Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Thoughts on Relative Truth

In John 8:32 we read "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."
However, today's society supports the idea of truth relativism. You cannot know the truth, because there is not a definite truth. What may be true for one person, may not be true for another.
The philosophy of relativism is one of the most widely accepted philosophies in modern America. The ideology of relativism is a build-a-belief style philosophy, and therefore everyone's beliefs will be true in their own minds. Relativist claim that their philosophy is going to bring union to those with different beliefs.It seems if everyone tolerates each other's beliefs, the world will be a better place. I believe the philosophy of relative truth is false. For this reason I consider the aforementioned statements to be incorrect.

If truth relativism is an accurate philosophy, then all debates regarding religious beliefs are a waste of time. No one will win the debate because every philosophical truth is true. But is it possible for every truth to be true? It is not. If every truth was true, then the belief stating every truth is not true would also be correct. Obviously, these two beliefs are complete contradictions, and consequently, one must be false. Using basic logic, we can see the idea "every truth is true" is unsound.

Using this same logic we can also see the error in saying relative truth unifies the different belief systems. The major religions in the world today are so fundamentally different, it is impossible for them to all be true. For example, Christians and Muslims believe there is only one God. Hindus and New Agers believe everything is a god. Atheist claim there is no God at all. With such diverse convictions, compromise is not an option. However, if truth is relative, compromise would be necessary. To believe every belief is true, one would have to give up one's belief that every belief is not true. In consequence, the purpose of relativism will be defeating itself. The goal of philosophical tolerance through relativism will not be any closer to being fulfilled.

Actually, you will notice the idea of a relative truth does not promote tolerance at all.
Relative truth is exclusive of other truths. (Namely those believing relative truth to be absolutely false.) The modern idea of tolerance is to accept all beliefs. As the philosophy of relative truth does not accept the belief in or of absolute truth, it cannot be considered tolerant. With this lack of tolerance, relative truth loses what was left of its amiable reputation.

"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of truth." (2Timothy 3:7)
I believe this is an excellent description of those who believe in the ideology of relative truth. This misleading philosophy, with its claims of unity and tolerance, is merely an excuse to avoid accountability to the real and only Truth. Relative truth does not benefit society. All it does is confuse those seeking the real truth even more.

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