My Truth Or Your Truth - 4 Questions to Make You Think
When a white person says they are black or a boy says he is a girl, we can pretty safely say truth has become relative - believing that what is true for you may, or may not be true for me.
Relativism is defined as “the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.” Welcome to the 21st century.
Opinion and feelings are now given more weight than factual data.
So, when you find yourself in a conversation with someone who is a relativist, it’s probably not a good idea to argue. That doesn’t usually change anyone’s mind. But, if you ask questions, you might get a person to think about things and perhaps come back from the insanity of relativism. Yes, I said insanity. Here’s why.
If I deny physical evidence and historical data and simply declare something to be true, that is the definition of delusional behavior. For example, if I start introducing myself as Oprah Winfrey, people would probably think either it was a weird coincidence that I have the same name as the celebrity, or that I was crazy. Why? Because the physical evidence would immediately establish that I am NOT Oprah Winfrey. I am a white-haired white woman. The objective truth isn’t difficult to establish here.
And yet, all over our nation, people are demanding that we accept various delusions of “subjective truth” or be called racist haters. So, what can we do to gently offer our culture a moral compass? Below are some questions that might get things started.
- If truth is relative (what’s true for you may not be true for me) then is lying, relative? For example, if I lied and told everyone that Bob wrecked my car, and I truly believed he did, would that be okay? Couldn’t Bob just look at my car and clearly see that it’s fine, easily proving my statement was untrue. So, if evidence can prove that something is false, why can’t evidence prove that something is true?
- If I have a rotten meal at a restaurant, and you have a good one, is it my opinion that the restaurant is terrible, or is it a fact? Or if I struggled with algebra in high school, is it my opinion that algebra is difficult or is it a fact? The reason these kinds of questions are helpful is to reintroduce into the cultural narrative that opinions and facts can be different. I can respect your opinion, even if I disagree. But a fact is (or should be) indisputable.
- If how you feel determines your reality, then what is the value of law or science? In other words, if we all use feelings rather than physical or historical reason to determine reality, then do I need to pay taxes, or obey speed limits? If I don’t feel smoking is harmful then am I immune from its effects? If I believe I will never be a drug addict, can I use heroin and not become addicted?
- A mass shooter feels he is doing the country a favor by killing those he believes are wrong. Is his truth okay? This is to bring into the discussion the idea of moral relativism. If murder is clearly wrong, what about physical violence? Is that justified because people believe they are doing a good thing? What about name-calling? If the answer is that negative behavior is sometimes justified, the key here is to objectify behavior and show that one person’s beliefs can hurt another person.
These questions should be asked humbly, honestly seeking a respectful exchange of ideas. While that in itself is becoming more and rarer, it may be worth a try. If the tide of relativism is not stopped, we will plunge into a greater darkness than any of us have ever known.