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Ice cream & insulin

At the youth event this evening, Greg did some great teaching on the nature of truth. He used his analogy “ice cream is not insulin” to explain the 2 types of truth, subjective and objective, to his audience.

Subjective truths are subjective because they deal with preferences. These statements are really neither true nor false since any answer depends on the individual making the statement.

“Tiger ice cream is delicious” would be an example. Since I like Tiger ice cream I would say this statement is true, but I couldn’t say someone was wrong if they said the statement was false. This is because the claim really doesn’t have anything to do with the nature of the ice cream (the object), it has to do with the preference of the person answering the question (the subject).

Objective truths, on the other hand, are objective because they deal with truth claims relating to the object itself. These statements must be either true or false, regardless of personal preferences.

“Insulin lowers blood sugar levels” would be an example. If someone doesn’t like insulin injections, it doesn’t change the fact that the injectins will actually lower their blood sugar levels and help them manage their diabetes effectively. Likewise, if someone really likes ice cream, it can’t be used as a substitute for insulin (much to my son’s dismay!). These types of truths rest solely on the nature or attributes of the object in question.

Having established this, Greg rightly explained that religious claims and, more specifically, the claims of Christianity fall into this latter category of objective truths. This runs contrary to the prevailing view of many in our society.

Jesus is God.

True or false.

Jesus died for the sins of those who would believe.

True or false.

Jesus rose from the dead.

True or false.

Jesus ascended into heaven.

True or false.

Based on the above, we can be forgiven and receive eternal life.

True or false.

While the veracity of these statements is pertinent to us all, none of those claims depend on our individual preferences. They are either true or false regardless of whether we like the ideas or not.

To rightly engage those in our culture, we need to understand this and, in turn, be able to communicate it clearly to them.