Thursday, May 21, 2009

Higher education and the truth

Without uttering a single word about the fiasco at Notre Dame, Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio put his finger squarely on the underlying source of the controversy. The occasion was his recent address to the graduating class at the University of the Incarnate Word.

[O]ur society today is a lot like Pontius Pilate—it doesn’t recognize the truth. It doesn’t believe there can even be any one truth. Our culture believes instead that there are many truths—as many different truths as there are individuals, and that it’s wrong to try to decide or judge among these competing “truths.”

This sounds like a very fair and reasonable way to live in a free society where there are many different religions, lifestyles, and points of view. But in practice: when nothing is true, everything is permitted.

When the only truth is that there is no truth, then we end up with what Pope Benedict has called the “dictatorship of relativism.” What’s right or wrong, true or false, good or evil, is decided by majority vote or imposed by powerful special interests. As a result of this dictatorship of relativism, our society not only allows evils such as abortion, it also protects them under law.

My friends, part of what God is calling you to do with your higher education is to restore the sense of truth to our society—especially the truth about the sanctity and dignity of human life.

You have to help our society see that truths and moral absolutes do exist. That the truth is always true, no matter whether any one believes it or not. That we need to conform our lives—and our laws—to these truths.

1 comment:

Ben Anderson said...

Hi, I created a google group if anyone's interested:

and added a page: