-I started a conversation with "tantrum" a while back on absolutes. He said that no absolutes exist. I said that I "think" I agree. If I would have agreed fully that no absolutes exist, it would have been an absolute agreement when there are no absolutes.
-So I ask, are there any absolutes?
Not in this world. Too many shades of gray. Not in the human mind. Absolutely! There are no absolutes!
Is it an absolute that there are no absolutes?
lol, but this would contradict absolutes if there was an absolute that there are no absolutes. No?
I'ts an absolute Sunday morning ! So I can't think right now. But I remember that when we had that conversation I was talking about Ideas ? Or concepts ? And I think there are no absolutes in them ,as avery individual has his own ideas and all of them can be right even they contradict themselves. No absolute Truth, That's what we were talking about
Alright. I'm not trying to prove you wrong or make you look bad, I enjoy your individual free thinking. I agree, there may be no absolute truth since everyone has a different truth. I want to get your thoughts on "any" absolute to see if any exist. If it were an absolute that there are no absolutes, I think it would be a contradiction. Good Morning btw. lol
thank you I now have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
lol thats not an absolute, I am sure you have somewhat of an idea of what i'm talking about.
lol Absolutely I do!
I was just making a ha ha
Sure there are absolutes. The absolute value of a number is it's distance from zero on the number line.
|6| = 6
It's interesting to note that the further man delves into space, the more that known laws of physics become less absolute. Light doesn't travel in a straight path, it bends. Black holes devour even light particles, and so on. It's incredibly complex and rather unpredictable.
It would seem to me that those who believe in absolutes probably need to live in that world to protect their own "safety." The more unpredictable the universe is to them, the more unsafe it is, and the less their belief systems hold up.
It's a pretty big paradigm shift to allow yourself to that we live in a universe of no absolutes, but the longer I live, the more that idea makes sense. I think it's possible that the universe is the product of our conscience and mind. That's a big shift for me, but I think it might be possible.
The Created Totality is Limited ... Hence, anything or Idea, Composing the Created Totality, is Finite.
And in Physical or Ideal Definings, Matter manifest in a State is a "Distinct" State, defining an Absolute.
The Child pixed in your Quest is an Absolute ... Physically as well as Ideally.
I would like to know the name of the cute child.
Syed Hasan Shahid Bukhari
Come on you guys...........
Why waste the time that you have in this life on such trivial issues?
If you look in the Phone Book you will see that Absolutes is quite a common name!
lol good point in the first comment.
Is a name really an absolute?
Absolute cold? (total lack of heat)?
If all of those were just illusions, would they still be absolutes?
I think for this thread to have any chance of continuing as a serious discussion, the original poster is going to have to define 'absolute' for us.
Well I think one absolute is that there should be no tolerance for pedophelia or child abuse. When I see all these Hollywood people defending Polanski it just pisses me off.
That can't be absolute because it isn't even a fact, it's mere opinion.
Always. Technically the answer is "it's an act", but I responded as though you had asked "When is my view of paedophilia an opinion".
Well, if that's the case I'll make sure I'll keep the kids away from you.
Language is redundant. A mere symbol of spoken or written perceptions in which an individual takes a representation, labels it, then shares the label with another sentient being. Since no two perceptions are identical, the redundancy of language is simply an agreed upon resolution that neither parties can know as an “absolute.” Thus, there cannot be any absolutes (even the paradox that the only absolute is that no absolutes exist) since perception clouds the definition of a word. All words, ideas or tangible objects, are subjects to perception and recreations of shared experiences—very similar to Plato’s philosophy The Theory of Forms, but applied to the abstract.
You make a good point, but to conclude that "language is redundant" is an unjustified leap.
Redundancy is unnecessary repetition in regard to ideas or tangible objects. Language is the labeling of anything from an idea to a tangible object. I am paraphrasing the OED for both. Therefore, by standard English definition any labeling is an excessive part or feature for whatever is being discussed (redundant). A “table” may sit between us. Any acknowledgment to that table would necessitate a redundancy since it does not require attention beyond that of it simply being present. In linguistics (or so I have been taught—use a grain of salt here) all language is redundant because all life can exist without communication. Albeit, a life I do not want, but a life still, meaning that any communication is a luxury and unnecessary.
