Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The Taste of Goodness In The Pursuit Of Truth
In my last post, I wrote about the limitations of logic. Both Stephen Hawking and James Lee were extremely logical in forming their worldviews which also share many similarities.
In past posts, I have referenced Ravi Zacharias's criteria for truth. Truth must be:
1. Logically consistent
2. Empirically adequate
3. Existentially relevant
I have had the hardest time getting my mind around #3. But things have gotten clearer lately, so I'd like to share these thoughts.
It seems to me that it might be easier for we human beings to test for health than truth. When I say "health", I am referring to our very being. One might say "good" rather than health but because I am only talking about good relative to us (does a belief equip me to be a better person in some way), I prefer the word "health".
In my last article, when I spoke of the paranoid person being just as logical as the healthy person, I demonstrated how paranoia can be logically justified. The presence or absence of logic is no savior in in clearing the muddy waters here. However, the paranoid person can become so restrained as to no longer live a healthy life.
I am seeing this in a close family member of mine. His paranoia prevents him from being able to work. He would LOVE to have a job but he can't be around crowds nor can he be around a blaring radio or t.v. He can't function like a healthy human being. But his paranoia is far from being irrational. But I believe that the truth sets us free. As a result, it brings what we might call health. The truth equips us and makes us better people.
THIS is why I'm not an atheist. Atheism, when followed consistently, means that there is no transcendent purpose maker in life. It means that I define purpose and that purpose only applies to me. I can change that purpose whenever I want to whatever I want. I become my personal god.
But I am a lousy god. We ALL are. Tiger Woods was god of his life when his supermodel wife wasn't good enough for him and he expanded his horizons. James Lee was a lousy god when he decided that the best way he could get the message out about his worldview was to change the programming of the Discovery channel. Most of us write letters. He decided to strap bombs on his person and use a gun. Lyndsey Lohan is a lousy god to herself, offering her an escape from pain through booze rather than true healing.
I could go on and on with the examples, but the point is not to throw rocks. My message is simple. DON'T simply follow your heart. DON'T simply trust yourself.
I believe in Psalm 37:4 which says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." At first glance, this appears to paint God as a divine waiter. But reverence for God doesn't allow such an interpretation. Reverence directs me to this interpretation. God is saying that as we delight in Him, He will be the SOURCE of our desires. All of a sudden, as I submit my life to Him, I start wanting what HE wants for my life. THEN, I can follow my heart because it has submitted to Him.
Can you test this worldview to be true? No, but you CAN test it to be healthy. You can test it to determine whether or not it works. You can test whether or not it is good.
"Taste and see that the lord is good" - Psalm 34:8