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Absolute v Relative - My Dilemma


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Showing 1-25 of 112 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Feb 2012 22:41:09 GMT
Zaccone says:
I have recently been taken by Plato's theory of forms, and although I used to think of things in a relative manner, I realize that as conceptual entities absolutes cannot be denied. The perfect circle or the absolutely straight line for example, both of which have never been seen in the real world, can be conceptualised in their original forms. If absolutes cannot be denied it follows that all relatives will be contrasted using absolutes and this is in my opinion irrefutable evidence of God's existence.

Would somebody who knows a thing or two about postmodern thought care to prove me wrong? Please, this has been bothering me all day. (Note: this is not a debate on whether or not God exists - even though that is a conclusion that I am inevitably drawing).

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2012 22:45:09 GMT
nephran says:
If this as been thems bovvering youses all day,youses aint got enuffs to think abouts!

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Feb 2012 23:57:00 GMT
G. Proctor says:
>>>If absolutes cannot be denied it follows that all relatives will be contrasted using absolutes and this is in my opinion irrefutable evidence of God's existence.

Could you explain the logical connection between 'absolutes exist' and 'God exists'? Even if 'God' is somehow equivalent to 'an absolute', it does not follow that because absolutes exist, so must he.

Posted on 24 Feb 2012 00:14:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Feb 2012 00:35:33 GMT
kraka says:
Is God not viewed as an infinite and eternal absolute = Eternal Truth?

Infinite and eternal rules out the existance of any other God existing.

Its believed all physical things perish therefore transient = transient truths.

Both opposites, one opposite exists only in the presence of it's opposite.

Just speculating.

Posted on 24 Feb 2012 08:40:57 GMT
Zaccone says:
Again taking the Circle and the line - both of which have never been seen, they have been conceptualized and the culmination of this is are the 0 and the 1 through which all data, all thoughts, everything can we know can be expressed. You perceive in 0s and 1s if you break it down far enough.

Considering that absolutes exist and that the 0 and the 1 are the sole true forms (which together make the all seeing eye), It is in my opinion evidence enough to refer to them as God, the circle for its infinity the line for its perfection.

(On a more religious note - this is the significance of God having taught Adam the names of all things and why Man was made in God's image).

(also transient truths were never truths to begin with)

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 09:44:39 GMT
Huck Flynn says:
it's called a leap of faith

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 09:48:50 GMT
Huck Flynn says:
No. God is a belief - there can be nothing absolute about something that cannot be universally conceptualised and described, like a perfect circle
you should have gone to Speculation Savers

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 12:04:32 GMT
nephran says:
Giggles thems Huck...Gigglesses!
Your reply to nephran's post:
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In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 13:19:13 GMT
AJ Murray says:
Mr. M.DURRANI,

You say that;

-"The perfect circle or the absolutely straight line for example, both of which have never been seen in the real world, can be conceptualised in their original forms."

Which is a concession that these objects are only idealised and never realised. You then make a comparison between these ideal forms and your deity asserting that this is '...irrefutable evidence of God's existence."

Since you have already placed your 'God' into the realm of non-real, this is neither evidence nor existence. Nor is it evidence for existence.

-"(Note: this is not a debate on whether or not God exists - even though that is a conclusion that I am inevitably drawing)."

Why is it inevitable? Are you by any chance a Christian?

You later write;

-"Again taking the Circle and the line - both of which have never been seen, they have been conceptualized and the culmination of this is are the 0 and the 1 through which all data, all thoughts, everything can we know can be expressed. You perceive in 0s and 1s if you break it down far enough."

The zero was quite a recent invention, and it should be apparent that what you have said here is gibberish. We could equally perform mathematical calculations by replacing the 0 and the 1 with ~ and ¥. I find myself repeating this often to those who perceive this sort of pattern to their thoughts.

The Map is NOT the Terrain.

-"Considering that absolutes exist..."

Do they? Nothing you have written so far demonstrates this.

-"...and that the 0 and the 1 are the sole true forms"

No. They are just placeholders that we assign meaning to and use to desscribe relationships between values.

