Thinking Reasonably: What is Truth?

Many posts I have written have begun with a simple frustration that many people don’t seem to grasp the basic need for thinking reasonably about the question, What is truth? – to include “truth” as an essential part of how they think.



Seemed simple enough: Do a Google search on “truth”, and understanding should follow!

Forget that idea; there are so many types of truth, including philosophies of truth that your head will immediately begin to spin.  For example, Aristotle stated: “To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true”.  That made things a lot clearer, didn’t it!

There are many political statements made about truth, but a favorite might be James Clapper’s statement that he answered in the “least untruthful manner” when asked about the National Security Agency collecting data about millions of Americans.

No wonder we have so many people that cannot think or reason.  Maybe we can narrow this down to absolute or relative truths because some things are absolutes and other things are relative.  But if everything were relative then it would be absolutely truth that everything is relative, and that would be self-refuting.  So that can’t be true.  Likewise, if everything were absolutely true, then we couldn’t have such things as personal preferences or things that change.  Hmmm!

We can say that which is absolute is always true, and that which is relative is not necessarily always true.  Is it up to the individual to decide, or is it the person that is the problem?  People like to think they are in control and telling them that something is absolute, means they cannot control it.  For example, suppose I simply say, “God is”.  Immediately, the atheist will rebut that by saying “you can’t prove that”.  I don’t have to prove an absolute!

The popular view today is that truth is relative.  Christianity, on the other hand, is built on the premise that truth is absolute and the teachings of the Bible are universal.  Because public education plays a powerful role in indoctrination of children and excludes Biblical instruction, more youth are skeptical about absolute truth.  So do you have enough information to think reasonably about truth?  Of course not, but then, the intent was to whet your appetite.  Take the next step to learn about truth. Go to  Read an outstanding article Truth: Absolute or Relative? by Patrick Zukeran.  Add it to your Thinking Reasonably library.


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