Does truth exist?
Glass A is a glass with filled with water.
Glass B is also a glassed filled with something.
You watch someone wade into the middle of a mountain stream with an empty bucket and fill it with water. You never lose sight of them as they proceed to tip that bucket into a container. You open a tap on that container whilst placing the bucket under the tap. You open the tap and you fill glass B. It is a clear liquid. It looks like water. It comes from a place water comes from. You taste it like a million times before. It tastes like water. It smells like water and it behaves like water. You drink it.
Glass A is a glass filled with water. That is a truth independent of you. It exists and it is true whether you are there to verify it or not, able to determine it or not and whether you know it or not.
Glass B is also a glass filled with water. You know what water is and you know that glass you have in your hand is water. It is a truth that exists and a truth that you know.
Truth exists whether you know it or not. Truth exists whether you believe you can know it or not. It is possible to deny that Glass B is not filled with water.
It is certainly possible that it is not water. You may be deluded. The million times you have drunk water you may have been mistaken. Your parents deliberately fooled you. There may have been a grand conspiracy and every shop assistant that sold you a bottle of water you have bought in a shop, was colluding and sold you something else pretending it was water.
It is possible. But if it were so, then life, you and your thoughts and your very existence is ridiculous. Some people believe this. In order to day this, you must subscribe to a worldview that we may well be brain-in-a-vat, and that all of ‘reality’ is illusion.
It may be a bit fun intellectual gymnastics, but I don’t of anyone ever who actually seriously believed this and lived their life accordingly. If they say do, I would simply watch them cross a street and see if they look left and right to see how convicted they are about their proclaimed view of the world.
So, do you think truth exists?
Answer that before you continue.
If you do, then the logical next question is how you know that truth exists. How do you distinguish between truth and non-truth?
There is only one possible answer that can yield a satisfactory and logical answer.
Something is judged to be true based on an objective, independent standard. (Otherwise it is mere opinion, right?)
This is where people get to be stupid – and by that I mean they abandon logic because they get led down a path of thinking that is determined by the way they view the world and not by logic and reason. (And most frighteningly and ironically, actually claiming that their thinking is more reasonable. Not merely stupid, actually deluded as well…)
Truth claim #1:
- There is a truth. (And it is knowable.)
- There is a right and a wrong. (And that they know they are right about that.)
- And this is absolutely so
Truth claim #2:
Or people can claim things like:
- Everything is relative
- Man is the result of evolution
- There is no God
Let me be very clear about this – and this is where I am helping you not to be stupid:
You CAN NOT hold both sets of truth claims simultaneously. It is strictly either/or and you have to pick. Trying to hold on to both reveals ignorance and stupidity and lack of reasoning skills.
I am not going to try to persuade to pick 1 or 2 but I want to explain why it is that you can’t have either. Both options are logical possibilities, so we must understand the consequences of those claims to understand them fully.
This is not a tricky rhetoric and it is not a false dichotomy to force you to choose artificially between two options. If everything is matter (materialistic) and if there is nothing outside of this matter (i.e. nothing transcendent) to provide an objective source of truth then an objective truth cannot exist. Everything would then be relative.
Much like I drink Coke and you prefer Pepsi. Clearly I cannot claim that Coke is ‘truly’ better than Pepsi?
But you could have an objective instrument that measures the difference between Coke and Pepsi and find that (e.g.) Coke contains more sugar than Pepsi. That would be a truth claim based on an objective measurement. (For the sake of logical argument we assume the instrument is properly calibrated.) The point it is it does not rely on my taste or your taste – that would be subjective.
So it boils down to this. What are your MORE certain of? That truth absolutely exists, or that you there is definitely, absolutely no transcendent source of truth?
And this is where people run into a logical dead end so big and insurmountable that they can’t even recognise it. They (and all atheists fall into this category) make the claim that objective truth does not exist (everything is relative.) And by doing so, guess what? They are making a truth claim – that truth does not exist.
Pretty stupid, huh?
They will claim I am wrong, whilst simultaneously believing that right and wrong does not exist.