Truth troubles

EmPulse for Week of May 16, 2011

Truth troubles

Ever since Immanuel Kant (1724—1804) laid the groundwork for the development of Phenomenology (dichotomizing Truth into upper and lower stories, subjective truth and objective truth) our world has been plagued by the false assumption that religious beliefs and moral choices are a matter of personal preference. This thinking expresses itself in today’s culture as “Well, as long as it works for you.” Which is tantamount to saying some truth is as capricious as personal whim or personality difference. One culture’s truth is no longer applicable to another’s. Thus has relativism overtaken us all to believe that much truth is a matter of individual rendering of reality. [Right now I’m praying the builders of this Airbus A380 didn’t believe that.]

But of course, they couldn’t believe that. Their Truth has a basis in real life. Thus, I must be mistaken—my Truth (beliefs) is not as valid as theirs as it rests in Kant’s upper story. You see the quandary we’ve created? Of course, we meet the same dilemma if we attempt to verify history. You weren’t there; I wasn’t there. The events were recorded and reported to us by media, online, or in ancient documents. How can we deem them reliable? Even scientific postulations beg some faith. The evidence seems to point to a Big Bang. Ok. But WHAT banged? Where did it come from? I wasn’t there; you weren’t there. It is as if science and religion coalesce as history traces itself back to that initial burst of energy. My best guess is that, as we move forward, we will be very surprised to find discovery and revelation once again come together.

Maybe it’s time we reconsidered the idea of Truth as one unified whole, as it actually is. Science hopes, one day, to be able to explain everything. Good luck with that. Religion may already offer explanations that boggle the mind. It’s called faith— trust in something beyond understanding that deserves our allegiance. The more we seek the God of Creation, the more we will discover the complexity of this Creation to be beyond science…, yet, someday, discoverable by science. Not a surprise. Jesus Christ, the surprise magician!

So whatever your belief, in science or faith, remember that they have been intrinsically entwined from the beginning. It is only our feeble minds that need the separation for the sake of understanding. Maybe it is not reconciliation between the two that is necessary. Maybe it is the humble admission that we have had it wrong for too long. TRUTH, all truth, is One. God’s Revelation and our Discovery are the rubric around which we need to wrap our minds and our hearts to make sense of this wondrous world of ours. Get to it.

Have a nice week,


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