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Guest Ehjookayted

Absolute vs. Relative Truth & The Question of Time

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Guest Ehjookayted

If the discussion on this thread gets too abstract and meta-cognitive, then I'll ask for it to be moved to the Asylum.

[center:1nas6rpa]Furthering Your Ehjookayshun: What is Truth?[/center:1nas6rpa]

[center:1nas6rpa]Ideas on Time

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, time can be defined either subjectively or objectively. What does this mean?

Subjective time can be considered in our own minds, basically an idea that each person grasps on his or her own, individually. Everyone makes their own judgment of time.

Objective time, on the other hand, holds time to be a universal truth, an immovable reality, something that each person should not interpret, for it is fixed, concrete.

Furthermore, time can also be considered a subjective concept or an objective reality. Time as a subjective concept, philosophers have agreed, contains three main points, which will be quoted below, again courtesy of Catholic Encyclopedia.

First there is the idea of succession. Every mind distinguishes in time the past, the present, and the future, that is parts which essentially exclude simultaneity and can be realized only one after the other.

Again, time implies continuity. Speaking of events here below, in our own life, we cannot conceive the possibility of an interval of duration, however short, in which we should cease to grow older, or in which moment should cease to follow moment. The march of time knows neither pause nor interruption.

Lastly, a continuous succession cannot be a continuous succession of nothing. Therefore the concept of time represents to us a reality the parts of which succeed each other in a continuous manner. It matters little here whether this reality is purely ideal, or is realized outside of us, for we are dealing only with the concept of time.

Okay, so what does that all mean? Essentially three things: time has to go in order (it is illogical and a farce to imagine the past as the present, etc.), time cannot cease, and time must have substance (ergo, things must take place in order for time to exist).

Time in Zombies

So this is probably pretty obvious, but time travel is the foremost method behind how our heroes, or anti-heroes, get around in the game. Let's look at the obvious pieces of evidence for time travel and how the distortions in the movement of time apply in the case of truth.


Well, this is the only evidence you really need, other than the obvious quotes. The dates coming out of the teleporter, or MDT rather, signify the distortions in time. Wait, how is it possible to distort time and still present a logical flow to reality? Well, let's see. Interpretations of time as objective reality can be seen as something different all together.

Interpretations of Time


Just a quick reference chart of what the major philosophers believe time to be. Alright, now we're going to get into what exactly time does in zombies. It gives the story purpose, a sense of environment. Perhaps a paradoxical storyline to be exact: there's a whole world of illogical logic present in the storyline. With so many jumps in time, the question of time's existence as independent of the motion of the universe is definitely one that I'd like to question. However, how dependent on the human variable is time? What we are trying to distinguish is whether or not these distortions of time have shaken the very fabric of reality. It is my belief that they have.

A basic principle of time travel is that one should not alter the past so drastically that it can affect anything. However, research has shown that altering anything in the past, even so much as killing a butterfly can cause a massive ripple in the delineation of time and the world's natural order. More on the "natural order" later.

Chaos Theory in a Nutshell


The different, yet overlapping waves point towards the idea of related events stemming from varying states of incipient conditions.

What is Chaos Theory? Well the basic idea is that it studies how events in a non-linear universe are sensitive to initial condition. The Butterfly Effect attests to these ideas. A common statement would be to assert that the presence of a hurricane and its formation is dependent on if a butterfly flaps its wings or not. Here's a quick example.

You kill the butterfly. It cannot pollinate flowers; the flowers do not survive on. The quality of flowers decreases at the local shop. A man who buys those flowers gives them to his wife, who then pukes at the flowers' terrible odor. The man must call an ambulance as his wife begins to convulse. The ambulance gets into an accident with a police car, setting free a fugitive. The fugitive kills a very important man, and a war ensues.

That was, of course, completely theoretical and somewhat exaggerated, but you get the point. To add insult to injury, there's a whole set of cause/effect reactions dependent on initial conditions with the police car. Alright, so that was pretty bad, right? Now imagine how that would be within the past. Different realities could split up every which way depending on what happened next. Initial condition is everything and the results are just so scattered that distorting time and then altering it leads to the question of, "How do we know what are our reality truly is?"

