Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Truth: Post 2


Post 2: What is Truth?

Some very intelligent and clever folks (people much smarter than me) have come to the conclusion that truth is a delusion. They say truth is something we create for ourselves so we can feel better. Truth might exist in your mind, but it is only your truth. You might happen to settle on a truth that other people agree with, thereby creating a sort of collective truth, but this truth still might be rejected by others and rightly so. In other words, these smart people say, there is no ultimate Truth with a capital T. There are labels for this sort of thinking, which is quite in vogue in present-day academia.  I don’t fancy throwing around big words, but here they are: postmodernism, deconstructionism, antifoundationalism.
Okay, no more isms. I promise.
This is an important question, though. This is really the ultimate question.  Is there Truth? Either there is, or there isn’t. The answer to this question carries great significance. We must settle on an answer  before we can begin to investigate questions such as whether or not there is a God, whether or not God loves us, whether or not Jesus was who he claimed to be, or any of the hundreds of thousands of truth-claims made by all the world’s religions. When it comes down to it, if there is no Truth, then none of these other questions matter. If there is no Truth then I can believe whatever I want to believe and you can believe whatever you want to believe and we can both be right even if our beliefs directly contradict each other.
However, if Truth does exist, then it commands reality. If there is Truth, and my beliefs happen to contradict it, Truth wins. Even if I choose to reject it completely, it won’t go away because it exists apart from me whether I like it or not. If there is Truth, I can’t create it. I can’t change it. I can’t decide it. It simply is. I can only hope to discover it. And if I do discover it, then I must submit to it if I wish to live in reality. Because if I don’t accept the Truth, I am rejecting reality and am therefor deluded.
So allow me to summarize where we are.
Option #1:  There is no Truth. Therefor if someone believes they have discovered Truth or Truth has been revealed to them, they are delusional.
Option #2: There is Truth. By definition, Truth commands reality, so if the Truth is discovered by or revealed to someone and they choose to reject it, they are delusional.
So is there an Option #3? Do we have to decide between #1 or #2? Can’t we settle on some sort of in-between option? Something like a compromise? Something like: “I don’t know?”  What if I’m willing to follow the evidence? What if I hold to the statement that we can’t ever truly know the Truth, but we can know evidence, therefore I’m willing to follow the evidence and seek Truth with the full knowledge that I’ll never really know the Truth?
Sorry. There is no Option #3. The evidence option is really option #2 in disguise. There is no point in following evidence unless you believe it will lead you somewhere, and that somewhere is the Truth. Truth must exist for evidence to have any meaning, any value.
So which option is correct?
To me, the answer is obvious. There is Truth. Option #1 is totally absurd.
Here's why. Suppose I made the claim that there is no Truth. In making such a claim, I am saying it is true that there is no Truth. Well, if it is true that there is no Truth, then there is Truth. This Truth (that there is no Truth) commands reality. It has very real consequences for the Universe and the beings that populate it. So, as you can see quite plainly, it is absurd to claim there is no Truth.
So now that we have settled the ultimate question beyond any doubt, we can move on. Now that we know there is Truth, we can really begin to explore. Now we can start discovering it.
Stay tuned for my next post, where I think I may start to try to unravel what Truth really means. Where I will attempt to grasp how profoundly important it might be.

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