General Question

ninjacolin's avatar

Are you wrong about any facts at the present moment?

Asked by ninjacolin (14243points) February 15th, 2011
77 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

Can you give some examples if you are?
I hereby declare this question as a scientific study. :)

Consider things you consider real hard facts, such as:
What is your name?
What city are you in?
What languages do you speak fluently?
Does advil cure colds?
Should you be a member of Scientology?
Should you have McDonald’s today? (this one is worth considering)
Do you enjoy steak?

If my theory is correct, NO ONE should be in a position where they believe something to be true that they are certain is actually false. You may identify that a previous version of yourself (in the past) was wrong about something.. but what about you today, right now?

Are you wrong about any facts that you know of at the moment?

Observing members: 0
Composing members: 0

Answers

Shegrin's avatar

I know it’s not the spoon that bends.

filmfann's avatar

You mean something like Republicans believing that Obama is Kenyan born?

I still believe that GW Bush is mildly retarded. I accept that I am probably wrong about it.

ninjacolin's avatar

lol, well, you’re joking I’m sure.
We could theoretically test your beliefs with the offer of an authentic cash reward. If we had doctors examine bush and come up with a conclusion on whether or not bush could be considered medically “mildly retarded”.. and if you were right in your guess you would win $700,000… regardless of whichever you guessed, which would you really guess to give yourself what you believe today would give you the best chances at winning that cash, @filmfann?

filmfann's avatar

I am serious. He hasn’t gone full retard, but I think he definitly has the lowest IQ of any president. I suspect long term brain damage from drug use.

cockswain's avatar

never go full retard

I know I have shitloads of misconceptions because I discover them on a regular basis. My goal is to fix them as quickly as possible, hopefully unhampered my my ego.

Coloma's avatar

I’m confident that I know all I need to know in the present moment, and what I don;t know will be revealed to me.

Soooo, it’s all good and I rest in a happy, quiet, laughing mind. ;-)

ninjacolin's avatar

@cockswain, You may have misconceptions at present but these are theoretical, not observable to you.

lillycoyote's avatar

If I know that I am wrong about facts then I would “right” myself about them, so any remaining facts that I am or may be wrong about I must be unaware of. Are you asking if there are facts that I am wrong about, know that I am wrong about, yet continue to treat them as facts and try to make intelligent judgements and decisions based on these not-facts, in spite of knowing that they are not facts? Is that the question? If that’s the question, then as far as I know, given the information I have at present and given my best understanding of it, my answer is no.

Plus your question is chasing it’s own tail. “Are you wrong about any facts that you know of at the moment?” The minute I know that I am wrong about a fact it ceases to be a fact. It becomes a belief, a misunderstanding, a lie, a matter of my bull headed unwillingness to belief the truth, etc..

Am I missing the point here? This one is either over my head or passed through my head, painlessly, in one ear and out the other, something I possibly should be grateful for.

cockswain's avatar

@ninjacolin I reason that since I have had misconceptions for most of my life until as recently as several minutes ago, I likely still have them and likely will have more in the future. Of course I don’t know this for absolute certain, but I doubt I just cleared up my last misconception moments ago.

ETpro's avatar

What an interesting question. I’m certain about the list of examples you cite. But there are tons of “facts” I hold as generally true, such as the age of the Earth, the age of the Universe, the exact value of the Planck constant and many more such “known” values that I am pretty sure I am at least a little but wrong about.

What I “know” these things to be is useful, and so I carry “the answers” around in my memory, but the chances are pretty good that future research will shove those numbers a bit. In fact, when it comes to the age of the Universe, I could be off by many orders of magnitude when I assert it to be about 13.75 billion years old. We currently have no way of seeing beyond the event horizon of the Big Bang. For all we know, the Universe in some form could have been around for a very long time before the Big Bang. In fact, it could have been around infinitely long.

ninjacolin's avatar

@lillycoyote that’s why I noted the McDonald’s question. When we are tempted by and/or succumbing to a Vice I find that’s probably the closest we ever come to true denial. But I don’t think we succumb in true ignorance or with absolute denial. It’s probably more accurate to say that we succumb in Acceptance of the negative facts we’re aware of, such as: “McDonalds is not good for me BUT I’m going to have it because I had a rough day.”

