Have you ever contemplated what the world would be like if telling the truth no longer mattered? Doesn't it strike you as irrational that objective truth should not be acknowledged in human society? What comes when truth no longer matters? Or, when truth is defined subjectively, each individual having their own "truth"? Maybe a more practical question: Do you really want to be lied to? Do you really want to believe something that is not true?
I assume the answer most people would give to the last question is no. I could assume that no parent wants their children to lie to them. So there is precedent for the desirability of truth. Truth corresponds to reality. Rational persons require a reality that is not user-preference.
While our behaviors do alter our reality in certain ways, there is no behavior that changes reality in its basic form. Saying that I did not exceed the speed limit doesn't make it so. All things being equal, if the radar clocks me at 20 over the limit, saying I wasn't speeding becomes provably false. It irritates the officer who doesn't like being played for a fool.
Against science fiction, there is no possibility for alternate realities in, well, reality. There are only two realities. In one reality only God exists. He is the only being who lives in his reality. He is in a category all my himself. Either a person believes this or not. There is no proof other than the witness of God himself. I presuppose that God does not lie. He never represents reality in any contradictory way. If he says that he created the heavens and the earth in six days, that is exactly how it happened. When he chooses to reveal something to us, we either acknowledge its truthfulness or we don't. There is nothing in our reality that contradicts what God says is true. But this certainly doesn't stop the majority (by far) of scientists from "interpreting" their data in ways that they think contradict what God has said. They are very assured of their findings. Is it fair to ask whether they are self-assured?
Our reality is created by God. It contains the cosmos and every molecule in it. We have no idea how vast the universe really is, but however vast it is, it is contained in its entirety within the presence of the God who created it. God is not part of his creation. But his creation does exist within his being. His control over it is real. His presence in it is manifest. His authority over all of it is absolute (I am quoting generally from the several written works of contemporary theologian John Frame who proposes this triad in his study of God based on what God revealed in his written word).
So, God himself is not a created being. He is self-existent. Everything that exists that is not God is created and exists in the only other realty that there is: the created reality. This is the objective basis for the existence and importance of truth. Truth can be defined as the "interpretation" that accurately describes what is real. A sitting president says, "I did not have sex with that woman!" Does his statement describe what is real? Evidence that cannot simply be manufactured out of nothing demonstrates that his statement is false. The microscope does not lie. It only magnifies what is placed under its lens. The forensic laboratory yields scientific demonstration that the president's denial is not credible. It cannot be taken as the truth by any rational person.
Politics is of little concern to me. Truth matters a great deal. Some think all politician are liars. I don't have the resources to demonstrate the truth of this one way or the other. What concerns me, however, is what our world will become when truth doesn't matter. Some might say that truth will always matter when it touches upon things that have greater potential for human good or ill than the lie of a president or any other politician. The real tragedy we all must face is that our children and our children's children are learning to lie from those who practice it on a regular basis. They are learning that telling lies to avoid the inconveniences of the truth are acceptable, even desirable. They are being taught by precept and by example that truth is expendable and telling the truth is optional. And the ethical system this imprints upon society can only end in that society's self-destruction. Lying does not have the capacity to build, only to destroy. A momentary pause for rational reflection is all that is necessary to prove this point. Do you want to live in a world where truth has no necessary place in the marketplace? Do you want to be treated by a physician who lives by the same ethical code politicians live by? A world where "oaths" become obsolete because they have no reliable meaning? A world where accusations do not need to rest upon objective evidence?
The Christian Scriptures indicate that by the word of two or three witnesses a matter is established. What happens when even one truthful witness cannot be found? Are we becoming so irrational as to think any truth at all can be preserved by a culture that has accepted lying with as much enthusiasm as ours? Don't kid yourself. Liars beget more liars. But truth-tellers can also beget liars. And very, very soon the liars will so outnumber the truth-tellers that no amount of societal engineering can save us from unmitigated disaster.