-"(which together make the all seeing eye)"

Doesn't the all seeing eye need to be atop a pyramid? Otherwise it is just an eye.

-"It is in my opinion evidence enough to refer to them as God, the circle for its infinity the line for its perfection."

What is perfect about a line? Does it have to be a certain length? Or will a mere mark smudge do for you?

But more disturbingly you appear to have no understanding of what constitutes evidence. If it is just some pattern that exists only in your mind, then it is not evidence.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 14:13:28 GMT
Spin says:
M; If you subscribe to Platos theory of Forms, you are obliged to believe that morality is absolute. "According to Plato, the "Good", (e.g:"Justice", "Equality" etc) are Forms. It is easu to support the Forms in terms of mathematics or natural laws (after all, is that not the basis of science?) but it is difficult to assert that "Justice" is a universal, timeless form common to all things which partake in that concept. Further, Plato expressed his belief that all red things, for example, partake in the Form of "Red". We know that the colour "red" is a constituent of light and is seen only because it is reflected from the object to our eye. Red is not a Platonic Form, but a wavelength among many, itself composed of constituent elements. Now, if Plato's argument succeeds only in being representative of an argument concerning numbers and scientific laws (which themselves refute the theory of forms: eg: there is no such thing as a "straight line" or a triangle in nature, since spacetime is curved, so such things cannot be Forms) then Plato cannot be said to be correct. In short, Platos theory of Forms is not itself a Form, (under any definition of "Form") and so cannot be said to represent reality. It has been accepted, for obvious reasons, in one way or another, by theists and atheists, monarchists and republicans,Aesthetes and philistines etc etc. As a theory, its flaws diminish its truth.

Posted on 24 Feb 2012 16:56:37 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Feb 2012 19:03:56 GMT
Zaccone says:
Thank you for your arguments, and again in response to AJ Murray I am not suggesting you should draw the same conclusions I have. I have simply posted my own subjective thoughts. You are right I have already conceded that God does not exist in the real world and that perfect forms can only ever be thought of - thank you for pointing out the obvious.

No I am not a Christian. I am a 20 yr old Agnostic Law Student, I made this topic because I wanted more professional opinions from people who are more knowledgeable about philosophy than I am.

You say that zero and one could be replaced by anything? Let's replace them with x and y - in either case they must be absolute opposites representing the presence and absence of a signal (if we are to stick to their function which is to form data). It remains that everything else is dependent on these 2 absolute extremes. This is what interests me, I am concerned that in opting for relativism we are presupposing the existence of absolutes.

The zero was "invented" or first thought of (according to historians anyway) by the Babylonians around 400 BC and has over the years revolutionized our understanding of mathematics.

As long as we're making assumptions about each other I do not see why this disturbs you, perhaps you are just one of those atheists who claims to hate religion and theism but fails to see that he has inadvertently turned his disbelief into a belief and hence goes around preaching in a similar obnoxious manner to the clerics he claims to hate so much.

In response to Spin

Could this "form of red" not simply have meant the wavelength of red light (which is what the object gives to light that is reflected from its surface) Let's not discredit the theory by trying to bash some of the poor sage's beliefs against modern science to which I'm sure he would have had a response had he still been here.

Again there is no such thing as a perfectly straight line in nature - I conceded this straight away - and so did Plato because to him these things only exist as thoughts, their lack of presence in the real world does not somehow eliminate their importance as thoughts, considering we perceive the world through thoughts.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 20:21:20 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Feb 2012 20:21:44 GMT
Dr HotFXMan says:
"I am a 20 yr old Agnostic Law Student"

I haven't come across Agnostic Law before. Is that where you claim it is not possible to know whether the accused is guilty or not?

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 22:07:03 GMT
Zaccone says:
Well you shall have to forgive the lack of a comma. What a constructive comment you've made! You might just have solved my dilemma.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 22:53:22 GMT
G. Proctor says:
>>>Again taking the Circle and the line - both of which have never been seen, they have been conceptualized and the culmination of this is are the 0 and the 1 through which all data, all thoughts, everything can we know can be expressed. You perceive in 0s and 1s if you break it down far enough.

