The Instigator
Con (against)
1 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
5 Points

Resolved: Truth is Subjective

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,967 times Debate No: 67823
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (47)
Votes (1)




Hello everyone I would like to propose a debate in which my opponent will defend that truth can be subjective. By truth I do not mean ethics nor morality.

The following definitions must be accepted as fact throughout this deabte:

Definition of Subjective:

A.) existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought (opposed to objective ).
B.) open to interpretation.
C.) based on personal opinion.

Definition of objective:

A.) Not dependent on the mind for existence
B.) Existing independent of or external to the mind; actual or real
C.) Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices

Order of the Rounds:

Terms (TOA)....................................
Acceptance and oppening constructive arguments
Refutation/ Constructive arguments..............Refutation/ Constructive arguments
Refutation/ Constructive arguments..............Rebutal (No new arguments)
Rebutal (No new arguments).......................Pro will state "No round as agreed upon"

Failing to comply with any of these Terms Of Agreement means a forfeit of all 7 points. Please no kritiks, the one who accepts must finish the debate.

Thank you :P



The debate is accepted and may there be courteousness and well natured conversation among all parties involved.

This first attempt will only make general statements, and definitions, as part of the opening argument. The purpose is to establish the foundation, in which, the basis of subjective truth is the only quantifiable notion of truth in all given realities.

The first stance is to state, with obviousness, the subjectivity of truth and how truth is an actual subjective notion. Truth must exist in all realms of possibility and universes. While it is "true", one can determine truths (in this reality and/or universe) to be inexplicably (and superficially) infallible (i.e. ONE requirement for human survival is the consumption of water OR proofs in mathematics), there is something to be said about subjective truth (i.e. cross-cultural perspectivism; one belief about culture is not the same across all cultures) and also the possibilities of all possibilities for the aforementioned example statements in bold (i.e. there is a remote chance a human being does not require consumption of water OR alternative concepts in mathematics which fit in frameworks for other possible universes). How can one circumvent this realm which, in and of itself, is subjective? Is the possibility of all possibilities impossible (so to speak)? The answer to that is no. A truth, like a truth from one culture to another, is not necessarily predicated as truth in one universe to another universe. Thusly, truths can never be objective because within the realm of interpretation, said truth will never meet its own standard.

With regards to whether or not supposed objective truth cannot be fallacious, according to Paul Feyerabend, the answer to this is simple: no. There is no such thing as an objective truth. Feyerabend, the founder of the epistemological anarchist theory, suggests that objective truths, often found in the methodological works of the scientific empiricism, are (in fact) discounting the realm of objectivity. By claiming the methods being used are infallible, scientists were actually circumventing their own rigorous purpose: to avoid dogma (which is actually far from objective) and establishing objectivity. By accepting axiomatic truths to be inherently objective, as opposed to accepting the dynamic nature in which truths exist (subjectivism; subject to change/new interpretation), scientists and logicians were, in actuality, backtracking.(Reference #1) Let everyone be reminded of what the Con, "TheJuniorVarsityNovice", claims something to be subjective as:

"Definition of Subjective:

A.) existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought (opposed to objective).
B.) open to interpretation.
C.) based on personal opinion."

This will be used because it is the condition Con claims as "fact" in this particular debate.

The first definition of subjective states, "existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought (opposed to objective)". What is an objective truth then if not a believed/affirmative statement existing in one's mind? This is not arguing semantics, rather it is an existential, ontological, and epistemological analysis. One cannot know a truth unless it first passes the consciousness of the thinker's psyche/realm of consciousness. This aforementioned notion is the heart of all epistemology (the study of knowledge). To claim a "truth" as an objective notion, as aforementioned, it must first be characteristically subjective approximate to Con's definition (which is claimed as fact). Empiricists will attest to this method to validate/vindicate truths.

The second definition of subjective states, "open to interpretation". One uses the classic phrase, "ones trash is another"s treasure". One must consider the obvious nature of this notion. Objectively (and perhaps, obviously), said one man"s particular instance of trash is said one man"s trash (Mt = Mt). The opposite situation will not be borne because one man"s objective truth is his own. No single person can claim a universal truth with certainty. This is subjectively clear. However, the aforementioned statement itself is subjective, because perhaps one single person, in some reality (fashioned into existence), may hold sway over a universal truth. In general, through observable existence, one"s own objective truth does not translate to another"s objective truth. One cites the example of OJ Simpson, as much evidence exists to show OJ Simpson"s guilt, only OJ Simpson knows the truth (even this is a vacuous claim) While this may be seen as arguing semantics, it is simply arguing the prompt which states truth, with no predication on whether said is universal truth or not.