Okay I agree that language redundant in the sense of being (for the most part) an unnecessary luxury (although I also believe we are less likely to have evolved to cope with it unless it were necessary at least on a rudimentary level). However I normally see the word 'redundant' used to mean 'outdated or otherwise rendered useless'. In this sense, language is certainly not redundant.
I do not know if Dgerrimea would, but I have no problem telling any religious leader views such as these. Heresy is a concept birthed from fear. If God is all-powerful and knowing, then my quest for understanding will be acknowledged and Its existence could not be threatened. I can only know what I perceive. After 14 years of Catholic school, even 16 odd years out, I guess I am still a bit jaded.
And I am sticking to my early theory that nothing can be absolute because all of life (no matter how much is shared) is still too individual. Anything absolute would have to be innate and completely resistant to debate. Even if all of humanity agreed on something, it is still skewed by our individuality. I am too subjective I guess.
The fact that you have used the word 'absolute' in a sentence shows that you have some working definition of the word. I want to know what this definition is.
Okay one more try. Are you interested in continuing this discussion, which would require that you define the word 'absolute' before casting it around?
If your definition is 'the unknown', then yes there is a whole of that about. There is more unknown than there is known I believe.
I would not define absolute as 'the unknown'. I would use absolute to describe a truth that is not only objective, but that also applies to every place and time in existence. Possible candidates might be things like the speed of light, but I have yet to be convinced that there are any absolutes.
I definately agree that they are rare if any. I also believe it is very humble for someone to recognize and admit that it's a possiblilty no absolutes exist.
"Speed" and "Light" aren't absolutes. Those are just the names we termed our perceptions.
I have heard it claimed however that the speed of light is an absolute in the sense that it remains constant from different points of view, even when every other speed and factor is different.
But now we are getting into special relativity, which I don't understand enough to base a belief on.
I would say that humility comes more from the spirit in which the statement was made, rather than the content of the statement itself. I can imagine someone claiming that there are no absolutes, and showing a lot of pride and arrogance while doing so.
Here's where I think you are using a different definition of absolute. Now that you've defined absolute as "the unknown", phrases like "absolutely knowing" don't make sense any more.
Because "the unknown" is not an adjective. In the phrase "absolutely knowing", the word 'absolute' is used as if it were an adjective.
The total energy of this universe remains absolute since there is no creation and destruction of any energy.Energy can only transform from one form into another.
I can't really argue that one as of yet. Good job.
Really, what proof do you have of that? I always learned it was a proton, neutron, and an electron.
Those are the components of most atoms, but it is the electromagnetic force which binds them together.
Exactly my point. The electromagnetic force does nothing but hold them in place it does not "create" them.
It creates them in the sense that a proton, a neutron, and an electron only become an atom when the electromagnetic force acts upon them.
Proof? "In a sense", doesn't quite cut it with physics.
For proof you can look at any science textbook that covers this topic.
I have, and none of them say the electromagnet force creates an atom, it merely keeps the electron attached to it. I think you may be confusing molecules with atoms.
actually strong nuclear force holds all the atoms not electromagnetic force.Electromagnetic force is radio waves(for example mobile phone antennas use electromagnetic force for transmission and reception of signals) or radiation related force.
Actually, the electromagnetic Force is the field exerted on electromagnetically charged particles. The nuclear force binds protons and neutrons, and works in conjunction with the electromagnetic force. Now that we've almost completely covered the basic make up of an atom, I still stand by my original statements. Proof is in the pudding, and I like pudding, but I'm not getting any from you or Dgerrimea.
Actually the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but to leave pudding aside for one moment you seem to have been arguing that new energy can be created. If this is true, then you are arguing against the law of the Conservation of Energy. Good luck, cause that's going to be a tough one for you to refute.
Again, proof? There is no circular proof of the Conservation of Energy. When you can A. Prove to me what creates an atom, and B. Tell me where energy came from in the first place, then I will agree that no more energy can be created, or destroyed. When you spout off general and half composed statements about the conservation of energy, it does an injustice to the scientists who actually take pride in elevating the theory. I didn't want to turn this into a religious argument, but again science has failed.
Can you please explain why you say that science has failed?
