Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On Absolute Truth

This is the first in a series of apologetics-related posts where I try to explain or defend various elements of the Christian faith. Before starting, I'll outline my view on apologetics. I don't think it's possible to objectively 'prove' Christianity in such a way that a rational person would be compelled to believe it. Christianity is more than just a religion, or set of beliefs: it's a dynamic relationship with God, and entering into such a relationship will always take a leap of faith. That's not to say, however, that apologetics is useless. Many people have intellectual obstacles to believing; questions of faith or unresolved issues with some element of Christianity. The duty of apologetics is to clear away these obstacles and make straight the path to belief.

That said, today I'm going to prove the existence of absolute truth. Cool, huh? I imagine many of you have heard some variant of this, but maybe I just feel it's everywhere because I read lots of books that deal in such things.

The basis of my proof is this: the statement "There is no absolute truth," or "Truth is relative," or any such variant, is self-refuting in much the same way as "This statement is false." If there really is no absolute truth, and truth is relative for everyone everywhere as postmodernists would claim, then it's absolutely true that there is no absolute truth, which is a contradiction. If there is no absolute truth, then making sweeping statements saying so is impossible. So clearly absolute truth does exist. This says nothing about what that absolute truth is like or what is absolutely true. The important thing is that it opens the possibility for this truth to exist. There is real, objective truth out there, and we may as well try to find it.


  1. The question then becomes what can we understand about absolute truth? what is it's nature? What can we effectively know about absolute truth, and if we cannot know absolute truth then is it not effectively relative? (you may offer scientific arguments to show absolute truth in nature, but then I would direct you towards the causality argument)

  2. Well, things become much trickier once you move past the simple existence of absolute truth. I tried to come up with kind of inductive proof that there are an infinite amount of absolute truths, but it fails unless you disallow self-reference. Your own existence and self is another absolute truth, and unless you subscribe to solipsism the existence of the physical world is a large set of truths. Before I go any further, I should probably clarify: by 'absolute truth', do you mean the set of facts or things that are absolutely true? (i.e. the body of absolute truth)

    Also, forgive me for not understanding how the causality argument relates to this. Do you mean the theory that some kind of deity has to exist as the first cause to the universe?