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Old 01-04-2009, 08:31 PM   #1
EnderWiggin
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Absolute Fact / Universal Truth

Facts can be absolutely true.

Begin.

_EW_



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Old 01-04-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
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Question: Are you every single individual on this planet, and know everything about absolutely everything? Because if you are, then I will be happy to accept that assessment.



It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:36 PM   #3
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Question: Are you every single individual on this planet, and know everything about absolutely everything? Because if you are, then I will be happy to accept that assessment.
"dude man what if the universe doesn't see it that way man"



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Old 01-04-2009, 08:36 PM   #4
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It's not a subjective question, therefore your qualifier isn't necessary.

@Topic: I don't know how one would argue that facts are "true" or not, but facts do exist. Not sure if that helps.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:40 PM   #5
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If Universal truths exist, we don't know any of them. Humanity cannot, period, be objective enough to construct a universally true concept.

When someone can tell me that the green they see is the green that the person next to them sees and prove it, then I'll be willing to concede that there are absolute facts. Otherwise, sorry, but no. I know that might hurt, to think that you can't be irrefutably right about something, but you're an individual in a sea of individuals. Everything is subjective, everything is different, and everyone sees differently from you.

Nothing is true, everything is permitted.



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Old 01-04-2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Adavardes View Post
Question: Are you every single individual on this planet, and know everything about absolutely everything? Because if you are, then I will be happy to accept that assessment.
There are some facts that are fact - ie true in all cases.

Water is made up of oxygen and hydrogen. Fact.

Care to try and disprove that one?

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Old 01-04-2009, 08:55 PM   #7
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There are some facts that are fact - ie true in all cases.

Water is made up of oxygen and hydrogen. Fact.

Care to try and disprove that one?

_EW_
Chemistry is a concept of humanity, therefore, it, and all variations thereof, can inevitably be wrong. The instruments made to see and identify various forms of molecules and atoms were made by human hands. The way they identify things and define things was made by human hands. Therefore, it has the ability to be wrong.

Not saything there are, and I won't argue that some "facts", when presented to most, if not all, human perspectives, can agree on it as "correct". That doesn't mean that what humanity believes to be true is what can be considered a "universal truth". Planet Earth is not Planet Universe.

Also, I do believe that chemistry dictates that water can hold very little weight for very long before losing its surface tension. Yet some people, quite a few of them, actually, believe a man walked on water, and are seeking to prove this as fact. Looks like all theories, scientific or otherwise, will always be open to scrutiny. In fact, I believe the exact definition of a theory, scientifically speaking, is:

"A fact that is proven with several repeated tests, that is subject to change should new evidence arise to the contrary."

Never just assume that you completely understand water. We used to think the world was flat. Look how quickly that changed.



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Old 01-04-2009, 08:55 PM   #8
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If Universal truths exist, we don't know any of them.
Please let me know how you indend to support this claim. Since one cannot prove a negative, you may want to consider withdrawing it since it is not provable and therefore speculation on your part.

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Humanity cannot, period, be objective enough to construct a universally true concept.
If it's a universal concept, then it doesn't require humanities construction. If it is universal, then all we can do is observe and label. Your arguments eats itself.

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When someone can tell me that the green they see is the green that the person next to them sees and prove it, then I'll be willing to concede that there are absolute facts.
Color is a poor test for this kind of question. Please try again with something that isn't easily frustrated by color blindness or animal species that percieve light differently than humans.

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Otherwise, sorry, but no. I know that might hurt, to think that you can't be irrefutably right about something, but you're an individual in a sea of individuals. Everything is subjective, everything is different, and everyone sees differently from you.
I find the last part of this difficult to accept. Are you telling me that if me and fifty of my closest friends all run down to the local movie theater, we're not going to able to agree on who starred in the film, what the basic plot points were, or even what lines of dialog were spoken?

Surely, I will agree that the movie may affect us all differently. Some of us may like it and others may dislike it, but I don't think who was in it, etc is up for discussion. It either starred Hollywood Actor X or it did not.

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Nothing is true, everything is permitted.
Nothing is true? Does this include your arguments above? If it does not, then you're arguing that your perspective is objective (which you just got finished arguing isn't possible for humans). If it is, then it would seem that your perspective is every bit as susceptible to being dead wrong as anyone elses.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:59 PM   #9
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In fact, I believe the exact definition of a theory, scientifically speaking, is:

"A fact that is proven with several repeated tests, that is subject to change should new evidence arise to the contrary."

Water is not a theory. Water is water because it is made up of hydrogen/oxygen. It's hydrogen/oxygen by definition.

Facts are not facts because humans agree on them. Human perspective does not change a fact (but it may change how we view a fact).

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Old 01-04-2009, 09:03 PM   #10
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Please let me know how you indend to support this claim. Since one cannot prove a negative, you may want to consider withdrawing it since it is not provable and therefore speculation on your part.

If it's a universal concept, then it doesn't require humanities construction. If it is universal, then all we can do is observe and label. Your arguments eats itself.

I find the last part of this difficult to accept. Are you telling me that if me and fifty of my closest friends all run down to the local movie theater, we're not going to able to agree on who starred in the film, what the basic plot points were, or even what lines of dialog were spoken?

Surely, I will agree that the movie may affect us all differently. Some of us may like it and others may dislike it, but I don't think who was in it, etc is up for discussion. It either starred Hollywood Actor X or it did not.

