TED Conversations

J Hat
  • J Hat
  • Brandon, FL
  • United States

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

Is truth relative?

Is truth relative? Can truth really be different for one person compared to another? What is your thinking on this?

0
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 7 2011: Truth cannot be relative because the statement "nothing is absolute" is an absolute statement; thus it is self-refuting. One could certainly believe with all of their being that 1+1=3, but they would still be wrong because 1+1=2. It is essential to understand that truth and what one believes, are two separate ideas. As illustrated before, thinking one is right and actually being right are two different things.
    • J Hat

      • 0
      Nov 7 2011: anyone else agree?
    • thumb
      Nov 7 2011: Nothing is absolute outside of its relative context of truth (including the very statement itself) =! nothing is absolute.

      There are instances where you could propose absolute, such as infinity and totality. However, this is true within its defined limitations and context, therefore, relative.

      You have to define the stage from which you propose a truth. Every truth is dependent upon another relationship.
      • thumb
        Nov 7 2011: At this level, the discussion is simply a word game.

        Fun? Yes.

        Entertaining? Yes.

        Will it resolve anything that has not been attempted by Socrates, Locke, Lao Tzu, Goethe, Kant, Whitehead, or West?

        Probably not.
        • thumb
          Nov 8 2011: What was the question attempting to resolve outside of itself?

          Also, are you implying that all discussion is not a word game? Ha ha.
        • thumb
          Nov 10 2011: some discussions and words bring rise to emotion and have lead to wars. If you see everything you put in your mouth as food vs. using other verbage beside food to describe what you put in your mouth, then your ability to comprehend verbage is perfectly described above. Good point!
      • thumb
        Nov 8 2011: Well if truth is a relative idea then what happens when my truth completely contradicts your truth? Thus violating the law of non-contradiction.
        For instance, if I went to my mother and claimed that she is a boy. Even though I would hold it as true, my mother would obviously believe she is a girl. Now we are at a conflict. These truths contradict each other. So one cannot be true since it is in complete contradiction of the other. Without an absolute truth, there is chaos, and nothing could be held as true.
        • thumb
          Nov 8 2011: As Larry Davis stated, situations like this are resolved by persuasion and majority consensus. We encounter relative truths like this everyday.

          There is a lot of chaos in the universe and this does not keep it from perpetuating as it has for some 16 billion years. However, you are right, nothing can really be held ultimately true, it comes down to a matter or perception and the rules defined prior to defining the truth (rules which are also arbitrary).
        • thumb
          Nov 10 2011: you are refering to your "belief" vs. my "belief". Beliefs have to be presented and defended. Truth Is.
      • thumb
        Nov 8 2011: QUOTE: "What was the question attempting to resolve outside of itself?"

        If there is no reason to answer a question, why ask it?


        QUOTE: "Also, are you implying that all discussion is not a word game? Ha ha."

        MOST discussions are not word games, they have an achievable outcome. Sometimes the outcome is simply social: bonding, association, and so on (and in that sense every discussion could be said to serve a purpose.) Sometimes it is more "concrete:" How do we improve the brakes in this car; How do we reduce our environmental footprint; What should I get my wife for her birthday, and the like.
      • thumb
        Nov 8 2011: If the universe is really in chaos, then the laws of nature are not true. They are uniform and quite orderly laws.
        If nothing can be held as ultimately true, then what makes the statement, "There is a lot of chaos in the universe" true?
        Also good rules are not arbitrary rules. Everything must have a reason.
    • thumb
      Nov 7 2011: In numeric base three: 2 + 2 = 4 is false and incoherent. In base three: 2 + 2 = 11 is true and perfectly coherent. – Marco Dorantes

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.