Monday, 13 September 2010

Relativist Truths

The religious relative truths intrigue me. Creationists are always religious, yet religious people are not always creationists; this is observably true. A common tactic among creationists who feel close to conceding a position is to appear nihilistic and say that nothing can be proven and that there are no truths (except their own of course). I pointed this out to a Christian with whom I was having a discussion about Evolution who said I was never going to change his mind and that he was never going to change mine, and we should leave it at that. 

I’ve no problem with this statement, but he was only half correct. Whereas he did not yet know what facts I could yet present to legitimise my position, he knows already that it is forbidden to allow any of my arguments to convince him, not matter how correct they may be. For him this decision is enforced on pain of death, followed by a fate worse than death. Neither of these applies to me. If he adequately produced his point I will concede he is right, even if I don’t want to, because for me it’s not a matter of what I want to believe. Only accurate information has practical implications. 

My decision is to follow the evidence while his is to hear the evidence and no matter how correct it may be, for the sake of his religion, he must disregard it. He does not want to accept my evidence because it contradicts his interpretation of a holy book. This decision intrigues me as it is a mindset that I simply cannot experience and is akin to white noise. Unlike him I want to be as sure as I can of the real world around me as is possible: attainable only to a certain degree of course (I can not see through the eyes of a bird, ant, or another person). This means giving up a lot of the fantasies that may be comforting in some ways, but I’m willing to do this in order to live in an actual real world; as close as I can get to it. I am open to change my mind while he is not, and is determined not to no matter what. Surely it is better to be proven wrong than to forever be wrong and never know it.

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