Nothing is true? Does this include your arguments above? If it does not, then you're arguing that your perspective is objective (which you just got finished arguing isn't possible for humans). If it is, then it would seem that your perspective is every bit as susceptible to being dead wrong as anyone elses.
1. All we ever do is speculate and throw evidence around. I can't prove my arguments hold water, but you also can't prove it doesn't. Not absolutely, anyway. :P

2. Exactly. So how can we say that just because our sciences, constructs used for "observing and labeling", are absolute? We can't find absolute truths if we don't have tools with likewise characteristics.

3. No, I'm saying that just because you have labels for everything, doesn't mean that what you see is the same. Labels are all well and good, but they're just physical constructs to put mental impulses into a transferable form. It's a simplification, not a basis for proving that it has to absolutely be the same if you all say the same thing.

4. Yup. I'm willing to accept that my argument has flaws. Just like yours.



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Old 01-04-2009, 09:16 PM   #11
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1. All we ever do is speculate and throw evidence around. I can't prove my arguments hold water, but you also can't prove it doesn't. Not absolutely, anyway. :P
I don't need to: the burden of proof for your argument is yours, not mine.

Either you have a convincing argument for why I should accept that your view makes sense or you do not. If your argument is that "it's all arbitrary", then that means that your arguments themselves fit inside that definition.

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2. Exactly. So how can we say that just because our sciences, constructs used for "observing and labeling", are absolute? We can't find absolute truths if we don't have tools with likewise characteristics.
BS.

All we need is observation and repeatability. And for a great deal of things, we have both in spades.

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3. No, I'm saying that just because you have labels for everything, doesn't mean that what you see is the same. Labels are all well and good, but they're just physical constructs to put mental impulses into a transferable form. It's a simplification, not a basis for proving that it has to absolutely be the same if you all say the same thing.
Per my earlier example, if we all went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, we would all agree that it starred Brad Pitt. If your argument is foiled by something as fleeting as a recent movie, then I don't know how it could stand up to something timeless and fundamental like mathematics.

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4. Yup. I'm willing to accept that my argument has flaws. Just like yours.


For reasons I've already pointed out, your arguments fail under their own weight and shouldn't be accepted by anyone. Either you can do better or you cannot. If you can, please do so. If you cannot, please move along. Thanks.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:23 PM   #12
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For reasons I've already pointed out, your arguments fail under their own weight and shouldn't be accepted by anyone. Either you can do better or you cannot. If you can, please do so. If you cannot, please move along. Thanks.
I don't believe in absolutes, so how do you seek to discourage me by giving me ultimatums? Just curious as to how you plan to prove something that is all about how things can't be absolutely right or wrong by saying it's wrong.




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Old 01-04-2009, 09:26 PM   #13
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I don't believe in absolutes, so how do you seek to discourage me by giving me ultimatums? Just curious as to how you plan to prove something that is all about how things can't be absolutely right or wrong by saying it's wrong.

you're the one who brought this whole thing to a head in the other thread, and now you're just going to stick your tongue out at it and support your argument with your own argument? classy.



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Old 01-04-2009, 09:26 PM   #14
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I don't believe in absolutes, so how do you seek to discourage me by giving me ultimatums? Just curious as to how you plan to prove something that is all about how things can't be absolutely right or wrong by saying it's wrong.

It's quite simple: if an argument fails it's own test, then it isn't worth listening to. Your claiming that there are no absolutes is itself an absolute.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:27 PM   #15
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you're the one who brought this whole thing to a head in the other thread, and now you're just going to stick your tongue out at it and support your argument with your own argument? classy.
... What?

@ Achilles:

So, if my argument holds that all arguments can be wrong, and that no truths absolutely exist insofar as we know, then it's to be dismissed, because it proves itself as possibly wrong? Because I believe I said earlier that mitigating evidence can often made an argument more objective and valid than others, just not to the complete extreme. Philosophers couldn't prove what they were saying when they talked about what society should be constructed like, or how man thinks, but a lot of what they said is still accepted as truth.

You're throwing around the "burden of proof", but I fail to see why I should feel the need to prove my argument when the concept is just that: a concept, and it can be flawed. Just like any other, and most certainly like your claims that there are universal truths humanity recognises. If you can prove me wrong to that effect, then the burden of proof is most definately on me, right?



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Old 01-04-2009, 09:31 PM   #16
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Facts can be absolutely true.
Ha-ha. You are correct, sir! [/Ed McMahon]

AFAIK the truth is the only constant in a universe of relativity.


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Old 01-04-2009, 09:34 PM   #17
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... What?
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It's quite simple: if an argument fails it's own test, then it isn't worth listening to. Your claiming that there are no absolutes is itself an absolute.
^that, if you'd like it in another form.



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Old 01-04-2009, 09:38 PM   #18
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^that, if you'd like it in another form.
I never said we should reject all concepts if they aren't absolutely true. My concept is no absolute, this is correct to a certain extent. But the idea that other concepts, indeed, all concepts are similar to it in varying degrees of severity can still be accepted as a possible viewpoint, and even be agreed upon. Simply because something is an absolute doesn't mean there isn't some truth to it. Just not completely.



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Old 01-04-2009, 09:42 PM   #19
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So, if my argument holds that all arguments can be wrong, and that no truths absolutely exist insofar as we know, then it's to be dismissed, because it proves itself as possibly wrong?
If your argument holds that all arguments can be wrong, then this includes your argument that there are no absolute truths, which means they can exist, no matter how much you wish to protest.

Whether you realize it or not, you argument dictates that there must be absolute truths (your argument itself seeks to be one of them).

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Because I believe I said earlier that mitigating evidence can often made an argument more objective and valid than others, just not to the complete extreme.
There are degrees of subjectivity. Not of objectivity. Per your earlier example with color, we can quibble of whether something is pink, or salmon, or melon, but either 2+2=4 or it does not.

