“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” – Thoreau
Aristotle wrote, “to say that what is, ... is, and what is not, ... is not, is true.”
This has never been more appropriate in politics and religion. Because, by its very nature self-deception can be hard to distinguish from the truth, and it often arises from the very bed you have been born.
We know Truth can lead to meaningful action, truth has instrumental value. But truth also has intrinsic value. Given the choice between a life of unlimited pleasure and a genuine human life with all its pain and suffering, most people opt for the latter.
Socrates says that “aletheia” (Greek, ‘truth’) is a compression of the phrase “a wandering that is divine.”
Truth and God are often spoken in the same breath, and truth has also been linked with concepts such as justice, power, and freedom.
Truth is a property of thoughts and ideas but more aptly is contrived of beliefs and assertions. But to believe or assert something is not enough to make it true, or the assertion that to believe that it is not true.
To be a successful liar one must track the truth in order to conceal it, and once successful has no regard or sensitivity for the truth despite what his or her audience believes.
Philosophers have theorized that thought or language is true if it corresponds to an independent reality. Meaning their theory of truth, the mind does not perceive reality as it is, but only as it can, filtering, distorting, and interpreting it. Today it is being argued that truth is constructed by social opinions and cultural processes, to say nothing of individual sexual desires and racial dispositions.
Unfortunately, IMHO, any compassion in a culture that is void of the Gospel, is a commitment to the costly practice of sacrificing eternal truths in the midst of intellectual, moral, and philosophical battles that's based on arbitrary values.
In the coherence of this theory of truth, arbitrary values can only be true if it is mandated into a larger social order. Acceptance just simply becomes an attitude, a way of existing in the world.
“Arbitrary Values” imposed on culture can have a devastating impact. We are seeing it played out first hand.
If people are left with no eternal basis for meaning or truth, or hope in life, and instead have embraced their two impoverished values; the pursuit of their own personal peace (protected space) and acquiring affluence. Personal peace means: I want to be separated and undisturbed from any invasion from differing opinons and charity towards the poor, sick and homeless is the Government’s responsibility, not mine.
Affluence simply means the acquisition of things and more things, and deceived that success is measured by the abundance of things, eventually they become prisoners, creatures of comfort in our own cells, chained by greed.
Christians were persecuted in Rome because they would only worship the infinite-personal God and not Caesar. They had an absolute that govern their lives, and, whereby to judge the Roman state and its actions of tyranny.
If there are no absolutes by which to judge a society, then society itself is the absolute. Furthermore, authoritarianism remains as the only humanistic social option. Because society still has to be led by an elite: One man or an elitist group giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes.
John 8:32, Jesus said to the Jews: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”