Denying absolute truth is wholly illogical

(Image credit: San Diego Shooter/Flickr)

(Image credit: San Diego Shooter/Flickr)

By Seek Theos

If you’ve had even a few conversations in your life dealing with faith or philosophy, you have probably run across someone who claimed that there is no absolute truth.

Note: this is republished from Seek Theos. More content from that site will be making its way over to End the Lie soon, along with new articles on similar subjects.

Such claims usually go something like, “Well, that’s true for you but it’s not true for me,” or, “There is no absolute truth.”

For those familiar with such positions, it smacks of absurdity. Yet, somehow, it continues to be said in the course of informal conversations and even in college classrooms.

How this actually happens is hard to grasp, due to the seemingly obvious fact that such a position is self-refuting.

To explain how the position is self-refuting one must only apply the rule of “no absolute truth” to the statement, “There is no absolute truth.”

If it is true that there is no absolute truth, the statement itself would have to be an absolute truth, but it can’t be since there’s supposedly no absolute truth. Sounds absurd, right?

It’s something like saying, “I always lie.” If I always lie, then that’s a lie and I don’t always lie, but then I always lie but then I don’t always lie because I’m lying about saying I always lie. Clearly such a statement is nonsensical.

Yet somehow the notion that there is no absolute truth is given credence in some circles, even in what one would hope would be bastions of critical thinking such as centers of higher education.

One can quite easily show just how incorrect the notion that “all truth is relative” or that “there is no absolute truth” is by putting it to a similar test as that which we applied to the “I always lie” statement.

If there is no absolute truth, then the statement “there is no absolute truth” is an absolute truth and therefore there is at least one absolute truth, thus refuting the “no absolute truth” claim.

Obviously, if there is at least one absolute truth statement, the “no absolute truth” claim is false. It really is that simple.

Hopefully when you encounter this line of reasoning – if you can even call it that – you will challenge the person by asking them one simple question, “Is that true?”

If said person has even the most rudimentary ability to think logically, they will almost certainly realize how intellectually untenable their position is and reject it in favor of the only logically consistent position which asserts that there is, indeed, absolute truth.

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30 Responses to Denying absolute truth is wholly illogical

  1. saywhat October 4, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Im positive that I know absolutely nothing for sure.

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 5, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      Do you know that?

      Reply
  2. David Thompson October 4, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    The rational individual has an allergy to being limited to the competency of those who are not.

    [ I do not have a website.]

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 5, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      unfortunately most people are irrational

      Reply
  3. nate October 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    there is no absolute subjective truth. all truth is objective. it is false to say squash is good or squash is bad. it is correct to say some people like squash and some do not. words are very elastic so maybe someone could have the right idea when they say there is no absolute truth if he means there is no absolute subjective truth. this article is a fun play on words and concepts but doesn’t really clarify. this comment is an attempt at clarity.

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      What you’re talking about is opinion, not truth. There is no objectively opinion about if squash is “good” or “bad.”

      There is absolute truth about the existence of squash. It is absolutely true that squash exists.

      Your comment doesn’t clarify you just muddy the waters by confusing what this article is talking about with opinion.

      Reply
      • nate October 8, 2013 at 8:49 AM

        its very easy to try to make an observation and accidently make an opinion instead. I don’t like squash is an observation. squash is bad is an opinion. this seems to be the cause of most fights in the world. two different people(s) imposing their subjective realities (opinions) onto the same place and clashing over it. when people view reality objectively their are no arguments. people who would make an argument as silly as the one made in this article must be confused between subjectivity and objectivity. confused being the key word.

        Reply
  4. nate October 8, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    let me clarify some more: the subject in the article said “well, its true for you but it’s not true for me”. he is obviously mistaking subjective opinion for objective truth. this is the source of the confusion.

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 8, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      I don’t think you’ve ever dealt with the new age-y types

      Reply
  5. AM October 9, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    The burden of proof is not in defending there is no absolute truth, rather the burden is in proving there an absolute truth. so even if you have prove the statement “there is no absolute truth” to be false, that still does not prove that an absolute truth exists.

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 9, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Wrong. Proving the absolute impossibility of the contrary can actually prove a proposition.

      Reply
  6. Anonymous October 9, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    If I was to prove the claim “there is no sun” is false, I would be proving the claim “there is a sun.” simple logic.

    Reply
    • AM October 9, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      Yes but you proved the statement “there is no sun” false by proving the statement “there is a sun” is true.

      The statement “there is an absolute truth” is not proven, because the the statement “there is no absolute truth” is false.
      Because you can’t answer the question “what is the absolute truth?”

      At most you can only say there is no prove to say there is or isn’t an absolute truth.

