Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is Your Religion *True*?

A pretty blunt question that will either provoke thought. Unless your listener is one of those wishy-washy liberals or is just trying to be politically correct, something is either true - or it isn't.

A couple ways of approaching this:

- People figured out how to make bronze independently at least twice (in the Middle East and in Peru). Metal is the same everywhere. Smelting technology is "true" and universal and measureable. If religion is true, that means it can be discovered. What if there's an island in the Pacific somewhere that hasn't been contacted - if left alone for long enough, might the people there eventually "re-invent" Christianity independently? If religion is true, then why would it not be possible to understand divine truth without ever being directly visited by Christ or by people bearing his teachings? If religion is true and it's "out there" in the world regardless of whether or not we choose to believe it, it will be measurable.

- Could you build a machine to measure or directly detect the truth of Scripture, ever? Maybe we can't now, but is that because we're just not smart enough yet, or is it because you can't do it in principle? If so, why not?

People will be tempted to say "Well that's different." Exactly how is it different? A thing is either true, or it isn't true. No namby-pamby politically correctness here, like psychics and New Agers want us to buy into.

Most atheists and religious people alike would agree that, when you're buying a used car, it's best to have facts (which are either true or not true). Why would you ask for less proof when you're deciding how to live your life than when you're buying a used car?

1 comment:

Dan said...

Green is better than blue. True or false?

The economy tanked because of bad loans. True or false?

FDR should have quit after two terms in office. True or false?

It may seem like my liberal, new age, deconstructionist waffling to you, but it depends what your definition of 'true' is.

Nothing is 'true.' Even your 'facts,' Mr. Caton, are at best 'supported by evidence,' 'measurable,' 'falsifiable via experimentation,' or 'verified by empirical sensory input.'

By invoking 'truth' or 'Truth' or even 'TRUTH,' you begin to tread into the realm of faith, belief, and other such special thinking.

My suspicion, based several such conversations I've had with religious folks, is that this tactic will backfire.