# Absolute Truth is Unobtainable

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Sun 7 Jun, 2009 05:44 pm
The most reliable method of proof obtainable by mankind is deductive reasoning. Also, using deductive reasoning to prove/disprove any given logical rule would simply be a circular argument. Therefore, there can never exist a reason to believe that the rules of logic are true, or that the rules of logic are the tools used in discovering truth. It follows that their can never exist a reason to believe that any given theorem is true, even when accompanied by a proof that has been constructed by deductive reasoning. Absolute truth is unobtainable.

Of course I can say that all human observations and experiences have never involved an illogical event. There are numerous observations and experiences. Therefore, the rules of logic are true. The problem with this argument is that it is constructed by inductive reasoning. Furthermore, the problem with inductive reasoning is that even though it approaches the truth concerning the rules of logic, we can never know when we actually reach the truth concerning the rules of logic. In other words, inductive reasoning is unreliable. Absolute truth is unobtainable.

For example, consider a bag of 999 black marbles and one white marble. A marble is taken out (without replacement) one by one. Eventually, one uses inductive reasoning to reach the false assumption that every marble in the bag is black. Ultimately, the white marble is chosen and it is discovered that the assumption of every marble being black is wrong. My point is that even though inductive reasoning approaches the truth concerning the rules of logic, we can never know when we actually reach the truth concerning the rules of logic. Absolute truth is unobtainable.

Like I said, inductive reasoning approaches the truth. As time goes on, we as human beings acquire more observations and experiences. If new observations and experiences conform to the current laws of logic, then it is more probable that the current laws of logic are true. On the other hand, if new observations and experiences contradict the current laws of logic, then we must create a new complete and consistent set of logical rules that makes sense of both the new observations and experiences and the old observations and experiences. A newer set of logical laws will obviously be truer than an older set of logical laws. Of course, we don't know what the probability is that the laws of logic are true, because we don't know how many events will take place in time overall. Absolute truth is unobtainable.

One might ask, "What happens if new observations and experiences contradict the current laws of logic, and it is impossible to create a new complete and consistent set of logical rules that makes sense of both the new observations and experiences and the old observations and experiences?" Maybe random events exist. Maybe absolute truth doesn't exist. The only proposition I can say for certain though is that absolute truth is unobtainable.

This argument uses deductive reasoning that conforms to the date of June 7th, 2009.

Fido

Sun 7 Jun, 2009 09:09 pm
@JeffD2,
Are you trying to say inconceivable... If so, then yes, because it is a moral concept and moral concepts are all infinites...As a practical matter, every concept can be compared to a reality for a measure of truth... Is the animal a dog??? What is the concept of a dog compared to the animal???Does it involve deduction, induction, insight, observation, definitions, identity??? Absolutely... There is no single path to truth, and I do not pretend to offer a comprehensive list...
And truth is an infinite, so it can never be an absolute... So what??? Even where logical scientific truth is out of reach, we still need the concept, and in fact, we have in our lives the most certain measure of truth... Truth is life... Without enough truth we die...But enough is always the magic number... Get enough and settle for it...

JeffD2

Sun 7 Jun, 2009 09:19 pm
@Fido,
What I'm saying is that we can never know the truth about anything. There is no way to know if our rules of logic are correct. We can't even know the probability of them being correct. Therefore, we cannot be absolutely certain about anything.

To be absolutely certain about something is to know the truth.

Fido

Sun 7 Jun, 2009 09:51 pm
@JeffD2,
JeffD2;67249 wrote:
What I'm saying is that we can never know the truth about anything. There is no way to know if our rules of logic are correct. We can't even know the probability of them being correct. Therefore, we cannot be absolutely certain about anything.

To be absolutely certain about something is to know the truth.

