|Series Theme: Apologetics|
Title: Prologue: Does Truth Exist?
("The Truth is out there!")
A series that helps consider the foundations for faith
Some simple thoughts that confront our intellectual dishonesty
1. “The Truth is Out There”
That phrase has become long associated with the X-Files. It was really all about the possibilities of extra-terrestrial life forms. However, modern Western cultures have come to think about ‘truth' as something that in reality probably doesn't exist, almost in the same way as extra-terrerrials.
Before we move in to the main pages of this Apologetics section, we'd like to just eyeball this idea.
Assertion 1: Everyone is concerned with truth until it comes to morals or religion.
Now IF that is so then we have to ask why, to which we have another assertion:
Assertion 2: Our rejection of moral or religious truth is on grounds of our will and not our intellect.
i.e. we choose not to believe in moral or religious truth because it makes demands on us.
Check it out.
2. Everyday Life Situations
Observe this conversations or part conversations:
“Mummy, it's not fair. Alice had more sweets than me!”
i.e. an appeal to the truth of what happened, for justice to be done! Even at age 5!!!!
“Jack, have you been sleeping with your secretary?”
i.e. a wife's demand for the truth about her husbands unfaithfulness
“Doctor, I want to know the truth. Have I got cancer?”
i.e. a patient's demand to know the truth about their health
“Mr. Jones, as our lawyer, can you explain the small print in this contract we've been given, please.”
i.e. a client's demand to know the truth about the implications of an agreement.
Geoff, will you give this car a look-over for us please. The guy who's selling it says it's perfectly OK but something about him makes me wonder.”
i.e. appealing to a mechanic to determine the truth about a car's roadworthiness.
“Excuse me, Mr. Brown, but I understand Janet is getting £3 an hour more than me for the same job.”
i.e. an appeal to an employer for the truth about pay differentials.
“We will be setting up an independent investigation as to the cause of the rail crash.”
i.e. a requirement to find the truth about what caused an accident.
“Well, yes, the producers did choose the winners, and it wasn't anything to do with the phone-in”
i.e. confessions of abuses which offend our desire for truth in TV games-show management, of which there were a large number in 2007 in the UK .
“Well yes, I'm afraid your pension plan hasn't left you with as much as we thought.”
i.e. confession of insurance salesman trying to appease our demand for the truth as to why original projections were wrong. Again, familiar in the early years of the 21st century.
“Well the label on the bottle didn't say anything about additives that my child is allergic to!”
i.e. demand for the truth of labelling on bottles
“You'll see a gritting sign on the southern road, but don't worry, they're not doing gritting; it was just left there after they did it three weeks ago.”
i.e. acknowledgement that some road signs don't always tell the truth – but we want them to!
“The Secretary for State was required to appear before the House this afternoon to say why he had denied they had been any misdoings in his department.”
i.e. recognition that we demand truth be told publicly by our senior government ministers.
3. Claims of a Modern Cynic
These are the things that are so often said today:
“Truth does not exist.”
“What's right for you may not be right for me.”
“It's all a matter of opinion.”
“You shouldn't judge.”
“Religion is about faith, not facts.”
“Religion is all right in private, but shouldn't be brought into the public arena.”
4. Eyeballing these things!
We don't live like we say
The twelve examples above challenge these cynical statements.
“What's right for you may not be right for me.” Really? Try telling the police that?
“There's no such thing as right or wrong.” Really? I'm not sure you'll still think that when your house is burgled or if a loved one was raped or murdered!
“You should be tolerant of different people's behaviour.” Really? Even when that behaviour is evil?
We speak self-defeating statements
“There is no such thing as truth” Really, so is that true?
“All truth is relative. There are no absolutes.” Really? So that's not an absolute statement and it's not true? Are you absolutely sure?
Contradicting Beliefs cannot both be true
This is why all religions are NOT the same, in just the same way that all political parties are not the same.
5. And so, why these silly ways of speaking?
Going back to the beginning we said that “Our rejection of moral or religious truth is on grounds of our will and not our intellect.”
The first reason we say these silly things that are not true (the claims of the cynic above) is because we don't WANT a belief system that makes demands of us. We don't like being told we're wrong. We like to be able to do what we want, even if it is self-destructive.
The second reason we deny there are things that are right or wrong, is because we can only say specific things are right or wrong if:
a) we have a philosophical belief system (e.g. atheism) that works on the basis of ‘human good', or
b) we have a religious belief system that demands obedience to a variety of man-made rules (apparently from God?), or
c) we believe in a God who is Creator who knows how He had made the world to work, and all issues of right or wrong are seen in the light of His disclosure as to how He's made it to work,
and many of us today deny these.
These apologetics pages will include why a) or b) above fall short, or are inadequate intellectually.
In the meantime, as you work through the pages on this part of the site, please do remember the fundamental issues that are here, that may be summarised as:
This, therefore, is simply an appeal for intellectual honesty.