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Featured Objective, Subjective, Confusion, Reconciliation

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by firedragon, Aug 7, 2022.

  1. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Truth is subjective say some. I hear this from atheists mostly, in this forum. Not "most atheists" but "mostly atheists". It's not true. It's nuanced.

    In studies of sociology or sociology of religion, one outcome taught as fact is that religious truths are subjective. For example, an Ethiopian Jesus is black. An American Jesus is white. Sometimes even God is white for an American, and vice versa. This is subjective truth. But that does not mean there are no objective truths. An American some time ago would have thought a mountain close by was the tallest mountain in the world. Maybe, an American who traveled the whole land at that time and explored every inch would have thought that's the whole world, and what ever the tallest mountain he found was the tallest mountain in the world. That's his truth. Subjective. Because the subjective truth of a Sherpa in the Himalaya's was his subjective truth. Today we know, the Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, and that's an objective fact. Where ever you travel in the universe, and even if you find a million taller mountains around the universe, the Everest will always be the tallest mountain on earth, and that's objectively true. It's an objective fact. The Sherpa were not necessarily "right" in finding an absolute truth about the Everest, but it's just that they have not met the Americans and both have not measured the other's mountain to exchange notes and decide which one is taller. Thus, in studies of sociological background, you don't call it an absolute truth because it's an inductive finding. That does not mean the Everest is not the tallest mountain on earth once you map it out.

    Philosophers predominantly have favoured objective truth's although there were philosophers who proposed relative truths like Protagoras. Yet, generally philosophers believe that "What is true is true for all of us, full stop, whether or not we are aware of it". Even atheists.

    A child may not know who the mother is, but there is a mother somewhere, and that's objectively true. It's an objective fact. If it's proven via DNA analysis that lady A is the mother, it's an objective fact, not relative. But from a child's perspective she may not be the mother. That's only perspective, but not an objective truth. This is a problem with those who claim that IF there is a God, his perspective is subjective as much as human perspective is subjective. It's not correct. It's false reasoning. When a child is born, and comes out of the mothers womb, she knows the child is hers but from a child's perspective it maybe completely different. That does not mean the mother's knowledge is also subjective. It's absurd, unless there is a problem in epistemology or epistemic biases.

    Einstein said that no one would have been taken seriously who failed to acknowledge the quest for objective truth and knowledge as man's highest and eternal aim.

    Qualia does not mean there is no objective truths which is a usual thought experiment or example taken to explain this in philosophy. An orange, when cut up and you make a juice out of it, several different people will have subjective experiences. One might think it's too sweet, the other that it's sour etc. But that does not mean the orange is not round or that it's an orange, or that it's a fruit or that it's orange in colour. Though you may have subjective experiences, there is an objective truth. It's an axiom that analytical truths are true in any world or any universe. One cannot escape that fact, just because we may have some inductive truths that changed in time or because we have relative truths.

    I put this in the science and religion section because science seem like something atheists value a lot. Science does not necessarily work with objective truths but will endeavour within inductive truths, though the ultimate aim is the find objective truths as an epistemic stance of the person. Like Einstein says above. Just because science is an inductive method, that does not mean there is no objective truths in this world. By observation people detected that the sun revolves around the earth, and other people detected that the earth revolves around the sun. This does not mean there is no objective fact. Either this or that is an objective truth. Or, there maybe another third option one would find one day which maybe an objective truth. The fact is, either this or that is true. Objectively.

    In this discussion, I would like to hear how people think and make philosophical arguments about the topic.

    Cheers.
     
    #1 firedragon, Aug 7, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
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  2. sayak83

    sayak83 Veteran Member
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    Its difficult for me to believe that an atheist would say that the value of the speed of light in vacuum is a subjective truth or that the conservation of mass-energy is a subjective truth.
    Perhaps the discussions and debate is whether the moral claims being made by different faith and ideological viewpoints are objective truths or not.
    By the way your example of the "tallest mountain on earth" does not seem a good choice as one can claim that the concept of what is a "mountain" itself is riven with subjectivity and is merely an utilitarian concept that is useful to organic earth dwelling organisms like us. So it will be a meaningless concept for a hypothetical 4 dimensional being made of gravity waves for example....
     
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  3. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Good example. So they should not say that. Great.

    What is your definition of a mountain? Is it different to what a mountain really is? does that make a mountain not a mountain because you have a subjective so called "definition"?

    It's a utilitarian concept? You mean because the usage is for a particular purpose? Does that mean it's a subjective fact? Do mountains exist?