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Philosophers couldn't prove what they were saying when they talked about what society should be constructed like, or how man thinks, but a lot of what they said is still accepted as truth.
I won't be joining you in the rabbit hole.

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You're throwing around the "burden of proof", but I fail to see why I should feel the need to prove my argument when the concept is just that: a concept, and it can be flawed.
There is no reason to do so, unless you wish your argument to be seriously considered. If you don't, then there is no reason to post anything further. You made your claim and indicated your desire to do nothing more to defend it. Done and done.

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Just like any other, and most certainly like your claims that there are universal truths humanity recognises. If you can prove me wrong to that effect, then the burden of proof is most definately on me, right?
The burden of proof is always on the party making a claim. I hope that helps to clear up any remaining confusion.

Thanks for your post.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:53 PM   #20
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If your argument holds that all arguments can be wrong, then this includes your argument that there are no absolute truths, which means they can exist, no matter how much you wish to protest.
Never said they couldn't exist. I said they don't exist insofar as WE know. Humanity is too subjective.

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Whether you realize it or not, you argument dictates that there must be absolute truths (your argument itself seeks to be one of them).
Not really. My argument seeks to disprove any absolute truths known to man.

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There are degrees of subjectivity. Not of objectivity.
Pretty much exactly what I've been saying. Subjectivity exists, in varying degrees, to humanity. Humans can't be absolutely objective.

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There is no reason to do so, unless you wish your argument to be seriously considered. If you don't, then there is no reason to post anything further. You made your claim and indicated your desire to do nothing more to defend it. Done and done.

The burden of proof is always on the party making a claim. I hope that helps to clear up any remaining confusion.

Thanks for your post.
That's neat. Just because you won't seriously consider it because I for some reason can't align it to your qualifications doesn't make it any less valid, I'm afraid. Since the concepts and definitions of "proof", "validity", or "seriously considerable" are all, by the logic of my argument, debatably subjective, then it stands to reason that my point is just as valid as yours. The only difference is, you're willing to dismiss things and deal in absolutes, and I am not.



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Old 01-04-2009, 10:00 PM   #21
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Never said they couldn't exist. I said they don't exist insofar as WE know. Humanity is too subjective.
And I'll go back to my second post in this thread and ask how you intend to support this claim. The burden of proof is yours.

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Not really. My argument seeks to disprove any absolute truths known to man.
Your argument is itself an absolute truth. In order for your argument to be true, it must also be not true. This is why no one it taking your argument seriously (except you).

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Pretty much exactly what I've been saying. Subjectivity exists, in varying degrees, to humanity. Humans can't be absolutely objective.
And as I've already stated for universal absolutes, they don't have to be. You keep conveniently ignoring that part.

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That's neat. Just because you won't seriously consider it because I for some reason can't align it to your qualifications doesn't make it any less valid, I'm afraid.
Neither does it tell us why we should take your argument seriously. A lack of evidence for Bigfoot doesn't mean that Bigfoot doesn't exist, but that doesn't mean that we should all accept that Bigfoot is real either.

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Since the concepts and definitions of "proof", "validity", or "seriously considerable" are all, by the logic of my argument, debatably subjective, then it stands to reason that my point is just as valid as yours.
The problem here being that your premises are flawed. No doubt that the conclusion that you've come to is consistent with your argument, but with a flawed argument, all the consistency in the world isn't going to make you right. And that's the point.

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The only difference is, you're willing to dismiss things and deal in absolutes, and I am not.
Dismiss what? "Things" is a little vague.

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:09 PM   #22
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I'm not out to be right. Maybe I'm not doing this justice, I'm not sure, but I don't care about being right, or about proving anything. I'm making a simple concept, an ideology, made known. Whether it's right or not is irrelevant, because, in context with the logic of the concept, right and wrong is subjective, not absolute. You're willing to dismiss this argument because, and here's the kicker, your concepts of my concept aren't what you think concepts should be.

Whether or not you take me seriously doesn't matter to me. I am expressing an opinion, a built-upon philosophy that nothing is an absolute, as far as humanity can tell. And you, as an individual, are trying to tell me that my concept, which is honestly just as valid as yours, which is to say, not all that valid, cannot be a concept that is what you define as valid. We are two opinions fighting over which method of viewing things is correct. So really, this is only going to go in circles from now on, because neither of us know everything, neither of our philosophies or concepts are absolutes, and all we're trying to do is make ourselves feel more justified in having our opinions.

That's the point of this whole "There are no universal absolutes". You're a person that sees black and white amidst grey. I don't. For your perspective, and from your logic, you're right, I will concede that. From mine, I'm right. And that's how I see things. Sorry.



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Old 01-04-2009, 10:37 PM   #23
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I'm not out to be right. Maybe I'm not doing this justice, I'm not sure, but I don't care about being right, or about proving anything. I'm making a simple concept, an ideology, made known. Whether it's right or not is irrelevant, because, in context with the logic of the concept, right and wrong is subjective, not absolute. You're willing to dismiss this argument because, and here's the kicker, your concepts of my concept aren't what you think concepts should be.
No, I willing to dismiss the argument because it's logically inconsistent. Liking it or not liking it has nothing to do with it.

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Whether or not you take me seriously doesn't matter to me. I am expressing an opinion, a built-upon philosophy that nothing is an absolute, as far as humanity can tell.
"Nothing is absolute" is an absolute. And you are a human.

Therefore your argument fails via your own argument. I don't know how many times this needs to be repeated.

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And you, as an individual, are trying to tell me that my concept, which is honestly just as valid as yours, which is to say, not all that valid, cannot be a concept that is what you define as valid.
Since we haven't discussed "my concept" this would appear to be a pretty cheap attempt at a strawman.

