In a meaningless world, does truth always have value over delusion? July 6, Comments Spread the love I care about truth if there is a God.
When people approach a religious text or any large book from which they intend to derive ethical teachings, nearly without exception the person will pick up the book and pay very particular attention to all the morals they already agree with.
The philosopher George Smith says that " Christian theologians have a strong tendency to read their own moral convictions into the ethics of Jesus. Jesus is made to say what theologians think he should have said" A homophobe will pick up the Christian Bible and realise that homosexuality is an evil sin.
A fluffy liberal will read it and find all the hippy love-thy-neighbour bits and therefore will be able to prove that all those homophobes and misogynists have it wrong.
In arguing against extremism, Neil J. Kressel points out that "everyone picks and chooses, at least a little. Long texts that dance with moral issues suffer from the problem that some morals in one place step on the toes of other morals in other parts.
The debates over which verses have precedence over others is a major symptom of this issue. In addition because of the volume of text and its frequent obscurity and complexity, there is plenty of scope for the imagination, and for personal bias, to find a way to interpret lines in a way that beat to the drum of the reader.
Most stories in holy books are about personalities - tales about what people are said to have done what. Most of them also involve war and cultural struggles between different peoples, and are often written from within one particular geographical area. It is possible to read these stories and take out of them a wide range of morals, and therefore, to think that these indirect lessons have divine mandate.
The same occurs with all long texts. Many people who undertook such a task would come to different conclusions, just as with Holy Books. The simple fact remains that the parts of the text that say "Here follows a moral rule, to be obeyed by all people for all time" are very infrequent indeed.
The people in the book all have their own aims, which are relevant to the topic of the book and the life circumstances of that person. Using characters from within this book we would find many seemingly contradictory morals. For example, for the side of Good, there is much killing to be done, yet part of the morals is that the bad guys kill people.
People interpret the "real meanings" behind various stories in hugely varying ways, and volumes of books have been written on such interpretations based on political and moral undertones.
The answer is that this describes all large books written by Humans. Attempts to read them as places for moral instruction is itself the problem, and the cause of schism, violent disagreements and fundamentalism.
As time passes, the original cultural assumptions and cultural understanding of phrases and words will all change, making it impossible for many things to be understood by future audiences in the same way that the original authors meant them. The longer ago something was written, the less the context is clear to us today, and this opens the way for much culturally subjective opinion.
A land of barbarians may feel quite free to brutalize others just as they brutalize themselves 38whereas band of s hippies spread love in a much more physical way.
Over time, morals are simply read into texts differently, hence why religious prohibitions change over time too. We read text literally, chronologically and philosophically, but both The Koran and much of The Bible was written in prose, in poetry, using many symbolic aspects and word games.
Shifts in time and place mean that there are unknown cultural references that we cannot possibly understand now, even if text that we think we are reading correctly. All of the above problems come together when translations of holy texts are made.
One thing that fundamentalists do get right is their determined and enviable attempts to read scripture in its original language which is easier for Muslim Arabs who still speak the same language the Koran was written in.
But we have very few of the original texts of our major religions. We rely on copies-of-copies-of-copies, which at some point, have often been translated - quotations changed from Aramaic to Greek, entire texts from Latin to English, based on Greek translations.
It is surprising that anyone thinks a god would attempt to communicate with us in any particular language, let alone ancient ones.Pluralist Theories of Truth. Truth pluralism (or ‘alethic’ pluralism) is a view about the nature of truth. Broadly speaking, the thought behind the view is that truth may require different treatments for different kinds of subject matter.
Since it cannot be absolutely true, we must concede that there are some cases in which the proposition “absolute truth does not exist” must be false in which case, we’re back to affirming the existence of absolute truth.
What we can know: Absolute truth exists. Put another way, the claim “absolute truth exists” is absolutely true. Time. Time is what we use a clock to measure. Information about time tells us the durations of events, and when they occur, and which events happen before which others, so time has a very significant role in the universe's organization.
I care about truth if there is a God. But why should I care about truth if there is no God? In fact if there is no God, maybe I shouldn’t care about truth because it would be too sad to know I’d rather live out my life with the illusion of happily ever after in that case.
To say that absolute truth does not exist, is to imply that in some sense, that all knowledge is subjective or relative, and that no piece of information could be independently and objectively verifiable. The boundary between truth and theory is not clearly defined, relying upon scientific consensus and assumption.
Avoiding the Truth - Theory as a Tool Science's way of skirting around the truth and theory issue is to set down a rigid protocol for an "accepted" truth.