Monday, February 4, 2008

What Is True vs. What Is True For You

If mere belief determined reality, it would matter little what anyone believes. For the person who chooses to believe in Christ and the Bible, Christianity would become the truth. The same could be said about any other religion, sect or cult. If belief determined reality, whatever god a person chose to believe in would become god for that person. And for the atheist, reality would consist of a universe with no god at all. In the postmodern world, all these “truths” are considered equal because truth is whatever a person chooses to believe. As long as it’s “true for you,” then it’s true.

But we must ask, does the phrase “true for you” really mean anything? Can truth exist as a reality solely for the persons who believe it and for no one else? Consider a simple illustration. You and your friend find an apple on the table. Your friend believes it is full of worms, but you believe it is fresh and worm-free. Can your differing beliefs about the apple create two different truths that each of you can experience as reality? The way to find out is to slice the apple open. Then you will discover that either the apple has worms or it doesn’t. The truth about the apple is independent of whatever either of you may believe about it.

2 comments:

thinker said...

While the definition of postmodernist thinking may be just as you say, I don't believe that the average person would question truths such as "is the apple full of worms?" The "truth is personal" view comes into play in matters that are difficult to prove or disprove. I also think that it is used when the "truth" being debated does not necessarily have to affect others. For instance, if you believe in 1 + 1 = 3, I would be willing to leave you in your own "truth" as long as your math doesn't affect me. Especially if trying to correct your math would cause an argument. This is where the "truth is relative" belief is applied by the average person.

Josh McDowell said...

The trouble is that the nearly all American young people, including evangelically churched born again believing Christians, say that all religions (including Christianisty, Islam, Judaism and Buddism) pray to the same God, and that there is no such thing as absolute truth. These truths lead to behaviors that do affect others.