So, a skeptical friend says “there is no truth.” I think the first question I would ask is if that is true? I would first ask them if they genuinely believed their assertion was true, because if there is no truth then there can be no truth statements. The skeptic’s statment violates the law of non-contradiction and is self-refuting. As an example, I would offer a similar statement such as, “I can’t speak a single word in the English language” (Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek 2004, 35-42). Both the skeptic’s statement, and my own, reveal several things that I would kindly point out to the skeptic.
“I can’t speak a single word in the English language.”
Say this to yourself in English, and it’s easy to see how this claim self-destructs just like the truth claim “there is no truth.”
To state that there is no truth violates the law of non-contradiction in that such a statement is not logically consistent, factually adequate, nor existentially viable. The skeptic is asserting a truth statement that there is no truth, but both the statement itself and its implication cannot be true at the same time and in the same sense. Although the skeptic could argue factual adequacy and existential viability from relativism, I would at this time offer that I am speaking of the specific claim that there is no absolute truth.
In addition to relative (subjective) truths like one person loves chocolate ice cream and another person loves butter pecan ice cream, there exists absolute truth. But absolute truth is objective, mind-independent reality.
Absolute truth is reality and correlates with the correspondence theory of truth which states that a statement is true if its content corresponds with how things are in reality. The metaphysical definition of reality states that reality, or realism is an objective mind-independent reality, whose facts are independent of our belief of those facts. With my statement that “I can’t speak a word in the English language” and my skeptic friend’s assertion that “there is no truth”, neither statement is factually adequate nor existentially viable.
Finally, the skeptic friend’s statement about truth is self-refuting. The statement that there is no truth fails to meet its own standard, nor does it correspond with reality. It is self-defeating (Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek 2004, 35-42). However, there are many people in the world who do not believe in abolute truth.
How would you respond? Do you believe in absolute, or objective, truth? If not, why not? Do you know that God loves you?
Geisler, Norman L. and Frank Turek. 2004. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, Wheaton: Crossway.