Truth? I dare you.

June 15th, 2006

I’ve been having a minor philosophical discussion with two of the most intelligent commentators in the Wisconsin Cheddarsphere, discount viagra viagra Rick Essenberg of Shark and Shepherd and Professor John McAdams of Marquette Warrior about the differences between science and Intelligent Design.

I won’t rehash our perspectives here, cialis sales but it did raise an interesting question for me:

How does someone choose one religion over another?

The thing about science is that evidence and experimentation are used to separate legitimate sciences like chemistry from pseudosciences like alchemy.

However religions are impervious to experimentation (the reason why Intellegent Design is not and can never be a science), which is way believers generally rely on “revealed truth” or revelation as the foundation for their beliefs.

But since basically all modern religions claim that they are based on “revealed truth” from God (or gods, or devils, or aliens) how do you determine which one is the real “revealed truth?”

So my question to believers of all faiths is how do you know that YOUR revealed truth is the right revealed truth?

And how would you prove it, if you had to?

Entry Filed under: Philosophy

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The World According to Ni&hellip  |  June 15th, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    […]  |  No Comments  |  No Trackbacks  Add to |  Digg this Post | Filed Under:Misc […]

  • 2. Aaron  |  June 15th, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    How does someone choose one religion over another?

    Do you realize how insulting that question is to someone who’s truly devout? You can’t CHOOSE your religion!

  • 3. Dean Mundy  |  June 15th, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    In a sense, Aaron is right. Unless you count conversion as choosing a religion. Conversion usually occurs when one reaches a crisis and is helped by some religious philosophy. This does involve choosing. There are many who don’t change their religion and simply follow in their parents footsteps.

    Although I would agree that some religious beliefs cannot be proven experimentally, (for example, whether God exists), I believe some propositions of ID can be observed in nature.

    I compare my response to some physical phenomenon as I do political observations. A liberal and a conservative may look at the same object and see two totally different things.

    In the same way, I look at the Grand Canyon and see the flood. Evolutionists see long periods of time.

    In short, because I see a Designer in the world, I conclude that that Designer would not hide himself from man. That revelation would have to be totaly true. The Bible seems to fit that requirement more than other sacred books. Therefore, the God of the Bible is whom I worship.

  • 4. Administrator  |  June 15th, 2006 at 11:17 pm

    Everyone chooses their religion, Aaron.

    Even if your choice is to just accept what your mom and dad gave you.

    And then, I also have to ask, how profound is a belief that is inherited?

    So you know Catholicism is the true faith because your mom happened to be Catholic?

    Doesn\’t anyone ever question that?

  • 5. Administrator  |  June 15th, 2006 at 11:31 pm

    Just a reminder, I’m not interested in challenging anyone’s fatih.

    I don’t have any problem with what anyone believes as long as they don’t try to impose it or its implications on me.

  • 6. Billiam  |  June 16th, 2006 at 3:33 am

    Aaron, we DO choose. I was raised a Catholic. Did the whole Altar Boy, catechism, Catholic grade/High school thing. In my late teens, I rejected it. I didn’t lose my belief, or faith in God, but I lost faith in organized religion that didn’t seem to hold up with the Bible. Later, in my early 30’s, I started reading about archeological discoveries verifying much of the Bible. This, to me, redeemed my belief when the world at large was telling you that God didn’t exist. I started reading the Bible more, and going to a non-Catholic church. By worshiping and having fellowship with others who walked the same path, I’ve found my faith AND trust in God growing more every day. Ultimately, though, I chose to believe.

  • 7. Aaron  |  June 16th, 2006 at 7:25 pm

    I was only trying to stir the pot a bit. Discussions on religion are good for that.

    I didn’t claim to be a non-believer. In fact, I’ve been meaning to talk about what I actually believe for quite some time. Now that Elliot and Nick have opened the door, I may have to take the opportunity. We’ll see.

  • 8. Rick  |  June 17th, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    I am late to this, but I’d say that you cannot “prove” in a strictly deductive sense, your religious faith. I think you can make an inductive argument for it and you can show that it is not inconsistent with what we know of nature.

    In that sense, I think there is more intellectual content to religion than, perhaps, the typical modern theologian who places it in an innate feeling that we then try to find someway to articulate. I think that innate feeling is there, but all ways of explaining it are not equal.

    But as to those explanations, we know them by how well they explain our experience. For me, the notion of an incarnate and trinitarian God jibes with what I know. We are in relationship with a God who also suffers. There is pain, but there is also redemption. Is that proof enough?

  • 9. Administrator  |  June 18th, 2006 at 7:52 am

    “Is that proof enough?”

    All that matters is that it’s proof enough for you, Rick.

    Nobody has to defend their faith to me. I’m not attacking it.

  • 10. Rick  |  June 18th, 2006 at 8:50 am

    I know. I’m asking not telling.

  • 11. tee bee  |  June 19th, 2006 at 12:27 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this since Friday. Mostly I’d say it’s something I’d be happy to chat about in earnest conversation, but Rick opens a door for something very important to this discussion as proposed in the posting.

    The premise anticipates that proof of many different quantifiables can be rendered similarly. The best I can put it is that it’s akin to asking what color H2O is, and insisting that it can’t be proven to exist without an observable color.

    But choosing religion is a lot like choosing a neighborhood. You often take your chances, then move according to your discoveries and leanings. As Paul urged us, we “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling. ”

    Nonetheless, Christianity has certain tenets that all religions agree upon (outside of the modernization movements in the American protestant churches): the trinity, the godhood and humanity of Christ, sin and the need of humanity for redemption that can only be accomplished by the saving work of Jesus.

  • 12. tee bee  |  June 19th, 2006 at 12:28 pm

    That should read “Christianity has certain tenets that all Christian religions agree upon…”

  • 13. Administrator  |  June 19th, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    “The best I can put it is that it‚Äôs akin to asking what color H2O is, and insisting that it can‚Äôt be proven to exist without an observable color.”

    Ahhh, but there are plenty of other quantifiable aspects to water.

    (Not to mention the fact that you can actually see, hear, taste, and feel water.)

    My original point was that I don’t see any rational way to distinguish one religion from any other.

    There is no objective way to test their validity.

    And no reasonable way to prefer one over another.

    I’m an agnostic, not an atheist, so I have no interest in disproving any religion.

    I just don’t see anyway you can logically support one “revealed truth” over another.

  • 14. Rick  |  June 21st, 2006 at 12:51 pm

    Schleirmacher said that we have an innate religious feeling, a sense of “utter dependence” that leads us to God consciousness. What concept of God best explains that is inductive; it involves reconciling doctrine with experience. The idea of an incarnated and trinitarian God is, I think, the best explanation reconciling God’s creation of the world with the existence of evil and suffering. The resurrection of Christ is the best – explanation of why his followers acted the way that they did. If by objective, you mean do these arguments exclude all other possibilities, I guess they don’t. It’s not lock down proof. But it is not completely subjective either. It consists of observations and suggested inferences that you can evaluate and weigh against others.

  • 15. Administrator  |  June 21st, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    Rick said:

    “Schleirmacher said that we have an innate religious feeling, a sense of ‚Äúutter dependence??? that leads us to God consciousness. “

    And some scientists argue that that very feeling is a result of evolution. ;)

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.