Relativism, its bad

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by shasta, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. Relativism is the one of the biggest problems in the marijuana community. It is mental pollution left over from our hippy ancestors. Relativism is the position that reality is relative. I intend to prove that reality is not relative.

    My first point: If all things are relative then the statement that all things are relative is relative. Therefore relativism is self refuting and can not be true.

    If I say that reality is objective then it is a statement that can be proven or disproven, therefore it has the possibility of being true. Relativism does not have the possibility of being true because relativism denies objective truth.

    Second point: If reality were relative then all of the people who are reading this would be reading something different, something relative to themselves. Seeing as how all of you will respond based on the info I have written that proves that the words I am typing are not relative. Your response and interpretation may be relative to yourself, but the objective reality of the words typed is the same for us all.

    Third point: Math is always consistent. 2+2 always equals 4. Math is not relative. Therefore not everything is not relative.

    Summary: Appearances can be relative because they are only experienced by you. Reality is objective and is experienced by us all. It is common sense. If I measure something and it is 10 inches long, thats an objective fact. If you come in and say "well, to me thats 9 inches", you may believe it but that doesn't make it true. What makes the measurement true is the objective fact that the thing is 10 inches long, What you think about it has no effect on the objective fact that its 10 inches long.

    Why is relativism bad?: Relativism is bad because it denies the existence of objective truths. Objective truth is important because it is the basis of everything. Relativism prevents learning. It prevents morals. It prevents beauty in the truest sense of the word.

    Constipaters: A constipater is the primary tool of the relativist. Constipaters are sayings such as "thats your opinion", "thats a value judgement", and "who's to say". They are called constipaters because they plug up the discussion and the people who use them are full of shit. Relativists use constipaters when you have proven them to be wrong objectively. They revert back to the everything is relative position to deny the blatant truth of what you have shown them. It goes like this, "Socrates was greek" says joe, "No, he was french" says dave, "No look here, the philosophy book says he was from greece and they provide the following objective proof..." says joe, "Well, thats your opinion" says dave. The constipater ended the ability for logical discussion because it erroneously denied the existence of objective reality, therefore it denied the existence of truth.

    Types of Relativists: They come in three main types.

    1) The hippy relativist is the stereotypical pothead who sits with his friends and says "oh the world is like this and that and everyones right and we are all great" without providing any evidence. Its all about what the world is like to him. What he doesn't realize is that he is talking about interpretations, not reality.

    2) The dumb-ass relativist. This is the guy who thinks that he knows everything, until you prove him wrong. Then he busts out a constipater and walks away without having to admit he is wrong.

    3) The philosopher relativist. These guys are respectable. They argue for relativism with graduate level philosophical and logical arguments. The general consensus is that they are wrong, but at least the can justify what they are saying.

    Summary: Reality is objective. Appearance and interpretation are relative. Relativism is self refuting and therefore it can not be true. Relativism prevents truth which prevent anything worthwhile. They do this by using constipaters.
  2. I like the cut of your jib.
  3. Ah yes, relativism (aka subjectivism, constructivism, sophistry), the scourge of modern philosophy and politics :)

    I agree with the reasoning and conclusions of the OP, just want to add a few points.

    Relativism is nothing but intellectual laziness. It is much easier to construct a mental point of view that is self referencing, than to find objective facts and coherent models that explain those facts. Thus leading to informed decision rather than ignorant unbuckling stance

    Many politicians do this all the time. For example in the drug debate we are all so familiar with. Creationists are also fond of this concept, reducing facts to opinion, reality to a point of view.

    As such relativism invariably leads one down one of two paths, moralism or nihilism.

    edit: Relativism got nothing to do with the theory of relativity. The one is a philosophical idea, the other a scientific model. Just like social-darwinism got nothing to do with evolution, and for the same reasons.

  4. You beat me to it.
  5. OP you've made an awesome post. Good job.
  6. ad hominem.

    Objectivists and Relativists alike we're all hypocrites:D

    anyways...I don't deny objective truth, I deny absolute truth. There's a difference.

    Nothing can be proven outright. There is always the possibility of objective truth being wrong.

    And, I don't think human judgement can ever be purely
    objective, though for all intents and purposes we can call it objective. Since all of our knowledge is human derived -> all knowledge is subjective to some degree *

    For instance, the world was flat used to be an objective truth. Now, it's not. Now it's just opinion.

    I don't deny objective or absolute truths even I guess...I just doubt our ability to see it. haha.

    I don't have a problem with objectivism. or relativism. They're both right.
  7. The world being flat was never even like objective truth, let alone being objective truth. If you draw a distinction between objective reality and relative perception then thats plain to see. Reality transcends what you think about it, just because people thought the world was flat didnt make the world flat. Basically, the people were wrong, they believed it was true and it was not. At best you could claim that the earth was relativly flat to those people. The point is that we all live in the same world and that there is one truth, whether or not we are able to percieve the truth through our sensory organs is a seperate issue.

    Some things can be proven absolutely true, such as math. I have to admit that these things are generally true by definition rather than proven to be true with science though.
  8. I agree. And I don't deny that objectivity is GOOD...

