Q22 – Is There Really Any Such Thing As Truth?

Serpent tempting with apple

There is an obvious answer to this question, and the only reason to ask this question in the first place is to attempt to deny that obvious answer. But attempts to deny the obvious are self-contradictory. So the humanists and atheists and other “ists” who believe they are the masters of logic and reason show their foolishness when they attempt to deny the obvious answer to this question. They are the perfect example of the foolish idolaters identified in Romans chapter 1:

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”
(Rom 1:22-23 )

Those who fall into the trap of repeating this foolish question from supposed wise philosophers and thinkers do not realize that they have fallen into a form of idolatry. That is because the idol is hidden from their view. It is made possible by their own ability to think, reason and question. Such thoughts become idolatry when the thinkers place the conclusions from their thoughts above the clear declarations and revelations of God and God’s word. Anything that displaces God from his rightful place is an idol, so those asking “is there any such thing as truth?” are really expressing a form of idolatry, akin to saying “is there any better god than this calf idol?”.

Jesus stated he is truth incarnate (“I am the Way the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14.6), so to deny there is such a thing as “truth” is to deny the clear declarations and revelations of God, that:

1. Truth exists,  and
2. Jesus, the Word of God (John 1.1), is the expression of that truth

But enough on why such a position is the foolishness of idolaters, let’s get to the demonstration of the answer that everyone knows is true. There is such a thing as “truth.”

Prerequisites for Identifying Truth

Before demonstrating that there is such a thing as truth, one must define what is understood by the concept of “truth.” Many apologists who address this question skip this step, choosing to speak instead of “absolute truth” or “objective truth”, but that is because they did not take the time to define the main concept of “truth” itself. So we’ll take a moment to do that, then we won’t need adjectives like “absolute” or “objective.”

First, an observation. This entire concept of “truth” is a non-material concept. Inanimate, non-conscious objects such as rocks are not concerned with immaterial, rational concepts such as truth. Which means this is yet another item that evolution cannot explain. Actually, two items: Where did the consciousness, that allows us to consider concepts such as “truth”, come from, and where did the concept of “truth” itself come from?

I bring up the topic of immaterial objects because we need a number of immaterial constructs to define “truth.” The first construct is the laws of logic. The origin of the laws of logic is another problem for evolutionists, but we will not dive down that rabbit hole here. Instead, we’ll accept the laws of logic as valid and as a first, a priori principle. Here are the first two laws of logic:[1]

1. The Law of Identity
A thing is what it is.

2. The Law of Non-Contradiction
It is impossible for something to both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect.

This will provide boundaries to exclude foolish errors.

Now as to the definition of “truth” itself.  I support the “Correspondence Theory” of truth as correct. As stated by the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:[2]

“The basic idea of the correspondence theory is that what we believe or say is true if it corresponds to the way things actually are – to the facts.”

With these as the framework, we are  now prepared to answer the question “Is there such a thing as truth?” In order to do so, we must turn it into a declarative statement that can be tested. The question implies the negative, so we will examine the negative declarative statement:

Assertion for examination:
There is no such thing as truth.

This is a self-contradictory statement which is made clear by merely asking “Is that a true statement?”

a) If it is a true statement, then it is true that there is no such thing as truth. That is obviously  contradictory and so violates the law of non-contradiction . So clearly the assertion is a false statement.

b) If it is a false statement, then it is false that there is no such thing as truth or, removing the double negatives, it is true that there is such a thing a truth. This is in accordance with the Law of Identity and does not violate any laws of logic, so clearly denying the assertion produces a true statement.

So once again we see those trying to be sophisticated and philosophical by trying to imply, or outright claiming “there is no such thing as truth” are merely showing themselves to be willing to deceive themselves regarding an obvious truth to avoid that same very obvious truth: Truth exists. Truth has always existed, just as God, who is truth, has always existed.

From my perspective, the only reason to deny there is such a thing as “truth” and that it is knowable, is because you want to deny that God. For just as there is a God who is truth and is knowable, likewise there is truth that is knowable.  In some respects it’s really a variation of the serpent’s lie in the garden, “Did God really say …?” (Gen 3.1). Satan, the deceiver in the form of a serpent, is essentially implying that God has told Adam and Eve a lie. Satan says this about God who he knows always speaks truth and never lies (Is 45.19). That lie is one step before the false claim that not only did God not speak the truth, but that there is no truth.

