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Author Topic: Absolute truth?  (Read 5640 times)
jub jub
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« on: May 15, 2006, 18:10:10 »

A wise old man once told me, "There are no absolute truths." referring to philosophical teachings. If that's the case, then the statement itself is not true.

What exactly did he mean by this statement?  If I said, "This table is made of wood." wouldn't that be an absolute truth?
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kai wren
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2006, 23:44:32 »

Nothing is true, everything is permitted.
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2006, 23:44:32 »

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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2006, 23:48:42 »

Quote from: jub jub
A wise old man once told me, "There are no absolute truths." referring to philosophical teachings. If that's the case, then the statement itself is not true.

What exactly did he mean by this statement?  If I said, "This table is made of wood." wouldn't that be an absolute truth?


There is some truth in that, but not absolute. You can break it down and say the table is made of molecules and atoms and quarks or whatever, and then break it down again. Then it starts getting philosophical. So in this way, there are no absolute truths, because nothing can be understood 100%.
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Arie
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2006, 21:37:05 »

2:7.1 All finite knowledge and creature understanding are relative. Information and intelligence, gleaned from even high sources, is only relatively complete, locally accurate, and personally true.

2:7.2 Physical facts are fairly uniform, but truth is a living and flexible factor in the philosophy of the universe. Evolving personalities are only partially wise and relatively true in their communications. They can be certain only as far as their personal experience extends. That which apparently may be wholly true in one place may be only relatively true in another segment of creation.

2:7.3 Divine truth, final truth, is uniform and universal, but the story of things spiritual, as it is told by numerous individuals hailing from various spheres, may sometimes vary in details owing to this relativity in the completeness of knowledge and in the repleteness of personal experience as well as in the length and extent of that experience.


http://www.urantiabook.org
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no_leaf_clover
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2006, 10:54:10 »

Quote from: jub jub
A wise old man once told me, "There are no absolute truths." referring to philosophical teachings. If that's the case, then the statement itself is not true.


Yes, which is why it's true. cheesy

There's a very deep and enjoyable book called Godel, Escher, and Bach that deals with ideas such as what you've just posted. Self-reference and paradoxical loops are a big part of the book.

I reallllly recommend you check it out if you like to play with your own head.

Quote
If I said, "This table is made of wood." wouldn't that be an absolute truth?


No. You cannot speak absolute truths.

"This table is made of wood" only makes sense to you because you speak English. And even then, what if I disagree?
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2006, 10:54:10 »



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veliki grizli
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2006, 00:23:39 »

Quote from: jub jub
A wise old man once told me, "There are no absolute truths." referring to philosophical teachings. If that's the case, then the statement itself is not true.

What exactly did he mean by this statement?  If I said, "This table is made of wood." wouldn't that be an absolute truth?


Truth is usualy connected to dual things like fats from physical world
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jilola
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2006, 00:49:52 »

I second No_Leaf_clover's recommendation.
Gödel, Escher, Bach keeps on giving.

"There are no absolute truth's" is interesting because it is true on every level but possibly untrue on the level above. That creates a nice cascade of relative frames of reference which is exactly what the original sentence is meant to convey.

Also for the potential reader, the sentence is an example of Kurt Gödel's "big theorem" which states along the lines of
"All consistent axiomatic formulations of number theory include undecidable propositions"


In other words there are grammatically correct sentences that claim things that cannot be proven correct in the same language.
On a higher level (say the perceptual reality we call reality/life) the same implies there are things that cannot be proven/disproven within the same level.
Which incidentally is why proving an OBE is next to impossible but we cannot decide on which side of imposible it is next to.

Read the book though, if you haven't already.

2cents & L&L
Jouni
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LewdM@thew
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2006, 16:47:38 »

I'm a bit confused here.  If there are no absolute truths, why are you debating the truth of that statement?  

I can give an example of an absolute truth.  Existence.  Existence is an absolute truth because anything other than existence is, quite literally, non-existent.  For something to be considered relative, there must be some sort of counter existence, otherwise it is absolute by default. However, unlike opinions/perceptions and many other things that exist within reality...there is no counter existence to existence.  You may say oblivion, but it doesn't exist by nature.  Sure, the word oblivion exists, the idea of oblivion exists...by what those things represent do not.  And the word oblivion and the idea of oblivion surely exist, so there is no counterpart to existence.  

