First, do you have an open mind?
Having an open mind means being willing to listen to and consider new ideas or perspectives without any prior judgement or biases. It requires being able to objectively evaluate different viewpoints and being respectful of diverse opinions. An open mind leads to learning, growth, and understanding towards others.
When we talk about having an open mind about truth, it means being willing to accept what the evidence shows us, even if it disagrees with what we already thought. It’s important to be honest with ourselves and change our beliefs if the evidence tells us something different.
What is Objective Truth?
You do not invent the truth but discover it. We discover truth through our senses. This is the basis of all science. All our experiences are brought to light on a higher level of understanding. This intelligence allows us to form a judgment or truth of what something is through reason. However, because humans are finite, our ability to discover the light of all truth is limited. We see truth as the conformity of our mind and reality, but what is reality?
Why care about Truth?
We should care about what’s true and question our beliefs, especially when it comes to what happens after we die. Our choices and beliefs can affect us and others a lot. We care about the truth because we care about ourselves and others. Telling the truth makes people respect us because it shows we care for them. Being true to ourselves helps us find peace of mind.
Common Misconceptions of Truth
Truth only comes from science
A common worldview misconception is that truth is only discovered through science. Science can only prove things to be true if they are measurable and repeatable. If something cannot be measured it cannot be investigated through scientific methods. For example, science cannot measure how much someone loves you. That truth comes only from testimony and trust. Science can’t prove whether something is good or bad, or what is your conscience. Science cannot prove something is beautiful or supernatural things like God’s existence, just to name a few.
Truth is relative or doesn’t exist
Another common worldview is “your truth” or what is true for you versus what is true for me. You can have your perspective, but there is no such thing as your truth. There is only “the truth” that is true for everyone. To say that there’s no such thing as the truth you are saying is true that there is no truth. It is self-contradicting and nonsense. Truth must match reality.
Subjective truth is a kind of truth that depends on what you think or feel. It is not based on facts or evidence that everyone can agree on. For example, if you say “Chocolate ice cream is the best flavor”, that is your subjective truth. But not everyone might agree with you. Some people might prefer vanilla or strawberry.
What is God’s Truth?
God’s truth is “everything” that exists in His mind. The world we live in conforms to God’s mind and it never changes. God has given us the gift of reason, so that we can begin to discover the truth that He has revealed. This includes the things that we have discovered through scientific study. In fact, science is just a reflection of the mind of God.
As St. Thomas Aquinas said, everything in the world is a “word” or “expression” of what is in the divine mind. So, God’s truth is eternal and unchanging, and it encompasses all that we can know and understand about the world and ourselves.
God’s Truth is objective truth because it comes from God, who is the source of all truth1. God’s Truth does not change or depend on what we think or feel. It is the same for everyone and always true2. For example, God’s Truth tells us that He loves us and sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins. That is true no matter what we believe or how we feel.
“But that required faith in God.”
What is faith?
Faith is simply believing something based on the testimony of someone else. Everyone has faith in something or someone. You might have faith in a good friend, a doctor, or even a scientist. You trust them and believe what they say even though you can’t prove it. But, when you can prove something, like 2+2=4, you know it’s true.
When it comes to faith in God, it’s important to understand that it’s not just a blind leap. There are good reasons to believe in God. God has provided us with “signs of credibility” that point to His existence. We can use reason to discover some truths about God, because He has revealed them to us. In other words, Christian faith is not just a wishful thinking, it’s a rational choice.
Faith and reason have two large classes of truth that overlap.
Humans discover the truth over time, however, man’s truth changes over time. In other words, man continues to discover a deeper understanding of the eternal truth.
Since Human intellect is finite, man can only see a glimpse of God’s truth. However, God’s divine love does give us the ability to know and understand more than what we see in nature through the graces of faith, hope, and love. The light of God’s eternal truth is given to humans to participate in God’s love.
There are some truths that have been revealed by God that can be understood by human reason.
For example, moral laws or even that God exists.
But there are truths revealed by God that cannot be understood by natural reason. These are truths that are beyond man’s capabilities to discover through natural reason. Although they are believable and are backed up in history, these supernatural truths can be embraced by man because God has revealed them to us.
For example: “The Holy Trinity” or that “Christ died for our sins”.
Can faith conflict with reason?
Because both the light of truths and faith are under God’s truth based on reality, faith and reason cannot contradict each other. Truth cannot contradict truth.
Understanding the full scope of truth is what separates a faithful believer from a non-believer.
God gives us more than the gift of reason. He gives us the spirits of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding.
Faith and reason are both sources of authority upon which beliefs can rest.
To begin your journey into eternal truth, beyond the human light of reason, let’s look at the “signs of credibility”.
Why Care about God?
What is your purpose?
Are you ready to meet God?
“There are two types of men, those who are afraid to lose God, and those who are afraid that they might find Him…” –Blaise Pascal, philosopher, and scientist
Source: Ideas adapted from Handbook of Christian Apologetics Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tracelli
Other supporting videos explaining these ideas are found on this page.
Does science explain everything?
What are the limits of science? (Hint It must be measurable)
True for you but not for me?
What is Faith? (Faith is believing something on the word of a witness)
Is Faith Unreasonable? (Faith is believing in God’s word, who is truth himself)
What is the difference between faith and Reason?
Truth exists, and humans are capable of knowing the truth
Looking at the bigger picture of Truth “Wisdom”
Summary of Truth
- Truth never changes.
- Truth must match reality.
- Science can only prove things to be true if they are measurable and repeatable.
- Our ability to discover the light of all truth is limited because humans are finite.
- We use our experiences to help us understand and figure out what is true.
- We should care about what’s true and question our beliefs, especially when it comes to what happens after we die.
- Everyone has faith.
- Faith and reason have two large classes of truth that overlap.