Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Is There a Universal Absolute Truth?

Is there any one universal absolute truth to live by? Is each person's truth or faith as they see it an absolute truth? Or is there really a universal absolute truth?

I have two American quarters in my right hand and two in my left. I count the two in the right, then the two in the left. They total four. No one in the world would dispute that two plus two makes four. No one in America or any foreigner who knows world money would dispute that four American quarters make one American dollar.

Yet, with today's lack of willingness to proclaim that there is "right and wrong" or "good and bad," many people say there is no such thing as absolute truth. Some believe that our mind makes up our own truths as we go along according to our experiences, or how we feel at a given moment. But don't dare share your absolute truth with anyone else.

Imagine that I take those four quarters to an American supermarket. I do my shopping, and approach the register with $20.00 worth of groceries. I say to the cashier, “I believe these four quarters make $20.00. You must accept them as full payment for my food.” Nobody is going to believe me!

When someone states there is no such thing as an absolute truth, I ask them, “Do you unequivocally believe that there is no absolute truth?” If they answer yes, I say, “Then you must admit there is absolute truth.”

If there's no absolute truth, then why do we die? Why are people poor? Why are there disasters? Most of us would prefer to live. Most would choose to stay at their favorite age, or live in a different era. Most are likely to choose being millionaires.

Books like "The Secret" claim life can be whatever you want. But if I'm driving in my car, and there's a guy in the next lane, and I say the sky is blue but the other guy says it's raining, whose truth is right?

The real truth is, people just don’t want there to be an absolute truth. Because if there is, someone would be wrong. That's now a "politically incorrect" word. We wouldn’t be able to do just as we please without facing consequences for our actions.

We live by many absolute truths. Murder is unlawful - that fact is accepted everywhere. You can get put in jail for murdering someone. But not all absolute truths are this cut and dry. For example, the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the U.S. Constitution, but most people believe it because of what they've been told instead of looking it up. So what is not the truth can be repeated until it becomes the truth.

The freedom to believe that there is no absolute truth has made us lose our convictions, our direction, and our capacity to love people despite our differences. Disagreeing with someone is now automatically called hate. What dribble! In an effort to be tolerant of everyone else’s beliefs, we’re asked to give up our own, and many comply without even realizing it.

The absolute truth I believe becomes truer every day, because its words give hope for the future. And that is “…the Lord is good; his love endures forever, and his faithfulness endures through all generations” (Psalm 100:5). If only we could love each other this way, and still face an absolute truth now and then. Mere tolerance through lip service and trying to appease any group would pale in comparison if we could see what real love looks like. And that's the absolute truth.

2 comments:

April Lorier June 9, 2009 at 1:25 PM  

The "Theory of Relativity" began in the early '70s and has progressed to the point that even many Christians no longer believe in "absolutes." I'm reminded of a story: Teacher says, "There are no moral absolutes!!" Student says, "Are you sure about that, cause my dad says different." Teacher says, "Absolutely!" :-D

Sheryl Young June 9, 2009 at 1:32 PM  

Hysterical! Exactly the point I was making. The teacher was "absolutely" sure there are no aboslute truths. Hello...is the light on at the top of the stairs?!

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