It has been said that the greatest question anyone can ask is “What is truth?” This really ought to have been the first question in the series, but save for number five, I’ve put these questions in the order they seem to be asked. Sadly people wait far to long to ask “What is truth?” Some never ask it.
It is strictly necessary to address moral relativism here. Because this blog is about absolute truth, relative truth has no place here and I want to explain a little bit about why.
In one line moral relativism can be summed up: “If you believe something is true then it is true for you, therefore everyone has a different truth that works best for them.” Apparently then, this statement must work for everyone otherwise it wouldn’t be a statement but a suggestion…right? Right. How do we know that if you believe something is true then it’s true for you? By observation?
Well this statement really doesn’t work for me anyway, I don’t know about you. Though it is partly correct. If you believe something is true then it is true for you in that you could act upon it, tell it to other people, and live by it and you would not be guilty of hypocrisy or deceit. But that would not mean it was good or right. Suppose you convinced a child that slapping people was a way of showing gratitude. The child might believe you, but I bet it wouldn’t take long for him to figure out that his actions had adverse results. At this point the child becomes responsible for choosing whether to believe it still or to move on.
That’s our choice friends, we are not guilty because we believed our culture’s lies. We are guilty if, after it becomes clear that it (the way of thinking) doesn’t work, we continue to believe it.
I think moral relativism clearly doesn’t work. It’s unreasonable because it denies reason’s existence. It is immoral because it denies that morality can exist. Think about it. If everyone’s truth is different, then everyone is always right, if everyone is always right then everyone is also wrong. What this will turn into is that the strongest will force their will on the weakest, because hey, there’s no other way to settle anything and man will not and cannot fight forever. I’m using reason by the way and I hate any philosophy that says my reason is worth nothing, why do I have it then?
Now I don’t mean that truth can never be personal, on the contrary the Bible clearly teaches that some things are left up to person’s own conscience. But mark this, things like what to eat, drink, and wear are left up to man–more or less, depending on which testament you’re in. Things like sex, worship, and words (far more important than most of us know) are not left to personal interpretation. There are clear wrongs and clear rights, and few people would argue about them nowadays. (I refer of course to people who believe in morality.)
In part 5, I discussed man’s need for God. Man’s need for God is demonstrated in man’s need for truth. Even the worst people make decisions based on absolutes. I take steps because I believe the ground will hold me up, that’s an absolute. Removing absolutes is like trying to walk on air. Who’d try it? In their right mind anyway. It grieves me that many of the elders of our time (represented primarily by the entertainment and public school administrations) are indeed teaching school kids that they must try to walk on air–that is to live while believing in no absolutes– they do try; but, as with all man’s attempts at flying; sooner or later they must come down. Often they crash.
People who don’t want God to tell them what to do will ignore Him. Using disbelief as an excuse. Others shove God into their own little box. Yet, they are miserable. You can train your brain to think with faulty logic, until it is nearly impossible for any real logic to get through, but you will never train your heart to not want solid things. How can there be depression or unhappiness if there are no absolutes? If that is the case then that’s the way it is, what is there to be unhappy about? But we are, aren’t we? And we’re scared too. One man has said “Either there is a God, or there isn’t, both (prospects) are frightening.” For my money, no God is much scarier than God. But for a lot of people God is the scariest idea because of morality. You see, people don’t like being bad, they like being selfish. Isn’t it true?
I could end there. But where would the hope be? If you believe in absolute truth, it probably saddens you that so many do not. But take heart, people do hate truth, but they also love it. There is a common ground between all men, that even bitter enemies may be friends for one moment, if they find one thing to agree upon. The same man who ignores truth may suddenly advocate it, and despite the seeming hypocrisy, that does give hope. Evil cannot win because man cannot be entirely evil.
To wrap this up, what is truth? A lot of adjectives come to mind. Truth is absolute, truth is good, truth is powerful (truth is power itself, every lie started with a true thing) but what is it? No man can make it, so either there is none (which cannot be or we would not seek it) or… or what? If something is real, but not of man, then I must conclude it is of a Being higher than man. God. God is truth. Pure truth. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)