Instigator / Pro

There is only one objective Truth


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 5 votes and with 32 points ahead, the winner is...

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One week
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Two weeks
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Contender / Con

Truth: Any and all facts that accurately reflect reality rather than fiction or misinformation (which are unaffected by beliefs except upon a meta-level).

Kritiks of definitions is totally acceptable in philosophical debates.
I am Pro

Round 1
To me my position feels completely self-evident based upon my own life experience, but I have seen so many people who either don't treat this like it is true or claim to not believe it, so I am going to attempt to put my feelings on the matter into words.

The most simple example I can think of is binary. A bit can either be a 0 or a 1 at any given time, but not both. I was either born on a specific day, or I was not. I can't think of any way to contend this without going into quantum superposition, which I will attempt to get into later this round.

I neglected to define "objective" in the debate description, so if Con has an alternative definition that they feel is better, they may argue the point
Objective: (philosophy) [adj.] "the concept of truth independent from individual subjectivity (bias caused by one's perception, emotions, or imagination)." [1]

In a world of "alternative facts" and countless generations of wars and arguments over disagreeing beliefs, the claim of the existence of objective truth seems contradictory. If there is only one accurate description of reality, then why can't anyone seem to agree on things as simple as the shape of the Earth? That is where subjective experience comes in. The human experience of reality is marred by dozens of biases and misled by intentional and unintentional deception.

Biases: I don't feel that a formal definition is needed here, though Con may provide one if they feel that my own informal one is inadequate. I define bias as any systemic error in thinking that causes one to have inaccurate beliefs. To be clear, I do not believe that bias is constrained to those with inaccurate beliefs such as Flat-Earthers. All humans have certain biases in thinking, either due to learning or based upon our limited sensory experiences. The human mind is only capable of modeling reality in certain prescribed ways, either directly through our own five senses, or based upon shared experiences from others. There are endless facets of reality that we are incapable of perceiving without special instruments, and perhaps more that we have not yet discovered. To name a few things that we cannot perceive without special tools, we have: the electromagnetic spectrum outside of the small range we can see with the naked eye, a similar spectrum of audio frequencies, the backs of our own heads, the insides of our bodies, anything on the microscopic scale, and anything sufficiently small in proportion to its distance to us (i.e., moons of Jupiter, distant stars, ants a mile away)

Some more complicated matters than binary: the save state of an entire byte, or gigabyte, etc., of storage is by definition exponentially more complex than our original single bit, but ultimately a gigabyte of data can still be described as a series of 1s and 0s. With the right technology, you can still determine the exact state of every bit in that gigabyte. It doesn't become unknowable or have multiple "true" states. This is also true of atoms, and the things that are made of atoms.

When you get down to quantum particles things start to get tricky, because the act of measuring the position and momentum of a particle can change them. This isn't subjective, though, merely an effect of how particles are measured. A electron can be detected upon being hit by a photon, but this will alter the momentum and position of that electron. This is part of the physical process of subatomic measurement, not an effect of the measurement being known. A instrument could measure electrons without ever giving a readout for a conscious mind to interact with, and it would still behave the same.

I said that I would get into quantum superposition, which is not entirely a matter of consensus in the scientific community, nor something I claim to understand on anything more than the purely superficial level, to the point that I don't consider any attempt to summarize it a sufficiently accurate explanation. Instead, I will link a few links on the subject.
From what I am able to understand, the most common interpretation is that until a quantum particle is measured, it doesn't exist in a specific state. Like the metaphor of Schrodinger's Cat, the cat is neither dead nor alive until you open the box to check. In this circumstance I find it difficult to say that there are two truths that collapse into one upon opening the box, rather that the reality of the cat (or particle, in any case) can only be described in probabilities. While it is beyond human knowledge (as far as I know) to determine these probability values, scientists seem to believe that they are finite values that exist. "Each electron, until it is measured, will have a finite chance of being in either state." [2]

I move the floor to Con.
Side note: It's nice to get back on DA, my computer decided to bork itself and I was only recently able to get a replacement. I could have used my phone, but I hate typing with my thumbs, especially at any length.
It seems to be intended for that Pro's "statement", that could be translated to "Binary is an existing and working method of organizing quantitative data".

