Can We Know the Truth?

In my last post I demonstrated that there is real objective truth.  The only way that there would be no objective truth would be if there would be no objective reality.  If there is no objective reality, then there is no point to any discussion or, for that matter, the writing of blogs.  But the question remains, “Can we know that truth?”.  Could it be that our own limitations keep us from ever know any objective truth with any certainty?

If we assume that we cannot know with certainty objective truth, then we are left with the same absurdity as if there were no objective truth at all.  If we cannot know truth for certain, then there is no real point to argumentation.  If one cannot know that God exists on this basis, then that same individual cannot know that God does not exist either and there would be no way to determine which idea is right.  Furthermore, much has been written showing that strong agnosticism, the idea that we cannot know any truth for certain, is self-defeating.  To state that no one can know any truth for certain would be to state a certain truth.  Also, as Descarte pointed out, that when we think about whether or not we can know any truth, we know that we exist and that we are thinking.  Hence, we must concede that something can be known for certain.

The Bible itself tells us that we can know some things.  Indeed, the verb “to know” and the noun “knowledge” are both used a number of times in the Bible.  Peter lists “knowledge” as one of the Christian virtues (II Peter 1:5).  Paul tells us that we can know that God is working all things in our lives to conform us to Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28, 29).  Solomon encourages us to seek knowledge (Proverbs 2:3-5; 15:4).  John tells us that he wrote a letter so that we “may know that we have eternal life” (I John 5:13).  Proverbs sums this all up well stating “Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge?  That I might make thee to know the certainty of the words of truth…”  (Proverbs 22:20, 21).  Notice that God connects knowledge with the certainty of words of truth in this statement clearly telling us that we can know truth through the written word, and that Proverbs was written to help us do just that.  In fact, the whole point of the Bible is so that we can know God’s truth, including the fact that “God’s word is truth” (John 17:17).  As Jesus Himself said, if anyone would continue in His word that person would “know the truth” (John 8:31, 32). Clearly then, God Himself tells us that we can know objective truth.

So we see that there is real, objective truth which we can certainly know.  Anyone who states otherwise is telling you that you can know the truth that you cannot know truth. Such a statement is obviously absurd.  But the fact that we can know some truth, then, raises yet another question: How do we know what is true?  Obviously not everything we can think about or hear or read is true.  How do we know what is true and what is not true?  This idea, Lord willing, will be the subject of my next blog post.

 

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