IS TRUTH JUST A MATTER OF PERSONAL OPINION? Isn’t one person’s view of ethics just as valid as another person’s? Are not all views, in essence, the same? And does the whole issue of truth and ethics really matter? Does it make any difference? Can the honest seeker of truth decide without accurate data? In our consideration of ethics — the moral evaluation of what is right and what is wrong — we will need to overcome some common misconceptions people hold in this arena of ethical determination.
Misconception 1: ALL TRUTH IS RELATIVE
Personal opinion doesn’t determine reality. For example, I can choose to believe that the earth is flat, but the reality of the matter is that the earth is spherical not flat! I may still choose to believe that it’s flat, but I’m still wrong! Another way of stating the claim that all truth is relative is to say, there are no absolutes! Yet in response to this claim I must ask, “Are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?” It is humorous to note that the rejection statement — “There are no absolutes.” — is, in fact, an absolute!
Is the statement “All truth is relative,” true? No, it’s impossible since it is a self-refuting statement, one which contradicts itself. It is, in fact, making a statement of absolute truth when it claims, there is no absolute truth!
Some examples of self-refuting propositions would include, “I’m a truthful liar”; “I’m an honest thief”; “I’m a compassionate killer”. All of these statements are false since they are internally contradictory and therefore self-defeating!