Saturday, February 12, 2011

The trial of truth

This past week I was summoned for jury duty.  I was pretty sure I would not be picked being that the entire Sheriff's department meets with the church I pastor.  Sure enough, I was not one of the 24 that was originally called before it had to be narrowed down to 12.  The process was interesting and I hope to serve one day as a juror.  One of the interesting statements made by the district judge was, "Drawing from a large diverse group of individuals will help in finding truth."  The statement implies that truth can be known.  A second statement made by the judge was, "The evidence should lead the decision process."

Concerning truth, it was not only clear from the judge's statement that it is knowable, but was implied that truth is objective.  What is truth anyway?  Truth is that which corresponds with reality or representing things as they really are.  This is referred to as the correspondence theory of truth.  All individuals use the correspondence theory of truth in their everyday life.  Giving directions in how to go from point A to point B is using the correspondence theory.  Think of what the world would be like if we didn't believe in the correspondence theory of truth?  We could never know if someone was telling the truth or crying wolf.

For anyone to deny the knowability or objective nature of truth is an impossible feat.  Relativism does just that.  Relativism, in essence, denies that truth can be known or that it is objective, hence the term relativism.  The problem that makes relativism untenable is that it can not show why anyone should accept relativism.  It is logically impossible to support relativism, for when one states that relativism is the correct view they contradict themselves by making objectively true statements.

The judge was completely justified in asking the potential jurors to consider the evidence, because evidence will tip the scales toward the truth.  The evidence is important in deciding the truth.  It must be pointed out that even if evidence points towards truth, jurors or individuals can still disregard the evidence.  If one is to be honest though, he/she should consider all the available evidence in order to arrive at an informed decision of truth.  Truth in the courtroom was not viewed in a Humeian way.  Philosopher, David Hume had set the bar of truth to an unrealistic level by requiring 100% certainty.  The judge in the case was only looking for the preponderance of the evidence. 

When arguing for any position (i.e. theism vs. atheism, resurrection vs. non-resurrection) it is incumbent upon the individual to lay out the evidence in a convincing manner.  Looking at questions such as the beginning of the universe, moral values, the conscious mind, the structured universe, and the resurrection of Jesus, the evidence tips the scales toward the Christian worldview.  If the Christian worldview is discarded in the future it will not be because the majority of people feel it is an outdated concept.  Christianity or any view will fall because it does not conform to truth.

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