Truth. Intuited or Philosophical Theory?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    What is Truth? Can it be realized as universally held intuitive understanding, or is it delegated to and only established via the means of philosophical debate and subsequent theory?

    Is there such a thing as truth, or is truth just the most plausible theory to ones individual intellectual prowess, eked out by the examination of the thoughts of modern day philosophers and the questions they gender? Is it possible for man to conceive of and hold unassailable truth intuitively, or are we left to call the fog of philosophical debate, and our only hope is to trust in what might appear to be ‘the most plausible theory’ in light of the multitude of questions that can be raised in a philosophical setting and against any such theory?

    Can ones philosophical approach be founded upon intuitive God-given truth or do the legion of philosophy’s questions necessitate that all truth is relative to the proclaimed ends of the multitude of theories of philosophical debate and our subsequent acceptance of one theory's proposed end as opposed to another?

    Are their first truths of reason given to man by God as a basis for all truth and a solid foundation for philosophical questioning, or again is truth only known by, and as a result of, philosophical reasoning, and the end nothing short of its established theories and relative to our finitely perceived understanding of them?

    Is there truth that a man, though a fool, may understand apart from philosophical debate, and not error therein?
     
  2. billwald

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    Truth, as opposed to data, observation, and history, seems to be a metaphysical concept that is absolute to the beholder but is not falsifiable to a 2nd party.
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Sorry Bill, I am not sure I follow you here. Are you saying that if I believe something, say the belief that God exists, that such cannot be falsified by another for it is simply a metaphysical concept?

    Say I do not believe there is a God. Does that mean that no one can claim or have proof that my metaphysical concept is in error?

    Say I conceive as evil what you conceive as righteous or the other way around. Is there no basis on which the truth can be established by even a wayfaring man, though a fool?
     
  4. Gold Dragon

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    I would posit that many of the binary options you present are not necessarily the only choices available. Some more useful questions may be...

    Truth: absolute, relative or neither?
    Truth: from God, from man, both or neither?
    Truth: intuitive, known by questioning/reasoning/debate or not knowable?

    These questions may take a lifetime to ponder without much resolution but they are good questions to ponder.
     
  5. Jarthur001

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    What is truth?

    GOD​
     
  6. Marcia

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    Truth is objective and exists no matter whether men know or believe in it or not.

    Pilate said, "What is truth" as Jesus stood in front of him. Jesus said nothing because Pilate was missing the whole point.

    Jesus is the "way, the truth, and the life."

    Truth is absolute or else truth means nothing.

    I have a little essay on truth on my site:
    http://cana.userworld.com/cana_truth.html
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Is truth only objective, or is truth granted to us by God and understood intuitively or subjectively? What might that truth consist of? Does one have to know Christ to understand some truth? Are there any intuitive principles know by all men of reason that could be used to guide us in our pursuit of truth? Are there any intuitive truths know by even a child that are so elementary that to fail to see their validity is paramount to the outright rejection of truth itself ?

    What has God given even a child to guide them in the pursuit of truth?
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Scripture states that even the heathen understand some truth, for they do the things contained n the law, having not the law, and as such have became a law unto themselves. What principles of truth do even the heathen know?
     
  9. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Thanks for the advice. When posting a new thread it is not always easy to title the issues as needed in the space provided. I was not totally happy wit the wording of it either. I especially like your first and last questions. I would like to see your response to the questions you ask in either or both.

     
  10. Gold Dragon

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    It is difficult to do justice to these questions in a short discussion but I'll throw out a few things to consider.

    For this question, I tried to add an option but the edit feature sometimes gets buggy on me. I wanted to add both and that would probably be my short answer.

    There are easily many truths that are absolute. For instance, the book of Exodus appears after the book of Genesis in my 1988 NIV Classic Reference Bible from Zondervan Corporation.

    There are also easily many truths that are relative, especially opinion based truths. For instance, the most interesting book in the bible is Genesis. This statement could easily be truth to one person while not being truth to another.

    I assume it is theological truths that you are interested in discussing and they are a combination of many factors. Our interpretation of words we read in authoritative sources including scripture. Our personal context including the theological tradition we come from, the teachings we have recieved in the past and the positions we have held in the past. And I believe, the working of the Holy Spirit.

    Whether we are Sola Scriptura Christians or not, these factors will influence what we consider to be theological truths. Even Sola Scriptura Christians who believe that tradition carries no authority in our theology, it is undeniable that our tradition still influences our theology. The extent that these factors influence our theology depends partly on the types of theological statements we are talking about.

    Additionally, the hermeneutics of texts is something that I believe is inseparable from contributions from the context of the reader, as much as we wish to "remove bias" with certain methodologies.

    Are some of those truths absolute? Most definitely. Are some of those truths relative. I believe so as well. Which ones are absolute and which are relative? I don't believe the demarcation is a simple one to make.

    So my short answer is that theological truths are both absolute and relative, but we can't always tell which is which.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I believe you gave us fodder for a few million years or so at least.:)

    Seriously, I appreciate the depth of your understanding the difficulties involving truth. The reason for posting this thread was to look into the area of intuitive truths, truths that God has granted to every man that enable us to discern and establish truth and to be able to judge in a responsible and truthful manner. Have you given any such basic intuitive truth any thought, or possibly would like to share with the list what you feel it might consist of if in fact you feel we are granted such truth?

