The Nature of Truth

I have been deeply contemplating the nature of truth as of late (for obvious reasons). There has been debate on whether truth is objective or subjective by nature. If truth is subjective, it is rather fruitless to search for it objectively, so for the purposes of this blog I must assume there is some objective truth that can be found.

Truth proves a difficult concept to grasp, however. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if there is any objective, indisputable truth that can be known.

Everyone has presuppositions that can blind them to truth. People assume that what they were taught in school is true until they realize that time is not, in fact, always constant, as the high school math teacher insists. Makes it hard to see the truth in the relativity of time. Matter cannot be created or destroyed is truth, until you read about the Higgs-Boson particle. God is real no matter what, or God cannot be real no matter what. These presuppositions can get in the way of truth.

So what does it look like to strip away these presuppositions, as much as humanly possible, to seek truth? It’s quite scary, to be honest. It starts to seem like anything could be true, or maybe nothing is, and maybe the best truth we can hope for is to know that we cannot know. Starts to seem a little subjective.

However, I still believe there is objective truth (and maybe that is a presupposition of which I cannot rid myself). It seems to me that either the Big Bang happened, or it didn’t. God is either real, or he isn’t. That is the kind of truth I am seeking.

My struggle with this is that it still seems impossible to know. The slogan at my school is, “Teach truth, love well.” Simple and sincere, I’ve always loved it. Lately, however, it’s been giving me some pause. I know very well that my professors do not all agree on certain aspects of theology, yet the aim of every one of them is to teach truth. If two professors are teaching different (possibly even contradictory) things, are they both teaching truth? How much deviation is allowed before it is no longer truth, where is the line? Can something even claim to be objective truth if deviation is allowed? I’m not sure who is in heaven if deviation isn’t.

Some have suggested to me that it is only certain core aspects of truth that matters, and these deviations are not important. Even if that is so, I wonder how many would agree on where the line is between necessary truth and unimportant deviation. There must be a truth in this line – it cannot be arbitrary. One of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity is that truth is not relative… unless we’re talking about truth within Christianity?

I do not have any good resolutions to these thoughts. The nature of truth is something I will continue to struggle with, and likely continue to fail to understand.

3 responses on “The Nature of Truth

  1. CEZ

    Great topic! I like the sincerity with which you describe your journey to find truth. In addition to questioning your separate agendas for your “position,” on the God/No God continuum,, you and your friend might enjoy meaningful conversations at a deeper level by also considering the motives behind those agendas. To get you started with a very simplistic example-…, one of my motives to believe in God-Jesus is that the alternative is incomprehensible to me. What if there is no God? Well that’s too scary for me to dwell on for any duration of time. Therefore, to avoid that fear, I stick to my position that God is real is the truth (that and I really do want to go to heaven!). You might enjoy learning more about epistemology. This is the study of how do we know, what we know. Its closely links to your journey for truth.

  2. Aimee

    http://www.jmtour.com/personal-topics/the-scientist-and-his-“theory”-and-the-christian-creationist-and-his-“science”/

    I also suggest audio #50. It is about 45 minutes long, but it is worth it.

    Dr. Tour is among the top 10 chemists in the world. He also a Jew and teaches a college Sunday School class. My Mom and I attended his class when she was a patient at MDAndedson. It was a treat, and I’m so glad to have found these resources now.

    There is truth and there is the best we can figure. Just because we can’t quite figure out some of it, doesn’t mean that we can’t figure out some.

    “For what can be known” Romans 1:19-21

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