What is absolute truth? Does absolute truth really exist?
In our increasingly postmodern culture, a number of voices argue there is no such thing as objective right or wrong or absolute truth of any kind. Is there such a thing as absolute truth?
Subscribe to our Compelling Mail Newsletter:
There are only two possible answers to this question—yes or no. There either is absolute truth, something that is true at all times and places, or there is not. To argue with certainty that there is no such thing as absolute truth is to make an absolute truth claim, and is thus self-refuting. Therefore, the only option remaining is that absolute truth does exist.
To counter this self-contradiction, some have suggested that truth is a relative concept. In other words, something may be true in one situation but not another. Yet even this statement is self-contradicting and cannot be logically proven. Within a closed system, there will always be certain things that are absolute. For example, 2+2=4 is an absolute in a closed system. 2+2 cannot equal 4 and equal 5, for example, at the same time under the same conditions.
The only remaining option is to claim that truth cannot be absolute because humans do not live within a closed system. In other words, there are other worlds or levels of consciousness under which truths can be defined differently. This obscure view has no relevance to real life in which humans live within a closed system of space, time, energy, and matter.
The question is truly not whether there are any absolutes but rather which claims of truth are absolute. People will generally accept absolutes in areas of science or mathematics, but tend to question truth when it comes to matters of morality. For example, most people would agree premeditated murder is morally wrong, yet what about in a society in which cannibalism is practiced? Is morality therefore simply socially conditioned, based on "what works" or what a given community agrees upon, or is there a standard of absolute truth or morality?
Philosophically, people may disagree on what is moral or ethical, yet virtually all people agree on some system of right and wrong. Therefore, the natural question arises, "Upon what do we base our moral standards?"
Many religious systems provide moral codes or standards for their followers, yet the Bible presents a unique look at truth. In the New Testament, Jesus was asked, "What is truth?" by Pilate (John 18:38), the very man who approved the death of Jesus. When Pilate asked this question, he was looking into the eyes of the One who claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Further, because God is perfect (Father, Son, and Spirit), what He says is true. This includes the Scriptures that are called God-breathed or inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalm 19).
In summary, absolute truth exists, as no other option is adequate. Many systems of "truth" or morality exist, yet only Jesus Christ claimed to be truth and proved it by His resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-11).
What is truth?
Can the existence of God be proven?
Christian worldview - What is it?
What did Jesus mean when He said "I AM"?
Is the Bible really the Word of God?
Truth about Worldview and Apologetics