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Is the world really searching for truth?

Javier

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I find Christianity to be different from every other religion.
Me, too.
I did a comparative study of Zoroastrianism and Christianity in Community College many years ago. What I discovered was Christianity stood alone as the religion that did not require mans 'right' works to be saved from God's destruction. It was the only one that revolved around having a relationship with the 'god' of the universe in which that 'god' forgave people in lieu of them doing acceptable works to escape damnation. That message, that gospel, only comes through the cross of Christianity. All other religions are based on the human reasoning (the human 'truth') that wrong doing is made right through right doing.

Also, when speaking to an atheist it always seems to me that they are trying to convince themselves more than me.
I noticed that, too.
And it seems the greater the level of intensity and emotion the person has, the more he's trying desperately to convince himself.
 

OzSpen

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Oh dear I didn't see post 144. Why? because that wasn't part of the quotes on the post that you replied to me with.

So yes I can have that audacity.

To be quite frank with you I have actually stopped reading your posts. To me your only concern is to prove yourself right and everyone wrong. You just give links to websites and don't answer questions. I only respond to your replies to me. Why? Because you have accused me of stuff that I don't beleive in, yet when I say I don't you just keep on going.

Get your head out of the books, stop continually giving links to sites and start loving people. If you want to make your point do it in a loving way, as Jesus would.

Take that log out of your eye and ask God for a new pair of glasses for your vision.
Instead of attacking my integrity, why don't you answer this question: Was I truthful in the definitions I gave of truth in #144?
 

OzSpen

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Actually, it's not.
It illustrates how 'truth', and 'something that is true' are not categorically equivalent to each other, except to fallen man who erroneously thinks they are. As Hitler well knows now, his kingdom of white supremacy was not truth at all, though he had succeeded in making it true to a large degree in Europe in the '40s.
It is a red herring fallacy because you introduced an irrelevant topic that is designed to divert attention from the original issue. With a red herring, the intention is to try to win an argument by drawing attention away from the argument and to another topic that seems to sound similar, bit it is really a different issue.

I was discussing the nature of truth (giving definitions of truth at #144) and used Hitler as an example of the truth according to the facts of the situation. What I said about Hitler had nothing whatsoever to do with what you introduced, 'his kingdom of white supremacy.... Would Jesus say Hilter's plan for a thousand year reign of white supremacy was truth? Yes, or no? It was true, but it is truth?'.

This kind of reasoning, a red herring, is fallacious because the changing of the topic of discussion to Hitler's white supremacy and Jesus' view of it, hardly counts as an argument against a claim of the nature of truth I was making (see #144).

Oz
 

Wrg1405

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Instead of attacking my integrity, why don't you answer this question: Was I truthful in the definitions I gave of truth in #144?
Oz,

I have already apologised to you for my last post.
Leave it at that please.
 

OzSpen

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Oz,

I have already apologised to you for my last post.
Leave it at that please.
You attacked my integrity in #165. In which post to me did you apologise. I can't see it anywhere since #165. Perhaps I'm overlooking it. From my end, #172 is missing.

Oz
 

Wrg1405

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You attacked my integrity in #165. In which post to me did you apologise. I can't see it anywhere since #165. Perhaps I'm overlooking it. From my end, #172 is missing.

Oz
I sent you a private message Sunday evening.
 

OzSpen

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Hi Runner,
In your fourth paragraph you say that we cannot know which paradigm is correct while on this side of the grave. Are you saying that we cannot know which religion is true or that each person believes his own religion of choice is the true one?

I find Christianity to be different from every other religion.

Also, when speaking to an atheist it always seems to me that they are trying to convince themselves more than me.
Wondering,

Do you think that are any criteria we can use that will determine the truth of Christianity over, say, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, materialism or idolatry?

I'm raising the issue that if we cannot know which paradigm (I'll call it worldview) is correct this side of the grave, what does that say about the nature of eternal life? Is it in the hope-so realm rather than 'we can know we are saved'?

Oz
 

OzSpen

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I sent you a private message Sunday evening.
It is Tues night, 10:57pm at the moment and there is nothing in my PM in-box to indicate there is a message from you. However, may I say that you attacked my integrity on the public forum of CFnet. In my view, that is where the apology should be.

Oz
 

Wrg1405

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It is Tues night, 10:57pm at the moment and there is nothing in my PM in-box to indicate there is a message from you. However, may I say that you attacked my integrity on the public forum of CFnet. In my view, that is where the apology should be.

Oz
Oz,

I just wanted apologise for my last response to you. It was out of order & I was out of order.

So I'm sorry for any offence I caused you and I hope you will forgive me.

Bill

As sent Sunday night.
 

wondering

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Hi Oz,
I'm going to !listen to Dawkins in a while since it's pretty long.