      Reply
      • Anonymous October 9, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        You didn’t read the article very well. It doesn’t say “what is the absolute truth” or “denying the absolute truth” it says “absolute truth.”

        >>At most you can only say there is no prove to say there is or isn’t an absolute truth.

        What does that mean?? The article proves that there is absolute truth…

        Reply
        • stares at goats November 1, 2013 at 10:21 PM

          “The article proves that there is absolute truth…”

          thats not absolutely true

          Reply
          • Anonymous November 1, 2013 at 10:53 PM

            That is not absolutely true either.

  7. Jabez December 20, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    John Dewey was absolutely absolute that “there are no absolutes” which proves that he was an absolute liar,
    so there are absolute lies, he was an absolute liar.

    There is a 2,000 year old absolute, which states “the very hairs of your head ARE (absolutely) ALL NUMBERED” which is absolutely confirmed by the DNA, which also absolutely confirms another absolute, that “the visible is (absolutely) made from the invisible,” by the one who has absolute authority over the visible and the invisible dimensions, and has absolutely foretold the end from the begining, and is in the absolute process of bringing it all to an absolute end, right before our eyes, as Daniel absolutely said “the end will be at the appointed time”

    John’s body returned to the dust, but his (invisible) inner most being is STILL conscious, absolutely waiting in the heart of the earth, in torment, absolutely waiting for the absolute second death, as revealed by The absolute Truth himself, The Alpha and Omega,
    The One and only absolute.

    Absolutely,

    Reply
  8. Jabez December 20, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    The only absolute that screwey Dewey had was the absolute truth, that the theory (that science rests on) is an absolute fact ?
    DNA has revealed monkey science as absolute satanic genius,
    which is absolutely temporary, and has an absolutely permanent forwarding address, “created for the devil and his angels” who
    are absolutely immortal and will absolutely die forever.

    If your great gramma (millions/zillions of yrs) was a chimpanzee,
    then you will absolutely be meeting Dewey and Darwin, because everyone will absolutely die, and sinse “the visible things are temporary, and the invisible things are absolutely eternal,”

    I AM the way, the (absolute) truth, and the life.” J.C.

    Reply
  9. Jabez December 21, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    Dec 21/12/2013

    “Blowing oneself up (and many innocent people) for the sake of Allah is acceptable,”” according to a radical Muslim cleric,

    Absolutely something wrong with this guys god,
    I am absolutely certain.

    Reply
  10. Erick Schekter May 23, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    This article is an absolute kiddie paradox. Word games musn’t be consider all that deep, just saying.

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 24, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Says the guy using word games.

      Reply
  11. MARTIN July 4, 2014 at 2:10 AM

    This is a linguistic argument which has a sense of social reality implied to give it force. Truth is a concept that has such a high social neccessity that it is at present fairly dangerous to get rid of. At the moment, if you do not have a quick and easy concept of right then there may be anarchy. Actually the statement is really, ‘there is no truth’ but that again is confined linguistically. The statement ‘there was a truth, but now there are perspectives of right, which can be tested against each other, against there appropriateness in furthering a clearly understood and agreed upon utility’ is better but its not quite clear enough to have a wide spread moral application and understanding. The absurdity is in the population and their education, not the reasoning.

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 24, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      “The statement ‘there was a truth, but now there are perspectives of right, which can be tested against each other, against there appropriateness in furthering a clearly understood and agreed upon utility’ is better but its not quite clear enough to have a wide spread moral application and understanding.”

      Is that true?

      Reply
  12. ethics213 August 14, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    “Well, that’s like. You’re opinion, man.”

    Reply
  13. ethics213 August 14, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Your ^

    Reply
  14. m September 9, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    Wake up USA, Canada, NATO, along with other Countries. Putin is testing the air to see how far he can get. He will attack and drop bombs and etc…. YOU better all wake up NOW.. Put a STOP to his tactics… Don’t believe him or trust him along with Russia.. He also, needs to be FORCE out of Ukriaine…

    Reply
  15. Rebecca Todd September 29, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Beyond our perceptions and opinions, whatever is, is, independently of our perceptions and opinions, and that is the absolute truth. None of our perceptions or opinions is absolute truth.

    Funny to think our little minds control what is.

    Reply
  16. Rebecca Todd September 29, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    Just as the illogic of “there is no absolute truth” is exposed in the article, so also this point exposes the illogic. whatever is, is. Are we saying there are various “is’s” ? Just because we have various minds.
    Again, funny to think we are the controllers.

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 24, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      wut

      Reply
  17. Leland Mellott November 23, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    All is within, begins the story, in every word spoken in this world. What is beyond farthest star is within you. Since this is true, I’m not saying that it is, in other words.

    Reply

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