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We are two opinions fighting over which method of viewing things is correct.
Nope, so far I've only pointed out how your view is wrong.

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So really, this is only going to go in circles from now on, because neither of us know everything, neither of our philosophies or concepts are absolutes, and all we're trying to do is make ourselves feel more justified in having our opinions.
I believe I pointed out that there was nothing further for you to contribute unless you sought to defend your arguments a few posts ago.

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That's the point of this whole "There are no universal absolutes". You're a person that sees black and white amidst grey. I don't. For your perspective, and from your logic, you're right, I will concede that. From mine, I'm right. And that's how I see things. Sorry.
As always, you are more than welcome to your opinions. Thanks for your post.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:44 AM   #24
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I have 1 apple. Someone gives me another apple. I now have 2 apples.

1+1=2.

Please prove to me that I, in fact, have 3 apples. Prove to me that I have 50. You cannot, because I only have 2.

Like I said in the other thread:

It is fact that you breath air. And by air, we mean a balance of oxygen. You can keep breaking that down to smaller and smaller bits, but it comes back to the same general principle that we breathe air.

You can tell me that we breath water or helium. Or that, we have no idea anyway that we breath at all. That breathing is a subjective human construct that, objectively, means nothing, and thus whether we do it or not has nothing to do with our daily lives.

The problem with testing this philiosphical theory is that you would die.

This has been tested. It is being tested right now as your breath and read this. If you believe differently, then tell me I'm wrong. Or, if you are up to it, prove me wrong.

You will be wrong upon the merit that you would be dead from lack of oxygen to the brain.

Thus, the difference between fact and opinion. Your opinion can say that you breath and survive off of pure water, but testing that hypothesis would prove you 100% wrong.

Now, if we want to get into a discussion about the invisible pink unicorn or God, then the absolute answer to all life and everything starts turning subjective in many ways. Which is why this argument is fair for a debate on things like morality and the ultimate answer to life the universe and everything, and not on scientific, proven fact.

Going on Achille's example: You would watch a movie staring Brad Pitt. Subjectively, you could all decide whether or not Brad Pitt was a good actor, a good person, etc etc etc till the world ends, but the fact remains that Brad Pitt was the one that acted in that movie. If you disagree because you think facts are impossible to know, then the Credits have proven your theory wrong.

By claiming there are no absolutes, you are making an absolute statement. Your argument eats itself.

The fact of the matter is, if you could just deny that there is no such thing as a fact... You would be Neo from the Matrix. You could fly, because there is no such thing as Gravity, because it is a human construct. You can shoot beams of energy out of your hand, because it is a human construct that says you cannot. You could turn into a male or female at will, because male and female are human constructs.

I'm not attacking you directly. I am simply pointing out why your argument is almost impossible to support, debate against, or debate for. It is by your own admission, irrational, as you seem to believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that we are seemingly incapable of rational, or at least attempted, objective science.

Which is why it is difficult to both read, understand, and debate against. As has been stated, the burden of proof is on you. And, as you've stated, you are not here to prove anything as you don't seem to believe that proof for anything exists.

And when you don't seem to believe in anything, and aren't willing to believe there is anything... Well, makes rational arguments in your directly difficult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adavardes
Never just assume that you completely understand water.
I do not recall anyone saying we understood water 100% down to infinity.

But the fact is that it does exist, and the fact is that it is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. While you can continue to look down on that infinitely to understand every teeny tiny thing that makes every process of it work, we know the basic construct of it.

We know because we've ripped water apart, and put it back together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adavardes
We used to think the world was flat. Look how quickly that changed.
Again, your own argument eats itself.

We now know the world to be orb shaped. It is fact, because we can sail around the world and not fall off. We know because we have satellites that orbit the earth.

The thought that the earth was flat was embraced by the ignorant, while the rest of the world had known the earth was orb shaped for thousands of years previously.

Is the earth orb a theory as well? Are we incapable of knowing that is is a roundish shape? Is it really a square all along and just tricking us?

While it can and often is productive to be devil's advocate, it is also just as often very counter intuitive.

See: Human requirement for breathing oxygen. You can be a devil's advocate against it, but you'd kill yourself trying to prove otherwise.

Again, the difference between known fact and opinion. While opinion is subjective, we know some things to be fact.

See: The fact that the world is round. Unless, however, you'd like to argue against that as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adavardes
That's the point of this whole "There are no universal absolutes". You're a person that sees black and white amidst grey. I don't. For your perspective, and from your logic, you're right, I will concede that. From mine, I'm right. And that's how I see things. Sorry.
You just admitted that to you, you are correct.

Thus, again, you have made an absolute statement and your argument falls backward.

Sorry, but in a world of pure gray you cannot be right or wrong. By saying that, to you, you assume you are right... you are making a black and white statement, thus proving that you see a black and white in your spectrum like all of us.

Scientific fact is usually right until proven wrong, generally. It may take a long time of trial and error to reach that conclusion, but there are a few things that we have proven over time. Its nor really "sorta" right.

Like, it is stupid to say everyone can die of AIDS. Some people who have AIDS die of something else. Some people are immune. But, it applies to a group of people and we know that it has killed people. It would be incorrect to state as fact that AIDS kills humans, as the correct question would be "AIDS has been known to kill humans". You add the subjective experiences of many people into an objective picture of what the disease has been known to do to a good number of humans.

You -can- argue semantics, and are free too. Semantics are what help move the process along. But if you are just going to say that semantics themselves are human...

Well, all I can answer with is that your argument is wrong by the virtue that you think all human's attempted answer is wrong. Everyone is wrong, including you.