We come to fallacious (meaning, true seeming but actually failingly logical) conclusions rather than believe things that we don’t think are true.

cockswain's avatar

I think that’s the basis of inductive reasoning.

EDIT: Actually, I don’t like what I just said. I misread what @ninjacolin said. How ironic. Another misconception fixed. I thought he was implying that we can’t know some things for certain.

ninjacolin's avatar

@ETpro I’m reading your answer and noting all the facts you must believe in order to be posting your answer. Things like: “the chances are pretty good that future research will shove those numbers a bit.” is another thing you believe to be true that you don’t know to be false.

@cockswain, yes, I do believe this is a basic truism we can rely on when reasoning on other conclusions.

ETpro's avatar

@ninjacolin Correct. I believe that to be likely, not necessarily certain. I believe that because past experience has shown that one century’s scientific facts fall victim to the next century’s improved measurement techniques of further discoveries.

cockswain's avatar

@ninjacolin Well, it’s like if I see a road sign that says the road will curve left, it is pretty reasonable to assume it will. It may turn right, but it likely won’t.

lillycoyote's avatar

@ninjacolin You and I must have a different definition of what the word “fact” means. “Should” statements are not generally made about matters of fact.

Jeruba's avatar

Almost certainly. I would like to think otherwise, but it is in fact highly unlikely that I am as nearly correct about everything as I think I am.

The thing is, I don’t know what they are, those things I think I’m right about but I’m not. Except for possibly a few things.

Because there are some things—this is the raw truth, my dears—that I hold to because I prefer to believe them, and I count on the people who believe differently to prevail so that the proper side will win without my having to change my mind. (But no, national politics is not one of those things.)

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin You might be interested in reading about the preface paradox. In short, even a modicum of intellectual humility would seem to lead us to accept the statement “some of my beliefs must be mistaken.” Yet at the same time, any rational person would affirm each of his beliefs (for to not affirm them would be to no longer count them as beliefs). Thus we are left asserting both that at least one of our beliefs is mistaken and that each one is not mistaken, which is to assert a contradiction.

ninjacolin's avatar

@lillycoyote I don’t know what “should” statement you’re referring to.

A “fact” would be, let’s say, something “real” regardless of your opinion.
technically, such things don’t exist but that’s another conversation.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
lillycoyote's avatar

@ninjacolin I was referring to the statements in your details:

Should you be a member of Scientology?
Should you have McDonald’s today? (this one is worth considering)

If this question is about beliefs that is one thing, if this question is about whether or not there actually is such a thing as a fact that is another thing. I am using the common, generally accepted definition of the word fact, the word that you used. Would you care to define what you mean by “fact?” As I said, it seems to be different than what I generally consider to be the definition of the word fact.

If you want to know if I ever thought something to be true and then found out that I was wrong then yes, that has happened.

ninjacolin's avatar

“If you want to know if I ever thought something to be true and then found out that I was wrong then yes, that has happened”

thought = past tense.

What I’m asking is: What (if anything) do you currently think (present tense) is true that happens to be false in reality?

And my theory is that your answer will always be: “nothing at present.”

Zaku's avatar

I’m sure that I am wrong about many facts, but I’m not aware of which ones they were, or else I’d suddenly no longer be wrong about them. The rate at which I discover things I’m wrong about makes it astronomically improbably that I am right about everything.

Not to mention all of the things I am uncertain about.

And I tend to deny some things I think I may be wrong about, because I’m not convinced and/or I prefer to believe some things that may be wrong. Several scientific conclusions of modern cosmologists, I prefer to disbelieve, with varying degrees of uncertainty.

ninjacolin's avatar

I’m sure that I am wrong about many facts, but I’m not aware of which ones they were, or else I’d suddenly no longer be wrong about them.

Instantly. I agree. To the best of my knowledge, I am only ever wrong in the past.

Jeruba's avatar

@Zaku, you and I said essentially the same thing. The paradox or contradiction that @SavoirFaire cited doesn’t bother me at all; I’m comfortable with inconsistency as with uncertainty. You?

I’m also a big fan of ambiguity, without which I don’t think we could communicate at all.

@cockswain, sorry, uh, <blank look>

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jeruba Paradoxes are meant to be solved. It may be reasonable to hold onto both of our beliefs, we just need to understand them in such a way that they are not truly contradictory. I think this can be done.

lillycoyote's avatar

@ninjacolin

“If you want to know if I ever thought something to be true and then found out that I was wrong then yes, that has happened”

thought = past tense.

What I’m asking is: What (if anything) do you currently think (present tense) is true that happens to be false in reality?

And my theory is that your answer will always be: “nothing at present.”

Well, if that’s your question then my answer isn’t “nothing at present.” My answer is “how the fucking hell would I know?”

It’s a question that can’t be answered.

koanhead's avatar

I know that some of the things that I regard as fact are counterfactual, even if it’s only this statement.

The problem is that I don’t know which ones. Thus I try to remain skeptical while keeping an open mind.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
ratboy's avatar

If I am a typical human being, then much of what I believe is untrue. Beyond my personal sphere, most of what I believe is probably untrue. If I am similar to other people, many of my beliefs about myself, my immediate family, and my friends are untrue—especially beliefs concerning events remote in time. It’s unnecessary to go back many generations to find common beliefs that strike us as beyond belief. Most of the core beliefs of humanity have eventually been discarded. I see no reason to expect that mine will not meet the same end.

john65pennington's avatar

Fact: my wife is not pregnant

I am not wrong. She is 64.

SABOTEUR's avatar

The present moment can only be experienced.

The time you take to formulate an opinion about what you know or what you think nullifies the experience itself.

mattbrowne's avatar

I agree with @filmfann. I also still believe that GW Bush is mildly retarded. But I could be wrong. His IQ might be between 85 and 90, but this would be better than being mildly retarded. In the book ‘The Audacity of Hope’ Obama mentioned a meeting with George W. Bush in the White House in January 2005 when he became a US senator. Bush told Obama that a great career lay before him. So maybe there’s this one thing Bush is good about: reading people.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@john65pennington The question isn’t asking what you’re not wrong about, it’s asking what you are wrong about. There is no presumption that you are wrong about everything, so the statement of something you are right about doesn’t seem pertinent.

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire If I knew I was wrong about something I currently hold to be true, I would immediately change my view about it to coincide with the new evidence I had learned. I have done this many, many times.

ninjacolin's avatar

@SABOTEUR I agree with you about that. When speak of the present, I’m referring to those first moments of awareness that occurs directly after the raw experience. As an example, a bullet travels so fast that you might be hit before you’re aware of it. The moment you realize what’s happening is the present moment in question. The actual present, some stray milliseconds earlier, be damned.

@ratboy and because you see no opposing reason, you believe yourself to be right about those facts.

@lillycoyote you wouldn’t know. The question works down to: “What are you wrong about right now?” and while it’s probable, as per @ratboy, that you are wrong about something, you can’t say that you are wrong about anything. It’s a physical limit to our reality, like gravity, that we believe we’re always right at present.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Well the thing is, as soon as your lable what is (the present), it becomes your opinion or your perspective of what is.

So, I’m ok if I’m fully present.
I drop the ball once I think about being fully present.

Zaku's avatar

@Jeruba Yeah, I am not disturbed by uncertainty, unless I’m worried about something in particular. Also, some people like to act like they make sense and everything they think and say has some consistency and it’s highly significant… but not so much.

Jeruba's avatar

<Insert apt F. Scott Fitzgerald quote here>

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ETpro The problem raised by the preface paradox is that you don’t know which of your current beliefs is false, but you seem justified in claiming that at least one is false. So you don’t have the kind of evidence needed to change a belief, just a conviction that one of your beliefs is false. The contradiction, then, is that you are still committed to all your beliefs (which could be logically represented as a long conjunction) yet also committed to one of your beliefs being incorrect (which could be logically represented as the negation of the long conjunction representing your beliefs).

Mr proposed solution to this problem is to take a different attitude toward our fallibility. Instead of taking the fact that we are fallible as evidence that we are wrong about at least one of our beliefs, I suggest taking it as a reason to hold that any given one of our beliefs could be false (or perhaps a subset of our beliefs if we think certain beliefs we hold could not be false). This would commit us to the same long conjunction representing our beliefs, but only a modal claim regarding those beliefs to represent our fallibility. Since the modal claim would not be logically equivalent to the negation of the conjunction representing our beliefs, there would no longer be any contradiction.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jeruba “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” —Aristotle

Jeruba's avatar

So, @SavoirFaire—if you believe that at least one of your beliefs is false, but it happens that indeed they are all true, where do you stand then?

