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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Truth is not Relative

An important pro-State troll debating point is "Truth is Relative". They say there is no absolute standard of truth. If you believe there's no absolute truth, then any possible behavior can be justified!

As an individual, stealing is obviously wrong. Almost everyone agrees. However, when governments do it, stealing somehow becomes noble. When you start talking about "social contact" and "paying your fair share", you're pro-State trolling. People accept this contradiction, because they believe truth is relative.

Similarly, most people agree that murder and kidnapping are wrong. When the State does it, then it becomes noble and patriotic. People accept this contradiction, because they believe truth is relative.

I disagree. There *IS* an absolute standard of truth.

In Math, there obviously is an objective standard of truth. Anybody who suggested otherwise wouldn't be taken seriously by a real Mathematician. In fact, all attempts to develop an alternate formulation of the axioms of Mathematics, leads to something that's equivalent or strictly weaker. (Regular expressions are a Math language that's strictly weaker than "standard" arithmetic. Regular expressions are useful, but there are many ideas that can't be described by a regular expression.)

Similarly, in Computer Science, there is an objective standard of truth. Either your program compiles and runs, or it doesn't. If there's a runtime error, it's definitely due to a bug somewhere. Either your program has the desired behavior, or it doesn't.

In physics and engineering, there's an objective standard of truth. If you build a bridge, it either stands or it falls. You can't half-build a bridge.

In medicine, there's an objective standard of truth. Either the patient lives or dies. In some areas of medicine, objectivity has been lost. For example, a psychiatrist's patient may survive, but be suffering due to harmful side effects of drugs. The non-objective areas of medicine are usually due to State manipulation of the market.

Finally, in economics, politics, and philosophy, there *IS* an absolute standard of truth. The pro-State trolls disagree with me. They say "I'm just expressing my personal opinion. If I say there's an absolute standard of truth, that's just one of many arbitrary points of view." If you consider all ideas to have equal merit, then you're a fool and I'm wasting my time with you.

I consider "Stealing is wrong" to be an absolute truth. If you try and steal from me, I'm going to try and protect myself. You cannot convince me that you have the right to steal from me. If you insist on trying, then it's an arms race. You'll look for cleverer and cleverer ways to steal, and I'll look for cleverer and cleverer ways to defend myself. You cannot deny me the right to protect myself, except by convincing me that you have the right to steal from me.

It's very easy to deduce "Stealing is wrong". If everyone believed stealing was morally acceptable, then nobody would be able to accomplish anything. Suppose a group of people decided to conduct an experiment. They weren't going to allow stealing, and defend each other. Their productivity would be *SO MUCH GREATER* than everyone else. Eventually, everyone else would start to be convinced "stealing is wrong", or they would be apprehended as criminals by the productive workers.

You probably don't claim you have an individual right to steal from me. However, most people claim a collective right to steal from me, via taxes. If you believe "There is an absolute standard of truth." and "Stealing is wrong.", then your only possible conclusion is "Taxation is theft!"

In many ways, economic progress is grinding to a halt. Everybody is busy stealing from each other, rather than doing useful work. Many smart people aspire to be MBAs, CEOs, lawyers, bankers, traders, and politicians, rather than being someone who actually produces something useful.

In the present, most people believe "Stealing is wrong when individuals do it." However, they believe "Stealing is acceptable when governments do it." Alternatively, they believe "Taxation is not theft!" It's very easy to see that taxation and stealing are the same. If you don't pay taxes, people with guns eventually show up to kidnap you or take away your stuff.

Taxes aren't "legitimized" by the fact that the gun-carrying terrorists are carrying badges and wearing uniforms. It isn't legitimized by the judges who order your kidnapping or order your property stolen. It isn't legitimized by the bureaucrat who determines that you owed tribute. It isn't legitimized by the politicians that make up the rules. It isn't legitimized by a Constitution. How is a contract binding on me if I didn't sign it? Even if I did sign the Constitution, I should be allowed to withdraw my consent later, because otherwise it's a slavery contact. The theft is not legitimized by voting. If voters don't possess an individual right to steal from me, then how can they delegate the right to steal via voting? You can't delegate a right you don't have.

Notice that the taxation/theft process is distributed among many people. The policemen, judges, bureaucrats, politicians, and voters each play a small role in the scam. The responsibility is distributed among many people, which prevents anyone from feeling responsible. I place the most blame with the policemen, because they're the ones who actually come to kidnap you or take away your stuff. "I was following orders" is never an excuse, whether you're a concentration camp guard, bureaucrat, or policeman. Without the policemen, the judge would just be a crazy guy in a robe. Without the policemen, the politicians would be people wasting time having meetings all day.