If you would care to elaborate, I would be obliged to read it. But, seeing as your argument is irrational to the point of disproving yourself and every other human, the burden of elaborating and/or proving your argument rests upon your shoulders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adavardes
But, I can assure you that you cannot do all of the above. If you can, please fly to my location, turn into a girl, and shoot my car with an energy beam. Then, I will follow you to the ends of the earth.

Whether it's right or not is irrelevant, because, in context with the logic of the concept, right and wrong is subjective, not absolute
While someone may be right to one person and be wrong to another, the fact is we all breathe oxygen. You need sustenance to live. If you brain is crushed by a car, then your body ceases to function.

Unless the car, your brain, the road, and you yourself do not in fact exist as we human are incapable of proving such a hypothesis, and you cannot die because the universe is entirely a subjective world in the eye of you, and thus we don't exist or...

See where I'm coming from? Its like trying to argue against someone who is claiming we are all hooked up to the Matrix, and are being used as batteries and if we just believe, our subjective minds can have us flying over rooftops as the thought that we cannot is pointless as it is a human thought keeping us on the ground.

Its a theory that can neither be proven, nor dis-proven. It falls because it, by its own definition, has no ground to stand upon.

Now, while rational and irrational may be human constructs, we've done a lot with a collective subjective civilization over the years. We've seemingly proven that electricity moves through metal. We've seemingly proven that we need to breath, and if we refuse to... we die. We've seemingly proven that if you get air to move across a smooth surface correctly, you can make a giant tube lift 200 people in their air and get them from point A to B.

So, unless this is really all the matrix, or we are all really just part of your imagination...

There is nothing else to do with your argument but say...



It doesn't so much give me something philosophical to think about as it just makes me look around in a stupor. And believe me, I get where you are coming from. For the longest time, I was a full supporter of full moral relativism. I'm not anymore, but I can wrap my head around your argument up until you get to the point where you say that science has seemingly never proven a thing.

You may not be saying that, but by stating that proof, right, wrong, etc are all incorrect attempts at objectivity... I again ask you to look around, as you've asked me to, and ask yourself where it all came from, why it is there, and who or what had to happen for it to be there. If you honestly don't believe any of it is there...

Then I don't know what to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanir
given choice: have fun with topic, argue with each other...
And this is why I heavily distaste Philosophy. As much of the time is it one persons entirely subjective viewpoint upon the entirety of creation, it leaves little fun to be had outside of the philosopher.

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Originally Posted by Vanir
Okay well evil people aside where they belong.
I'll be sure to direct this quote to the quote above it.

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:51 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by EnderWiggin View Post
There are some facts that are fact - ie true in all cases.

Water is made up of oxygen and hydrogen. Fact.

Care to try and disprove that one?

_EW_
Nice.

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Originally Posted by Adavardes View Post
When someone can tell me that the green they see is the green that the person next to them sees and prove it, then I'll be willing to concede that there are absolute facts.
I'm no eyeball expert, however, I do know there are receptors in the back of the eye. They fall either into

a)"Cones" for different frequencies of light wavelengths/optical energy, 3 groups Red Green Blue
b)"rods" for reception of light regardless of wavelength

I get where you are coming from implicitly for the record. However, if 2 people can look at green and agree that what they are looking at is in the same "green bandwidth" then that is proof enough I should think...
Example: Even if green to me happens to look like...I dunno... cat turd orange to my fellow man. My fellow man thinks its green as do I even though I may not know that he is actually seeing what to me is cat turd orange. For all I know, what is actually green appears to him as he knows black.

Not to confuse things, I'd point towards repeatable results in known conditions.

Quote:
Everyone sees differently from you.
Nothing is true, everything is permitted.
I think you went from specific to general with the whole 'seeing'.

Theory: given that there are two of anything, the two alike things can never really be exactly the same. Simply because one is not the other.

So while, say, ball bearings can be, for all intents and purposes down to the most precise measurements we know, exactly the same... they are not: Consider that the next magnitude down in measurement, the differences could be astronomical.

I don't have any sophisticated tools to provide proof of this, hence it will always be theory until I can get the tools to prove it or disprove it. Low and behold I have basically just theorized I could be wrong about exacts, and I could be wrong about being wrong on exacts as well. It crumbles upon itself.


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Old 01-05-2009, 03:00 AM   #26
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*takes notes for anthropology paper*

given choice: have fun with topic, argue with each other...
Okay well evil people aside where they belong.

Correlation does not infer causation. Facts may be impervious but their context never is. So facts can be absolutely true. Can be

Any establishment of conclusion must necessarily follow strict scientific protocols however. Truth be told, many facts are in fact conclusions (sic).
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:33 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by EnderWiggin View Post
There are some facts that are fact - ie true in all cases.

Water is made up of oxygen and hydrogen. Fact.

Care to try and disprove that one?

_EW_

it's late, i'm tired, and that means I'm bored, so yes, I will.

Water is not made of oxygen and hydrogen. Water is is made up of many molecules containing two hydrogens and one oxygen. Additionally, there are multiple types of "water", such as "salt", "mineral", "rain", and "muddy", among others.

Additionally, "water" is just the english word for this mostly-clear generally consumable liquid. Yes, some people cannot consume water, they tend to die quickly, but not always. But anyway, you could say that all words for water mean the same thing, but some cultures have different words for choppy water or dirty water, does that make the truth of the water different?

It would be more correct to say: "water contains hydrogen and oxygen" as the statement is vague enough to apply to both it's chemical composition, and what may actually be held within the water, but not be part of the water's composition.

