What Is Truth?
What is truth is indeed a hard question. Particularly at this time in history when #fakenews dominates and #post-truth was made 2016 word of the year. Time magazine ran the stark red on black headline "Is Truth Dead?" on its April 3, 2017 cover. That cover payed typographical homage to a headline they printed 51 years earlier on April 8, 1966, titled: "Is God Dead?"
Oxford Dictionaries defines post-truth as 'in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.
Let's consider the ramifications of living in a society in which truth is no longer objective, but relative. imagine a court of law running on this footing! Imagine a world where north can be east, where hot may be cold, where two plus two equals four only when it suits us. Imagine paying for your morning coffee that way, or deciphering traffic signals. It turns into the absurd!
So it seems we cannot live without truth no matter how we try avoid it.
The closest man has ever got to receiving an answer to the direct question of "What is truth?" happened in a courtroom about 2000 years ago. Let's go back in time to see what transpired and we will see that the search for truth is not new.
In Pilate's Court
Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”
They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.”
Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.”
Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.
Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”
Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
Pilate asked that question as if there really was no answer and didn't expect one.
Are we in those same shoes today?
Has postmodernism and relativism made truth irrelevant?
Is Truth Dead?