I don't think there is an answer to the question of where did energy come from. I'm not sure that's even a valid question as there was no 'where' until after the big bang, but that might just be splitting hairs. I've already told you what creates an atom, it is one proton (or more) and one neutron (or more), which are brought and held together by the strong nuclear force. Electrons may also be involved, and they would be held in orbit around the nucleus by the electromagnetic force.
A question for you know if I may, why do you think new energy can be created? Is this a position you can justifiy?
No, you said "in a sense" the electromagnetic force creates an atom. I say that GOD created everything, and science has failed to completely prove what GOD has created. Furthermore, because GOD created everything, he can continue to create, or destroy. Therefore, the implication that the THEORY of energy conservation is an absolute in my opinion is inaccurate. You haven't proven anything, you've only spouted off lackadaisical statements, and re stated what I made clear to you in the first place.
Science has failed to agree with you because your beliefs aren't supported by evidence. I'm obviously not going to prove the Law of the Conservation of Energy to you via an internet forum. Research it for yourself. Also, your suspicious emphasis of the word 'theory' can be cured by understanding my hub about whether Evolution is a theory or a fact. You may be interested to know that it is both.
My beliefs are supported by as much evidence as yours. Additionally, my beliefs were documented well before your beliefs, and followed. You couldn't prove the conservation of energy to me in person either. I don't need to research it. I've studied it, and can apply it. Can you? I think you are having a hard time with definitions again. Fact- A thing that is indisputably the case. The conservation of energy is disputed, and so is evolution, so neither can be a fact if you ask the opposing party. Again you are straying off topic. I don't need plugs for the HUbs you wrote.
Your first statement is untrue, and your second and third statement I'll call irrelevant because I'm generous.
You claim that I am having a hard time with definitions, and yet you have just proved to me that you do not understand the words 'fact' and 'theory'. The only reason I 'plugged' my hub was because it is relevant to the discussion.
Let me help you with your definitions.
Fact - An objective truth
Theory - A guess or a possibility
Fact - An observed phenomenon
Theory - An explanation for a set of facts which has been tested and found to be true beyond reasonable doubt
Hypothesis - A guess or a possibility
Great example of categorizing definitions from a strictly scientific point of view. A scientific theory only attempts to explain scientific observations, and can be disproven. Had you proven the THEORY of Conservation of Energy I would have prepositioned it with Law (you did that not me). One of the "Scientific" definitions you left out, and may want to look up. I can't expect you to understand, because you don't have faith in GOD. The THEORY of conservation of energy has no circular proof, which is disputed by scientists, and non scientists. Again, you have not proven anything which concretely concludes energy conservation in your scientific terms is a Law or in my terms a fact. All this because GOD is generous. You can thank him yourself if you like.
I won't tell you again; I cannot prove energy conservation to you, I can only inform you that it is accepted as a law by every respectable scientist.
Thank you for trying to "inform" me. I am trying to "inform" you that conservation of energy is not an absolute until proven otherwise.
I doubt you or I could understand the proof for the law of the conservation of energy. A consequence of this is that we can only believe it to the extent that we trust the scientific method.
You keep defending "proof" you've never seen. Of course I can't understand something that doesn't exist. You can't either. That is why I am perplexed that you keep defending it.
You can also take me out of your "we", because I don't trust the scientific method. Energy conservation exists to a point, and then it is left to GOD. Sorry, not an absolute.
Many people say they don't trust science, but are happy enough to trust it with their lives every time they visit the hospital, or ride in a car.
Also I am not arguing that the conservation of energy is an absolute, especially not in this thread where no one has successfully defined 'absolute' yet.
The reason I believe that the law of the conservation of energy is true is because it is a very basic principle of science, and science is a process which has an excellent track record of discovery, of refining itself as new evidence comes to light, and correcting those scientists who make mistakes.
I take exception with one deffinition....scientifically: Theory - An explanation for a set of facts which have been tested and found to be true beyond a reasonable doubt. (you see people take liberties with tense and plurality, it is the facts (plural) that have been tested beyond a reasonable doubt, not the Theory (singular - for which people would think you are referencing the Theory when you use "has"). The facts do not make the Theory true, the Theory is simply a deduction of reasoning, other deductions or Theories can weigh in just as heavily with the same facts. But the Facts are constant, if tested beyond a reasonable doubt with no variable room for error... +1. +2 or -1, -2....
