Is all truth absolute? Why/Why Not Contest; Feb 2020
|Prompt: The pros and cons of Absolute Truth in Religion and Science
Imagine if you will, a little boy being woken late one night by a strange noise. He sits up and strains his ears but th room is silent. Assuming he must have merely dreamt it, he puts his head back on the pillow and has almost drifted back to sleep when he hears deep breathing and scratching sounds from within his clothes cupboard. It is distinct and unmistakeably present.
He feels spooked and senses danger. Fear gets the better of him and, convinced something evil is trying to make its way out of the cupboard , he scrambles out from under the blankets and runs to his parents’ bedroom for protection.
Though groggy and irritable, his mother is sympathetic. She tells him to try calm down, because there is no such thing as demons, ghosts or bogeymen. She alleges that it was just his over productive imagination playing tricks on him; and that he has nothing to be afraid of.
The boy is positive that he was not just hearing things and urges her to come see for herself. She follows him back to his room, turns on the light and opens the closest door but it is empty; except for clothes. He continues insisting that the noises were real but she merely tucks him back into bed, kisses him good night and leaves the room.
In this scenario, were the mother and the boy both telling the truth? Well, the answer is yes; the boy told his mother exactly what he heard in the closet and highlights an element of danger, which he believes to be true. The mother does not subscribe to the supernatural and genuinely thinks he is mistaken; which she also believes to be true. Neither side is being dishonest either. Lies; like guilt in a court of law, requires the intention to deceive.
This illustrates that truth is relative to the information and proof provided or accepted at the time. Thus it does not always have to be correct, but absolute truth, on the other hand has to be one hundred percent accurate; there can be no margin for error.
Another example is the origins of the universe, or at least the manner in which this world formed. Creation theorists insist that it came about by intelligent design, whilst evolution theorists say we evolved from single cell organisms and came about by trial and error (so to speak). Both will tell you that, by the preponderance of evidence, their hypocrisies are absolute truths. However they cannot state to an absolute certainty they are one hundred percent accurate; no one actually witnessed what really happened.
Religion could be likened to the boy that heard the demon and believes on the basis of assumption and imagination. Fear drives it toward Science (the mother) for a deeper explanation, but he finds itself rebuked by logic based solutions.
In the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy they speak of alien creatures called Babel-fish. They instantly translate any language spoken by any alien you may encounter. The assumption is made that anything that useful and complex could not have evolved by chance, and uses it as an argument to disprove God’s existence.
The argument alleges that God refuses to prove he exits, as proof denies faith and without faith he is nothing. But the Babel fish proves he exists; therefore he doesn’t. We could use the same arguments, regarding the complexities of the world and universe evolving by the process of trial and error).
Of course, this is science fiction and seems to assume that God’s existence could only be true if human beings believed in him. One could argue that God could have also existed if the Dinosaurs believed in him, which for all we know they may have.
According to present popular opinion, Christianity is based on many falsehoods, but is that statement an absolute truth? Science has all the answers and their studies have drawn the most accurate of conclusions; another absolute truth? It is impossible that Creationism and evolution could co-exist in order for this world to exist as we know it now (yet another absolute truth?).
If there was no such thing as intelligent design, how and why did the concept of “half-life” originate? What drives evolution; that is to say there has to be some sort of need for existence to keep going, instead of simply ceasing to be? I don’t pretend to have the answers.
I have no absolute truths to offer.
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