Some of the most simple things in the world we take for granted as not so grounded in fact as we like to think.

For example: You say water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, I say, everything is made of energy, what comes between your perceptions and the energy state are irrelevant, water is made of energy. Who is right? Is my truth different from yours because my understanding of the makeup of the universe is different?


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Old 01-05-2009, 06:06 AM   #28
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omg I just saw obi wan get channelled

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Old 01-05-2009, 06:57 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Water is not made of oxygen and hydrogen. Water is is made up of many molecules containing two hydrogens and one oxygen. Additionally, there are multiple types of "water", such as "salt", "mineral", "rain", and "muddy", among others.
Yes, but is it not fact that "water" contains two hydrogen and one oxygen?

I say water in the sense of pure, filtered, plain old water. Placing dirt, salt, etc is arguing semantics, as it is still water with additives unless that water has been fundamentally changed.

As far as I know, salt and dirty don't fundamentally rearrange the molecules that make up water. If they did, by definition, it would no longer be water. It would be a different substance entirely.

I'm just working off of the top of my head here, so feel free to correct me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Additionally, "water" is just the english word for this mostly-clear generally consumable liquid. Yes, some people cannot consume water, they tend to die quickly, but not always. But anyway, you could say that all words for water mean the same thing, but some cultures have different words for choppy water or dirty water, does that make the truth of the water different?
And Eskimos have like, 50 words for snow.

While the snow may be different levels of frozen, cold, hard, soft, etc, it is still frozen water. The different densities tend to have more to do with the percentage of water density.

That does not change the fact that it is essentially frozen, and packed together water molecules that change density depending upon environmental factors.

Just like you example with water, just calling all these variations "snow" is incredibly general. But the word has more of a social meaning than the scientific meaning of Snow as a type of precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds.

Calling it something else does not fundamentally change the way it is created. Only the way we perceive it. And what we generally all perceive on a basic level would be "frozen water (translate to any language you want)" I'd assume.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
It would be more correct to say: "water contains hydrogen and oxygen" as the statement is vague enough to apply to both it's chemical composition, and what may actually be held within the water, but not be part of the water's composition.
Depends on what you are calling "water"

If by water you mean the entire ocean, or a lake, then there would be more than hydrogen and oxygen. But, I believe Ender was speaking more for plain water. Again, it would not be technically water if something had fundamentally changed its molecular composition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
For example: You say water is made of hydrogen and oxygen, I say, everything is made of energy, what comes between your perceptions and the energy state are irrelevant, water is made of energy. Who is right? Is my truth different from yours because my understanding of the makeup of the universe is different?
I'd say it is "correct" from a different angle. It isn't so much a different understanding as it is you putting Ender's understanding under a stronger microscope.

While it is correct to say our arm is covered in skin to protect our body, it would also be correct to say that your arm is made up of slow moving energy that has formed a pinkish matter over more slowed energy that has formed muscle tissue and bone.

Its just a progression downwards. Like Snow.

Snow

|
V

Frozen Water

|
V

Ice particles made of compressed 2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen molecule.

|
V

etc as far down as we can find

|
V

Energy

|
V

Anything lower.

While going down the branch to describe snow, they are all technically correct. None of them are incorrect if that is the answer you want.

I'd be correct in saying that its Ice particles made of compressed 2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen molecule, and you'd be correct by just going to the answer all and saying everything is made of energy, for example.

But, again, choosing the answer and which to stick to is more for social interaction purposes. Scientifically, I'd presume they are all acceptable answers for the definition of snow.

Unless, of course, all of the above is the construct of humans incorrectly trying to assume we know anything. In which case, all of the above are neither correct nor incorrect.

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Old 01-05-2009, 10:20 AM   #30
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Its kind of funny on how all this got started. Prior to this very discussion, I stumbled on this problem while in a mathematics class. I couldn't wrap my head around a science without reason. 1 + 1 = 2 was not the original problem. The original question was why do we move the decmal point two places to the left? I asked a simple question, and I was given the answer I don't know. This is not a mathematics logistics course. I fought with this question for years until I heard from several scholars facts we teach in schools and colleges are based on trust. They are not absolute; however, their merit is taken with blind faith. Don't take my word for it; thus, ask someone with superior knowledge the question. You will be surprised from their answer.

History books are written by the victor; thus, historical facts we learn are not based on absolute truth.

Philosophical thinking becomes science when tests finds some type of credible resolution; however, the results are trusted to be accurate. There is no absolute answer. We are learning this now from our study on gravity. NASA has taken Einstein's facts, and they are altering them due to new discoveries. Nothing in current mankind's sciences and religions are absolute. Its all taken on trust and faith.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:29 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Yar-El View Post
History books are written by the victor; thus, historical facts we learn are not based on absolute truth.
JFK was killed in Dallas = fact.

Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman = Theory.

No, not everything written in history books are absolute truths, but there are facts in those books. It is just up to the reader to be able to differentiate the difference between fact, theory and opinion.

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Originally Posted by Yar-El View Post
NASA has taken Einstein's facts THEORIES, and they are altering them due to new discoveries.
Fixed.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #32
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The original question was why do we move the decmal point two places to the left? I asked a simple question, and I was given the answer I don't know. This is not a mathematics logistics course.
A good question and an interesting answer to try and find.

But, considering how many thousands of years that Mathematics has been around, you might be hard pressed to find who first thought it up, in what way, and how it may have differed from today.

It is a very broad question to ask, as I'm sure you realize. It isn't like asking "Why did the German's support Hitler?" Its like asking...

"Who invented the brick" or "Why do we love domesticated dogs and cats?" or other such questions. You get where I'm going I hope.

