Ifuvjcjjcjc kfk kfkfkvkvmc drjdggv bhdhx kfjjvv wwqxnkkgvvxdx. Do you know what I mean? Of course you don’t-this is just random gibberish.
Although some people deny absolute truth, no one actually lives as if there were no absolute truths. In doing so they deny their claims by the way they live. In fact, they demonstrate their underlying beliefs more clearly by their actions than their words. When they live as if there were absolute truths, they display to everyone that absolute truth exists and they know it.
Imagine if someone were to try to live out the belief that all truth is relative at the bank.
“Good morning! I’d like to withdraw $5,000.00 from my checking account.”
“I’m sorry, sir. The available balance of your account is only $50.00.”
“That may be true for you, but not for me.”
In spite of the relative truth claim, no more than $50.00 could actually be withdrawn from the bank account unless a deposit was made. Education would make no sense in a world without absolute truth. What would we ever learn? Things like math, logic, grammar, and science would be useless. In a world devoid of objective meaning or absolute truth, we could never really have communication. The sentence you are reading at this moment would be as meaningful as the first sentence of this post.
Truth is discovered, not invented.
Truth is true for all people, in all places, at all times.
Truth is not affected by belief or faith.
Truth is not based on our personal feelings or preferences.
Truth is not affected by our attitude.
Truth is not affected by the attitude of the one proclaiming it.
All truths are absolute truths.
Do you think I’m wrong? If so, you just refuted yourself by making a truth claim.
Most people will readily admit that things like bank account balances and empirically observable scientific laws are absolute truths, but continue to insist that religion or morality are relative. Here are some common objections to truth claims about religious and moral truth claims.
“Religious truth is beyond our knowledge.”
As a truth claim about religion, this is self-refuting.
“All religions basically teach the same thing.”
The fact of the matter is that they have superficial similarities, but differ widely on matters like the nature and character of God, the purpose of humanity, the origin of the universe, sin, and salvation.
“The claim that your religious view is the one true view is intolerant.”
This statement is self-refuting because it is intolerant of anyone who claims to have an exclusive religious viewpoint.
“The claim that your religious view is the one true view is arrogant.”
Professing a particular view as certain can be done arrogantly, but simply making truth claims to the best of our ability is not arrogant in and of itself. In fact, since truth is discovered rather than invented it should humble us to proclaim truth. Restricting ourselves from making justified truth claims for the sake of some misplaced sense of humility is actually rather silly.
Being humble… should not commit us to an epistemological quagmire. We may have justified certainty apart from absolute proof.
Any intellectual quest is sabotaged by quarantining certainty at the outset. It is like injuring a horse before a race on the general principal that a strong, swift and healthy steed is too proud to compete fairly and honestly. We should assess the strength of a given conclusion on the basis of the arguments given to support that conclusion, not by stipulating some “humble” ideal that forswears certitude in principal and in perpetuity.
– Douglas Groothuis
The question now is how do we determine the strength of an argument? I will write about this in future posts.
Ecclesiastes 7:19 ESV
Wisdom gives strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.