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire That is essentially what I was trying to say, however inartfully. I recognize that one or more of my beliefs may be based on flawed or incomplete information, and this wrong. I don’t 8elieve that one or more is wrong. I simply recognize that they might be, and that therefore they must all be held up to the glare of critical analysis as new evidence flows in.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jeruba The scenario you present is logically impossible. Since “one of my beliefs is false” is one of your beliefs, it is impossible for all of your beliefs to be true. This is why my take on the preface paradox is that it really does involve irrationality (an unpopular way of analyzing the problem made more palatable, perhaps, by my analysis of how to get out of the irrationality).

@ETpro Thank you for the clarification.

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire You are putting words in my mouth. What I said was, “But there are tons of “facts” I hold as generally true, such as the age of the Earth, the age of the Universe, the exact value of the Planck constant and many more such “known” values that I am pretty sure I am at least a little but wrong about.” That is not saying that I am definitely wrong about anything, most certainly about any one specific thing.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ETpro I am confused as to how to interpret the conjunction of your last two comments. First you said we were saying the same thing, now you are saying I’m putting words in your mouth.

ETpro's avatar

@SavoirFaire You appear to be spoiling for a fight. I am not. Read what I wrote, and what you claimed I wrote. If it isn’t clear from there, then assume that I am an idiot or lair of whatever makes you feel superior.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ETpro Whoa, whoa, whoa! I’m not spoiling for a fight! I’m just genuinely confused. My confusion arises out of you saying “that is essentially what I was trying to say,” which looks like agreement with my previous post, and then “you are putting words in my mouth,” which looks like some sort of disagreement. I am not quite sure yet where I have slipped up and put words in your mouth.

lillycoyote's avatar

I don’t know why I am coming back for more on this one. I just don’t see it so, if I don’t see it, the question is either way over my head, or it is stuck to the bottom of my shoe like a thumb tack or a hideous wad of gum, or it has been taped to my back like some kind of “kick me” sign or the Emperor has no clothes, and I suspect the latter. So, again: the OP’s question was about “facts;” whether or not we are wrong about any “facts” at the present moment, but a number of you are discussing the question as though it was asked about “beliefs.” Is the question about “facts,” as the word is generally defined or is the question about beliefs as the that word is generally defined? They are two entirely different things and, depending on which one is actually at issue in this question, would and should result in different answers.

ninjacolin's avatar

What’s the difference between a fact and a belief?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@lillycoyote The context of the question suggests that “fact” is being used in a colloquial sense only and that what is ultimately being asked is if we think any of our beliefs are incorrect. From the OP: “If my theory is correct, NO ONE should be in a position where they believe something to be true that they are certain is actually false.”

@ninjacolin A belief can be true or false, a fact cannot. A fact is a state of affairs, a belief is about a state of affairs.

ninjacolin's avatar

@SavoirFaire‘s right about that. The title of the question uses the term “fact” informally. It is a question about your beliefs and whether the things you believe align with those things we consider to be facts, whatever those are. Thanks, @SavoirFaire.

@SavoirFaire it’s a tricky thing to separate what we believe to be facts from what we simply believe.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin You are quite welcome. And yes, I think you are correct about it being difficult to separate what we believe from what we believe to be facts. That said, the theoretical distinction hopefully inspires us to keep our own fallibility in mind. As the saying goes: “don’t believe everything you think!”

ninjacolin's avatar

It’s interesting that we have several different discussions going at the moment that are all related. It gives us a few perspectives to approach these problems from, pretty cool.

I think I was making an understatement there. I don’t really believe we can separate them. They all fall under the heading of subjective conclusions.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin The theoretical distinction is all we need to remind ourselves of our fallibility. That said, our ability to separate what we believe from what we believe to be fact depends on how we understand the word “belief.” Certainly I agree with G.E. Moore who held statements like “it is raining, but I don’t believe that it is raining” to be paradoxical. Yet not all situations are quite so sharply defined.

