Tuesday, March 22, 2005

My View Can Beat up Your View

Lennie has offered up another symposium. The approach this week is to offer up two statements, then ask three questions regarding said statements. Without further ado, let's see where this takes us...

  1. Statement #1: All views have equal merit and none should be considered better than another.

  2. Statement #2: Jesus is the Messiah and Judaism is wrong for rejecting it.

Question 1: Is statement 1 true?

The short answer is no. The long answer is also no. The explanation of either version of the answer shouldn't take too long either. True views have more merit than false views, and truth should be considered better than falsehoods. I think the evidence for this argument is obvious: if truth were not better than falsehoods, we wouldn't bother with education, argumentation, debate, dialogue or morality.

Now as to whether there is, in fact, truth and falsehood (as opposed to all views being true and/or false depending on the observer - i.e. relativism), it is not logically possible for all views on all subjects to be correct. Some views are absolutely mutually exclusive, and it is logically impossible for such views to all be correct. For example, orthodox Christianity holds there is only one way to salvation. This view is mutually exclusive to any other religious claim - and there are many - that argue for a different path to salvation, or multiple paths to salvation. They can't all be true; by necessity at least one of these views must be false.

Unless you feel like playing the nihilist card, some values are better than others.

Question 2: Is statement 2 true?

I believe so, else I wouldn't be a Christian.

Question 3: Why did you answer both questions in that way?

Because this is what I believe:) Though to tie the two together is fairly simple. I believe that truth is more valuable and more desirable than falsehood. I believe that Jesus is the Messiah because I accept many forms of evidence that lead me to that conclusion. Since I prefer truth, I reject any competing views if/when I determine that the evidence shows them to be false. Until that point, I reserve judgment: to date I have not seen compelling evidence that Christianity is wrong, and I have seen compelling evidence that it is correct.

In this matter, too, eternity is at stake. This raises the value of the truth proposition. If I believe a false view regarding the afterlife, I am quite likely doomed to a rather bad eternity. That's a long time to spend pondering how I could have been wrong. So, I take such decisions much more seriously than the mundane decisions of daily life. When the importance of the question increases, so does the value of the true view. At times the difference in value between true and false may not seem so much, but at others it is very great indeed.


XBIP said...

Very well said. Thanks.

Not Crunchy said...

"Unless you feel like playing the nihilist card, some values are better than others." SO WELL PUT!

Paula said...

Ditto with notcrunchy on the nihilist remark. Good cyb too.