Subjective candor, objective truth PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 July 2017 11:53

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

MANY times in the course of talking with people, I hear the rationalizing expression that at least they were true to themselves, to their feelings and understanding of things even if what they did was actually not good.

On these occasions, I needed to pause for a while before slowly explaining to them that while acting on the basis of their feelings and understanding of things certainly have some value, it is not enough. In fact, it can be very wrong.

To act on subjective candor alone does not automatically translate into getting into the objective truth. And that’s simply because truth and goodness and everything that flows from them can only come from God, not from us.

Of course, in explaining this delicate topic, I make sure that the culpability of one’s mistakes depends on the degree of responsibility one has with respect to knowing the objective truth that can only come from God. There are those whose capacity to know the truth in God is so compromised that they could not be guilty of the wrong they did. This is the case of those with invincibly erroneous conscience.

All this distinction between subjective candor and objective truth is somehow treated in the gospel of St. John (14,15-21), where we read that Christ promised to send us the Spirit of truth, the Paraclete or Advocate, who will always be with us as long as we love God, that is to say, as long as we follow God’s commandments, which is what loving actually entails.

In that gospel, Christ reassured us that he would never leave us orphans. He will always be with us and would even manifest himself to us in the Spirit, as long as we love him by following his commandments.

This is a piece of Good News that we need to spread around more widely, because many people are of the belief that especially in matters of opinions, like in business and politics, they do not need to refer themselves and things in general to God. For them, it would just be enough if what they think, say and do correspond to their common sense, or to some worldly values like practicality, profitability, etc.

That kind of outlook has actually caused great havoc in our life as it would easily lend itself to injustice and inequality, to a culture where the strong dominates the weak, the rich exploits the poor. Injustice and all kinds of abominations can be defended and promoted under the protection of law.

That’s the case of legalized abortion, for example, where the completely defenseless baby can now be eliminated, since the baby in the mother’s womb would already be defined as not human yet, or that it is just a bunch of tissues.

We need to instill in everyone the truth about where truth and all goodness can be found. We may not be able to know all the truth because of our limitations and also because of the mysterious character of a phenomenon, but as long as always refer ourselves to God, at least we do not go beyond what his clear commandments have already defined.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 July 2017 12:06