The Absoluteness of Truth

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Scarlett O., Oct 9, 2015.

  1. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    I had the television on in my den this morning and could hear it from my computer room I where I was working.

    The news was turned on and there was a discussion of Yale University asking a guest lecturer to come in and talk for a couple of days to their students about looting. The thing being, he was in FAVOR of looting saying that it was just a form of protest or civil disobedience and we should not deem it as morally wrong.

    Well, my ears perked up at that. The people on the show began talking and raising their voices over each other as is common place on news programs today and I couldn’t tell what was really being said over the muddled noise. But then a woman’s voice won the shouting match and she began saying with great vehemence…

    “…we give our college students the opportunity to read portions of Mein Kampf (Hitler’s book) when studying World War II to get a handle on why he did what he did so what’s the difference? Don’t we want our young people to hear from a variety of perspectives in college and to have independent thought? Isn’t that what we send them to college for? If they can’t handle perspective then maybe they don’t need to be in college in the first place!”

    The rest of the panel could not refute her and went silent with only one man weakly agreeing with her. I got very angry that they couldn’t see why she was wrong and got me to thinking.

    Yes, we encourage history students to investigate Hitler’s Mein Kampf and writings/speeches by other major players of World War II to get a better perspective on why they did the things they did and what motivated them. When we do that however, there is a great pillar of absolute truth that leads the way of those investigations. That great truth is that murder is wrong, genocide is wrong, and trying to annihilate an entire ethnicity is morally wrong. In other words, we investigate the lives of these people KNOWING that they are the bad guys – the ones in the black hats so to speak.

    When the towering pillar of truth that murder is evil is in the middle of the room, ALL perspectives of war can be looked at and every perspective can be compared to the truth.

    However, this guest lecturer is coming to the classroom with impressionable 19 and 20-year-olds DEFYING another absolute truth. There is an absolute truth – another immovable pillar- that says that stealing is morally wrong. Taking something – for whatever motivation – that doesn’t belong to you and your not having earned it is wrong and a consequence must be paid.

    It doesn’t matter the motivation: covetousness, lust, anger/revenge, laziness, poverty/want, or any other springboard of justification. These things cannot challenge the truth that stealing is immoral.
    For example:
    • Having taught for over 30 years, I saw many times when a young child would steal something from another child because he coveted it: a toy, a new pencil, or candy money. That theft sprang from coveting.
    • King David took a woman that did not belong to him, but to another man. That theft sprang from lust.
    • Let’s say someone in charge of petty cash at work sneaks a dollar or two out every now and again for a coke and intends to put the cash back but does not. That theft comes from laziness.
    • In the fictional story, Les Miserables, Jean valJean stole bread to feed his nieces and nephews. That theft came from want/poverty.
    • Maybe someone gets fired unjustly from his job. As he leaves in anger, he takes some pieces of technology that belong to his boss and claims ignorance when asked. That theft stemmed from anger and revenge.
    Because there IS a pillar of absolute truth that says that stealing is morally wrong, all of the people in the above scenarios are guilty. And a consequence must be paid. The consequences will range in severity based on the severity of the theft, but every time a moral law is broken and consequence will be paid.
    • The child will have to miss his recess and have a talk with his parents in the principal’s office.
    • King David, who took Bathsheba and killed her husband to cover that up, lost his infant child.
    • The person who took petty amounts of petty cash may never be discovered, but that will lead to a consequence of taking more and more until he IS discovered. In fact, he should give himself a self-imposed consequence of putting all monies back and giving the authority of the box of petty cash to someone else.
    • While Jean valJean paid too high a price for his theft, what should have happened was that he had to work for the baker until the cost of the bread was repaid and then maybe could work for food.
    • And the man who stole technology from his job out of anger will be found out and because of that may not be able to procure another job of equal value because of it.
    This guest lecturer is teaching an anti-truth AS truth. He is discounting the moral truth that looting is stealing and stealing is morally wrong. He takes the wrong and re-defines it as his own truth. There can only be ONE truth about stealing. It’s either morally wrong or it’s morally right. There is not neutrality of morality in any situation. If he wants looting to be moral justifiable because of a person’s motivations TO steal, then all of the people in all of the scenarios I gave are perfectly innocent in their actions.

