The Instigator
Wewanttruth
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
Sky_ace25
Con (against)
Losing
24 Points

Absolute Truth

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 11 votes the winner is...
Wewanttruth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,109 times Debate No: 10630
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (29)
Votes (11)

 

Wewanttruth

Pro

I have heard the argument many times that truth is relative. I do not understand how people are willing to accept that something that is true can depend on opinion. What is true for you may not be true for me, etc... I contend of course that truth is absolute, something that is true can never, in any circumstance, not be true. I challenge anyone to debate otherwise.
Sky_ace25

Con

Hello, I'm looking forward to this interesting debate.

To clarify I will use the following definition of absolute from wordnetweb.princeton
perfect or complete or pure

The following definition of truth from wordnetweb.princeton
a fact that has been verified;
conformity to reality or actuality;
accuracy

The only way my opponent can win this debate is if he can prove their is a fact that has been verified and it is complete. Meaning he has to prove that it is not relative to opinion or situation. He has to prove their is a truth that can apply to every single situation regardless. I will offer up some common misconceptions of truth to show my opponent this is impossible

"Everybody Breathes"
Not dead people, you have to be talking relative to the living.

"Everything is in the Universe"
It hasn't been proved, for all we know their might be a Heaven or Hell outside the Universe, this idea would depend on who you are talking too.

I challenge my opponent to come up with a single "absolute truth" that is not relative to the people or humans that agree with the truth. Essentially, a truth that will be universally accepted on by every little thing which would complete the ideas of a "Complete fact that has been verified". If I can find even one way to prove his truth wrong by showing a group of people that disagree or do not accept this fact, than it is not a complete truth.

Further more their is an extra burden on the Pro; if I do not accept a single one of his truths as a human myself than he has already loss as of right now, because he has a truth that is not accepted completely by all people, because I disagree =].

So my opponent to win this debate, has to prove an absolute truth exists without me successfully refuting it and it has to be a truth that I am willing to accept, or else he has not proved that their is a truth that is not relative to a person.
Debate Round No. 1
Wewanttruth

Pro

I appreciate that you are taking this topic on, and willing to discuss with me the attributes of what we call truth.

However, I feel you may have only succeeded in proving that some people are willing to accept a truth can depend on opinion.

Lets use your example. "Everybody breathes." While the statement may sound convincing, convincing enough for you apparently, it does not alone make it a true statement. Actually, you were able to provide an instance that it is not true, for dead people certainly do not breathe! (Well done! :-) The fact is, the statement "everybody breathes" is not a truthful statement.

What I am claiming, is that truth does not change. The color pink cannot be pink for me, and green for you. Our perceptions of what the color may appear to be may change, but the fact of matter is the color, in reality is what it is (in this case pink).

How about "everything is in the universe." Here again, this is a false statement, and in no way contradicts my original claim. Perhaps everything is in the universe. Perhaps, some things are not. But in reality, those things have always been or not been in the universe.

Merely stating a false claim does not disprove an absolute truth. If it did, than every statement one purports would have to be truthful. As we are aware however, not everything is true, for we have learned not everyone breathes.
Sky_ace25

Con

I thank my opponent for clarifying the topic for me; I'll admit I was a bit confused at first.

I believe my opponent is basically arguing this:
Let's say you have a red apple that you place on a table in front off a blind guy, a colorless guy, and a guy with perfect vision. All people see the apple differently, but the apple is still going to be red. This is what I essentially understand to be my opponents arguing.

So what I did my last round is that I've obviously shown certain truths that are actually false statements. This leads me to the conclusion that their is no such thing as a truth which this will be my first contention.

Their is no such thing as a truth, because each truth can be proved wrong by another truth. Ex: All people breath, Dead People don't breathe, Dead People can be brought back to life (biblical reference). Any truth can be canceled out by another truth and thus their is no such thing as a "complete" truth or an absolute truth. My opponents has agreed to all my definitions as he has not refuted them. The definition of "absolute" is perfect, complete, or pure. At the instance that not a single truth exists that isn't relative or that can't be proved wrong by another truth their is no such thing as a truth and thus no such thing as an absolute truth.

