The above was the name of a Manic Street Preachers album. It came to mind when JDS posted on the Comments Board (for the Lynch/Murakami post) the following statement:
‘And there is no truth. No right answer. No absolute understanding (at least in this world)’
I’ll accept the latter – there’s plenty we’ll never understand in this world (by way of example, why the continuing success of Vernon Kay?). But the rest of the quote? Well that I utterly refute. It calls to mind Nietzche’s quote: ‘there are no facts, only interpretations’. All very interesting and post-modern, but clearly nonsense, given that in saying it he presumably believes he’s stating a fact. Just as JDS is presumably stating a perceived truth when saying there is none.
The fact is, 1+1=2. The reality is; the apple is on the table. Applied to a faith position, the reality is; either the world has come into being of its own accord from a starting point of nothing, or it has been created by a being infinitely greater than ourselves. One or the other is true. One or the other is a fact. Either Mohammad was God’s prophet (NOTE: Have altered a mistake here - wanted to acknowledge the fact or else yunshui's comment below looks delusional...) or he wasn’t. More pressingly for a society that has often relegated him to the position of ‘a good teacher’, Jesus Christ, in identifying himself as God’s promised son, was either telling the truth, lying or a madman. Ambivalence is an illegitimate response.
In reality, stating all worldviews to be equally valid is to state them all equally false. After all, they sure as heck can’t all be equally true! Not when they are often making statements in direct opposition to one another. Upon death, we are not going to be herded into separate queues, to be greeted by Mohammad, Jesus, the Buddha, Krishna, Elvis... each according to our preference. Those who place them neatly side by side are, I suspect, those who in reality expect nothing but ‘The End’ upon expiration. If they’re right, that’ll be the truth. But an absence of truth? That’s surely just a fancy way of saying ‘I don’t know’!
JDS’s view is very much the cultural trend at present. An all-encompassing straddling of the fence chimes neatly with the new, oh-so sensitive societal gospel of tolerance and equality. It doesn’t like exclusive truth statements, equating them increasingly with intolerance or hatred. But have we really given up on finding any kind of firm resolution? Do we really think there’s nothing worth investing our hopes in? I want to look for truth and celebrate when I reckon I’ve found it. I then want to talk about it with openly others. And if they disagree with me? Well I’ll happily tolerate the fact. I most certainly won’t hate them. I’ll just continue to state my case, they’ll state theirs and we’ll call it debate. And, ultimately, someone will be right and someone wrong. That there’s the truth…