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Christopher Hall

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What are the educational implications of holding on to objective truth in a culture that values relativistic truth?

Besides conflict, of course! This question is deliberately broad, not focused on teachers, students, curriculum, or institutions specifically, so that the soil of it may be tilled as completely as possible through discussion.

Let's start here: if one holds that objective truth exists, then the interactions with culture, peers, professors, course content, and even the disciplines themselves must be flavored and shaped by that assertion. In a postmodern, relativist culture, this questions is somewhat pressing: there are movements in education that favor both types of truth, and that can make plugging into education, for a student, disciple, or apprentice of an opposing view, feel something like a 120V appliance being plugged into a 220V outlet. Without a transformer, step-down or step-up, these learners seemingly would not be able to approach, apprehend, or socialize around the learning because the premises behind its whole gestalt are out of phase. Or could they? What are the transformers necessary to do so? And the greater question: what are the implications for our culture? Can folks who have these two views, and therefore different educations, inherently, create a functional society together?


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    Jul 12 2013: Morality is a funcion of human action an interaction. It exists as a describer in the moment of action. The human is a neurological process, largely. As matter in motion, he is a fixed truth. He definitely needs energy to continue his metabolism. His action is determined by his neural wiring. A healthy brain is one which creates healthy connections between data condusive to both the metabolism's ongoing process and the brain's ongoing process. I submit if two such bodies of matter interact, there is an ideal possible future where both process are sustained neurologically and physioligcally. The greatest moral good is the one which achieves this sustinance. The lowest immorality is one which results in death; second to that, one which results in damaged neurological/physical processes.

    It is not a moral statement that a serial killer kills and feels good. It is no more a statement of good, than that a good tasting hamburger is a morally good hamburger. We use words to define reality within the human context. The truth is that definition is irrelevant outside the human context. A good definition is one which accurately defines; the best description is the most accurate. Science would agree, it seeks an absolutely correct description by affording itself only statements it can prove to be true, and making no statements beyond that.

    Alas, the science of human interaction cannot yet be scientifically measured. Soft-sciences have tried, and their observations have been useful, but none of these processes can make definitive statements of truth. It is possible that technology and science may one day converge to be able to describe the ideal situation between two individuals perfectly, but it is not there. Until then we must rely on a hologram of science: philosophy. We use such conjecture to make statements about what we don't know. We don't know what's best for ourselves. We can only know by pursuing accurate definitions. I'd expand more, but alas, I have no more room...

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