Reality expands into pure truth: how do we know what we know? Should we believe nothing and question everything? Or are there certain absolutes in life that are undeniable? We have goals, dreams, and pursuits, like Richtofen, Samantha, even Takeo. We base these ideas of grandeur on some preconceived notions of sanity in the way our life progresses. Conceptualizing time cannot be the solution; it clearly wasn't for Samantha or Dr. Maxis.


Just a nice chart of what separates the two schools of truth searching. A good reference for debate.

The Discussion of Truth

There are two schools of thought on truth; both require a thinking mind. Understand that some things have just been spoon fed to you your whole life. Maybe we need to think a little. Could the initial versions of Takeo, Dempsey and Nikolai symbolize us? And how we blindly follow the leader without question. And when we do question and find our own truth, what are we to do? Should we embark on a journey of vengeance as Takeo claims to want to do? Anyway, I've been ranting here. Let's see: ah, relative vs. absolute truth. Let's run it down for you. Here's a great site for a bunch of discussion: The Theological Research Institute

Relative Truth

There can be no absolutes. Essentially, this computer that I'm typing this on does not exist independent outside my own mind; well in this case, it's humanity's mind. Basically, we can never prove anything, such as this existence of certain elements. The pursuit of truth is ridiculous, for the truth is based on individual person. You do not exist independent of yourself. Those are the tenants of Relative Truth. However, there are redeeming qualities that make relative truth a valid point to consider. A thing to note is that the truth is something that we can all perceive. Individuals believe things about themselves or the world that they refuse to change. That is relative truth. Everything can be true relative to the person that believes it.

The idea that we exist independent of our own can be easily changed or proved. The senses can deceive us; haven't they always? I digress. When we close our eyes, does the world still exist? In our own memory it does. We use our senses of touch to create those memories, those feelings. While blinded, we can the directions of someone else to create a reality, not our own, but an amalgam of different sources.

Different perspectives create different truths out of an object. We all use our life experiences to create certain, immovable truths. That is my point: there is no absolute truth. There are absolute truths relative to the person that believes them. The idea of stand-alone truth does not exist. These are the ideas that one can believe, expand upon, and these are the foundations of the abstract and metaphysical concept of relative truth.

Absolute Truth

Absolute truth is something that many religions consider to be an important point in the process of understanding and developing a connection and foundation with the world. Essentially, absolute truth is almost synonymous with universality. What does this mean? There is only one right and wrong answer. Check this link for more discussion and thoughts on this: Absolute Truth.

A basic on absolute truth is that there is such a thing as concrete and fixed reality, meaning that there are only a few events that happen throughout life, and they are exactly what happened, without question. I enjoy this way of thinking, as without an absolute to believe in, what can you learn? We must base all knowledge on at least one absolute truth. In order to know that there are relative things in this world, we must believe that everything is relative or that there are no absolute. Within these statements, there are contradictions, and that is the beauty of believing in absolutes.

You can be resolved and determined to show that there are only certain truths in this world, and that they are immovable beyond the grasp of time and space. Another thing about the concept of absolute truth is that you can't really argue outside of it; it's more or less a defined school of thinking that merits great thought, but also great detail. In order to argue in a school such as this, you must be well versed in concrete evidence.

However, this is also a flaw of the school of absolute truth. There are bound to be different interpretations for everything in the world, because no one can discern the absolute with perfect certainty.

Conclusions on Truth

There are absolute truths for everyone, but they are absolute for just that person. This is the definition of relativity. It varies with each person and the answer to each question of absolute versus relative is absolutely relative. ;) To be clear, it isn't what we know that keeps us searching, it's what we don't. There are many paradoxes within the storyline as well as distortions of truth and facts. The Black Ops campaign is almost entirely based on the principles of truth and betrayal. Because no matter who you are, what you advocate or what you believe, you must grasp a concept of truth, as truth is the basis for all knowledge.

The Final Question of Time

So here we are. Thanks if you made it this far. Time is something that we must all learn to understand as well its consequences. What is our reality? If time creates our reality, then when time is distorted, what do we have? It all boils down to one man, one singular entity, who has distorted and deceived the world for eons. Call him what you will, but he is The Great Deceiever.


Satan, as depicted in John Milton's Paradise Lost. He is widely regarded as the universal Great Deceiver. The devil, yes.

