Sunday, March 15, 2015


I was writing an answer at Yahoo Answers on the subject of the provability of objectivity, and came across a number of nefarious Sophist arguments. I'm not a relativist, but I think they are worth re-posting (originally I included a lot of arguments against as well, but this is more pleasurable):

1. We can't prevent the relativist from adopting a specific belief system that denies a specific form of truth. After all, a belief system doesn't have to be logically proven.

2. Truth is one specific thing, like 'this thing is true if it does a true thing for me'. What is specifically true is not specifically anything but truth. 

3. What is the difference between truth and morals? 'Does this thing, because it is what it is, mean that it is good?' The objectivist will say, not automatically. And the relativist will reply, 'Then how do we know it is good or real?'

4. Every given thing is the best at doing exactly what it does. How could it be otherwise? After all, it is the only thing that could do what it does. This must apply to arguments as well.

5. 'What does it mean to say that a given thing has properties?' We must be saying what something's properties actually are. Therefore, the properties do not actually exist in the thing. 

6. Protagoras thought that any given thing has a good argument. That's not really relativism, it's pan-confirmation. After all, he still thought that some arguments failed. And so, he thought that some reasoning failed. There's nothing against an argument being specific. He simply seemed to think that any given thing consists of more than one thing, and where any given thing consists of more than one thing, it has more than one argument, and where it has more than one argument, one of the arguments is better. And where one of the arguments is better, one of the arguments wins. And he also believed that many things are not any one thing, and so, there are an infinite variety of arguments to defend any one thing, because the thing can have any number of properties, whether they are finite or infinite. 

Some of these arguments are due to Justin Grey.

See Also: The Equal Arguments on Any Subject:

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