    I am trying to set before our minds that if we ignore intuitive truth, and try to utilize philosophy alone to establish truth, that we will find ourselves reasoning in a circle, with nothing set as a standard by which to measure our possible conclusions or theories ‘philosophically derived’ against. Sure we utilize Scripture, but as you stated very aptly, it is most often a matter of interpretation, indeed driven by underlying philosophical notions or presuppositions.

    In the area of theology, we cannot escape the conclusion that we, as a matter of our very nature, are called upon by necessity to utilize philosophy in developing our theology. We are part theologian and part philosopher. We can error as either. We must have some basic God–given intuitive reasoning capabilities in order to see if we error as theologians or philosophers. I believe God has granted to us first truths of reason for just this purpose, to use in harmonizing truth with truth, and to aide in the removal of absurdities from our findings.

    What do you think?
     
  12. Marcia

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    The evidence of some truth is given to man. Romans 1 tells us that creation gives the evidence for a Creator, and man is without excuse. This is not salvific truth, but it makes man accountable. Then in Rom. 2, God tells us that everyone has a conscience, so man naturally knows there is right and wrong. So he can't say that there is no such thing as right and wrong and get away with it (though there are many who say this, but in doing so, they deny the truth God has given them).

    It does seem that children naturally believe in God, even if they are not in a household that does. My son, at age 5, insisted on being taken to church though his Dad and I were New Agers (and I was an astrologer). We took him to various SS at various churches in the area (Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian) and this went on for a few months. Then my son stopped asking, maybe seeing that we were not attending ourselves or just getting the impression that we were not enthused about it. Not sure.

    But I don't think we can explain this as God does not say anything about it that I know of.
     
  13. Marcia

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    Gold Dragon, the term "truth is relative" is self-refuting. There is no such thing.

    Truth exists whether we believe it or not. Some may believe Genesis literally, some may not, but if the Genesis account is true, it is absolutely true.

    Please give an example of a relative truth - I don't think you can.
     
  14. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: What I am trying to set forth as first truths of reason, are God-given intuitive truths that guide our understanding especially in the realm of morals, in particular the understanding of the concepts of justice, properly placed guilt or innocence and just punishments or just rewards. It might be best summed up as truths of immutable justice. God does not have to ‘say’ anything about it, although I believe He does throughout Scripture.

    The principles of immutable justice are intuitively understood, in great measure by even a child. We know full well that the word often uttered by a child are in fact true, such as “I didn’t mean to!” or “I couldn’t help it!” or “Someone bumped me!” “I didn’t deserve that punishment!” or “I deserved that praise!” All such expressions are in fact signs that the child has an intuitive understanding of certain principles of immutable justice.

    Even small children have a sense of fairness. Give even small children a dollar a piece and then give the last one just a penny. It does not take many years at all for them to develop a sense of worth and a sense of fairness.

    Justice, at its core, involves a sense of fairness. We do not have to be trained or schooled with such instruction, it comes God-given, intuitively via first truths of reason from our youth up.
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: May I give this question a shot as well? What about the fact of humanity I mentioned? Men have two arms and two legs etc. I see this as a relative truth. It is a truth, but not withstanding there are exceptions. Maybe I am not seeing the word ‘relative’ from your perspective.
     
  16. LeBuick

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    Truth based on one's perspective.

    For ages man thought the world was flat. Many men died beliving this to be true and in their minds this was truth. But that truth was relative because it was based from a limitation and a fear on the distance one could travel.

    Here is another perspective;

    Mark 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
    11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

    Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
    22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

    Mark says as soon as Jesus came out of the water but Luke says when all were baptized then Jesus began to pray when the heavens opened.

    Also, Mark says in whom I am well pleased but Luke says in thee I am well pleased.

    To call either wrong would be to say the Bible is not completely the word of Truth yet these are different. I also believe both writers, deep in their heart wrote what they felt to be right. One or netiher is absolutly true and I contend the other is relative truth.

    Deep in my heart I believe each of us has some relative truth in regards to our understanding of Christ. We won't know the truth till the by and by.
     
  17. Gold Dragon

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    I started a few responses but they easily exploded into huge posts in my mind that I just don't have time to type right now. But I'll get back to these excellent questions when I get the chance.
     
  18. Marcia

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    That's not an example of relative truth.

    To say men have 2 arms and 2 legs as a general statement is true in that this is how men normally appear. That statement does not mean everyone has 2 arms and 2 legs. If it did, it would be absolutely wrong. The fact there are exceptions does not make it relative.
     
  19. Marcia

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    Our perspectives do not affect the truth. If a robber enters a store and some say later he had blond hair and some say he had red hair, that is not relative truth. He had (let's say) blond hair, so those who said red hair were wrong.

    Truth is truth no matter what we think or perceive.

    To say the world was flat was not making a true statement just because some men believed it, because the world was not flat. That is an example of different perceptions or beliefs, but the truth is and was that the earth was not flat.

    I don't see a conflict in the baptism accounts but can't go into that now. As far as saying this is a conflict or represents relative truth, I would say it does not. Jesus was baptized and certain events happened, whether we believe one account is more accurate than the other or not. Truth is objective no matter who thinks what happened.

    :sleeping_2:
     
  20. Snitzelhoff

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    Then let me give it a shot.

    The Chronicles of Narnia is the greatest fantasy saga ever written.

    That may be true to me. At the same time, another fantasy fan may favor The Lord of the Rings, in which case a statement that is true to me would not be true to another. That is relative truth. Of course, relative truth can only exist in a framework defined by absolute truth (eg. your existence, my existence, the existence and content of the literary works in question, etc.).

    Michael
     

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