Sunday, November 4, 2012

when the absolutist, the subjectivist, the relativist and the skeptic discuss truth

we cannot stop making inferences. but inferences are tricky. here's an example from our last class. if i recall correctly (and a lot was said back-and-forth and my memory may betray me), jonathan made the point that my saying: religious pluralism is better than religious fundamentalism is an absolutist statement.

please, read my chicken soup dilemma. 

why make a purported-to-be-true statement the sole property of the absolutist?

as my chicken-soup-dilemma suggests, diverse and opposite positions can converge on particular statements. the problem is not a statement, but what backs it up.

truth (well, except truths of math) has to be dependent of time, space & milieu. here i part with the idealist. why bragging an "evermore" when life is just a breathing cosmic/second? truth is no less decisive when it aims for the now --but i'll let the future settle the matter.  

take this statement:

i believe truth is a marriage between 1. thought & 2. a time-bounded state-of-affairs. 

let's examine possible justifications:

absolutists would accept 1. & 2. as long as both are infallible and transcendent.
subjectivists do exactly the opposite of the absolutist.
relativists take 1. while doubting the necessity of 2. 
skeptics suspend the value of 1. & 2.
nihilists care for neither.

i heard that i could also be a "subjectivist." when you add the two: subjectivist + absolutist, you get a bizarre stew of infallibility (the absolutist part) & solipsism (the subjectivist part).

i wish them both away from me & my shadow.*  

so, where are we? i don't know exactly -but hope- in a better place than before. :)
* a line from cristopher marlowe's dr. faustus.