That's the reason mainstream media sources spend so much hype saying "Policemen are noble and heroic!" The policemen are the key component of the scam, because they blindly enforce laws without questioning them. The most illegitimate laws are those involving taxes. It isn't a policeman's job to question whether the law is morally correct or not. A policeman won't risk his cushy job by refusing to obey an immoral order. Questioning bad laws is everyone's job, including the policemen.

The same principle that allows a 1% taxation rate also allows a 99% taxation rate. In fact, if you add up all direct and hidden taxes, your true taxation rate might be 99% or more!

In the present, everyone is stealing from everyone else. The Federal Reserve steals from me via inflation, and gives the proceeds to financial industry insiders. Management of large corporations steal from me; the State restricts competition, driving up prices. I can't easily form my own business. I am forced to work as a wage slave, selling my labor for a small fraction of its fair value; that's another form of theft. As a very productive worker, the State makes it very hard for me to sell my labor for its true value. Doctors steal from me, by lobbying the State for a monopoly/oligopoly. Doctors are shielded by the State from competition, driving up the cost of medical care and medical insurance premiums.

Suppose everyone got together and agreed "Let's stop stealing from each other". This is how an agorist trading group would function. An agorist trading group would be incredibly productive, once it got started. Without taxes and regulations dragging down their productivity, agorists would be very productive. Over time, they would hire outsiders to join their economy. Eventually, they would have enough resources to form their own police force, either directly or by bribing State-employed police and bureaucrats to leave them alone.

"There is no absolute standard of truth!" is pro-State trolling. If your ideas are logically inconsistent, you must believe that to avoid facing the contradiction. In Mathematics and science, there *IS* an absolute standard of truth. The same applies to economics, politics, and philosophy, if you think correctly. When you realize "Taxation is theft!", that completely invalidates all existing political theory. When you understand "Taxation is theft!", "Inflation is theft!", and the Compound Interest Paradox, then it's possible to have a consistent viewpoint of economics and politics.

Anybody who suggests "There is no absolute standard of truth!" is a fool or trying to con you.


Anonymous said...

I always wondered why doctors hated chiropractors...

anarcho-mercantilist said...

Some humans that deny the existence of objectivity seem to define "objective" differently from FSKs definition. They define objective as a synonym for philosophical realism, which means that reality exists independently of the mind. They also support the philosophy of subjective idealism, which means that the mind creates reality and deny the existence of matter independent of the mind. This opposes the philosophy called materialism. Ludwig von Mises even rejected materialism. Subjective idealism, by definition, seems logically incompatible Aristotelianism and essentialism.

Hence, the subjective idealists who define objectivism in that way would oppose objectivism. Subjective idealists deny all forms of objectivism, so would deny that anything objective exists.

Another definition of objectivism means that subset of knowledge that does not vary according to human opinion. For example, the mathematical equations such as 2 + 2 = 4 is an objective statement. Subjective idealism is compatible with this definition of objectivism. Some equate subjectivism as the other portion of knowledge which varies by opinion. Examples of subjective knowledge include statements such as "This picture looks good." and "I oppose aggression." Some equate subjectivism as synonymous to subjective idealism. However, some, such as FSK, appear to not equate sybjectivism as subjective idealism, which might cause more conflicts.

According to the information mentioned, defining the term objectivism priori to debating with others would likely resolve potential semantic conflicts.

anarcho-mercantilist said...

I consider "Stealing is wrong" to be an absolute truth.

If you use E-prime, which avoids the words that mean "to be" such as am, is, was, are, were, be, been and being; your statement "Stealing is wrong" would look something like this: "I oppose theft." I assumed that your use of the word "absolute truth" to mean "objective truth." Therefore, you conclude that you meant that the statement "I oppose theft" is an objective truth (the second definition of objective). Since your use of the subject "I" implied it as your opinion, your statement logically follows as a subjective statement.

Unless I interpret your statement as "We all believe that theft contradicts our moral philosophy in all circumstances," your statement that "Stealing is wrong" is subjective.

barry b. said...

I think you just pretty much summed up how I feel.... again!

Zargon said...

