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  • Writer's pictureDan Arsenault

Is Truth Relative?

Is it unreasonable for followers of Jesus to believe that their beliefs must be true for everyone? Are Christians “arrogant and intolerant”, as philosopher John Hick claims?

The nature of any truth is that it is actually true. That which contradicts truth is not a different truth, but necessarily false.

The first law of logic is the law of non-contradiction (LNC); opposing truth claims cannot both be true. I am not here defending the truth of the Christian faith. I am defending the rationality of believing oneʼs faith to be exclusively true. The LNC is inescapable, despite the popular claim that all truth is relative. That claim is self-defeating.

If “all truth is relative” is true, then the claim itself, being an absolute, is false.

Relativism is rarely used, except in morality and religion. It really cannot be lived out, which is another disqualification. I cannot cross the street with closed eyes, creating my own safe reality with my beliefs.

While there are similarities between many religions, it is illogical to say that all religions are the same. They make contradictory truth claims about God, eternal life, and humanity. Their followers are not being arrogant or intolerant to disagree with other religious claims.

Anyone who believes anything does so because they believe it to be true, even the relativist.

The primary teaching of Jesus was not ethical. He was not crucified for espousing the “golden rule,” but for claiming to be God, and the only payment for our moral debt. Those claims must be true or false, and I do not see how that is arrogant, intolerant, or unreasonable. I believe they are true, with or without my affirmation.

You may disagree with much of this article. Be careful! If you think Iʼm wrong you are at least affirming the LNC. We can be friends. We just canʼt both be right.

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