Here's quick what I think :

True refers to a statement.
" New York is in the US"

Truth refers to a moral reality.
"Murder is a bad thing"

Even those who do not believe in the existence of a supreme being to whom they should refer to for truth, will tell you that they be!ieve they are moral persons.

Everyone on earth, in the civilized world, believes in the Natural Truth. A truth that is by its very nature accepted by everyone. The main reason for its acceptance is that it keeps the society in an orderly condition and avoids chaos.

I said in the civilized world because cannibals believe it is right to kill someone for their food; but they would still stop at killing each other for this purpose.

I believe some here, and I agree, are saying that today even the Natural Truth is being transgressed.
Abortion, euthanasia are examples .

This might have been said already.

Wondering
 

OzSpen

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Oz,

I just wanted apologise for my last response to you. It was out of order & I was out of order.

So I'm sorry for any offence I caused you and I hope you will forgive me.

Bill

As sent Sunday night.
Bill,

I most certainly will accept your forgiveness. That means the slate is wiped clean.

Blessings,
Oz (Spencer)
 

wondering

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Wondering,

Do you think that are any criteria we can use that will determine the truth of Christianity over, say, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, materialism or idolatry?

I'm raising the issue that if we cannot know which paradigm (I'll call it worldview) is correct this side of the grave, what does that say about the nature of eternal life? Is it in the hope-so realm rather than 'we can know we are saved'?

Oz
I don't know if I can say Christianity is the Truth because not everyone accepts it.

I CAN say that it is true.
Why?
Because no one else, Buddha, Krishna, etc. Ever claimed to be
God.
Also, there is the resurrection which I believe to be true because I trust the Apostles who said so.

Pilot asked Jesus "what is the truth".
Jesus did not reply because Pilot could not accept the truth, even though he was staring it in the face.
Pilot did not even accept the Natural Truth. Anyone who could crucify someone does not have the truth.
Whereas Jesus embodied the Truth. He was Natural Truth personified since HE wrote it !
 

Javier

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It is a red herring fallacy because you introduced an irrelevant topic
No, I used a relevant example.
Now, answer the question: Would Jesus say Hilter's plan for a thousand year reign of white supremacy was truth? Yes, or no? It was true, but was it truth?

Show me how Hitler's white Europe, having been true, was also Jesus' truth.
 

Javier

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How 'bout this:
It is true that aborting unwanted babies helps control population growth, among other things. But is that truth? Yes, or no, OzSpen ?
 
R

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It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that there is some confusion here. OzSpen is asking for a definition of truth, not what people believe to be true. If something is true, it is true for everyone, but not everyone may believe that it is true.

At the most basic level, I think that truth is that which corresponds with reality. So it isn't a matter of we have truth as Christians but it isn't the truth of unbelievers. It's just truth and unbelievers don't believe that to be the case. There is no 'my truth' and 'his truth'.
There likewise seems to me to be a great deal of confusion in this thread, or at least a lot of people talking past each other. Pretty clearly, Jethro's OP was in the vein of "Are people really searching for the truth about the ultimate nature of reality or are they content with some understanding of their own that they find comforting and appealing?" (Correct me if I'm wrong, Jethro, but that's how I understood it.) My experience, as I've suggested, is that most people do little searching at all. They are culturally conditioned into some belief system, or indoctrinated by parents into some belief system, or simply gravitate to some belief system they find appealing or socially advantageous without much regard to whether it corresponds to the ultimate nature of reality. I believe a large number of people have the attitude, "We can't really know the ultimate nature of reality anyway, so I'll just find a landing spot where I'm comfortable." I live in a heavily LDS area, and I can't tell you how many people I've seen convert solely because it's the only way they are going to have any social acceptance or business success in this area.

As I've suggested in my posts, the only way anyone could really know the truth about the ultimate nature of reality would be by direct observation or experience. The only way I can know my Ford is sitting in my garage is by observing it. I may have a strong belief, based on the fact that I parked it there last night, that it is sitting in my garage - but I am, to some extent, speculating until I go look. (A couple of years ago, my neighbor was surprised to discover his truck wasn't sitting in his garage in the morning.) This is precisely the point of someone like Dawkins. In his materialistic belief system, we can observe and experience ultimate reality. It's all around us. There is no higher reality. End of discussion.

Christians and other believers say they know there is a higher reality. For Christians, the direct observation and experience consists of things like being born again, answers to prayer, and sensing the presence of the Holy Spirit. Some have direct mystical encounters with Jesus. But: (1) believers of other faiths can claim equivalent observations and experiences, and (2) none of these observations and experiences counts for anything with Dawkins - they are simply inadmissible in his belief system and thus have to be the product of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, ignorance or delusion. Thus, in the great scheme of things, what Christians "know" is little different from what a Muslim "knows" or Dawkins "knows." Each believes that what he "knows" is true (corresponds to the nature of ultimate reality) and what everyone else "knows" is false. And round and round it goes.