No matter what example my opponents argues it will be proved wrong by another true statement.

For example let us use my opponents "pink" example.
What is pink? Can we not say it's a color on the color spectrum; what's that? Can we not say that is visible light?

Visible light can't exists in darkness that is void of light thus that truth is nullified by another truth. However, you can insert light into darkness so that truth is proved wrong because it can't be a timeless thing unless you consider it untouched which it may or may not be. However, that doesn't ignore the idea that unexplained phenomena could happen that alters this untouchability.

As you can see your in a constant loop with truths canceling out other truths so there fore their is no such thing as a definitive truth or an absolute truth.

The definition of truth is an accuracy; by utilizing this definition we see that since all truths can be proved wrong with
other truths their is no such thing as 100% accuracy because conditions will always alter and their is no such thing as a perfect eternal truth that stands alone.

I understand this may lead one to ask; wait isn't he just making a bunch of contradictions? That's exactly it really; their is no such thing as an absolute truth because their is no "theoretical" truth that currently exists that can not be nullified by another "theoretical" truth.

I argue that all truths are "theoretical', because they can all be proved wrong. Thus their is no such thing as a definitive truth, because simple put it is impossible as it can always be altered by certain contexts and be nullified by other truths.

If my opponent wants to win this debate he must prove their is such an entity that can be considered a definitive truth.

(I will devote the following space to help to provide further understanding to my argument for those who may be confused; also serves as a quick summary)

All truths are "theoretical", this is proved because no truth can exist stand alone without being proved false by another "theoretical" truth. Thus all truths exists to prove other truths wrong. Thus all truths are "theoretical" because we accept them to be true even though in reality they are not without flaws. My opponent's wording implies we are not arguing for these "theoretical" truths; we are arguing for a stand-alone definitive truth that is not based on opinion, relativity, or any other "x" factor. This would be an absolute truth, a complete truth if you would. Thus my argument is that it's impossible to have one of these truths because their is no "theoretical" truth that can be made definitive without it being countered by some "x" factor
Debate Round No. 2
Wewanttruth

Pro

"Thus their is no such thing as a definitive truth"

So does that mean that statement that you just made is actually not true, and can be proved false?

I am kind of disappointed. :-( You are talking yourself in circles.
If you believe what you are saying, than your whole argument breaks down, because none of it is TRUE, or at least can be false (which is the same thing).

See what I'm saying?

You are not really making a new argument, just adding more words to your first one. There has to be some sort of standard, a truth standard, if you will, that does not change; otherwise nothing in this world is for certain. For example, you may not really be 15 years old, because according to your argument that can be proved false. You may actually be a monkey! (Of course you are not a monkey, and I am willing to believe you are 15 years of age for that is what your profile says). Without an absolute truth, truths that do not change all statements are irrelevant and so is any debate on any topic.
Sky_ace25

Con

_To refute my opponents case_
Absolutely, their is no such thing as definitive truth; you could prove my case wrong else this wouldn't be a debate.

I am not talking in circles I am merely proving that everything can be false, and thus I negate the resolution which implies that their is no such a thing as an "absolute truth". Obviously, since we don't have a "complete" truth we don't have a universal truth. What my opponent has not understood is I am basically arguing that all truths are "theoretical" because all truths can be proven wrong with other truths. This doesn't mean their is no such thing as a theoretical truth. It means that all truths are not "complete, or pure", thus their is no such thing as an "absolute truth" because they are all flawed.

Further more I am not adding more words to my first topic; in fact I've made a different argument all together. I am no longer arguing relativity, but I am arguing that yes nothing in the world is for certain. As my opponent gave an example I may or may not be a monkey. My opponent merely states that "otherwise nothing in this world is for certain", I absolutely agree with him on that. My opponent does not ever say why that is a bad thing he just assumes that it is. Thus my opponent has no argument their.

