Absolute truth?
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01-08-2014, 05:38 PM
RE: Absolute truth?
(31-07-2014 11:03 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Absolute truth is like Pi, it exists as a concept, but there's no practical value in trying to apply it to the last digit of precision. For most applications 3.14 is more than adequate. So too with "truth", or what is known. Absolute truth means nothing left unanswered, no knowledge unknown. Nobody makes every measurement with a micrometer, or makes a decision with every contingency accounted for; we all operate on the practical assumptions of "close enough". And experience is our gauge for what constitutes "close enough".

Unfortunately, there's much about life where even "close enough" is still beyond our reach, so the need to enlarge our fund of knowledge is relentless. As we apply new knowledge, new unknowns multiply. Learning never ends.

But any serious attempt to attain "absolute" truth is as misguided as trying to pave a road using a micrometer and a microscope to pour the tar. It's missing the point: pave a serviceable road, not lay the pavement down to 42 decimal places. Attain a degree of "truth" that allows us to achieve our life's desires without an excess of mayhem, and not spend an extravagant fraction of our time in pointless debate about whether some truth is "absolute".

So in other words, When someone says Absolute truth, its the same thing as saying Perfect or perfection to anyone with a scientific mind. It doesn't exist because Imagination exists.

Am I correct to assume this as a way to compare it to something else?


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02-08-2014, 12:04 PM
RE: Absolute truth?
I'd say there is zero amount of gray in absolute truth. It is black or white. It is non flexible. It either is or it isn't. If one person says there is no God, another says, "there is a God", they can't both be right, and they can't both be wrong. Either God is or He isn't.
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03-08-2014, 10:30 AM
RE: Absolute truth?
(01-08-2014 05:38 PM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  Am I correct to assume this as a way to compare it to something else?

Truth be told, I don't like the use of the word truth used the way the religious use it; it connotes a moral dimension to knowledge, and it ignores what so-called truth is used for. "Absolute truth" is a religious euphemism for knowledge, but by phrasing it that way it excludes aspects of knowledge of what isn't true. Knowledge isn't just knowing what is, it's also knowing what isn't. Knowing the Earth is not the center of the universe is useful knowledge, even though knowing it doesn't provide any information at all about where such a center is or even if there is a center at all. Given how much there is to know, it's quite probable that we know more about what we know isn't so than what we know is so. Our knowledge of what's "untrue" is greater than our bank of "truth".

Most important is what we use knowledge for: navigating our fate. While we may argue about whether free will actually exists or not, we carry out our lives as if our free will absolute, and do everything we can to steer our lives toward deliberate destinations. You can't steer without a map, and the more detailed and accurate the map, the more effective the steering. Hence the ceaseless quest for knowledge.

The map will never be complete, but for most journeys is complete enough.
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