Newer generations reject absolute truth and are turning to relativity.
In many senses the younger generations are unravelling moral absolutes and promoting tolerance. Does this mean we’ve altogether thrown away moral absolutes in exchange for compassion? Does this mean we reject absolute truth?
I propose that logic is not dead, but that the path has changed.
The newest generation of adults has a different way of thinking. Each generation formulates ideas from a different vantage point which in turn shapes their value system. The vantage point is that each new generation can see/experience the outcomes of the traditions of prior generations, and as a collective they choose a different response (if they didn’t choose something different there would be no change in generation).
This does not mean, however, that the newer generation will heal the mistakes of prior generations, or strike the middle ground of some former imbalance. In fact, history proves that we have never found perfection in anything. Instead, we simply react to impoverished practices and end up in the opposite ditch.
This is human. According to the Bible “sin” means to miss the mark. And as such, we can never reach a wholistic place apart from God bringing our restoration.
However, while it won’t turn out perfect, with every change in generational thought, there is the possibility of positive outcomes. If we are seeking truth, new doors will open with these changes and we can more than access God through them because truth originates from Him. It is like finding the wardrobe and walking into Narnia (though perhaps those who are older may not at first believe you!).
Now, let’s go back to our thread on philosophical thought.
In modernism the institution was respected as the source of knowledge (I’m going out on a limb here as I draw conclusions – I’d also love to hear yours!), but the institution has, over hundreds of years, proved itself to be corrupt – and also removed from compassions.
The younger generation demands that any institution that heralds truth, must also take responsibilities to manifest that truth in goodness. For example, if the institution warns that war is destructive, then it should offer ways to combat genocide when it rears its ugly head. This seems to fit with the trend of college students who rally for causes of justice.
Justice as the outcome of knowledge has been neglected, and knowledge has too often been sought as a means in itself (throughout all of human history). This is a lack of integrity, and the younger generations have less tolerance for this dichotomy than ever.
So if the older generation’s mantra is absolute truth, the younger generation’s mantra is empirical love, or incarnation.
We want the healing of dichotomy. We want wholeness of the two in our persons and in our societies. In this way, the postmodern generation is not posing a threat to absolute truth. Instead, they are moving the litmus test. Absolute truth is discovered and given authority when it can be verified as having integrity on a personal level.
The bottom line is that absolutes in the form of mere axiom no longer hold merit, and we must discover a new method for engaging absolutes. I suggest, the answer which transcends all (pre-, modern and post-), is still hanging around, and that while philosophical thought has evolved, as it naturally should, it has not outgrown wisdom.
Symbols are the new containers for absolute truth, not axiom. Symbols can speak on a human level, and on a spiritual one, and they are timeless. In the Bible this is termed prophecy.
Keep a look out for Part VI of this series, which will give a rock solid example of symbolism and absolute truth from an unlikely passage of Scripture.
I love generational change because I love when boxes get blown apart. I love that we get to rediscover God, and its altogether fresh.
That is the highest calling of a new generation – to find God for themselves, not as His grandchildren, but as direct children of God who do not know Him through the medium of the traditions of their fore-parents.
So high fives to all the young people out there who are not satisfied with bread that has become stale to them, but are seeking a living relationship with the Living God.
I hope this post is cathartic for the younger generations who feel burdened by the expectations and the systems that have been handed down to them.
I hope this post encourages older generations that younger people are actually extremely zealous and that passion can and is being turned down the correct path – though it may look new and unexpected.
Come back for the next post on Symbolism & The Bible. We’ll get into deeper waters as we wrap up this series on Symbolism & Spirituality.
But right now, I’d love to know your thoughts on the idea that absolute truth can be contained in symbolism. How does that strike you? All thoughts welcome! I’ve posed a lot of opinions today.
Its your turn! Post Away!