    There can be no mindset of “well, in this particular situation, stealing isn’t wrong.”

    If enough of us say that about enough situations, then what we have learned is that stealing is never wrong. And if stealing is never wrong, the God and his Word are anti-truths.

    I want all of our young people in college to pursue the investigations of all ideas. That's what a liberal education should be. But there has to be a solid and absolute truth in which they can compare all of those ideas to so that they can THEN become independent thinkers because they can discern what is true and what is a lie.

    This is why our country, including our churches and families, are in a mess. We don't know what the truth is anymore because we have been taught that there is no absolute truth - only the truth as we see it.
     
    #1 Scarlett O., Oct 9, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
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  2. rsr

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    It would be interesting to know whether the lecturer would find it wrong to be the object of looting.

    That aside, this is where muddled thinking takes hold.

    "He was in FAVOR of looting saying that it was just a form of protest or civil disobedience and we should not deem it as morally wrong."

    If, in fact, looting is not morally wrong, what of the motivation? "Protest or civil disobedience" assumes that some things are morally wrong: racism, slavery, brutality, human trafficking, human rights abuses -- but if morality is discarded as an end, there is no reason to condemn human rights abuses except on purely utilitarian grounds, and in fact there is no other justification other than "I like it" or II don't like it," which puts civilization roughly on par with a 3-year-old's ethic. And that, it seems to me, to be the real absolute truth here -- we have become a civilization that judges everything on what we personally want, what we like or don't like, and woe unto anyone who thinks there should be a more solid foundation for a society other than our own whims.

    But I'm a paid-up curmudgeon, so I may have a slightly jaundiced view.
     
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  3. heisrisen

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    Everything that comes out of the mainstream media is propaganda. This is just another example of it.
     
  4. Benjamin

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    Well, first, and to the shame of this person's critical thinking skills, or lack thereof, any knowledge of basic logic and rational thinking should quickly reveal a major problem with this kind of argument - Two wrongs never make a right!!

    Second, I do not see ANYTHING supporting this conclusion ("...we should not deem it as morally wrong.") and he should have been hard pressed to dare and TRY to support it!

    Just sayin...
     
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  5. agedman

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    I'm going to agree with the lecturer, but for a different reason.

    If in fact civil disobedience is wrong, there would be not American Revolution, and no Texas, and "Jim Crow" type laws would still create a very unequal society.

    There is a time and place for folks to become "disobedient" when civil authorities no longer represent the populace, or the rule of law in out of balance with that population.
     
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  6. Benjamin

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    So that kind of “protest” (destroying the property of and steeling from the innocent, ...random LOOTING!) is merely “civil disobedience” and logically justifiable by comparing it to the Revolution??? Therefore it is morally acceptable behavior??? I don’t think so!!
     
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  7. MB

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    Hi scarlett;
    Isn't an independent thought with out influence?
    MB
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    Not necessarily - even discovery learning has some sphere of influence. What I'm talking about with these college students is the independent thinking that comes from looking at points of view and being able to evaluate what's true and what isn't all by yourself and then to being able to make independent and wise decisions without overly-guided direction. That does take some influence in early years - a grounding in the truth so to speak.

    Unfortunately, many young people are not grounded in truth anymore.
     
  9. agedman

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    The pre-Revolutionary war acts by such groups as found in Boston, were exactly that.

    Dumping the tea in protest of the tax was no minor shouting, but engaged in: Breaking and entering, Stealing, Lying to Authorities, Obstruction of Justice, ...

    Perhaps if you were the British merchant, the British king, a member of the British parliament, you might view the actions of the "colonists" in the same light.

    The colonists incited riots, printed false accounts of events, did body harm to many representatives of the British government, stole, and many other "civil disobedient" actions - even murdered. In the name of an unrecognized country, they raised an illegal army, and took up arms against the legal authority. The individual vigilante groups were organized with the sole purpose to overthrow the government.

