument is asking me to support my claims that humans are imperfect (including their mental processes). In this post I've told you that I've borrowed them from popular views. Do you agree that they are popular views? Do you happen to have counter-evidence?

  13. #13
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    I concede the point. It is possible, though monstrously unlikely, that our memories are made up, fraught with human error, and simply happen to dovetail consistently.

    A is A

    It is possible that I have not typed "A is A" above, though my eyes disagree, as, I suspect, do yours. It is possible that I have erred in retrieving the law of identity, and that the statement above is instead some great fallacy.

    It is possible, I suppose, that I am not really communicating, that I am erroneously typing in random characters which you are erroneously interpreting as actual communication.

    It is possible.

    But that possibility is vanishingly small. So why is it important?
    Last edited by Castle; June 21st, 2008 at 12:54 PM.
    Freedom is you choosing for yourself. Law is the government choosing for you. The two are opposites.

    Pray - To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy - Ambrose Bierce
    Faith - Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel - Ambrose Bierce

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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    FDEL, I'm not buying into your OP analysis.

    Your point is that all claims of objective truth are really "opinions" (just reiterating your definition: "a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty."). You do this by attempting to render all claims of objective truth "uncertain" or "only 99% certain" with premises that human mental and sensory processes are imperfect such that whenever we make a claim we "might make a mistake."

    But that's not adequate to support your argument. Even if it were wholly factual, even if your human imperfection --> imperfect claims argumentation was completely sound, that only makes it uncertain from the perspective of the universe or some 3rd party omniscient entity that the claim is perfect. What it doesn't do is make me, as an individual spouting off allegedly objective truths, any less certain that I am right.

    Your definition of "opinion" does not entail any meaning that the claim is false; your definition only entails the meaning that the claimant is not certain that it is true. And you're not meeting that definition.


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    I just wanted to make one thing clear:
    Quote Originally Posted by FDEL OP
    Now, what is meant by "complete certainty?" Certainly, if there is room for any doubt then there would not be complete certainty.
    Your argumentation focuses on "room for doubt" in the claimant, but the claimant doesn't necessarily doubt the validity of his claims even if he "should" doubt them.
    His claims are thus not opinions per your definition.
    Last edited by Fangrim; June 21st, 2008 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    ----------
    Libertarianism has also been defined with some plausibility as the form taken by liberalism as common sense asymptotically approaches zero.
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    So I looked up the word certain and it said definite. Is one plus one two? If there is one thing, and you add another to it, then there are two of that thing. This is an opinion, as two is one one of saying, for lack of better terms, that there are two of that thing. But physically the two things are there, so there are two of that thing. So we need to go into the physical world beyond words to find that there are two, and start with your opinion. Your opinion comes from your brain, and your brain is set to work a certain way, from input to reactions. It is clear that everyone has a different brain and may come to different conclusions, but this goes into the physical world where how our brain works is not subject, but rather to the physical presence of two. If you had no opinion one thing plus another would still be two, as two exists when one is added to one, physically, and then it goes into the mathematical side. Mathematics is based on the physical world, and so is science. There are no opinions there, only facts, facts that are backed up as one with an opinion would see the same thing as another with a different opinion, they would still both see two of that thing, maybe under different titles.

    So we get to the truth being an opinion, and see that objective truth is based on the phsyical world. Terms that we use are based on physical things that hold true to their value under any guise. So values are true, right? That we process them has nothing to do with them - they aren't affected. The opinion that it is true can be based on things we interpret, but seeing as how we don't interpret perfectly, we need to add logic to it with our minds, and come to the conclusion that what we see is real, because our processing isn't that far apart really, seeing as how all human forms are based on the same basis, and when we see something we can gather that others see it that way too. Because what we see is similar to what another person sees, we gather that it is the truth, that the thing is what we see it as.

    So when you see something in your mind, is it the truth? If someone else sees it that way, you could both be wrong, so what is the truth if all of humanity could be wrong? If we had more senses, would there be more to everything? If we could 'smell sonar' a rock, would it suddenly take on new characteristics? If we had more matter to our brain, would we be able to work out more complex things, or begin to think them up, or even arrive at different answers?

