What Is Truth?

by Anniel8/23/17
We have an ex-friend (by her choice, not ours) who says that every person is entitled to their own truth. Which is the same as saying there is no truth. Can that be so?

She is very liberal and no longer speaks to us because she hates Republicans. She told me at one point during the past campaign for President that she was horrified that a member of the KKK was on the Trump team. I asked her who that was, then told her I had no idea who she was talking about but would look into it. She, of course, was offended that I didn’t just take her word for it.

She accused me at one point of being anti-science because I do not believe in climate change. Many years ago she saw a film that showed the melting of the polar ice and the glaciers, and to her that has never changed, and is still the way things are today. She also believes that polar bears are an endangered species, forced out to sea and eating their young to survive. If she is told that polar bears swim forty miles out to sea and hunt from ice floes, that males have always devoured their young and that there are more polar bears than ever, that’s just right wing propaganda.

There are a couple of items I can scarcely believe she has said, and really believes. She pushes for illegal immigrants, particularly Mexicans, to have the right to vote in the US. I said to her, “If they vote here, then I guess I’ll go vote in Mexico.” Horrified she wanted to know how I could believe I should have that right. It wasn’t my country, after all. She saw no disconnect in her thinking.

By far the nuttiest thing she ever said to me was one day when she told me that Al Gore was right about man-made climate change, and we understand scientific things better now than we ever have before. I pointed out that people always knew science and knew that the world was round long before Columbus. They had figured out the length of the equator based on their Scientific observations. But there are still people who belong to the “Flat Earth Society” even though they see the globe of the earth from space. She ground her teeth and told me that the earth is flat because it goes up where there are mountains and down to rivers and valleys, and if you even out the altitude you’ll find that the earth is, in fact, flat. Good thing we were on the phone and she couldn’t see my face. Get out your largest ironing board or mangle and we’ll press the creases out of the earth to see its four (or more?) flat corners.

I quit speaking of politics with her because I knew how closed her mind had become. She hated President Reagan because her father had told her Reagan was a crook and how “awful” he was. She knew her father was right.

When Trump won this election she cut us completely out of her life. She didn’t even ask for whom we voted, which is still a sacred and secret vote as far as I remember. I don’t have to tell anyone how I vote. It made me kind of sad when she got so huffy. You would think friendship still means something, but, alas, it seems not to.

Thinking about this situation led me again to consider the matter of Truth
I looked up the following scriptures from the King James Version of the Bible, and the Book of John. I turned my mind to what the Lord Himself has said about Truth at the time of His crucifixion, death for our sins, and His promised Resurrection.

What is truth?(John 18-37).

This is the pivotal question of Pilate’s interrogation when Jesus was brought before him. The question rings through the ages with men divided over the possibility of ever finding truth. This is where one finds those who are like my friend: “Everyone is entitled to their own truth.” Do you, personally, believe you can know truth?

Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.(ibid. 8:32) . Exactly HOW does knowing the Truth make you free? Does it change something in you? Yes, it leads you away from sin and error in your life and puts you on the path of righteousness, but HOW and WHAT does it change in you? Do freedom and truth always go together? The more I considered these questions, the more I could see that Truth puts us on a journey to God and the perfection and freedom He promises. The way to Him is faith in His Son, who tells us:

I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (ibid. 14:6) .

The Way, the Truth and the Life. So the Way is set out for us to see, the Truth we MUST know is in the Son, who gives us Life. And all of that is part of coming to the Father, and adding the promise of eternal life:

. . . For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.(ibid. 3:16)

The great love of the Father for His creation, this world we have the privilege of living in, meant the sacrifice of His Son. His resurrection means that we, too, will live again.

. . . I am the resurrection, and the life: He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.(ibid.11:25)

There are choices placed before every man who is born into this life, and all things are promised to honest seekers of the Truth, which, yes, is possible to know and believe, beyond doubting. The first step to this knowledge may mean that we have a trial of our faith first. We prove to God that we love and desire Him to dwell with us.

I dislike sounding preachy, but looking at our fallen world today makes me see how very vulnerable we are if we have no firm idea of the Truth that makes us Free.

