The Instigator
Skept
Pro (for)
The Contender
Ockham
Con (against)

All things are relative.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 178 times Debate No: 105505
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Skept

Pro

All things are relative. Because things are perceived by other things, which are different each other.
Ockham

Con

The resolution is that all things are relative. This is a universally quantified claim, so it is false if I can identify one counterexample to it (an absolute).

First of all, the claim is self refuting, because it is itself an absolute if it is true. If all things are relative, then it is an absolute that all things are relative. On the other hand, if it is not an absolute that all things are relative, then there is something that is absolute, namely the counterexample to the claim that all things are relative that makes that claim not an absolute. So the resolution contains a contradiction and cannot possibly be true.

Secondly, there are many absolutes contained within the fields of logic and mathematics. Examples include "A is A," "A is not not-A," "1+1=2," etc. This very debate presupposes that the laws of logic are absolutes, because if they were relative and changing, we could not rely on them to make our arguments.

My opponent claims that all things are relative because things are perceived by other things, which are different from each other. But all of the perceivers are perceiving the same physical world, they are just perceiving it in different forms from one another. In other words, we need a distinction between the object of the perception and the form of the perception. The object is absolute and remains the same between perceivers, but they perceive it in different forms. For example, if I perceive a wall by looking at it and a bat perceives the same wall by echolocation, we are both perceiving the same object, but in different forms.

To sum up:

1. "All things are relative" is self refuting, because it is an absolute statement.
2. Logical truths like "A is A" and mathematical truths like "1+1=2" are absolute.
3. Reality is not relative between perceivers as my opponent claims, because the object of the perception is absolute.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Skept

Pro

'A,' '1,' and so on are symbols. Those are nonexistent in the real world. We make them by transforming experiences. Symbols are promises, so are not truths and absolutes. When we use 'A' in logic, we presuppose that A is A, and contradict with not-A. When we use '1' in mathematics, we presuppose that 1+1=2. Those are humanmade, and abstract promises so are relative.

We can only perceive the world, cannot know the world. How can you appreciate that the world is 'same physical world' and 'the object is absolute'? I guess you only have perceived objects differently as other beings.

If we rely on logic, arguing by logic symbols is the best choice, but logic cannot express some insights. That is why many thinkers have used everyday words. 'All things are relative' is contradictory in the logical view. However, pondering and debating, we can realize the idea is right.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by canis 1 month ago
canis
Yes absolutly everything is relative...Its your (subject 1 ) relation(s) to object b...Object b exist as a non relative.. But you will never know unless you become the object...
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