As a final step towards evaluating truth, I have one specific guideline that extends from my Christian faith but applies in all areas of life. Beyond evaluating evidence and making sure that we are not being confronted with unfair questions, I think that we need to make sure that we believe that truth actually exists. On Monday, I wrote about how our Christian faith is based upon the evidence. Christianity makes sense of the world around us, so we’re therefore Christians. We follow the evidence where it leads.
In our postmodern world however, there is a legitimate debate as to whether or not truth actually exists. People wonder if there can be such thing as truth in and of itself. Even with all the evidence in the world or with the fairest question in the world, they ultimately come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as actual truth and as a result they just reject that anything can be truer or less true than anything else.
Honestly, it seems kind of ridiculous to think of a world without truth. It doesn’t make sense. We have all heard the kind of funny thought of absolutely rejecting that concept of absolute truth. Of course if there is no absolute truth, then it is absolutely true that there is no absolute truth?
People defend this proposition however. They argue that nothing can be absolutely proven or through all the time.
I understand that I have written this week in a kind of funny fashion. I began with the collection of evidence as the most important thing for finding truth, but I very quickly said that we have to do a few things before actually collecting evidence. We need to make sure the question we are being asked is fair, and we need to make sure that we are even entering in conversation where there is an understanding that truth is something that can be found, known and comprehended at least on some level.
I wrote it in this fashion largely because I think this is the way most people think. They assume that hunting for evidence is all they have to do and then call it a day. I hope I’ve illustrated to you that there are some other things to this process of figuring out what is true and false and communicating truth. If we have an audience that really rejects truth all the way around or frames the question in a way that it is impossible to answer or pursue truth whatsoever, the process of collecting evidence is not going to do it.
As a result, when you look at our political climate, you might be convinced that your side is right, and you may be absolutely right about that. You may hold the belief that is entirely consistent with reality while your opponent has no bearing on truth whatsoever. However, evidence alone is not always going to convince other people. Sometimes, they are not going to accept anything you say or misrepresent everything you say.