The Instigator
Justin_Chains
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
InquireTruth
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Objective Truth = Subjective Truth and Vice-Versa

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
InquireTruth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/18/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,193 times Debate No: 16579
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (2)

 

Justin_Chains

Pro

My burden as Pro is to try and prove that...

objective truth = subjective truth and subjective truth = objective truth.

Con's burden is to refute my argument and to provide reasons why.

- Definitions -

Objective Truth - Existing independently of perception or individual conceptions.

Subjective Truth - Existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought.

1st round - Acceptance and definitions.

2nd round - Opening arguments

3rd round - Rebuttals, continued arguments, and new arguments.

4th round - Closing arguments and final conclusions.
InquireTruth

Con


Equal sign (=) - A sign indicating that whatever is being illustrated on either side respectively are equal or identical in value or expression.

I accept the definitions and anxiously anticipate my opponent's forthcoming arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
Justin_Chains

Pro

Objective truth and subjective truth are one.

I have been told that this will turn into a semantics battle over the equal sign and this will make the intentions of my debate completely worthless. I feel that my wording communicated the intended topic pretty accurately, but I will try to reword it in an acceptable form for my opponent.

Objective Truth and Subjective Truth are "one", as in the yin and the yang, as in 2 parts connecting to make "one". In this way they are equal to one another in value because they are one in the same. One cannot exist without the other.

Separate, but the same. One, but two.

Objective, but subjective. Subjective, but objective.

I hope this clears up my intentions for this debate. My intentions for this debate are to try and prove that everything is neither just subjective or objective, but that they coexist together and are both equally true.

I will use this round to reinstate my topic, so that it may be understood correctly. This debate is not to be argued strictly with semantics. I will not participate in that. If I want to argue the semantics of the words or symbols I used in the topic, then I would create a debate specifically for that.

I will not start my argument until this is cleared up. Hopefully in the next round I will post my argument.

If my opponent's intentions were to have a semantics debate... then I recommend that we call this debate a draw and both forfeit all rounds, so that I may start a new debate and strictly word the intentions and rules of this debate.
InquireTruth

Con

Introduction

I certainly am not trying to make this debate about semantics, in fact I'm not sure how my expressed acceptance of the given definitions indicates that was my intent. I defined what the equal sign typically represents as a matter of informing my opponent as to how I understand his resolution.

Now if there is a better definition that the readers find compelling and better frames the intention of this debate, I am more than willing to change my angle. So far as I can see, however, my opponent, in an effort for clarity has only embraced obscurantism. In my own effort to understand my opponent's intentions, I will list some of the possibilities that I see in both the resolution as stated and my opponent's statements:

(1) Interdependent As The Yinyang

--> Objective Truth and Subjective Truth are "one", as in the yin and the yang, as in 2 parts connecting to make "one".


It seems then, that my opponent is arguing that Objective and subjective truth are interdependent and incapable of being separated - inasmuch as the yinyang ceases to be a yinyang if it is missing either the yin or the yang. If this is the case, I think it is demonstrably wrong, insofar as objective truth can exist independent of human apprehension and is thus in no way contingent upon subjective truth or verisimilitude.

But of course, it's hard to imagine how my opponent's use of the equal sign (=) appropriately reflects such a relationship. Because it is not true that yin = yang either semantically OR ontologically. Yin and Yang are diametrically opposing YET interdependent. Meaning that only together do they equal the yinyang. In which case, the only legitimate formulation would be yin + yang = yinyang. So I hope one can forgive me for not immediately assuming this as the intent of my opponent's argument.

(2) Of Equal Value

--> In this way they are equal to one another in value

Within its context, I believe my opponent is suggesting with the aforementioned that because subjective and objective truth exist relationally and interdependently (like the yinyang) that they are of equal value. This would accord well with the traditional understanding of what it is for something to equal (=) another thing. For instance, 2+5 is the exact same as 7, forsomuch as the values are identical. This means that in any mathematical formulation with which 2+5 replaces 7, the formula will yield the same results because the value has not changed. Does this mean that the concepts are identical because their use are virtually interchangeable (see 3)?

Of course, it is unclear as to how this system of value is to be applied to concepts and the definitions thereof. Moreover, the example of the yinyang is a poor one, namely because there is no good reason to assume that the value of yin is equivalent to yang. If anything, given that the yin represents the polar opposite of yang, the values of yin and yang represent harmony whereby when their values are added they equal 0. This means that there value is far from the same, in fact the yin must have the same amount of negative value that the yang has in positive value (or vice versa).

