Tag: belief. religion

What is truth?

| October 18, 2009 | 4 Replies
What is truth?

What is truth?

Big question, right?

It’s something philosophers have been pondering for as long as there have been philosophers pondering. I’m not going to pretend to be able to answer it here but I would like to list a few things that truth is not.

Belief is not truth.

Faith is not truth.

Desire is not truth.

Hope is not truth.

Vague prophecy is not truth.

The other day a believer in a religion forum conversation I was a part of told me that he hopes that some day I learn the “truth” and get saved. I am always wary when a word is willfully and consistently misused. There is an Orwellian doublespeak creepiness about the mis-use of the word “truth” by believers that is disturbing to me whenever I hear it.

People often speak of a personal truth and I suppose that concept has some validity, but all too often that personal revelation, which ends up being called truth, is applied to humanity as a whole. In other words, “My truth must be your truth”. That is a very myopic viewpoint and one thing about belief in God that has always rubbed me the wrong way.

That same believer more recently posted that because he knows the truth no one will ever be able to change his mind or shake his faith. He is mistaken if that’s what he thinks the non-believers are trying to do by arguing against certainty. Why would I want to take away from him his life’s philosophy that he has worked so hard to discover? Conversely, why would he want to deny me mine?

As an atheist all I have ever wanted from believers is respect. Respect for my doubts. Respect for my journey. Respect for MY personal “truth”.

Does belief rule out respect and understanding for other paths of life? I don’t think so but if that is the case, that is just one more reason that I would prefer to hold on to my doubts.

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