Sunday, January 27, 2008

What is Truth?

Reflections on Truth

Doesn’t the very word “truth” imply one-sidedness and bigotry? If there is a truth to be found, would it not necessarily divide people? That division would of necessity be in two camps: 1) those who believe and embrace the truth, and 2) the larger group of those who reject the truth.

Thinking over this, a probable outcome would be that the larger group would be divided into many further subsets.

Now suppose that there is one truth for knowing and coming to the Divine. Part of those rejecting the truth would inevitably twist portions of the truth for themselves, proclaiming that their new version is genuine. Inevitably there would be a falling out and new versions would result. Part of those rejecting would reject in total, asking what is truth?

That which I find amazing is the world about me seems to pretty much reflect this argument. In the United States it is not even considered polite anymore for someone to stand and say he has the truth. Perhaps that is what Jesus meant when he said I am not come to unite, I am come to divide, to set father against son, etc.

Oh, the sharp point of truth! Take care for upon it all of history has already divided, cleaving us neatly into our two groups. “I am come that ye may know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jesus not only claimed to be the truth - but the way, the truth and the life.
By dong so he meant that those who reject him are lost and lifeless.

HOw dividing can that be?

Deborah said...

Dad, I was just reading something about truth in a great book Ron's reading (he left it in the bathroom!) called Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham:

"The third major question we must answer is, what is the nature of truth? Secular Humanism believes truth is relative. In other words, what's true for me is not necesarily true for you. Paul Chockley...defines truth as:

'That which corresponds to reality, identifies things as they actually are, can never fail, diminish, change, or be extinguished, must be able to be be expressed in propositional statements, and is sourced in the God of the Bible who is the Author of Truth.'

"...Unfortuantely, this is one area where we are clearly losing the battle. The Nehemiah Institute (like the Barna Group) has discovered that some 85 percent of Christian teens do not believe in the existence of absolute truth. These young people, who identify themselves as followers of Christ, believe that truth is situational and relative. This is precisely the reason worldview training is so crucial for our children. I have had numerous conversations with Christian high school and college students who struggle at this point. I don't think most parents have the slightest idea how difficult it is to grow up in today's philosophical climate and to hold on to any concept of absolute truth."

Well, dad, you and mom did a great job teaching me that there is absolute truth. Too bad you don't always see it absolutely the way I do -- LOL! :)

Mr. D said...

Deb,
Actually your last comment, teasing, about not always seeing it the way you do
is where relativism or solipsism has its most legitimate sphere. People do have
viewpoints, but there is an absolute truth which ultimately our own viewpoints
have to be reconciled. Sometimes the viewpoint may be significantly small (as in
our discussions on inoculations) when compared to the beautiful truths we know
are absolute.
I think that children are not taught to differentiate between the two types of
truth: one the viewpoint that I believe, and the other, what must be essential
truth. The author you quoted perhaps would have made his point better had he
differentiated between the two.
Dad

pam said...

One thing that was left out of the above conversation is that there is a lot of room for a lot for un- abosolute truths. There is ONE TRUTH and from HIM all things that are true, wise and good come from.

But there are a lot of things that one could argue about and it would be meaningless.

You can viewpoints a plenty on a lot of things and be harmless. What you do with the TRUTH is what counts.