First, I would like to give the person reading this a +1 point for seeking answers and asking questions.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:7-11 ESV
There are many that say there is no truth. To which I must ask “Is that true?” If it is true that truth does not exist then the statement is self-defeating. It’s like saying, “my white dog is black.” Now, if we cannot say for sure that there is no truth, then at least we have the possibility of it’s existence.
If there is no truth, then it is not true that 2+2=4, or that the Boston bomber broke the law, or that the environment is something to be protected, or that people should be equal, or that men are greedy, or that evolution is true, or that loping off the head of a new born baby is evil. If there is no truth, there is chaos in the most extreme sense. A life full of utter pointlessness and anything but everything that has order and rationality is a façade. Life and death are pointless. It’s Ecclesiastes without the ending (Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14 ESV).
If there is truth then, there is a reason and purpose for our existence and a right and wrong to live by. There are good and bad things, tragedies and joys. Something to live for and something to die for. If there is truth, there is life.
Can We Know Truth?
Everyone lives based on what they believe is true. So how do we know who is right? Let me first say you must want to find truth in order to find it — this makes sense, right? You have to be able to question what you believe, compare it to the evidence, and be willing to find flaws and falsity that need to be addressed.
There is one other thing we must address before we start our search for truth. That is the question: can there be more than one truth? Can there be multiple ways to God? When I look at what different people say is true I find that there are stark, literal, concrete and fundamental impasses between ideas of truth. For instance, you cannot say the belief that everyone goes to heaven and the belief that only a few go to heaven are both true. Some may say I am close-minded about the this. But to be honest, truth is exclusive. Truth is the ultimate true or false statement. Any programmer can tell you that a true/false veritable cannot be “in between” or “both.”
The test of testability: This needs to be the first thing we test on any idea that claims to be true. Can such a claim be tested? Does the claim itself discourage or even condemn those who question it? If someone or something claims to have truth but will not allow anyone to test it’s claims, there is no reason to believe it is true. Truth is by definition true and will always be found to be true no matter how rigorous the test, how in deep the search, or how opposed the one looking at the evidence is to the idea. Truth is truth. That is a fundamental property of logic.
The test of reason: This is slightly tricky as what you believe now will tint how you view reality. But looking at the world as objectively as you can, see if the idea which claims to be true matches up with what we see in reality. Does it fly in the face of science? How does it answer the fundamental questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny? How should this affect the way I live?
The test of evidence: Do we have facts that support an idea’s claim to truth? How many? Is the source of the evidence credible? Are there contradictions or large gaps in the evidence? What is the evidence for those in opposition?
I should note here that I have not found science to be the only form of truth. If only for the sole reason that you cannot scientifically prove the statement that science is the only form of truth. You can scientifically prove that the earth travels around the sun and that so on. But I have yet to see any scientific principal, formula, or equation that explains why killing a baby is wrong. So just because science cannot prove or explain it does not mean it is false.
I have evaluated Christianity, and could find no fault in it. It can be tested (Matthew 7:7-11 ESV). It describes a world that is imperfect and fallen and this matches what I see. It answers the questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. It has evidence that agrees with independent, outside sources. Christ, His death and resurrection, and our salvation from sin into eternal life through Christ, our Lord, can be backed up with logic and reason. I have found no greater truth in this world than the truth of Christ.
I am planing on doing a series of articles covering how different truth ideas stack up to the tests. I hope to see you there. If you disagree with anything I have stated here, or if you would like to discuss something in more detail, leave us a comment below.