Corollary Question: What is Truth?

This related question, “What is truth?” (John 18.38), is the question Pilate asked Jesus when he was trying to ascertain whether Jesus was worthy of death, as the Jewish leaders claimed, or not. (John 18.28-37) The late Charles Colson makes an important distinction in how to understand the question. Pilate is not being philosophical here. He’s being dismissive. He’s essentially asking, “what does truth matter?” Colson points out that Pilate’s depiction in Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” correctly captures that dismissive attitude. I agree that’s the attitude depicted. (In passing, the movie is unfortunately done in Latin (unfortunate since Jesus spoke Aramaic so Latin does not help the film), but that forces Gibson to place subtitles throughout the movie.) Colson said Gibson shows the dismissive nature by placing an exclamation point after the question, what is truth? To be precise, in the movie Pilate repeats “truth”  after Jesus states, “I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18.37) It’s after Pilate repeats “truth” that the exclamation point is placed. “What is truth?” is left as a question, but the actor clearly portrays his dismissive attitude toward the importance of “truth.”
View Colson’s comment  (2006) here.

View the scene from the The Passion of the Christ (2004) here.

Final Thoughts

Whichever way you take it, whether philosophically (Is there such a thing as truth?) or dismissively (“What’s truth?” as Pilate did), clearly the whole concept is satanic, with the goal being to separate you from God by getting you to deny the basic things you need for a relationship with him – a recognition that there is truth, that God always speaks truth, that Jesus is truth incarnate, and that God wants to have a relationship with you through Jesus based on truth, not lies and falsehood. God will not allow lies or falsehood in his kingdom in heaven. As he says about his kingdom, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev 21.27) Liars and deceivers (and the deceived who reject Jesus) do not go to heaven. They go to hell. In fact I wrote an entire article on it:  Hell is for liars.

 So here’s my plea. Don’t be among those who fall into Satan’s trap – questioning if there’s truth or whether it’s knowable or important. Clearly there is truth, and God speaks truth and has revealed truth in scripture as well as in nature. On the other hand, Satan lies. Satan lies on his way to murder so he can murder you without you noticing it. This is what Jesus said about Satan’s lies and murder:

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
(John 8:44)

Satan lies so you can spend eternity in hell with him. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of his lies. Instead, recognize the enemy and be alert:

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
(1 Pet 5:8 ) 

I will leave you with a question that Jesus asked those who didn’t believe him but who thought their being an heir of Abraham would be sufficient to get them into heaven. Jesus asked them:

Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?  He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
– Jesus (John 8.45-47) 

No one could prove Jesus guilty of any sin. This means Jesus never lied because to lie is to sin. He never sinned, so he never lied. If Jesus never lies and only speaks truth, why don’t you believe him? He answers the question above for you.  Why don’t you believe him (who is truth)? Because you do not belong to God. If you don’t belong to God, you belong to the liar, Satan, so you don’t accept truth. Would you like to belong to God and avoid an eternity with Satan? Here’s how:

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
– Jesus (John 5.24)

Jesus also says, “Trust in God. Trust also in me.” (John 14.1)
Once you believe, you have eternal life the moment you truly believe. That’s how you open yourself to belong to God.

Duane Caldwell  |  February 20, 2024 | Printer friendly version

1. The descriptive wording is from Being Logical; the titles and order are from “The Three Fundamental Laws of Logic”

D.Q. McInerny, Being Logical, New York: Random House, 2005, pp. 26,28
“The Three Fundamental Laws of Logic”, Knoji,March 10, 2012, https://knoji.com/article/the-three-fundamental-laws-of-logic/

2. “Truth” in The Standford Enclopedia of Philosophy, revision Thu Aug 16, 2018, accessed 2/17/2024, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth/#CorThe


Tempting serpent with apple; AI generated by © Alexandr Ulyanov | Dreamstime.com | used by permission

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