How do you know what is real? There must be a standard.
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'" - John 14:6
When know a tape measure provides a true measurement because it is based on standard definitions. You know you are getting what you paid for from a gas pump because it has been tested and certified to meet a standard for measuring the amount of gas pumped. We can know truth by comparing what is claimed with a standard that accurately describes reality. Without a standard there is no foundation and we are simply standing on thin air.
Humans proclaim truths all the time and claim they are backed by science. By this they mean that a truth claim has been verified by unbiased, observable, repeatable, honest, realistic and comrehensive tests. The problem is that if someone is willing to make a deceptive claim, they probably are willing to back it up with deceptive science. Even honest claims, backed by honest science, can unknowingly be done such that reality is misrepresented.
A culture is defined by the customary beliefs and behaviors of a group of people. A culture can grow organically, it can be imposed through hidden means such as propaganda and soial pressure, or a culture can be physically forced on a group of people. Saying that culture defines truth and reality is saying that people define reality. The problem is that people can be greedy, self-centered, prideful, deceitful, cruel... and they distort truth to benefit themselves.
While science, culture and other human-based means can reveal truth, any human-based source of truth can also be used to deceive people. Just as an outside source is used to determine the true length of a meter (the speed of light in a vacuum), we need a standard for truth from outside of humanity. Below is a picture of two rulers. Which is truly a foot long? Or are they both wrong? They need to be tested using a known accurate (true) standard.
Here are two rulers. Which is the true, one-foot ruler? You can't say for sure, until you compare them with a trustworthy standard.
Rulers are physical objects. What about something that is not physical? What is true justice? What is true morality? (In other words what is right and good, and what is wrong and evil?) Where do we come from? What is our purpose? What happens when we die? How can we know these answers to these questions are the right answers? Answers that match reality? We'll answer all of these, but first we need to establish the standard we'll ues the determine if we have the right answers.
Here is a critical point, we don't want to jump at answering the question, until we define what the question is about. It's not about physical objects, such as rulers. The question is about people and ideas. How do we know what we are being told is true? How do we know what we thinking is true... that what we think matches reality?
"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1:14
People are turning to government to solve all of our problems. Government cannot be the source of the standards of morality, justice, behavior and reality . Government is composed of fallible humans... in some cases a single human. Government's role is to fight evil and praise that which is good. It does this by taking God's standards and applying them in making and enforcing laws that establish the boundaries for the behavior of people under its authority. Government is a tool used by God to accomplish His purposes, but it is not the source of the standards that define reality. Only the one who created reality can set the standards for reality.
There is a BIG problem. Most people who claim to believe in the God of the Bible, don't. Many even say they believe in Jesus to save them. But here's the rub... the god and the Jesus (Jesis is God) they believe in is a god of their imagination. Why do I say that? Because their god does not match the description of God the Bible gives us. For example:
God does not tolerate sin. God hates sin because it is the antithesis of who He is. For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You. - Psalm 5:4. People reject God because they love their sin. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. - John 3:19. People love the darkness (sin), yet they want to have God. The two cannot be reconciled. So what they do is imagine a god who tolerates their sin. They can then continue in sin and not feel giulty about it, believing in their imaginary god. But an imaginary god is no God at all.
Here's another example:
We are filled with pride. We want to be in charge. That's why Satan continues to use the same lie he used on Eve in the garden, "You can be like. God." We want to make our own rules, with no one telling us we can't do what we want. But, that's not reality. You, and everything htat exists was made by God. That means He makes the rules. Even Jesus obeyed God: "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”. - Luke 22:42.
Believing in an imaginary God is the same as atheism, you have nothing.