    How is that much different that what you see in some civil uprisings of this day?
     
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  10. Benjamin

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    It is much different in that the battle was actually against the enemy (the British), the ones responsible for taxation without representation, and the ones partaking in the taxation who after having their goods boycotted became violent and demanded subordination. These “protesters” argued and fought against those imposing these taxes.


    Further, the Americans, in protest destroyed an incoming shipment of tea from Britain, they did not steal it for personal gain. They did not attack and steal from innocent merchants who had nothing to do with the situation at hand. There is no legitimate comparison of these two event and certainly nothing to justify the random looting that goes on today as its equal and a morally right thing to do.
     
  11. agedman

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    Perhaps a difference in kind but not in motive. Both the modern and colonials were all about stirring up the populace against the ruling authorities. The tea may have been dumped, but it was still taken without permission of the owners. The atrocities against the tax authorities were still acts of aggression against the ruling authorities. Cristpus Attucks may have given his life for a cause, but he is no less dead - as dead as any protester or authority who is killed when civil unrest results in violence.


    However, that is the case of the history given of the colonists. They did steal what was not theirs to take. They did attack the innocent "loyalists" even to the point of murder. Mind you this all started BEFORE the declaration of independence, that sought to legitimize the colonial actions.

    The tea party incident was a catalyst of a long line of looting, atrocity, and murder against not just the ones sent to keep order, but those who chose to be loyal. The results of the tea party was the closing of the Boston harbor, but long before, the civil unrest resulted in the most powerful army in the world (at that time) being quartered in the colonies.
     
  12. Darrell C

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    I am going to ask a question, and please don't get upset with me, lol, but, how do their actions, and the actions of modern rioters and looters live up to...


    Romans 13

    King James Version (KJV)

    1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

    2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.



    ...?

    Secondly, I would ask if we would draw a comparison between what was going on then and what is the cause for the rioting today?

    I can understand having a problem with the abuse of power we see from Police Officers at times, but, does that mean that we as Christians should join in? Condone?

    If our Government system were or is as corrupt as some make it out to be, God will deal with that. He did not come from Heaven and depose Rome, but left His followers in conditions where they were being persecuted.

    Something for us to think about is that God has on numerous occasions judged His People with invading countries.

    I am a little different from many in that I do not see actions performed by Founding Fathers as getting a pass in everything they did. Not all of them would be, in many circles today...even considered Christians. Some of them denied the Deity of Christ, a point which demands, for most of us, a separation.

    So could we say that the Boston Tea Party was a godly effort? Could we not equally see this as disobedience to God?

    Just curious.


    God bless.
     
  13. agedman

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    In my opinion, the Scriptures condemn civil resistance toward any government. A great example is David, who fled Saul, never raised a finger to resist Saul, and mourned Saul's death, yet was chosen as king while Saul lived. If ever one could have rightfully resisted and created civil disobedience, it was David.

    I have been doing that - showing how the colonists were just as brutal and outspoken as the rioters of this day.

    Nope, not at all. The believer is called to be a peace maker, not a joiner of civil disobedience. The believer should work with BOTH sides to bring equitable resolution without bringing shame to the Scriptures of Romans 13.

    A great view in Scriptures is when Paul greats those believers in "Caesar's household." That possibly included even those high ranking estate and closest advisers of the Caesar.

    Which is what is (imo) happening here in America. Every day there are literally hundreds of invading forces attempting to do damage, and even recruiting from sympathetic within the country. It is not a matter of if, but when this nation will fall. God's hand of judgment is upon the nation, and believers should not consider they will escape the rebuke for their lack of testimony. How can any believer have a "TEST - imony" and not expect the "TEST?"

    I agree.

    There were some few believers among those of the founding fathers, and most who held to the Judeo / Christian statutes of doing right. Most would use the word "Providence" in their writing to refer to God, or what they considered God.

    However, in the daily living and belief, some that we consider great men were (imo) appointed to the place and time of authority by God (just as Pharaoh and Moses) to be used by Him for His purpose.
     
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