Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Does "Truth" Exist?

We find ourselves living in an age in which a lot of people have come to believe that the very notion of a truth that is true for everyone, independently of each person's personal subjective feelings, is obsolete. The belief that there is no objective truth is one of the hallmarks of what is sometimes referred to as the post-modern era.

Philosopher William Lane Craig takes a question on his website from a reader who has embraced the skeptical view that objective truth doesn't exist.

The reader puts his question this way (slightly edited for clarity):
Dr. Craig, life has become absurd to me. Conversations with several individuals in my school years have taught me that most do not think that there is such a thing as truth, rather the word is only a matter of opinion and therefore has no absolute meaning. At the end of my conversations it has been revealed to me that anything that is not a scientific fact is false, and that this thing truth is only a coping mechanism that human beings have created to make it appear that life has meaning, but in reality it has none. How do you as a Philosopher/Theologian deal with this? I am anxious for your response!
The first thing to note about this claim that there is no truth, indeed it's the first thing Craig says in his reply, is that the claim is self-refuting. If there really is no truth then the claim that there is no truth must be false.

And if the claim that there is no truth is true then, again, the claim is false because there is at least one truth, i.e. that there is no truth.

There's much more that can be said about this, and Craig subjects the denial of truth to a deeper analysis at the link. Given the skepticism about truth that exists in some quarters, his response is important.