The SNC-Lavalin scandal with Jody Wilson-Raybould was about her telling the truth. Whose truth are we referring to? Dr. John Neufeld talks about “the truth.”
I, like a great many others in Canada, have been following the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Whatever you make of the matter, most Canadians have found Jody Wilson-Raybould to be a compelling witness. Her clear and articulate presentation was a persuasive indication that something was clearly wrong. But was her testimony factual, or was it merely her mistaken impression of what happened?
As Wilson-Reybould testified, she spoke of “her truth.” I think I understand what she was trying to say. I think she meant to say that she was speaking truthfully and honestly. I think she also wanted to convey the notion that her truth might not encompass all of the truth. In some ways, I suppose it was a mark of humility. This was the truth as far as she had experienced it.
Truth exists independent of human perspective
In spite of Wilson-Reybould’s clear articulation of what she had experienced, I think it a great error ever to speak of truth as “my truth.” Truth exists independent of human perspective. This is why many called for a more independent inquiry. In an independent inquiry, other witnesses are also expected to testify from their perspective. And, only after hearing everyone’s testimony, are we in a position to understand “the truth”.
The point is, that truth exists apart from the human perspective. Truth is an objective fact, not a subjective interpretation of facts. This is what we mean by “truth.” To speak about “my truth” is an assault on the very notion of truth itself. The use of the phrase “my truth” implies that truth does not exist at all. Furthermore, using “perspective” as a synonym for “truth” is also an assault on the notion of “truth”.
All will have their own unique experience and perspective…
Imagine a number of people describing a mountain. One person has viewed the mountain from a great distance. Another has viewed it from their experience of climbing it. Still, another saw it from an airplane, and perhaps another lived within the shadow of the mountain for many years. All will have their own unique experience and perspective of the mountain. Each experience is valuable in understanding the nature of the mountain, however, the mountain exists apart from a human perspective. If there were no human being to witness the mountain, the mountain would still be there.
So it is with “the truth.” Truth is either an objective reality or it is not truth. Speaking about “my truth” is an assumption that the mountain cannot exist apart from the human perspective. This notion makes “truth” subject to, and a servant of, human will. It assumes we are lords of truth, rather than subject to the truth.
“The truth will set you free…”
When Jesus said, “the truth will set you free”, he was not indicating that a clear articulation of your perspective will set you free. For if the word “truth” becomes a substitute for the word “perspective”, then the knowledge of truth simply dies.
Notice, I am not arguing that truth has died. I mean to say that the knowledge of truth dies within a given culture. Once we no longer speak of truth in absolute terms, we become the people of the lie. For this reason, we need to strongly oppose language that denies that anything objective, outside of ourselves, exists.
To do so is ultimately a denial of God himself.
Dr. John Neufeld