Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Abolition of Truth

Last weekend I had a rare opportunity to enter into a philosophical discussion with an adversary. While sitting around a wood fire on a chilly night, she questioned everyone in our group about this philosophical concept and that. Eventually the discussion turned to truth. She made the statement, "There is no such thing as objective truth." Oh really?
I gave her the classic response, "Is the statement you just made true?"
"So then objective truth does exist."
I felt like I was in a David Spade commercial. The conversation quickly turned to something else and ended. Perhaps my argument was a cheap rhetorical trick. From my perspective her statement "There is no such thing as truth" contradicts itself. But I am operating under the belief that truth exists. For her, there is no logical contradiction because that statement is neither true nor false. It just is (or is it)? This highlights the problem with deconstructionism. At its logical conclusion, statements, indeed words end up having no meaning (thank you Jerry for that insight). If we cannot agree that truth exists, then why were we even discussing it? Isn't the purpose of a philosophical debate to search for truth? Otherwise, the conversation was merely a way to pass time in a meaningless existence. Deconstructionism is depressing.


  • Pick up Mere Christianity by CS Lewis man! It really tears down those arguments without the classic "is your statement not then true?" I always like to ask someone who discards truth as something part of them with, why don't you do drugs, beat your husband, kick your dog, sell your kids into slavery, sleep with everyone you know, steal money from family? Well because those things are wrong people will say. We are always thinking of oursevles as generally good people. But how do we come across those things? How do we decide we are generally good people? Where does this truth come from?

    -- Nick

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, January 12, 2006 7:04:00 AM  

  • You are right Nick. It has been five years since I've read Mere Christianity. Perhaps it is worth another read.

    By Blogger Tom, at Thursday, January 12, 2006 12:17:00 PM  

  • I hereby celebrate Nick, our first commenter. Maybe we should erect a monument in his honor or something....

    Here's to you, Nick. Thank you and God Bless....

    By Blogger Jerry, at Thursday, January 12, 2006 2:13:00 PM  

  • It really does make one wonder about what discussion can exist if there is no basis. In the ancient world, even where there was little or no agreement on God or the gods, a few common principles such as the "principle of non-contradiction" were accepted as axioms. If we don't think that something cannot both be and not be in the same time, same place, and in the same respect, where do we begin dialogue?

    By Anonymous fr. jason, at Saturday, January 14, 2006 3:34:00 AM  

  • When she said, "No", you could have said "No what?" Without objective truth (reality), no discussions are possible. All verbalizations are mere expressions of pain or pleasure, e.g. "I like that." can be true or false; "Ahhh" is neither, it just is.

    By Anonymous RAF, at Monday, January 16, 2006 8:20:00 PM  

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