Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Nature of Reality

This is just a thought. But, there are several systems of beliefs that we walk around with on a daily basis. We rarely recognize them. But they guide us in evaluating truth claims, in how we see reality, and in our decision-making. These are things like sayings we've heard over and over, assumptions we hold on to, old recordings we play in our heads, and memories that inform our fears and our desires.

For instance, why do some people believe that stepping on a crack will cause bad luck? Why do some people believe that everything came from nothing on its own? Why do some people believe that one race is better than another? Why do some people believe that they will be the lucky winner this time? Why do some people believe that they are the center of the universe? Why do some people believe that there is no real truth, only opinions? Why do some people believe that intelligence originated with inanimate objects?

Is it really true that optimism is better than pessimism? No. They are both bad, because they both involve the decision to believe something based on desire not truth.

Is it really true that all truth claims are equally valid? No. Because, the opposite can not be true at the same time.

Is it really true that Christianity and macro-evolutionary theory can be compatible? No. Because Christianity claims that God is the Great Cause, not matter.

Is it really true that science and the Bible can be reconciled? No, because the question is wrong. Science is man's attempt to understand something he/she finds difficult to understand. However, the Bible informs our understanding of science, and science, when properly understood, informs our understanding of the Bible. The Bible hasn't been proved or disproved by science. But science has demonstrated the Bible's accuracy in reporting, the authenticity of the manuscripts, and its historical significance.

Is it really true that the Church has suppressed women throughout history? No. The teachings of Christ and the apostles, and the actions of the early Church defy that claim. However, if you say something enough times it becomes true, especially in light of recent history. Following, can anyone really say that they can point to the Church, even today, and be accurate that they are looking at the whole Church, and the embodiment of its teachings.

Is it really true that Jesus is the only way to be saved? Yes and no. Yes, there is no way to the Father except through Christ. And yes, people who have Christ will be saved, and those who reject Christ will be condemned. No, if you are as perfectly righteous as God is righteous. (Since no one really is, or can be, then essentially the answer is a flat no.)

That's not fair! Why does Jesus have to be the only way? Let's say the way to God is a phone number. If we dial it, we can reach God. But let's say we get the phone number off by one or two numbers. We will not get God. We will get a wrong number. The possibility of getting a wrong number is greater than getting the number right, because the number combination is a precise sequence of numbers. Any other sequence, or different number combinations will be wrong. It isn't cruel, it is the nature of dialing up one specific person.

Gravity is a truth that has positive and negative consequences. The negative consequences do not negate the truth of it. But we can never ignore it and still survive.

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