Have you any Realitivism? Absolutely!

One of the dumber things i have ever heard in my life, but by far the most believed by the masses, is the thought that there are no absolutes. “Truth is relative to the society in which it forms” they say. I would say to them, “You’re full of it.”

One can sit and argue all day about this topic. Its linked to many facets of religion, morality, and law. But i just want to focus in this article on the facts, on what this single little statement implies, and why its utter non-sense.

“There are no absolute truths” takes its form from a dude in the 1800s named Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. This guy had had enough with people assuming that there was only black and white in the world, that things were either this or that, right or wrong. Instead of thinking like this, he said, lets try to come to some middle ground between right and wrong and there will be truth there.

Now of course, it should be obvious to anyone that there are major logical fallacies within this idea. First off, you have to define what the right and wrong were to begin with ( the thesis and antithesis ). These I suppose were fairly easy to figure out seeing as thats all anyone had at the time. However, the middle ground (the synthesis) makes less sense. Where does it come from? Who decides that the concluded synthesis is the correct one from the multitude of choices that exist in the grey area between thesis and antithesis?

To illustrate this better, lets look at a line. 0—–1 0 here is the antithesis of 1, it is 1’s opposite. Now according to Hegel, neither of these can be truth, so we must reject them outright and come to a synthesis of them that is between the two. For example, 0.3 is a synthesis and is valid because it falls between the 0 and the 1. But ask any mathematician how many numbers exist between 0 and 1 and they will tell you that an infinity of numbers exists. This means an infinity of syntheses, each one as valid as any other.

So now what do we have? A billion different ideas as equally valid as the next, except the two absolutes, they aren’t valid. This is where things get messy.

With a multitude of equally valid truths come conflicting truths. This is where the phrase “i think its true, therefore it is true to me” comes from. But how can this be? Now that you have a synthesized truth, it had become YOUR absolute. This requires you reject it and its antithesis and synthesize a new one. And repeat for the next and the next and the next. There is no end to the synthesizing. You will never reach a definite truth.

Even more striking is the concept itself, “There are no absolutes” is itself an absolute. It is a self-contradictory statement with no real basis in the real world. When one who wants to shed himself of the bonds of absolute truth and declares that there are none to begin with, he simply validates the antithesis of his own statement, that there are absolutes (albeit, his original presumption was a false one).

Declaring that there are no absolute truths is like declaring that the state of Wyoming doesn’t really exist. “Pish posh!” you might say, “Of course Wyoming exists, i have it in this encyclopedia, see!?” I would be forced to disagree with you saying, “That book may say it, but i dont believe in that book. So therefore, it doesnt exist.”

Or you may say “But look! I have letters from people who have BEEN to Wyoming!” “So?” I would argue, “You just forged them, or had someone write them to deceive me. I’m smarter than that, and will not fall into their lies like you have.”

Or you may say “But look! Here is a man who has been to Wyoming himself and has a rock from there and pictures of his trip!” I would laugh and cry, “He is a deceiver you fool! He set all that up and you fell for it! There is no Wyoming!”

The same holds true for absolute truths and synthesized or relativistic truths. If you say there arent any absolutes, that does not make them any more less real than saying Wyoming doesnt exist makes it any more less Wyoming. Absolutes are there regardless.

You may be wondering now, “Well if there are absolutes, what are they?” Thats a good question, but that is another topic altogether. Because if absolutes are absolutes then they are things which must be universal to all peoples and cultures: remote and grouped. The purpose here was to merely point out that synthesized truths are not truth to anyone, but merely wishful thinking of men who wish to dodge the consequences of being wrong.

Be Sociable, Share!
  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)