I meant to write 'has' because I was referring to the theory which has been tested. Investigation must show that certain facts are indeed present, but ultimately the theory must be shown to be falsifiable, and the theory must make predictions which can be verified. This is what I mean when I say that the theory is being tested.
Atoms are nothing but a from of energy.You yourself also is a combination of atoms,when you die your energy will be released and will take another form nothing else.The entire universe is energy recycling factory.
Then where did the original atoms come from? They were obviously "created" Additionally, scientists today can create atoms. How do you know they are not creating additioal energy?
I'd have to agree, there is at least one absolute.
I can think of one: Our constitution protects aliens, some celebrities and U.S. Senators, and some say the freedom of speech. ????
That is one hell of a fine question, because my bottle is dry...
Okay the word 'absolute' has just been butchered on this thread. Unless someone presents and actually sticks to a definition of 'absolute', this thread is futile.
I know one fella who may just be an absolute a---!
(No, sorry, wasn't using a mirror at the time. Close call on that one, though.)
You all Absolutely Must go to the Hubnugget Forum and read the selected ten best Hubs, only one can be chosen as the Hubnugget Wannabe....Please this is your Absolute Responsiblity as a Hubber in this community, and please, do not give out real names of children on the internet....absolutely icky.
There are 2 absolutes that come to my mind immediately ..
One is that every April 15 you must file your taxes
and the other is
one day when our time comes we will absolutely die.
We all have loves and hates that are just unblockable. Do you love or hate to be burned? Pain comes in many forms as does love.
Ah, but what if someone doesn't get involved to prevent emotions of being burned.
Do you have to think in absolute terms to find an absolute?
I think that what most people mean by "absolute" in a conversation like this is "a statement or condition which is always true."
There are things that are true and that they are always true, regardless of our positional view of them.
Something cannot come from nothing.
It is right to love an infant and not torture it.
A thing cannot be itself and its opposite.
I did not type this 20 years in the future.
I'm not you.
Most of the conversations in this thread are stated by the participants as absolutes.
The statement that "there are no absolutes" is self-refuting. If the statement is true, it's false; if it is false, it's false.
"It is right to love an infant and not to torture it"
This is an opinion. And a lack of absolutes is not an absolute. The statement "there are no absolutes" is a negative statement, and is not self refuting.
And if something cannot come from nothing, then how do you account for God?
If you say that God is eternal, then you should realise that the universe is also eternal in the sense that it has existed since the beginning of time, as time came into being after, or possibly at the moment of, the big bang. But I may be wrong about the time bit.
You have not demonstrated whether a condition of no absolutes is even possible. As for the statement "there are no absolutes" it is stated as a truth and is self refuting; it matters not whether it's negatve or positive. The statement itself makes a claim about reality that is always the case; that is, in every given situation, no condition or statement can be said to be always the case. If the statement that "there are no absolutes" is true, then it is false, since there can't be any statement or condition which is always the case.
But the claim that there are no absolutes does just that. It is claiming that the condition of reality is that there are no such claims which are always the case.
The statement about loving and torturing children is a moral absolute. And it's only your opinion that it's an opinion. It may be my opinion that to always love a child and not torture her is right, but it is not merely my opinion. It's my opinion and it's right. Give me a situation where it would be right to do otherwise.
I don't have to account for where God came from to know that God is the best explanation for why anything exists as opposed to nothing. Besides, God did not "come from" anywhere.
Actually, in a discussion over absolutes you would need to account for God—if He is the basis for your argument. To simply throw the name in as a contender is frivolous at best. One must first prove His presence. Yet, since his presence is a matter of faith (or subjective), then it has no place in a philosophical discussion over the presence of a word that defines an abstract.
Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior"). Nowhere in the root of the word could one confuse the term absolute. Manners, character, and proper behavior are drastically different for every culture. If this is true, then where is the absolute? This natural corruption occurs over all languages. Today there are three components if morality: a code of conduct, the moral imperative, and ethics. Are any of these moral components as true today as they were to the Romans? How about the Greeks? Egyptians? The answer is equivocally no. By any definition of absolute, it makes the assertion that “moral absolute” is an oxymoron.