You can never know the absolute truth about anything, but what is false kills people, so the truth can be known...
Logic is really good with the physical world, and logic does work, or rather, what works teaches logic.. Something like the first nuclear bombs required an immense number of logical calculation that obviously worked, as long as a lot of physical acts in order to refine enough nuclear material of the correct weight...The logistics were amazing, and experiments were done and new skills achieved based upon the simple logic of numbers....So please don't tell me it does not work... Perhaps you are asking the wrong question...Perhaps your logic is flawed..Perhaps your base knowledge is wrong...We can only honestly know reality, that is physical reality because it moves in what we know as a logical fashion...A Patton said: You can't push a string, and logic is a string, so it does not much increase our knowledge...As with the bomb, the logic is never any better than the proof played out in physical terms

richrf

Sun 7 Jun, 2009 10:21 pm
@JeffD2,
JeffD2;67249 wrote:
What I'm saying is that we can never know the truth about anything. There is no way to know if our rules of logic are correct. We can't even know the probability of them being correct. Therefore, we cannot be absolutely certain about anything.

To be absolutely certain about something is to know the truth.

I agree. Everything is in constant flux and we all experience everything from our own perspective. The concept of truth satisfies a need for hierarchy. Me ... I'm satisfied with observing and experiencing all that is around me.

Rich

Fido

Mon 8 Jun, 2009 05:53 am
@richrf,
richrf;67263 wrote:
I agree. Everything is in constant flux and we all experience everything from our own perspective. The concept of truth satisfies a need for hierarchy. Me ... I'm satisfied with observing and experiencing all that is around me.

Rich

You are not denying truth, or that it can be found with observation...You have a key in your pocket, -perhaps many... Each one of those keys fits a specific lock, and no other... If you try to go some where, you need the correct key for the auto... And when you get back you will need the correct key for your door...Without this truth nothing works... But of the physical world, of the forces and reactions we know, if we do not understand them truly, nothing we do or build will go or stand as intended...We understand our world by way of forms and recreate our world out of forms...If they are not true to reality the reality we build from our forms will be flawed...There are limits to truth and to our understanding... We need enough truth... We need truth where our forms inform us as to our reality...This is the only place the word has universal meaning, but whether we can conceive of truth or not, we still need enough truth, or death is certain...

JeffD2

Mon 8 Jun, 2009 06:43 am
@Fido,
Fido;67254 wrote:
You can never know the absolute truth about anything, but what is false kills people, so the truth can be known...
Logic is really good with the physical world, and logic does work, or rather, what works teaches logic.. Something like the first nuclear bombs required an immense number of logical calculation that obviously worked, as long as a lot of physical acts in order to refine enough nuclear material of the correct weight...The logistics were amazing, and experiments were done and new skills achieved based upon the simple logic of numbers....So please don't tell me it does not work... Perhaps you are asking the wrong question...Perhaps your logic is flawed..Perhaps your base knowledge is wrong...We can only honestly know reality, that is physical reality because it moves in what we know as a logical fashion...A Patton said: You can't push a string, and logic is a string, so it does not much increase our knowledge...As with the bomb, the logic is never any better than the proof played out in physical terms

What do you mean by "what is false kills people"? I'm completely clueless on how to respond to that.

Also, I am not saying that the laws of logic are wrong. I am saying that we dont know if they are right or wrong (right = true, wrong = false).

As time goes on, we as the human race are approaching the truth concerning the laws of logic. This is because, the human race obtains more observations and experiences as time goes on. If new observations and experiences conform to the current laws of logic, then it is more probable that the current laws of logic are true. On the other hand, if new observations and experiences contradict the current laws of logic, then we must create a new complete and consistent set of logical rules that makes sense of both the new observations and experiences and the old observations and experiences. A newer set of logical laws will obviously be truer than an older set of logical laws. Of course, we don't know what the probability is that the laws of logic are true, because we don't know how many events will take place in time overall. Absolute truth is unobtainable.

Just because nobody has witnessed an illogical event doesnt mean illogical events dont exist. Inductive reasoning proves nothing. It just makes things more probable.

I am not asking the wrong question and my logic is not flawed.

---------- Post added at 08:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:43 AM ----------

Truth can not be found with pure observation.

For example, Prove that the sky is blue. One would first have to understand what blue is, or understand the definition of blue. Then that person would look up to the sky. Finally that person would compare the color of the sky to his/her understanding of the meaning of blue. (I know that the sky isnt always blue, but you get the point)

When you observe something, you are taking basic logic for granted. You are not realizing that you are actually using it.

