originally posted by: starwarsisreal
a reply to: Profusion
As an Idealistic Cynic, I believe you have to balance idealism with cynicism.
While it's nice to have ideas, at the same thing you have to see things realistically as well.
There are lots of people that seem to be unable to see the difference between their personal truth and any absolute truth that may exist. That causes
originally posted by: Profusion
Let's get definitions out of the way first.
I don't think there is a set definition of "personal truth." My interpretation is the following:
Personal truth is what someone has come to believe as "true" for them or to them through individual experiences or insights.
Solipsism has a fixed definition:
a theory in philosophy that your own existence is the only thing that is real or that can be known
I'm a believer in personal truth. I think it's a very real and useful concept. The problem I have is when people state personal truth as absolute
truth. (Please don't argue in this thread about whether or not absolute truth exists. The people I'm discussing here obviously do believe that
absolute truth exists so whether it exists in reality is a red herring in this thread in my opinion.)
When do you know that someone is stating personal truth as absolute truth? In my experience, that usually happens when someone discusses how their
personal truth is equal to absolute truth. Let's say we're discussing the topic, "Are apples red?" A color blind person (suffering from protanopia)
that demanded that their personal truth was absolute truth would assert that apples aren't red because they've never seen a red apple.
I've seen the concept of personal truth as absolute truth carried to unbelievable extremes. For example, I've heard people say (paraphrasing), "I know
X, Y, or Z (as absolute truth) about Jesus based on my personal walk with him." I think that's absurd but I respect the concept of personal truth so
as long as that belief stays in the realm of personal truth, I've got no problem with it.
The next step that sometimes happens is where solipsism comes in. Sometimes people that have a personal truth want to claim that it's absolute truth
with no evidence offered at all (or insufficient evidence is offered to prove what they're arguing). At that point, they're expunging everyone else's
right to have personal truth (or to express any possible absolute truth for that matter) and that is de facto solipsism.
Why? Because by stripping everyone else of the right to have their own personal truth (while claiming your personal truth is absolute truth), you're
stating literally, "your own existence is the only thing that is real or that can be known." By shutting everyone else's personal truth (and any
possible absolute truth) out like that, you're exhibiting solipsism, by definition.
And generally speaking, in my experience, once we get that far, don't even try discussing absolute truth with someone acting like a solipsist, that's
edit on 12-9-2015 by Profusion because: (no reason given)