I have no wish to be as far astray as my still loved friend. • (544 views)

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41 Responses to What Is Truth?

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Your ex-friend sounds like a mental case.

    I find the term “everyone is entitled to their own truth” pretentious and find it is too often used by people who wish to sound profound, but are in fact dim.

    If they said, “everyone is entitled to their own belief”, they would be nearer the truth; and less pompous.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Truth is relative unless you disagree with my truths.

      The real truth here is not just muddled thinking but a harsh fundamentalism of thought. Kooks, if you will. And they are becoming mainstream. And I think the main impetus to this is that otherwise good people will not stand up against them (such as with this statue thing). They keep finding excuses to go along.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Interestingly, if “everyone is entitled to their own truth”, then they should be a lot more tolerant of dissenting opinions. My truth is simply different from theirs.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        As Annie noted, their logic-bomb thinking doesn’t occur to them. If everything was just a matter of opinion, then it would be completely ho-hum that someone had a different opinion.

        But I think stuff like this is more of an identity/emotional issue. They don’t really mean “everyone is entitled to their own truth.” What they mean is “Validate my feelings and identity, or else.”

        God help any of us before we become so arrogant, intolerant, confused, and hateful. There’s a reason why humility is a central aspect to being a good person.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          And elitists inherently lack humility, especially leftists, who think their self-professed moral and intellectual superiority entitles them to run ordinary people’s lives.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I really do think we’re looking at damaged or mal-developed egos. Imagine someone undergoing a Christian training and conversion and being such a prick. Granted, there is TONS of bad Christian teaching out there which does little but play to man’s ego and worldly concerns (prosperity gospel, for instance). And what makes some Christians annoying (and it’s simply enough to be a Christian for many bigots nowadays) is the self-righteous sense of superiority. They don’t seem to get the message behind “I have come to serve, not to be served.”

            If there is a common theme to Nazism, Leftism, and Islam it is the centrality of the sense of smug (and largely unearned) superiority.

  2. pst4usa says:

    Truth! she can’t handle the truth. Well I just had to say that. If the statement,“everyone is entitled to their own truth”, is not true to me, than can it also be false? Not that your friend will ever understand, but the claim is self-defeating. It is the same as saying there are absolutely no absolutes.
    We hold these truths to be self defined. That all men are evolved equal, unless you don’ feel that is true, That they are endowed by the government with certain rights, that come and go with the whim of the elite. that among these are Life, (unless you’re a baby in the womb or old), Liberty, (unless of coarse you disagree with the elite), and the Pursuit of Happiness, (as long as the government approves of what makes you happy).
    That to secure these rights Governments arm their gentle persuador’s with weapons, deriving their powers, just or not, from the barrel of said weapons That whenever any citizen becomes a problem, it is the right of the Government to alter the citizens thinking or abolish them, and institute new laws that they shall feel most likely to secure their power and authority over those citizens….
    ….And for support of this declaration we mutually pledge to ourselves your life, your fortune, and anything else we want.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      That about covers the situation today.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      We hold these truths to be self defined. That all men are evolved equal, unless you don’ feel that is true, That they are endowed by the government with certain rights, that come and go with the whim of the elite

      LOL. Wonderfully stated, Pat. One quibble: It might be something more like “We hold these truths as passed down from the New York Times.” The rest is perfect.

  3. Annie — great piece! This is at the heart of the problem. If you deny truth, you have to deny that there are facts, and if you deny facts, you have to deny logic, and if you deny logic, then you have welcomed insanity into your life. It’s so sad, but this illness does not seem to be curable. Will these folks ever see Who the truth really is? Yikes.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Deana, you should read this piece over at Evolution News & Views by Denyse O’Leary: The Multiverse Is Science’s Assisted Suicide.

      The gist of it is that much of science has moved from verifiable (scientific) facts to a sort of materialist metaphysical faith. And it’s not that faith, per se, is a bad thing. But it seems far more rational to announce that one believes in one God of Creation, however mysterious that God remains to our limited capacities, than to say one has faith that there are 10^500 universes in the multiverse, even though there is no evidence at all of their existence, nor would the existence of all these universes explain the agency that produced them in the first place.