P.S. If anyone can prove to me that the laws of logic are correct/incorrect, then tell me. I would love to know the answer.

Fido

Mon 8 Jun, 2009 07:52 am
@JeffD2,
People who fly planes can fly them because truly, everything works as designed... There once was a kennedy... Everything worked for him...He learned to fly, but was not instrament rated... He wanted to take a little trip, but was a little bit late... When He finally left, he had to fly over the ocean at night... He did not believe his instraments, which were correct, but believed his senses, which are always flawed, and everyone should realize are flawed; and so he flew his plane into the ocean, and died with his companions....The truth might have kept him alive, and the want of truth killed him... Drive down the road...The truth should be that the road proceeds before you, or seems to...I saw a woman with a smashed up front end to her car the other day...It carried a big wad of grass where the bumper plowed a furrow... The truth might be that she was off roading in a vehicle not specifically designed for that form of entertainment...No less, of forms of dwellings, our structures are designed for certain forces, weather, wind, frost, flood... In earth quake zones they must be built for acceleration... We usually do not think of our houses going anywhere unless they have wheels under them... But the truth must be recognized and adapted to, or death, or destruction will certainly result... Yes we can know truth...No we cannot know absolute truth... But, then, that is not necessary... We only need to know what we need to know, and the problem is that we never know in advance what we need to know.. So we very often suffer the want of truth...And if we will not suffer the want of truth we must know much that we may never find a use for, that may be only useless fact...

---------- Post added at 09:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:52 AM ----------

Every new discovery in science changes our view of what is logical..Nature teaches logic... We think a falling object is natural given the force of gravity, but a rising object would suddenly change our perception of what is logical...

richrf

Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:35 am
@Fido,
Fido;67310 wrote:
We need enough truth... We need truth where our forms inform us as to our reality...This is the only place the word has universal meaning, but whether we can conceive of truth or not, we still need enough truth, or death is certain...

Some people may need Truth. Maybe it gives them some motivation. Maybe it gives them status. Maybe it gives them a good marketing ploy to sell a lot of books. For sure, if someone has one Truth it will disagree with another's Truth, and thereby arises Heraclitus conflict - which may or may not be a truth.

As for me, I am satisfied, observing that which I can observe, not caring whether it is a Truth or otherwise, because I need none of the above.

Rich

William

Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:38 am
@JeffD2,
What killed Kennedy had nothing to do with the truth. Kennedy's logic is what killed him. He illogically deduced he was experienced enough to fly. That "avoided" the truth and rationalization took over, which is ignoring any preceived truth to satisfy a selfish desire. The desire was to get to his destination. Had he adhered to the perceived truth that he was not competent enough to fulfill that desire. he would have never gotton on the plane.
William

---------- Post added at 10:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:08 AM ----------

Jeff, Your post was right on the mark. The reason we do not rely on deductive reassoning is because of our rationalizations we make to reach selfish goals. And it is those rationalizations that not only kill us, but also kill others. We rationalize what is the truth simply because the truth does not agree with our rationalizations. Hence the phrase "The Truth Hurts". To know the absolute truth, one one have to know all there is in the universe. Unfortunately there are some who claimed they do and deductive reasoning, if it conflicts with "what" they know, doesn't fit into their equations in that they feel no one can refute their knowledge based on their illogical rationalizations.
Hence, the ego is created. Kennedy's ego is what killed him. After all, he was a Kennedy and they lived in Camelot. No one could dispute his logic.
William

Fido

Mon 8 Jun, 2009 09:38 am
@William,
Quote:

William;67336 wrote:
What killed Kennedy had nothing to do with the truth. Kennedy's logic is what killed him. He illogically deduced he was experienced enough to fly. That "avoided" the truth and rationalization took over, which is ignoring any preceived truth to satisfy a selfish desire. The desire was to get to his destination. Had he adhered to the perceived truth that he was not competent enough to fulfill that desire. he would have never gotton on the plane.
William

And logic is not a means to discover truth???.He had not logic and he had not truth, and life was the prize and life he lost...And ---------- Post added at 10:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:08 AM ----------