    If you are a mother with a child is it a subjective fact or an objective fact? Is that a utilitarian concept?
     
  4. sayak83

    sayak83 Veteran Member
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    Regarding the mountain, clearly what a mountain is, is dependent on its definition.
    There are clearly ways to model this universe without even having the concept of a mountain. After all we are simply carving out a part of earth's rock formation and calling it a mountain because that specific type of rock formation has certain subjective utility to us to be separately identified as such. The choice of how we carve out the reality into nameable blocks is certainly based on utility of such an endeavor is it not.
    After all, for example, if one flame in one wood stick gives rise to another flame in another wood-stick...we do not call one flame the mother flame and the other flame the daughter flame...do we? But if the same thing happens between one organic cell conglomerate which gives rise to another organic cell conglomerate through certain natural organic processes, we call that " a mother conceiving a child". We are naming the reality blocks in a certain way in the latter case but not the former case because the latter has utility to us in our lives and not the former. Does this not show that the concepts themselves (mountains to mothers) are subjectively dependent on how we experience our lives and hence are subjective.
    This line of reasoning may show that while there may indeed be this objective mass of reality-phenomena out there, the way we are separating them out into inter-related blocks of sub-reality concepts is something that is a primarily utilitarian exercise and hence is very subjective. There may be an infinitely many equally plausible ways to do the same thing because, in reality, this "thing" out there is one whole shebang that no such objectively fixed components like that.
     
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  5. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    So in what definition is not a mountain?

    If you are a mother with a child is it a subjective fact or an objective fact?
     
  6. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I don't disagree with you, I do how to think that you misrepresented a lot of atheists or forgot a word in your text. But at least from my experience and my own view, is that there is no objective moral truth, but rather that it is subjective.

    I would find it unlikely that any atheist or religious person for that matter, wouldn't agree that there is objective truth, such as those that you mentioned, clearly not all mountains here on Earth can be the tallest. Even if we somehow got it wrong about Everest, there will still be a mountain that is the highest, or maybe some should they have the exact same height. But that would be an objective truth.

    So I don't disagree with you, but rather that you need to make a distinction about whether you are referring/including morality or not in what you write.
     
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  7. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    I didn't represent all atheists.

    Good assertion. What's the argument?

    There are some who don't agree there is objective truth. Not just atheists, but even some others who claim to be atheists but are a little different. Like Advaita atheists. Theists do exist who believe there is no objective truth, but that's in academia predominantly which I have explained in the OP on sociology and religion.

    I am not specifically discussion morality. But there are some who cannot distinguish between the usages of the words because its always associated with morality. That's the number one topic in today's world. And some could argue that there are moral truths, absolutes, and realities which has to be included in this topic.
     
  8. sayak83

    sayak83 Veteran Member
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    I think I have explained my position clearly. There need not exist concepts such as mother and child, mountains or oceans in other equally plausible ways to describe reality. Thus the concepts themselves are subjective.
     
  9. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    OK. ).
     
  10. paradox

    paradox (㇏(•̀ᵥᵥ•́)ノ)

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    Objective truth is truth which is independent of one's belief or perception, that is, things which are true remains true regardless of what one believes or does.

    However I would distinguish 2 kinds of objective truths, one is that which can be used as a priori argument and another one is which can't.
    Therefore objective truth is either known to be true or it is unknown to be true, but regardless it is never false.

    Therefore we have known and unknown objective truths.
    Not knowing that something is true does not make that something false.

    Problem with atheists in regard to objective truth however is not so much about objectivity as it is about methods on how does unknown objective truth becomes known, atheists believe that to derive unknown objective truth to known requires empirical evidence, however one can use reasoning a lone trough philosophical arguments to make unknown truths known.
     
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  11. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    I think you have misrepresented 'mostly' atheists. They acknowledge and promote objective truth. That is why they tend to promote science and logic.

    What they do NOT do is say that religions give that objective truth. They typically say that what religions give is not truth at all *because* it is subjective. They acknowledge the subjectivity of religious belief, but deny that it is truth.

    From what I have seen, it is primarily the theists that are promoting subjective truth. They are the ones saying that what they feel is true without objective verification.

    So it looks to me that you have it backwards.
     
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  12. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    And I agree: most atheists would disagree that philosophy alone is a reliable method for finding objective truth. it is just too easy to fall into confirmation bias unless there is empirical evidence to back up beliefs.
     
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  13. rational experiences

    rational experiences Veteran Member

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    As a human my life isn't any philosophy.

