“Man is the measure of all things.” ~Protagoras

Objective Truth

“Man is the measure of all things” declares there is no objective truth and ends up meaning…

Only what agrees with how I see my needs and what I think is what matters!  I am the only true measure of my own thoughts, and anyone who says that I am not the measure does not understand that this is the way I live my life.  I am the center of my world.  

This also has to mean there is no objective or absolute truth, either — per Protagoras’s way of thinking.  All right and wrong is according to how I measure what is right and wrong.  Of course, the realities of life laugh at that.  They swallowed that in early Greek history and they are doing the same today.  

Objective Truth Is Everywhere

Objective truths are everywhere on the roads and freeways in what makes a healthy body and mind.  They are everywhere in the universe and have guided every scientific discovery.  It is an absolute truth that one wild, juicy berry may be delicious while another is poison!  In the movie “Into the Wild” (based on a true story, by the way) Alexander Supertramp, in his hunger, runs into the problem of not being able to discern objective reality when he needed it most.  He eats a root that is poisonous and dies an excruciating and lonely death before his time.  Just as it happened for Alexander Supertramp, reality and absolute truths measure us every day. It doesn’t matter what we think is good or bad, right or wrong.  

Objective Truth Rebuts Subjective Truth 

We all bump into objective truths daily that can bruise us and our egos.  When we don’t recognize the harsh ones, we too suffer.  Alex proved to himself that a wrong choice can be deadly.  The measure of life and of right and wrong is not man, not humankind.  Life is measured by how we react to the absolute truths of life.  

The Truth that Destroys “Man Is the Measure of All Things”

  • Reality Check:

    The problem with thinking there is no real right and wrong is that we don’t know our mistake until it is too late.  The consequences of life don’t wait for us to wake up to our self-deception.  We have to think of the realities of life and see them coming.  Some are obvious: like don’t step in front of that speeding car.  Others are moral facts of life,  like “do to others as you would have them do to you.”  

  • The “Full Deck Check”:

    Another problem is that humans don’t know enough to know what is right all the time.  So, relying on our own idea of what is right or wrong is playing life with less than a full deck.  

  • Bias Hides Truth:

    The fact that our beliefs may be biased is yet another problem.  A wrong bias about anything is the way to live a lie.  The truth is the truth, no matter what our bias says.  

  • Emotions Require a “Reality Check”: 

    Humans often follow their emotions, even if they are very damaging to themselves and others.  Emotions are the “energy” that powers our minds.  This is why we also have a mind to analyze, question, and evaluate rather than just feel and emote. 

  • Check the Source of Your Beliefs for Objective Truth: 

    Yet another problem is the source we choose in forming our beliefs.  To believe that “the truth” is whatever and whoever influences us looks no further than our source.  We often go to the same source over and over again, and we get the same biased answers.  

Answer the question: What measures my worth, ability, wisdom, or foolishness?  

If “I am the only measure of myself”; if “my truth is my truth, regardless of how I came to believe what I think,” then I am fooling myself.  I am self-deceived.   

We cannot accurately measure anything by itself.  The modern culture of “what I think is right for me is right for me” fumbles in the dark like a blind person.  


Today’s parenting thought:

Treat your depressed child for who they are.  Learn their temperament’s strengths and they will listen to you more closely (to be continued). 


Who Am I?In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans.  You can get your copy HERE.  (Psst!  Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)


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  1. rev. Holt Whitson says

    Yes, this was very helpful and informative. Truth is the most powerful thing in the world; it will not always be popular or convenient but it remains the truth if we believe it or not. A fool’s way is always right in his own eye’s but reproof and correction is always the sign of the wise.

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