Jeff, Your post was right on the mark. The reason we do not rely on deductive reassoning is because of our rationalizations we make to reach selfish goals. And it is those rationalizations that not only kill us, but also kill others. We rationalize what is the truth simply because the truth does not agree with our rationalizations. Hence the phrase "The Truth Hurts". To know the absolute truth, one one have to know all there is in the universe. Unfortunately there are some who claimed they do and deductive reasoning, if it conflicts with "what" they know, doesn't fit into their equations in that they feel no one can refute their knowledge based on their illogical rationalizations.
Hence, the ego is created. Kennedy's ego is what killed him. After all, he was a Kennedy and they lived in Camelot. No one could dispute his logic.
William

Truth is an infinite, and yet in one sense it is not...We can idealize truth... That is, everytime we can define anything, which means, we form an idea of it, this form can be compared against the reality, and the reality can be compared to the form...We do not have reality directly... We cannot pick up even a single leaf with our minds... We grasp reality through forms, and it is these forms which must be true if they will be useful...

JeffD2

Mon 8 Jun, 2009 09:43 am
@William,
I just had a thought...If "absolute truth is unobtainable" is true, then wouldnt the absolute truth be that absolute truth is unobtainable. Absolute truth is a paradox.

Maybe the only absolute truth we can know is that we cant know anything except this statement.

Maybe it is correct to say the following: "All I can be certain of is that I know nothing for certain, except this statement."

---------- Post added at 11:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:43 AM ----------

Didn't Socrates say that also?

JeffD2

Tue 9 Jun, 2009 09:39 pm
@JeffD2,
JeffD2;67352 wrote:
I just had a thought...If "absolute truth is unobtainable" is true, then wouldnt the absolute truth be that absolute truth is unobtainable. Absolute truth is a paradox.

Maybe the only absolute truth we can know is that we cant know anything except this statement.

Maybe it is correct to say the following: "All I can be certain of is that I know nothing for certain, except this statement."

---------- Post added at 11:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:43 AM ----------

Didn't Socrates say that also?

I take back what I said. Socrates said "I know that I know nothing". Also, I feel like I've proved that absolute truth is unobtainable and "I know that I know nothing". Wouldnt this imply that the truth value about this statement unknown. I've proved nothing but my arguement is valid. Does this mean the laws of logic are a paradox? If logic is a paradox and logic is supposed to demonstrate how reality operates, then is reality a paradox. If it is, then everything is a paradox. Thus, truth value is an illusion.

Damn...

Fido

Tue 9 Jun, 2009 10:10 pm
@JeffD2,
JeffD2;67876 wrote:
I take back what I said. Socrates said "I know that I know nothing". Also, I feel like I've proved that absolute truth is unobtainable and "I know that I know nothing". Wouldnt this imply that the truth value about this statement unknown. I've proved nothing but my arguement is valid. Does this mean the laws of logic are a paradox? If logic is a paradox and logic is supposed to demonstrate how reality operates, then is reality a paradox. If it is, then everything is a paradox. Thus, truth value is an illusion.

Damn...

The only thing they have really been able to pin on Socrates is that Knowledge is Virtue... It is a mouth full, and yet incorrect...People do good because they are good,, and all the knowledge of what is right is wasted of bad people....

Satan phil

Tue 9 Jun, 2009 10:12 pm
@JeffD2,
I agree with you Jeff. There is much to be skeptical about.

Affirming the consequent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Problem of induction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Grue and bleen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fido

Wed 10 Jun, 2009 05:59 am
@JeffD2,
There is everything to be skeptical about...

Alan McDougall

Fri 12 Jun, 2009 09:21 pm
@JeffD2,
Know the truth and the truth will MAKE you free

Zetetic11235

Sat 13 Jun, 2009 12:31 am
@Alan McDougall,
We know what we experience. It is all inductive, so we don't know that there is some mystical ever pervasive tautology that makes it necessary that everything is contingent upon everything else and that this is the only way things could ever work, so we can't say that it is guaranteed that some process will continue; but so what?

If the sun didn't rise tomorrow, we might be screwed over big time, but there is nothing to indicate that, so why would we consider the possibility?
This is why in practical terms we go on our best guesses, what has always been right and we hope will always be right. There is no big universal guarantee, and that is essentially what you are looking for.