I'm sorry, but numbers are not magic. You make it sound like 1 and 0 are mystical symbols - they're not, they're numbers, a concept representing the amount of something. They are not magic runes. (And if you really want to get technical, the only number you need is 1, because 0 can be derived from it.)

>>>Considering that absolutes exist and that the 0 and the 1 are the sole true forms (which together make the all seeing eye), It is in my opinion evidence enough to refer to them as God, the circle for its infinity the line for its perfection.

That's meaningless. They're numbers, and numbers aren't God.

Posted on 24 Feb 2012 22:56:13 GMT
nephran says:
Can meses have some of the stuffs youses lots are taking...Crikies talk about out youses skulls..

Posted on 24 Feb 2012 23:02:32 GMT
G. Proctor says:
Also, you asked to be proven wrong about the idea that the existence of absolutes is irrefutable evidence of God's existence. But surely you're just defining God into existence yourself?

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 23:16:41 GMT
Zaccone says:
Go back and read the post where I said I was prepared to replace 0 and 1 with x and y providing that they stood for the presence and absence of signal z. Although I was alluding to the symbolism behind their representations I understand that these are merely symbols. (or feel free to continue ignoring it if you want).

What does interest me is how 0 can be derived from 1 - I think that's something I will look into. Yes please do get technical, because I didn't come here to indulge in the sort of childish exchange that has so far ensued.

Aside from that you've really given me the same pile of rubbish I've heard from everyone here which is more along the lines of "God! How dare you believe in God on such an open minded and virtuous forum, numbers! GOD? Blasphemy!"

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 23:18:41 GMT
nephran says:
Much more interests if youses replace 0 and thems 1 with Vimto and thems Maltesers.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 23:47:03 GMT
G. Proctor says:
>>>What does interest me is how 0 can be derived from 1 - I think that's something I will look into. Yes please do get technical, because I didn't come here to indulge in the sort of childish exchange that has so far ensued.

It's actually not that technical. 1 - 1 = 0. :)

>>>Aside from that you've really given me the same pile of rubbish I've heard from everyone here which is more along the lines of "God! How dare you believe in God on such an open minded and virtuous forum, numbers! GOD? Blasphemy!"

You didn't say you believed in God. You said you had something that you thought was good evidence for God, and I questioned the logic.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2012 23:59:22 GMT
Zaccone says:
You haven't provided me with a logical answer at all, the only semblance of logic you've shown is your really epic display of numeracy. Of course 1-1 = 0 but before people knew how to represent 0 in an equation to them it was simply nothingness (that's why they didn't have computers in the stone-age). Again the two complement each other one signifies presence the other signifies absence (we're talking binary here). If everything can be broken down into binary Einstein then it follows that everything relative is rooted in the absolute digits 0 and 1.

When you say things are relative - you say that they are relative based on perceived absolutes, this is what I wanted you to prove wrong.. I actually know the answer myself (superficially as I am not well acquainted with postmodern philosophy) so far you've all just proven that you know nothing at all about what we're discussing and that when somebody dares to introduce logic to a religious debate, your senses are so taken aback that you can only argue by forgetting about it altogether.

The only logical reply I've read has been from Spin.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2012 07:06:44 GMT
Withnail says:
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Could those numbers be significant?

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2012 15:12:14 GMT
nephran says:
It's all just thems data Mik...and Like 99.9% of data,it's thems utterly trivial..

