The Instigator
Ambassador95
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
vocalmajority
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Truth is an objective feature of reality

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Ambassador95
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 557 times Debate No: 55170
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Ambassador95

Pro

I contend that objective truth (not merely subjective truth) is real and knowable. My opponent will argue that truth is either not objective, not knowable, or both.

First round is acceptance only.

6,000 character max

Definitions:

Truth - the real facts about something; the things that are true; the quality or state of being true; a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true.[1]

Objective reality - [would] refer to anything that exists as it is independent of any conscious awareness of it (via perception, thought, etc.).[2]

Subjective reality - [would] include anything depending upon some (broadly construed) conscious awareness of it to exist.[3]

To be sure that my opponent understands the nature of objectivity vs. subjectivity, it is imperative that we come to know that subjective truth's are dependent upon a subject, while something that is objectively true is wholly independent of anyone knowing it. Subjective truth then, might be different from person to person or culture to culture (such as a favorite ice-cream flavor or the 'right' side of the road to drive on). On the other hand, objective truth does not change, irrespective of people's opinions.

By accepting this debate, my opponent accepts the definition of these terms.

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[3] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
vocalmajority

Con

Since first round is for acceptance only, I am accepting this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Ambassador95

Pro

Thank you for accepting the debate. I trust that this will be intellectual and that it will be seen through to the end. Any doubt I had about this debate failing to attract any serious attention is gone entirely given the quick response I received from vocalmajority. However, in examining the position that my opponent has taken, it seems to be an impossible debate for him to win. Allow me to explain.

(also, for the purpose of convenience, I will be using the personal pro-nouns "he" and "him" to refer to vocalmajority. I am not sure whether to use "him" or "her" and so he/she can correct me if this is not the case)

The proposition is that objective truth exists. That is, there is at least one objective feature of reality. My opponent claims that this is not the case. It seems that vocalmajority is saying that my position is WRONG. But that, in itself, is a truth claim. He is saying that his view is TRUE and my view is FALSE. In effect, when my opponent accepted this debate, he all but lost. I have then, one question at this point: if vocalmajority can make a more convincing case than I can, will his view be >objectively< true, or >subjectively< true? Either way, I will win the debate.

If it is objectively true that I am wrong, then I am right. Because that would demonstrate at least one objective truth. Namely, that my position is wrong. However, this is the very idea that my opponent is trying to refute. Therefore, if I"m wrong, then I"m right. Conversely, if I am right, then I am right. Either way, objective truth will be demonstrated to be part of reality.

But what if my opponent says that his view is NOT objectively true, but only subjectively true? Well then, one would have to ask the question: why is he even debating the point? For if his view is only "true for him," then why would he try and impose his personal view of truth on me? It would make about as much sense as him trying to convince me that his favorite flavor of ice-cream was better than my favorite flavor. Therefore, even by accepting the debate, my opponent has admitted defeat.

To illustrate this point, imagine I was arguing that the laws of logic did not exist. Suppose further that I made a logically air-tight case for that point. Would I have succeeded in showing that logic did not exist? No! I used in my argument the very thing I was trying to disprove! Take another example: suppose I wrote a brilliant essay arguing that the written word cannot convey meaning. Could I ever prove my case? Hardly! I would be defeating myself in using the very thing I am trying to deny. My case against logic then, would defeated itself just like my case against the meaning of the written word defeats itself. It would be like me saying that my biological brother is an only child. It simply cannot be done. In the same way, you cannot argue that a view is false and simultaneously deny the existence of truth. You would be using the very thing you are trying to deny.

To conclude then, if vocalmajority proves me wrong, then I have won the debate. If he does not prove me wrong, then I have one the debate.

I look forward to my opponents case against the idea that objective truth does not exist.
vocalmajority

Con

vocalmajority forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Ambassador95

Pro

Needless to say, I am disappointed that the previous round was forfeited. However, I do believe that it serves to reinforce the fact that the denial of objective truth implodes on itself.

I will only re-state an illustration used in the first round. Trying to deny objective truth is like trying to write an essay in which you argue that the written word cannot convey meaning. Or like a professor giving a lecture on the notion that language cannot convey meaning. Or building a logically air-tight case that logic does not exist. These things cannot be done because each of them use the very thing the try to disprove. In this case, one must make the objective claim that objective truth does not exist. But that can never be done because you must use the thing you try to refute. You end up sawing off the branch that you are sitting on; the argument defeats itself.

Therefore, it is imposable to argue that objective truth does not exist. Given this fact, the only vote which can be cast honestly is in favor of the proposition.
vocalmajority

Con

vocalmajority forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Ambassador95

Pro

I suppose this is the end of the debate. I trust that any votes cast on this debate will favor Pro.
vocalmajority

Con

vocalmajority forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Ambassador95 2 years ago
Ambassador95
ArcTImes, thank you for your comment. However, I fail to see the flaw in logic. If someone is contending that there is no objective truth, then he or she is making an objective statement about reality. Namely, that there is no objective truth. But if that person affirms the existence of an objectively true feature of reality, then they have conceded the debate, for that is the very proposition that they are arguing against.

It's not bad logic, I assure you. The only reason people have trouble with this is because they have been told that real truth does not exist (notice again however, that such a statement affirms truth). All I am pointing out is that such a position is self-defeating. In other words, if their position is true, then it's false.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
I know this is one month old but this is really bad logic.
It's like using "This proposition is false" as an argument lol.
And a debate is of course subjective, that's the reason people is voting.
Posted by Ambassador95 3 years ago
Ambassador95
Maryrose1993, thank you for your comment. The issue to be decided here is whether objective truth is real. Any answer will yield itself to the affirmation of objective truth.

It basically comes down to this question: "am I objectively correct when I assert that objective truth is real and knowable? (True or False)" If you answer "True" then I am right. If you answer "False," then you have just admitted that there is at least one objective truth. Namely, that I am wrong. But if I am actually wrong, then you admit that I am right. So if I'm wrong, then I'm right.
Posted by Maryrose1993 3 years ago
Maryrose1993
But if Con believed he won the debate then he won the debate. That is to be true in his mind.(subjective truth) If Pro believed it to be true that he won the debate then he won the debate. And that to be true in his mind as well. (subjective truth as well) Both are subjective reality arguments though I believe the topic is on proving that objective truth is unknowable. Pro is insisting that----since Con has a subjective reality ,that, which in turn, makes objective reality unknowable??? I think Pro is very confused on the definitions of these terms, and I would dub Con the winner since
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Ambassador95vocalmajorityTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con never provides a rebuttal, thus arguments and conduct to Pro. I don't think providing definitions should count for source points, though.
Vote Placed by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
Ambassador95vocalmajorityTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited all.