You have recognized that there might be a little need for a bit of faith, lest you doubt yourself into nothing but a jibbering loon:D. You see, you have come to the point where reasonably certain things can be doubt-able, so they should be doubted, but in fact there is no sense in doubting them. This is one of the few instances a bit of faith in what has been determined is necessary, if only for practical purposes. You might doubt a claim, but just doubt judiciously.

To be rational means, more than anything else, to utilize logic along with certain givens to come to a sound conclusion. There is no basis for axioms beyond that they seem intrinsic or obvious.

Fido

Sat 13 Jun, 2009 07:32 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;68685 wrote:
Know the truth and the truth will MAKE you free

Well; that certainly explains that...

---------- Post added at 09:40 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:32 AM ----------

Zetetic11235;68709 wrote:
We know what we experience. It is all inductive, so we don't know that there is some mystical ever pervasive tautology that makes it necessary that everything is contingent upon everything else and that this is the only way things could ever work, so we can't say that it is guaranteed that some process will continue; but so what?

If the sun didn't rise tomorrow, we might be screwed over big time, but there is nothing to indicate that, so why would we consider the possibility?
This is why in practical terms we go on our best guesses, what has always been right and we hope will always be right. There is no big universal guarantee, and that is essentially what you are looking for.

You have recognized that there might be a little need for a bit of faith, lest you doubt yourself into nothing but a jibbering loon:D. You see, you have come to the point where reasonably certain things can be doubt-able, so they should be doubted, but in fact there is no sense in doubting them. This is one of the few instances a bit of faith in what has been determined is necessary, if only for practical purposes. You might doubt a claim, but just doubt judiciously.

To be rational means, more than anything else, to utilize logic along with certain givens to come to a sound conclusion. There is no basis for axioms beyond that they seem intrinsic or obvious.

So, truth is life: We all know what we experience... But senses lie, and memories evade the truth, and must, if we would not punish ourselves for our constant stupidity...We are all the heroes ofour own narative...No onee knows the demons we have swatted like flys, or crushed beneath our fingers... No one knows our fantasies and fetishes, so what part of our experiences can we share???We cannot begin to know truth because the first part of knowing truth is knowing self, and who are we... I know a great man who is dying, and I have no doubt that he is growing through the experience, and what can he tell us when it is over???. All through our lives we grow and change, and the needs of this day may not follow us into tomorrow, so their truth will be left hanging like a honker on the ceiling...

JeffD2

Sat 13 Jun, 2009 11:03 am
@Zetetic11235,
Zetetic11235;68709 wrote:
We know what we experience. It is all inductive, so we don't know that there is some mystical ever pervasive tautology that makes it necessary that everything is contingent upon everything else and that this is the only way things could ever work, so we can't say that it is guaranteed that some process will continue; but so what?

If the sun didn't rise tomorrow, we might be screwed over big time, but there is nothing to indicate that, so why would we consider the possibility?
This is why in practical terms we go on our best guesses, what has always been right and we hope will always be right. There is no big universal guarantee, and that is essentially what you are looking for.

You have recognized that there might be a little need for a bit of faith, lest you doubt yourself into nothing but a jibbering loon:D. You see, you have come to the point where reasonably certain things can be doubt-able, so they should be doubted, but in fact there is no sense in doubting them. This is one of the few instances a bit of faith in what has been determined is necessary, if only for practical purposes. You might doubt a claim, but just doubt judiciously.

To be rational means, more than anything else, to utilize logic along with certain givens to come to a sound conclusion. There is no basis for axioms beyond that they seem intrinsic or obvious.

Is there anything to indicate that there will/wont be a future and time wont just collapse now?

I guess technically there is no "sense" in doubting them, only because what is 'sensable" is defined by what is logical. This is a perfect case of why definitions and language sometimes get in the way of philisophical arguement. Maybe there is nothing logically sensible to deny them, but truly sensible there is. They have no foundation.

Nothing can be looked at as obvious. Look at all the paradoxes and illogical things that are happening with quantum mechanics. There has been talk about creating a new set of logical rules called quantum logic. I dont know if they have officially done this yet, but thats besides the point.

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