Is there less stress in having no absolute truth?

If there is no absolute truth . . . how could we ever know there is no absolute truth?  If I say there is no absolute truth, I am saying there may be absolute truth, since if there’s no absolute truth, even not having absolute truth couldn’t be an absolute truth.

Is there relief, though, in thinking there is no higher standard, no objective right to measure up to?

Not if we care about love.

There can be no absolute love if there is no absolute truth.  And if there’s no absolute love, we can never know what love is and isn’t for certain, and hate could turn out to be love, and love could turn out to be hate (since we don’t know anything for certain).

. . we’ve gotten rid of more than just a standard of love.

We’ve gotten rid of love itself.

If I have no standard, I have no way of knowing what is or isn’t love, and so I have a terrible issue on my hands: I cannot evaluate what is and is not love.

If there is no perfect love, there is no love, because I no longer have a way to measure imperfect love against perfect love.

This would be something like me painting a canvas for you and asking you, “How does it compare to Zincent Monsingo’s painting?”

You would probably ask, “Who is Zincent Monsingo?”

And I would say, “I don’t know.  I don’t think Zincent Monsingo is really a real person at all.”

How in the world could I ask you to tell me how my painting compared to a fictitious person?  🙂

If objective, perfect love doesn’t exist . . . how can I possibly tell if subjective, imperfect love does?

There are certainly a lot of opinions about love in the world.  How can I tell an abuser that (s)he isn’t showing love if I don’t know what love is myself?

And what about justice?  How can I ever say someone isn’t showing me justice if there is no standard for justice?  I can’t say to you, “You’re being unjust because . . .” and give any reason that is objective.  I can tell you how I feel about what you’re doing, but that doesn’t make your action right or wrong.  And what are we going to do if our feelings clash?

What’s more, how do I know what is imperfect if there is no perfect?  If there is no 100% or pure (absolute) justice I can look up to, I can never know how any manner of justice or injustice measures up.

If you and I are sharing a snack, in a classic C.S. Lewis analogy[1], and I give you half of my apple, but you don’t give me any of your orange, I can’t say you’re being less fair than I am.  There is no more and no less justice if there is no perfect justice.

That would be like telling a runner, “You’re halfway to the finish line,” or “You’re almost to the finish line,” when there is no finish line.

I can’t have any justice if I don’t have perfect justice, because I can’t give any definition of justice which I know to be true, since I don’t even have truth.

In a world without truth, there is no perfect past to look back on and no future hope to look forward to.  And the present holds no opportunities for meaning.

Some say Christianity is a confusing worldview, full of contradictions and ambiguities and unfairness, but I can think of no greater contradiction of logic than to believe you can know a contradiction when you have no standard and no set definition of contradiction!

Would there be less stress if we had no absolute truth?  Well, that would be like me complaining I’m stressed because I can’t catch a fish and then tangling my fishing line with a hundred other poles.

If I can’t fish, my problem won’t become easier by tangling my line all up.  And if I can’t measure up to absolute truth, my life isn’t going to be less stressful by tangling my mind up in a zillion ambiguities.

What I need is a way to measure up to absolute Truth, not a way to get myself so confused I can pretend absolute Truth doesn’t exist.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)

Published in: on February 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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