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Have We Redefined Truth?

Emma Tekstra > Corporate HR  > Have We Redefined Truth?

I often mention that I have an insatiable desire to know the truth. I have almost no opinion on anything that I haven’t investigated well enough to know the truth. But I am finding that the word truth is increasingly getting redefined in our culture and often found with the pronoun “your” in front of it which I find rather confusing.


I could say to you “Blue cars are the best color for a car”. Is this true? I could say “I drive a blue car”? What’s the difference? One is my opinion and one is a fact. So we find there is a difference between Objective Truth and Subjective Truth and we need to be very clear which is being referenced. Objective Truth is the stuff that is true for all of us whether we like it or not. It’s rooted in the object of the claim. My car is blue. Subjective Truth is the stuff that is a matter of personal taste or opinion. It’s rooted in the subject. In this case Emma is the subject and my opinion is that blue is the best color for a car.


We don’t need to waste time correcting a subjective claim as it doesn’t really matter what color I think is the best color for a car. But objective claims deserve our serious attention particularly those of real significance to our life and existence.


If I said “the earth travels around the sun” you would know that to be an objective truth. It wasn’t always accepted as such. We can thank Galileo for making this claim that has since been proven. What about if I said 1+1=2? I’m an actuary (we’re good at math) so I might also say “Math is the most fascinating field”. While this second claim is subjective, I hope you agree the first claim is most definitely an objective claim. We wouldn’t be able to figure out how to launch a rocket or fly a plane if 1+1=2 wasn’t an objective truth.


What about the claim that God exists? Is this an objective claim or a subjective claim? You might be struggling a bit now. But it is either truth or false. It doesn’t matter what I feel about it, only one of those options is correct. It’s an objective claim. I am claiming it to be true but you’ll have to investigate for yourself if you don’t already know the answer.

One cultural minefield I am really struggling with these days is how people refer to their identity. I would say that “I am a middle-aged woman”. This is an objective truth. But check out this video link to see how young people are redefining truth and then think through the implications and how far society seems to want to take it.

You might say these claims fall into the realm of subjective claims we don’t need to waste time worrying about but should we worry about the middle-aged man who claims to be a 7 year old girl and is fighting for the right to attend Kindergarten? Or the woman who identifies as disabled and gets into her wheelchair every day and fights for the right to claim disability benefits when she is perfectly able-bodied? Or what about the woman who is starving herself to death because she believes herself to be obese (as she used to be in high school) so “identifies” as such. Should the doctor agree with her claims and let her starve herself to death? These are all real cases by the way.

I would go so far as to say that understanding the nature of truth is foundational to human flourishing both at a community level and on an individual basis. We shouldn’t be afraid to challenge claims that are being proposed as objective if the evidence doesn’t stack up. It turns out human beings do a lot better if they have a stable foundation to stand on. The compassionate approach would be to uphold objective truth and address the implications rather than shifting the foundation.

Emma Tekstra
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