Can we know Truth?

What is truth? What is the nature of truth? Is there even such a thing as truth? Some would argue that truth is relative, and that they are absolutely certain that we cannot be absolutely certain of any truth. As ridiculous as this statement sounds, the logic goes something like this. I perceive reality through a different lens or filter than does anyone else, and therefore, my reality is different than your reality. Those who subscribe to this school of thought claim that truth is relative – based upon perspective or perception. This relativism, known as *subjectivism*, states that absolute truth does not exist, and that reality is contingent upon the subject.

Objectivism vs Subjectivism

There is another side to this debate, however, and those on this side claim that we can be absolutely certain that there is absolute truth. This is called *objectivism*, and holds that truth is not determined by the subject, but rather is inherent in the object. In other words, this truth never changes – no matter who is looking at it or how. In the scientific realm, these objectivists believe that their theories do not provide just a better understanding of reality – as the relativists believe – but rather, that they are reality in themselves. Instead of agreeing with the relativists that theories help our perception of reality, they claim that their theories are reality – or absolutely true.

Limits of Science

The problem with objectivism in science is that science alone simply cannot yield absolute certainty due to its inductive nature. Science observes clues about reality, and makes assumptions and conclusions about reality, based upon these clues. In essence, science starts at the bottom, and seeks to understand the truth at the top without a first-hand knowledge of reality. Their perception is limited to their theories. Though science can give us a good idea of reality, or *reasonable* certainty, only God’s Word can give *absolute* certainty. A detective cannot be absolutely certain of what took place based upon the clues alone. Though he can formulate a good theory and be reasonably certain his theory is correct, this cannot be compared to the absolute certainty that comes from a first-hand account such as viewing security camera footage of the event in question. So while science is important, it cannot be compared to the first-hand account recorded in Scripture. Absolute truth does exist. The Bible tells us “thy word is truth” (Jn 17:17b). Our foundation for absolute truth rests upon God’s Word. All other ground is sinking sand.

Further Study

Absolute Truth Webcast by Eric Hovind