Some people may be surprised to discover tons of self-professed Messiahs of Philosophy on the Internet, especially on YouTube. What is not surprising is that almost none of them have bothered to educate themselves on the 2500-year-old Philosophical concept called the “absolute”. These Priests of Philosophy have no qualms about claiming that there are “absolutes” or “absolute truth”. What kills their claims is that they cannot define the key words that make or break their argument: ‘absolute’ and ‘truth’. They are merely parroting what they heard from the grapevine:
“ummm, duh,....are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes? See, gotcha....there are absolutes. Also, that there are no absolutes, is an absolute statement. Ha ha, gotcha again, I win!”
These Priests of Philosophy are quick to break out the bottle of champagne in celebration of the argument which they won in their own mind. But, they are quite embarrassed when a member of the audience stands up and asks them to define “absolute” and “truth”. What is funnier is that they cannot even give a single example of a statement which resolves to absolute truth.
And more embarrassing for them is that their silly childish questions are not even arguments....THEY ARE TRICKS! These trick questions have a very simple ANTIDOTE. Click on this link to see their tricks exposed:
This article exposes the Religion of The Absolute. You will understand why the "absolute" is the Hallmark of Religion and the Opium of Fanatics. We will explain why the word “absolute” ultimately resolves as a synonym of the word RELATIVE. Furthermore, you will understand why these Priests of Philosophy don’t want you to read this article and understand the critical analytical issues behind the words “absolute” and “truth”. Your ignorance is their blessing. After all, they have surreptitiously fooled you into having FAITH in absolutes; so they do deserve some credit.
WHAT IS TRUTH?
The word “truth” is a concept which has been conceived by humans for use as a conceptual label of validation on statement types known as propositions. Propositions are statements which propose an alleged case or scenario. This anthropocentric concept of truth is unwittingly used by many people to intentionally decree a label of “validated acceptance” (i.e. true) or of “validated rejection” (i.e. false) to propositional statements.
But since truth ultimately stems from the validation of propositions, it necessitates an observer who must VALIDATE the proposition before they can label it as ‘true’ or ‘false’. It is obvious that the word “truth” is ultimately dependent on a dynamic process that an observer must perform before labeling a proposition as true/false. This process of validation is called PROOF. A proposition labelled as true/false is always dependent on a human observer’s ability to use their magical powers to validate it as such.
Q: So how do humans validate or prove a statement as truth? What magical powers do they use?
A: Their subjective and limited sensory system!
Since the concept of truth is ultimately dependent on a human’s subjective use of their limited sensory system, it is easy to understand why all truths are subjective; i.e. opinions. Truth is an observer-dependent human-related concept that is inherently subjective. As such, it necessarily resolves to none other than opinion! This limited anthropocentric concept cannot possibly be objective. What is TRUE to you, is a LIE to your neighbor! Your Priest may have convinced YOU of the truth for God, dark matter, black holes, warped space and energy, but he hasn’t convinced your neighbor. Truths are inherently biased. Truth is what is dear to YOUR heart & soul, only. Truth means that the Priest had his way with you while you were in the confession box.
For all intents and purposes, you can use the word “truth” as a synonym to the word “opinion” in every scenario, and you will not change the context or meaning of your dissertation. Just try it and see for yourself.
Remember: TRUTH = OPINION.
Those who disagree, all they need to do is answer the following questions for the audience:
1) What magical means do they use to resolve their statement as being TRUE? Do they use their sensory system? Do they vote on the issue? Do they ask their Priest, God or a higher authority to decide?
2) Is it TRUE that TRUTH is correct? What standard does one use as a benchmark for testing and evaluating TRUTH to be correct? They obviously cannot use truth!!!
Anybody wanna step in the lion’s den and answer these questions for the audience? Are you scared to answer because you will expose your Religion of Truth, or because you don’t know? Be honest with yourself.
WHAT IS AN ABSOLUTE?
The term “absolute” is a Philosophical concept which has had a standard meaning since its first human conception. This article uses the standard Philosophical meaning of the “absolute”. Let’s have a quick look at the standard Philosophical definition and usage of this word in the past 2500 years by citing some references. Note that this is not an argument from authority, as this article does NOT use these references to justify any argument. These references are simply used to justify the CONTEXT of what this article is about; i.e. the standard Philosophical concept of the “absolute”.
