Objective Truth, Anyone?

Friends of ours have been making some great suggestions for the website.  One friend – to whom we owe many thanks — made several suggestions that led to changes in the site.   But one of his suggestions we did not incorporate.  That suggestion was: “If you listed some objective truths that everyone could agree to, the website would have a better chance of surviving.”

As website editor, I didn’t adopt this suggestion since I felt unable to identify an objective truth everyone could agree to — even if the very survival of the website was at stake.

But then another friend came forward with a suggestion of his own.  He opined that if the website’s following is going to continue to grow the way we’d like, it will need a thriving discourse among its readers – a discourse triggered, perhaps, by the founders’ occasional thoughts, but itself becoming the main reason people return to the website. His suggestion was to leave implementation of the first friend’s suggestion up to our readers.  Unsure as I am what the outcome might be, I decided to give our readers that chance.

So, friends:  consider this your chance to contribute to the website in this most fundamental way.  Take a moment, if you would, to write a “comment” in reply to this post.    Do you think there are any objective truths that everyone could agree to? If not, tell us why not.  If so, give us an example.

I’m anxious to see what you come up with. and I fully expect to learn from whatever you choose to share.

— Joe

 

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8 thoughts on “Objective Truth, Anyone?”

  1. Perhaps building on the previous comment, I submit that the physical laws of nature are objective truths. Properly understood, they are constant and immutable: they will produce exactly the same result every time in exactly the same set of circumstances. The problem is, they are so hard to understand. The cold temperature outside right now is the specific result of weather and solar factors acting upon a plethora of circumstances that came together at this place and time. The specific temperature may seem arbitrary, but only because we don’t completely understand the pertinent physical rules, and all the relevant circumstances acting upon them, that had this result.

  2. Mightn’t the only objective truth be that we do not know what we do not know?

    Awareness is confined within its limitations, which are like the event horizon in a Black Hole. Nothing beyond the event horizon is visible or measurable.

  3. A proposition is generally considered objectively true (to have objective truth) when its truth conditions are met without biases caused by feelings, ideas, opinions, etc., of a sentient subject.
    Objectivity (philosophy) – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivity_(philosophy)

    This sounds like a dog chasing it’s tail. The phrase Generally considered would seem riddled with biases caused by feelings, ideas, opinions, etc.of a sentient subject.

  4. Can we all agree to the basic proposition from which all others we ponder must flow:

    What did the Descartes mean by the statement I think therefore I am?
    “I think; therefore I am” was the end of the search Descartes conducted for a statement that could not be doubted. He found that he could not doubt that he himself existed, as he was the one doing the doubting in the first place. In Latin (the language in which Descartes wrote), the phrase is “Cogito, ergo sum”.

  5. Mr. Kaywell –

    First, let me thank you for your interest in WMBW.

    Second, let me say I am one who believes that Cogito ergo sum “ought” to be something we could all agree on. I can’t recall who or when, but in the 50 years I’ve been enamored of the statement, I’ve come across people who deny it deserves that status, i.e., deny that it is an objective truth to which all ought to be able to agree.

    For most of those fifty years, it was the only proposition I knew of that I thought of as self-evident. But when the invitation went out back in December, asking for nominations for “objective truths,” my brother David suggested another which I’m very fond of: “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

    When he proposed it, I sort of blew it off in my next blog by saying that it was a tautology. But upon further consideration, I realized that what he meant by it was not a tautology. Although not nearly as pleasing to the ear, what he meant by it was this: some of what we believe is true and some of it is not; the problem is that we can’t know which of those beliefs are the wrong ones. A compromise between pithiness and clarity might be “We don’t know where we are wrong.” In her book Being Wrong, Kathryn Schulz makes a somewhat similar point that we can say, and think, I WAS wrong, which reflects recognition that we no longer believe something we used to believe, but we can’t really think “I AM wrong,” present tense.

    Since launching this website at the end of November, I’ve come to realize that the “comments” space gets hidden, making it a very cumbersome space for ongoing discussions. Perhaps you’d consider checking out the WMBW Forum page, and the discussion board it links to. I’d love to continue, there, the discussion of candidates for “objective truth,” including Cogito, Ergo Sum.

    1. “All rise”… “I hope you two retired boys of similar backgrounds do continue your Latin discussion … this is a civil court and the honor here is y’alls! “

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