The Truth About Truth
by Lori-Ann Hyde
In John 8:31-31, Jesus is recorded as conclusively saying: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The concept of truth is very much avoided in modern secular society. Instead, we are meant to choose our own truth, and live as we see fit. We’re told that what’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for me, and everything is actually up for interpretation. Right from wrong is never clear-cut, and morality is basically a subjective society-created idea. According to the modern academia, truth is an elusive and abstract concept, and we waste our time trying to pin anything down as true.
For Christians, however, those statements above directly contradict what is recorded in the Bible. Jesus clearly states that truth isn’t elusive—we can know it. Truth is tangible, and exists in the form of His word. However, the anti-truth philosophy of modern society has taken root, and the primary reason for this is that living without truth is simply, easier. Less feelings get hurt, since no one is ever wrong. However, no matter how strongly and eloquently the argument against truth is worded, our society is structured around an undeniable “code” that each person acknowledges, no matter their personal opinions about God and the Bible.
The idea that each person is expected to act morally in their day-to-day life is undeniable; it can be seen in the existence of our justice system, in the importance placed on human rights, in the credit given to our internal “conscience” which is to help us decipher right from wrong.
Stephen Pinker, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, speaks about the morality of humankind in his essay “The Moral Instinct” and states that we inherit a moral code, one that becomes apparent with maturity, one that doesn’t need to be taught, and transcends cultural variations. Although a self-identified atheist, he acknowledges the mysterious moral rules which are universal, and above all.
Examples of these rules: no one believes it is justified to rape any person; it is not acceptable to murder the innocent; each person should be able to live free from physical and emotional abuse and torture. These are a few truths (among many unnamed) which illustrate rights that everyone expects for themselves, which no law or power can take away, and which no one can argue with. These truths transcend cultural variations and personal preference. They are not respective to a person, persuasion of faith, government, or era of time. These moral truths are often broken, for reasons such as greed or selfishness or anger. However, those who believe these actions are justified are quickly labeled as sociopathic, no matter how cleverly rationalized the action is…
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