So this guy looks across the table at me and says “Bayo, what is the truth? What is your definition of ‘the truth?’” My default reaction to such questions is usually some wise-ass remark, but his earnest expression suggested that wasn’t the most profitable course of action. The dude was serious. So I quaff the rising flippancy and instead responded with a calm “nothing.“
Ok, ok people. Calm your horses, drop the pitchforks and let me explain myself. I haven’t lost my way, I am going somewhere with this.
The guy looks at me, he seemed relieved. To be honest, that wasn’t the reaction I was expecting but I give him the questioning look as a way of encouraging him to go on. He says “I once had this conversation with someone. I told him that my truth may differ from your truth, who then makes the call on who is right?”
Hmm, questions that make me count sheep… I have long wondered about the concept of a universal arbiter of disputes. For we religious ones the obvious answer is God! But unfortunately, in my wanderings I’ve found that not everyone believes in God ,hence the universal bit just doesn’t quite work out. And even if we all believed, there isn’t one single objective way for us to hear Him. Over the ages the methods have ranged from the Urim and Thummim through meditation to listening to your heart. 47799, 47800, 47801, 802…
I smile back and tell him I see his point. But doesn’t he know that, “Jesus is the way, the truth and the light?” That’s the answer right there – Jesus is the truth. He shook his head, “the last guy I had this discussion with went all religious on me. You’re doing the same.” Haha. Yes. I had to do that, even though I understood that answer was kinda obvious to us both being Christians. But I was searching and this guy wasn’t buying that explanation – he already knew that. Great. This is gonna be interesting. He followed up, “if you don’t believe in God, or Jesus, obviously that truth is not acceptable to you. And this is my point. Your truth is different from my truth! I thought you were going to explain why nothing is the truth”
How do we qualify what is true? The fact that you don’t believe in something shouldn’t negate the fact that it is true, should it? I mean, shouldn’t truth be something devolved of belief? Shouldn’t the truth be independent of the frame of reference? Much like how tensors differ from vectors (sorry, non mathematicians). It probably should be, but I don’t think it is – for reasons I will explain in a follow up post. Part of it is semantic, what is true or false? What is fact or fiction? It’s a much debated topic and I feel like jumping in and adding mine.
This post is a teaser, meant to get you thinking. And I know sometimes it’s uncomfortable to think about topics like this. But it is useful. I think the search does something to your mind and you end up with an answer – even if it is the confirmation that you really have no idea. Someone once told me not to think too much about things like this and before long I’ll stop believing in anything. Maybe. But I don’t think so. Let’s talk more about this in the second part of this series.
- Chale, tell me the truth! – Pt 2 (agbolohun.com)