So, if we are deceived to think that the current timeline is the real one, that our reality is actually our own, what do we do with zombies and its storyline? The characters are being played, by a fate more sinister than anything ever known to man.

When I was much younger and attending university in my home-town of Sydney (in those days a much smaller and less busy place), I was allocated a particular lecturer who prided himself on being an atheist. "Religion is something for weak people, those who cannot think or live for themselves". Arriving at his first lecture this man proudly announced that with a few premises, sub-conclusions and a watertight conclusion, he would prove beyond any doubt that God did not exist. It went something like this:

God is assumed to exist.

This God is said to be all-powerful and all loving

However, Evil also would seem to exist

Either God cannot or will not remove evil from this world

If he cannot, he is not the all-powerful one

If he will not, he is not the all loving one

Evil exists in this world

Therefore God does not exist!

This argument is in fact nonsense. However, the fact that it was used at all does reflect something of the confusion of this world and of the people who live in it.

Well, what does this have to do with our topic "Satan the Great Deceiver"? It is at the very heart of this statement. As Christian people, we know that God and evil are far more complex than this little argument can express. We know by faith and experience that God is not only real, but that he is the reason that the universe continues to exist. Sadly we cannot forget the other reality that is so ridiculously dealt with by this argument - Evil does exist, it is not imaginary or simply the result of an 'argument'.

The Macquarie Dictionary defines the word 'deceit' as:

"The act of practice of deceiving; concealment or perversion of the truth for the purpose of misleading; fraud; cheating."

"An act or device intended to deceive; a trick; stratagem."

The word 'deceive' as:

"To mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude".

This is exactly the starting point for our topic. Satan is the great deceiver because he is the greatest concealer, the mightiest perverter of truth, the ultimate misleader, and the most convincing fraud and liar. Satan's goal is two pronged. He wishes to convince us that God is neither all-powerful nor all loving, and that he, Satan, seems to be something he really is not.

Link to the full article: "Satan, the Great Deceiver"

So you may have little to no clue where I am going with this, but let me say this. Everyone chooses to believe their own things, that much we have established. That is the theory we must subscribe if we wish to discern the indiscernible. The Devil has deceived the world and has become the one who skews the truth, and in doing so, our perception of everything. In some ways, Satan created the distinction of absolute and relative truth. He has woven this story from behind the scenes and if you still doubt the Devil in the story, then ask yourself this: why I am reading this thread? 8-)

In some ways, the Devil has fashioned for us the ability to think for ourselves. Do you not remember the biblical myth of Adam & Eve? Here's a quick synopsis:

1. There was a tree of knowledge that had forbidden fruit.

2. God said not to eat from this fruit; you can have everything, just don't eat this fruit.

3. The Devil, disguised as a snake, tricked Eve into eating it.

4. Eve tricked Adam into eating the fruit as well.

5. They both became aware of their surroundings, realizing they were naked.

6. Beginning to cover up, God found them and questioned them.

7. He banished them from Eden, saying their souls were corrupted from the knowledge, the ability to think for oneself.

So, what can we glean from that? The Devil easily tricked humanity into thinking for themselves. God punished those two for disobeying him. Hmm, now what does this say? I'm not trying to undermine religion, but I will say this: have an open mind. He who can be deceived yet know of the deception is one that will think and conquer. That is the way we will be able to further understand the story as we know it.

For all we know, we could be living in an alternate reality, a universe that is not our own. But would we ever know? I highly doubt it. And that is where you come in.[/center:1nas6rpa]

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Guest MyLittleHellhound

Hm...This is very very mind boggling. I will have to save a couple of the thread for later- GOTTA GO DL REZZURECTION!!!

also getting a name change- also I dont have you yet.

Well anyways, you obviously spent along time on this.

Good job and now im way more ehjookayted then I ever though I would be!


I believe that what you said about God and souls being corrupted by knowledge, that is like the "Monkey Trial"in Tenessee, 1925. This is a case where people were trying to define the American Education System by either Fundamentalism, or Freedom of Thought

HAVE SOME [brains]

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Guest leoguy115

My head...it hurts...Oh also here, my first brain to you, I think you deserve it :D [brains]

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Guest Faust

[center:2zk1ys73]Mind boggling indeed, but here is where I have to throw my opinions in. While the consept of this thread is a clearly well researched on, it's application falls a bit short. I am not saying this thread isn't a great one, because to be honest it is one of the best I have ever read... But think the idea of time travel composing different truths and realities is a universal cop-out.

