Postmodern thinking is everywhere. Yes, even in the church. And there are those in the church asserting that we can never know the truth, truly. Modernists, on the other hand, say that we can and do know the truth absolutely. As Christians we need to know how to present Christ to both mindsets.
I find myself fascinated by the idea that there is no truth. Is it true that there is no truth, and how can one tell truly?
Putting all jokes aside for a second, that’s a terrifying concept. If we can’t be sure about anything, if there is no standard, certainly we will all perish. If for no other reason than mass confusion.
I love this historic conversation.
Conversation Between Protagoras and Socrates (4th B.C.)
Protagoras: Truth is relative. It is only a matter of opinion.
Socrates: You mean that truth is mere subjective opinion?
Protagoras: Exactly. What is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me is true for me. Truth is subjective.
Socrates: Do you really mean that? That my opinion is true by virtue of its being my opinion?
Protagoras: Indeed I do.
Socrates: My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you, Mr. Protagoras, are absolutely in error. Since this is my opinion, you must grant that it is true according to your philosophy.
Protagoras: You are quite correct, Socrates.
I found a great and more in-depth article here about it. I’ll give you a quote.
SOCRATES’ REFUTATION OF PROTAGORAS.
Socrates, who cared deeply about truth and was contemptuous of those who used words in careless ways, did much to expose the sophistical nature of Protagoras’s reasoning. As portrayed by Plato in his dialogue “Theatetus,” Socrates refuted the notion that all truth is relative by means of a number of devastating criticisms:
* On Protagoras’s own argument, truth is relative not just to man but to any sentient being whatever, even a tadpole.
* Protagoras, on his own showing, is no more of an authority about the nature of truth than is any other man, or even a tadpole.
* If everyone is equally right about what is true, then no one is ever either ignorant or mistaken in his opinions.
• If everyone’s opinion is true, then so is the opinion of anyone who says that Protagoras’ opinion is false. Hence the doctrine that all truth is relative is self-refuting.