To some extent, for example, I seem to believe that Beethoven is more enjoyable than Britney Spears; but in the end, I believe that aesthetic criticism is a subjective affair. That is, I don’t take there to be a thoroughly objective fact about whether or not Beethoven is more enjoyable than Britney Spears. I just know that I enjoy Beethoven more than I enjoy Britney Spears. Yet this feeling can masquerade as a belief, and perhaps even become one if I do not keep my views about aesthetics in mind. For again, we are fallible beings.

ninjacolin's avatar

I’ve long held that aesthetic criticism isn’t any more subjective than any other affair since my preference between A and B is itself a state of affairs. I’m not lying when I say that Adventure Time is an awesome show. Your deductions about Adventure Time may be different than mine, but my conclusion itself is an indisputable fact like the fact China is a part of asia.

I’m starting to get a new sense of where this conversation might have to go.. still working on it though.. something about time..

lillycoyote's avatar

@ninjacolin and @SavoirFaire I wasn’t aware that there was an “informal” and/or “colloquial” definition of the word “fact.” That is my own ignorance I suppose and perhaps that is why so many people feel comfortable playing so fast and loose with the “facts” these days, because the word can apparently be interpreted to mean whatever people want it to mean. I am just too old fashioned, I guess. I continue to believe that words have meaning and care should be taken when using them. Even more care should be taken in using words precisely when supposedly intelligent people want to discuss supposedly complex ideas. The question could have and should have been worded more carefully, more precisely and more accurately. If the question is about beliefs then the word beliefs could and should have been used.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin You are now conflating a lie with a falsehood. Lies are attempts to deceive, falsehoods are merely statements that happen to be false. When you say Adventure Time is an awesome show, you are not lying because you are not trying to get me to believe something you think is false. You are, however, saying something that is false when understood strictly (there is no objective fact of the matter regarding whether or not the show is awesome). You may hold the statement to be true, and it may represent your feelings, but that does not make the statement true (unless all you mean by ”Adventure Time is awesome” is “I, @ninjacolin, like Adventure Time).

You may also be confusing two senses of the word “indisputable.” Some things are indisputable because they are so well established that they are not subject to doubt. This is the case with China being part of Asia. Other things, however, are indisputable because they are not they are not subject to resolution. This is the case with subjective preferences, such as the awesomeness of Adventure Time. As the saying goes ”de gustibus non est disputandum.”

@lillycoyote I share your preference for taking care with words, especially when taking part in complex discussions. That said, we must try to interpret questions with infelicitous wording as charitably as we can.

ninjacolin's avatar

@lillycoyote it’s interesting that you didn’t understand it the way others did. I apologize profusely for the confusion.

We’re allowed a little artistic license with the titles, aren’t we? The details are there to clear it up in which I opened saying: “Consider things <b>you consider</b> real hard facts,” making “facts” subjective.

The formal version of the word “facts” I don’t really believe in anyway and I definitely asked the question from my perspective. Regardless, I did say that the question concerns personally alleged facts.

ninjacolin's avatar

You are, however, saying something that is false when understood strictly (there is no objective fact of the matter regarding whether or not the show is awesome).

This is where you’re wrong. There is an objective fact about whether I believe adventure time is awesome or not. And the objective fact of the matter is that I do believe it. Which is exactly why I would make the claim. I wouldn’t make the claim otherwise.

Strictly speaking, what is definable as “awesome” is a matter of my subjective opinion. It’s not up to anyone else. From your latin, there’s no arguing about taste because tastes are subjective while still being objectively true.

It is an indisputable fact that Adventure Time is an awesome show at least as far as my opinion is concerned. But at the very least it’s true otherwise I would not say it because I would be lying.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin I did not say there is no objective fact about whether you believe _Adventure Time) is awesome. I said there is no objective fact about whether or not the show is actually awesome. Those are different things, and I’ve already alluded to the difference in previous comments.

It is your misunderstanding of this difference that makes you misunderstand the Latin maxim I quoted above. The reason there is no disputing about tastes is because they are subjective, and there are no objective facts with which to resolve them. That there are objective facts about your tastes is immaterial to the problem.

Adventure Time is awesome” and “I believe Adventure Time is awesome” are not at all the same proposition, just as “there are 400 jelly beans in the jar” and “I believe there are 400 jelly beans in the jar” are different (as evidenced by the fact that the first one can be false even when the second one is true and vice versa).

ninjacolin's avatar

@SavoirFaire all conclusions are subjective.

