Saturday, January 12, 2013

Facebook Faith # 6 - Truth

I wanted to post this picture because I saw it being used on Facebook by many different faiths and even my Atheist friends.

So, that means for once they have found something to agree on, right?

Not at all, of course. In the mind of each person, that word truth holds different meaning. There are different sets of life experiences and beliefs that impose different values and interpretations on that word.

"Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." Ben Kenobi (Return of the Jedi)

However, all points of view are not equal. We all have filters, but the filters of some are more fixed than others. One person commented on this poster, "Jesus said he is the Truth." Do you think someone who holds fast to such a view would have trouble stepping into another perspective?

There are many times you will hear a scientist lament that by merely observing an event, you may change the conditions and therefore, possibly, the outcome. It seems to me that this is somewhere Atheism holds an advantage. My religious friends have a stake in certain outcomes being true; therefore, there is a great temptation for them to sway evidence and information to skew toward a desired outcome. Having stepped out of faith, it is easy for me to look back and see all the times I bent reality to my will.

Still, I don't believe a lack of faith in any way frees me from the filtering process. Removing filters is a lifelong journey.

However, I hold a truth that is serving me well at the moment - Truth is a wonderful thing to pursue, but I am skeptical of anyone who thinks they have caught it.

"A life of total dedication to the truth also means a life of willingness to be personally challenged. The only way that we can be certain that our map of reality is valid is to expose it to the criticism and challenge of other map-makers. Otherwise we live in a closed system--within a bell jar, to use Sylvia Plath's analogy, rebreathing only our own fetid air, more and more subject to delusion." - M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled


Catwoolf said...

I was thinking just this morning about this subject. And I find myself always back in the same place. Spirituality, godliness, divinity...I can only access it when I stop "thinking" about it. When I try to make sense of it, it starts being a construct of my imagination, limited by my imagination. The thing you said once about the best part of religion is the stuff that works just as well without religion...that's what it is for me. It's love and patience, compassion, and the wherever the place is that I go to when I am able to let go of my fear or anger. It's the way we're all similar and connected instead of how we're different.

When people spout the rules and regs of their religious dogma, or attempt to explain why their faith's perspective is more spiritually correct than the others, I'm so grateful I'm not enrolled in that competition.

The Arkwelder said...

I always espouse the importance of loving your ideological enemies. Not in a patronizing or dismissive way, but in a way that you engage them honestly. You actually "love" the fact that they are challenging you because then you are learning from one another.

Grundy said...

I usually say "biases" but "filters" is a good word too. I accept that absolute truth may be beyond our grasp, we can only know as much as our senses can ascertain, but if it looks like there's no God, smells like there's no God, and tastes like there's no God...there's probably no God.

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