6Julie believes that Scorpios tend to be luckier than Libras

So according to this version of the relativity-myth, Julie's utterance of (4) is equivalent to (6). But (6) is certainly not equivalent to (3). (3) makes no reference to Julie; it would be possible for (3) to be true but (6) false, or the other way round (in fact, if (6) were true, then since presumably (3) is false, they would differ in truth-value). Thus, according to this version of the myth, we would have to say that (4) is not equivalent to (3). But that cannot be right, for that is simply not how the word 'true' is used. This version of the relativity-myth violates the actual, ordinary day-to-day meaning of the word 'true' according to which (3) and (4) are equivalent. According to that meaning, Julie is right when she says (3) if, and only if, she is right when she says (4). So (3) and (4), whoever utters them, cannot differ in truth-value.

There is no getting around it, then. There is no way to make satisfactory sense of the relativity-myth. So truth is not relative. It is objective, and the truth of a proposition is independent of our desiring or believing it to be true. Just as thinking or desiring cannot make the moon be made of green cheese, thinking or desiring cannot make it true that the moon is made of green cheese. To believe is to believe something to be true, but truth is not the same thing as belief. This means that truth is independent of all of us; it does not mean that one powerful person or being could hold the key to all that is true about the world. Thus in saying that truth is objective, we are certainly not taking any kind of political stance, saying that certain cultures or institutions have or might have a monopoly on truth. The aim of good reasoning and argument is to get at the truth, at the way the world is, irrespective of how people think or feel it to be. Rationality is a great leveller. In the pursuit of truth, we are all equally placed before the world, and no amount of political power can provide a real advantage.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment