The Belief That There Is No Absolute Truth Religion Essay
The belief that there is no absolute truth in religion leads to religious pluralism, which believes that all religions are true. This cannot be possible if some religions contradict each other so only one could be correct. For example the way to obtain salvation each religion has it different way to gain salvation. If there was no absolute truth everyone would have salvation. There is an absolute truth when it comes to religion so there can only be one true religion. This doesn’t mean that other religions cannot have some truth them. Logically a person cannot say “there is no God.” In order for someone to say that they must know everything about God and the universe from beginning to end. A person can only say “they believe there is not God.”
In the material world if there was no absolute truth, we would not know anything for curtain until we experimented with it. For example if there was no absolute, the laws of science would be irrelevant to the world. We also could not always say that one plus one is equal to two because someone could disagree and say to them it equals a thousand. The world would be a disaster without any absolutes in the material world.
Morally there has to be some absolute truths. Relativism in the moral world is basically a way to make your own rules to life. It may sound appealing until someone harms you because they thought it was right and now your life is at danger. Without an absolute truth there will be no need for government to make laws because that would make some things absolute. If there were no absolutes, someone could argue that the terrorist that attacked America on September 11th were right for what they did. Without any moral absolutes there would be a lot of people committing crimes in this world but in a world with any moral absolutes they wouldn’t be crimes they would become a regular agenda in people lives.
In conclusions it is hard to argue that there isn’t a absolute truth because you almost have to make an absolute statement to prove there is no absolutes. If someone says they do not believe in an absolute truth and they use an absolute to prove that you must ask them “is that an absolute statement.” They almost have to say yes if they want their statement to be valid. If they say yes then they have proven that there is an absolute truth. For example if someone says “there is no absolute truth.” This is an absolute statement and contradicts itself.
2. Should we be skeptical about everything?
1I do not think we should be skeptical about everything. We shouldn’t doubt the physical world but I feel we should doubt what people tell us, especially when it comes to debatable issues like religions.
We shouldn’t take what people have to say about religion for face value, without taking some time and doing our own research. Even when it comes to Christianity we shouldn’t believe everything a Pastor or teacher says just because they hold that title. It is a strong possibility that they could also be wrong. If we are not skeptical and do some searching of what we believe to be true then we become gullible and would believe just about anything we hear. A lot of people tend to doubt religions because they cannot physically see it and it is easy to be skeptical about things you cannot see. We should be open to listen to all religions but once we hear all the reasons for why people believe in them then we can be skeptical and choose one that best fits our lifestyle.
I think it is a good trait to have to be able to doubt things when you first hear them because it teaches you not to take anything for face value. If you can learn to dig deeper into things you inquire from other people you can then decide rather or not to believe what they believe or believe something different. For example once you reach an appropriate age I think everyone should either make their parents religion their own or find another religion to convert to. You cannot know for sure that what your parents believe in is something you want to base your life on until you look into the other religions. So you must be skeptical and willing to look into other religions.
If we doubt what goes on in the physical world we would be doubting our senses which would make us a skeptic. Some people say we cannot know truth. That is a bold statement to say and can easily be flipped back on the person by asking “Is that statement true?” They have no choice but to say no or they have contradicted their original statement that we cannot know truth. I think there are things in this world that we know are truth. For instance, Math, everyone will agree if you have one computer and add another computer, you will have two computers. If someone is skeptical about this problem then they are illogical and it is hard to argue against them.
3. I don’t think that there is a God, is there any proof that He exists?
1There are three arguments used to prove that God exists, the cosmological argument, the theological argument, and the moral argument. The moral argument attempts to explain if there is a moral law then there must be a moral law giver. Most people in the world would agree that there is a universal moral law based on how they react to curtain situations. Since it’s obvious, you cannot give something you do not have the moral law giver must have some morals.
Since we have a universal moral law, we can agree that some things are right and some things are wrong. For example, most people would agree that killing innocent people at random would be wrong, but where does this assumption come from? The most common answer other than a moral law giver is it is up to the culture to decide if it is right on wrong. If this was the case cultures would base their morals on their convenience to what they believed in. If morals were a convenient thing everyone would make up there own morals and there would be no reason for a moral law giver. Since we were not born with the ability to know what is the difference between right and wrong; the only other option is to say that there was some higher being or God who created these morals.
A universal moral law indicates that there is a certain way humans are supposed to behave. Since humans should behave a curtain way then there are behavior standards that humans should follow. There is a plan and some purpose for human behavior. Planning and purpose implies intelligent design. Romans 2: 14-15 says- “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.” The only way someone could deny that there is a God when this argument is used is to deny that there is no universal law.
