THE SCIENCE OF TRUTH
The concept of truth has fascinated man in theology and philosophy since the beginning. The concept of truth seems to escape the mind if unbelief or doubt is present in the mind. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Pilate are well known examples of unbelievers searching for the answer to the question of ‘What is truth?’ However, the answer to what is truth becomes obvious if the analytical method of science is applied.
Divide truth into its two categories of relative truth and absolute truth. Courtroom truth is an example of relative truth when several sincere honest witnesses give different answers as to what they observed at an accident.
Absolute truth is a concept that puts the end to the subject of truth where veracity cannot be questioned. We begin to get immediate opposition from most fellow human beings when we propose the concept of absolute truth. Common sense and the scientific method tell us we must have all of the data for absolute truth, but since we can never get all of the data we can only reach relative truth. So it is accurate to say man is incapable of reaching absolute truth by his reason alone.
Now just suppose there is a Being that has all knowledge of all things past, present and future. That Being would have omniscience. Omniscience is a simple word composed of the Greek root omni meaning all and the Latin word scientia meaning knowledge. With omniscience (all knowledge) all of the data is available. Science can never get all of the data but scientists continue to strive for more data. Science can never give us absolute truth but only high probability, but armed with high probability we can continue to improve the material world.
Now again common sense tells us there must be absolute truth because man is ever trying to improve this world; so he is ever searching and never coming to a knowledge of THE TRUTH. Omniscience and absolute truth must exist or there is no reality and we live in a world of hopelessness. Man in a fallen state chooses hopelessness unless God reveals Himself to man. I am glad I didn’t have to figure this puzzle out by myself.
Our nation right now is struggling in a war and we as a nation are largely under modern man’s religion of secular humanism that denies the existence of absolute truth. If God exists there is absolute truth. If God does not exist there is only relative truth. It certainly is interesting to watch as our leaders in both political parties wrestle with the subject of truth.
Sidney C. Phillips MD