In today’s pluralistic society, you might often hear this response: “What is true for you is not true for me.” It is often spouted in response to an exclusive claim like, “Jesus is the only way to heaven.” Some people find it offensive that I would make such a claim. However, I would argue that truth exists and it isn’t relative.
- Absolute truth exists. To test this statement all you have to do is show the absurdity of its negative. “Truth does not exist” is a self-defeating statement. To illustrate, if someone said to you, “Truth does not exist,” the proper response would be, “How do you know that is true?” Is it true that truth does not exist? You see the problem. Truth does not exist is a claim to truth, thus defeating itself.
- Truth cannot be relative. Again, we apply the same logical test to the relative-truth statement, “What is true for you is not true for me.” What if I say That statement isn’t true for me. Then truth would not be relative. Of course, we could continue this back-and-forth until our lungs give out. However, applying the statement to itself shows the same self-defeating fallacy. Is relative truth true for everyone? What’s more, it isn’t hard to show the bias in such a statement. If I said two plus two equals four, you would never say, “Actually, I believe it equals five. Sorry, what is true for you isn’t true for me.” People only say this when it comes to religion or morality. For them, it is a cop-out.
- Absolute truth cannot exist on naturalism. So far, we have used philosophical reasoning to show that truth exists and is not relative. In a purely naturalistic worldview, why would we trust our mind’s ability to reason? The naturalist says that our minds are simply the product of millions (billions?) of years of evolution – natural selection of random mutations. If this is so, my thoughts can be reduced to nothing more than chemicals firing in my brain. Why would I trust that they are true? And if your chemicals lead you to one “truth” and my chemicals lead me to a contrary one, who is to say whose chemicals are producing the real truth? For now, I conclude that truth exists and is best explained by a worldview that isn’t purely natural. I would be interested to hear a naturalistic rebuttal though, so please leave comments!
Chemicals don’t reason, they react. -Frank Turek
Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension (allegedly) happened in space-time history. He made absolute claims. This means that his life and ministry are falsifiable. Either he was a real person, or he wasn’t. Either he performed miracles, or he didn’t. Either he was crucified and buried, or he wasn’t. Either he rose from the dead, or he didn’t. There is no “true for you, but not for me”.
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