Further more to respond to my opponents last sentence:

I'm not saying a theoretical truth has to change "all statements", in fact their are some truths that probably will only change one statement. Further more the only reason we have debates is because their is a "theoretical" truth, a resolution, and both sides try to provide other "theoretical" truths to prove that resolution right or wrong. If anything my opponents example of debates only supports my side.

As of right now me and my opponent are both arguing "theoretical truths", however my opponent has not provided any argument of any sorts to specifically prove his side right. He only tells us that we need a "standard", however he doesn't provide any justification for why it is needed. I argue that at the instant that our society can exist with millions of "theoretical truths" then their is no need to concern ourselves with the fact that no truth in the world is certain.

All statements are "theoretical" truths because they can be proven wrong. My case can be proven wrong as can my opponent's case be proven right. Yet my opponent's rebuttal to my case can also be proven wrong as my rebuttal to his. Thus we are in a constant circle of yes and no. So in reality what we have come down to is a never-ending cycle and yet we still see that my opponent has not offered up any actual argument or justification to the idea that their is such a thing as an "absolute truth". My opponent understands my case fully, because as he stated "otherwise nothing in this world is for certain", this is absolutely true. Thus the existence of a "complete truth" or an "Absolute truth" can not be manifested in anyway.

Further more in terms of actual voting points my opponent hasn't proven that "theoretical" truths don't exist nor has he provided any reason to counter the idea that nothing in the world is for certain. Thus this debate is not going on in circles as I have negated the resolution. Further more because my opponents next rebuttal will probably just lead us to more circles it's safe to assume that in this debate we may just be going on in circles. However, for this instance for this debate, I have negated the resolution. Thus even if one could argue that my negation is false; which one could easily do, I have still negated the resolution because their is no such thing as an absolute truth. Basically as a voter you will be voting on soon which side presented the best "theoretical" truth. My "theoretical' truth has proven that my opponents "theoretical" truth is false and thus we can accept the idea that their is no such thing as the existence of an absolute truth for the context and "theoretical" truth of this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
Wewanttruth

Pro

"I am not talking in circles"

"...Thus we are in a constant circle of yes and no."

"Thus this debate is not going on in circles as I have negated the resolution."

It's okay to concede; that would be better than blinding yourself by allowing your pride to force you into making more dubious claims. (Though I understand by saying so I have probably only fueled what I am essentially trying to put out).

"...all truths are theoretical because all truths can be proven wrong with other truths." Yes, but only in a world of absolute truths mind you! Because you are claiming a truth by making that statement, saying it is a true statement. No, you cannot keep going in circles.

You say I have not provided an example. Well how about the example you gave about the apple, but never really addressed? That apple, in that exact moment, is the color red. That is not a theoretical truth, though you may be able to add information to make it untrue, but that would be changing the circumstances.

Truth by matter of definition cannot be theoretical, and no its definition does not depend on what someone says it means (saying truth is defined as such and such, does not actually make it so. Just as saying the apple is not red does not make the apple not red).

What will it take for you to realize it is not only possible but required for there to be unchanging, concrete truths, and those kind only!

Perhaps an example from history? Since I feel I must make this example relevant to you or else you may claim the event never really happened, let us consider your birth. Are you now willing to tell me that your birth was only theoretical, and perhaps it did not occur (for I imagine that not occurring is the only other option?) On the contrary, it is an undeniable FACT (facts by the way can only happen in a world of absolute truths) that you were born (unless of course I am really only debating with a computer, programmed with artificial intelligence, but as you know you are not a computer :-)
Sky_ace25

Con

So I'm not just making abstract arguments I will provide the following sources which I believe should further prove my points.

"The Eastern scriptures say that no statement about the world is ultimately valid ("The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao." Tao Te Ching, Verse 1), since not even the most elaborate language is capable of rendering a perfect model of the universe. Science is often compared to a tree that branches out into many directions. The disposition of physics is that it follows the tree upward to its branches and leaves, while meta-physics follows it down to the root. Whether the branches of knowledge stretch out indefinitely is still a matter of debate. However, it appears that most scientific discoveries do not only answer questions, but also raise new ones."

http://www.thebigview.com...