Apart from direct observation and experience of the higher reality, we have the evidence pointing toward it. For a Christian, this might be the historical evidence for the Resurrection, the prophecies in the Bible that were fulfilled, and the evidence for Intelligent Design. Muslims and Hindus have their versions of such evidence. Dawkins has his reasons for believing all such evidence is hooey. A legitimate debate can be had as to whose evidence is stronger. But evidence such as this will never really get you to a state of "knowing" the truth about the nature of a reality higher than your own.

When we talk about the "truth" of Hitler's plans, this is a different sense of "truth." We're talking here about "moral truth" (if this is a legitimate use of the term at all). All of the historical facts of the Nazi regime are true in the sense discussed above - what history says the Nazis did corresponds pretty closely to the reality of what the Nazis did. But can we even talk about "truth" in the context of the Nazis' objectives? Does it even make sense to ask whether Hitler's objective in exterminating the Jews was "true"?

A Christian (or Jesus, for that matter) would say, "It was objectively immoral because God's laws determine what is moral and it violated God's laws." Dawkins would say, "I disagree with what the Nazis did and everyone should condemn it because it was objectively irrational and destructive, but there is no God and there are no God's laws." A believer of a different religion would say, "It was objectively immoral, but only because it violates the tenets of my religion." Even when we are talking about moral truth, therefore, we come back to the nature of ultimate reality - is Christian morality "true" because Christians' understanding of God corresponds to reality or is Muslim morality "true" because Muslims' understanding of Allah corresponds to reality? What if Christian morality and Muslim morality both condemn the same act - are both moralities "true," or is only the Christian's (or the Muslim's) "true" because only his understanding of the source of the morality is correct? It seems to me that you cannot get away from the core question, "What is the ultimate nature of reality and what basis do we have for claiming to know anything about it?" I think it's healthy, as Bill suggested above, for believers of all types to grapple with this question.
 

th1b.taylor

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Excellent post my friend.

You talk about reality, it's something I wanted to bring up but didn't do so for fear of being slapped down because I knew I couldn't explain it. Thanks for answering a question I didn't ask.

You have explained better than I have one mans truth is another's lie in terms of the spiritual aspect of life. My previous posts of my thought maybe didn't explain it but that's what I wanted to bring out.

You mention paradigm, I think a lot of people don't question that.

I had to a while back. I decided to look at what I actually beleived as a result of what I have been told/taught. Is it true? It's a hard process to go through, it messes with your mind. Of course it will cause Ones paradigm is very difficult to shift when's it's challenged.

In a sense and not wishing to be irreverent, it's better the devil you don't know than the one you do.

The fear of change is very powerful. It brings a whole new reality to you.

Thanks for your post.

Bill
Bill,
I know that I am a real stickler but I cannot imagine myself as anything less on these matters. I and my siblings were raised Atheists who used Sunday School as the Baby Sitter while Mom and Dad enjoyed a Sunday Morning Roll in the Hay.

I was a very good Atheist, often putting Christians into Crayfish Escape mode, they would tuck that tail and zoom they were gone. When God called me 11/3/'66, I would not surrender for better than 23 years because as a Deist, I knew I had earned Hell and I believed, erroneously, that God could never forgive my Sexual Sins, let alone, what I considered the lessor sins.

Thus is the reason I stand fast on the position that there is exactly one, single, truth. I do not deny many view other theories as truth but there can only be one truth and everything else that is true must be based on it. Truth has never been and must never be considered relevant. Relativity makes things appear to be true but they can never replace the Truth because there is one God and that God is the truth.
 

Wrg1405

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Bill,
I know that I am a real stickler but I cannot imagine myself as anything less on these matters. I and my siblings were raised Atheists who used Sunday School as the Baby Sitter while Mom and Dad enjoyed a Sunday Morning Roll in the Hay.

I was a very good Atheist, often putting Christians into Crayfish Escape mode, they would tuck that tail and zoom they were gone. When God called me 11/3/'66, I would not surrender for better than 23 years because as a Deist, I knew I had earned Hell and I believed, erroneously, that God could never forgive my Sexual Sins, let alone, what I considered the lessor sins.

Thus is the reason I stand fast on the position that there is exactly one, single, truth. I do not deny many view other theories as truth but there can only be one truth and everything else that is true must be based on it. Truth has never been and must never be considered relevant. Relativity makes things appear to be true but they can never replace the Truth because there is one God and that God is the truth.
Hi Mate,

I can relate to your first paragraph. The only difference being my mum was a Muslim and step dad an atheist.