The best answer I can give you is... Because it works?

A lot of these "Why do we do this" questions will lead you to many different answers and theories, but in the end a lot of it has just been lost due to the hard process known as time. Fallen out of History.

Your mathematics question is pretty spot on. Why do we move the decimal to the left? Why do we carry the number?

Again, the best answer I can give you is... it works.

Why do we use fire to cook our food? Why do we live in close knit groups? Why do we identify ourselves with names? Why do we rub cactus on wounds to numb pain?

Someone, along the long course of history found out that these things worked. Some things over time we've dis proven, changed, but in the long run we've simply improved and continue to improve upon our trial and error method that is the cornerstone of our intelligence.

The reason for moving the decimal to the left is, in its own way, self proven by the fact that it can give you a percentage. Self-evidence is a terrible argument, but like I said... we tend to do and pass on what works. Your reasoning is that when you run the numbers, you get the number you need to cut that wood, or count how much tax you owe, etc.

While its a fantastic question to contemplate, we may never know. History was much harder to record than it is now with computers, video, and photos. Before them, things were passed on by word of mouth to one another over generations.

That practice is still done today. Its about as impossible to escape as our own mortality. But, just because this happens does not make the word false. It just makes the original reasoning lost. But, isn't the fact that it is still passed on give it reason?

It would not be passed on if it was without any reason. It would be abandoned. The question you probably should be asking is:

"Why do we -still- move the decimal to the left"

To which the reply would be... well, you know the math.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar-El
I fought with this question for years until I heard from several scholars facts we teach in schools and colleges are based on trust. They are not absolute; however, their merit is taken with blind faith. Don't take my word for it; thus, ask someone with superior knowledge the question. You will be surprised from their answer.
Superior knowledge?

If there are no facts, then why ask anyone anything? What is "superior knowledge" even mean then?

Your argument is running circles around itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar-El
History books are written by the victor; thus, historical facts we learn are not based on absolute truth.
Point. But, as I stated above, you have to distinguish the line between scientific truth and opinion.

If I open up a History book in America, and then one in Europe, I'm sure I'll get 2 similar but subtly different renditions of World War 2. You can paint a pretty good picture with all of this, but you are correct in saying that subjective bias has gotten in the way of the complete story, which we will probably never absolutely know.

However, if I put every human on the planet in a room and then vacuumed it of Oxygen, 100% of the humans inside would die. Making the fact that current day humans need oxygen to survive an absolute.

Being that the OP states that facts can be absolutely true, the application of all fact and not simply that of subjective word of mouth must be applied.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar-El
Nothing in current mankind's sciences and religions are absolute
Nothing? Saying nothing is an absolute. By claiming that you've ran this through some type of hypothesis, you are in fact using human science. And the conclusion you've come to is: Nothing. Again, the argument eats itself.

If I put you into a vacuum, you will die. You are a human. Your mother is female. There is grass in my backyard right now. I am sitting on a chair. I typed this post.

While some of those are subjective to me, I can assure you they are all absolute facts.

Unless, of course, you'd like to call them subjective. Again, I go back to my point that you might as well argue that we live in the Matrix and nothing we see, do, feel, etc is real at all and just a figment of our imagination as we are used to power an army of robots, and at any moment we can simply decide "that is not fact" and then jump 500 feet in the air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar-El
Its all taken on trust and faith.
By saying its all taken on trust and faith, you are attempting to state an absolute fact. Again, your argument eats itself.

Bush did 9/11 = Theory.

Planes hit the Twin Towers = Absolute Fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar-El
Philosophical thinking becomes science when tests finds some type of credible resolution; however, the results are trusted to be accurate. There is no absolute answer.
Ok, I'm confused.

Is this thread about some facts being absolutely true, or is this some existential thread that talks about some "ultimate, all encompassing" absolute truth about everything?

Because, if I recall, the op says this:

"Facts can be absolutely true."

Not

"What is the truth to all life, the universe, and everything?"

This thread is rapidly becoming existential, which has little to do with the topic of this thread.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:47 PM   #33
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We are learning this now from our study on gravity. NASA has taken Einstein's facts, and they are altering them due to new discoveries.
Please enlighten me as to what you are talking about. I am well aware of several experiments and observations made by several agencies which have confirmed predictions made my Einsteins Theories, however your statement smacks of something fabricated by someone that misunderstood what they read.

I'm pretty sure that if a discovery refuted Einstein's work, it would be all over the papers.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:59 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Adavardes View Post
If Universal truths exist, we don't know any of them. Humanity cannot, period, be objective enough to construct a universally true concept.
I can.

Quote:
When someone can tell me that the green they see is the green that the person next to them sees and prove it, then I'll be willing to concede that there are absolute facts.
When two, three, four, or who knows how many people see the same green light from one source, they do in fact receive electromagnetic radiation of the same colour/wavelength. What happens in their brains I a totally different story.

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Everything is subjective, everything is different, and everyone sees differently from you.
Seeing and perceiving. Two pair of spaghetti.

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Nothing is true, everything is permitted.
Their is no meaning in this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar-El
The original question was why do we move the decmal point two places to the left? I asked a simple question, and I was given the answer I don't know. This is not a mathematics logistics course.
"This is not a mathematics logistics course." Hm. Perhaps some learning of mathematics concerning logistics would give you a certain understanding why we move the decimal point around, then.



Apropos water. I'd like to point out that it is made out of the same stuff as anything else, stones, wood, our brains, the air, iron, helium, silver, uranium -- that would be electrons, neutrons, protons, I mean if I remember that correctly. And those are made of the same stuff again, quarks and so on and so on. It really isn't that hard to see where this is going.


