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  • Writer's pictureKaitlyn Dempsey

The Truth vs My Truth

This topic has been on my mind off and on for about 4 or 5 years. In the fall of 2019, I had a class entitled "Intro to Writing & Rhetoric:" my major at UW-La Crosse. However, little did I realize that this class was mainly an introduction to Rhetoric or how we obtain truth. It was broken into 3 sections: the Postmodernist view, the Platonist view, and the Aristotle's view all on obtaining and understanding truth from these perspectives. These topics were above our heads, but we grew into them, and the professor taught the class extremely well. I'm going to just focus on the first 2 views and juxtapose them how I understood them in our culture's context.

Before I begin, I don't claim to be an expert in the topic and I have much to learn. This being said, this is my reflection on the topic of truth that I'm choosing to share.

The Postmodernist view breaks down into the simple fact that there is no capital "T" truth. We evaluate our situation and "create" small "truths" that are true to our community. By working together, we sift and refine what we choose to be "our truth." For example, small community has a murder in their town. After this occurs, the community comes together agreeing that it is wrong because the victim contributed to their society and was loved by his family and friends. Therefore, their truth is that murder is wrong based upon their own judgement. For these people, they have many "truths" that they've agreed upon.

For Plato in The Republic, he sees Truth as a constant chariot and rider that a crowd of people are trying to spot. From one position, someone can see the side of the horse while another person may be able to spot the rider's hair. Truth doesn't change; it is a constant but the crowd can only grasp parts of what they see.

Plato's view of the constant Truth can also be compared to the Christian message where Jesus is "The Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6). He is the constant and static Truth. He came to earth to show us how to live in the Truth, and we constantly interact with the Truth when partake of the Eucharist. Therefore, we have Truth as a foundation in our life so long we follow Christ's commands.

In today's society, we see the Postmodernist view in practice by those who do not adhere to Christ's way. However, with the rise of individualism, it isn't just groups of people coming up with "truths;" now, people use their own beliefs and reason (or lack thereof) as the basis of what is true. This is why we have the rise of "my truth" vs "your truth" because to them, the "truth" is subjective, not objective. But when truth is subjective, anything can be right. Who's then to say that pornography is wrong? What is wrong with identifying as LGBT+? Why is violence wrong if I deem it as "my truth?" I'm not saying that there are proponents of violence in this camp of thought, but there is nothing stopping them from this if individuals are the arbiters of truth. It is also just a lot of unnecessary pressure to place upon people.

In order to accept the Truth, you have have to accept Christ's divinity. If you don't, then you could argue that truth is still subjective and that it is even more individualist because we can only follow one man's truth. To fix today's society, we have to accept the constant unchanging Truth instead of relying on our own fallen natures to come to "my truth." There is only 1 Truth and 1 Way - and that is Jesus Christ.

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