Here is where my ideology differs from every other scientist in history. We have begun to assume time a set of train rails that can go forward and back, left and right, change directions, and branch off to different tracks. The consept of relative vs. absolute truth gives merit to these ideas, but it serves of little actual application that can be used when tracking evens in space time.

Instead, I believe the following. Our universe is on a plain of a four dimension. While it would be impossible to imagine that fourth dimension for us just as a blind person could not be explained color, we can assume how it would react by downsizing our universe to appear as a 2 dimensional plain on a three dimensional grid. An easy way to wrap your head around this would be the surface of a lake.


This concept was explained in Einstein's string theory, stating that our universe is nothing more than the projection of ourselves on a fourth dimension. Pretty easy to see now, right? Everything that ever can, will and has happened all flattened down to a map of our universe. I believe (and this is just a theory) that time is the fourth dimension that we are projected on. When you place a 2D square on a 3D grid, the square will appear as only one vector instead of a shape that can move in different directions. In the same way, we can only move in one direction in time... Forward. Now what does that have to do with time travel?

As I stated before, our universe isn't just a plain, it is a lake bed. While the surface exists as only 2 dimensions, that surface still has enough flowing energy to flow and move with the tide. The amount of energy transferring through our world makes our time fluctuate with the amount of energy just as the tide would move on a lake surface. We call this fluctuation in time relativity.


If you are not familiar with relativity, consider reading up on it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_relativity

So we can agree time turns with the tide. Now what would happen if you threw a brick into your calm lake? Immediately, the normal fluctuation of the tide would be altered in all directions, sending bursts of energy outward in a ripple effect. Let's say that instead of shift rails or having to follow a set track, time travel instantly transfers energy from one location on our plain of time to another, like dropping something in a lake. The resulting energy would effect us on all levels. Even after the initial strike, the moment the change in our time is made, ripples will etch outward through time. Now assuming there is any sanity to the way this energy would transfer at all, it would react like we can assume most energy acts. Over time, the energy would transfer over a wider and wider area, affecting more and more aspects of our universe before that energy eventually dissipates into nothingness.


This will also follow the butterfly effect. Initially the change in history is direct and exact, but over time the changes become more an more drastic will less of a general presence of what cause the initial change. Did stepping on a butterfly cause a war? No, but the war was the result of a weakening, but ever present ripple of your impact on history.

With all this taken into account we begin to find that we can plot space-time with ease. As members of our reality it can be hard to see how time reacts. Once you become a time traveler though, you are given the chance to step back and look at the grid and see just how your history has been effected. This is where be begin to see a shift in relative to absolute truth, from the perspective of a time traveler. If any of you have watched Dr. Who, you know what I am talking about. You have altered time and the energy has been transferred. The history you know now has been altered, and you can not undo that adjustment just as you can not undo making a splash in the water.

In terms of the story, we can see this in the way that as soon as the team made adjustments to time, the result was present and immediate when they returned to their time.

Of-course, there are exceptions where our fluctuations in time begin to knot and form a new bundle of space-time, but that goes into quantum entanglement and time-loops.

What can you make of all this?[/center:2zk1ys73]

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Guest Ehjookayted

Thank you, all of you.

[center:9iptff58]Mind boggling indeed, but here is where I have to throw my opinions in. While the consept of this thread is a clearly well researched on, it's application falls a bit short. I am not saying this thread isn't a great one, because to be honest it is one of the best I have ever read...[/center:9iptff58]

Wow, I am so honored you'd say that. This stuff is interesting to, something I really want to study further, and I'm glad people can appreciate. Faust, I'll be back with my thoughts on your sub-theory. It's definitely one of the most different ways I've seen to think. Also, the whole different realities thing is indeed a universal cop-out! :)

Red, bold-centered text takes me back to your old theories, man.

Thanks for the feedback on this guys! 8-)

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Guest MixMasterNut

Often when contemplating theories on the zombie storyline I come to the conclusion that sometime you just have to find your own truth. There isn't enough evidence to support what some of these clues really mean. For instance, is there a definitive answer to the riddle "Beware of the 6", or an identity to the blank portrait? I doubt it. I think these things were left open for interpretation. They ask more questions, than they give answers. When I read other's theories that are different from my own, I don't automatically assume they are wrong. Rather, I enjoy taking a glimpse at their alternate perception when viewing the same thing. Everyone sees the world differently.