“Absolute in Philosophy: A value or principle which is regarded as universally valid or which may be viewed without relation to other things.”
The Free Dictionary:
“Absolute in Philosophy: Something regarded as independent of and unrelated to anything else.”
“Absolute in Philosophy: that which is totally unconditioned.”
New World Encyclopedia:
“Absolute in Philosophy: The term Absolute denotes unconditioned and/or independence in the strongest sense.”
“Absolute in Philosophy: The Absolute is the concept of an unconditional reality which transcends limited, conditional, everyday existence. It is sometimes used as an alternate term for "God" or "the Divine. It contrasts with finite things, considered individually, and known collectively as the relative.”
When the term ‘absolute’ qualifies another term (like truth) it decrees that term to be free from any relations, dependencies or restrictions. “Unconditional” and “without relations” means that the qualified term must necessarily be applicable to EVERY POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCE! An absolute has no constraints on time, places, people or any other concepts or objects.
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_truth
“In logic, or the consideration of valid arguments, a proposition is said to have universality if it can be conceived as being true in all possible contexts without creating a contradiction. Some philosophers have referred to such propositions as universalizable. Truth is considered to be universal if it is valid in all times and places. In this case, it is seen as eternal or as absolute.”
"What is absolutely true is always correct, everywhere, all the time, under any condition. An entity's ability to discern these things is irrelevant to that state of truth." - Steven Robiner
From New World Encyclopedia: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Absolute_(philosophy)
“Greek philosophers did not explicitly elaborate on the absolute, but, the idea of an ultimate principle drove their inquiries forward. In addition, while medieval philosophers did not use the term absolute, their thoughts on God were the first explicit elaborations on the absolute. Major philosophers who have dealt with the Absolute include the German Idealists such as Schelling, Kant, and Hegel, and British philosophers such as Herbert Spencer, William Hamilton, Bernard Bosanquet, Francis Bradley, and Thomas Hill Green, and American idealist philosopher Josiah Royce.”
“Plato identified the good, which he characterized as permanently existing by itself in the incorporeal world, as the ultimate principle. The good, for Plato, was the absolute. Its goodness was, he argued, established by itself without recourse to any other thing whatsoever.”
“Aristotle placed a study of god (theology) as the first philosophy for the reason that it deals with the “unmoved mover” of all phenomenal. For Aristotle, the ultimate principle [absolute] had to be that which is unconditional and independent, which has no prior condition whatsoever.”
“Absolute means by definition a negation of relativity.”
“When the term absolute is applied to existence, the absolute can be understood as a being whose essence is existence. If the existence of a being is dependent on others, it cannot be absolute. Hence, God was characterized as a unique being whose essence is existence. Anselm of Canterbury used this argument for his Ontological argument for the existence of God.”
So in this context, when the term ‘absolute’ is applied to existence it means ETERNAL. For one to say that “my car exists is absolutely true”....one would have to argue that their car existed eternally. This leads to contradictions. We will see later that “absolute truth” is the Hallmark of Religion because it is necessarily an ETERNAL TRUTH by definition.
“The term absolute denotes whatever is free from any condition or restriction, and independent from any other element or factor. As with other concepts such as infinite, perfection, eternity, and others, absolute can be articulated only by negating finite concepts.”
“German philosophers after Kant such as Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, known as the German idealists, returned to speculative metaphysics and developed various theories based upon their understanding of the absolute. The concept of absoluteness was then adopted into a neo-Hegelian British idealism, where it received an almost mystical exposition at the hands of F.H. Bradley. Bradley (followed by others including Timothy L.S. Sprigge) conceived the absolute as a single all-encompassing experience, along the lines of Shankara and Advaita Vedanta. Likewise, Josiah Roycein the United States conceived the absolute as a unitary Knower whose experience constitutes what we know as the ‘external’ world.”
“As with Spinoza, Hegel attempted to explain the creation of the world without the notion of creation. Hegel developed a pantheistic concept of the absolute and its relationship with the phenomenal world.”
“As in German idealism, the question of absolute/relative is also intertwined with questions of transcendence and immanence.”
For example, Matt Slick of CARM.org blindly asserts that “Logical Absolutes” (a term invented by him) are concepts which transcend space and time.