What is Truth?

By Engr. Carlos Cornejo

“What is truth?” Pilate asked Jesus. (John 18:38) Truth is telling things as they are. Truth is when your words and thoughts correspond to reality. Two plus two is four, the sky is blue and the earth is round. To say otherwise is false.

Everything in the world is true and there is no such thing as error. Only our opinion can make errors. We are not creators of reality but instead its disciple. George Braque said, “Truth exists; only falsehood has to be invented.” That’s the basic tenet in journalism; to report an event as they happen and where they happen. If a journalist or a reporter inserts personal opinion on the news event he covers, he ceases being a reporter and becomes an opinion maker. Worse if he falsely reports the event and inserts his own version of it (usually to promote an agenda) that would be fake news. Facts are events that happen in reality and truth means our mind is conforming to that fact.

There is no such thing as personal truth with regard to reality. There is only objective truth. In the same way as there’s no personal morality. Morality is likewise objective. To have your own standards of what is right and wrong is called moral subjectivism, one of the prevalent erroneous philosophies nowadays. Rape will always be wrong as well as torture. Moral subjectivism (a personal standard of morality) is a philosophy adapted by non-believers in God who would often tell Christians, “Don’t impose your morals on me” as if morality can only be applied to Christians. Whether you are a Muslim, a Hindu or a non-believer in a God morality applies to all. Otherwise, it will be a chaotic world and no one would be left alive because killing would just be a matter of “personal option” to settle a grudge, much like in the movie “The Purge.”

Another common belief nowadays is skepticism. Skepticism says we are not capable of attaining the truth. That truth is too complex for us to grasp. This is an absurd philosophy because if truth can’t be attained then we would not be able to express it as well. You can always make a skeptic see the absurdity of his belief by telling him, “If we can’t acquire truth then how will I know if what you are telling me is true?”And that closes the argument. Many would adapt this philosophy along with other modern philosophies often to rationalize and justify immoral behaviors especially in the area of sex.

Contrary to political correctness we have to be judgmental and discriminatory for we need to judge whether an action is right or wrong and to discriminate not race or gender but morals. I would often hear this common phrase “we should not be judgmental”. Well, that depends.  If the action is out in the open and is clearly wrong, of course we have to be judgmental. In cases such as cheating or lying for example, parents and teachers need to be judgmental to correct the young people under them. On the other hand, if you don’t have the full details of a certain situation on why a student for example is not expelled from school for a serious offense. Then you should hold your judgment until you have the complete information on the case. That’s the time we should not be judgmental, not to judge when we don’t have the full knowledge.

We both have a hunger for food and truth. Food is for the stomach and truth is food for the mind. Food that is in our stomach becomes part of us. The pig that we eat becomes human cells later after digestion. But truth doesn’t become part of us, it doesn’t enter into us. We on the other hand enter into it and become one with the truth if we accept it. Truth is bigger than us because truth is God Himself.  Our Lord Jesus Christ said “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) It’s as if Christ is saying, “I am reality, conform yourself to reality.” Conforming ourselves to the truth is conforming ourselves to Christ. That’s why prayer doesn’t transform God but transforms us. God commanded us to pray not because God needs our prayers but we do. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (from the slavery of sin)”.  (John 8:32)