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Thread: Absolute Truth?

  1. #1 Absolute Truth? 
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    This is a topic I always find myself coming back to. Does absolute truth exist? Is there something that is the wrong choice, or are right and wrong different for every person?

    I ask this in light of current events surrounding the healthcare bill. Just to admit my bias, I don't support the healthcare bill, but right now some Republican senators are also taking a lot of flak because they're taking extravagant "bribes" to vote Yes on the bill. In my view, they are compromising their beliefs by taking the bribes; if they believe the healthcare bill is wrong, they should not be voting yes under any circumstances.

    Part 2 of my question: if the healthcare bill fails, for whatever reason, will that mean that Obama made the wrong choice? We can argue philosophically that nothing is absolutely right or wrong, but if a decision we make crashes and burns, does that mean it was really the wrong choice in the end, or not?


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  3. #2 difference of opinion 
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    I don't agree with your opinion on health care. Honestly, I don't know the details of the bill, but I do know Americans need something done to assist with the rising cost of health care. My son is not able to participate in sports at school because we just can not afford insurance for him.

    On to the substance of your question, "Does absolute truth exist?" The answer is yes but it is subjective as you presumed. If everyone were able to get to the same point of ultimate realization, then absolute truth would be the same to everyone. This would be the end of all strife and the concern about the answer because absolute truth would be second nature to all. Until we all reach that point, we will all continue to make choices as to what the truth that best describes what we honestly believe truth to be. After re-reading that it seems dissociative. What I mean is that if we live our truth then it is the best truth we know or have.

    Back to the before mentioned topic. No, I don't think Obama's choice would be necessarily wrong, as long he is trying to make the change in an honest response to the need. I am sure there will be conservative pundits that do not agree, but it is "true" for anyone that is in a position to make changes. If they are doing them for honest, philentropic reasons then it is not wrong. Right and wrong are judgments that we put on a topic.


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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Big questions

    1. I cannot comment on the healthcare bill, not being USian

    2. Absolute truth in the moral/decision-making arena is a tough one. In a sense, if you define your parameters, you decide (as Awake pointed out) what would constitute an absolute truth.

    a. For instance, if the Healthcare Bill is defeated, then it would be an absolute historical truth that it was.

    b. Whether or not it would be 'right' for the bill to be defeated is a different matter altogether: as I said in 1. above, I am not in a position to speak about the Halthcare Bill's rights and wrongs. Being UKian, I have strong views on healthcare but have sorrowfully had to conclude that when USians and I talk about it, they're in the ball park, whereas I'm on a cricket pitch...
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  5. #4 Re: Absolute Truth? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by thePenDragon
    Is there something that is the wrong choice, or are right and wrong different for every person?
    "Person" is a concrete start. You can state a great many premises absolutely true about all persons. Proceed logically from there.



    No comment on health care except how dare you threaten Canada's bragging rights? :x
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    I didn't state an opinion on the healthcare bill. I'm asking, what if? I believe there is a right choice and a wrong choice in every situation. Assuming the bill passes, if in 10 years or so it turns out to be a major problem for our country, does that mean Obama made a bad choice?

    To answer Awake, "No, I don't think Obama's choice would be necessarily wrong, as long he is trying to make the change in an honest response to the need." I would argue that Bush was trying to do the same thing when he started "the war on terror." He was trying to do what he thought was best given the need and the knowledge he had at the time. I think he declared war for honest reasons, yet now most people say going to war was absolutely the wrong choice. Hindsight is 20/20, after all.

    History definitely decides whether a certain choice is right or wrong. What I put to you is, in any given situation (for example, the healthcare bill right now) is there one wrong choice and one right choice? And, if the choice a person makes turns out to be the wrong one, can they plead not guilty based on lack of knowledge at the time?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by thePenDragon
    I didn't state an opinion on the healthcare bill. I'm asking, what if? I believe there is a right choice and a wrong choice in every situation. Assuming the bill passes, if in 10 years or so it turns out to be a major problem for our country, does that mean Obama made a bad choice?