If my opponent wished for this route, my misunderstanding cannot be considered misplaced, as it is unclear as to how one is to apply value to concepts that are not inherently valuable.

(3) They are identical

"because they are one in the same."

My initial reaction was that my opponent was arguing that the terms were identical, inasmuch as the terms are interchangeable and without relevant distinction. I believe this to be both semantically and ontologically inaccurate - failing all together the well established philosophical law of identity. But with my opponent's assertion that objective and subjective truth are "[s]eparate, but the same. One, but two." It is hard to determine precisely what he is referring to.

Either way, since I believe all 3 listed categories fail, I am willing to debate whichever avenue my opponent wishes to take.

Debate Round No. 2
Justin_Chains

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate. You have earned my complete respect as your opponent by not using semantics.

You seem very intelligent... May the best man win.

[1] My opponent states that... "objective truth can exist independent of human apprehension and is thus in no way contingent upon subjective truth or verisimilitude."

This is false in my opinion. Objective truth is only "objective" as a category or by definition because of it's opposite "subjective" truth. If either would cease to exist then so would the categories. What you would be left with is neither "objective truth" or "subjective truth", but just "truth".

Opposites cannot exist without one another. This is the yin and the yang.

[2] My opponent states that... "it is not true that yin = yang".

This is false in my opinion. Yin does equal Yang. They equal each other in value. You cannot have one without the other, so their value is equal. You cannot not have light without darkness. You cannot have up without down. You cannot have big without small. All of these value are equal in relation towards each other, because one cannot exist without the other.

So in value... Yin = Yang

My opponent states that.... "yin + yang = yinyang". I agree and this works with my topic when used in this way.

Subjective Truth (Yin) + Objective Truth (Yang) = Actuality (Yin Yang)

[3] My opponent states... "If anything, given that the yin represents the polar opposite of yang, the values of yin and yang represent harmony whereby when their values are added they equal 0."

This true and it shows that both values are equal in value to one another in correlation with the end result.

10 + (-10) = zero

A positive ten has just as much value in Yang as the negative ten does in Yin. This makes their value equal in relation to one another. A positive ten cannot exist unless their is a negative ten. This goes for any value.

[4] My opponent states... "This means that there value is far from the same, in fact the yin must have the same amount of negative value that the yang has in positive value (or vice versa).

This statement by my opponent proves that their value must equal or the same in relation to one another other.

I blended my rebuttals with my arguments for this topic.

I look forward to my opponent's response.
InquireTruth

Con



(1) Interdependent As The Yinyang

"Objective truth is only "objective" as a category or by definition because of it's opposite "subjective" truth. If either would cease to exist then so would the categories."

Is what my opponent stated true? I suggest we attempt to fully understand his meaning before jumping to any rash conclusions. What does it mean for truth to have categories? Perhaps objective and subjective as definitions are only meaningful in light of one another -- meaning that if subjective truth were eliminated than objective truth must trod in its direction. But does that even SEEM true? Consider the definition of objective as listed in my opponent's opening round:

Objective Truth - Existing independently of perception or individual conceptions.

What would happen to objective truth if subjects ceased to exist? It certainly does not seem like anything at all would change ontologically with objective truth - insofar as its very definition already requires that it exist independent of human apprehension. So removing subjects from the equation is irrelevant because it is not contingently involved with either the meaning or ontology of objective truth.

For example, the rate of gravity is 9.81 mps^2. Does the rate of gravity depend upon subjective truth? That is to say, do subjects need to apprehend the rate of gravity in order for it to ACTUALLY be 9.81 mps^2? Does the ontology of gravity change to subjects that have no understanding of either gravity or its rate? Given that we know that this rate is constant even among those ignorant of it, we have very good reasons for believing that the rate of gravity was not different when all were ignorant of it and even when all were yet to be. This of course means that things can be true even without subjects to perceive or conceive of them - the very definition of objective truth.

Opposites cannot exist without one another. This is the yin and the yang.

Let us grant for the purpose of this section that subjective truth and objective truth are opposites - no matter what the case may really be. Does it seem true that opposites cannot exist without one another? Let us consider the traditional concepts used in this sort of dualism: Light and Darkness, Heat and Cold.

