A Dialogue About Truth and Right

Alex Ederer: I am not a realist, or a pessimistic, i’m an idealist. I chase my own ideals, and expect all others to do the same, without regards to my ideals.

Adam: Then you’re a perspectivist idealist.

Alex: I’m a rational unitary actor.

Adam: What do you mean by that?

Alex:  That i work for my own benefit, and expect others to do the same.

Adam: But what if the methods they choose to pursue their own ‘benefits’ step on your rights and even ability to pursue your own benefits? Are you going to move into might makes right arguments here?

Alex: Well, the honorable man, will fight to keep it.

Adam: So you are arguing a might makes right honour-based society? And this is somehow an ideal world for you? Even the Medieval Knights had common codes and values. What you propose is an unlivable chaos.

Alex: No, I’m arguing that we live in a world, where might makes right.  I’m arguing that right is subjective. and ideal? My ideal, is that people realize they all are powerful, and stop being so dumb, but i can’t force that on people.  I propose the reality of life, Adam, order through chaos, is what the world is.  The universe is not a friendly world, and we need to stop believing in it. People need to take stands.

Adam: Is it true that ‘right’ is subjective? If so, then there is an objective standard of truth that allows that statement to be true. And if so, then we may as well found our notion of ‘right’ on this objective epistemology. If we do so, then we have an objective right.

And if it isn’t true that right is subjective, then we still have the possibility of an objective right.

Regardless of whether our society accepts that there are things that can be universally right (e.g. speaking to another with care and compassion) and things that can be universally wrong (e.g. genocide), there are such things. And we can give arguments for them from any ethical theory, whether deontological or consequentialist.

The world is apparent chaos concealing underlying order and apparent order containing inner dimensions of chaos. Chaos and order are intermingled and one in the world.

What do you mean stop believing in the universe? It is there whether we believe in it or not.

Why should people take stands according to your own perspectivist philosophy? There’s no reason you can give, because according to that very philosophy, if others believe that no one should take a stand, then they’re right because nothing’s true. And of course, if it is true that ‘nothing’s true,’ then the statement is in fact, false; and if it is false, then it has already been disproven and should be rejected on either grounds.

Alex: I’m just fed up of blind idealism, and people believing in absolute ideals. we live in a world that encourages people to be against people. im not for that. but thats what it is. and im just saying that if it is, then act like it or change the game. we live in chaos we try to order it, to shape it to our ideals, but we dont even uphold our ideals. we cannot uphold them, at least not alone. yet i constantly struggle to uphold my own ideals, every day, to being my own self. against all. for what purpose…

Adam: You are against unflinching, absolutist adherence to ideals that promote division and separation amongst people. But this does not preclude having valid ideals that are provisional and subject to change in the light of better knowledge, stronger evidence, or new insights into wisdom.

Ask yourself the question: why do I bother to try to live by my ideals? I suspect that you will find your perspectivist philosophy falls short and cannot even capture your real feelings on the issue. Because every human being only holds ideals that they feel are of value for some reason. And if you can see value in something, then there must be a reason for why that thing is valuable. And if you can ascertain that point of value, then you have hit upon precisely what can make that ideal either worth accepting or not worth accepting by everyone, the key to its potential universality.

Alex: What is true adam? is that we are evolved animals. we lie to ourselves about our origins to feel like we control the universe around us. and at the end of the day, we got to accept we are what we are. We chase blindly through the stars for comfort and things, empty material to fill a void we have created by disconnecting ourselves with our emotions, and the world around us.

We compete for everything, and competition is the reason most exist, only to give life to others.

Adam: You are providing a social critique; the very act in which you are engaging presupposes that there are standards that our society and modern human beings are failing to meet. And these standards can be derived from your criticisms, namely, by inversion. If we do that, we get the following:

(1) we are evolved animals, are fallible, and do not have complete control over the universe
(2) we should be healthily connected with our emotions; if we are, then we will not have a void within us that we will need to fill with material things.
(3) we need not compete with others. What would be the alternative? I would propose cooperation here.

Every critique presupposes that certain statements about the world are true.  And therefore, no one who holds a subjectivist epistemology can consistently be a critic of anything.

The fact that you are a critic means that you cannot adhere to your subjectivist epistemology; your very act of criticism refutes it.

Alex: I don’t claim anything. maybe thats my problem, that i dont claim anything. that all i want is peace for myself, but cannot get it. so i act out, to try to force it on people. people see what they want to see.

Adam: No, the thing is that you do claim things, you just don’t realize it; your claims are implicit in your critiques and even in the statements that you think are mere opinions.

I think you should consider these things carefully… your worldview is fraught with contradictions and inconsistencies that I think could be easily resolved if you realized that we can reject absolutism without having to fall into total relativism. The solution is in the path between extremes, as in all other cases, in provisional truth based on correspondence between statements and reality according to our best evidence and understanding thereof.

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