    But, even so...relativism has valid points.

    The thing's usually hard to SEE the BIG picture. I'm not denying that this objective reality exists. We just don't interpret it logically, it's human nature, we are irrational most of the time. haha. And unless we evolve, pure objective reasoning is impossible.
  9. Wow, so I guess what I experienced (our connection represented as strings of light) wasn't real LOL

    Or was it? :eek:

    I try to make sense of it but it's harder to show another something that may or may not have been a complete fabrication of my mind.

    Still it's of such importance that it is looked into that I will glady look crazy in attempting to show another the true miracle of our existance. I know one day, with enough tries- I will either prove it to myself and others it's real, or I will prove it wasn't what I think it was.

    But it was an experience just like this one (reality) so I know there is something to it. That's why I think so many people try so hard, because of something they experienced and just want so bad to share it but they can't. It's hard to understand why, but I do know that I will keep trying until I figure out at least what the hell it was I saw and why.

    To the OP, tomorrow I will post why I think objectiveness and subjectiveness are twin brothers of understanding reality but I have to go home for the day. I did have a post a long time ago about it though, I'll see if I can find it... Nope only goes back 100 posts, I'll re-write it though. :wave:

    Great post though, there are just things you haven't thought of about subjectiveness and the reason why all things are relative yet don't have to always appear that way. I've thought about it a lot because of the experiences I've had not measuring up to what science and objectivity were telling me. It was only when I realized they are twins that I finally understood the importance of placing them together in a way that could be understood by everyone. It's not easy to bring two sides of an arguement together, but it can be done.
  10. I read this somewhere and have been waiting to make a thread on it. I guess I'll just post it now.
  11. I agree with that I suppose. Objective is what the world is. Subjective is how you interpret that world. The two concepts are inseperable unless you have the ability to percieve the world in the purest form. Perhaps this is the enlightenment that Ive heard so many good things about. Personally, Im not able to transcend the bs that comes along with my ego and sensory organs so I wouldnt know.
  12. How do you know there is an objective reality? What is there that makes you know we are all seeing the same thing? You say that the fact we reply to your words prooves it, but what if I read your post as a critique on Mark Twains, Huck Finn, and replied to it in the same fashion, and you in turn read my reply as one to your words? I agree with the concept of constapators, but I think those people don't truly understand relativism, because relativism is as you said not abosulte. In conclusion I would say relativism is a good thing to know, but utterly useless in any debate.
  13. Well, I would declare your example wrong based on the logical principle of Ockham's razor. You have added an unnecessary step to the equation. The simplest answer is the logical answer unless a more complex answer is logically proven. Im not sure that I completely follow the point you are making with your post though. I don't think you are a relativist because I just read a post about you being a believer in an Abrahamic religion. The best thing the Abrahamic religions ever did (in my opinion) was imply that the world is objective.
  14. First, I'm not a relativist, and I'm not an objectivist. I mix the two. The buddhist idea of the middle way or the middle path.
    Second, Pretty much all religions, excepting certian philosphical eastern ones, imply objectivity. The jews, in fact, were less objective then the rest. They held that the one god thing was true, but it only mattered for them. They never tried to convert. till jesus
    Third, ockham's razor, it only applies in an objective world where only one set of rules can apply, but in a relative world, it doesn't really matter that much, so....
    Basically what I'm saying is relativism doesn't need to be prooven to the world, because its a personal philosphy. Its about how things change depending upon whos observing. Eye of the beholder type shit. It only really matters to the person experiencing it. Objectivism insists that we are all in the same world, so it needs to be prooven, because it effects all of us. But the funny thing is, complete relativism allows for objectivism to exist, because thats just someones personal view, but complete objectivism doesn't allow for relativism, because there is only the one truth, and no other shadings of it. I don't know if thats easier to understand. I have trouble communicating my thoughts, sometimes.
  15. I think what you're saying is that relativism is incompatible with science, not that it's necessarily wrong or bad. As much as you don't want me to say it, it's bad only in your opinion. I would consider myself a relativist, but that doesn't mean I don't believe that objective truths exist. They do exist, but our subjective nature doesn't allow us to know for certain if what we believe to be the truth is in fact absolute. No matter what the situation, there is no way to prove that we aren't being deceived by an illusion.
  16. I, like most people, believe that truth equates with good. Therefore relativism is bad because it is based on non-truth. The only way you can say that relativism is good is if you do not agree that truth is good. Do you not agree that truth is good?
  17. Obviously, you don't remotely appeal to scientific principles... but the burden of proof is on you to prove that we live in a giant "illusion."

    I'm waiting...
  18. I'm not trying to appeal to scientific principles, and neither does relativism.
    There is no way to prove that what we perceive as reality is actually a giant illusion, but there is also no way to disprove it. Therefore, any inferences we make from reality are subjective.
  19. Once again, I need proof. There's no such thing as disproof. I cannot disprove the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster... so he must be real, right?

    I don't see how a relativist could claim to "know" reality is subjective... without the application of non-logic that is.

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