Tuesday, February 1, 2022

What Is Truth?

The tiniest spark defeats the dark. True or false?

More people are saying "There is no truth" than ever before, which deeply divides us politically and spiritually. One man born in 1844 was the earliest and most influential proponent of this idea: Friederich Nietzsche, philosopher.* He said, "God is dead... and we have killed him." 

There's no middle ground here. Ironically, the statement cancels itself out by being a truth in itself. Do you exist? You must if you're reading this. That's one more important truth. If there is no truth, there's no God, just the material world, which turns to dust; only a meaningless life and sickness and death. 

It's good to be skeptical about the existence of immutable and unchanging truth, and it's likely that the more educated we are, the deeper that skepticism goes; but it's a dead end. If we think there's no truth, then there's no such thing as a lie. Just try living in the world with that thought in mind. 

If there's no truth, then there's no right or wrong; just opinions. There's no law either, just whatever expediency presents itself for our benefit.  The Chinese Communist Party took this path in 2014, voting in agreement that "the party comes first; law second." From that day onward they've rewritten their laws ad hoc, as convenient for the Ruling Class. Party members take whatever they want. Hong Kong? "Sure", they answer. Taiwan? "That's next." Lawlessness is the law, and the ugly consequences of this can't be hidden any longer. 

If there's one truth there must be many more. Are they infinite? Most adults have little trouble deciding on the answer. There certainly are truths in the sciences; chemistry, astrophysics, aerodynamics, and geology. Jumbo jets can fly. Nuclear energy proves that our understanding of the laws of the atomic world is powerfully true, so why do some have trouble with immutable truth?

Children quickly learn to detect falsehood among their friends because they have unbridled wants and needs. They steal from each other and deny it. Good parents teach and show them honesty at home, setting a good example. But many families are broken, as are schools, and the authorities. The consequences of this are all around us now. There are few things more scary for children than discovering their parents are dead wrong about very important realities.   

It's highly fashionable in Hollywood, Washington D.C., and among global leftist elites to say, as Oprah frequently does, "We each have our own truth." Well. What if my truth tells me I'm a god, the center of the universe, and all of you are mere illusions? This has been tried millions of times, and never ends well. 

Judea's Governor Pontius Pilate, facing a terrible dilemma in which he had to choose between his conscience, enraging his government, or the priests and mobs in Jerusalem, famously asked Jesus, "What is truth?"

His dilemma is ours, too. We have to answer this question many times in life; when we need to trust someone, or some authority, who wants us to do something we loathe for one reason or another. It's enormously helpful to have a firm and tested foundation for our decision. Healthy religion is best of all. The Ten Commandments are a great start. Moral decisions must be made, and the consequences of making the wrong choice are worse than fatal. Making the right choice will lead us to untold riches. 

Today we must decide if abortion is ever right or wrong. We must decide if our political leaders can be trusted, though clearly, few can be. We have to stay employed, but may be asked to cheat and lie by our bosses who may be saying to themselves that they are "living their own truth." We may have to defend ourselves with deadly force, or not. We may have grave information that could bring down an entire industry or business. What is your immutable Truth? 
Here's a good place to start:

We must conquer our fears, or we cannot have a good and meaningful life. It's hard, but the best things in life rarely come easily. The rewards for conquering fear are immeasurable:

* Friederich Nietzsche went insane at age 45, and died at 55.