The Instigator
kcirrone
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DrAlexander
Con (against)
Winning
32 Points

Resolved: There is at least one absolute truth.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/10/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,536 times Debate No: 4381
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (30)
Votes (8)

 

kcirrone

Pro

Resolved: There is at least one absolute truth.

Definitions:

Absolute Truth: something that is true no matter what, not up to interpretation.

Contentions:

I. Law of Gravity. Gravity exists everywhere no matter what. It is a scientific law. This cannot be disputed.

II. The Truth of no truth. Lets say there is no truth. Then thats a truth. If the truth is that there is no truth, then there is truth. Therefore, even by claiming no truth, you are claiming truth.

Refute that Con...
DrAlexander

Con

Hello kcirrone and voters, hopefully, by the end of this debate, we can have further understanding of this long fought philosophical concept.

In interest of fairness, I agree with the definition that my opponent has established.

Furthermore, I'd like to offer a more detailed look upon the words individually.

Therefore, I'd like to offer the following definitions as well;

ABSOLUTE: viewed independently; not comparative or relative; ultimate; intrinsic

TRUTH: a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle

source: http://dictionary.reference.com...

_____________________________________

ANALYSIS OF BURDENS:

The affirmative burden is to prove the resolution true.

Meaning, he has to offer ONE absolute truth. Please recall the definitions of absolute and truth. They equate the fact that the example my opponent offers CANNOT be relative nor disputable. This is by definition. My opponent has already accepted the fact that the absolute truth cannot be up to interpretation.

You may have already noticed the flaw within my opponent's argument, that is that everything is relative. Reality itself is relative. For all we know, you could be imagining everything that you call reality. BUT I'm not here to argue that. I am only going to refute the two example's that my opponent has to offer, he believes that these are both absolute truths, I contest that fact, thus I have acclaimed the position of CON.

Therefore, my burden is simply to prove my opponent's two contentions, that he offered in round one, are not ABSOLUTE truths. Thus, if I prove both his example's as either relative, disputable or up to interpretation, I win.

Simple?

Read on to find out.

____________________________________

My opponent leaves me with two contentions, to which I'll argue them both collectively, then individually.

Collectively, I would argue thus;
A statement cannot be absolutely true, because everything is relative.

Example, (I obtained this information through the consent of Rezzealaux)

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

Thank you.

This is an AIM conversation Rezzealaux and his friend had a while ago.

[Rezzealaux is RZA and his friend is PSC]

RZA: truth is a matter of perspective.
PSC: no it is not. true is true. 2+2=4
RZA: always?
PSC: yes
RZA: alright.
RZA: i challenge that statement.
RZA: advocacy: 2+2=1
RZA: warrant: 2 water droplets + 2 water droplets = 1 water droplet.
RZA: impact: it is a matter of perspective who wins the argument and who loses the argument, as you can take it from the perspective of volume or entities that appear.
RZA: from a volume standpoint
RZA: it would be 4.
RZA: from an entities standpoint
RZA: 2 water droplets merged with 2 water droplets makes 1.
PSC: [ Woah, I guess everything really is relative]

My opponent defines Absolute Truth as something that is true no matter what, not up to interpretation. This clearly shows that a once simple question, can have more than one interpretation. Since everything is relative, an absolute truth cannot exist.

_____________________________________

Now I will argue my opponent's point individually:

CONT1: "[The] Law of Gravity. Gravity exists everywhere no matter what. It is a scientific law. This cannot be disputed"

My opponent's first contention is flawed, because this is once again a relative situation.

FIRST: Gravity is not absolute.

There are many people out there that enjoy magic. Some people even believe in magic. I for one, believe magic exist, whether magic is a miracle or not, people believe in it. Thus, since people believe in magic, they could equally believe in the notion that gravity ceases to exist through the manipulation of mind over matter, AKA levitation. So, since may not exist all the time, according to some, it is not absolute.

SECOND: Gravity is relative

Certainly, a person on the moon or in space, would feel a lot less gravity as opposed to someone on Earth. I'm not going to get into the science of how this works, but the varying gravitational pulls is a commonly known fact. A second grader knows that the moon has less gravity than Earth. Thus, because gravitational pull differs from place to place, it is relative.

______________________________________

CONT2:

"The Truth of no truth. Lets say there is no truth. Then thats a truth. If the truth is that there is no truth, then there is truth. Therefore, even by claiming no truth, you are claiming truth."

His second contention is much harder to refute.

