does truth exist

Does Truth Exist?

Does truth exist?

For some, this question is not even a real question. Of course truth exists! However, if you talk to enough people you will find that the idea of truth existing as a category is widely rejected. Some simple definitions of the word “truth” are: the way things really are; the actual state of things; conformity with fact or reality. For most of us, we can look at that definition and agree that truth exists – that there is a way things really are. However, many people will argue that it’s not that simple. They’d say that there can’t just be one way things are, because there are so many different perspectives; and since there are so many different perspectives in the world, there cannot be one absolute perspective by which we all ought to base our perspectives on. This is called relativism. It’s a very clever scheme from the devil. Usually relativists won’t say “everyone is wrong”. Instead, they will say “everyone is right”; unless of course you are saying “everyone CAN’T be right”, then you are wrong… right? (If you’re confused, don’t worry, so are they)

 

“Is” and “Ought”

When we say that something “is” a certain way, we are making an absolute statement about that thing assuming that if someone perceives it as being different, they are wrong – they are not living by truth. For example, if I say “the sun is hot”, I am assuming that if someone else says “the sun is cold” they are wrong and are not in conformity with reality. The only way I can say that something “is” a certain way is if there is a transcendent source which determines the way things are.

 

When we say that something “ought” to be a certain way, we are assuming that there is a transcendent source that determines the “ought”. The theist (believer in God) can account for both the “is” and the “ought” because we believe that God is the transcendent source of all truth, and everything in reality is as God says it is, and everything that ought to be is determined by Him as well. However, if someone says “I don’t believe in God”, then they can reject the “ought”. Therefore truth becomes subjective (open to your own personal interpretation).

Relativism is an attempt to challenge the authority of your moral judgments; however the claims of relativism imply moral judgment. For example, a relativist would say that your moral judgments have no more authority than theirs, and “you shouldn’t push your morals on me” and “you ought to keep your opinions to yourself”. Do you see the contradiction? Who determines what one should do? What one ought to do? They are appealing to some moral authority to make the statement that there is no moral authority.

Some examples of things I have heard people say are:

“There is no absolute truth”

“There is no way for you to know anything for sure”

“You shouldn’t judge”
“What is true for you is not true for me”

The funny thing about relativism is that it is self defeating, and unlivable. Though many people raise the relativist flag when confronted with Christianity, they quickly hop off of the relativist wagon when it comes time to live that way. For example, if I punched a relativist in the face, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t say “I believe you shouldn’t have done that, but since you think its okay, then I’m fine with that”.

This is called the “taxi cab fallacy”. The “Taxi-Cab Fallacy” is committed when someone hops in and assumes a certain way of thinking in an attempt to make a point, but then jumps out of the system of thought when they feel like it. The above relativistic claims are easy to refute simply by turning them around on the person claiming them.

 

For example:

“There is no absolute truth”

– Is that absolutely true?

“There is no way for you to know anything for sure”
– Are you sure about that? Because if you are, then you are wrong about no one knowing anything for sure.

“You shouldn’t judge”
– Is that your judgment?

“What is true for you is not true for me”
– That’s true. And my truth says that you’re wrong. So am I right?

These responses sound sarcastic, because they are! They prove the point that denying truth is stupid and that no one really believes that truth is subjective (or at least they don’t live that way). When you respond with these quips, you can easily laugh off the thought of there being no truth, and move on to the more important matter of the truth giver – God.

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