In addition, I stated in an earlier post that not only is there no absolutes, but even the statement "there are no absolutes" is impossible due to the abstraction and evolution of language. Perception and human imperfection dilute and corrupt any possibility for the term I defined above.
lol I loved the last part. That is why I was having trouble defining the definition of absolute. How do you define an absolute when you can't find an absolute? lol good stuff
I enjoy your comments. Well thought.
I need not account for God. Most people do and have known that there is a creator and sustainer of the universe. I need not prove Him to take Him as a given in a discussion about morals. What are you now going to tell me, that I'm "wrong" for doing so?
As for not mentioning God in a philosophical discussion, tell me one topic that has permeated the history of western philosophy more than that of God. In philosophy, abstractions are used to define other abstractions. If you believe God is an abstraction, why would you exclude Him, but include other abstractions? Or are all of your concepts used in your definitions only physical entities?
In fact, absolute morals can provide a proof for the existence of God. Philosopher William L. Craig puts it like this:
P(1) If God does not exist, objective morals do not exist.
P(2) Objective morals exist
Therefore, God exists.
Second, I'm not going to argue over semantics with you. If you want to own the term "moral," knock yourself out. What most people mean when they're talking about "moral absolutes" is that there are some acts that are always right and some that are always wrong. Gassing the Jews or torturing a little child for pleasure are always wrong. It is always right to love an infant. It is always right to teach children to honor others and it is wrong to place children in a classroom and have them taught by a morally-challenged whack job that there are no rights and wrongs and that they decide what is right and wrong for themselves. If all you mean when you say "morals" is "mores" then you have a communication problem since that is not what most people mean.
Here's the point: we all know that gassing the Jews was wrong. It is always wrong. People who say otherwise are morally challenged. Yes, I believe that, but it's not just a belief; I know it. As for how I know it, that's an epistemological question that we could discuss. But why should I give up a belief in moral absolutes as veridical given that it comports with the rest of my experiences just because you don't know whether or not absolute morals are possible?
As for your statement:
"I stated in an earlier post that not only is there no absolutes, but even the statement "there are no absolutes" is impossible due to the abstraction and evolution of language."
This was my favorite.....If the first part of your statement is true, how can the second part be "impossible"? You sound conflicted.
I have never claimed that there are no absolutes, I only say that I don't think there are any. There is a difference between not thinking X is true, and thinking that X is not true.
It has always seemed to me that to claim that morals are absolute is to show a lack of imagination, and possible a lack of sensitivity to other cultures. It is trivial to imagine a scenario in which torturing children would be more moral than loving them. It might be an outlandish scenario, but that is all that is needed to show that it is not a moral absolute.
And if you're going to throw God is as an explanation, then you must also give an accounting for God.
OK on the first paragraph. I choose extreme examples only to more clearly make the point, not to be provocative. I don't even like mentioning things like "torturing children." It's unsettling, but I believe such examples get to the heart of the matter. These are some of the examples I like to give college students because many of them fancy themselves as moral relativists, but have never really thought through the implications of such a position. My view is such a position is unliveable. No one can live as if there are not truths to live by. No one thinks that the instructions on the bottle of rat poison are "merely opinions."
As for God, I need not "account for God" as God is widely-discussed in philosophy without having to justify Him every time He's mentioned. I have no intention of stopping every discussion in which I mention "God" to satisfy people's itch to debate His existence.
P(1) To be perfect is to be good
P(2) God is good
P(3) Therefore God is perfect.
P(1) To be perfect one must exist
P(2) God is Perfect
P(3) Therefore God exists
P(1) All of creation came from God
P(2) If all creation was God's, then all of creation is the cause of God
P(1) God gave all humans freewill
P(2) Since freewill is a gift, it is the ownership of humans
P(3) Therefore freewill is possessed by humans and is not the result of God's actions
P(1) Humans have freewill
P(2) To exercise freewill is to cause suffering
P(3) Therefore Humans cause suffering
P(1) To be imperfect is to suffer
P(2) Humans are imperfect
P(3) Therefore Humans suffer
P(1) Yet, not all suffering is caused by humans
P(2) Since this exists outside of freewill, then not all suffering is caused by freewill
P(3) Therefore not all suffering comes from humans
P(1) Since suffering exists outside of freewill, then it is the cause of God
P(2) If suffering is the cause of God, then he is not perfect.
P(3) If God is not Perfect, then it is possible that He does not exist.