4. Is the Bible merely mythical stories?
1 If the Bible only contained mythical stories, it would not make sense to follow it and I would convert to a different religion. There are many ways to prove that the Bible is not a mythical book. You can use proof of prophecies, proof of textual evidence, and the consistency of the Bible despite the number of people that wrote it.
There were many prophecies fulfilled in the Bible that eventually came true. Micah 5:2 which was written in 700 B.C. predicted that someone from Bethlehem will come and rule Israel, and it would most likely be the Messiah. Of course Jesus, the messiah, was from Bethlehem and ruled over Israel. Psalms 22 which was written in 1000 B.C. It predicts what will happen when Jesus was crucified. It says that Jesus would be mocked on the cross and people doubted that he was God since he didn’t save himself from death. Psalms 22 also said that his bones would be out of joint and his heart would rupture. He will be thirsty on the cross and his hands and feet would be pierced. Jesus was crucified later in the Bible and all the things predicted in this prophecy happened to the Messiah when he hung on the cross. Isaiah 53 which was written around the same time as Micah, in 700 B.C. predicts the messiah will die for our sins. The Chapter speaks on how people despised him when he came around, and how we have all sinned but they are laid on Jesus. These were just three of many prophecies fulfilled in the Bible. Prophecies are very important when proving the Bible is true but many people think these prophecies were written after the accounts occurred. To prove that the weren’t we must turn to the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Henson Judaism/pg 15-17)
If someone doesn’t believe that these books of the Bible were written before the birth of Jesus you must talk about the textual evidence of the books. The Dead Sea Scrolls gives people a lot of evidence that the Bible is more than just mythical stories. They were discovered in 1947 in Qumran by the Dead Sea. They found 38 of the 39 books from the Old Testament. The only book that was missing was Esther. Some of the scrolls mentioned something about a Messiah. Sometimes the Messiah was even mentioned as Yahweh which means the son of God and divine being. The Scrolls were said to be written between 200 B.C. to 100 B.C. The dates itself can prove that the Bible is not a mythical book since the Scrolls were written before the birth of the Messiah and they made mention of the Messiah and the things he would do when he walked the face of this Earth (Henson/Judaism-7). The New Testament also has evidence that the Bible is not a mythical book. Events in the New Testament of the Bible are even supported by many secular historians of antiquity like Suetonius and Tacitus. (www.faithfacts.org)
The Bible was written by over 40 writers over 1,500 years and in three different languages (Henson/ Intro to Christian Theology-4). Despite the number of writers and the years it took to complete the Bible is still consistent in its word. Many people have attempted to try to find the inconsistency in the Bible but have yet to find a legitimate source of error. I think this is because God used his personality, style and vocabulary of the human authors to give us Gods words using their own words. The Bible is not full of mythical stories because it was Gods plan.
5. Why must God be an infinite being? Why can’t there be multiple Gods, and why can’t God be limited (deism, finite Godism, maltheism)? (No verses-use logic!)
1If God created this finite universe then he must be infinite. God has to be outside of time and space and would have to be the uncaused cause to the universe. This means that God would have already had to have been here before time and space was made to create the universe. God must be infinite being and possess the qualities; all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good. In order for a God to be finite he must lack one or both of these qualities.
We cannot have multiple gods in the universe because they cannot all be infinite. If there were two or more infinite Gods how would distinguish between the two? We couldn’t distinguish between them because they both posses the qualities of an infinite being. Two all-powerful Gods would be a problem because they wouldn’t be able to make a decision. Since they cannot be both infinite then they would have to be finite. If they were finite, they wouldn’t be all-knowing and all-powerful because they would be inside of time and space and wouldn’t be able to tell the future. It would also mean God wouldn’t be eternal therefore he has not always existed and will eventually die, so it cannot have created the universe. The assumption that more than one God exist brings up many issues that go against the things Christians believe.
God cannot be limited because he is infinite. God can do anything as long as it is logical and in his nature. In Matthew 19:26 Jesus talks about how some things are impossible for man to do but with God all things are possible. For example many people believe that God cannot destroy the Earth. If an all-powerful being can create something like the Earth out of nothing, it would make sense that he could do anything he wanted to do to it. Also if God was limited, it would make him a finite creature, and if he was finite he would not be able to create the universe.
6. How do you know that the infinite being you believe in is the God of the Bible? (Bible verses required –Use them to show the infinite nature of God and his attributes.)
1I know that God is the God of the Bible because of his many infinite qualities and his divine nature. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present; these three qualities are mentioned a lot in the Bible to prove that he is the God of the Bible. In Psalms 139:8 David says, “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” David shows us that God is omnipresence. In Ephesians 3:20 it says, now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” This verse shows that God is an omnipotent God. 1 John 3:19-20 says, “ This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” The verse shows that God is all knowing. One of memory verses shows his qualities, Romans 1:20, says; “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” All these qualities that an infinite being must have, God has the same ones that he reveals to us in the Bible.