It is true that darkness cannot exist without light and cold without heat. Does this affirm my opponent's point that opposites cannot exist independently? Well, it would ONLY be true if the same were true when the positions were switched. For instance, can light exist without darkness? Can heat exist without cold? The answer is yes! Why? Because darkness and cold are parasitic by nature, their existence is NOT substantively defined, they are defined by the absence of something else. For instance, imagine a cup that has a hole in it. No one could rightly say that there could be a hole without something for it to exist in because a hole is necessarily a 100% nonexistent. A hole in a cup is defined solely by the amount of cup that is absent. Does this mean that the cup cannot exist without the hole? I certainly do not think so. Similarly, darkness and cold require light and heat because they are defined by its absence. Since light and heat are not similarly defined, they are not dependent upon the existence of their said opposites.

(As a side note, it should be noted that in science both darkness and light can exist independently as well as heat and cold - only relevant difference is that both darkness and cold are not ontologically different than nothingness).

(2) Of Equal Value

Yin does equal Yang. They equal each other in value. You cannot have one without the other, so their value is equal. You cannot not have light without darkness. You cannot have up without down. You cannot have big without small. All of these value are equal in relation towards each other, because one cannot exist without the other.

Let me clear something up. There are semantic relationships between words that require the opposite to be meaningful. This is not true of all opposites however. It is my opponent's burden to show that the relationship between objective and subjective truth are necessarily interdependent.

Nevertheless, I am finding it difficult to see how interdependent existence, if it true, means that the interdependent concepts are of equal value.

A positive ten has just as much value in Yang as the negative ten does in Yin. This makes their value equal in relation to one another. A positive ten cannot exist unless their is a negative ten. This goes for any value.

This is precisely where my problem stems. How does one prove this to be true as my opponent must? Why is it that 1 must have -1 in order to exist? Moreover, even if this were true, how does this relationship make them equal in VALUE? In fact, the difference in value is necessarily 2. That is because -1 does not have any value, it has negative value.

Conclusion

I am hoping that my opponent will go a little more in depth has to how we are to understand the relationship between subjective and objective truth and why we are to see them as opposites and necessarily interdependent. Moreover, it must be resolved that negative (-) values are not equal to (+) values necessarily, or his position of value equality is insubstantial.
Debate Round No. 3
Justin_Chains

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent again for this participating in this interesting debate topic.

I will try to sum up my final arguments here in this round.

[1]

My opponent states that objective truth and subjective truth can exist independent of each other... But this is not the case in actuality. Thinking of an existence where there are no subjects is not true to actuality. There are subjects and the subjects are part of the objective truth, just as objective truth is part of the subjective truth.

In order for my opponent to prove his theory correct... He would have to show that at some point subjects never existed. This may or may not be his belief, but unless it is proven it falls into the same category as any other unproven theories. This theory would seem to have weight against it however, because in actuality as we know it...subjects are plentiful and as far as we know they probably always have been.

What we are really talking about here is "spiritual energy" (subjective truth or Yin) in direct relation with it's opposite "mass energy" (objective truth or Yang). For objective truth to exist independent of subjective truth, you would have to believe that one can exist without the other or that one has existed without the other at some time.

This is not my belief however, and I will not transform this argument into one over beliefs. I will let the readers decide what seems right to them based on their own beliefs.

[2]

My opponent was having trouble understanding the concept of equal value in Yin and Yang so I will try to clarify as I'm sure the readers would like further clarification.

A positive (+1) or just 1. You cannot create this number without also being able to take it away, as in minus 1 or (-1).

If a value becomes positive it must also have an equal negative value in order for the positive value to exist as a positive value. A value is positive? Positive in relation to what? What makes it positive? The answer is it's opposite the equal negative value.

My opponent says that the difference between (-1) and (+1) is 2. This is wrong however, because it must work both ways not just one way. I will show this.

(-) sign equals Yin
(+) sign equals Yang

(+1) - (+2) = (-1)

(+1) + (-2) = (-1)

So as you see the true difference in value between the opposites are (+2) to Yin and (-2) to Yang. These values are equal towards one another, the equal value being 2 on both sides (-2) (+2). This same truth works for all values.

or...

(+1) + (-1) = 0 or perfect harmony between opposites (Yin Yang).

(-1) - (+1) = 0 or the perfect harmony between opposites (Yin Yang).

Lastly, my opponent says that a negative has no value, but this is completely false. It has a negative value. A negative value which also must have an equal positive value in order for it to exist, and vice-versa.

- Conclusion -

I hope that this cleared up any confusion about my argument and I suggest to reflect on the information given by both me and my opponent to see where your true stance is. I hope that all readers will judge this debate fairly.

I wish to thank my opponent one last time for accepting this debate and putting forth intelligent arguments.

