Rant on Absolute Truth

The more I think about it, the more I do not comprehend how some people can believe that there is no absolute truth.

There are subjective truths–beliefs that hold true to any individual.

There are objective truths–things or events we can observe (excluding our interpretation of these things or events).

Subjective truths can be lies. Or maybe to some people, there are only subjective lies.

But then, if you believe that there are only subjective truths and no absolute truth, isn’t that belief in itself an attempt to state an absolute truth?

Someone must be wrong, someone must be right.

A subjective truth can be an absolute truth then, right? If I were to say, “It is wrong to torture puppies and kill babies,” that can be a subjective truth and an absolute truth at the same time, right?

In fact, all absolute truth is subjective…right? If there is an absolute right, then there is an absolute wrong. And where there is right and wrong, there will be people who believe in what’s right, and there will be people who believe in what’s wrong. They will each believe in their own “subjective truths”, but some truths HAVE to be right. Some truths must be absolute truths.

And if someone who does not believe in absolute truth disagrees with what I have to say here, then why would that person even care that I believe in something different? Why would it matter that I did not say something that seemed “true” to the person? A person who does not believe in absolute truth contradicts him/herself by believing in anything at all.

objective

based on facts rather than feelings or opinions: not influenced by feelings

existing outside of the mind: existing in the real world

subjective

based on feelings or opinions rather than facts

relating to the way a person experiences things in his or her own mind

(Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

I just find it funny how we’re so used to thinking about objectivity and accuracy when we talk about something being absolute. Absolute truth is based on itself (THE truth), exists outside of the mind/in the real world AND relates to the way a person experiences things in his or her own mind.

One thought on “Rant on Absolute Truth

  1. Researching social constructionism would help you a lot, rather than simply trying to think through complex issues. Anyway, as someone who does believe that truth is subjective, I’ll critique your piece for you.

    You go badly wrong early with this: “There are objective truths–things or events we can observe (excluding our interpretation of these things or events).”
    The whole point of subjective truth is that humans cannot access any kind of objective truths. They exist, but it is impossible for us to perceive them . You think your senses deliver an accurate picture of reality? You think your brain can understand things in an independent, non-socially constructed way? If you think about it, with the help of Google, you’ll understand that the answer is emphatically ‘no’.

    A better attempt is here: “But then, if you believe that there are only subjective truths and no absolute truth, isn’t that belief in itself an attempt to state an absolute truth?”
    Here’s the thing about theories of subjective truth. They do basically hold that we cannot know anything, including (apparently paradoxically) that everything is subjective. So what do we do in a meaningless, truthless universe? We make our own meaning and truth, based on our genetically- and mimetically-instilled virtues and logic. It’s pretty elementary. I don’t believe murder is wrong “because it is”, but because it doesn’t allow our model of society to function effectively, and so, as a society, we’ve come up with this rule that murder is wrong. The rule behaves exactly like an objective one, which is where the confusion arises. Anyway, it is from within this socially constructed web of understanding that I can say, everything is subjective, without it being a self-defeating premise.

    For most of the rest of your piece I get the sense that you lost the thread, and hence I did too – maybe you or someone else could clarify, if it’s important? Your last paragraph is more clear, but is explained perfectly well in my opinion by the explanation of social constructionism above.

    A brief thought experiment to leave you with. Say you look outside and see a tree. What makes you think that it’s a tree? You’ve been taught to recognise the particular characteristics of a tree your whole life, that’s how. Your language denotes it as a tree (language is a primary method of social construction). But other than that, what actually marks it as separate or distinguishable from everything else around you – including yourself?

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