God’s infinite quality is also talked about in the Bible. Revelation 22:13 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” It is also revealed in Psalms 102:12 it says, “But you O Lord, sit enthroned forever, your renown endures through all generations.” According to the Bible, God has always been here and will always be here.
All of these Bible verses show us that God has the same infinite qualities as the infinite being that created the Universe. If they posses the same qualities then they have to be the same being since there cannot be to infinite beings. The Bible gives us many examples so there is no reason why should doubt that the God we believe in is the God of the Bible.
7. If there is a God and He is omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient, why is there evil? I mean, if he created everything, then didn’t he create evil?
1 God did not create evil, because evil was not created at all. Evil is not a thing, it is the lack of good. St. Aquinas definition of evil is, “Evil is simply a privation of something which a subject is entitled by its origin to possess and which it ought to have, as we have said. Such the meaning of the word ‘evil’ among men. Now, privation is not an essence; it is, rather, a negation in a substance.” (Hardy 106)
There is a problem with evil and it is, how can an all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful God create evil. Many atheists use this to prove that got lacks one of his infinite qualities. They say that if God isn’t omniscient he cannot know of the evil that goes on in the world so he cannot destroy it. God is not omnipotent so he does not have the ability to destroy all the evil in the world. God is not omnibenevolent so he does not always try to get what is best for his creation, therefore it is possible that evil could exist.(Hardy 104) I also believe that God allows evil things happen in our life so they we can grow stronger and closer to him and so we can build character so that one day we will fall into temptation of evil doings.
God allows evil in the world because he gave us free will. Without evil we could only do good and we wouldn’t have the choice to choose. I also believe that created evil so that he could teach us to love genuinely. Without evil God could show us love but we would not know how it feels to love someone and be loved without knowing how it feels to be evil to someone and to have someone be evil to you. Many people continue to ask the question, “If God is all-powerful why doesn’t he destroy evil?” If God destroys evil it would mean he would have to wipe out all of mankind. Since we are born into sin which is evil he would have no choice but to destroy everyone.(Hardy 109)
8. The only possible explanation of our existence is natural selection.
11There is some infinite being that created us and the world around us. The idea that organisms developed traits over time that made it easier for them to survive and reproduce is hard to believe. Irreducible Complexity tells us that there are some things that are too complicated to evolve from simpler organisms. Michael Behe, who was the originator of irreducible complexity, uses the example of a mouse trap. He says if you take away any piece of the mouse trap then it cannot work and serve its purpose. He thinks the same about biological creatures, there are some things that were necessary for the organisms to have from the time they were developed.
Evolution is also impossible to prove existence because humans have feelings and a conscious. Nature doesn’t have the ability to create feelings and a conscious. It has to be an intelligent being that created us and gave us a conscious and emotions. If evolution was true there would be no way to explain how we developed emotions except they evolved throughout time and I do not think that is possible. Our life is also too specified and complex to come about by chance. Take our DNA for instance, the sequence is ordered like a language which implies that there was some design.
An evolutionist believes in macro evolution and theists believe in micro evolution. Macro is the change of one species over time to another species, and micro is small changes in a population over generations. There is obvious evidence for micro evolution like, the size or the color of the species. Most of these changes occur because of changes in the gene pool. There is no real evidence for macro evolution which implies that everything came about by chance.
The anthropic principle also shows that evolution is false. Minor changes would destroy all life. The chance of all these things happening together to create a suitable place for species to live is slim to none. So the anthropic principle implies intelligent design is the reason for our existence. An example is the oxygen level is 21%, if it was 25% we would burn up and if it was 15% we would suffocate. (Henson, Intro to World Religions/2)
Evolution has been proven false in many ways. Gregor Mendel proved that all traits already existed in the genetic code that someone inherits. This disproved Darwin’s theory that new traits come from breeding. People though that mutations created new genes were false because they only scramble existing information. (Henson, Christian Theology 2/ 20)
9. What makes Jesus so different? What did he say that was so unique? (Bible verses required)
There were many things that distinguished Jesus from any other man back in biblical times. Jesus was able to be worshiped by his peers, forgive his peers sins, and he was a man without sin. (Henson/Christian Theology #2 page.15) John 9:38 says, “Then he said ‘Lord I Believe!’ and he worshipped Him.” Jesus was worshiped by Rabbi who was blind since birth. This made Jesus unique because if any other person was worshipped like he was God would’ve become jealous but since Jesus is part of God, God cannot jealous because they are really worshipping him through Jesus. Luke 5:20-26 says-Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!” The Pharisees doubted that Jesus was able to forgive sins and only God was able to forgive people of their sins. Jesus is able to prove to them that he, the Son of Man, can forgive sins. Jesus was the only man to walk the Earth that was able to forgive people of their sins. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” Unlike everyone else born into the world Jesus was born without sin. Since Jesus is part of the Trinity it is against his nature to sin.
