Instigator / Pro
0
1500
rating
2
debates
50.0%
won
Topic
#5395

Absolute knowledge does exist

Status
Finished

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

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
0
0
Better sources
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0
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After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Standard
Number of rounds
5
Time for argument
One week
Max argument characters
30,000
Voting period
One week
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Contender / Con
0
1469
rating
342
debates
40.79%
won
Description

This debate will focus on certain affirmative universal propositions. Not all universal affirmative propositions.
It is simply a debate about whether certain universal propositions are knowable with absolute certitude.
As such, to prove the absolute certitude, Pro must show that the denial of the universal proposition is absurd and Con must simply show it is not absurd to posit its opposite.

Round 1
Pro
#1
The Universal affirmative proposition that one can have absolute knowledge of is this following proposition: "A thing is what it is" proving that absolute knowldge does exist.

Firstly, Definitions:
Absolute  knowledge: Knowledge that is applicable to all being without exception. i.e. there can be no falsehood in its application to anything.
Nota Bene: This is a definition made under the thought of Aristotle.

   With this definition, all that con must do is show that the application of the aforesaid proposition is false when applied to something. For my purpose here I will argue the following points:

1. To posit the opposite of the proposition "a thing is what it is" is to fall into a blatatnt and absurd contradiction. Namely: " a thing is what it is not" i.e. "is = is not" such absurdity is rightfully disregarded as idiotic.

2. This proposition, logically speaking, is the foundation of all knowledge and to deny it is to deny all knowledge. Period. Without absolute certitude that a thing is what it is, one cannot know that what he knows is true about the thing.

3. To say "is" of something is to say that there is some connection of some sort between the two things that "is" is said of. Absolute knowledge will require that the connection is absolute in its affirmation i.e. the "is" is 100%. To say "a thing is what it is" is such an example as it is an affirmation of the thing itself.

   As a last point, I will say here a little thought experiment.
"absolute knowledge does not exist" must either be true or false.
If true: then it must be absolute by what it is saying. But then it would contradict itself. 
If false: Then there does exist absolute knowledge.


Con
#2
Greetings.

We're always learning. But not to the point we know all things. 

We don't know all things regarding a single thing to say absolutely this or that about  it.

"Absolute knowledge: Knowledge that is applicable to all being without exception. i.e. there can be no falsehood in its application to anything."

I don't have a crystal clear view on this. What is an example of this definition? Something in everyday practical instances please. In laymen's terms as well.



Now in reading through what the pro side stated, I could not understand barely at all.

This is why if we can speak in laymen's terms, in basic everyday relatable things, we can progress the topic.

So far, I see nothing that the pro side has presented proves we can or have absolute knowledge.
Again for clarity for my sake because I don't have a good handle on the definition provided, absolute knowledge to me is knowing all there is to know, knowing everything.

Absolute is 100 percent, all, everything. I believe the opposing side mentioned I had to call out the absurdity. Well like the absurdity of a dog knocking a house building down because there's no capacity there, no demonstration of such for the dog to do so, it is the same with people.


Let's look at life itself, the reality thereof.  Do we know, do we have all knowledge regarding this reality we're living?
I think this is the greatest question to ask to make the point. Everything as we experience is a fabric of what we call reality.

If we had absolute knowledge or all knowledge or complete certain knowledge, we'd know that which is reality is that. 
That which is reality is just what we call it. According to our experiences, that which we call is according to what we identify by detection processed as information we store as knowledge.
But the information we don't have is missing from our knowledge leaving us with incomplete, non absolute knowledge.


I believe the opposing side mentioned somewhere along the lines of that which is. This is the information that is missing from knowledge.
So I'd like to see the opposing side prove or demonstrate this information is not truly missing or is obtainable. Then to add on to that, why hasn't it been obtained if that is the case?


Round 2
Pro
#3
Forfeited
Con
#4
I rest my case.
Round 3
Pro
#5
Forfeited
Con
#6
I rest my case. Still irrefutable with them into silence unless a response is made otherwise.
Round 4
Pro
#7
You will forgive me. I did not intend for this argument to be only three rounds, but unexpected things have grabbed my attention.

