I was discussing objectiveness, when this bombshell dropped.

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Cycloneman
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I was discussing objectiveness, when this bombshell dropped.

Post by Cycloneman » 2007-11-24 10:24pm

(my previous post, for context)
Me wrote:
Guy 1 wrote:This argument is officially useless. You clearly do not understand what the word "objective" means. I cannot apply to opinions. Period. If it cannot be proven, it is not a fact. One cannot prove something is good or bad, because what defines good varies from person to person.
Therefore, one can't prove anything, because some people don't believe in objective reality.
Guy 1 wrote:Without a definition of what is to be proven that may be agreed upon, the proof is pointless, and the facts will never arrive.
I don't agree with this statement. >:P
(guy 2's post, for serious)
Guy 2 wrote:
Me wrote: Therefore, one can't prove anything, because some people don't believe in objective reality.
Correct. "Proof" is simply a kind of stronger opinion, or a model of the way things appear to be to most people. Nothing can be proven, but some things can be "proven" such as the shape of the Earth or the composition of water.
Me wrote: I don't agree with this statement.
Congratulations, you have realized that logic is as subjective as anything else; it is simply the most commonly used standard because it works the best, as far as we can tell. (By our definition of best, of course. You are free to use a different one, though everyone else will ignore you.)

(I was not planning to post, but people with no understanding of philosophical concepts irk me greatly. On another note, I greatly prefer modern art and primarily read Tolkien for his prose and general writing style. In addition, all of the things mentioned above are entirely and subjectively my opinion. :) )
What is the proper response to this sort of thing? Because every response I can seem to formulate is...

I mean, the best I can formulate is a direct response to "logic is just as subjective as anything else", which consists of "No." Maybe it's just because the post pisses me off so much that I can't formulate a proper response.

Help please.

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Wyrm
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Re: I was discussing objectiveness, when this bombshell drop

Post by Wyrm » 2007-11-25 09:35am

Cycloneman wrote:I mean, the best I can formulate is a direct response to "logic is just as subjective as anything else", which consists of "No." Maybe it's just because the post pisses me off so much that I can't formulate a proper response.

Help please.
"Subjective" means (in this case) that the result is particular to the person forming it. But logic isn't subjective by this standard, because the rules of logic can be written down unambiguously. Evaluating any statement of logic for truth using these rules will produce the same answer no matter who does the calculating. Therefore, as long as you subscribe to the same rules of logic as everyone else, you will evaluate the same logical statements in exactly the same way as everyone else. Therefore, logic is not subjective.

By contrast, the statement "all killing is wrong" is a subjective statement because it depends on the person's moral background (such as your attitudes about self-defense and state-sponsored execution), and thus different people will give different answers even given the same data.

However, the modus ponens assertion, "if you accept that all killing is wrong and that you have killed by whatever reason, then you have done wrong," is not a subjective statement, because if you accept the premise that killing is wrong and if you have killed, then you have done wrong.

By the same token, a proof is not subjective and it is not just a stronger opinion, because it uses logic (not subjective) to go from a set of premises to an inescapable conclusion(s), provided you accept the premises; if you don't accept the premises, then the conclusion doesn't apply. This is why Euclid's geometry remains valid (if incomplete) even in the face of non-Euclidean geometries.
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Re: I was discussing objectiveness, when this bombshell drop

Post by Surlethe » 2007-11-25 10:03am

Guy 2 wrote:
Me wrote: Therefore, one can't prove anything, because some people don't believe in objective reality.
Correct. "Proof" is simply a kind of stronger opinion, or a model of the way things appear to be to most people. Nothing can be proven, but some things can be "proven" such as the shape of the Earth or the composition of water.
This understanding of "proof" is incorrect. Proof is showing that certain conclusions follow from certain premises, not simply a "stronger opinion". Given a right triangle, it is not simply a very strong opinion that the sum of the squares of the sides' lengths equals the square of the length of the hypotenuse.
Me wrote: I don't agree with this statement.
Congratulations, you have realized that logic is as subjective as anything else; it is simply the most commonly used standard because it works the best, as far as we can tell. (By our definition of best, of course. You are free to use a different one, though everyone else will ignore you.)
Supposing that logic is subjective, there exists a person for whom logic does not hold. Can that person self-consistently deny logic? If not, then for nobody logic does not hold -- i.e., it holds for everybody, and is therefore objective (or in consensus reality, but the distinction is practically moot).
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