I see many distortions to reality in this game. Certain names, dates, and facts have been slightly altered from real-life counterparts. For instance, GK is nod to IG Farben. So which historical resources you can use to back up your research? Which objects have significant meaning, and which are just re-used game assets? That grey area sure feels muddy to tread through.

Here's some things that quickly come to mind when thinking about this relative view of the world within the game. Time and reality are distorted. It's very well a result of time-traveling itself.

Ascension is at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, but is a completely messed up and abandoned version of the real Baikonur which is in use today.

Kino has 4 notes in it with a 1975 date on it, yet the place looks untouched (other than the zombie outbreak) from the early 1940's.

Shangri la has objects from all different cultures and time frames in it. It's just a big soup of different stuff. Plus things are just altered with the eclipse time travel leapfrogging. I'm not even going to try to stamp a date on that one.

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Guest Rissole25

Some much information to take in haha! It is also very confusing at first, but I think I have the basics of it.

I believe in Absolute Truth, but there are times when I do (or think) things that might make me look like I consider Relative Truth. I believe there are alternate dimensions, with either slight or major differences. I than begin to wonder if they are the normal dimension, and we are just an alternate one to them? I just stop after that, because if I keep thinking about it more, more questions form and my head would explode. I also don't believe there is a God, but lets not get into that.

I'm not really sure the point of my post actually. I suppose it's just to say that you can believe in them of both, but to an extent. They are on opposite sides of the spectrum. You can either support one side fully, or both sides but not fully.

Great informative post Eye! From knowing hardly anything on the topic of this, I really learned a lot from this. It also helped resolve preconceived things I might have thought about it before too. Well done!

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Guest AlphaSnake



skip to about 115 if your impatient.

It was never about the girl... She was the bait...

Notice several thing here, the Treyarch logo on the big beasts head for one.

Regards Alpha.

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Guest BlindBusDrivr

Epic post.

It's a lot to take in, that relative and absolute truth is kind of confusing a first.

And I think that chaos theory really relates to some of the events in zombies.

A man builds a tele porter, another man criticizes it, these insults provoke him to secretly continue research, discovering an ancient vril ya machine, secrets bases, destruction of works, deep hatreds, and ultimately a conquest to recover control of the machine and take over the world which in repines the world is nearly destroyed.

And all rooted because Maxis mocked Richtofen's creation. Because if he didn't, and would have helped, the story would have had an infinity of other endings, many of which being far less bad for humanity!

And I do think that zombies story is more of a relative truth, because there just isn't enough evidence to prove every single speculated event, and you just have to pick what you think happened.

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Guest MixMasterNut



skip to about 115 if your impatient.

It was never about the girl... She was the bait...

Notice several thing here, the Treyarch logo on the big beasts head for one.

Regards Alpha.

Haha good find. I notice some things too.

The way the devil pops out of the fiery belly of that beast as if it were a furnace. And how about that satanic glyph of transmutation ;)

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Guest darkjolteon

This is frankly mind blowing... The amount of thought and effort that you have put into this is just insane :shock:

Seriously though, this is freaking brilliant. One of the best threads I have seen on this site for a long time in terms of the amount of research and effort you have put in to it... I think you may in fact be the smartest person I have ever met... Not met... Spoken to? Now my head hurts even more than it did after cramming in all of that information xD

I have to say, you have just pretty much given me everything that I would have needed for my Philosophy and Ethics exam, had I not taken it and failed it last year :lol:


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Guest Zkreym

So much information! Can't read it right now tho, I'm at school ATM. :lol:

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Guest Ehjookayted

I haven't come back to this thread in a really long time! But thank you for all your feedback! It was a pleasure writing this, and I'm looking to possibly expand this in some way or another.

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Guest Shooter

Brilliant man absolutely brilliant! For your first real big Storyline thread you knocked it out the park! I didn't imagine it would lead to the discussion of Satan's role on our gang's story but I really do love the direction you took this in. Really does get you thinking...

[brains] [brains] [brains]

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