Saturday, June 27, 2009


To love only to seek - on condition of never finding - to want only disquietude, that is to hate truth.
  - Jacques Maritain

αληθεια Beneath all controversial issues, at the very root of things, lies the question about truth. Does truth exist? Can the human mind know truth? This is the pivot; upon it hinge all moral and cultural consequences.

If truth does not exist, or if it can never be known, all other moral and ideological debates are pointless. All I have in that case are my own subjective conjectures, the accumulated observations of my limited 58 years. All we have collectively are opinion polls - the aggregate pool of multiple subjective conjectures. The most heinous crime is acceptable and the most natural affections are shunned if only a majority will say that it must be so. Tomorrow, a new cultural wind may blow, and different values ascend. Nothing may be relied upon except the current poll.

But if truth exists, and ours minds can know it, the story is completely different. The truth becomes objective, solid, and reliable. The truth remains true, even if few or none follow it.

The Catholic faith assumes this to be the case. The word Catholic simply means universal; it signifies that the principles and dogmas of the Faith apply to all people in all parts of the world of all ages, races, backgrounds, and aptitudes, throughout all of human history. The tenets are absolutely reliable and trustworthy.

We get this from Jesus Himself, who said

". . . For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."
  - John 18:37b [RSV]
Moreover, Jesus is Truth Incarnate. ". . . I am the way, the truth, and the life. . ."  (John 14:6) 

Ideas have consequences. This idea has foundational consequences.

1 comment:

Jamison said...