This post is a continuation of my series on Evidence for Christianity. Here is a link to the first post in the series: https://sharpenoneanother.home.blog/2020/12/12/evidence-for-christianity/
Core to Christianity is the claim that God exists. So this post begins the first of 15 evidential arguments which demonstrate Gods existence.
Understanding that truth exists is foundational to understanding anything. There are those in society who make claims that truth is relative, or truth cannot be known, or what is true for you is not true for me. If you hold such a view, then we need to correct your thinking, before reading the rest of this document, otherwise it will be meaningless to you. Truth is not only one of the foundations for science, but it’s a foundation for a belief in anything.
Is there such a thing as truth? Before attempting to answer such questions, we need to understand the concept of ‘self-refuting’ statements. A self-refuting statement is a statement which if true, contradicts the claim itself. If I were to say, “All statements are false”, then that statement must also be false, meaning there are true statements. Or if someone says, “People always lie”, then does that mean the statement that “people always lie” is a lie too, because if that’s the case, then the statement is false? Likewise, if someone says “There is no such thing as truth”, which if true, then the statement “There is no such thing as truth” is not true. So there must be truths which exist.
Is truth subjective or objective? Two people, Bill and Bob were discussing maths. Bill says 1 + 1 = 3, and Bob objects and says 1 + 1 = 2. Is the answer a matter of opinion and relative or is there a true answer? If the rules of math dictate that the answer is 2, then Bill is incorrect, as there is an objective answer. Imagine going to the bank and asking for a million dollars. The teller advises you that you only have $10 in your account, and so you tell them, “That may be true for you, but not true for me. I believe I have a million dollars in my account, so give it to me.” You may find security escorting you out of the bank. The activities of our daily life presumes objective truth exists.
What about personal preferences? Bill and Bob were enjoying an ice-cream, Bill says that he believes chocolate ice-cream is his favourite while Bob claims vanilla ice-cream is his favourite. In this case the enjoyment of the flavour is relative to the person eating it, and so the best flavour may be described as subjective. So for mankind the ‘best’ flavour is subjective, however, it is still objectively true that Bills favourite flavour is chocolate, and Bob’s favourite is vanilla.
What about claims that morality is relative? Someone may say one behaviour is acceptable and another not. If there is no God, then all our morals are a matter of personal opinion and not objective. An atheist may claim certain moral truths such as ‘murder is wrong’. They could provide the subject basis of their claim, such as for reasons of human flourishing. This reason however provides no objective moral truth, it just provides a person’s opinion about a benefit of not murdering. Objectivity requires an actual external standard against which it is measured, but if matter is all there is, and we are just a bunch of molecules controlled by the laws of physics and chemistry, then we can be no more objectively moral than a rock in your garden. However, if there is a God, and that God has defined right and wrong moral behaviour, then we have a standard outside of ourselves providing us with an objective standard for morality. If God does exist then we can have real objective moral truths.
Atheists have a love/hate relationship with this. They love the reality of moral truth, because that prevents others from stealing their property, murdering them, harming those they care for etc. Without moral truth, anarchy would reign. However they also hate the reality of moral truth because that would mean that they are accountable to someone outside themselves, and they don’t want that. Atheism helps appease and dull a God given conscience, allowing people to partake of any lifestyle they choose, they want to be the master of their own destiny and in doing so, seek to effectively become their own god. I’m sure you’ve heard someone rant and say, “No one is going to tell me what to do”. This kind of thinking is one reason Atheists run from God, as they don’t want to submit to God, the atheist wants to live life their way.
The Atheist must borrow the Christian worldview, to hold onto objective moral truths, but at the same time they want to reject the foundation for moral truth. We will look more into morality later in this document. For now I just want you to understand that truth exists, and objective truth is better supported by the Christian worldview.
“‘What is truth?’ Pilate asked” John 18:38
Is Truth Knowable?
So why is there evidence for anything, and how can we mere humans know what is true? We presume that we can examine reality and deductively reason with our minds the facts before us. We use our minds to examine and to ‘do’ science. As mentioned before, our ability to know truth is foundational to science.
An atheist may start with the premise that our minds are only material brains and these brains were formed by random natural processes. But if we add random chance into the equation, then how can we trust what we observe with a brain that is randomly produced? Physics demonstrates that randomness results in disorder and not order. If mental entropy is occurring, then our thoughts are tending to chaos, and what grounds do we have to believe anything we think?
The Christian worldview gives us a basis for which we can know anything. God created man with a capacity for understanding truth.
Furthermore, with our knowledge of random behaviour, how can a naturalist presume that things have always operated with and will continue to operate with reproducible physical laws? Science uses observations of behaviour today, to determine past and future behaviour. So we presume order in the universe. Surely the world, our minds and the entire universe would exhibit continuous random behaviour if matter and chance is all we had. So for an Atheist, there is no grounding in their worldview for humans knowing anything. Yet science is founded on truth being knowable, so without borrowing the Christian worldview, they can make no serious truth claims at all.
We all live as through some truth is knowable. For truth to be knowable, that requires the existence of God who created us and endowed us with that ability. The Christian worldview lines up with the observed reality around us. If we are a product of the mind of an immaterial God, who has constructed the laws of physics and given us minds to be able to examine and interact with the physical world, then we have a much better starting point; a starting point in which we can make sense of our minds and our universe. The bible speaks of us having body, soul and spirit. We have a physical brain and an immaterial mind/soul which interacts with our brain. God who has given us our minds, provides a much more sensible reason for our having capacity to observe and gain understanding of the world around us, and of the realities outside of the physical realm.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” John 8:32