What is truth? A quick search from google offers the following definition. The quality or state of being true. That which is true or accordance with fact or reality. A fact or belief that is accepted as true.
Sure. Clear now?
Considering that humans have an ability to make their own reality in a lot of scenarios, those definitions of truth don’t seem particularly reliable, so when someone says, “Tell the truth,” the answer probably doesn’t contain the whole truth. Again, what is truth?
Pontius Pilate asked the same question during Jesus’ trial after Jesus said, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. John 18:37
Pilate was standing in front of the truth, and he found the situation uncomfortable. I can’t say I blame him. On one side of the coin, he faced a group of people bent on pushing their agenda to crucify Jesus. On the other, he knew that Jesus was not guilty. The people pushing for Jesus’ crucifixion based their reality around the influence Jesus had on their positions of power; as a result, they found a way to “convict” him based on their “truth”. While Pilate didn’t believe in Jesus, he could not find fault with Jesus – at least, not enough fault to require a death sentence. Pilate’s “truth” was wrapped around a tenuous relationship between his office and the people he ruled, and it just so happened that the representatives of the people he ruled were bloodthirsty, so he did what most rulers do to keep their power intact. Jesus was crucified.
Anyone ever watch a sporting event, say a football game, and then after the game is over, discuss the game with a friend? Ever notice how your friend’s version of the game ranges from slightly different to not on the same plane as if you two watched completely different games? (Go ahead, you can admit that you think your friend is crazy.) Yet, the odds are good that if called upon to serve a sports court of law, both of you would have no trouble swearing under oath to offer testimony regarding the game. Which version represents the truth?
Humans create social contracts with each other, forming laws based on the idea that it is possible to construct reliable guidelines as to how people should act towards each other. On the surface, this seems to work, until a leader like Hitler comes into power, and his version of facts…er…not so good. Anyone think that a justice system based on his facts could produce fair results for all people under his rule?
The established legal system requires sound laws and proper punishment for people who break those laws. The foundation of a court system is based on reliable people providing truthful testimony when called upon. Without an understanding of truth, the whole court system is tainted, and there is no way to dispense justice fairly. Here we are back to the importance of the truth.
What is your truth?
I know mine.