      Faith is squishy creature in the best of times. But thoughtful Christians have worked out many of these issues over the centuries. These scientists, on the other hand, look like complete boobs in comparison. Children. Petulant children.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        There’s a large body of scientists for whom science is a validation of atheism. So they will come up with whatever unproven theory they can to explain away difficulties (such as the fact that the universe is just right for our coming into existence somehow).

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Indeed you are right. A lot of theoretical physics has gone completely cuckoo as it looks to find a way out of the conundrum of the Big Bang and a universe that appears to be fine-tuned for life.

  4. Anniel says:

    All who like to think about things know that the quest of life should always be truth. It hurts when that absolutely absolute fact (thanks Pat) becomes arguable. All the fakery of life we see today is a refusal to accept those Stubborn Things called facts. All Truth, logically, must come from our Maker, who knows, and forgives, our human weaknesses all too well.

  5. Steve Lancaster says:

    Among progressives and other delusional types truth is what they “feel” it is, and it can and does change from day to day, often hour to hour. At 17:00 on November 8, 2016 the absolute truth was that Hillary would be the next President of The US. By 21:30 that same night their truth was known to be not only false but gone forever. The resulting tantrums by the progressive/socialist/communist elites has been the sad result of their loss of illusion.

    Like Donald Trump or not, he is the elected President. RINOs, like Ryan and McConnell are living a similar delusional truth of their own. Time will tell how their delusion will work out. My guess is that if they continue their obstructionism then the mid-terms will be not only a disaster for democrats, national and state-wide, but also for establishment GOP who are too good to sully their hands by working with Trump. The effort to limit Trumps’s power and influence is going to backfire and the establishment of both corrupt political parties will be selling apples on street corners. But, then again, perhaps that is only my truth.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This malleable truth, be it noted, is very Orwellian. “Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.”

    • Anniel says:

      Steve,

      Your truth seems very probable to me when I consider the alternatives. I’m hoping you are a prophet of political truth. Maybe a cleaning of both parties will give us workers who not only will sully their hands working with the President, but also have work-related calluses on their hands from other battles.

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        It has been almost 200 years since America had to deal with a genuine mass political movement (Andrew Jackson) that exceed the accepted boundaries of the four year election cycle. Traditionally, we generate mini-mass movements that allow for the exercise of the excesses of mass movements without the resulting social crisis. Every four years campaigns and lots of enthusiasm that ends on the second Tuesday of November and stays dormant while the actual exercise of government goes on. If this was the intention of the founders or just happenstance is hard to know, but since 1776 it has worked with remarkable success. A good argument could be made that the only breakdown was the election of 1860. Save that for another day.

        A mass movement is a powerful and often destructive thing. It is composed of people who feel, for a variety of reasons, left out of the mainstream of society. The Trump mass movement is the first where the mainstream of our culture has been characterized as misfits and out casts in their own nation. The potential for this to turn into a new revolution is great. The opposition is large and well funded and will oppose Trump’s agenda on every front.

        The Jacksonian mass movement was solved by the opening of the west, giving the disaffected on all sides an escape valve. Yet, some 20 years after Jackson the nation split along regional lines and 700,000 to 1,000,000 people died. The apoplectic visions may be just on the horizon. Back in the 50s we feared the Soviets. I suppose with good reason, but the outlook was never as grim as it is today within our own country. As a historian, sometime sociologist and commentator I have to admit the prospect for the next ten years in our country are pretty scary.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          The Founders would not have liked mass movements. They were doubtful of democracy, which is why the president was elected by the electoral college, the senate was elected by state legislatures, and every state had a property qualification for voting.

          • Steve Lancaster says:

            Exactly, but at the same time they designed a system that allows for the excess of mass movements to be contained within the four year cycle. The 16th and 17th amendments changed the ability of the states to exercise their constitutional requirements and subsequently reduced their power.

            I have made the argument that the old republic died on the battlefields of Vicksburg and Gettysburg on 3/4 July 1863. Even if the South had won the war the idea of the modern progressive state was firmly entrenched in both Yankee and Southern governments.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              One of the tragedies of the Civil War is that in protecting our individual rights (such as the right not to be reduced to mere property) the war did indeed enlarge the power of the Federal government.

