TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Is there a possibility of there ever being anything that is absolutely true?

Can you know anything that is absolutely true in every way? As I see my somewhat despondent world of a pubescent 15 year old, nothing can be exactly true. Is there any way of proving that lets say Europe exists if you live in the United States? Is there anyway to logically defeat solipsism?

+2
Share:
progress indicator
  • Jun 9 2013: There are fundamentals things can be reduced to which make for truths. Ipso facto
  • thumb
    Jun 10 2013: Are you aware of some kind of truth other than absolute?
  • thumb
    Jun 9 2013: truth is for peddlers - people who need to convince you of something, usually (these days), to buy something or to buy into something.

    increasingly, it seems to me, that this growing mistrust of our own senses combined with 7 billion perceptions of the universe is what makes it real (not a truth).

    for me, a truth is nothing more than the thing that most of the people agree on. in which case, truth is, like everything else, changing all the time and staying the same. i sound crazy.
  • thumb
    Jun 9 2013: Hi Cameron,
    I guess everything out there is true. The problem we have is that everything has to be filtered through our senses, & we find it difficult to trust them. Even if our perception is faulty, does it really matter, as any input has to be filtered into our perception anyway. This is a difficult question !
    Jesus Christ claims to be THE TRUTH. I believe him, & it works for me. This world will pass away.

    :-)
    • thumb
      Jun 9 2013: When did he say that the world would pass away?
      • thumb
        Jun 9 2013: 1John 2 v17
        And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

        :--)
      • thumb
        Jun 10 2013: Revelation 21v1
        Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

        Both. 2nd Law is doing it's work, but will get a big push at the end.

        :-)
  • thumb
    Jun 15 2013: "Can you know anything that is absolutely true in every way?"

    No, but potentially yes, or at least to a degree which shows worth while results -or- can be used to get desired results.

    "As I see my somewhat despondent world of a pubescent 15 year old.... Europe exists if you live in the United States?"

    No need to act your age :-D look at a map, that works out often enough to be at least objectively true.

    "Is there anyway to logically defeat solipsism?"

    Descartes' cliche; no matter what, our consciousness exist. Even if we are plugged into the 'matrix' or a computer, if we are a soul or eternal being - we are still conscious that we exist. If things (like minds and consciousness) didn't exist outside of the mind, your mind wouldn't exist in the first place.

    No need to defeat solipsism, it is a good thought process to think with as far as imagination and creativity goes.

    Yes, there are absolute truths. They are just not as simple as 1+1=2 (which is not absolutely true). But, more complex as are the theories involved with integral, multidisciplinary, quantum and/or evolutionary paradigms. Ideas involving consistency in specific dynamics. OR. We can be much more holistic/metaphysical and try to find singularity in absolutes: everything changes, we are animals, communication and awareness is vital, history repeats itself, causality, synchronicity (if you're interested in Carl Jung at all)...

    What is absolutely true of the entire existence of a school desk, is far more out of reach knowledge than how that school desk is related to ANYTHING else in the known universe.

    Truth within itself... time factors, lights factors, relative/subjective/objective factors, gravity factors, celestial positioning factors, all types of potentialities at once, and all possibilities happening at the same moment, personal biased factors, group biases, comparative biases, paradigm defects... Just a part of absolute facts. Standards so high, might as not even have the phrase.
  • Jun 14 2013: At the end of your pursuit of truth, you will realize that you have to choose what you consider to be true, absolute or otherwise. You cannot escape this responsibility.
  • Jun 12 2013: I think we are born,growing,getting old...die ...every second in our lives are changing.But we keep in the searching process to enjoy our lives.No matter what happen,they are surely one part of our lives.We don't have any reason to refuse to accept them.So good or bad,true or false...all depends on your mind.Whatever others tell or say to you...all of all ultimately work or not all by yourself...
    So keep the question in your whole life,you will surely get the answer which is really what u want.
  • thumb
    Jun 10 2013: Your heading is a bit different to the first sentence.

    I guess some things are absolutely true - Heading

    I'm not sure if humans should claim to know anything much absolutely.