    To answer Awake, "No, I don't think Obama's choice would be necessarily wrong, as long he is trying to make the change in an honest response to the need." I would argue that Bush was trying to do the same thing when he started "the war on terror." He was trying to do what he thought was best given the need and the knowledge he had at the time. I think he declared war for honest reasons, yet now most people say going to war was absolutely the wrong choice. Hindsight is 20/20, after all.

    History definitely decides whether a certain choice is right or wrong. What I put to you is, in any given situation (for example, the healthcare bill right now) is there one wrong choice and one right choice? And, if the choice a person makes turns out to be the wrong one, can they plead not guilty based on lack of knowledge at the time?
    Political choices are complicated by the fact politicians have to do things "for our own good", even when we stupidly resist or have no clue. In fact it may be better for the nation to remain clueless. So this is a bit of a mind game, like how it's good to eat hotdogs, but bad to know the appalling details of how they're made. It's just as discomfiting to learn about it in hindsight: then we feel our trust was abused.

    I'm a Canadian surrender monkey but I've got to say Bush did right by his country to order regime change of Iraq. However it was spun and justified, that invasion was primarily a desperate financial coup against the rising petro-Euro, to maintain relative worth of the US dollar. Of course Bush couldn't openly ask the American nation to kick over some rascally OPEC country's oil ministry, to strengthen the dollar at European expense. Americans don't want to know how hotdogs are made. Bush pledged to defend the American way of life, and he did just that.

    I think that Obama also does what he believes good for Americans though they don't always know what's good for them.
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thePenDragon
    History definitely decides whether a certain choice is right or wrong. What I put to you is, in any given situation (for example, the healthcare bill right now) is there one wrong choice and one right choice? And, if the choice a person makes turns out to be the wrong one, can they plead not guilty based on lack of knowledge at the time?
    The problem is that this too depends upon a point of view. When people make choices there isn't just the one way in which to judge them. For instance, from a Kantian point of view, the choice is right or wrong when it is made; whatever happens subsequently is irrelevant. Only consequentialist (or even teleological), points of view take the historical perspective and even they run into problems (such as, "how far does the historical horizon have to be before we are sure we have reached the correct answer?").

    A lot of ethicists, in response to the latter part of what you've said above, would claim that a person is not guilty if she did her best at the time to gather information and took as much of it into account as she could. In legal terms, you can think of it as "due diligence".
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by thePenDragon
    I didn't state an opinion on the healthcare bill.
    Really. There is this quote from your OP.
    Just to admit my bias, I don't support the healthcare bill
    Perhaps your dictionary carries a different definition of opinion.

    I raise this point because you are a new poster. I find myself wondering if there is any point in entering a discussion with someone who can be so sloppy in their thinking that they contradict themselves within two posts. What do you think? (I'm not looking for the truth, just an opinion.)
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    Oops, I didn't realize I said that. Point taken. That's called forgetfulness. Now you can argue whether I'm morally excusable for my mistake, since I didn't realize I made one. Obviously I had the best of intentions, so I'm thoroughly justified, correct?

    Ophiolite, I see you followed me from the Environmental Issues forum. I'm flattered to know that a new poster can command so much of your attention!
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  11. #10 Re: Absolute Truth? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by thePenDragon
    This is a topic I always find myself coming back to. Does absolute truth exist? Is there something that is the wrong choice, or are right and wrong different for every person?
    If you are talking about morality or right vs. wrong, then I would say no, there is no such thing as absolutely right or wrong. Two people can always disagree on whether or not something is "right", and who is to say which one of them is correct?
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  12. #11  
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    A great philosophical question marred by politics.

    MB ...
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  13. #12  
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    There is no right or wrong just cause and effect.

    Edit: On the healthbill problem i always prefer to go to the root of the problem. The start of the chain event, the first domino... and in my opinion that problem is overpopulation. In my opinion overpopulation is the main problem for the most of the suffering in the world and healthcare is just a tiny leaf on a tiny branch of a gigantic tree, completely irrelevant in the bigger and longer scale of things.

