Maybe I'm also 'biased' by sharing your basic attitude (about the whole subject of epistemology), but in any case I agree with you. The 'absolutes' of
self-defined 'ultimate truth/reality' presented on ATS are often based on parameters/assumptions, which by themselves could do with some scrutiny
before they are presented as a safe fundament, from where everything can be evaluated, build or debated.
I have regularly suggested something similar to this OP, and practically always been ignored. I'm not bitter or paranoid about it, because this kind
of deep digging (as examplified by Cartesian philosophy: "I drink, therefore I am") simply doesn't inspire much interest, and by many is considered
ivory-tower speculations; ..... even amongst those with a good educational background, interest in theology or science, or by those seeking big
answers in existence.
My own basic bid for a way around this problem is, what I call a common communication platform. Expressed through proper semantics and about what is
'co-sensus' (e.g. gravity seems to be universally functioning in the visible part of existence except for a few alleged cases of people walking on
water, contemporary paranormal and/or ET observations and very speculative conceptualized abstractions on beyond-event-horizon 'reality').
If such a common communication platform could be established, it would be posssible to include more relative values as a further addition. E.g. such
as the common biological drive for survival, lessening of pain or social ethics (utilitarian philosophy), but already here we have our first group of
dissenters. For some extremist ideologuers such biological considerations are of secondary importance. For them a continued (preferable pleasant)
existence in the invisible part of existence, allegiance to some higher power, special ethics or just plain madness count more, and eventually they
will turn into ideological suicidal storm-troops for whom supremacy or violence are the only options. It would be naive to disregard this group, as
they can topple every 'compromise' system around them.
Disregarding this depressing social aspect, there are academic options as an answer to the OP. In US probably best known through the writings of
R.A.Wilson, who presented Jain philosophy. Shortly put as the idea of 'relative realities' inside which a kind of 'truth' exists from the perspective
of parts relating to other parts of the same 'reality'.
This can be rather functional for everyone, but ofcourse ideologuers with 'ultimate' answers outside any given 'relative reality' will hear nothing of
it; especially when their 'ultimate reality' model is based on rigid, doctrinal assumptions in a closed system.
Going full circle, the 'ultimate reality' systems aren't based on anything else than individual mindsets, i.d. they are 'subjective' interpretations
based on personal preferences (disliking ideas of 'relative reality'), which practically never change. IF a change happens, individuals of this type
will usually stay with the original rigid mindset and just find a new ideology to express it through.
So Ubeen, in a way we're back to square one, just upgraded. We've still not solved the problem of 'power' being a part of conflicts, whether these
conflicts are played on a battlefield, debate-forums or in academisia.
Did you find your way through my thoughts? Think about those completely disinterested in the subject, who consider these ideas as un-necessary
(opposed to those answering this thread).
edit on 7-1-2011 by bogomil because: spelling