    No, things either make sense or they don't. If you have made sense, and you are wrong, you have still made sense. When more sense gets added to your sense, you may have a differnet answer, so like 'smell sonar', you have had input that you didn't have before, from your own efforts, or from another person. So you could say that the mind is a sense on it's own, and seeing as how everyone's mind is the same physically, and in operation, we could arrive at objective truths for ourselves, but we could all be wrong, as our mind doesn't sense everything, like our bodies.
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    Dubito ergo sum,

    I would suggest that the original propostion has an inherent flaw, it gives a standard for opinion but none for thuth or objective truth. There is much to imply what truth is not but can the positive be proved from the negative? Is this not a circular argument where the proof is in the proposition?

    Unless a certian truth exists it can not be proved that it does not exist. this would be to deny the precedent. Is the statement "truth does not exist" either true or false?


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    I make the claim that Napoleon Bonaparte is dead, to be dead is not to be alive. He is either dead or he is not. I do not doubt that he is dead therefore it is an objective truth that he is dead.

    If he is not dead he must be alive and that is the only proof that the claim is false. Since he is not alive he must be dead, an objective truth?:
    Last edited by exist; June 21st, 2008 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  17. #17
    theepitofme
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    i will speak plainly. hold your right index finger out in front of your face. Proceed to hold your left index finger in front of your face. Now logically debate the fact that you have in fact three fingers in front of your face.

  18. #18
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by castle
    I concede the point. It is possible, though monstrously unlikely, that our memories are made up, fraught with human error, and simply happen to dovetail consistently.

    A is A

    It is possible that I have not typed "A is A" above, though my eyes disagree, as, I suspect, do yours. It is possible that I have erred in retrieving the law of identity, and that the statement above is instead some great fallacy.

    It is possible, I suppose, that I am not really communicating, that I am erroneously typing in random characters which you are erroneously interpreting as actual communication.

    It is possible.

    But that possibility is vanishingly small. So why is it important?
    It's important because if this is really the case, then clearly not everyone recognizes this possibility (as seen in the responses in this topic) so it has room for debate.

    Also, if this is really the case, then doesn't it destroy the foundation of any strong, absolutist position? A devoted theist, if realizing this, would no longer be able to honestly say "my faith definitely is" but instead is forced to hold a weaker position that "my faith probably is, and therefore I am convinced it is." A moral absolutist, if realizing this, would no longer be able to honestly say "X is definitely wrong" but instead is forced to hold a weaker position that "X is probably wrong, and therefore I am convinced it is." These weaker positions are also much easier to debate than strong, absolutist positions. Lastly, it shifts the focus of debates and discussions on what seems convincing as opposed to what is true, and thus we realize that true/false values;logic;etc... are only important because they are usually the things that make arguments convincing.

    In terms of how we act, this doesn't change much, but I think it has strong implications on the way we think.

    Though, to tell you the truth, it's just something random I thought about, it sounded controversial, so I thought why not give it a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fangrim
    Your argumentation focuses on "room for doubt" in the claimant, but the claimant doesn't necessarily doubt the validity of his claims even if he "should" doubt them.
    His claims are thus not opinions per your definition.
    I don't think that "room for doubt" is equivalent to "doubt." Doubt is an arbitrary sense of certainty assigned by the claimant, whereas room for doubt comes from the probability of error and uncertainty itself. Just because there is room for doubt doesn't mean people must doubt it, and likewise, just because there is no room for doubt doesn't mean people isn't free to doubt it.

    I think the rest of your post (that I haven't quoted) talks about the same question, namely that people are free to choose to not to doubt something even if there is room for doubt. If there is some other objection that I didn't address here, please let me know.

    Quote Originally Posted by charlatan
    So I looked up the word certain and it said definite. Is one plus one two? If there is one thing, and you add another to it, then there are two of that thing. This is an opinion, as two is one one of saying, for lack of better terms, that there are two of that thing. But physically the two things are there, so there are two of that thing. So we need to go into the physical world beyond words to find that there are two, and start with your opinion. Your opinion comes from your brain, and your brain is set to work a certain way, from input to reactions. It is clear that everyone has a different brain and may come to different conclusions, but this goes into the physical world where how our brain works is not subject, but rather to the physical presence of two. If you had no opinion one thing plus another would still be two, as two exists when one is added to one, physically, and then it goes into the mathematical side. Mathematics is based on the physical world, and so is science. There are no opinions there, only facts, facts that are backed up as one with an opinion would see the same thing as another with a different opinion, they would still both see two of that thing, maybe under different titles.

