Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Objectivity and God's Thoughts

1. All truth is God's truth.
Assuming that everything God thinks is true, then it is a tautology to say that "All truth is God's truth."  If something is true, then it is obviously what God believes.

2. Most of the time, believing the truth does not require irrational faith.
This one is more debatable. Some would disagree. Certainly the evidence doesn't always point to the truth.  Also, I'm not suggesting that the truth is always understood precisely or literally.  I'm simply saying that it seems dubious to suggest that God has, in most cases, rigged the world to look like the false rather than the true.

3. Therefore, the more objective we are, the closer we are likely to come to God's thoughts.
And this includes the more objective we are about the Bible.  In theory, objectivity about the world shouldn't lead in a different direction than objectivity about the Bible, and vice versa.

All truth is God's truth.

13 comments:

Mike Aubrey said...

But what does it mean for a fallible being to be "objective"?

Martin LaBar said...

Ah. Epistemology in 11 lines! Well done.

Ken Schenck said...

Right, we can never be fully objective or get a God's eye view of things. Still, there are times when we know our biases (still more when others can see our biases). We develop a hermeneutics of suspicion toward ourselves and our own motives. We trust more toward consensuses.

Still, there are 1) theories that involve more data than others 2) that incorporate the data more easily than others, 3) that are more elegant and less complicated.

John C. Gardner said...

Tom Wright, in several of his books maintained that as a historian sometimes his views were formed while at other times the man of faith pushed back. Both of these realities were in the search for truth and better enabled him as a critial realist to move toward the truth. I myself as a professional ethicist have to access what is the standard for professional behavior and whether it is cost effective, cogent and effective. I have experience what I take to be miracles but I remember with Thomas Aquinas that God probable works through secondary causes in many cases.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

It is an interesting point that conservatives like the "free market", but claim that we must control another's private life. The liberal likes to promote government intervention in all of life, while the libertarian affirms the "free market" and "personal liberty". The question is how can we know what "God wants", when our biases determine how we will understand and interpret life, society and government with whatever authority we use (cultural tradition, religious tradition, scripture, the academic disciplines). Most of us use several of these "authorities" without our realization, but we all use our "brains" to do it! And none of us can escape human experience.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

This is a good example of building consensus in the Academy and how/why this is useful for determining "Truth". http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2012/08/what-can-we-learn-from-the-david-barton-controversy/

John C. Gardner said...

Hyper individualism is not a worthy of viable goal. We are all part of coummunities(think of part of our origins historically in New England towns and the various family and civic organizations justly celebrated in Catholic social thought(e.g. subsidiarity as well as in the work of Tocqueville). Again, small government libertarians supported slavery and segregation(e.g. Bill Buckley originally supported segregation and did not admit this error until decades later). Our freedom must be balanced by responsibility and for Christians help for others. Atheists and liberals(see the works of Arthur Brooks give the least on a percentage basis of income to charities). I am a conservative political independent seeking truth which is rooted in God's revelation. The warrant for this truth is the four parts of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.I am not a logical positivists and stand in a long Christian intellectual tradition from Justin Martyr, Aquinas, Farraday, Polkinghorne,
Darrell Falk and others.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

John C. Gardner,
I agree that hyper individualism is wrong in ONE sense. We live within relationships/societies/communities/nations. BUT, individuals are the one's who must choose what their ulitmate values must be, if we value liberty in our society. That is what makes for the diversity and liberty in our nation. Such is not a matter of "right and wrong", but of importance, value and interests personally!.
One cannot universalize/generalize without limiting the personal, individual and specific. And that hinders a major value in our culture; LIBERTY, which grants choices and opportunity.

Therefore, while individuals do not live isolated lives, we must allow individuals the right to understand or see things differently, as this is how the Academy gains a "convert" and gains "new knowledge". But also, we must grant liberty to those that live differently (as much as possible) if we want to live by mutual consent, and not by enforced conformity.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

And John C. Gardner,
I am not saying our nation is not founded on the "rule of law", as this prevents corruption that might hinder liberty. Self governance was the value of our Founders, which protects and respects another's right. That is what makes for living "civilly" in a society. Society does not come first, the individual does, otherwise, we do go back to the days of the kings who ruled subjects....

John C. Gardner said...

Sociologically the group, societies were more important at various junctures in history. Think of the role the church played in the abolition movement, civil rights movement, etc. Individual had their rights violated as black Americans not simply as individuals. I am not a collectivist and recognize specific circumstances. Since I am a southerner by birth I recognize place and times. I also recognize the need for collective responsibility including care for others which I take as part of my duty as a Christian. I participated in the civil rights movement as a white southerner at a time when so called libertarians and small government people used state power to deny my friends of the rights(based on their race and not on the basis of individual merit or effort). I support natural rights which have been part of American and European religious and secular discourse since Plato, Arittotle to Aquinas, etc. I am for international human rights(e.g. against human trafficking and actual slavery itslef).
Additionally, I am somewhat of a paternalist(see the work entitled Nudge).

Angie Van De Merwe said...

John C. Gardner,
"Oppression", "Victimization" and "Anti-Colonialism" is the liberal bias that progressives like to serve up to others (read; "Nudge" as co-ercive or prescriptive political action)!
http://www.2016themovie.com/

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Where does one "dumb down Americans" by society becomng overly paternalistic? Who decides what, where, when and how another should be "nudged"? Isn't this what buying a drink at the local 7-11 is about? Are we not going to e allowed numerous choices anymore? Is that considered the "moral thing to do" by these architects? Who affirms their choice values? And why?

John C. Gardner said...

Nudge does not require a coercive course of action. It merely sets a default position(e.g. employees are enrolled in a 401K plan which they can opt out of). It is not complete libertarian freedom but unless our society wants to have even larger government(e.g. we won't let those who do not save starve) some such program is necessary. I would also favor charging more for health care premiums depending on whether one exercises, does not use alcohol etc). Businesses and hospitals such as the Cleveland clinic are already adopting such a program. I did not mention victimization and other terms which you used. I will have to pay for those who are obese, do not save, etc unless we as a society are willing to at least nudge people into being more prudent. I also don't want anyone to starve, sleep on the street, or children to go without medical care. I believe that all of us have to be responsible but small nudges can have good results. Please do not infer to me meanings that I do not support.

My Amazon Store