    And rationally I could care less what you think life is brother.

    As your history in life on earth is abysmal. Theorising...looking back saying I know as I'm dominion thinker on earth.

    The truth. You wouldn't know it. Otherwise not one act of destruction you chose would have been expressed.
     
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  14. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    I agree with you totally. Only thing is, not all atheists are so against this word objective. There are some atheist philosophers and scientists who's thoughts I have directly used in this OP purposefully to be completely on that side of the fence. The OP has no argument from theologians or theists.
     
  15. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    The clarification is in the next sentence. Not "most atheists" but "mostly atheists".

    That's irrelevant. This is a need. Like an illness. And that's why sometimes people lose their brains and become highly tribalistic etc.

    You mean scientific evidence or some other kind of "empiricism"? What is it that works with objective truths?
     
  16. paradox

    paradox (㇏(•̀ᵥᵥ•́)ノ)

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    I don't think confirmation bias if of big issue since one can always research for arguments which go against proposed thesis.
    Also one who is really devoted into constructing strong arguments will make sure to account for arguments which could be used against his thesis and then there is not much you can do to undermine proposition.

    A grater issue with atheists than confirmation bias and debating religion is their stubborn belief that science is the holly grail to knowledge, but we know for certain (and even scientists confirm that) that science neither seeks nor can have an answer to everything, yet atheists regardless of that fact hold science as the only method.

    Imagine expecting a car mechanic to do all the work with just one tool ex. a hammer, while in fact car mechanic has many tools on it's shelf, depending on task he will use appropriate tool.

    Likewise it doesn't make any sense to use science for everything but rather we should use the right tool depending on problem that is to be solved.
     
    #16 paradox, Aug 7, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  17. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I know, sorry if it sounded as if that was my intention. I simply meant there are probably some atheists that would think so.

    For something to be an objective truth, explained in the most simple and best way, in my opinion, means that something has to be true regardless of whether or not we (humans) were here or not.

    So if we looked at the universe from the outside as a fly on the wall kind of way. It would still be objectively true that a specific mountain on Earth would be taller than the rest. But it would not be an objective truth that killing is always morally wrong, meaning that there is no right or wrong answer to this.

    And I would agree with religious people, that without God there is no foundation for true objective morality. Some atheists, like Sam Harris will try to make it sound as if we collectively agreed that something is wrong, that it would give a foundation for objective morality, but that is simply not true, it is still subjective, and often when atheists that support this idea has to make their argument, they do it by adding obscurity to it. So for instance, saying that it is objectively wrong to torture and poke out the eyes of a baby for fun or something like that. This is simply a way to try to strawman the argument, making those that do not agree with them seem "insane" if they disagree, and if they do they just keep adding more and more obscure things to it. But none of that has any bearing on whether or not something is subjective or objective. Objective morality, just like objective truth, requires that something is true regardless of whether or not we are here, and there is something to judge against. The height of a mountain could be measured using a scale, where 10 is higher than 1, meaning that a mountain with a height of 10 is objectively higher than one with a height of 1.

    Likewise, if God is the creator of everything including morality, it would be against his morality that it is measured. And if God says that killing is wrong, then killing is objectively wrong.

    But as an atheist and not believing in God(s), I see nothing in the Universe that would be a moral judge of whether killing is right or wrong, except for humans, which means that it is subjective and therefore no foundation for objective morality.

    There probably is, in which case I would assume that they are solipsist, and I don't really see any point in discussing anything with them, because it is honestly pointless. Not meant, as I don't like them, but I think their arguments are literally pointless.

    Sure, I don't disagree with that. But again, can only speak for myself, and to me, there is a huge difference as explained above. And there are atheists that are in support of objective moral truth, but I would strongly disagree with them. :)
     
    #17 Nimos, Aug 7, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  18. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    The map is not the territory. - Alfred Korzybski
     
  19. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Could you offer some examples?
     
  20. Alien826

    Alien826 Older than dirt

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    Could you give an example of objective truth being known through pure reason? It seems to me that, outside math and pure logic, everything is provisional until it is tested by examining external reality. This applies to science just as much as philosophy. Science does indeed extrapolate from known facts. The orbit of Mercury was seen not to agree with the calculations of Newtonian gravitation theory, so a planet they called Vulcan was proposed to make the equations balance. No such planet exists. It took Einstein's theory of Relativity to more accurately describe Mercury's orbit. That doesn't mean the idea of Vulcan was a bad thing, it worked as an explanation. The point is that needed to be objectively tested.
     
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