    So we get to the truth being an opinion, and see that objective truth is based on the phsyical world. Terms that we use are based on physical things that hold true to their value under any guise. So values are true, right? That we process them has nothing to do with them - they aren't affected. The opinion that it is true can be based on things we interpret, but seeing as how we don't interpret perfectly, we need to add logic to it with our minds, and come to the conclusion that what we see is real, because our processing isn't that far apart really, seeing as how all human forms are based on the same basis, and when we see something we can gather that others see it that way too. Because what we see is similar to what another person sees, we gather that it is the truth, that the thing is what we see it as.
    I agree. Human experience is at least flawlessly consistent thus far throughout human history. This consistency is very useful as it gives us a common standard to make judgments and function in our lives. This is why experiences and logic have great importance in our lives, and this is why we give them authority. However, I think it's important to recognize that this importance, this authority, ultimately comes from its consistency and usefulness, and not necessarily its objective truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by charlatan
    No, things either make sense or they don't. If you have made sense, and you are wrong, you have still made sense. When more sense gets added to your sense, you may have a differnet answer, so like 'smell sonar', you have had input that you didn't have before, from your own efforts, or from another person. So you could say that the mind is a sense on it's own, and seeing as how everyone's mind is the same physically, and in operation, we could arrive at objective truths for ourselves, but we could all be wrong, as our mind doesn't sense everything, like our bodies.
    I think what you are trying to say is that objective truth really isn't truth, but the consistency across individuals. Hence, objective truth is whatever that remains to be the same across multiple individuals, and the more individuals it remains the same across, the more true it is. Functionally, I agree, although I think if this is the case, then calling it objective truth is certainly misleading.

    Quote Originally Posted by exist
    I would suggest that the original propostion has an inherent flaw, it gives a standard for opinion but none for thuth or objective truth. There is much to imply what truth is not but can the positive be proved from the negative? Is this not a circular argument where the proof is in the proposition?

    Unless a certian truth exists it can not be proved that it does not exist. this would be to deny the precedent. Is the statement "truth does not exist" either true or false?
    Again, this topic isn't about the existence of objective truths, but rather about the inherent nature of our human understanding of claims of objective truths. Think about "claim (verb)" to be a function of knowledge that allows it to be expressed to other individuals. Because it's a human function (a human does it), it inevitably adds a small amount of uncertainty to the knowledge being expressed. Hence, regardless of whether the original knowledge is absolutely true, the resulting "claim (noun)," or the output of the claim (verb) function, has uncertainty, has room for doubt, and thus by definition is an opinion.

    I suppose you can define "objective truth" as what opinion isn't, that is, a belief or judgment that rests on grounds sufficient to produce complete certainty.

    Quote Originally Posted by theepitofme
    i will speak plainly. hold your right index finger out in front of your face. Proceed to hold your left index finger in front of your face. Now logically debate the fact that you have in fact three fingers in front of your face.
    Let's suppose for a moment that both of us are not capable of recognizing exactly how our mathematics can be false. Does our incapability to recognize something automatically make it impossible?

    Besides, I can see how 1+1=2 is consistent and useful, and it's not like I don't use it with conviction that it won't fail me, but the idea of objective truths is so absolute that it's difficult to pinpoint precisely what it really is and what can possibly qualify for it. Namely, just because something is consistent, useful, and we've learned it all our lives, and we can't think or see or understand anything other than it, doesn't mean it's definitely an objective truth. There's still a tiny uncertainty attributed to it just because we're human, isn't there?

  19. #19
    exist
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    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    Again what type of truth are we speaking of. This question assumes that there are more than one types of truth. A moral truth or a physical truth? Are both the same catagory of truth? Indeed are there different catagories of truth?

    I would venture that the only verifiable truth is a physicall truth. one that can be known with certianty.

    Napoleon was mortal.
    All mortals die
    to die is to have lived.
    Napoleon is not alive therefore he is dead.

    Room for doubt? What ever is true was true in the past, true in the present and true in the future.

  20. #20
    exist
    Guest

    Re: All objective truths are really opinions

    Premises: Rational beings must know with complete certainty that objective truths are true. If and only if there is no doubt as to the certainty of truth do we know that it is an objective truth. All rational beings doubt that there could not be an alternative, real or imagined, to any objective truth promoting the state of uncertainty,then it becomes merely belief and opinion.
    Claim: Since no objective truth can be known without doubt by Rational beings all objective truths are opinions or beliefs.

    “Between the act and the deed falls the shadow” … T.S. Elliot


    I don"t knowhow to get these thins in order yet, sorry.
    Last edited by exist; June 24th, 2008 at 02:06 PM. Reason: screwed up the premises or lmost the whole thing

 

 

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