P(1) Since there is the possibility that God does not exist, in a discussion about the existence of absolutes require the proof that God exist.
P(2) This does not stop a discussion, because it is a form of evidence used to support the idea that absolutes exist.
P(3) If it is not provable, then it cannot be an absolute. Therefore God is not an absolute.
Sir, the only truths are the ones we have created.
You have sacrificed individualism to follow a belief.
You are no longer an individual, but a follower.
That may be an absolute. Your belief is not.
You say you don't have to account for God to explain anything?
In an absoulute, everything would need to be accounted for. If God was absolute, there would be no debate.
Absolute-- total and without the need of qualification, nor restrictions (paraphrasing OED).
What is rather frustrating about a debate on the existence of the "absolute" are attempts to refute or attack another's point of view by the application of something that too is not an absolute.
"God," no matter which religion you prefer or name you provide, is a matter of faith. Faith is not provable. If it was, the Catholic Church would own the patent and be handing that stuff out like water in an oasis. Belief in a higher power is a very PERSONAL matter. Science is a faith as well. It is the faith in the repetition of human action to produce something as close to a truth as WE can muster.
Many similarities and marriages have arisen from science and religion, history and religion. This is due to the fact that both are attempts to explain the world around us. Now I say "attempt" deliberately, because anyone's faith here does not equate to mine. Therefore, any attempt to sway me is moot. To prove something is not an absolute by refuting it with a concept that is not an absolute either is ridiculous. That is the beauty of faith. I do not need the absolute to believe in a greater power. I know deep within myself whether there is something out there greater than myself.
If anyone would enjoy discussions on comparative religion or even a science versus religion thread, I am all about hearing views. Many, if not all of you seem very passionate about these points of view and I would love to read more on this. As for the absolute, refer to Plato’s allegory of the cave. It is a great example of perception concerning reality, since most of what I read is a representation of each persons take on reality.
I can never know God through you eyes, nor you through mine. Thus, all the world is perception and the time we get is but a glimpse into only a part the greater experience.
“I need not account for God. Most people do and have known that there is a creator and sustainer of the universe. I need not prove Him to take Him as a given in a discussion about morals. What are you now going to tell me, that I'm "wrong" for doing so?”
This is not a discussion about morals, but one about the existence of an absolute. Your assertion that morals are absolute are what is in play. So thank you for reiterating yet another point I have made. Faith is a personal matter. You cannot force your faith upon me, yet, you consider it a valid component of your argument and something we do not share. If God is an absolute, why do the Buddhist disagree? Or the Hindi? Where you are wrong is trying to justify an absolute by incorporating a faith based piece of evidence. If faith was not a personal issue and true to all persons, then He would be proof of the absolute and a valid argument.
“As for not mentioning God in a philosophical discussion, tell me one topic that has permeated the history of western philosophy more than that of God. In philosophy, abstractions are used to define other abstractions. If you believe God is an abstraction, why would you exclude Him, but include other abstractions? Or are all of your concepts used in your definitions only physical entities?”
Interesting point, but an absolute is the absence of the abstract. I am pointing out that God is an abstraction, therefore not valid. Nowhere was I using an abstraction as proof other than to point out that the presence of the abstraction mitigates any possibility of it becoming a piece of evidence. And the only things we can attempt to know are physical. Yet, how can we truly know even that, since my perception cannot be the same as yours. I can only know me. (Hence the example of the allegory of the cave and the Theory of Forms.) Another problem, The Holy Catholic Church did not allow discussion which differed from the discussion of Christ for centuries. It horded many of the ideas and thoughts of the ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations. Maybe Plato or Cicero, Homer or Virgil would have been more talked about topics. It is another variable consistent with any unknown. Right shall rest in might of hand and truth shall be no more.” Hesiod, Greek historian.
In fact, absolute morals can provide a proof for the existence of God. Philosopher William L. Craig puts it like this:
P(1) If God does not exist, objective morals do not exist.
P(2) Objective morals exist
Therefore, God exists.
The argument is moot, because there are no objective morals and I DO believe in the existence of God. Morals are inherently subjective.
“Second, I'm not going to argue over semantics with you. If you want to own the term "moral," knock yourself out.”