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Old 01-05-2009, 02:56 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
I say water in the sense of pure, filtered, plain old water. Placing dirt, salt, etc is arguing semantics, as it is still water with additives unless that water has been fundamentally changed.
Scientifically, the "water" in question hasn't changed, it now shares it's space with other molecules of things.

Quote:
As far as I know, salt and dirty don't fundamentally rearrange the molecules that make up water. If they did, by definition, it would no longer be water. It would be a different substance entirely.
Before there was "hard science" there was society, and we learned by trial and error much the same way. Mud is really dirty water. So dirty, that there is often more dirt than water. We apply these modifiers to words for social reasons, which can be just as much important to the truth as anything.

For example, what are characteristic factors of water? Well, it's made of two hydrogen and one oxygen. Okay, it's also transparent. It's also drinkable for most of the human population. It has reflective and refractive properties. It can be a gas, a liquid, and a solid.

When we add modifiers to "water" we can rule out some of these qualities. If the water is now "dirty" then it will probably lose it's transparency, and it's drinkability. Now, if you can't drink it and you can't see into it, you might not be as inclined to call it "water". There is another non-drinkable, semi-tranparent liquid out there, and that's gasoline. But gasoline has other features, such as smell. If you have dirty, smelly water, and a pool of gasoline, at casual glance, you might be more inclined to think of the gasoline as the drinkable one(until you tried).

So social definitions are important to truth. Imagine another race has massive oceans of Mercury, a liquid similar to dirty water. For them, it is drinkable, for us, it is not, yet their word for their semi-transparent, reflective and refractive drinkable liquid, translates to our "water". Yet, we do not describe the same scientific things, but we do describe the same social things.

Quote:
Just like you example with water, just calling all these variations "snow" is incredibly general. But the word has more of a social meaning than the scientific meaning of Snow as a type of precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds.

Calling it something else does not fundamentally change the way it is created. Only the way we perceive it. And what we generally all perceive on a basic level would be "frozen water (translate to any language you want)" I'd assume.
No, it doesn't. But it can. If I call water "air" and in reverse, call air "water", then it stands to reason, I am a fish. I breathe water and die in too much air, even though like a human, I require some air to survive. Social meanings are just as important as scientific ones. Can they cause more confusion? Sure, because social truths are more flexible. Water on this planet will always maintain the same chemical combination until something changes it.

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But, again, choosing the answer and which to stick to is more for social interaction purposes. Scientifically, I'd presume they are all acceptable answers for the definition of snow.
Sure, science will mostly say it's made out of certain elements in certain combinations. But socially, if you define water as something radically different, then even if you are still talking about a semi-transparent, reflective and refractive, drinkable liquid, that can be a solid, liquid, and gas, then science will back you up when you say that it's not the same as dihydrogenmonoxide.


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Old 01-05-2009, 03:28 PM   #36
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If I call water "air" and in reverse, call air "water", then it stands to reason, I am a fish. I breathe water and die in too much air, even though like a human, I require some air to survive. Social meanings are just as important as scientific ones. Can they cause more confusion? Sure, because social truths are more flexible. Water on this planet will always maintain the same chemical combination until something changes it.
Hmm. Read too much Kafka, recently?



Also, "social meanings" are not facts.


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Old 01-05-2009, 05:13 PM   #37
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Also, "social meanings" are not facts.
Then you agree that in my hypothetical, humans won't die from drinking alien water which is actually mercury? I'd think that is a pretty good sign that social facts are important, and that "water" is only a random word assigned to a localized phenomenon.


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Old 01-05-2009, 05:40 PM   #38
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The fact that alien "water" is mercury doesn't change that it's just that, mercury. I would also not be surprised to die from drinking "alien water" instead of water. But why go the alien route, anyway? If you drink pure water here from earth, made of oxygen and hydrogen, you can die as well because it might burst your cells.

The point is, whatever you call it will not turn it into something else, or another, different fact. It is fact that you call mercury "alien water", and it is fact that what we call "water" is usually just a solution, a mixture from water and stuff.



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Old 01-05-2009, 06:44 PM   #39
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:40 PM   #40
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Before there was "hard science" there was society, and we learned by trial and error much the same way. Mud is really dirty water. So dirty, that there is often more dirt than water. We apply these modifiers to words for social reasons, which can be just as much important to the truth as anything.
On this context, I'd be inclined to agree.

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So social definitions are important to truth. Imagine another race has massive oceans of Mercury, a liquid similar to dirty water. For them, it is drinkable, for us, it is not, yet their word for their semi-transparent, reflective and refractive drinkable liquid, translates to our "water". Yet, we do not describe the same scientific things, but we do describe the same social things.
Hm, very good point.

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Then you agree that in my hypothetical, humans won't die from drinking alien water which is actually mercury? I'd think that is a pretty good sign that social facts are important, and that "water" is only a random word assigned to a localized phenomenon.
Agreed.

But, within the context of the thread, would you say its absolutely true that a substance containing two parts hydrogen and one party oxygen exists on planet earth?

While the words we give this substance can radically effect the way we interact with it, it does not change its chemical composition. I cannot simply look at my computer, call it a Ferrari, then drive away.

For sake of argument, I'll stick to human American English for now. While the aliens may treat their sea of mercury like water, it does not change the fact that its chemical composition is that of mercury, mixed with things like various dirts and such. While our word of "water" will overlap with their word of water, drinking it, as you stated, would kill us.

Thus, as has been stated, the subjective factor within his does play a large roll in social truths. However, is it still not absolute truth to say that humans need "oxygen" to live, even though oxygen is interchangeable with water, to a fish, in language?
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