Is There An Absolute Truth?
No Truth Means Everything is True, Doesn't It?
For some of us, it might seem ridiculous to say that truth does not exist, because we have simply assumed the reality and existence of ‘truth’ since we were very small. But others out there have struggled with the idea that there can be singular, exclusive truth in all areas of life, and if you ask your friends to talk about issues of faith, you will quickly discover that few of them are able to agree on a singular, absolute truth. In fact, many of us have come to the conclusion that there is no one truth about anything. And when we say that nothing is absolutely ‘right’ or ‘true’, we are actually saying that EVERYTHING is ‘right’ and ‘true’! If no one particular idea or reality is true to the exclusion of others that are NOT true, then we have to admit that every idea, notion or reality is equally valid and ‘true’. Something in our intuition tells us that this simply cannot be the case.
Now we may disagree on the nature of truth at the spiritual level, but it’s hard to deny absolute truths at the physical level. As I step out into the street, it’s either true or untrue that there are cars racing back and forth in front of me. I make a decision to step out based on the truth that I observe and recognize. If the street is busy with cars speeding back and forth, it is not both true and untrue that I can safely step into traffic. If I do step out, I will not be both dead and ‘un-dead’ as a result of the truth of the situation. The street is either filled with cars or it is not. It is either safe to cross or it is not. BOTH realities cannot exist at the same time. One truth must exist at the exclusion of the other.
Let’s put it another way. As I leave the restaurant tonight and enter the restaurant parking lot, I will need to find my way back to my car. While there may be other similar vehicles in the parking lot, only one of them is mine; only one of them belongs to me. My key will only fit in one door. If I am caught trying to break into a similar car, I will not be able to tell the police that this other vehicle is both mine and not mine. There is a singular exclusive truth about the car involved here. It is either mine or it is not!
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Does This Exclusivity Apply to the Things of God?
But while exclusive truth seems rational and acceptable in the material world, some people have a much harder time accepting the possibility of objective, exclusive truth when it comes to spiritual matters. For these folks, there exist any number of diverse and divergent truths about God and even more possible paths to this God, all of which are said to be true at the same time! But it’s important for us to take a deep look at this claim of diversity and religious pluralism. We need to remember that the world’s greatest (and even not so great) religions don’t make the same claims about God and the nature spiritual reality. And it’s not just a matter of each religion adding something to the larger picture. Each of the world’s religious systems makes claims about the nature of God (and life after death) that are diametrically OPPOSED! The world’s religions simply don’t agree with each other! Buddhism claims that there is no personal God, while Christianity argues that there is a personal God. Judaism claims that Jesus was simply a man, while Christianity claims that he was God Himself! Islam encourages its followers to eliminate and destroy all infidels, while biblical Christianity encourages its followers to love their enemies. These notions are very different and very opposed and they are only a few examples of the literally thousands of points at which world religions disagree. It is fair to say that ALL of these world religions may be wrong about what they believe (each system must make its own case), but it is simply crazy to say that all of the world’s religions are correct at the same time; their truth claims are opposed to one another! In spite of this obvious conflict in spiritual truths (or perhaps because of this conflict), the world around us is making a couple of claims about the nature of truth…
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