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Feb 2012 16:30:35 GMT
Spin says:
Mr M: Platos theory of Forms requires one to assert that one cannot learn what one does not already know. That is , we already know the Forms, they exist in our minds, therefore we cannot aquire knowlege by learning. (i believe thesearguments are in the Meno and Euthyphro, but I may be mistaken as it is some time since I studied ancient Greek philosophy in depth). According to Plato, knowldge is "recollection" (ie: recollection of universal, timeless Forms). Indeed, Plato argues that mental logic, the process of proposing and analysing propositions to arrive at a conclusion is "proof" that one already "knows" the Forms (the conclusions) but has simply been "recollecting" a knowledge that was already present in the mind. In response to your quiry about "red" Plato would argue that you already "knew" the colour red; it was always in your mind even in the absence of the red section of the spectrum being reflected to your eye by certain objects whose atomic structure reflect, rather than absorb, that wavelength. As I am sure you can see, this argument leads to very deep and complex metaphysical and epistemological questions. It is, in fact only deistic religion and certain sub-cultural spiritual beliefs which employ Platos argument to its full extent in an attempt to show that we all inherently "know" a deity.

Posted on 25 Feb 2012 21:29:35 GMT
Zaccone says:
Thank you once again for your response Spin

Yes I understand, you are right, that is what he would have said about the theory of forms and the colour red I suppose I came here looking to discuss some of these complex metaphysical and epistemological questions with someone, since at the moment I am inclined to side with the arguments put forward by deistic religion and these sub-cultural spiritual beliefs, I would thus like to be shown the other side of the picture, so that I may affirm (or go back on) my position by going through the arguments that discredit ontology.

I recently had a spat with my cousin over this he advised me to read Wittgenstein, and refused to argue any further, this has left me quite frustrated. If you happen to have any advice on where to begin please feel free to share it with me, also I would appreciate it if you could summarily discredit the beliefs you've outlined at the end of your post.

I am starting to wish I was studying philosophy.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Feb 2012 03:27:34 GMT
Spin says:
Mr M: Where to begin? That's a good question! It depends on what aspect of a theory one focuses on; if one reads Plato one is dragged off into questions concerning metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, logic politics, science and religion. Where to begin? All we can do is address one aspect of the theory at a time (and address aspects of that aspect one at at time!)and, if ever we come up with answrs to all the different questions, try to tie these answers into a coherent, single truth. As you know, however, even the answers can be questioned. As Hegel noted thesis and antithesis leads to a synthsis which itself is a thsis or an antithesis, and so on ad infinitum. If one studies metaphysics one must necessarily study epistemology. If on studies epistemology one necessarily must study philosophy of Mind. If one studies philosophy of Mind one must necessarily study social philosophy; social philosophy leads to political and religious philosophy, etc and all this requires one to read a multitude of ancient and modern philosophers of all ideological persuasions. A massive, lifelong undertaking. It is generally held that because of the complexity and variety of thought in philosophy, the "best" place to start is with the disipline of epistemology, which asks "What is knowledge?" and "What can we know?". Before one engages in theories claiming "truth" and "knowledge" it is "best" to be clear what knowledge is, if only to be sure of what it is one is seeking and what one one expects from theories and propositions. But this is only a general recommendation and there are many famous philosophers who do not address questions of epistemology, even though this failure tends to detract from the overall validity of their argument). Plato was one of those philosophers who try to account for everything in one theory; and to do this these philosophrs need a basic, fundamental principle tying all things together. (in Plato's case, it is Forms).But at a such a fundamental level, one can question Plato's assertion by asking if there is a Form of Forms. And if there is, how does one "recollect" it if Forms of any type are not experienced, not existing in physical objcts, but inherent in the mind. How did Plato "recollect" the Forms if he did not arrive at his conclusion via sense experience and consciousness of that experience? As you can see, at this level, the questions pile up and address various issues. So, where to start? Your guess is as good as mine. Even by asking that question, one is assuming an absolute beginning is necessary in thought and deed, before one has proven that an absolute beginning (or fundamental priciple) is required...=) (As for, discrediting Platonic beliefs, if one discredits Plato's arguments one automatically discredits any belief based on those arguments. One must not discredit belief, only arguments and theoris, for a belief can abandon arguments shown to be false and re-assert itself with modified or altered arguments. A belief in God dos not change; only the arguments for the existence and intentions of that God change. Who knows, maybe someday theists or atheists will come up with an all-encompassing theory (which even accounts for arguments against it) concerning the existence or non-existence of God. Ciao.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  112
Initial post:  23 Feb 2012
Latest post:  2 Mar 2012

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