If we take the pragmatic sense of this 'statement'

First off, Pro did not even give a statement at all representing truth. It is only given that it is somehow to be affirmed that "Binary" is objectively true. Therefore, we could construct statements from the field of Binary, each representing one respective objectively true thing, suppose Binary is an objectively working method(which I agree):
  • Binary is an existing method of organizing data
  • It is possible that there is/will be useful applications for Binary(For example, Computers)
  • Any natural number could be represented by Binary
  • Binary(base two) is not the same as hexadecimal(base sixteen)
  • Binary is the same as Binary
  • A digit containing the quantity of one more than the quantity of one(aka, two) is not used to represent data in the Binary system
See? Now, 6 distinctive objectively true statements are made! There are 6 or more objectively true statements, not one, even if Pro gave his example of the "only one true statement".

The BoP for Pro is incredibly narrow as that zero objectively true statements would be undesirable for Pro, as well as Two(10) objectively true statements. Based on the observations that more objectively true statements can be build upon objectively true statements by logical reasoning and deduction, it would be near impossible for Pro to find an objectively true statement, albeit true, cannot have anything deducted or derived from it, therefore winning the debate by doing so.

Pro's example of a single objective truth turns out to be not a single one, but six or more.

Descartes, Euclid, and More

Philosophically, logical structures are objectively true. Statements such as "If All A's are B's, and All B's are A's, then something that is an A would also be a B" is objectively true because only logic is required, and no empirical proof or observation would be needed.

Math is also objective since neither does it require any proof regarding empirical proof, which cannot be proven to be objectively true. The statements "A number is equal to itself" or "A number times its reciprocal is equal to one" are objectively true.

The statement "If I question my existence, I must exist in order to question my existence", among the lines of what Descartes have written, would also be true regardless of what "I" am.

In the end, these are all objectively-true statement types that Pro did not mention at all.

If we take the semantic sense of this "statement"

Let's use the statement of interpretation written in the first lines of this piece of text.
"Binary is an existing and working method of organizing quantitative data".
In a pragmatic sense, we are obviously referring to the definition of "binary" as a system of storing quantitative data using only two types of digits, most known as "0" and "1". However, reputable sources have also defined the term as:
4B: utilizing two harmless ingredients that upon combining form a lethal substance (such as a gas)[1]
In which, a Binary gaseous bioweapon cannot calculate nor be used in quantum computers. Shifting existing definitions(which we cannot be sure in the first place) would render this statement(or the barebone skeleton of a statement, as Pro proposed) non-objectively true, or maybe even false.

Since letters are just squiggly lines on a computer screen, paper, etc, and words are just combinations of letters, it makes that there is no objectively true definitions or meanings of words in the first place, making it so we can define anything as anything. If we define "binary" as "something that is false no matter what", then it would be of zero doubt that Binary is not objectively something true. Since we cannot even be sure what each word means, it means that Pro has no sufficient proof of anything being objectively true.

  • Since objectively-correct statements can be derived from other objectively-true statements, and specifically the one regarding Binary can be derived of 6 or more objective statements, it means that there is not "only one" objectively correct statement, but 6 or more.
  • Mathematical and logical structures that requires no empirical proof are objective, and statements such as "a number is equal to itself" is also objectively true.
  • Semantically, All words can defined arbitrarily to whatever we want, making so that Pro has no sufficient proof of anything being objectively true.
I rest my case.

Round 2
Pro has dropped my proof of either more than one objective truths or none at all. One and only one is, as we have here, currently impossible.

Round 3
All the arguments are dropped. Extend.

Round 4
My opponent has dropped everything once again. Extend all arguments. This is essentially a partial FF that automatically loses. Please try not to instigate any debates if free time cannot be cleared up for it.