Question: Is There Absolute Truth?
This question is a bit unusual. Actually, it’s not even a question. It’s more a challenge to anyone who says that there is some form of truth which is unchangeable. It’s unusual because it’s by far the easiest question we’ve ever had to answer.
Consider the statement: “There is no absolute truth.” If that statement is true, then it automatically makes itself false. In other words, how can that statement itself be true, if there is no absolute truth? However, if that statement is false, then it follows that there is indeed some absolute truth somewhere.
So, either way, there is absolute truth.
Three Key Questions
However, let’s delve a little deeper. Let’s ask three key questions about the statement:
- Why do people like to believe that statement?
- Where would this sort of belief lead us?
- Since the statement is false, and there is, in fact, absolute truth, can it be found?
1. Why Do People Like To Believe That There Is No Absolute Truth?
Saying that there is no absolute truth is a very convenient way to avoid responsibility for our actions. If we say that there’s no absolute truth, it means that truth is relative.
What you think is true is possibly quite different from what I think is true. This means that no-one has the right to say that their version of truth, right and wrong is any better than other people’s.
2. Where Would A Belief In No Absolute Truth Lead Us?
While this might sound nice in theory, if everyone actually lived according to this, life would be chaos. Adolf Hitler would no longer be one of the world’s worst serial killers, but just a man who believed in what he was doing. Similarly, those who flew planes into the World Trade Centre on September 11th would not be terrorists, but just a group of people who were living in harmony with their beliefs. Such a thought is no doubt ridiculous and abhorrent, yet this is exactly where we would be if there were no absolute truth.
As well as this, when you met someone you did not like very much, you would be perfectly justified in hurting them in whatever way you wanted. Angry? Then lash out! Incredibly angry? Then what’s to stop you committing murder? If truth is relative, nothing…
If there is no absolute truth, then there is no such thing as right and wrong, but only right and wrong in particular situations. The whole legal system in the Western world would be thrown out. How could we have judges and juries pronouncing people “guilty” or “not guilty”, when no-one would have any right to say what was right or wrong?
3. Can Absolute Truth Be Found?
We in the technological age of the 20th century are not the only people to ask this. Pontius Pilate, the man who pronounced the death sentence on Jesus, asked the same thing.
Pilate went back into the palace and called for Jesus. He said “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you this about me?”
Pilate said “Do I look like a Jew? Your people and your high priests turned you over to me. What did you do?”
“My kingdom” said Jesus “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that it wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.”
Then Pilate said “So, are you a king or not?”
Jesus answered “You tell me. Because I am King, I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice.”
Pilate said “What is truth?”
Even if absolute truth exists, it does not normally walk up to us and introduce itself. In fact, while Jesus walked the earth, he made an amazing statement. He said that He Himself was Truth. To get an idea of how out-of-the-ordinary this is, imagine if your best friend said the same thing to you. You would rightly think they had somehow “lost it”.
And with Jesus, we should think exactly the same thing…UNLESS…He was right! If Jesus was right, and he is Truth, then we can be confident of finding absolute truth when we find Jesus. Jesus is the source of all truth, and he is our guide as to right and wrong. If we want to know what is right and wrong, we need only to look at Jesus: his life, his words and his actions.
There is most definitely absolute truth. Any time you start to think that there is no absolute truth, think about what kind of statement that is: a truth statement! Jesus is not only the source of truth, he is truth. And He does not change…