mindGrazing

chewing ideas down to stubble, then moving on…

Ah, but what is Truth?

Posted by Jason on December 3, 2008

So I’ve been reading some of the myriad religious and anti-religious blogs in the wordpress universe. I’ve read a few that I like, and dozens that I don’t like. I’m still on the fence about Truelogic, but I’ve been engaging this blogger and his fans via comments and spirited intellectual e-conversation (notice how I assume this blogger is male, maybe it’s the intellectual confrontationalism. Truelogic could just as easily be female).

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about Truth in the intellectual arena quite a bit. Many Christians feel the Bible and God are Truth, capital T. Many people believe that the Truth is that the Bible and God are false, completely not True. And then we have people who say that, because each person is unique, there is no Truth: nothing can be known with zero degree of uncertainty. Finally, there are those who say that Truth exists, and each of us defines our own Truth. Therefore we have an infinite number of Truth’s -well, somewhere between 6 and 7 billion anyway. 

Now, I’m more inclined to believe in the last two scenarios: it depends on if I’m feeling optimistic or pessimistic about the universe on any given day. I actually really believe the last scenario most fervently, but I can accept the third as completely valid. 

Here is my question, especially to Truelogic. Are those who believe that the major tenets of Christianity are absolutely unTrue any less naive than the Christians they scoff at as ignorant and gullible fools? By drilling into children that Christianity is patently false, doesn’t one teach them to believe something based on incomplete evidence? Christians don’t teach their children to believe blindly: they often just don’t give complete evidence (that’s right, I don’t think the Bible can serve as complete and unquestionable proof of God). There isn’t unquestionable proof of any Truth, just as there isn’t unquestionable refutation of any Truth, either.

Sure there are things that are true, such as “My dog’s name is Scout.” or “I got married on March 31, 2007.” But when we start talking about things that are not tangible, and also things about which many people care passionately for or against, that all information becomes suspect. Does that mean we’ll ever have enough information to really know if God exists or not? It depends on each person’s individual threshold of believability. Some skeptics have a very high threshold over which nothing except for the most rock-solid arguments may pass for truth. Some religious people have a very low threshold that may be crossed into the realm of truth quite easily by anyone of supposed religious authority.

All of the sudden, Truth becomes quite a subjective business. I believe Truth exists, but Truth is made up of the sum or perhaps the average of all the little truths in each one of us. Viva postmodernism!

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2 Responses to “Ah, but what is Truth?”

  1. tonydye said

    Jason,
    I am wondering if you write to try to convince others that you are intellegent or do you write to try to convince yourself? You write so much and say so little. If you ever really get serious about truth, come and visit. I’ll make it so simple even you can understand it

  2. Jason said

    Tony,
    I was unaware that less than 500 words was a lot of writing. Perhaps it’s a lot to read for someone who cannot spell intelligent or tell me where I should come and visit so that I can learn the great mysteries of whatever you think truth is.

    If you were to make it so simple, why couldn’t it fit in a comment box that expands as large as you need it to?
    Come up with something substantial to challenge my ideas and I won’t delete your comment.

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