by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
Ó April 2016, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Truth is the most important thing in our lives. Yet some learn in school that truth does not exist. This article is an exploration of the idea of truth, and how people understand it.
TRUTH IS AN ABSOLUTE VALUE
Truth refers to an absolute value or occurrence. Truth means something that is real, absolute, and possibly provable or tangible. If you are talking about something that you are not sure about, this is called a theory or hypothesis, as opposed to a truth. Truth is more definite and more real.
For instance, one might ask, Is the car is in the driveway? The truth is that either it is in the driveway or it is not. The answer cannot be both at the same time, and it is not dependent upon who you are, whether or not you like cars, or anything else. It is not a matter of a theory or hypothesis.
Another example is to ask, “Did the holocaust of World War II actually occur?” Some say it did not. But those who say it was the truth have photos, accounts from survivors, and plenty of other physical evidence to prove it was the truth. It is hard to refute this, no matter who you are, when you were born, or where you live. In other words, there is enough evidence to call it the truth, rather than a theory or hypothesis.
The above may seem obvious, and I hope it is. However, many students today are taught a totally false doctrine – that absolute truth does not exist, and that truth is whatever you choose to believe. This is called moral relativism.
II. THE ANTI-TRUTH DOCTRINES
1. MORAL RELATIVISM
To understand the idea of truth, it may be helpful to explore the opposite doctrine or belief – that there is no such thing as truth or anything absolute.
The following discussion may seem odd, or going off on a tangent, but it is at the heart of modern liberalism and leftism, and it is being taught to your child if you send your child to school! In fact, it is a good reason not to send a child to K-12 school or to college these days. Let us explore moral relativism in some detail.
Relativism. Moral relativism teaches that everything is relative. There is no “right and wrong”. According to this theory, you may believe one thing is real or true, and another person may think differently, and you can both be correct.
Some think war is bad, while others think it is good to thin down the population and get rid of one’s enemies.
Some believe that rape is a horrible crime. Others think rape is fun, and girls really want it but won’t say so, so it is fine.
Some say that we should honor all people because all people have “human or natural rights”. Others say “the ends justify the means”, so it is okay to oppress or kill people to accomplish “the goals of the revolution”.
Some view murder as the ultimate crime. Others say that murdering in the name of God is “honor killing”, and is a blessing.
Truth and moral relativism. Moral relativism states that whatever you think is true, is true for you, and that is all that matters. In other words, it is all up to you and your perception of reality.
Judgment or discernment. Another part of the doctrine of moral relativism is that one should not judge truth or falseness. After all, how do you know your judgment is better than someone’s else’s? The college professors and others who believe this doctrine teach that anyone who tries to discern the truth is judging, and is just arrogant, because they are no smarter or more able to discern than anyone else. This is the basic line of reasoning or argument for moral relativism.
What is wrong with moral relativism?
1. Based on criteria of survival or long life, health, prosperity and staying in control of one’s life, some people make far better decisions and discernments than others. If one does not agree with this, I would say the person is blind. Since long life, prosperity and control are desirable for individual human beings and for society, the entire argument of the equivalency of all points of view is false.
In other words, all discernments, all views, or all “truths” are not equal or equivalent in value. This leaves only one option, and that is that there is absolute truth – meaning that all views of a situation or event are not equal or equivalent. Moral relativism may sound good, but is just false and quite evil in its consequences.
2. Anyone who espouses moral relativism is a hypocrite because everyone makes value judgments every day. One must decide what to eat, when to sleep, whom to associate with, and much more. If it is true that all judgment is bad, then these people are violating their own doctrine, and this is pure hypocrisy.
2. MORAL EQUIVALENCY
This is another modern false teaching related to moral relativism. It is the false doctrine that:
1. There is no truth. There are only opinions.
2. All opinions are equivalent or equal to all others.
For example, according to this theory, the notion that murder is wrong is just an opinion. The notion that murder is okay is just another opinion.
This anti-truth doctrine may also be taught to your child in the public schools in America and Europe. It is taught in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity”.
Flaws of moral equivalency. The premise is wrong because truth does exist. All is not opinion. Also, all opinions are not equal. Some will be found to be false, or less valuable for survival, human happiness, or other values. Values are real and moral equivalency imagines falsely that they are not real.
III. OTHER TOPICS
LEARNING THE TRUTH IS LIKE DRAWING A STRAIGHT LINE
Imagine drawing a line freehand on a piece of paper. This means you did not use a ruler or straight edge to draw the line. Thus it would be a little crooked or bent. You might then go back and adjust parts of the line, erasing little areas and redrawing them to be straighter.
This is often how one must approach and learn the truth about something or someone. Truth, we might say, is learning the “straight talk” about a subject or a person.
TRUTH IS THE SAME AS THE GOLDEN PATH
Tibetans say that truth is a path, and not just a fixed idea, or a book, or a religion.
Don’t fall off the path. The path of truth is easy to fall from, or stray from. Beware of this. Many very good people who seek the truth become side-tracked, tricked, or otherwise deviate from the path of seeking the truth for various reasons.
TRUTH IS NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT
This is another important idea about truth. It is easy to decide that because you want something, that it is the truth of who you are, or the truth of your world.
However, what a person wants is about desire, not truth. Desire is a natural human feeling or urge, but it is not the same as truth.
SEEKING THE TRUTH IS LIKE RIDING A WAVE
Some readers have spent time in the ocean riding waves on a kickboard or surfboard. It can be a lot of fun, but one must stay in touch with the water so one does not fall off the wave, as this can be quite dangerous.
Seeking the truth can feel something like this.
TO FIND TRUTH, ONE MUST BE WILLING TO LET GO OF UNTRUTHS
Truth is not always pleasant, and does not always feel good. In order to follow the path of truth, one must let go of all the untruths in one’s life. This is often painful, feels like a loss, and can be very lonely, at times, as well.
In fact, seeking the truth today, and perhaps always, is a lonely path because most people are not oriented this way.
TRUTH IS NOT ABOUT YOU
One might say, will it can be very personal. I would say that is opinion. Truth is about a larger current or stream of life that we can hook ourselves to and just move with the wave, so to speak. This is a very important principle of truth.