Jesus is also unique because he is the atoning sacrifice in our life, and because of his death our sins are cancelled. Romans 3:25 says, “God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice.” Jesus was so unique he was willing to give up his life so that our sins may be forgiven.
10. Why do Christians believe that there are three Gods in one? Isn’t this Polytheism? (Use a few verses here…)
As a Christian we do not believe that there are three Gods in one, we believe that there are three person in one God. Many non-believers consider the Holy Trinity three Gods but if this was the case you wouldn’t be able to distinguish between the three because they would all be infinite. So God is three persons, the son, the father and the Holy Spirit. In John 17: 1, 3, 5 it reads: “1after Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” The passage shows that Jesus, the son, was able to pray to God, the Father, which shows that God and Jesus are two different people.
The Father, son and Holy Spirit are ontologically equal or equal in being. This means they are equally God and share the same mind, will, and emotion. Although they are equal in being their roles can be distinguished between the three persons. The Father is the head of the Trinity; he created everything and is the planner. The son is the expression of God. The son is who we talk through to get to God. The Holy Spirit is God’s active person. He works to convict people and saves the believers. (Henson, Christian Theology/#2)
Since we say that the three beings are three persons in one God it makes it hard for people to argue that we are polytheist. If all three were Gods then they couldn’t all be infinite. If they were all infinite then we would not be able to distinguish between the three.
11. What does a person have to do to become a Christian? Why is it necessary? Couldn’t you just be “good” and get into heaven? (Bible verses required)
Romans 5: 1-2-“ therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And rejoice in the hope glory of God.” Romans 5: 1-2 tells us that we must rely on Jesus to take our punishment for sin in order to get to heaven. You must accept Jesus in your life because this is the reason God sent Jesus, to die for our sins. Once you put your faith in Jesus Hebrews 9:28 tells us that Christ has sacrificed himself to take away our sins.
Ephesians 2: 8-9- “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works so that no one can boast.” This scripture tells us that we need more than just good deeds to become saved and make it to Heaven. In James 2: 14-26 it says that “faith by itself, it not accompanied by action is dead.” The passage goes on to talk about Abraham and how gave his son Isaac to the alter. His actions and faith were working together. This scripture suggests that you should first have salvation and then do good deeds in order to make it into heaven. One without another is useless. I think that once you become saved good deeds should come naturally and you should want to do them, but you must pursue Jesus first because if you do not accept that Jesus died for your sins it doesn’t matter how many good deeds you perform in your lifetime you still will not become a Christian.
12. Where are you at in your spiritual journey?
1Christianity has always been important to me and my family. Both of my parents were raised in Christian families, and when I was born they took what their parents taught them about God and started to teach me. I started to learn about God when I attended pre-school and kindergarten at a Christian school. My parents took me to church every Sunday but we never once attended Bible Study or Sunday school. I eventually came to know Christ and joined St. Luke Baptist when I was ten years old. Once I joined I quickly became active in the ministry; joining the usher board, attending Bible study and Sunday school, and many more ministries. I started to grow fast in the word and felt comfortable discussing what I believe. Around my freshman year my parents felt that the things that was going on in the church were not what they wanted to teach me and my sister so we stopped going. We started to visit other churches but we were not going on a regular basis. I felt I needed some way to get the word of God so I asked my parents if I could enroll in Christian school, and they found Charlotte Christian. Charlotte Christian has taught me many things about God and made me realize that it was time to make my parents religion my own. This was an important part in my spiritual journey because I believe what I believe in because I want to believe in it.
I’m at the point in my spiritual walk where I feel God is putting me through a test to see if I will follow and I know I am willing to follow him with all my heart. I found myself questioning why God allowed some things to happen in my life the past two years. From my mom being laid off from her job, to my grandmother passing away last year, and playing basketball in college God has really challenged me to put my trust in him. Through all this I still see that God is taking care of me. Despite my Mom losing her job, I still have a place to sleep, something to eat and clothes to wear. God allowed me to see that he called my Grandmother to heaven for a reason and she has served her purpose on Earth. I decided back when basketball season started that I would put it in his hands and everything will take care of itself if I do my part. I worked hard this season and God is slowly but surely providing me with opportunities to play college in college. Since I have been at Charlotte Christian, the one thing that I have learned is to trust God and it has helped me a lot to stay strong.
When I get to college next year, I know that I will be around people who will try to tell me that my religion is a joke and it is wrong. I know I am well prepared to be able to defend my faith and will do it without hesitation. I know there will be a lot of temptations next year but if I can stay away from them I know it will make me a stronger Christian.