    Then again... i try to use logical thinking only, with a complete detachment of emotion.
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  14. #13 Re: Absolute Truth? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by thePenDragon
    This is a topic I always find myself coming back to. Does absolute truth exist? Is there something that is the wrong choice, or are right and wrong different for every person?
    I think phrasing the question this way confuses moral/subjective truth like whether a health bill is a good choice, with factual truth, like the location of a certain atom inside an experimental apparatus. As for factual truth, of course there's an absolute, but to know it with certainty is impossible. Everything is a bet.

    As for things like a health bill, "right" and "wrong" are totally inaccurate terms. The correct terms are "better" or "worse". You cannot think in terms of a 1 or a 0, pitch black, or snow white. Everything admits of degrees. Stealing a child's lunch money would be dark gray. Killing the same child in cold blood would be even darker. If you only think in terms of black and white, then the two acts are morally identical. You see the danger?

    The trouble with the health bill is that people have a hard time deciding whether voting "yes" is better than voting "no". The result of voting either way is something bad. The question is which one is worse? Which one is darker gray? Neither option is white, or even light gray.
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  15. #14 Re: Absolute Truth? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by thePenDragon
    This is a topic I always find myself coming back to. Does absolute truth exist? Is there something that is the wrong choice, or are right and wrong different for every person?
    This is a subject that is most important. Among the biggest in my opinion. However, I am not sure your question is about truth. I think your question is more ethics than truth. As far as truth is concerned... Yes, there is absolute truth. I will enjoy debate and further discussion on this as I attempt to share more on this below. Certainly we all make wrong choices as well. However, choices are not always founded in or on truth. And yes choices can be made differently and for different reasons, individually.

    Quote Originally Posted by thePenDragon
    I ask this in light of current events surrounding the healthcare bill. Just to admit my bias, I don't support the healthcare bill, but right now some Republican senators are also taking a lot of flak because they're taking extravagant "bribes" to vote Yes on the bill.
    This is not surprising, and please do not elaborate on said bribe taking in any public venue, without proof. However, if this is common knowledge , ie: public media awareness, then there is certainly several truths that can be assummed and then ascertained. The most flaggrant of these is that if bribes are being offered to public servants on an issue, in other words, if illegal acts are being levied and then illegally accepted in our highest government positions, several problems exist and need addressed immediately. . All involved in illegal activity need to be removed and held accountable for actions in the governmental body. Once the cancer has been removed and held accountable, that health bill needs to be looked at more closely, because it was being pushed with bribes if that is a truth at all. Prsonally I have no knowlwge of this and perhaps you might consider your statements as that is a bold statement to make about something as important as our government. Make sure you speak with authority and quite frankly to say something as serious as this may be something you should back up with proof. Don't you think?


    Quote Originally Posted by thePenDragon
    Part 2 of my question: if the health care bill fails, for whatever reason, will that mean that Obama made the wrong choice?
    Every person in government is there to serve the public and do what is in that publics best interest. Each role has particular portions of the public by which they are responsible and therefore it would not be solely Obama who shoulders the burden of failure alone. It would be all who made up the decision to bring this bill forward. It is further wrong to assume that only those government people are the only ones responsible. Each of us have a voice and the responsibility to share what we want with our representative at the voting table. Once we have done that, then our hands are clean if that vote should fail us , if we chose against it. If we do the best we can , there is no more that can be done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I think that Obama also does what he believes good for Americans though they don't always know what's good for them.
    This may be true, but we each have the right to choose and hear each choice in their unabridged form.

    Quote Originally Posted by Awake
    "Does absolute truth exist?" The answer is yes but it is subjective as you presumed. If everyone were able to get to the same point of ultimate realization, then absolute truth would be the same to everyone. This would be the end of all strife and the concern about the answer because absolute truth would be second nature to all.
    It is not true at all that it would be the same for all. That is impossible considering where we are living. Please allow me to show my point of view here.