   When we have knowledge of something we present that knowledge in what we call a proposition. Basically an indicative statement. An example would be: "My car is green" or "I have an apple

     By absolute knowldge, I mean that certain propositions, by what they are saying, have to be absolute.
Lets very quickly look at the definition.
 Absolute  knowledge: Knowledge that is applicable to all being without exception. i.e. there can be no falsehood in its application to anything.

   When I speak of "knowledge applicable to all being" It means that what I am saying must be able to be applied to anything. Simple as that. If we can say "is" of it, then my absolute knowledge, which is an abstraction, must apply to it.

   Now the proposition that I gave that fits into this definition is the proposition: "a thing is what it is." Simple as it sounds. It means exactly what it says. It is not a fancy saying or formula; it is simple as that.  Apply this to anything you want.
"a car is what it is"
"an apple is what it is"
"water is what it is"
"hydrogen is what it is" etc... ad infinitum

Its application is always true. Therefore absolute.

absolute knowledge to me is knowing all there is to know, knowing everything.

Absolute is 100 percent, all, everything. 

   This is not what I am talking about. Absolute means everything, everything when regarding the whole as Con means above. But I can still know absolutely a part without to know absolutely the whole. I agree with Con that we do not have absolute knowledge of the whole. But that is not what I am arguing.

    As I stated above, the definition I am working with refers to absolute knowledge of a part, not of the whole. In fact, it is refering to the most simple part. Meaning this part cannot be divided further. That is what simple means in philosophy. Undividable.

   Now, a way to prove something is not absolute in this sense is to show that it divides further. But with this proposition you can´t, because the proposition is an affirmation of itself. It is essentially to say just the "thing." An example would be, in the proposition "Hydrogen is what it is" is the same as to simply just say "hydrogen." Now, one might say "Well you can divide hydrogen further in to electrons, neutrons, etc." Yes, but then we are not talking about hydrogen anymore. We are talking about what it is made of. That is something different than what it is. We cannot say "Hydrogen is this many electrons." That is false, because we know there are other elements. One might further object as "Well, hydrogen is this combination of electrons, neutrons, protons." Yes, and that is true, and it is saying the exact same thing as"hydrogen is what it is," So it does not disprove the absoluteness of the proposition.

   The other way, which is to just show really that it does divide further, is to show that positing its opposite is not absurd. And by absurd I mean blatantly contradicting itself. The opposite of this very simple proposition is " a thing is what it is not" which is a blatant contradiction. Therefore absurd.

   
Con
#8
We don't know everything as a whole.

We don't have absolute knowledge as a whole.

We don't know everything in part or to a part.

We don't have absolute knowledge in part or to a part .

We don't know everything to a part of a whole because we don't know everything of a whole.

This is why science continues to progress and change to us to come to different, updated conclusions.

So far we are certain of somethings. But we don't absolutely know that anything really is because there can be another piece to it we don't know tied to another. 

We have one piece of the pie we won't know everything about until we know the link of its relation to the whole pie. It's because what could be known about all of the pie can shift the perspective on that slice than what we've ever thought.

This is what happens every time we take things into perspective. It changes once we get more information or properly or vastly compare  between vantage points.

"Do we know, do we have all knowledge regarding this reality we're living?
I think this is the greatest question to ask to make the point. Everything as we experience is a fabric of what we call reality."


I don't believe the opposing side has demonstrated this. This was bypassed unless I missed it.

You agree you don't know everything about everything but you know everything about a single thing or somethings.

Here's the question about the single thing or somethings you think you know everything about.

It doesn't even matter what it is. This question applies.

How do you know the thing is real?

If you know everything there is to know about the thing, why don't you have this information?

Perhaps if you knew everything about everything (whole), you'd know about some things(parts) in no way form or fashion for example being a simulation or illusion at all .

No way possible .

I think this about raps it up. There's no counter or resolution to this .

Just as the other rounds, forfeit .

Round 5
Pro
#9
How do you know the thing is real?
Ah yes. The old dose of skepticism that one refers to when they have nothing to say.

Con might as well be asking himself the same about everything he has said. If Con is logical, Con will admit he does not know if it is real or true what he is saying. In which case Con would also have to admit that no one can know whether or not it is real, in which case, nothing can truly be said of it. And this would have to apply to everything! In which case it follows that if we can say nothing that is true, then it is pointless to speak at all. And Con undermines the very foundation of knowledge, disregards reason and understanding and falls into blatant contradictions.

