Karma reasons for concrete message

Message

Anfauglir

    Global Moderator


    Posts: 6219
  • Darwins +411/-5

graybeard... i was asked to give an example of an argument for truth being relative... i didnt make ot up i dont think it had anuthing to do with truth either... i argued the point that it could be determined by geometry to illistrate that there was a moment the lightning strike actually happened regardless of peoples perception of it....

I think the problem is that there is a distincyt difference between the actuality of what happened, and how people perceived that happening.

Eye-witnesses have been demonstrated over and over again to be an unreliable source of "truth".  They will - without meaning to - embellish their stories over time, confuse and conflate what they have seen, and colour everything through their perceptions and character and history.

So it may be possible to backtrack and determine the truth that lightning struck at this precise GPS co-ordinate, at this exact time, with this exact level of light and radiation and temperature - and that will be the truth of the lightning strike.

But the truth of observer A adds in the majesty of the strike, illuminating the church where they married their long-dead wife, while for observer B it was an annoying light that distracted them while they were trying to drive along a tricky road.  Was the truth that the lightning strike was irritating?  Or awe-inspiring and saddening?  Or was it, in fact, BOTH of those - with the circumstances of the strike leading to the event being in many ways a relative truth for different observers?  That, I believe, is the philosophical idea that lies behind relative truths, despite the fact that the observed event could be defined as being an objectively truthful occurrence.

Hence the problem with trying to classify a god or gods.  While it MAY be the case that the "truth of god" is that there is a particular god, and thus its existence (or not) is an objective truth, the problem lies in being able to categorise and measure that truth.   (Which is the thrust of 3Sigma's thread http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,23483.0.html on Validating a particular god.  While it MAY be that there is an objective truth about a god, there are few if any ways to examine and measure and arrive at that objective truth, which makes all religious truth relative.

(Side note - for reasons I won't go into, I am Admin for a small forum where 8 Christians are debating morality and the literality of the Bible.  I've long lost hope of them agreeing on one definitive answer for any of the questions they have been asked to consider.)

I can take a cup, and say "this is this colour, this size, this weight", and anybody can come and see that cup and check my statements.  There is an objective truth about the cup that CAN be verified and agreed upon - although there may be relative truths to the cup as well, depending on who gave it to me for example. 

And I would go on to agree that for pretty much everything there IS an objective truth about that thing.....but the issue lies in whether that objective truth can be measured and verified.  For some things, it can be.  For some things, it can not - and thus for those things (such as the existence of a particular god) the best that can be established it a relative truth - this god exists for me because of a, b, and c, or does not exist for me because of d and e.

To tie to another thread, on what should be taught as true, my contention would be that only those things that can be demonstrated as objectively true should be taught as such.  So I have no problem with a class being taught "this is the Bible, which says such-and-such", as well as "this is the Koran, which says this-and-that".  But unless and until someone can objectively verify anything contained within those books, the substance of the claims should NOT be taught as true.

Sorry - long post!
Changed Change Reason Date