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# S/O Are most things subjective or are most things absolute?

Posted by on Jun. 11, 2014 at 5:12 PM
• 5 Replies

What does the phrase, "It's all relative", mean?

•  I believe Einstein came up with the idea, but I'm not sure.

Great question. It has to do with the context of the subject being discussed as it is applied to a certain place at a certain time. When you apply Socrates' method for attempting to gain insight into various issues by asking questions such as "What is beauty?", "What is evil?", "What is love?", etc., you discover that there is no one definitive or conclusive answer since the collective mind set or cultural conditioning of individuals varies from place to place. Fat is beautiful in Africa but not so in Europe...for the time being. It is subject to change as modes of thinking change. So forth and so on, ad infinitum.

• It means all values -- everything that can be expressed in units -- are relative. For instance, if you're driving 90 on a freeway, your speed is 90 miles per hour in relation to the hitchhiker standing by the side of the road; but it is 180 miles per hour in relation to the car moving in the opposite direction in the other lane, whose speed is also 90 miles per hour in relation to the hitchhiker.

The same applies to all physical properties: for instance, the weight of a stone is different here on earth than on the moon. Now one may ask whether, if one would strip the stone of all its properties, anything would remain (the "stone-in-itself"). I think not, and this means the stone as a whole is relative: it has only relative being (for it is really in flux; it is just relatively less fluxious than, say, a river).

Some things are not relative, however, but absolute. These absolutes are the properties of properties -- abstractions from abstractions. The properties of all concrete things are relative, but the relativity of these properties is not itself relative (something cannot be more or less relative: it either is relative or it is not). An example:

The stone we mentioned has a relative weight. This weight is a property of the stone. If we abstract this property from the stone, and inquire into the properties of this property, we find that it has the following properties, among others:

1. It is relative. But this relativity is absolute.
2. It is indefinite. But this indefiniteness is itself definite -- the weight is definitely indefinite.

It seems the properties of properties have the opposite properties of the properties they are properties of.

• Values have no meaning on its own...its all relative.
by on Jun. 11, 2014 at 5:12 PM
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Replies (1-5):
by Bronze Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 5:15 PM
1 mom liked this

One day I was driving with my grandparents, my grandmother was the passenger as she didn't drive. She starts nagging at my grandfather for going to fast, this went on for several miles. Finally he turns to her and says "I don't know what you're getting all up in arms about, you're going just as fast as I am."

by Emerald Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Quoting lizzielouaf:

One day I was driving with my grandparents, my grandmother was the passenger as she didn't drive. She starts nagging at my grandfather for going to fast, this went on for several miles. Finally he turns to her and says "I don't know what you're getting all up in arms about, you're going just as fast as I am."

by Emerald Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 5:17 PM
2 moms liked this

by Platinum Member on Jun. 11, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Quoting Billiejeens:

# S/O Are most things subjective or are most things absolute?

Most physical things are objective.   Their existence and properties mostly don't vary depending upon who is in the room with them.

The measurement of a particular propery of a physical object, may be subjective.  For example, one person when using their eyes to measure the colour of a towel, may describe it as "blue" while someone else might describe it as "green".   The actual colour hasn't changed, only the words used to describe that colour.

by Emerald Member on Jun. 12, 2014 at 7:29 AM

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Billiejeens:

# S/O Are most things subjective or are most things absolute?

Most physical things are objective.   Their existence and properties mostly don't vary depending upon who is in the room with them.

The measurement of a particular propery of a physical object, may be subjective.  For example, one person when using their eyes to measure the colour of a towel, may describe it as "blue" while someone else might describe it as "green".   The actual colour hasn't changed, only the words used to describe that colour.

I know, this S/O was for anothers edification.