Therefore, I will approach it in two ways.

WARNING: The following analysis is extremely analytical, so please read with caution.

;D!

FIRST: A logical system of reasoning using a the Godel statement.

Roughly speaking, the G�del statement, that, "there is no truth", asserts: "there is no truth" cannot be proved within the theory that "there is at least one absolute truth". If "there is no truth" were provable under "there is at least one absolute truth"'s axioms and rules of inference, then "there is at least one absolute truth" would have a theorem, "there is no truth", which effectively contradicts itself, and thus the theory that "there is at least one absolute truth" would be inconsistent.

If the theory that "there is at least one absolute truth" is consistent then "there is no truth" cannot be proved within it. This means that "there is no truth" is in fact true. Thus provability-within-the-theory-"there is at least one absolute truth" does not capture what we mean by truth: in other words, the theory that "there is at least one absolute truth" is incomplete.

One can try to get around this by creating a "bigger" theory that "there is at least one absolute truth" that contains the whole of "there is at least one absolute truth", PLUS "there is no truth" as an additional axiom. "There is no truth" is indeed a theorem in "there is at least one absolute truth" (trivially so, since we have made it an axiom) but we can construct a new G�del statement that "there is no truth" for "there is at least one absolute truth", showing that "there is at least one absolute truth" is incomplete also.

_____________________________________

SECOND: This statement is not a postulate for the impossibility of a negative claim. It is a paradox.

My oppenent puts it this way, if I claim the resolution is false, that couldn't be true, because that would be an absolute truth, therefore an absolute does exist, but if it did exist then it couldn't exist... PARADOX.

I'd like to explain to you that me claiming something true, or false, is relatively speaking. Relatively speaking, I negate the resolution. Certainly, there are going to be people out there that disagree with me. Therefore, I am not claiming the absolute truth, rather, I am denying the resolution from my relative perspective.

ONE DOES NOT WIN A DEBATE FOR BEING ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. Nor, will I attempt to be absolutely correct. I am speaking from my personal perspective, so is my oppenent.

IF I were an omniscient being, then my opponent's contention two would work as a paradox, not as a truth. It would be a median between true and false. It is not true nor false. I am not claiming the resolution false, I am just saying it is not true. Be careful, because there IS a difference.

If you have read Plato's symposium, you probably know what I mean by saying there is ALWAYS a median, just as there is a median between true and false.

THEREFORE, this statement is not valid, because it is a paradox, it does not equate truth nor falsehood.

_____________________________________

"Refute that Con..."

I just did, now it's your turn.

:D!

-Alexander
Debate Round No. 1
kcirrone

Pro

kcirrone forfeited this round.
DrAlexander

Con

Under extremely unfortunate circumstances, my opponent was unable to post an argument because he accidentally closed his account. But please make sure you still vote for CON, hopefully my opponent would agree that voting PRO would serve no good considering that his account no longer exists.

Furthermore, please vote CON, because, I proposed five arguments in response to his two contention, as well as establish the fact that there is no such thing as an absolute truth, these two points were never refuted, therefore, despite whether or not you agree with them, these arguments are to be extended.

Therefore, the only person that you can vote for is CON, as all of my arguments still stand.

Thank you for your time.

-Alexander
Debate Round No. 2
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PublicForumG-d 8 years ago
PublicForumG-d
lol it is :)

I do not understand what perspective can be taken on a tautology? Or what middle ground? Its not like colors - something is either on or off. Yes or no. Is or isn't. How can you half-exist? If you have existance, you exist. If not, not.

I agree with Alexander's (cop out imho) argument that gravity and such are relative (b/c its anti-framer's intent, despite validity). But how can tautological truths be relative? That's where we're not connecting.

I do not understand how a median can exist with "is or isn't". Can you explain?

I am not an extreme...anything. I'm me. :) I don't identify strongly with any political or philosophical ideology.

Perhaps maybe logic is relative...I don't totally buy that, but temporarily conceding that, how does that touch the tautology? That's goes back to my is vs isn't example; its one or the other.

Brevity!

Christian
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
Thanks.

There is no problem with you tautologican format, it is tautologically correct. BUT, it is not absolute, meaning it is not ultimate nor indisputable.
Perspective IS what makes logic, every man has a different perspective.

Think about it this way: Who "discovered" logic? Man. Who has the power to determine what is logically sound? Man. Therfore, man is the measure of all things.