- Justin Chains -
InquireTruth

Con

Introduction:

Thanks to my opponent for an interesting debate. I would like to remind the readers of the burden my opponent carried in this debate. My opponent was not simply required to show that objective and subjective truth are possibly interdependent (or of equal value, whatever the case may be); my opponent was required to show that it IS the case (or at least probably the case). I encourage that one keep this in mind when considering my opponent's rebuttals and my forthcoming responses.

(1) Interdependent As The Yinyang

"In order for my opponent to prove his theory correct... He would have to show that at some point subjects never existed."

Let us reflect first upon the definition of subjective truth as presented in my opponent's opening round:

"Subjective Truth - Existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought."

In order for there to have always been subjective truth there would have to be subjects, which are defined as those entities with properties necessary for possessing thoughts, namely those in possession of a mind. Now, there is certainly extensive evidence that suggests that subjects did not always exist. We can look at modern theories of cosmogony and cosmology that operate under the evidenced inference that subjects came into being at a finite time in the history of our universe. In fact, the assumption (if one can even call it that) that subjects did not always exist would constitute as an inference to the best explanation (1) - insofar as the idea that embodied minds always existed is nonsensical and impossible given all scientifically established theories of origin (2).

Furthermore, even if it were true that subjects always existed, it is a non sequitur to suggest that this necessitates the interdependency of subjective and objective truth. There would have to be some sort of hidden and unstated premise that makes this so. Moreover, all things being equal, the claim that subjective truth always existed and the claim that it has not always existed are not relevantly different, yet my opponent wishes us to take it for granted, without evidence (and against significant evidence to the contrary), that subjects have always existed. So far as I can see, so long as it is possible that subjects did not always exist, then it remains that my opponent cannot prove the resolution to be true.

(2) Of Equal Value

"If a value becomes positive it must also have an equal negative value in order for the positive value to exist as a positive value. A value is positive? Positive in relation to what? What makes it positive? The answer is it's opposite the equal negative value."

Does this seem true? Let's suspend some criticism and grant most all of this. If 1 could only exist if -1 exists, does this mean that they are equal in value? How exactly does one show that contingency or interdependency infers equality in value? I simply do not see how such a connection could be reasonably made.

"Lastly, my opponent says that a negative has no value, but this is completely false. It has a negative value."

Negative value is not value. By way of analogy, if a hole exists in a cup, one does not say that the hole has cup because, of course, it has negative cup. The hole is defined by the absence of cup and is thus not equal to the cup in which it resides. Negative value is necessarily defined as NOT having value. So to compare a positive and a negative integer and claim that they are of equal value is necessarily impossible.

Of course, it has yet to be proved how any of this can be legitimately applied to subjective and objective truth, and how these concepts can have value (equal value, nonetheless).

Conclusion

I tried my best to both understand my opponent's resolution and to rebut many of the various ways in which it could have been interpreted. Thanks again to my opponent and I look forward to any future encounters.

Sources
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...

InquireTruth
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Justin,

There is semantic sniping, and I have done that, here is a pure semantic debate :

http://www.debate.org...

here is not a semantic snipe :

http://www.debate.org...

In that debate you can see how the instigator actually changed the resolution several times and thus it can not be argued that the meaning can be clear. I think what you are arguing for is that you do not want to participate in semantic sniping, i.e., someone exploits a loophole, just note that.

In this debate I really had no idea what you were trying to debate, hence why I asked for clarification several times. It appears now you are trying to debate the idea that any fact has to be both subjective and objective -or- the set of things that are objective is also the same set of things which is subjective, just that the sets are formed by different viewers. It is still not 100% clear to me what you are arguing.

Note that you can put up a debate and cancel it to allow comments without acceptance and discussion of the topic. You can also challenge people directly. But if you really want to avoid a semantic debate then make your argument in the opening round, it is near impossible for someone to use a semantic snipe then because your positional metric is defined.
Posted by XimenBao 6 years ago
XimenBao
Every topic is semantics related because every topic is composed of words and semantics is the meaning of words.

When you post a resolution, you are bound to defend it (or oppose it if you take con). If you were sloppy, vague, or careless you can post a resolution broader or different than what you intended. Your opponent is under no obligation to clarify your topic in the comments thread and proceed according to your intended purpose. Your opponent may do so if s/he is in a generous mood, but is under no obligation to.