Please consider: Adventure Time is objectively awesome iff you conclude that it is awesome. It cannot be objectively awesome any other way.

ninjacolin's avatar

Nothing is objectively true which isn’t at least subjectively true.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin I disagree with both of your comments. Consider again the jar with 400 jelly beans in it. It is objectively true that there are 400 jelly beans in it even if no one ever bothers to guess or have any thought about how many jelly beans there might be in the jar. Thus it is not the case that nothing is objectively true which isn’t at least subjectively true.

As for Adventure Time, there simply is no objective fact whatsoever about its awesomeness. My concluding that it is awesome is a subjective opinion and requires no objective fact to exist. Your biconditional simply does not hold. Furthermore, the show cannot be objectively awesome in any way, regardless of who thinks it is awesome. Remember, to be objectively true is to be true independent of human opinion.

ninjacolin's avatar

“It is objectively true that there are 400 jelly beans in it”

says who?

lillycoyote's avatar

@ninjacolin Say you want to jump off the top of a 50 story building, and people advise you not to do it, they advise you that is is “objectively” true that it would kill you. Do you have an argument for that objective truth? I would love to hear it.

ninjacolin's avatar

@lillycoyote, I don’t think changing the metaphor will help.
If there is an objective truth out there, be it a jar filled with exactly 400 jelly beans or the particular health hazards that come with a 50 story fall, how can we ever know or even come to know that it is objective without AT LEAST coming to know it subjectively?

Short answer: We can’t. Objective truths are merely alleged to be objectively true.

I’m not ignorant of the Realist’s position, guys. I understand how systematic peer review is meant to help us discern between subjective and objective truths. What I’m speaking about here, however, is the realistic limitation that whatever we might conclude is an objective truth, still happens to be a subjective opinion.

In reality, Science gathers multiple subjective opinions that agree with one another. It’s a democratic fact finding service, as per se. Never, however, does science consider it’s conclusions as infallible objective conclusions. Science’s conclusions are always tentative conclusions awaiting more conclusions.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin Either there are 400 jelly beans in the jar or there are not. One of those is an objective fact. The epistemological problem of how we can figure out which one is the objective fact is entirely separate. Conflating them leads to the position you are defending, and I would never want to defend a position based on a logical fallacy. All you can defend with your arguments is fallibilism, but you are insisting on drawing subjectivist conclusions from them. Even your example fails: as a discipline, science is committed to fallibilism, not subjectivism.

ninjacolin's avatar

I hope you haven’t found me to be senselessly dogmatic but merely convinced down a certain path of logic.

I think I’ve defended my position reasonably. I’m not dictating whether there are 400 jelly beans because I simply don’t know the answer. I could take a guess or do some experiments.. either way I might possibly be wrong or I might possibly be right.. either way, I have no way of knowing whether I’m right.

So, how can i ever say that there is or isn’t objectively 400 jelly beans in the jar?

Falliblism is pretty great. It says that we might potentially be wrong about a “fact” we’ve discovered. If we’re potentially wrong, however, how can we consider it an objective fact in the first place?

ninjacolin's avatar

I’m just hunting for the best explanation, btw. I don’t think fallibilism is it. Fallibilism seems inferior to subjectivism.. it seems more like a part of subjectivism.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin Fallibilism is not part of subjectivism. Subjectivism is a dogmatic position that says we are always right because there are no facts beyond what we take to be facts. Fallibilism says that we must always be open to the possibility that new information will overturn our old convictions. You seem to think that the epistemological problem of not being able to confirm that you are correct somehow proves that there is no real answer, yet this simply doesn’t follow.

That you cannot say there are 400 jelly beans in the jar does not mean that there is no objective fact about whether or not there are 400 jelly beans in the jar. Indeed, simple logic tells us that quite the opposite is the case: there either are or are not 400 jelly beans in the jar (regardless of whether or not we can confirm either possibility). This is the law of non-contradiction, and anyone interested in following logic to conclusions must accept it. As such, basic logic entails that there must be objective facts—regardless of however fallible our epistemic capacities might be.

ninjacolin's avatar

@SavoirFaire, you’re objectively wrong about all this, you realize that right?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin I’m not. But even if I were, that would still support my point!

Heads I win, tails you lose!

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

Mobile | Desktop


Send Feedback   

`