Follow the trajectory established by the wholesale cultural shift to the relativistic worldview. The doctrine of relativism appeals to people because it gives the appearance of acceptability and equality to every belief system currently represented in the world community. Well, perhaps not every belief system is acceptable. The singular worldview that affirms the reality of truth over against falsehood has been under attack for quite some time now. A growing majority of people no longer care about politicians telling lies or falsely accusing their political opponents of lying. Lying has infiltrated politics. But it doesn't stop there. Only the very foolish suppose that as long as lying is confined to political discourse, society will suffer no ill-effects.
Not even facts seem to matter anymore. To believe something that is manifestly not true used to be diagnosed as insanity--and not all that long ago!
The purpose of this site is to speak the truth to people who might have those lingering thoughts that something is just not right, that the current moral trajectory moves us all toward an undesirable but unavoidable anti-utopia. We might have named this site, “Unleash the Truth.” But using the lion as a metaphor for truth is more colorful (or perhaps more memorable). We don’t really have to defend the truth as if the truth is weak and beggarly. It can very well defend itself, like a lion. But it must be spoken. That is how we unleash it. We speak the truth. We accept no lies. And the only one who is offended is the liar.
The metaphor of the lion has its origin in the writings of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892). Spurgeon is regarded as England’s prince among preachers by most who have studied his life and read his sermons. He was a Baptist pastor in London with a remarkable gift for communicating the truth of the Bible to the multiple thousands who either listened to him preach or read the transcripts of his sermons (there were no recording devices in his lifetime, and, for a time, his sermons were actually published in the Monday edition of The New York Times!).
Another British literary scholar, C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) composed the widely popular Chronicles of Narnia in which Aslan, the untamed Lion, is the central character. The victory or defeat of the other characters in the drama is determined by whether or not they trusted Aslan the Lion as one who speaks only what is true among the many who speak what is only partly true. That's quite often the insidious nature of falsehood. Make lies sound plausible. Rational people don't want to be lied to. And of what use is a lie if people know it's a lie? So tell the almost truth. Let them get used to falsehoods very gradually by hiding them like a dagger up the sleeve.
This website is not really about Mr. Spurgeon or Mr. Lewis. It is about truth. Unleashed, the lion (truth) protects the distinctions between truth and falsehood, right and wrong, good and evil. It is tragically ironic that we should be so careless with the one thing that sets us free, and so tenacious in demanding the one thing that chains us to a harsh captivity we never anticipated and would have fled from if we had seen it before it became too late.
What comes when the truth doesn't matter? Not the destruction of truth, to be sure. We can easily deny the truth, but we cannot destroy it. We can suppress it, but we cannot eliminate it. No matter what power resides in our collective will against the truth, we have not sufficient power to inflict the slightest wound on the truth. Nor do we have the ability to alter the consequences of believing lies. Only the worst form of human arrogance suggests that anyone can render such a death-blow to truth that nothing ill can come out of our friendly relations with falsehood.
We are far more concerned with individual men and women whose lives have devolved into brokenness and uncertainty for the tragic fact that they have collided with falsehood and only the falsehood was left standing. As far as the wider culture is concerned, we are realistically pessimistic. As a society we have long since passed the proverbial point of no return. Perhaps by the vices of the heroes we identity with, or perhaps because of the silence of voices that might otherwise speak truth, there is no longer any possibility of returning en masse to any resemblance of ethical stability. We have no longer the strength or will to hold back the darkness. Yet the truth is never lost. We speak it still. And still it is "the light when all other lights go out" (J.R.R. Tolkien's words). So with hope educated by truth we speak to hurting people whose lives are being laid waste by the lies they believe and the lies they tell. The words of Jesus Christ cannot be suppressed: "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (Gospel of John, chapter 8, verse 32).
"The true light,
which gives light to everyone,
was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world was made through him,
yet the world did not know him.
He came to his own,
and his own people did not receive him.
But to all who did receive him,
who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God,
who were born,
not of blood
nor of the will of the flesh
nor of the will of man,
but of God."
The Gospel According to John, chapter 1, verses 9-13