Ive seen this 'there is no absolute truth" argument before, and i must say, its about one of the most self-defeating notions I'm come across.  Its right up there with "the impossible is possible"  rolleyes .   I'm sorry if that just offended someone, but just think about it.  If the impossible were possible, then it would have never been impossible to begin with.  Perhaps the seemingly impossible is possible.  But genuinely speaking, for something to qualify as impossible, it must NOT be possible.   Its just easy to use language to pair two contradicting notions together to create a pseudo 'epiphany' but in the end, its just word play.  

The person who began this thread had a point, and regardless of how people try to dance around the issue with misleading wording...its impossible for there to be no absolute truths.  I think many people are over thinking a quite simple idea.

Truth = Existence.   For there to be no absolute truth, there can be no absolute existence, but how can there be no absolute existence?  The totality of existence is absolute, regardless of what that existence is compromised of.  Even if we all live in our own little reality bubbles completely isolated from one an other, the totality of that situation is...that we all live in reality bubbles.  See what i mean?   So long as there is any existence (at all), the totality of that existence (or existences) is an absolute truth.  The only way there could be no absolute truth is if there was nothing to be totaled.  But the only way for this to be true is if there was no existence, on any level, whatsoever.  But this clearly isn't the case.  

I suppose if reality was infinite, there couldn't technically be a totality of existence.  But that doesn't matter.  So long as something exists (with just so happens to be a prerequisite of infinity), then that's the one absolute truth there is.  In fact, nothing can be true without being, at least a part, of an absolute truth.  

Take this sociological principle for example.  People with bigger hands tend to steal more than people with smaller hands.  I didn't make that up, there are tons and tons of evidence to back that up.  So much, in fact, its practically irrefutable (practically, please don't get all philosophical on me, its just an example  wink ).  But, this 'truth' is only part of a larger truth.  That larger truth is "men tend to have bigger hands then women, and men are more likely to steal than women."  So in a way, the bigger-hand statement is true...just not the whole truth.  I could go on to say that stealing is liked to testosterone, and that's a larger truth behind why men tend to steal more often than women, but in the end, its pointless.   All truths, even proximate truths like the one i was describing are all part of a larger truth.  And this inevitably means all truths are just part of an absolute truth, even if its infinite.  And that truth, you ask?  Existence. Nothing can be true without existence, for to "be" is to exist.
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2006, 04:26:19 »

Quote
Truth = Existence. For there to be no absolute truth, there can be no absolute existence, but how can there be no absolute existence? The totality of existence is absolute, regardless of what that existence is compromised of. Even if we all live in our own little reality bubbles completely isolated from one an other, the totality of that situation is...that we all live in reality bubbles. See what i mean? So long as there is any existence (at all), the totality of that existence (or existences) is an absolute truth. The only way there could be no absolute truth is if there was nothing to be totaled. But the only way for this to be true is if there was no existence, on any level, whatsoever. But this clearly isn't the case.

I suppose if reality was infinite, there couldn't technically be a totality of existence. But that doesn't matter. So long as something exists (with just so happens to be a prerequisite of infinity), then that's the one absolute truth there is. In fact, nothing can be true without being, at least a part, of an absolute truth.


I can see this to an extent. That there is only one absolute truth: The Logos. The first utterance of which all creation comes from. The fact that anything "exists". But only the fact is absolute, not the "things" in existence. There is not "absolute existence" or we would all be immortal, time wouldn't exist, and nothing would ever change. To some, physical reality exists as "absolute". To others, it may be a 3D hologram representing a totally separate reality created out of consciousness, not observable with physical senses. We know there is some sort of existence, the "fact" that things exist, but we can't prove it to be "absolute", because it could be totally different than the way it's measured and percieved.
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LewdM@thew
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2006, 05:45:01 »

I don't really think tangible proof is needed to conclude that existence (in general) is absolute.  Specific existences may not be absolute, in fact, I'm pretty sure they are not.  Otherwise, like you said, nothing would ever change. But existence itself is different.  The whole issue comes down to just a few possible, hypothetical alternatives.

1.)  That existence is absolute.  There is no need to discuss this option because the issue we are discussing revolves around the other possible alternatives.