Providing the root of a word does not entitle me to ownership and does not infer semantic ambiguities. In fact, the presence of semantical differences furthers my arrangement by providing yet another instance of proof that the definitions of words are subjective. It simply proves the evolution of a word. What was initially intended was to show how time alters and adds to a word’s origin. And the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is hardly owning a definition since it is the standard form of defining the English language since its first publication in 1928. If you are bias against the English, then here:
Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary. –From the American Heritage Dictionary 2009. (Still subjective since this correlates to my early paraphrasing of the OED.)
“What most people mean when they're talking about "moral absolutes" is that there are some acts that are always right and some that are always wrong.”
If you truly want to bring in “most people,” then you are truly in error, since most inhabitants are not Christian. Therefore, there is no God. Again going against Craig’s simplistic logic and assumption that God must exist.
“Gassing the Jews or torturing a little child for pleasure are always wrong. It is always right to love an infant. Here's the point: we all know that gassing the Jews was wrong. It is always wrong. People who say otherwise are morally challenged. Yes, I believe that, but it's not just a belief; I know it… As for how I know it, that's an epistemological question that we could discuss. But why should I give up a belief in moral absolutes as veridical given that it comports with the rest of my experiences just because you don't know whether or not absolute morals are possible?”
I do not claim to know because I am not arrogant enough to claim to know the minds of others. To say that I know morality means that I know your mind and the mind of others. If you wish to claim such things that is your business, but I am aware of the possibility that you have no idea what my mind is about. And since you do not, your knowledge is subject to opinion. The Spartans would have disagreed with you. Since they, and myself, do not constitute everyone, then it is not an absolute. Even Athens, the Persians, and many Asian powers used biological weapons to eradicate an enemy. This is how the Mongols attacked an outpost in Turkey around 400 AD, which has lead many historians and archeologists to theorize how the black plague first entered Europe (though it remains unproven). Is it morally irreprehensible today? According to my moral code, yes. But I do not assume to place my moral judgments upon that of others. And I have not asked you to give up anything. Faith is and always will be a personal matter. Since it is personal it can never be the same as mine. We may agree on many matters that create a moral imperative for this time, but these moral platitudes do not equate to all time. You are implementing your own moral bias into all time (which is fine as a matter of faith), but to assume what is true to you is true to everyone, then you personally have condemned most of humanity throughout time. And maybe if you succeed in erasing most of humanity you can implement your own set of morals, but they still won’t be absolute because you can only perceive reality through your own eyes.
“It is always right to teach children to honor others and it is wrong to place children in a classroom and have them taught by a morally-challenged whack job that there are no rights and wrongs and that they decide what is right and wrong for themselves. If all you mean when you say "morals" is "mores" then you have a communication problem since that is not what most people mean.”
At least we are aware you feel Sartre is a morally-challenged whack job. If you teach children to honor others, does that mean to respect Hitler? How about Stalin? Which others? By choosing you are subjecting youth to your ideas of morality, making them once again subjective. And I am morally challenged, because I challenge my own thinking everyday. I do not just openly accept what is out there. And you take out of context my meanings of Right and Wrong. I share your opinions on morality when it comes to the holocaust and the ill treatment of children. But I am not arrogant enough to assume that what I deem as moral should attain to a time I can only study and not experience. Right and Wrong is subject to time and place. This is even observable in the Bible. God is a vengeful and aggressive God in the Old Testament. Yet, by Jesus’ sacrifice, there was no longer a calling for His actions to remain and we see God as forgiving and welcoming. Even God changed, because His vengeful actions where no longer necessary. It was okay for David to sleep with Bathsheba at the cost of an innocent child. So David "struck the child ... and it became sick ... [And] on the seventh day the child died." So it is not a moral absolute to “[torture] a little child?” Your God seems to have little problem with it. And there is always these “most people” statements. It is not most people, since most people I know actually know the Latin root of “moral.” They too agree that the Oxford English Dictionary is creditable source when looking for the current “popular” and “standard” definitions for a word. And they understand that the evolution and education of a society helps to shape and change the moral fabric of a people along with each time’s contemporary events.
“As for your statement:
"I stated in an earlier post that not only is there no absolutes, but even the statement "there are no absolutes" is impossible due to the abstraction and evolution of language."
This was my favorite.....If the first part of your statement is true, how can the second part be "impossible"? You sound conflicted.”