To say anything implies one knows something. But one needs a point from which to go from. We call that a principle. If the principle is not 100% then it is not a principle and divides further into knowledge. If you have no place to go from, you go nowhere.

Look at what Pro is saying. A thing is what it is. it is a self evident principle. It proves itself, literally. To deny it is absurd, to posit that its opposite could even be possible is absurd. 

If there is no connection that is true between reality and the mind, one can never know anything, period. The above principle is the connection between my mind and reality. In my mind, a thing is what it is, in reality a thing is what it is. When they both correspond, One has true knowledge. Con might ask, "how do you know they correspond?" Is that image in my head the same thing in my hand? Then they correspond. And it is based on the absolute knowledge that a thing is what it is.

If one does not know that this thing in front of them is what it is, then one can never say anything about it. one cannot even, if you were being logical, speak about it in any way. So the fact that Con said any indicative statement at all, if Con actually believes  this skepticism, means Con has contradicted himself.

When we percieve something, we receive what we call the "form", which is the order of the matter. This is the basis of knowledge. We do not need to know the matter itself to know something 100% about a thing. Does my discovery of water being hydrogen and oxygen change what water is? Or what we call it in everyday life? Was I not able to recognize water before I knew it was hydrogen and oxygen?

This kind of skepticism was ignored by any serious philosopher, and rightfully disregarded as idiotic because its logical conclusions end in absurdity. As such, following the wisdom of those smarter than me, I am disregarding this question as idiotic.



The only other point that Con brought up was that was valid was the following point:

We have one piece of the pie we won't know everything about until we know the link of its relation to the whole pie. It's because what could be known about all of the pie can shift the perspective on that slice than what we've ever thought.

A fair enough point and one that to answer requires a subtle but very real distinction.

There is a differtence between the nature of something and that nature related to other things.

The nature of the thing we can know, because the nature of something is determined by the thing itself without relation to the any other thing. Thats what we mean by "nature of the thing" it is by itself, without a relation.

How we grow in knowledge (and consequently where we do not have absolute knowledge) is by seeing the relation of the natures to each other in different things. There is a difference between the thing itself and what it does in relation to another.

For example. When water changes into ice, we recognize a change. This does not change our ability to recognize water. I do not walk away always asking if it is water or ice or steam because I discovered a relation between the natures of ice, water, and steam. I am able to recognize either one or the other without having to ask, because I understand the nature itself of each. I understand that the nature of water changes when exposed to heat. It does not mean I cease understanding what water is. 

But Con would ask if water is even real.

And just for fun:

We don't have absolute knowledge in part or to a part .

One has to have 100% knowledge of at least one undividabl part or you cannot logically,say anything with any amount of certitude. 

So far we are certain of somethings. But we don't absolutely know that anything really is because there can be another piece to it we don't know tied to another. 
So Con does not know these "somethings." That is what Con is saying here. Apart from contradicting himself.

This is what happens every time we take things into perspective. It changes once we get more information or properly or vastly compare  between vantage points.

Knowledge is not just about relations. Relation implies two things. You have to know the two things before you can know any relation. I mean this about undividable parts.

"Do we know, do we have all knowledge regarding this reality we're living?
I think this is the greatest question to ask to make the point. Everything as we experience is a fabric of what we call reality."

I already said I am not talking about reality as a whole. This question seems to imply Con missed the point. But once again, Con would ask if this "reality" is even real.

If you know everything there is to know about the thing, why don't you have this information?    
Simple, undividable things, I do know. And literally just to say correctly what the thing is shows I have that information. I am not talking about what the thing is made of I am talking about what it is. A thing is what it is. It can only be what it is. But Con would ask if that thing was even real.

There's no counter or resolution to this .  
If I thought as shallow as Con does there would not be.
Con
#10
I got an essay long of a response to my question "How do you know the thing is real?".

But you didn't give an answer because you can't answer it. This lengthy dissertation is an indirect way of saying "I don't know so I therefore concede".

Then I find this statement from you that sticks out among the lines of your essay.

