Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Absolute Truth

Try to imagine this: Person A is talking to you about beliefs and is telling you they know person B, not present, who is in possession of the absolute truth. They do not say this mockingly but in dead earnest. And they are talking about another person, a normal flesh and blood human being. "That person really knows what made everything and whats right, whats wrong and why things are as they are and what each of us must do". And you ask person A "What about you? What do you believe? Can you share some of these truths you heard from person B?" And all you can really get out of person A is "I'm not so sure what I believe or I can't be sure its right"

The grating nonsequitor should give you the creeps.

Relax, you are never going to have this experience. We don't work that way. When somebody human posseses the absolute, devine and complete knowledge, that someone has to be YOU. If you become convinced that you are in the company of some other person so endowed then you too cease to have doubt and possess ultimate truth by proxy. But notice, the person with no doubt is still YOU. When you eventually discover there are other sects, there are people who have goofy fairy tales of supernatural elevation of THIER beliefs to dominence then you will go one of two ways. One is more or less "Oh! I get it! We all need to make up these stories. I wonder what's behind all that if we ALL do it?" The other is more or less to buy amunintion, line your basement with canned food and carefully test the purity of thought of those in whom you confide, sometimes appointing others the job of straightening out any starved mind who can be safely introduced to the real truth. For the simpler packagings of faith, relativism really is deadly dangerous company.

To feel that you have come to know the ABSOLUTE and sole set of truths upon which the world is founded amounts to worshiping yourself.


Chandira said...

Dammit! You've been snooping in my basement!
Welcome to our blogosphere.. Me, Ran, Misanthrope, Second Hand, all know the truth, I tell you!! ;-)

cul said...

To feel that you have come to know the ABSOLUTE and sole set of truths upon which the world is founded amounts to worshiping yourself.

O Come Let Us Adore...Me! :)

GreenSmile said...

suddenly, looking at this post and then the previous one, it strikes me that the "reverent community" must be held in check by something if all their findings and interpretations vere toward the benign and the out-reaching rather than the defensive and the parochial...what keeps such a community from worshiping itself??????

perhaps it is saved by its being committeework which allows one ego to hold another in check....dunno.

Atra-Hasis said...

Interesting position, but it seems that you're missing a distinction. When person A knows the truth, and person B believes in A's knowledge, B does not have knowledge, but (if person A infact does know) belief.

A concrete example:
Goedel's theories of completeness and incompleteness are intricate mathematical proofs. To follow them one must be highly mathematically competent. One must be a mathematician to know, then, the truth of Goedel's position. Still, one can ask any competent mathematican about these theories, and believe the mathematican. In such a case one has a correct belief, but not knowledge.

So I'm not too sure a claim to Absolute Truth necessarily entails self-worship.

Great Page, BTW.

surrogate said...

I've read all the pieces between this one and the top of the page. Great stuff. (I know it to be the absolute truth.)