The Nature of Truth

Before anyone can begin a discussion or enter into argumentation about anything, those involved must agree that such a discussion or argument is even possible.  For such discussions and arguments to take place there must be a basis for those discussions; therefore, there must be some things that are objectively true and discernible.  Those who deny the existence of objective truth have nothing really to discuss or any basis of argument because, if they are correct, all ideas and concepts would then be equally right in the minds of all involved in the conversation and there would be no objective basis for discerning the validity of competing ideas.  However, proponents of the idea that there is no objective truth or at least none that can be certainly known still write and discuss and argue.  Therefore, before we can proceed to discuss the existence of God, we must establish that there is discernible objective truth.

This begins with Pilate’s great question: “What is truth?” (John 18:38).  This really becomes a question concerning the nature of reality for truth is generally and best defined as that which corresponds to reality, that which actually exists.  If there is objective reality, then there is, logically, objective truth for if something really and objectively exists, then statements concerning that reality under any particular set of conditions at any particular time can be either true or false, but not both true and false.  Of course, there are those who question the relationship between reality and perception based on popular interpretations of quantum phenomena and Eastern philosophy stating that our perception of reality actually changes reality.      However, there are several quantum interpretations and much we do not know about the quantum world.  Certainly we cannot make grand statements about all reality based on what little we know or think we know.  Also, there is no evidence that the same phenomena exists in the normal world.  No one really believes that there is a cat somewhere in a box that is both alive and dead and does not become alive or dead until someone looks in the box.  Certainly cups and cars and people do not exist in two places or in two states or travel at two different velocities at the same time.  Our perception of reality may either be accurate or inaccurate, but our perception does not change reality, at least not in the macro world.  Again, if our perception did change reality, then there would be no point of discussing anything (and no point in writing or reading blogs).

Furthermore, common sense dictates that there is objective reality and thus objective truth.  No one lives as though there is no objective truth.  We assume that the person to whom we are talking is real and really there, that the food we are eating is real and really there.  When we design cars and build houses we assume that cars and houses are real.  We assume that mathematical descriptions are accurate or not and that scientific laws describe real phenomena and that not only in our personal reality.  Post-modern sophistries just do not stand the test of every-day life.

Most importantly, God tells us that there is real truth.  The Bible regularly speaks of things as being true or not and repeatedly speaks of the LORD as being “the true God” That is, the God who is real, who really exists in comparison to false gods who are not true, that is, do not really exist and so are not real.  Jesus said that God’s word “is truth” (John 17:17) and that He Himself is “the truth” (John 14:6) and that the worship of God must be “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).  Paul tells us that we are to think on those things which “are true” (Philippians 4:8).  Obviously, then, things really, objectively exist and so there is real and objective truth.

Finally, I would point out that one cannot deny the existence of objective truth without making a statement which that person wants others to accept as objective truth.  We must conclude, therefore,  that some objective truth exists.  If we do not, then all attempts at communication and even every-day living is absurdity.  The more difficult question concerns whether or not we can know objective truth.  It is possible that objective truth exists, but that we cannot know what it is.  The possibility of knowing truth will be, Lord willing, the subject of my next blog post.

Categories Apologetics, EpistemologyTags ,

2 thoughts on “The Nature of Truth

  1. Great post. “We must conclude, therefore, that some objective truth exists. If we do not, then all attempts at communication and even every-day living is absurdity.” I completely agree, and I think this is the most important point of the post. If there is no absolute truth, then there is no meaning in anything. Existentialism is fun when you are a teenager, but it leaves you without a sure foundation and it’s no way to build a happy and stable life.

    Liked by 1 person

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