Recognizing the limitation and redundancy of language and pointing out a natural paradox within human existence is hardly conflicted. It merely solidifies the idea that we cannot know anything for certain. If we cannot know anything for certain, then both statements are untrue.
“This is not a discussion about morals, but one about the existence of an absolute. Your assertion that morals are absolute are what is in play. So thank you for reiterating yet another point I have made. Faith is a personal matter. You cannot force your faith upon me, yet, you consider it a valid component of your argument and something we do not share. If God is an absolute, why do the Buddhist disagree? Or the Hindi? Where you are wrong is trying to justify an absolute by incorporating a faith based piece of evidence. If faith was not a personal issue and true to all persons, then He would be proof of the absolute and a valid argument. “
God's existence certainly has a faith element to it, but matters pertaining to God’s existence transcend just the element of faith. God either exists or He doesn’t. If He exists, then there’s possibly evidence of His existence in the universe. Many arguments have been offered for His existence that I find convincing. Since God’s existence has been and is widely accepted, I see no reason to justify it to you just because you don’t like it. Besides, this thread is not about the existence of God, but about absolutes. If you want to argue the existence of God, start your own thread and get busy.
Based on what I’ve gathered about your view of things, I can force my faith on you if I have the power to do so (which I’m not doing BTW). But, if I were, what say you against it…it’s not nice? It’s actually my view of the world that protects you from religious coercion. As for why there’s disagreement about God, it’s because of sin. Romans 1 portrays the man who knows of His creator’s existence, but suppresses this truth in his heart. After a while a man will begin to believe the lies that he tells himself as God “turns him over” to such a mind that does not want to think about Him. Finally, your comment that proof of God would be acceptable only if faith were not of a personal nature and obviously true to all persons strikes me as the child who wants to remake the rules after the game is in play. You know in advance that not all people accept God’s existence. And besides, why should anyone agree to accept this condition?
Based on your belief that there are no objective moral values, there is no good reason why I should accept your conditions. You seem to operate heavily off of “you can’t say that.” You have a lot of "do's" and "don't's" for a guy that's a moral relativeist. From a moral absolutist, here's my response:
God exists. He sets the standards of right and wrong. Those standards of right and wrong are absolutes. Those who argue that things such as the apartheid in S. Africa, the Killing Fields of Cambodia and Stalin’s rape of the Ukraine are just “socially deviant” behaviors are morally blind. Most people know differently because God has given them a moral law written in their hearts. They intuit good and bad behavior on the part of others. They may not be able to give a rational explanation for such a sense no more than they can rationally explain how it is that they see or how their respiratory system works. Their conscience bears witness of this moral law. Anyone who can’t see the moral distinction between a mother loving a child on the one hand and torturing him on the other, but would call each “mores” is morally challenged (to put it nicely).
With your much ado about God’s existence, you have offered nothing that should compel those of us that believe in God to discount our experiences of God as veridical and replace it with your unwarranted skepticism.
“Interesting point, but an absolute is the absence of the abstract. I am pointing out that God is an abstraction, therefore not valid. Nowhere was I using an abstraction as proof other than to point out that the presence of the abstraction mitigates any possibility of it becoming a piece of evidence. And the only things we can attempt to know are physical. Yet, how can we truly know even that, since my perception cannot be the same as yours. I can only know me. (Hence the example of the allegory of the cave and the Theory of Forms.) Another problem, The Holy Catholic Church did not allow discussion which differed from the discussion of Christ for centuries. It horded many of the ideas and thoughts of the ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations. Maybe Plato or Cicero, Homer or Virgil would have been more talked about topics. It is another variable consistent with any unknown. Right shall rest in might of hand and truth shall be no more.” Hesiod, Greek historian. “
“An absolute is the absence of the abstract?!?!” I thought there were no absolutes. What would we have, “absolutely” if we removed all abstractions, like the rules of logic, for example? As for God being an abstraction, that is your claim, unproven. I don’t accept this arbitrary reductionism that says that matters about God are reduced to merely faith claims. God is offered as the best explanation for why anything exists as opposed to nothing. As for the “Holy Catholic Church” they held a monopoly on scientific knowledge that was steeped in tradition and the writings of pagan writers like Aristotle. As for the Hesiod quote, is that your credo? Might makes right?
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