05 August 2010
One way mirror and absolutes
After you go back outside the rest room and make sure that no one can see you there from the outside, you go back inside and things are back to normal.
Perceptions are funny things. Odd maybe.
At dinner last night we talked about cultural anthropology. Some areas of the world have beliefs that so seriously differ from ours, it's hard to let them have their views without argument. Polygamy is standard in many. In one culture (probably more) a child is not 'human' until the child turns one year old. Thus if you don't want your baby, you take it to the woods and leave it to die. That's not wrong in that society. Mortal infant diseases clean the group of un-human things. That just seems so wrong, is it because I'm Western?
This from a fellow SME69er (my high school) Chuck Miller "what we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." (He's quoting physicist Werner Heisenberg)
Consider these topics. When I was born, very few mothers would have even considered working outside the home. Euthanasia was beyond shocking; it was horrible and wrong. Gay marriage was not marriage at all. Marriage was between a man and a woman and was normal. No one lived with 'partners.' And yet just moments ago in California, from the New York Times website, "SAN FRANCISCO — Saying that it unfairly targets gay men and women, a federal judge in San Francisco struck down California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, handing supporters of such unions a temporary victory in a legal battle that seems all but certain to be settled by the Supreme Court."
Seeing things from one side of the mirror or one side of the window...well, it gives you a different view, almost a wrong view!
All that and you might think that morality or religion or philosophy is a matter of one's own views only, as if there were no absolutes.
"Absolute truth" is defined as inflexible reality: fixed, invariable, unalterable facts. For example, it is a fixed, invariable, unalterable fact that there are absolutely no square circles and there are absolutely no round squares. Whatever is true at one time and at one place is true at all times and at all places. What is true for one person is true for all persons. Truth is true whether we believe it or not. Truth is discovered or it is revealed, it is not invented by a culture or by religious men.
The Greek philosopher Protagoras said "man is the measure of all things." This means each person can decide there own standard for right and wrong living. What is morally right for me, may be wrong for another. this is the essence of relativism. John Dewey (1859-1952), co-author and signer of the Humanist Manifesto 1 (1933), declared, "There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes." Humanists believe one should do, as one feels is right.
You cannot argue against absolute truth unless an absolute truth is the basis of your argument. Consider a few of the classic arguments and declarations made by those who seek to argue against the existence of absolute truth.
1) "There are no absolutes." First of all, the relativist is declaring there are no absolutes. That is an absolute statement. The statement is logically contradictory. If the statement is true, there is, in fact, an absolute - there are absolutely no absolutes.
2) "Truth is relative." Again, this is an absolute statement implying truth is absolutely relative. Besides positing an absolute, suppose the statement was true and "truth is relative." Everything including that statement would be relative. If a statement is relative, it is not always true
3) "Who knows what the truth is, right?" In the same sentence the speaker declares that no one knows what the truth is, then he turns around and asks those who are listening to affirm the truth of his statement.
"No one knows what the truth is." The speaker obviously believes his statement is true.
All that to say... friend, reading my blog, I believe in the Truth of the Scriptures. I believe in the Truth that there is a God, and He loves us, you and me. He demonstrated His love toward us in sending Y'shua, His only son to us, to live and teach, to die for us and to bring us back into relationship with Him. What love!
The Bible is absolutely true. It's reliable. It's useful if we believe it. Are you openminded to the possibility that the Book is True and that it can say something to you? Don't be so absolutely resistant. OK?