The post-modernist would say no, absolute truth does not exist. However that statement can be logically disproven in two steps. First, he says absolute truth does not exist. Second, in order to be correct, that has to be an absolute truth.
In any case, what is the definition of truth? Truth, according to dictionary.com, means a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like; corresponding to reality. Absolute truth is truth that is true for all people, in all places, for all time (point in time). Absolute truth is a fact and beyond dispute if one chooses to examine the evidence and think logically.
I was taught to think logically. I have been trained for a long time in classical logic. It is very hard for me to just take something at face value, or let others decide something for me without looking more in detail first. That could be a good thing, however I view it for myself more as a curse.
So, does absolute truth exist, or is everything just relative, unknowable, or equally true? Some of the opponents of absolute truth include relativism, skepticism, postmodernism, pluralism, and agnosticism. So what are these?
First, relativism is a theory that conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them. (For example: if something is right for you, then it is right.)
Second, skepticism is a doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety; the doctrine that absolute knowledge is impossible, either in a particular domain or in general.
Third, postmodernism affirms no truth; it means every society is in a state of constant change; there are no absolute values, only relative ones; nor are there any absolute truths. Postmodernism basically builds on relativism, however, if one were to study postmodernism in depth, one would realize that it is self defeating. The emergent church falls into this category (along with others).
Next, pluralism is the doctrine that reality is composed of many ultimate substances. It is the belief that no single explanatory system or view of reality can account for all the phenomena of life.
Finally, agnosticism is the doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
So that’s all well and good, but does absolute truth exist? The answer is yes. Now, I will be labeled as arrogant to claim that. I will be labeled as narrow minded. However, it is logically inconsistent to deny the reality of absolute truth.
Absolute truth is God. When I say that I am not calling people to become gullible, or to throw their minds out by taking an unreasonable “leap of faith”. Our faith is not rooted in mystical sayings that sound profound but actually have no real meaning. It is rooted in actual, historical events.
Truth by nature is narrow (2+2 only equals 4); truth excludes its opposite; truth does not change over time (truth is discovered, not invented); truth is immune to belief; truth is unaffected by sincerity (if I leap off the empire state building and sincerely believe I will live, sadly I will be wrong). Lastly, truth is impervious to desire.
My favorite law of logic is the Law of Non-Contradiction. This law states that something cannot be “A” and “Non-A” at the same time and in the same sense. The statement that “absolute truth does not exist” is a clear violation of the law of non-contradiction. So while some people may not understand my beliefs, I am stuck wondering why or how anyone can make that statement. It is not just because I don’t understand it, it is because it is not true. And that is truth. Did I lose you?
– Adam Smith
P.S. Watch the video below (A little exaggerated, but it also states the view of the postmodernist and emergent church.)
Vodpod videos no longer available.