"The act of measuring one magnitude of a particle, be it its mass, its velocity, or its position, causes the other magnitudes to blur. This is not due to imprecise measurements. Technology is advanced enough to hypothetically yield correct measurements. The blurring of these magnitudes is a fundamental property of nature."
http://www.thebigview.com...

My first quote I use to prove that "Theoretical" truths are constantly being proven wrong by new "theoretical" truths that will be proven wrong then or later by other "theoretical" truths.
My second quote proves that in nature as you try to pinpoint accuracy you end up gaining information at the cost of losing other information. Essentially, everything is relative.

My opponent keeps saying their has to be truths that have to be constant and yet he provides no actual rational for such a claim other than his own opinion. In order for a truth to be "Absolute" it must be complete and it must be pure. It can not ever change. If we want to use my opponents example of my birth, I would say I wasn't full aware of what was happening then so for all we know I could've been dropped off by aliens. At the instant that my opponent is asking me to confirm a truth that I am not even 100% on myself he has opened himself up to the whole point of my argument. That all truths can or will be proven wrong by one means or another. So no it is not an undeniable fact; in fact we still don't even fully understand the human brain so who's to say that the brain is not somehow transported through an alternate dimension and that's how it works during a birth? To use my own example; the apple is red because as humans it is defined as red. Yet an alternate being could have made the statement that the apple is green to them. For them the apple will always be green and thus that is their "theoretical truth".

I'd like to further say I am not necessarily saying all truths are false. I'm saying their is no definitive truth because all truths can be challenged by utilizing other truths thus their is no 100% truth or their is no "absolute" truth thus negating the resolution.

My opponent has only provided abstract example as to why he believes he is right while constantly trying to make it seem I am providing absolutely ridiculous arguments without ever properly refuting them. I assume my opponent was expecting a particular argument against him and he is unprepared to deal with a more abstract argument.

The reasons for voting for the Con during this debate is that my opponent has provide no justifiable main argument that can affirm the resolution. My opponent provides multiple examples that he believes are true while constantly trying to make my case seem pointless. I stand strongly behind my arguments which I now back with even more sources to help further clarify my side. By voting for my side you are not saying that the absolute truth exists or doesn't exist. You are mainly confirming that my "theoretical" truth has proved his wrong for the purpose of this debate. Thus a vote for Con is strongly advised and justified.
Debate Round No. 4
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by general52 5 years ago
general52
"There is no absolute truth."

For this statement to be true it must be an absolute truth. But if that happens it is contradictory.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
I think you have a good point. What is "best" for a process like government depends not only on the criteria for judging best, but the circumstances in which it is applied. Authoritarian rule seems to work well for the Vatican and Monaco, even though it's likely not to work well in many other places.

I don't think that there is any problem with posting a lot of comments on one's own debate. The purpose of the debate is to discuss a controversial issue. General topics, not specific to the debate, are usually best done in the Forums.
Posted by Wewanttruth 6 years ago
Wewanttruth
Is it considered "bad" to post so many comments on your own debate? Oh well...

Good point Roy. I totally agree, could not have said it better myself. "No one ever claims there are absolute answers to undefined questions"

If we had all knowledge of the subject of differing governments, perhaps we could agree on our definition of "best" and actually decide which government most closely conformed to that definition. This is why I put in my last post "...would be best suited for such and such a case..."

The problem with the government question is that it is not for sure; government success somewhat depends on actions by its people (leaders or citizens). So even if there were a "best" government, it technically would only be best in theory, (Sky please do not say ah ha theoretical truth, not what I am saying) When in all actuality that very form of government may collapse because of unknowns. Otherwise if there were no variables such as previously stated, than we could actually come up with an absolute answer as to which government was "the best." Agree?

