No such animal…

If there is no such thing as a straight line, there is no such thing as a crooked line.

Likewise, if there is no such thing as truth, there is no such thing as lying.

If no one is ever absolutely right, no one is ever absolutely wrong, and therefore no one is ever absolutely guilty of deceit.

If all truth claims can be “reappraised” from countless “possible” angles that undermine their status as “truly true,” then likewise any lie can be “reinterpreted” so as to be “true in some sense,” and therefore not truly deceitful.

6 Responses

  1. Isn’t that more or less the point of the effort to replace “truth” with “validity”?

    Myself, I wonder if a more interesting question might concern itself with how many of the arguments deployed to show the impossibility of absolute truth claims are, in fact, deconstructing straw men, and what sort of truth claims remain available in practical human experience after the straw men have been removed.

    Peace,
    –Peter

  2. You make my head blow up. I’m forwarding the link to this website on to my philosopher son.

  3. Well, it might help if you were actually to go and look at some of the arguments instead of just sitting around writing blog posts that present them as utterly irrational nonsense like “if there is no such thing as a straight line, there is no such thing as a crooked line…”

    For one thing, I don’t know of many arguments that try to show “the impossibility of absolute truth claims.” I know of arguments that try to show the incoherence or untenability of conceiving of correspondence theories of truth or other realist construals of it. So, you might try reading Putnam’s Reason, Truth, and History or Donald Davidson’s essay on a Coherence Theory of Truth and Justification. “The impossibility of absolute truth” isn’t a phrase that serious philosophers use very much, in my experience; it’s said by post-modern flakes who don’t make arguments at all. Perhaps Richard Rorty would use a phrase like that and actually make some kind of argument for it — so perhaps there is one relatively serious philosopher who deserves this kind of ridicule. But other kinds of anti-realist actually raise problems for understanding truth as correspondence with mind-independent reality, and though I think they’re all mistaken, they aren’t open to this kind of juvenile ridicule.

  4. Thanks for your irenic input, Bob. Now please elaborate on why you “think they’re all mistaken” but still undeserving of juvenile ridicule. Thanks!

    All the best on your path to joy,

  5. If there is no such thing as a perfect toaster oven, there is no such thing as a imperfect toaster oven.

    If there is no such thing as a perfect can of beans, there is no such thing as an imperfect can of beans.

    Ergo:

    God exists and the Catholic teachings are correct.

    Q.E.D.

  6. Truth is an intelligible mode of being. A true statement is either perfectly true or not true. A line is by definition (in Euclidean geometry) the shortest distance between two points. If a line were anything else, a crooked line could be the shortest distance between two points. But a crooked line is, by defintion, not the shortest distance between two points. A line, straight and simple, is.

    A can of beans cannot be true, though a statement about whether something is a can of beans can be true. Truth is binary and qualitative, whereas a can of beans can considered under multiple categories and appraised by quantitative degrees.

    So, Adrian, your retort is off the mark. Apples and oranges.

    Cheers,

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