"We do not need to know the matter itself to know something 100% about a thing. "

You have yet to demonstrate this. Well it's because you haven't answered the original question. A part of that 100 percent is knowing the "matter" or thing is actually really. 

The "matter" of something being real or not is an attribute to a single thing, let alone ALL things we perceive as things. 

You take the stance that we can have absolute knowledge in one thing but not all things. Either way you slice it, it doesn't matter, no pun intended.

Being that the one thing you can't answer about one thing debunks that you know 100  percent about a single thing.

"But Con would ask if water is even real.

And just for fun:"

I'll ask this question so I'm not so predictable. You stating this is a way of saying" I don't know, I don't have the answer to this question either but I think this is what you're going to ask".

Here's a good question you didn't bring up. Do you know absolutely everything about water?

Taking the honest answer of "no", the debate is over in only my favor.

"One has to have 100% knowledge of at least one undividabl part or you cannot logically,say anything with any amount of certitude. "

Then don't say anything in any amount of certitude. You get no cookies or awards for not being honest.

"So Con does not know these "somethings." That is what Con is saying here. Apart from contradicting himself."

How are you going to have absolute knowledge as vast as that is but not understand something as simple as what I've said? The opposing side is debunked again. 

Where was the contradiction? Don't make claims and can't demonstrate how they're true.

I said we can know what is certain but not absolute.
When you don't know the difference in something, ask to find out.

Like your water example. You are certain water is wet, does what it does. It soaks, it splashes, hydrates, etc . That is certainty. But you don't have absolute knowledge of water meaning all there is to know. 

Like I said when you don't know all the truth regarding the reality of the whole pie, how can you assert that regarding just a slice of it?

This is where your position collapses.
Being that you don't know this reality really being what it is outside yourself because you have no absolute knowledge, you wouldn't have the same knowledge of what you call water inside the same reality.
.
"Knowledge is not just about relations. Relation implies two things. You have to know the two things before you can know any relation. I mean this about undividable parts."

No refutation to my point. Ok.

"I already said I am not talking about reality as a whole. This question seems to imply Con missed the point. But once again, Con would ask if this "reality" is even real."

I'll go back to my illustration of water . If the opposing side has any kind of understanding, the individual should be following along in context better than this .

Like your water example. You are certain water is wet, does what it does. It soaks, it splashes, hydrates, etc . That is certainty. But you don't have absolute knowledge of water meaning all there is to know. 

Like I said when you don't know truth regarding the reality of the whole pie, how can you assert that regarding just a slice of it?

This is where your position collapses.
Being that you don't know this reality really being what it is outside yourself because you have no absolute knowledge, you wouldn't have the same knowledge of what you call water inside the same reality.

The opposing side doesn't seem to get that everything is interconnected. There is no one without the other. I don't care if the opposing side is talking about a slice of reality or the whole pie. It's all in one reality sharing an interconnected truth to connects all of these together which you're left with a lack of absolute knowledge of.

Which is why you don't have it of the little picture because you certainly don't have it of the whole one.
You can deny that you can have one without the other but you're the one that can't answer one single question I posed to you about one thing you claim absolute knowledge can be contained of.

Foolish standpoint you have.

"Simple, undividable things, I do know. And literally just to say correctly what the thing is shows I have that information. I am not talking about what the thing is made of I am talking about what it is. A thing is what it is. It can only be what it is. But Con would ask if that thing was even real."

You're just telling more and more on yourself. You have absolute knowledge of nothing. "Undividable things" but not "dividable". Not absolute knowledge novice. To say correctly what the thing is but not what it is made of . Is that right? So much for "absolute knowledge". 

You continue to repeat the question of something being real as it is an unfortunate question you cannot answer for one to claim you have absolute knowledge.
You really got stumped with that one and have not gotten over that refutation. Just keep reiterating it. It'll pass hopefully, I don't know.

I nor ANYBODY HAS ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE.

Case closed.

"If I thought as shallow as Con does there would not be."

Telling on yourself again. To say "If I thought as" is making a comparison. A comparison of what? Shallowness.

So indirectly you're saying you think shallow. Which is why your position is flawed. If you didn't think shallow at all on this, you probably wouldn't even try to debate this.