Truth

I guess it could be said that if someone believes something it becomes THEIR truth. That wouldn’t be so dangerous if people clearly understood that when you combine the words belief and truth the word truth instantly becomes subjective and not absolute. You completely redefine the meaning of the word.

Truth~

—Synonyms 1. fact. 2. veracity. 7. sincerity, candor, frankness. 10. precision, exactness.
—Antonyms 1. falsehood. 2, 4, 7. falsity.

Basically saying your beliefs are absolute truth is like calling anyone who has differing beliefs a liar. Respect is lost right there and so is any hope of productive communication.  This is why so many people are turned off by any discussion of religion or spirituality. When you engage in conversation with someone who has seamlessly combined their beliefs with absolute truth (and you happen to have differing beliefs) you automatically bristle, waiting for the sucker punch of riotousness that is sure to come. It’s like someone telling you they love and respect you while patting your poor misguided soul on the head. No thanks.

We have to be open to the POSSIBILITY that our beliefs may or may NOT be absolute truth. It would be a start if we could eliminate the word ONLY from our vocabulary asap.

There may just be more to the story that you (we) are not privy to.  Admitting this won’t make you melt. I promise.

Notice I chose the Truthful MUSINGS category for this post. LOL

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14 Comments

Filed under Life in general, Truthful Musings

14 responses to “Truth

  1. A good million dollar worth pondering and musing post there, thanks. Be open, that’s the only way to love and live here and now.

    To put it strangely:

    There’s only one truth that there’s not a thing called truth out there. For our utilitarian need and pupose we devise one. Live here and now is the only truth.

  2. But I’m not open to the possibility that my trust about God isn’t The only truth. What would be the point of me following it if I were. I do think others who don’t believe my way are wrong, and I fully realize that is intolerant.

    I am not a full time missionary, nor do I wear my faith on my arm. I love people where they are, even if we disagree about things.

    But for me, I can’t possibly see any wiggle room in what I believe about my faith, and I don’t think it is fair of others to ask me to. Isn’t that just as intolerant of my faith system and you think my faith system is?

    I do think you can disagree on major things in life, such as religion, and still have deep meaningful relationships with people. I’m open to it, and DO have relationships with others who have much different faith than mine. I find way more often the problem comes from people who are demanding I change my way of thinking to something more “tolerant” That is intolerant itself.

    BTW even though I disagree with you on this, it in NO way diminishes the respect that I have for you!

  3. oh, and I’m not angry or anything, just disagree with the premise 🙂 I wouldn’t expect a devout Muslim to be less sure in their faith, though I would personally like to see all come to Christ, since that is my faith of choice. To follow ones faith with less than absolute assurance of truth is lukewarm and in my opinion shows you don’t really believe it is true at all.

    The sky is blue. There is no wiggle room on that. And that is how I see the diety of Jesus. There is no wiggle room.

    I’m sorry if that offends people, or is judgemental or whatever, but it is what I believe and I won’t apologize for my faith, only for peoples reactions to it.

  4. I spot on agree with everything you say, Erin. Christianity, in fact, is one of the few world religions that encourages us to question, doubt, and test our beliefs.

    One of my favorite verses:

    “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. ”
    1 Thessalonians 5:19-22

    Bottom line is that we all lay claim to absolute truth… even you, Mia. And, you end up laughing at that fact at the end of your post. 😉 An assertion that there is no absolute truth is an absolute-truth statement.

    We can’t get away from it, no matter how hard we try.

    Christianity could be correct. Islam could be correct. Judaism could be correct. Atheism could be correct. Perhaps, an amalgam of the whole group is correct. But, there is an absolute truth out there.

    I choose to believe that the Christian faith is pretty dern close.

  5. Hi Mia,

    I completely understand what you’re saying. I am religious and I can’t stand a lot of religious people! I think a clearer way to describe this nasty quality would be to call it self-righteous piety instead of religious. Many religious people are self-righteous and pious. Some are not.