    .....


    Truth ... while living in the 3rd dimension of space and time, cannot be found absolutely in the areas of Philosophy or Religion. It is not possible for those truths without faith. Faith by its very definition alludes an absolute.

    Truth... in any other subject can be found, is absolute and unchangeable. My truth can be your truth, and when it is not the same, does not change the fact that truth is. It is where it always was , unchanged and waiting to be discovered.

    The hard part is finding it. To find truth we need accurate information and all the information surrounding it. This is very difficult to secure.

    Consider if you will from a post I made elsewhere ....

    The truth is absolute. It therefore does not change. It can be defined and it can stand on its own . It is actual.

    A fact is objective. It can change. Reality can be perceived and different from one to another. Truth does not change and is absolute.

    When using the largely unknown understanding that we are living in an illusion , even that will not change any truth for you or for me while concerning any truth based in the 3rd dimension of planet Earth.

    Consider for an example a book that is before me called Websters New Compact Dictionary For school and Office. lol It is a hardback book with a red cover. .. That is truth. It is absolute. It is accurately defined as being red in color.

    If you place 100 people in a room, from all places, realities and religions, most of them would say the book is red. Because it is clearly their own truth. However what if one of the 100 people was color blind? His truth would not be the same and his truth would say the color was not red. So here we have an example where truth appears to change. He has not seen it as red. Also, perhaps one of those 100 was wearing tinted sunglasses. He also would not say that book was red. He saw it as another color. If you place that book in another dimension, they may too see a color other than red.

    The point here is that the book is red. That is a true statement and cannot be changed. It is accurate. The one who is colorblind did not have another truth... he was inaccurate. He saw the wrong color. as did the man wearing sunglasses. The truth is not changed. Truth is accurate period. However if you leave the earth in the 3rd dimension and that book is shown to be blue then the laws of nature governing that planet and or dimension, defines the truth. It does not change that truth for this space and time, on this planet. Therefore any truth that was 4500 years in the past, if on this planet, can be defined as truth now. It is what is actually so.

    It can be defined and it is accurate. Therefore it , the truth, can be known and perceived as the same by all 100 people. Just as the color of the book can be seen as truth. The colorblind man once told he is not able to see red or that red appears as brown, would certainly not dispute that it is red. The man wearing sunglasses need only remove them to see that it is red. Even if he had not and was asked a week later what the color of the book was, his truth might appear to show that "the truth" has changed. However, the truth is ,the book is Red and his truth was inaccurate because he was wearing sunglasses which caused him to see what was not actually so.

    Either she did it or she did not. I said it, or I did not. You have it or you don't have it. There is an E.T. presence on earth or there is not. 911 was an inside job or it was not. We either have a source of free energy technology that could save countless lives everyday, or we do not. PERIOD.

    Truth can be defined , it is ABSOLUTE and it is ACCURATE and ACTUALLY SO!

    I hope this little analogy has been able to show that it is not "our truth" we are trying to find, but "THE TRUTH" Our truth, can and is, many times inaccurate because we don't have all the information we need or we allow those things that make up our realities to enter into the equation or cloud our ability to see truth as it is and while it stands all on its own, where it always was and unchanged. Those other things like conditioning, society, knowledge, reality itself even, may cause "our truths" to appear different from one to the next. However, that does not make the book any less red than it actually is. Just because we allow things into the equation that have no accuracy in forming a solution and finding the truth, does not change the truth. It only makes us wrong.

    ------

    This topic was originally for another forum in which the importance for having truth in sensitive topics known to all of us was discussed. These portions of it above, have served well but may tend to show repeateded statements. Please overlook that portion. For us truth must always be desired, and protected, insisted and guarded oversight for any elected to act on our behalf. Truth is the very basis of evolution, it is fundamentally important to each of us and most certainly to our collective consciouss. It is in my opinion the one thing in this dimension worth standing for.
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