Re: virus: level 3 minds

David Leeper (
Tue, 28 Aug 1956 02:18:02 +0000


: David Leeper wrote:
: > Einstein's Theory of Relativity has shown that there is no
: > absolute truth. All truth is relative.
: To my knowledge, the theory of relativity says nothing of the
: kind. In fact, one could argue that it is a component of absolute
: truth.

What is your definition of Absolute Truth? Isn't that something
we're trying to define on this list? Something _we're_ developing?
If this is so, then perhaps the TOR fits into this "home grown"
definition and perhaps not.

The meaning of "Absolute" I've seen outside this list are
things like Newton's concept of "Absolute" space, of which the
TOR has disposed.

The "absolute truth" refered to above include the absolutes
disposed of by TOR and to the fact that "truth" requires two
or more concepts to be valid. An example of this given by
David McFadzean is one cannot say "This biscuit is false".
There's only one concept there: biscuit. One can say "This
biscuit is hot" and then determine if that statement is true
or false. This is because there are two concepts: biscuit
and hot. Truth comes from the _relationship_ of the concept
"hot" to the concept "biscuit".

This has always been so, but the TOR disposed of the last
vestages of the Absoulte in physics. Now we know that if
something exists it is subject to relativity.

We are on less firm ground when dealing with ethics. Even
here I believe in the the validity of relativity, and the
law would agree with me. There are times when divorce is
ok, times when it is not, _relative_ to the situation. The
same is true of murder, in some situations a killer will
himself be killed by the state for his "crimes" in other
situations the state may give him a metal, again relative
to the situation.

On the other hand, I have read books of ethics, written by
"professionals" who claim that absolute ethics exist, ethics
which are valid regardless of time, place, situation, or
culture. No examples of such ethics where provided, but the
concept was claimed to be valid.

Religions too, would insist that there are absolute ethics,
the Ten Commandments for example. The Ten Commandments can
be disposed of easily as an example of hypocrisy when one
examines the actions of cultures claiming to follow them.

The Koran is more difficult to "shoot down" as it takes
relativity into account: it's ok to kill under such-and-such
circumstances, but not in others.

Zero embraces relativity in a novel way, ethical truth is
determined by the Godhood of the individual, the Child:

The Child says "Kill" and thou shalt.
The Child says "Love" and thou shalt.
The Child says "Laugh" and thou shalt.
The Child says "Die" and thou shalt.

- From "Zero Truths", The Holy Book Of Zero.

Such moral codes are common amongst "new" religions. The
absolute moral code of the Hebrews is disposed of and
relativity is embraced on the the grounds that the individual
is better able to decide "right" and "wrong" in their current
situation than would be some "absolute moral code".


David Leeper
Homo Deus  
1 + 1 != 2