Truth and Religion
If you could definitively affirm or debunk the alleged resurrection of Jesus Christ, would you?~Chasuk
When a fellow hubber asked the above question, I answered flippantly..lamely, but a couple of the other answers were more thoughtful and prompted me to mull over it. You see, I thought at first there could be only one response, but the following answers caught my eye:
No and not because of my own beliefs of Christianity, but because the
idea of believing in a higher power is something that gives people
something to hold onto. Taking that away by debunking it would devastate
to many people that depend on a religion to get through their days on
Earth. If it were to be affirmed I think I would just be really
surprised and would take a second look at my religious standings. Other
than that I think it's best we leave religion to it's self and stop
trying to prove or disprove any sort of religion as being a fraud or not.~ mylife=adventure
I would not debunk it because people of faith would rationalize it another way and label me a heretic. If I could confirm it I would because it would blow a lot of peoples minds. ~John B. Badd
Isn't truth more important than propagating a major lie...even if it's a comforting one? If the resurrection were proven to be true it would turn my view of reality upside down....but I'd still rather know about it.
I'm also surprised someone would be so worried about being branded a heretic in the 21st century that they would sit on a significant piece of information like that. So what if they branded you a heretic John B Badd? Why should religion require a lid on truth?
Then there were others who wrote that they would reveal the truth but didn't think it would make any difference. People would continue to believe even in the face of concrete evidence.
All this leads me to consider how important truth really is to religion...and I have to conclude, not very.
What's Truth Anyway?
Isn't it just a worldview? Why should a religious truth be less valid than a scientific one? Can we even know what truth is?
Only religion claims to be in possession of definitive, unique truth. Science on the other hand, only lays claim to provisional truths, ie; the most reasonable conclusion we can come to given the available evidence. However in real, practical terms, If we want reliable, objective
knowledge about reality, we look to science, not spiritual intuition. This is because all religion has is a claim to truth, with nothing to substantiate it. It's this assumption of truth that seperates religion from reason. Perhaps we can never know a definitive truth, but a mere claim to truth is not any sort of truth at all...not even a provisional one. It might be true, with no evidence behind it, is a long way from it's highly likely to be true because the evidence supports the claim..
Religion can offer us things science cannot, such as comfort, guidance, consolation and the hope of an afterlife..but these are not truths, they're religious perspectives that work on assumptions. They may contain truths, such as good moral advice or accurate observations about humanity..but these are really not unique to religion. The same truths can be found elsewhere and what is unique to religion, eg; supernatural beings and events, an afterlife, etc cannot be observed, tested and proven and thus remain only claims to truth.
Of course to many people, who have faith in the assumption, this doesn't seem to matter. To them it is truth. Well okay. But is mylife=adventure right when she writes ; I think it's best we leave religion to it's self and stop trying to prove or disprove any sort of religion as being a fraud or not.
A Special Pass?
I don't believe she is right. To those whom truth is important..who believe that it matters, it is reasonable to challenge religious claims. When people make important decisions on the basis of it, sometimes good ones, sometimes bad - even engaging in conflicts, committing acts of violence, controlling lives and other sundry evils, all in the name of religion, isn't it important to know whether it's true or not?
Any claim to truth, especially one that has so much significance to so many people, should be held up to the light and scrutinised and if any part of it can be shown to be a fraud, it should be...and the same of course applies if any part of it can be shown to be true. So Chasuk, if any evidence ever crops up one way or the other, then of course it should be revealed...come what may.
The truth will set you free. But first, it will p*ss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem
Our First Truth
A Word About Relativism
You might like pink and I blue...you might think hamburgers taste better than steak and that would be a truth...for you. For tastes and opinions relativism works fine but as a philosophical perspective, it renders truth meaningless:
Protagoras: Truth is relative. It is only a matter of opinion.
Socrates: You mean that truth is mere subjective opinion?
Protagoras: Exactly. What is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Truth is subjective.
Socrates: Do you really mean that? That my opinion is true by virtue of its being my opinion?
Protagoras: Indeed I do.
Socrates: My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you, Mr. Protagoras, are absolutely in error. Since this is my opinion, then you must grant that it is true according to your philosophy.
Protagoras: You are quite correct, Socrates.
Mr. A. "I can jump out of a aeroplane at 300 feet without a parachute and no harm can come to me at all. It's true I tell you."
Ms B. "No you can't. It's highly likely you would be harmed That is the truth."
If we don't allow for the possibility of objective truth then both of these statements must be equally true. Is that workable? The laws of physics are universal...we know if you jump out of an aeroplane without a parachute you very likely will be harmed. I would call that an objective truth......at least for the time being.
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