Every day we make decisions. Depending on the circumstances, some will be minor decisions, while others can impact our entire life. When it comes to life-impacting decisions, it is especially important that we know how to discern truth. When I travel and speak, I most always ask, “Who in this room wants to live your life on the basis of a lie?” No one ever raises their hand to that question, which is quite revealing. Since no one every raises their hand, it means that truth is universal. It also means that universally, we all prefer truth over deception, which reveals we all have a moral compass. This one question also reveals that universally we all want to make the “right decisions.” But how can we be certain we’re making decisions that line up with truth? It’s actually quite simple.
Truth can be confidently concluded because of the Laws of Rational Thought:
The Law of Non-Contradiction (A is not non-A): Opposite truth claims cannot both be true. For example, if an atheist believes that God does not exist and a theist believes that God does exist, it is impossible for both to be right.
The Law of Excluded Middle (either A or non-A): This asserts that it is either A or non-A, but not both. God cannot exist and not exist. In other words, there is no middle ground; opposites cannot be the same.
The Law of Identity (A is A): This law simply states that something is what we say it is: A is A. When someone says, “I loved the book,” it is understood to mean a “book” (and not a duck or an automobile). Without the law of identify, there would be chaos and language would be incoherent.
There is an absolute standard regarding any truth, though not everyone is willing to accept it. to confirm that a matter is truth, three essential characteristics must be in place at the same time:
- The truth is based on reality.
- Only one think can be true and all opposing matters are false.
- The truth is universal.