I fear that Truth, the word itself, might become nothing more than a catchphrase in the ‘culture war’. That phrase itself is an absurd notion. There never existed a culture war, not as popularly conceived. What did exist was an invasion, a usurpation; a usurpation complete with an ideology, methodologies and eventually enough social inertia to become unstoppable by the hand of man. What most conservatives, traditionalists and rightists thought of as the culture war was never anything more than a rearguard action at best and often only diversionary operations. However, regardless of that fact, there are many that continue to ‘fight’ it, and often only on the edges, never at the center. Some because it is profitable, some because it has political value, and others because they do not realize the scope and nature of the enemy arrayed against them. I fear truth itself might be further tarnished if the wrong people throw it about for the wrong reasons with little understanding.
This is not to say there is no truth in the words used by those that believed they fought against the advance of an alien invader. Most of the issues that became, at various times, the focus of reactionary conservatism were important. The failure was that most did not realize that the real objective, the most treasured prize, was the concept of truth itself. It has become obvious, and some that might seek to profit from this now speak plainly of the issue. But videos showing the absurdity of individuals overtaken by a post-truth ideology and their inability and refusal to acknowledge that objective truth exists will not win the day. The institutions that shaped the worldview of such people were captured long ago, so many institutions used to shape thought and manufacture consent are captured, and those not captured are tainted in some way, that the majority of the population is incapable of detecting the absurdity these sorts of efforts seek to unmask. Sure, there is a remnant that sees, and standing beside them there are those that perhaps do not really see but have chosen a side in the dialectic, but this is not the majority; far from it. There is a real danger, that talk about Truth as the foundation of everything we are and should be just might become nothing more than a meme, a talking point, and an insult to be hurled at another on social media.
Western Civilization and by extension American culture, prosperity and freedom were only possible because of our historical view of Truth, the collective and majority view. This is a contingent truth, flowing from a first principle that the majority in our current era would deny and the bulk of the remainder do not fully comprehend and appreciate. Everything, from our view of justice, property rights, economics, and geopolitics flows from the originating principle of understanding Truth. That Western systems were not always perfect, and very often filled with flaws is not an indictment on the foundation, but rather an acknowledgment of the nature of man, of human nature, and the general law of history that derives from flawed human nature.
I fear the word will become merely a meme. Used in such a way, those in our society that have spent entirely too much time in institutions formerly designed for higher learning will have a field day. These sorts have honed all the argumentation, word magic, sophistry and rhetorician’s tools. They would welcome the “ordinary and mundane” meming about “truth” as their counter-arguments and snickers are well prepared.
I had planned to let my site expire and to ‘disappear’ all of my writing because it is a fact that speakers and defenders of truth are always in peril in a rebellious, post-truth age. We have some knowledge of that from historical examples. But I think not, I will not just sit silently in an absurd world and not proclaim the truth. Objective, universal and knowable truth exists. It is not a meme or a plot device for a grift. It is not comfortable and it can never be culturally relevant in a culture such as ours and any attempt to make it more palatable is a bastardization at best and a damnable lie at worst. Nobody owns the truth, there is no such thing as my truth or yours, objective, foundational Truth exists regardless of belief or acceptance. Anything that is counter to that reality is a lie and a deception. That a majority in our population cannot comprehend that, that they have all manner of illogical, debased, and dishonest arguments to “counter” truth claims does not matter. That the spirit of the age is increasingly hostile to Truth, does not matter. In the end, all we have is Truth or deception. Feelings, desires, and theories have no impact upon metaphysical reality. The spirit of this age cannot alter Truth, such spirits have never succeeded in the past, and such never will, because after all, Truth is ultimately true.
It does not matter that Truth now stands undefended even by the institutions designed to seek it or proclaim it. It does not matter that people of credentials argue from the authority of those credentials in ways contrary to Truth. It does not matter that my speaking Truth may have little to no impact on anyone. It does not matter that in our current age it is possible for those with the most to gain can manufacture consent and support for almost anything, building coalitions of people with seemingly nothing to bind them other than the narratives they are fed and so readily consume. It does not matter that those so willing to bounce from one “critical issue” to the other in support of ‘the good guy team’ are not unlike the lotus-eaters Aristotle described so long ago. None of that matters, it does not matter how far lies reach nor how effective they are in gaining adherents, the Truth still matters. Truth is our most precious treasure, it is the key that opens the doors to everything we were created to be. Truth should be spoken of and defended. I will not be silent, I will defend it.
It does however matter that the assault on Truth has perverted the language. Words do not mean what they once did, and very often something else entirely. Critical thinking does not mean the quest to find objective truth. Justice has a bizarre meaning because the entire concept of justice rest upon the foundation of ultimate truth. Even the meaning of words Like Christian, Jesus, and Gospel very often have different meanings and in fact, talk about things that are not Christian, have nothing to do with the real Jesus, and only pull select concepts from the Gospel. All of these perversions of meaning are lies, and lies ought to be rebuked. That does matter.
I do not know what this looks like going forward, how much or how often I will write. I suspect I will attempt to refrain from too much minutia, the small details of it all are more dramatic than helpful and in a world of deception, it is easy for all of us to be misled and assume we can understand more than is possible. I will avoid pinging known deceivers in the midst of their lies, which gets entirely too much of the wrong attention. The foundational stuff is important on its own. There are numerous voices out there that have been consistent on the core issue for years, not focused on a new term to generate views, I will begin to highlight and share these more.
Scott Clark adequately summarized the core issue by appealing to words from a higher authority (here). Here is a hint for you, Romans 1:18-32 is about Truth and the consequences of abandoning Truth much more than the example issues provided.