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Chacham's Journal: Philosophical: Absolute truths 9

Journal by Chacham

I'm reading some book on the topic of truths in the Descartes method, and then mentions deduction and induction. Of course, this means i'll be thinking about it, as it can only tickle and tantalize me so far before i give in. The question on the table then is, "What are the absolute truths?" Absolute means that they are not inductive, or even deductive based on other absolutes.

Personally, i've always felt that the first thing any dicipline or methodolgy does is define it's area. Only a moron would say that Science can explain everything, or that humans can understand everything, or that it is obvious to everyone that G-d exists. First thing in making a statement, is to know where or how that statement applies, hence the dicipline or methodology.

Defining areas is quite simple. Though, i am a bit afraid to give examples as each may spur it's own thread. On second thought... :) For example, Science limits itself in three obvious ways. One, it tests explanations, it itself does not explain. Two, It can only test that which is repeatable. Three the world is assumed to be Order and not Chaos. If someone opposes the third, or the situation does not fall under the first two, Science simply does not apply. That then declares its boundaries giving it a definition. That is, it knows where it *doesn't* apply. And then, Science has free reign.

Further, if a person thinks he knows everything (as opposed to me who actually does know everything), he is generally rejected even on minutia that one would easily accept from anyone else. However, when a person says what things they don't know, people tend to trust them more on what they say that they do know. Simply, people are trusted when they accept that facts can exist whether they comprehend them or not.

With that said, i think three statements can be made.

1) Statements can be made.
2) Deduction is truthful.
3) It cannot be proven that everything can be proven.

The first and second statements must be true, as if they weren't, they would contradict themselves. The first merely by existing, for how could it have been made if it can't be made? The second, can only be disproven with deduction, that is, "since one doesn't know that, it therefore cannot be said."

The third statement is merely a defintion. By trying to prove things, we realize that not everything can be proven. Similarly, one cannot say the universe is in fact a universe and not a multiverse, and we are inside the universe. One would have to be outside it to what else may be there. Here, in order to prove things, we are defining an area known as the provable, thus we cannot know that everything falls under this realm.


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Philosophical: Absolute truths

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  • But, I will say that I approach anyone who speaks about "absolute truths" with caution. In my experience, "truth" shifts based on your vantage point.
    • "truth" shifts based on your vantage

      Possibly, if belief is intertwined. However, logic itself is necessarily impersonal, and easy enough to understand since everything (logical) is either true or false.

      So, there should be some way to agree on absolute truths, before any personals values are mixed in.
  • by On Lawn (1073)

    My Dad taught me much the same. Science contains useful truths, while religion is a vehicle to find absolute truth. The term "absolute" is up for much debate though.
  • (3) It cannot be proven that everything can be proven.
    Er, isn't this (sort of) a conclusion of Gödel's Theorem?! That there are things we know are true but which we cannot prove are true?
    • Er, isn't this (sort of) a conclusion of Gödel's Theorem?!

      No idea. I never read his works.

      That there are things we know are true but which we cannot prove are true?

      No. This is different. This statement guarantees that there are things that can never be proven whatsoever. I was theorizing that we cannot prove that everything can be proven. That is, even if everything actually can be proven, we cannot know that. Though, it should be posssible to actually prove everything.
      • I was theorizing that we cannot prove that everything can be proven.
        OK, let me put it like this: Gödel's Theorem proves that we cannot prove everything.

        In other words, we can prove that we cannot prove everything.

        In other words, I think that falsifies your theorizing.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.