    My blog is instilled with my religious beliefs, and yet I was dismayed to find that it wasn’t listed on one Quaker blog site. I think it wasn’t listed because I happen to translate my beliefs into universal language that everybody can understand. So, non-religious people might find my mentioning the fact that I’m religious annoying, religious people think I’m not religious enough. I do my best to navigate the middle way because it’s important for me to have a spiritually-influenced TRA blog.

    Keep up the good work on yours!

    ~ Allison

  6. There are a million different ways to believe in God, be a Christian, and still not claim to have “the” truth.

    And yes, about patting on the head. Yes.

  7. Pingback: Exclusivity, Christianity, spiritual growth « Paragraphein

  8. If you don’t think that your beiefs are ‘the truth’, why hold them at all?

    The hall mark of someone with no self-esteem is their belief in moral equivalence.

    A quote from Ayn Rand;

    “[Consider the catch phrase:] “It may be true for you, but it’s not true for me.” What is the meaning of the concept “truth”?
    Truth is the recognition of reality. (This is known as the correspondence theory of truth.) The same thing cannot be true and untrue at the same time and in the same respect.
    That catch phrase, therefore, means:

    a. that the Law of Identity is invalid;

    b. that there is no objectively perceivable reality, only some indeterminate flux which is nothing in particular, i.e., that there is no reality (in which case, there can be no such thing as truth);

    or c. that the two debaters perceive two different universes (in which case, no debate is possible). (The purpose of the catch phrase is the destruction of objectivity.)”

    “Philosophical Detection,”
    Philosophy: Who Needs It, 14.

  9. eantonse

    I believed that the bus was coming yesterday at 2 PM. Turned out my belief did not have a basis in truth.

  10. mia

    I would never ask you to apologize for your beliefs Erin. Never. I only suggest there is another option which is; more possibilities. Not other possibilities (right vs wrong), but more possibilities (I hate this saying but: more than one way to skin a cat). For some this is not an option. For some it is all or none. Cool with me! I have no need to convince you to be or do or think any other way. It is what it is, you are as you are…perfect.

    Thorn “pretty dern close” is not an absolute either. So good for you for opening your heart to the possibility of more possibilities. lol

    Nic I replied on your blog. Thanks for the comment and the great conversation!

    Radical: Ahhh philosophy, that wonderful world of seeking absolutes. The only subject greater than religion to make your brain fart faster.

    “The hall mark of someone with no self-esteem is their belief in moral equivalence.”

    Self-esteem is a need of the ego. My ego is not who I am. Your quote solidifies for me that I am on on a really great path.

    Eantonse so what did you do when no bus came? Did you walk? Take a cab? I’ll BET you eventually got where you were going didn’t you? Yep, more than one way to skin a cat there is.

  11. mia

    Oh, and thanks Sulo! Great quote.

    Allison we are all finding our way aren’t we? Not feeling the need to judge one another is an important key to peace. I have NOT mastered that yet. ESPECIALLY when it comes to the subject of adoption. But we keep trying and that is all anyone has the right to ask of us.

  12. eantonse

    When my bus didn’t come I walked, it was a nice day. I think the issue is that I could have confused my expectation with a conclusion.

    Belief as used in an everyday context is often an expression of expectation. We expect that an outcome is guaranteed, and the strength of that expectation causes us to toss out the word believe.

    When we talk about truth, or absolute truth, we are talking about a conclusion – The bus either did or did not come. One of those things did indeed happen and constitutes the truth, but the conclusion of which is true is made based on the evidence we have available.

    In the context of religion, people seem to use these words interchangeably. The belief appears to be based on the idea that evidence supports conclusion of a truth. The argument then seems to turn on varying evaluations of this evidence.

    Personally, I didn’t believe the priest standing next to me who told me that the bus came and I just didn’t see it. I have no problem with the idea of an absolute truth. I have much skepticism for people out there who claim to know what it is.

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  14. I always was interested in this topic and still am, appreciate it for posting .

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