[ExI] The mosque at Ground Zero.

samantha sjatkins at mac.com
Tue Aug 17 02:29:08 UTC 2010

Jebadiah Moore wrote:
> 2010/8/15 John Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net <mailto:jonkc at bellsouth.net>>
>     Then forget about good or bad, is relativism objectively true? 
>>     only that objectivity doesn't exist.
>     But is what you just said really true, objectively? If we can't
>     talk about good or evil or truth or falsehood then that would
>     rather seriously limit the scope of philosophy and we'd only have
>     the contemptible "the story of Adam and Eve and the talking snake
>     is true for me" or "it's true for me that 2+2=5". Jebadiah, do you
>     really think that is the proper way to figure out how the world works?
> Depends what you mean by "objective".  Most people take things which 
> are shown by logic to be "objectively" true, and I agree with this. 
>  The problem is, you always have to start with some axioms, or you 
> can't show anything.  And because we can't know anything directly--we 
> have to rely on induction through our senses/experiences--we have no 
> truly "known" axioms, and thus can't prove anything is true about our 
> universe.
There is no other way of knowing possible except through some form of 
sensory apparatus processed by some form of processing and pattern 
extraction unit like a brain.  If anyone believes that there is I would 
be very keen to learn exactly how you think that would work or could 
come to be.    We only have what is as congruent with what we perceive 
and non-contradictory processing of that and the patterns derived from 
it and as scrupulously checked as we are able and willing.    But to say 
that isn't "objective" makes no sense.  It is as objective as it is 
possible in reality for any intelligence to be.   There is nothing 
better to compare it to in a seemingly denigrating manner.

> We can prove things about posited universes, though, and we can posit 
> descriptions of a universe which matches our experiences, then test 
> whether our theorems still match our experiences.  This is what 
> learning and science and whatnot are all about.
And sound epistemology in general.
> So, we can prove things objectively, but we can't prove things about 
> our universe objectively.
That does not compute.  You are claiming that only pure logic based on 
axioms is "objective"?

>  In fact, we can't prove that there is an objective universe at all, 
> containing anything but our own mind (the "everything is in your head" 
> scenario).
That is a very limited definition of "objective" as it requires some 
godlike absolute knowledge that is impossible for any actual mind to 
ever ever have in order to have any objective knowledge about anything 
much beyond maths.   That is an absurd position.

- samantha

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