What is that I said that gives you course for concern?
 

th1b.taylor

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Good for you, Bill! It is indeed a hard process. It does indeed mess with your mind. But when you emerge from the swamp, you have a set of beliefs in which you really believe, not merely pretend to believe, and that will sustain you in times of crisis. When I lost my first wife to breast cancer, we were delighted to find that the belief systems we had put in place long before her illness did indeed sustain us throughout the seven years she lived (and afterward, in my case). Everyone, from close family members to her doctors, was amazed at her ability to face this difficult situation head-on - and it was because she didn't have to frantically invent a belief system on the fly after learning she didn't have long to live (or discover to her dismay that a "pretend" belief system she had never really thought about collapsed like a house of cards in the face of death). I am secure in the handful of things that I strongly believe - some of which would be unaffected even if Christianity were conclusively proven to be a fraud - but I will continue to challenge my belief system until the day I depart this life. (For example, I am thoroughly convinced we live in a designed universe and of the survival of consciousness after bodily death, neither of which hinges on Christianity being true.)



I'm saying both. The Great Divide, as I see it, is between those who believe in some higher reality and those who don't - materialistic atheists being "those who don't." (Atheists would quickly point out that some of them do believe in a higher reality, just not a God - which is why this sort of atheist tends to be more kindly disposed toward a religion like Buddhism than toward Christianity.) I have a very intelligent, educated friend who believes we are virtual creatures existing within a cosmic software program created by what he calls the Source. He thus is on the same side of the Great Divide as me, whereas Dawkins isn't. Can I actually say I know he is wrong? No, I don't think so. Can I actually say I know a Buddhist - or, for that matter, an atheist - is wrong? No, I don't think so.

When we say we "know" Christianity is true, we either mean we are "firmly convinced" it is or that we have had an experience of God that constitutes direct knowledge (the born-again experience, the baptism of the Spirit, a startling answer to prayer, or whatever). But this latter sense of "knowing" is exactly what my antagonist on the IANDS board was claiming: She knew the Ultimate Truth because she had experienced it during her NDE, whereas I had not. Never mind that I had had some fairly startling Christian experiences and some other quite weird anomalous experiences of my own. Never mind that other NDE experiencers did not believe the same things she did. Never mind any of it - because she knew and we didn't. As I kept pointing out, her "knowledge" was valid only for her; it carried no weight whatsoever for anyone else, and there was no way of determining whether it corresponded to reality.

I never say I "know" Christianity is true. On the basis of a great deal of life experience, observation and study, I am "firmly convinced" that Christianity is the best explanation of reality I am going to find. My "life experience" includes, as I have suggested, some anomalous experiences that I would consider "direct knowledge" of the spiritual realm as well as some Christian experiences that I would consider "direct knowledge" of God. I also rely to a considerable degree on intuition, which the sages of all religions have taught is the most reliable way to grasp the divine (in a Christian context, intuition might be viewed as the "still small voice" of the Spirit). With all of this, however, I do not "know" Christianity is true in the same way I know my Ford is sitting in my garage. I cannot demonstrate to you or even to myself that my claims about Christianity correspond to reality in the same way I can demonstrate my claim about my Ford corresponds to reality. I recognize there is at least some possibility Christianity is not true at all, or not true in the way I now understand it. I can live with this element of ambiguity and uncertainty.

I agree Christianity is different from every other religion in the sense of God reaching down to humans as opposed to humans trying to reach up to God. It is, we believe, a revelation by God to us. It is also different from every other religion in recognizing that we are fallen creatures living in a fallen creation. This is, to me, one of the most convincing things about Christianity - it is counterintuitive (not what we would expect if humans were inventing a self-congratulatory religion) and does the best job of any religion I have found in explaining how the world in which I live actually works (i.e., not very well, because we are fallen creatures in a fallen creation). Nevertheless, is it possible it is false, in whole or in part? Certainly. Is it possible I am misunderstanding or misinterpreting my own experiences? Of course. Do I know it is true in the same way I know my Ford is in my garage? No, I don't. Thus, I limit my claim to being "firmly convinced" rather than "knowing." If someone here insists he "knows" - OK, fine, but bear in mind you're going to have a difficult time engaging in a rational discussion with someone else who insists he "knows" something entirely different from you.
Wow! You are where I was, both as an Atheist and as a Deist. But with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and with the results of my personal research into Death Bed experiences I will stand firm on the statement that I know My GMC is parked, right now in my Custom Built Car Port and I am equally certain the Christian God is the God of everything. I wake up every morning , turn the lights on and look around the room and if the Death Angle is not there, I know it is not time for me to check in to Heaven.

I am so sorry you do not feel that assurance, the assurance that lives in me because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
 

th1b.taylor

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Hi Mate,

I can relate to your first paragraph. The only difference being my mum was a Muslim and step dad an atheist.

What is that I said that gives you course for concern?
Any indication of uncertainty concerns me.
 

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