The third definition of subjective states, "based on personal opinion". This definition is rather circular. This states thusly, opinions are subjective because anything subjective are based on opinions. One wishes to exclude this definition because it weakens Cons stance because it is a weak definition (not to be construed as a slight against Con of course). One considers statements such as "Today is Monday" as fact (if, in fact, the day was the definition of what a qualified Monday would be). One must ask, "Why is today Monday?" One other might reply to this by stating because Monday is the first day of the week, by which, proceeds Sunday. Why is Monday the first day of the week, by which, proceeds Sunday though? Because of a general definition? Does one inherently know what day, by which, is Monday? This is the absolute essence of ontology & epistemology combined; which both are subjective realms of philosophy.

To continue with the supported stances as to why truth is subjective, the second stance simply states truths cannot be objective without being first subjective. What does one mean by this? For a truth to be considered true, it must be exposed to some form of empiricism, some mechanism for control. If this cannot be applied, until the possibility of said truth can be brought forth to empirical review, one must reserve judgment (which is in itself an approach towards Descartes doubt from subjectivism).(Reference #2) This is the unfortunate dichotomy of what Con is trying to expressively avoid.

The third stance is to establish relevancy towards the axiomatic naturality of objective statements and how said statements are standardized to hearsay. Hearsay, in this instance, is not to say the claims, of which substantiated by the creator of said statements, are unfounded by said creator. Rather, the axiomatic statements are ones which are supposedly objective truths by the standards posed by the progenitor. The person utilizing the statements, created by the original progenitor of the axiom, cannot in any actuality claim those statements to be objective truths, rather they are consequentially known only through the three subjective definitions provided by Con. To clarify, and perhaps simplify, Con claims anything objective must, "[Exist] independent of or external to the mind; actual or real". However, aforementioned axiomatic statements come from another mind, and do not exist in one"s mind, until the statements are the progeny of the learner"s own attempts to reconnoiter information, there can never be truths beyond subjectivity. (Reference #3)

This ends the opening arguments and hope all viewing this debate have enjoyed, or perhaps, learned a new perspective on what truth may be.

1) Feyerabend, Paul. "Preface." Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge. London: NLB, 1975. 36-38. Print.
2) Richardson, Alan and Bowden, John (1983) A new dictionary of Christian theology
3) Priddy, Robert. "Scientific Objectivity in Question." Science Limited. Oslo: n.p., 1998. N. pag. Print.
Debate Round No. 1


Unable to respond due to a family death...


Miv_Tu forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


The opponent has forfeited


Miv_Tu forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


The opponent seems to have lost his account and been unable to continue.


Miv_Tu forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
47 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
I apologize everyone, however I wasnt able to respond due to a family death. It appears my opponent's account closed so I would assume no more rounds will be posted. Does anyone want to have another match on the same or similar conditions?
Posted by KroneckerDelta 1 year ago
I read the first half or so of Con's opening arguments...looks like this should be a good debate. Interested to see where it goes.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
Hahah, apparently someone can't read the comments section...
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
@stubs BAM, and there is the underlying fallacy in that belief
Posted by stubs 1 year ago
Is the statement "truth is subjective" subjective?
Posted by bodhidharmazen 1 year ago
so, @Thejunior, would you drop C on both definitions?

I object that subjective is "a personal opinion", as subjectivity is a state, not a belief, and beliefs can be objective or subjective (depending also on the definition)

I also object that objective could be free of emotions or personal prejudices, as beliefs are prejudices, and it is impossible to make a statement about anything without first having a belief, so, by definition, objective should be (theoretically) free from beliefs
Posted by bodhidharmazen 1 year ago
@ That1user, math statements are tautological. If I state, 4=4 I am doing the same as stating 2+2=4. That's not "true" is a tautology. You are saying the same thing with two different expressions.
Posted by That1User 1 year ago
@bodhidharzman: I think mathematical statements are truth statements, therefore I think that there are some objective truths.
Posted by Danielle 1 year ago
Awesome! I'm currently engaged in a few debates and have another challenge going my way, but as soon as one of them is completed I would love to debate this interesting topic. Cheers!
Posted by bodhidharmazen 1 year ago
I would go with both definitions if you take the "c" on both
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: I cannot believe that Con thought that because Pro did not provide any further arguments, that Con wins the debate. You have to rebut the arguments already made, Con! I can understand missing a round due to a family death, but you missed the two other opportunities to respond. So, Pro's referenced, unanswered arguments wins Pro sources and arguments. Conduct to Con for Pro forfeiting rounds.