In today’s Easter Gospel we read the account of Jesus before Pilate in John 18 – 19. Pilate asks Jesus “what is truth”? In today’s deeply divided culture we seem to have our own truth. The left has its truth and the right theirs. A couple of examples: 1) In the recent Congressional investigation of Russian collusion, it was discovered that the FBI may have abused the FISA Court in getting a warrant to monitor an American citizen, Carter Page. The Republicans came out with a scathing report of such abuses. The Democrats, on the other hand totally denied that there was any impropriety and came out with their own version of events; two different “truths.” This is a contradiction. You cannot have two different versions of an event and both be true. Either one is true or the other false. 2) The other example is the situation with the Planned Parenthood (PP) tapes that showed PP selling aborted baby parts. The videos told one story, but there was another story by the supporters of PP and PP itself. Click here to see some of these videos.
Recently I posted something on my Facebook page regarding Planned Parenthood and how it was exposed by these videos and someone responded with an ad hominem attack stating that the videos had been “heavily edited” and “doctored.” Here is where we run into a logic problem. In the book, Ten Universal Principles by Robert Spitzer, he discusses ten universal principles that are universally accepted such as The Principle of Noncontradiction, The Principle of Objective Evidence and so on.
When we argue about facts, we cannot simply assert something as a matter of subjective opinion in order to be true, this would be merely subjective verification and therefore, it could not be used to prove something to somebody else, Spitzer writes in page 16. Additionally, something like what the person told me about the “doctored” videos earlier is simply arbitrarily asserted. What is arbitrarily asserted without evidence can be arbitrarily denied without evidence. So the person making the assertion about the videos being “doctored” has no proof or evidence to support claim; only an arbitray assertion.
What is so disturbing today is that reason, logic and philosophy are not even considered in our debates about what is truth as Pilate asked Jesus. I see this especially true on the left of the political spectrum. They never ask, is it true? or is there any evidence? They only make statements arbitrarily. This will not pass the reason or the logic test. In the Planned Parenthood videos mentioned here, we heard Planned Parenthood and their supporters on the left yell and scream that the videos were not true, but all they pointed to was their own subjective opinon, no facts and no evidence. So, what is truth? Well, according to some, it’s whatever they say it is.