Is Truth Absolute or Conditional?

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Debate This , Opinion

Truth is conditional; based on what we know at any given time.

Seek TruthWhile there most certainly are absolute truths in the Universe, we can’t really say which are and which arn’t absolute truths until such time as they have been proven… absolutely. After all, what is absolute? It is knowing something to be true without question or doubt. Thus, it can take thousands or years, if ever, for us as humans to agree on something as absolute – all sides considered, facts presented, truth conclusive.

And even once adopted as absoute truth, it can often change as new facts become available. Many facts commonly accepted throughout history as truth were eventually proven to be wrong: The world is flat, is an easy example.

So truth, as it is used in our social construct, is an idea subject to change.

The next problem we face in getting to absolute truth, based on facts, is that sometimes a fact can have different implications when combined with other relevant information. You can indeed make a statement that on it’s own is true in fact – yet untrue in its implications. When other truths, relevant to the situation, are inserted into the story it takes on a new meaning.

Is Truth Absolute or Conditional?

If a story is told, and then retold word for word, but done so in a way that alters the intended interpretation, is the retold story still true? Or better yet, if the story is retold not word for word but rather paraphrased though retaining the integrity of the original in its intent, is that retold story still true?

As demonstrated in this simple example, truth can be shifted without much effort. Is the partial telling of the truth the same as telling a lie?

Truth tends to take on different meanings for different people too, and as such people can often confuse truth with what they BELIEVEwhat-is-truth_web to be true. When Michael Cameron presented a trailer to his [then] upcoming Documentary (the search for the bones of Christ), which of course would challenge the biblical truth of Christ’s ressurection if the bones were found, a viewer on YouTube stated “We’ve known the TRUTH for 2000 years and no new facts are going to change that!”

Yet the biblical stories are not absolute truth, are they? To be absolute truth they would have to be indisputable, proven beyond a shadow of doubt. And they’re not. This is why they are referred to as BELIEFS. I’m not taking a position as to whether any particular biblical story is true or not.  I am mearly pointing out that BELIEF and TRUTH are not one in the same, though often confused and used by many as such.

Beliefs may some day be proven to be absolute truths, but until then, they’re not.

Absolute truth is absolute, but in our world, in our social construct, truth is at best conditional and subject to change.

(PUBLISHED in Helium 2009)


About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

Leave a comment