We can go on and on about this, unfortunately, if you are an extreme absolutist, we will get no where. Admittedly, I am an extreme relativist, and proud to defend my views. Thank you for your interest, though.

:)

You see, what you are stating illustrates the error of tautologies. They assume EVERTHING can be determined by an "either or" analysis. They do not allow for a median, similiar to what Alexander stated.

Independently, both the premises are relative. Collectively, they are relative as well. Once again, logic is determined solely through interpretation and perspective. Keep in mind moral relatavism as an example, what one soceity may think is logically just, another may believe is disgusting and cruel.

I hope you agree that this mini.debate is tiring. I'll be brief from now on.

-Protagoras of Abdera
Posted by PublicForumG-d 8 years ago
PublicForumG-d
I am glad someone else understands a tautology argument!!

//Essentially, they both conclude that there is an absolute truth.//

That was my point. Either way evaluates Pro.

However, I am not able to find flaw with my tautology, nor any reason why it is relative. Could you point out why?

And I think the problem with your understanding of the tautology is that you're evaluating them as seperate premises. Evaluating them together, joined by OR, it doesn't matter your relative perspecitve, because he either is or isn't. The deff of a tautology.

So cross apply that logic to my tautology, and you see that the tautology isn't relative.

@Alex's Copy Paste: His round 2. I
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
Your welcome.

I did a little high school debate, but I quickly grew tired of the egos.

What do you mean, in regards to Alexander's copy/paste?

I agree, his argument was done quite well, but I don't think your tautology would've muted his point.

If he were as much of a relativist as myself, he probably would've responded by saying:

Premise A and Premise B are identical statements in the end. Essentially, they both conclude that there is an absolute truth. A true relativist would further analyze that both these statement are relative, neither are absolute truths.

Another example of a tautology:

Barack Obama is going to be president.
OR
Barack Obama is not going to be president.

Both these statement are independently relative. Do you understand what I am saying? I am afriad I am being unclear.
Posted by PublicForumG-d 8 years ago
PublicForumG-d
@The compliment: Thanks :)

@Relativity: I got it, thanks. That's what took out the gravity example. But that doesn't go for the absolute truth of no absolute truth.

@Warrant: So did you do debate? Gotta love the jargon.

@The_Actual_Argument_Made_By_You: //Proving the statement as paradoxal as opposed to absolute, was an impressive move on Alexander's behalf.//

I also went back and re-read Alexander's copy/paste, and thought it indeed was quite clever.

However, I do believe I adequately responded to this.

(I was going to copy/paste, but I'll rewrite)

I stated that the paradox to which Alexander referred did not refer (could not refer) to the statement "There is no abs. truth", but rather the framing situation. I understand how saying "there is no abs. truth" is a contradiction to the statement itself, but I do not think this bars the statement from being made.

I think that his argument, which was well done, could've been beaten simply by this tautology.

Now remember, a tautology is true in all cases - it encompasses all parts of reality.

Premise A: There is at least one absolute truth.
OR
Premise B: There is no absolute truth.

If(A)then Pro wins.
ELSE
If(B)then the statement contained in premise(B) is absolute.

Vote Pro.

That's how I would've handled it.
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
PublicForumG-d,

Please read my first comment...

Okay, now let it soak in. That is my "warrant" for my "assertion". Please stop sounding like a high school know it all.

Geez. I don't have to explain to you the concept of relativity, do I?

Research the following: "Man is the measure of all things" and also read Plato's Protagoras.
You are very intelligent my friend, I have read a couple of your debates and I can say I was impressed, but do NOT get ahead of yourself. Be humble, your young, you can act like a smart*** AFTER you graduate college.

;)
Posted by PublicForumG-d 8 years ago
PublicForumG-d
Did I pose an offense? I actually said I voted con. I just disagree with the argumentation.

And claiming someone is wrong is nice, but providing some backup for said statement is also really nice.

Care to explain your unwarranted assertion that I'm wrong?
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
Protagoras,

Thanks for the review. Yes, I agree with you about the Gödel statement, it was quite foggy.

P.S.

Ignore PublicForumG-d.lol.

:D!
Posted by Protagoras 8 years ago
Protagoras
PublicForumG-d,

Why are you so offended?

You're entitled to your opinion, but I am afraid you are incorrect. The concept of relativity may be outside of your understanding, but that doesnt make it false my friend.

Remember: Man is the measure of all things
Posted by PublicForumG-d 8 years ago
PublicForumG-d
Vote: Con.

thought I should point that out.
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