It is the old aged question that has stirred the minds of many, many people. While much has been written in response to it I venture to say it still continues to linger in our minds beckoning us to discover it. The more we know the “truth” the more unsatisfied we are with what we know and push further in exploring it.
Truth is very much like coca-cola: it quenches your thirst temporarily, leaving you thirstier.
People have tended to gravitate toward stressing either the absolute or the relative nature of truth. I’ve come to realize truth is both absolute and relative. These two dimensions are inextricably connected. They are mirrored in the relationship of theory to practice. A theory has no value unless or until it is applied. The absolute dimension of truth has no value unless it is relative to a particular context or application of it. So when you analyze truth in its application you will have to concede to its relativity, because it does look different from person to person, from situation to situation, from one context to another. Yet the application points inevitably to an a priori absolute that is applied.
Another way to look at this is to say that truth is RELATIONAL in nature. Truth doesn’t exist unless you have at least two realities related somehow. You can look at any statement of truth and see that it always represents a relationship. We can, therefore, further say that truth is that which connects everything. When we say, for example, “God is love”, love has meaning only in as much as there is another reality that can receive that love. All the qualities or attributes of God point to a relationship, hence we say God is a relational God. This laptop I am using right now to write this post has meaning/truth only because of its relationship to me. If nobody is using it, it has no value. In short everything that exists is connected to something or else it cannot exist. The way we say this is that everything is interconnected.
Those who say truth is absolute are both wrong and right as are those who say truth is relative. Only when we embrace this dual dimension of truth will we really start to taste its richness.
What is truth? Is a question we are all called to answer individually, not by regurgitating and adopting some “universal” statements of truth but by wrestling to find our own truth, what is true for us, in our unique story.