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‘Can You Blame the Voice of Youth for Asking, What is Truth?’

A little boy of three sittin’ on the floor

Looks up and says, “Daddy, what is war?”

“son, that’s when people fight and die”

The little boy of three says “Daddy, why?”

A young man of seventeen in Sunday school

Being taught the golden rule

And by the time another year has gone around

It may be his turn to lay his life down

Can you blame the voice of youth for asking

“What is truth?”

-johnny cash


this blog will shed no light on the answers, you will walk away just as confused as before you decided to read this… but i am learning slowly that it is all about the journey, not the destination (because in philosophy one rarely reaches a destination).

the scene is set, Jesus is being interrogated by pontius pilate before He was to be crucified, Jesus said “everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” to this pilate replied ‘what is truth?’, even 2000 years ago, in the midst of one of the most famous trials in history, the debate raged on.

‘what is truth?’ is one of the most common questions we must all battle with in our lives, right up there with ‘why am I here?,’ ‘who is God?’ etc. this is not a ‘new question’ or something derived by high school philosophy teachers to test our abilities to write an essay.

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i was faced once again with this question recently after a van driver had a peculiar book in floorboard of his vehicle. the title was “hitler and the lamb; conversations between adolph hitler and Jesus.’ of course the title right away took me because as far as morality these two were playing on different teams, if not two different sports. it was a book by current day philosopher ravi zacheria, a work of fiction, but nonetheless intriguing. after discussing philosophy with my new friend/van driver to cornerstone (david), he gave me the book and within a matter of two hours this short read was read.

what amazed me is how that hitler believed that he was right and had convinced himself so, even to the final statement, right before his suicide, he went off on how he felt he was doing the world a favor by killing so many jews. how do i, and the vast majority of the world, believe he was so utterly wrong in every way shape and form! is there such thing as subjective truth as soren kierkegaard believed?(1) i cannot, or rather don’t want to believe there is, there is already too much grey in this world to believe it so. if at the very least out of this lifetime i want some things to be certain in this uncertain world. i want to believe pol pot, stalin, and men like hitler were bad. i want to believe that helping the widows and orphans are ‘good’. but here i am veering off the topic at hand.

truth to me has taking me years to find, and most of the time what i felt was truth 10 years ago has altered, amalgamated, or all together changed its appearance since then. it is something worth pursuing, worth looking for, and worth the wait. the problem is truth is not simply ingrained, and genetically passed down from generation to generation; it is much like a buried treasure, and only those who seek will find.

so here we are where this began, ‘what is truth,’ is a question only you will be able to answer.

now search.

-stephen

1.When Søren Kierkegaard, as his character Johannes Climacus, wrote that “Truth is Subjectivity”, he does not advocate for subjectivism in its extreme form (the theory that something is true simply because one believes it to be so), but rather that the objective approach to matters of personal truth cannot shed any light upon that which is most essential to a person’s life. Objective truths are concerned with the facts of a person’s being, while subjective truths are concerned with a person’s way of being. Kierkegaard agrees that objective truths for the study of subjects like mathematics, science, and history are relevant and necessary, but argues that objective truths do not shed any light on a person’s inner relationship to existence. At best, these truths can only provide a severely narrowed perspective that has little to do with one’s actual experience of life. (wikipedia)

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