4 - What is Truth?

December 20, 2020

4 - What is Truth?

Can truth be known? What is truth? What is the meaning of truth?

Even Jesus and Pontius Pilate discussed this question.

What is truth Pilate asked Jesus.  John 18:38 highlights this what is truth Pontius Pilate question. 

What is Truth Pilate - Jesus

Well we will be discussing this very question in this blog post.

Many moral relativists (whom we will talk about in the next section) would say that truth cannot be known, or that all truths are equal.

Well to make the "truth statement" that "truth cannot be known" is actually what is called a "self-defeating statement" (a statement is self-defeating if it does not satisfy itself).

So what is truth in philosophy?

Here is a video which breaks down some of these key concepts:

Can Truth Be Known - Ultimate Guide to Christian Apologetics

Self-Defeating Statements

So what is truthfulness?

Well, to make the statement, "truth cannot be known", you are saying a "truth statement" that there is no such thing as truth. 

Another example of a self-defeating statement is the statement, "Science is the only begetter of truth".  Why? 

Because you are making a statement (science is the only begetter of truth) which cannot be tested under a microscope, or through the scientific method.  Therefore your own statement must not be true, according to your own standards.  See the contradiction?

So what is the TRUE conclusion?

Well, here is another short video, highlighting philosopher David Hume, that describes self-defeating, or self-refuting, statements:

Self-Defeating or Self-Refuting Statements - Ultimate Guide to Christian Apologetics

Objective Truth vs. Subjective Truth

Another important distinction to make when dealing with truth is differentiating between objective vs. subjective truth.  

What is objective truth?

Objective truths are facts regardless of how you feel about them.

What is subjective truth?

Subjective truths are true about the subject making the statement.

For instance, to say, "Ice cream is great!" is a subjective truth because it is true about you, the subject, making the statement.  But if you were to say, "This ice cream is made with cream," that would be an objective statement because it is true about the object (in this case, the ice cream), regardless of how you, the subject feels about it.


That can get a little hard to understand, so here is a video to better illustrate the point:


Objective vs Subjective Truth - Ultimate Guide to Christian Apologetics


Here is a quick review of some of the concepts we have covered here in this section, as well as some of the ones we are going to cover in the next section:

In this next morality section, we break down the actual moral argument.