              This proves again the quote by Edmund Burke:

              “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites…in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

              The South’s inability to control itself led to a controlling power from without.

              • Steve Lancaster says:

                Brad,
                True enough but the lack of self-control is not isolated in the South. It is also present in the abolitionist and temperance movements of the North. It was not aggressive slave owners who attempted to ferment rebellion at Harper’s Ferry in July of 1859, and was later put down by Col Robert E. Lee and a company of Marines.

                Even though the International slave trade had mostly been controlled by the Royal Navy, Yankee traders from NY, MA,PA, and MA were still making 300% profits from the slave business. When it comes to slavery no ones hands are clean.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Hence my favorite song from 1776, “Molasses to Rum to Slaves”, indicting New England hypocrisy over denouncing the slavery of the South after making a lot of their fortunes in the triangle trade. (And. of course, slavery was still legal there, though not as important as in the South.)

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Ideally, Steve, all sides would have negotiation a phasing out of slavery. That there is guilt enough for it to go around doesn’t change the fact that slavery was against the founding principals of this nation. Something had to eventually be put right. The South, fueled with blinding zealousness, missed its chance for a peaceful transition. They brought the war upon themselves.

    • David Ray says:

      Well said.
      I saw a video of some girl having a total scream-fit meltdown as she realized sir Edmund Hillary had to cancel her pompous fire-works display.

      Oh well. Liberals had a good cry in many a “safe” room & poor Clintons shut down their scam Global Initiative Holyland Foundation. (There’s no doubt Putin was also disapointed his candidate lost. He just didn’t need a safe room to go let it all out in.)

  6. David says:

    Nice article.
    I’ve often wondered whether truth may actually be binary in nature. Something is either true or it isn’t. Could it be that simple?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      But I think much of the problem is just zealotry, not necessarily losing site of the fact that some things are facts, some things are opinions, some things are preferences, some things are ought-to-be’s, etc.

      If we were some dirt-poor Ethiopian-like country, I could see ample reason for getting angry and fussing about every little insult to our existence. But in the West we live in the most prosperous times ever known where even “the poor” have better material standards to them than kings of old (or even kings of not that long ago).

      Our culture is basting in discontent. Perhaps this is exacerbated because we live in a marketing culture where every product we enjoy today must be replace by the newfangled. We live in an ever-present state of not-good-enough.

      And, of course, we can’t ignore the evilness of Cultural Marxism which instills racial (and other types) of hatred in people as part of a political goal. Send your sweet son or daughter to college and watch him or her turn into a Social Justice Warrior — righteous in everything they do but forever unhappy. (That’s a feature, not a bug, in regards to Cultural Marxism.)

      And the right is by no means immune to this. I’ve tried to make a self-conscious attempt to move StubbornThings from just a laundry list of grievances and expressions of discontent to something nobler and more constructive. But would there be a conservative media, online or otherwise, if it didn’t feed into and amplify this discontent and grievance? D&G are good business models…right or left. Why this should be so is, to my mind, the real issue that needs to be addressed.

    • Anniel says:

      Yes, David, I think it really could be that simple. But it’s also just that hard because we see through a glass darkly until we open — I was going to say “our eyes” — but maybe our hearts would be more true for our purposes.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    David French sums it up as:

    Our political culture is losing any sense of proportion. Political rage is transcending basic human decency, any semblance of tolerance, and even faith itself. It’s a general truth in politics and culture that a nation is defined by those who care the most, and increasingly, those who care the most have lost their moorings. There is a malicious spirit loose in the land.

  8. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Since I first read this piece, the following song has been going through my head. Just change the third word of the song and there you have it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqxyeS7EVJk

    Note the makeup of the band in 1973.

  9. David Ray says:

    Dennis Prager has cronicled several stories of liberals disowning friends & family over Trump/politics. Their simple truth is their iron-clad belief that conservatives are evil.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      David, my brother was telling me just the other day about some Hollywood actress chick who changed sides. (And I mean politically, not genderally.) She was de-friended at the speed of light by her “tolerant” former friends.

      Man was created for something better than to be lost in small-minded tribal politics.

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