Again though, not arguing with you Roy. Thanks for the post. (Remember though, Subjective judgments).
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Subjective judgments depend upon how the various factors involved are weighted. The "best" form of government is not uniquely defined because people disagree on th criteria for determining "best." definition of "best" must be agreed upon before it could be used to determine which is "best." No oe ever claims that there are absolute answers to undefined questions.

Absolute answers are available to well-defined questions. "Mt. Everest is taller than Mt. Whitney" depends for its truth on mountain height being measured relative to local sea level, not by any of a number of possible alternatives. Math s well defined, but equivocation is still possible. 1 + 1 = 10 because, ha ha, the arithmetic was in base 2. That's equivocation. The meaning of the problem is changed, not the answer.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Subjective judgments depend upon how the various factors involved are weighted. The "best" form of government is not uniquely defined because people disagree on th criteria for determining "best." definition of "best" must be agreed upon before it could be used to determine which is "best." No oe ever claims that there are absolute answers to undefined questions.

Absolute answers are available to well-defined questions. "Mt. Everest is taller than Mt. Whitney" depends for its truth on mountain height being measured relative to local sea level, not by any of a number of possible alternatives. Math s well defined, but equivocation is still possible. 1 + 1 = 10 because, ha ha, the arithmetic was in base 2. That's equivocation. The eaning of the problem is changed, not the answer.
Posted by Wewanttruth 6 years ago
Wewanttruth
Thank you for your suggestion Frosty.

However, I do not feel you would be helping ace much, differences in opinion are just that, nothing else. Of course it is possible to argue over what circumstances or choices (in your example, governments) would be best suited for such and such a cause, but that only makes them opinion. Facts will always be debated as to their accuracy, yes! But as I said before, there would be no debate if those facts which we were debating over were merely relative, or theoretical. In other words, if I argued communism was the best government for whatever purpose I would be saying so because I actually believe that it is a fact. Could you imagine an argument in which opponents knew that what they were proposing were only theoretical truths and therefore not actually true. You see this debate really was rigged from the beginning, I just knew there are people who who don't believe it.

The fact is, truth is either absolute, or it is not. Claiming it is theoretical (the only other option) is a logically impossible assertion because it is an absolute assertion!
Posted by Frosty5794 6 years ago
Frosty5794
It's a difficult topic, as there is no end to the extent in which people can go "philosophical" on you, for instance 1+1=2 is not true. These are the possible ways I would argue.
Pro: Use math. These absolutes are your best bet to proving an absolute order to the universe.

Con: Talk about the vast differences in opinion on government, ethics, etc. Humans are the only ones who can decide this for ourselves (please don't say god), and since we are so divided on them, there cannot be an absolute truth.
Posted by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
"Essentially, everything is relative."

Is that absolutely true, Sky_ace?
Posted by Wewanttruth 6 years ago
Wewanttruth
:-)

Well I must honestly say, this being my first "debate" (on this website anyways) I did not spend the time to look at the voting criteria. I suppose in the ones to come I will decide to put some more effort into those areas I ignored (such as conduct!).

Sky. Sometimes the answer is simple!

To everyone else; thanks for the examples! I thought of using math 1+1=2 etc... But would you believe I have encountered people who are not willing to accept 1+1=2 as always true! I feel this will be a never ending debate only because those who oppose absolute truth are unwilling to accept what it implies for them (though they do not realize they accept the truths that they want to, and disregard the ones they don't). It's been fun, maybe I'll do it again.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro won, but could have made a more compelling case. He could have cited 2 = 2 early on, but eventually got around to A = A. Con granted that "Not everyone breathes" to be a truth, along with other truths offered in negation. Cons examples were equivocations. For example, dead people are not in the clas of "everyone" used as he object in "everyone breathes." The meaning of "everyone" was changed to suit the counter example. Once the class is expanded, "not everyone breathes" becomes the truth.

"Debaters equivocate" is an absolute truth.
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Vote Placed by Wewanttruth 6 years ago
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