    As to solipsism etc, there seems to more to existence than our minds. We get hungry and we eat food. I suggest life is a more rewarding experience is you accept it might all be a dream but assume for practical purposes our perceptions are good enough and there is some reality outside our mind. And with appropriate skepticism or the scientific process we can make stuff that seems to work and reproduce results. This potentially imaginary reality, this reality we perceive though our senses seems to have some consistent patterns and "rules". We don't all fly off into space one day and turn into trees the next.

    Also even if only our mind exists, apparent pleasure and pain have causes in this mental construct and we fear oblivion and avoid walking in front of potentially imaginary trucks. Does an imagined death still end your consciousness.
  • thumb
    Jun 10 2013: Allow me to introduce you to ancient philosophy of Geeta (search Google)

    Absolute truth is God and only God is Beautiful. (Satyam Shivam Sundaram).
  • Jun 10 2013: Read Principia Mathematica Oh you don't have the time and won't understand it. Same for me. Wo what do you mean?
  • Jun 9 2013: The fact is that physics effect me and I can easily see that it's apparent in my life through mathematics. I have to say that solipsism is really extreme, I believe that things that are affected my presence and that I can sense exist. Physics I can sense therefore I derive from that fact that it exists. Epistemology essentially dictates the world, I mean you cant really expect an answer for a belief. Beliefs differ and conform to unique people. Knowing this then science could be considered a belief.
  • Jun 9 2013: Seems like this would depend on your definition of absolute and truth. So lets look at the wiki:

    Truth is most often used to mean in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal.
    The opposite of truth is falsehood, which, correspondingly, can also take on a logical, factual, or ethical meaning. The concept of truth is discussed and debated in several contexts, including philosophy and religion. Many human activities depend upon the concept, which is assumed rather than a subject of discussion, including science, law, and everyday life. Various theories and views of truth continue to be debated among scholars and philosophers. Language and words are a means by which humans convey information to one another and the method used to recognize a "truth" is termed a criterion of truth. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth: what things are truthbearers capable of being true or false; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective or objective, relative or absolute. Many religions consider perfect knowledge of all truth about all things (omniscience) to be an attribute of a divine or supernatural being. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth)

    The Absolute is the concept of an unconditional reality which transcends limited, conditional, everyday existence. It is sometimes used as an alternate term for "God" or "the Divine"[especially, but by no means exclusively, by those who feel that the term "God" lends itself too easily to anthropomorphic presumptions. The concept of The Absolute may or may not (depending on one's specific doctrine) possess discrete will, intelligence, awareness, or a personal nature. It is sometimes conceived of as the source through which all being emanates. It contrasts with finite things, considered individually, and known collectively as the relative. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Absolute)

    Sounds like no
  • thumb
    Jun 9 2013: It comes down to epistemology. What you believe there is entirely up to you. My own philosophical view on obtaining knowledge is described with these two assumptions.

    1. I exist (I think, therefore I am)
    2. I can derive some information from my senses. (gathering data to test hypothesis)

    Although these things may not be true I have to assume them to have any kind of meaningful life in my meaning.

    From those two assumptions you can begin to test things and build what we today call science.

    Wiki on epistemology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology
    Youtube video explaining the basics of attaining knowledge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9x_oa--KAc
    • Jun 9 2013: Yea I know that all life is, is assumptions and perspective. To essentially survive and live you need to assume. What I'm proposing is a possible defeat to solipsism, the fact that you are alone and anything that you don't derive from your senses doesn't logically exist to your own. Currently quantum mechanics has practically said that what you see is not essentially real with Young's double slit experiment(which was originally to prove that light travels in a wave-form). Because the state of which Protons operate are influenced by a persons observation then we are essentially living in deception. The two assumptions that you propose essentially define solipsism.
      • thumb
        Jun 9 2013: I think that solipsism can never be defeated for a true solipsistic person. Why would they believe in QM when they're not even sure if any part of physics exist. Therefore there will always be philosophical doubt about these kinds of questions.

        However my point number two moves me away from the solipsistic viewpoint and I would not call myself one.
  • thumb
    Jun 9 2013: CHANGE is the only absolute thing so far I can think of .