If you use E-prime, which avoids the words that mean "to be" such as am, is, was, are, were, be, been and being;

This is rather clever. I originally rewrote the two paragraphs following the quote, substituting "2+2=4" for "stealing is wrong", intending to make a joke comment, showing that 2+2=4 is subjective in exactly the same way.

But then I realized I couldn't write the equivalent statement for "I oppose theft" without using the "to be" words. The obvious "I believe two plus two equals four" doesn't work, it uses equals, which is a version of "to be". Then I noticed the trick.

The rules of the game (E-Prime) simply forbid the use of the class of words necessary to make useful statements of absolute truth. Deliberately crippling your language so as to not be able to make a statement of absolute truth, and then using that deficiency as support for there not being absolute truth is, at best, insane.

(I define absolute truth as something that is true at all times, for all people, in all places. I suspect FSK's definition of absolute truth is the same or nearly the same)

Money quote from the article:

Korzybski felt that all humans should receive training in general semantics from grade school on, as "semantic hygiene" against the most prevalent forms of logical error, emotional distortion, and "demonological thinking." E-Prime provides a straightforward training technique for acquiring such semantic hygiene.

Funny, they must have forgotten 1984 in the list of references, because that's clearly prior art on the concept of controlling thought by controlling language.

anarcho-mercantilist said...

I think you got a mistake here, E-prime does not consider the word "equals" a form of "to be". By definition, the only words that represent valid "to be" forms include is, are, was, were, be, been, being and their contractions, such as it's and shes's (which represent shorthand forms of it is and she is). E-prime considers the words such as has, have, do, does and equals as valid.

An objective E-prime form of "I oppose theft" exists: "According to the libertarian code of ethics, moral actions do not include theft."

An anarchist view of E-Prime exists.

E-Prime just rewrites statements to represent more clear and concise views. It avoids the essentialist and the naive realist categorizations. For example, if you try define the term "zebra", often we would get "A zebra is a family of Equidae." This definition implies an essentialist view, because the overuse of the word "is" categorizes results in a biased subjective view of the definition. Since the definition implied that it prefers the biological classification of Equidae over others, it implied an essentialist view: all objects must have a 'correct' categorization. It avoids other 'definitions' such as "A zebra looks like a horse with stripes." and "Zebras originated in Africa." Another objective 'definition' of zebra looks like this: "Scientists classify the zebra as a subcategory of the family Equidae." These three definitions represent objective definitions, while the first represent a subjective definition, not all of us define a zebra the first way. No valid definition or categoration exists, because of the problem of the universals. This book refutes the essentialist view.

anarcho-mercantilist said...

Non-valid e-prime statements such as "Liberty is non-aggression." contains ambiguities. It may mean that 'non-aggression' defines liberty or it may mean the utilization of non-aggression would result in maximum individual liberty. The analytic-synthetic distinction also arises here. Analytic expressions such as the definition that liberty equals non-aggression and synthetic expressions such as the conclusion that utilizing non-aggression; perfectly analogizes the disproff of the analytic-synthetic distinction by W.V. Quine's criticism.

This ambiguity would probably result in label wars between the pro-liberty interventionists and the pro-liberty libertarians who define liberty differently. Thus, avoiding the use of the "to be" words would likely result in a reduction of label wars.

David Z said...

Anarcho-mercantilist's conclusion, "your statement that "Stealing is wrong" is subjective" violates the E-prime rule set forth above, and is consequently, a subjective statement.


Anonymous said...

I have asked someone why is he working two cash jobs at the same time as getting welfare, and living in low income apartment while driving 750IL.

His answer was a question directed back at me:"If you're in a pipe with a shotgun, which side of the shotgun would you rather be on, stock or barrel"?

I reinterpret his question as follows: "If you have a socialist government, would you rather be paid taxes of others or be taxed to support others"? Dumb question, any retard can answer this.

Isn't it the manifestation of a Gresham's law, but in other words?
When theft is forcefully made to be equal to honor, wouldn't everyone keep honor and use only theft?

That is why it is better to rob than to be robbed, if only those two are choices offered. Socialist Government will steal from everybody, no exceptions. You can only steal something back, or more, while you at it. It is fair, because you must understand, you won't always be successful in stealing back what was stolen from you. So, you better take all you can while you can, because whatever you haven't taken, government will NEVER give back.

By stealing, government starts this vicious circle of stealing back and stealing to compensate for future losses to government. This is why socialist government cannot stop and become fair. Once on welfare path, it must necessarily end itself in full destruction.

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