As an added point of amusement, if you post that you will defend that A=B, but then say that you don't mean "equals" in the normal sense, but that you reinterpret it's definition of "identical in value" to mean equal in some moral or philosophical value, you really don't have any reasonable expectation to be taken seriously when you claim you aren't a semantics debater.
Posted by Justin_Chains 6 years ago
Justin_Chains
Clear and sensible definitions are different to different people. Semantics is just a toy that people play with. The topic is understood or it should not be accepted. If there is interest in the topic, but the person would like to clear some things up before he/she accepts the debate, then do it outside of the debate.

Defend semantics all you want, but it is pointless towards actually debating the topic.

You must be a semantics debater. Sorry for offending you, but we are very different.
Posted by XimenBao 6 years ago
XimenBao
What gets me fired up is people who say "semantics" like it's a dirty word, instead of a necessary part of clear thinking. If you don't use clear and sensible definitions, you don't get to hide behind complaints of 'semantics' when it gets pointed out.
Posted by Justin_Chains 6 years ago
Justin_Chains
They are equal in value for one cannot exist without the other. Semantics debates should be left to the forums in my opinion. I am arguing a topic, not the definition.

And I never ran from his definition of equal.

Equal sign (=) - A sign indicating that whatever is being illustrated on either side respectively are equal or identical in value or expression.

"are equal or identical in value or expression. That fits the bill very well as I just stated how they are equal in value.

But my point is that this is not a semantics debate. You seem to be a semantics sniper. I'm sure that's why you are defending it so strongly.

Can you hold you own in a topic debate? Or must you frequently resort to semantics for leverage.

That would be my question to you XimenBao.

Sorry, but semantics kind of get me fired up. It is useless to argue semantics directly in my opinion, unless semantics is the point of the debate.

Either argue that objective truth and subjective truth cannot both be true or that both cannot have equal value... or don't accept the debate challenge at all.

That's how I feel. That's the opponent I created the debate for.
Posted by XimenBao 6 years ago
XimenBao
"My intentions for this debate are to try and prove that everything is neither just subjective or objective, but that they coexist together and are both equally true."

This is a much better topic for debate, you still have a semantic challenge to make "equally true" meaningful in a context where you're redefining conceptions of subjective and objective truth, but it's better than saying "A=B, but they're not the same."
Posted by XimenBao 6 years ago
XimenBao
You said one thing equaled another. Then when you saw that your opponent intended to hold you to the the claim that the first thing was the same as the second, you started complaining about semantics; that when you said "objective truth = subjective truth" you didn't actually mean that objective truth is the same as subjective truth, even though that's exactly what you said.
Posted by Justin_Chains 6 years ago
Justin_Chains
Yes words do have meanings and each meaning can be debated through semantics.

I gave the clear meanings of my words.

If someone who is reading my debate topic and my opening round can't figure out what the intentions of this debate are... Then they shouldn't be accepting the challenge.

I have no tolerance for semantics snipers. Sorry.
Posted by XimenBao 6 years ago
XimenBao
Words have meanings, Justin.

If you propose to argue that A is the same thing as B, that's different from arguing that A and B are morally equivalent, or metaphysically intertwined, or philosophically codependent.

You can't throw out a vague idea and then cry semantics when people try to pin you down.
Posted by Justin_Chains 6 years ago
Justin_Chains
I guess that this is what DDO debates are like.... Both of my other debates got shredded by semantics as well.

I think I will stick to the forums after this.

Debating about definitions and wording, instead of the intended topic... That is worthless to me.

I would rather debate with someone who opposes my topic, not my specific wording.

I can rewrite it a hundred different ways... It will not change the intent. It will not change the true nature of the topic.

It that people are forgetting what debating started as... 2 people that oppose each other's perspective on a topic. The wording game just turns it into a worthless mockery of what true debate is.

Arguing over wording should only be done if that is the topic of the debate. People who just snipe for semantics debates are almost worthless to me as far as debating goes.

Anyone can go sniping for semantics debates. It's not very difficult.

I refuse to play that game.

Sorry if this makes semantics debaters angry with me, but I am an honest man that speaks how he feels.

I should have made this clear in the opening round. Just as I should have done it in both of my other debates.

Are most of the debaters on this site semantics debaters? This is important information for me to know.

Thank you all for you interest in this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 6 years ago
XimenBao
Justin_ChainsInquireTruthTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not meet Con's challenges as to why objective reality is dependent on subjective perceptions, how a negative value is equal to a positive value, or how that mathematical analog relates to philosophical concepts.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Justin_ChainsInquireTruthTied
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Reasons for voting decision: "I tried my best to both understand my opponent's resolution and to rebut many of the various ways in which it could have been interpreted." - domination by Con as they framed the debated including multiple interpretations and refuted them all.