This is a topic that I could (and probably will) spend the rest of my life debating for and talking about. But I am going to try my best to present three, simple points that help to explain why truth isn’t just something we can make up and choose as we go along.
1) The statement refutes itself.
This one is pure logic. Think about it. If we all are supposed to agree that truth is relative, what are we saying? WE ARE ALL AGREEING THAT THE STATEMENT “TRUTH IS RELATIVE” IS TRUE. so that means there is at least ONE thing in the world that holds true for all men. If this is true, then the entire argument falls apart. It’s a self-defeating statement.
On the other hand, if truth is relative, that makes it okay for me to say that I don’t believe that truth is relative. According to logic, I am saying that “truth is relative” isn’t true, you are saying “truth is relative” is true. Such a statement does not leave room to be both true and false; something must give way. If I am correct, then truth is relative is wrong. If you are correct, please see part one of this proof.
As Christian rapper Lecrae says in his song “Truth”, “what if my truth says yours is a lie? What then?”. You cannot have your cake and eat it to.
2) Humanity presents evidence to the contrary.
Again, I could write papers and dissertations and sermons for years on this, but for now I will give you some simple logic to think about.
There are some things that we call universal.
A smile is a smile, no matter where you are.
We all know tears (generally) mean sad.
We all understand poverty,
We all know anger and hurt and pain. These emotions transcend culture.
I realize these are big generalizations, and the extent to which/the context in which these emotions occur may vary from country to country. But to recognize that we all smile. We all laugh, we all cry.
I did find some research for the hard-fact minded. In his article “How universal is happiness?” Dutch Sociologist Ruut Veenhoven says that “The available data suggest that all humans tend to appraise how much they like the life they live….Consequently, conditions for happiness appear to be quite similar across the world. The consequences of enjoying life are also largely universal. There is more cultural variation in the valuation of happiness and in beliefs about conditions for happiness. The greatest variation is to be found in how happy people are.” (Veenhoven, 2010)**. While how we view it differs across the board, reading through it became clear that we all do, in some way, understand the concept of “happy”.
3) “Because the Bible Tells Me So”
While this answer seems cliche, it is in fact true. We first of all recognize that Jesus Himself is the Truth. John 1:1 says that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. The word “word” there in Greek is λόγος (logos), which among other things means “reason explained by words”. Christ is the reason, and He Himself says “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life-no one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The word Truth here is ἀληθείᾳ (alethia), which when broken down means roughly “to not be hidden/unaware of-true, truly, verity”. God has not hidden himself from us. The reason that we have these universal, seemingly deep ingrained morals is because they have been placed in us by a God who made us in His image, because He is truth.
To say that you can be moral without religion is a contradictory statement; if there is no God, where did the morals come from? Ourselves? The laws and morals that seem to govern humanity are true, because the One who made them is true. If we created our own laws and morals, this becomes impossible. If truth is relative, then there is no point in society creating non-relative guiding morals for society. When the truth is relative, all things become permissible. There is a lot more that I could begin to say, but I was trying to keep these arguments simple and basic. Perhaps I will explore this more as I move forward in my learning, but I hope that it is at least thought provoking. God bless you!
- **Ruut Veenhoven, 2010. “Greater Happiness for a Greater Number,” Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(5), pages 605-629, October.