2.) That existence is not absolute, meaning there is something other than existence.  Of course, this is just word play.  There cannot "be" anything other than existence, because to "be" implies an existence.  All there is is existence, naturally.

3.) That existence is not infinite.  Of course, infinity implies an existence of some sort, simply because its used to describe something else.  You cannot describe a non-existence, thus if anything is infinite, its existence.  

4.) That nothing is infinite.  If nothing is infinite, then there is nothing challenging existences finite absoluteness.  And without an infinite counter existence to challenge a finite existence, the totality of the finite existence is absolute by default (because there is nothing beyond it)
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2006, 15:56:19 »

This is a never ending circle, because both sides are hypothesis, and can't be proven on a physical, thinking level. They are many philosophies/religions that speak of a state of "non-being". The yin-yang symbolizes this - that there is a balance between "being" and "non-being". However it's like looking at 2 sides of a coin at once. You can't do it, you can only see the coin as a whole, giving it an illusion of being absolute. You have to separate your perception of both sides, relying on time and space. However, perception is different outside of time and space, because it's not absolute. Infinity encompasses everything, both being and non-being.
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LewdM@thew
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2006, 19:09:23 »

Quote from: Stookie
Infinity encompasses everything, both being and non-being.


I understand this, but at the same time, i think it may be do the misconceptions people often have regarding non-existence (including myself).  Infinity can't encompass what doesn't exist, and similarly, what doesn't exist cannot be qualified as infinite (or anything) because any quality is dependent on the existence its describing. For "something" to "be" infinite, its must "be" "something" first and foremost.  So even though the idea that nonexistence is infinite sounds accurate, i think that just more of our mind trying to make sense of 'something' it simply can't.  But that's just how i see it  wink
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2006, 21:03:02 »

Quote from: LewdM@thew
So even though the idea that nonexistence is infinite sounds accurate, i think that just more of our mind trying to make sense of 'something' it simply can't.  But that's just how i see it  wink

Exactly. Our minds can't comprehend "non-existence" because our minds "exist". The fact that this goes in philosophical circles, to me, is an example that there may not be an absolute. It depends way too much on perception.

It makes you think though... that's why I love philosophy  Smiley
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jub jub
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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2006, 03:36:13 »

Incredible that one small statement can create such a conflict of ideas!

No one is right and everyone is right!

Gets the head gravy flowing though doesn't it!  grin
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LewdM@thew
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2006, 03:42:27 »

It doesnt make sense, not at an absolute level.  Proximately yes, if you buy into that whole "you create your own reality" thing, but even if that were true, the absolute truth would be *drumroll*  we all create our own realities. You just can't get away from it.

So long as there is existance there is an absolute truth, because all an absolute truth is is the totality of existance. 
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Alaskans
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2006, 08:50:18 »

You guys are confusing yourselves. Didn't I already tell you the 'absolute truth'?  cheesy Your putting in all this mumbo-jumbo just to fill in the 'I dont knows'. I know the perpose of our reality, It's not some big secret. Do you really want to know whats beyond the reality created for us? Why not just accept your role in the universe, we aren't 'Godhead', so thinking outside reality isn't our job.
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peaceful warrior
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2006, 03:55:07 »

you people are thinking way too much about it.

"there is no absolute truth"

that statment contradicts itself because if nothing is true then that statement cannot be true. and since nothing is true the statement would then be right. but if the statement is right then it is true , and so on and so on.

it is another way of saying an ancient paradox( not sure if i am using this word right but i think so)

This sentance is false

it means absolutly nothing because if it does mean something it would be wrong so it contridicts itself no matter how you look at it.
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James S
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2006, 08:28:30 »

Incredible that one small statement can create such a conflict of ideas!

No one is right and everyone is right!
That's just it!
No one is right and everyone is right.
I like that!

So many hangups about what is true and what isn't. When we get hung up on what is or isn't true, we immediately limit ourselves.

That's my personal truth - things change, truths change. It's all fluid!

The example used earlier of "the table is made of wood"...
At this current time it may be made of wood, but once it was just the idea of wood in a seed's genetic coding. In the future it might be either bits of carbon or decomposed wood molecules that have gone back into the earth as basic chemicals.

Truth can be very much a personal perspective, which makes it all true.
Absolutely!  smiley

Blessings,
James.
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