TRUTH is what some assert with certainty but with no coherent justification. TRUTH cannot be challenged.
Truth is what people strive for with questions and tests; truth may never be fully achieved but enough has been discovered to offer a guide to life or improvement of lives.
One TRUTH is that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. The truth is that the Bible offers many moral teachings even though it contains descriptions of many impossible events or even justifies bad deeds.
Did God on the sixth day create “man in his own image, … male and female created he them”? Or did he create only Adam and then when Adam grew lonely, he created Eve from Adam’s rib. I would think it would take more than a few days for Adam to grow lonely for a companion.
Is the “Great Flood” a recounting of some catastrophic flood in the Tigris-Euphrates valley in which some few had the foresight to build boats for their family and cattle, or was it a great flood to destroy all the “wickedness”, including babies? Considering that the depth of the waters was 15 cubits (22-1/2 feet), it was probably the former. Flood stages of over 20 feet are all too common even now. The truth is that it is important to be just and that it is important to prepare for disaster.
Is it TRUTH that God let Satan bring many calamities upon Job, or is it truth that bad things happen to good people? Certainly a just God would not let so many innocent people be killed to test one man, especially if God knows everything?
Is it TRUTH that heretics should be burned at the stake? It is truth that the Bible only mentions “heretic” once. “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject” (Epistle to Titus, 3:10). I don’t think “reject” meant to kill, but rather it meant to shun.
Is it TRUTH that Islam is a militant religion set on converting all to Islam? It is truth that Mohammed and his followers had to defend themselves against the polytheists of Mecca who considered the Muslims a threat. It is also truth that many Muslim-dominant cultures had a mix of Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
“Those who believe, and those who are Jewish, and the Christians, and the Sabeans - any who believe in God and the Last Day, and act righteously will have their reward with their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.” - Talal Itani. “Quran In English. Modern English Translation. Clear and Easy to Understand”.
The Sabeans were a culture in South Arabia; this is supposedly where the Queen of Sheba came from, she who visited King Solomon.
You can get many versions of the Qur’an from the iBook store and other sources. However, like the Bible, it takes much reading to understand what is meant.
Consider “simple” documents like the “Declaration of Independence” and the “Constitution”.
Is it TRUTH that they are clear and unambiguous? It is truth that people are still arguing over them over two hundred years later. It is truth that what one Supreme Court decides may be overturned by another Supreme Court? For example, “Separate but Equal” was overturned by “Brown vs. Board of Education”.
Is it TRUTH that the United States is a Christian nation blessed by God? It is truth that many of the signers of the “Declaration of Independence” or the “Constitution of the United States” attended Christian Churches. It is truth that the “Declaration of Independence” mentions “Nature’s God” and the “Protection of Divine Providence”. But it is also truth that the “Constitution” uses no words or phrases involving any deity. It is truth that the United States took land from Christian Cherokees and others because white men wanted the gold that was found in Georgia. So much for the “Protection of Divine Providence” for these Christians.
Is it TRUTH that Adam Smith advocated totally free markets? It is truth that he used “free market” once and only once in “Wealth of Nations”. But it is also truth that the heavily regulated market was brought about by the woolen manufacturers. They asked for and received from Parliament many regulations that would keep the price of wool down so that their costs would be down and their profits up. It is also truth that even today “Free Marketers” lobby for laws that are beneficial to them and detrimental to others.
Is it TRUTH that voters “decided”? By the time you read this, the Iowa caucuses will have been held. It is truth that many voters cast their votes for whoever “won”, but many other voters chose somebody else. It is truth that better headlines would be that “a plurality of voters” or “a majority of voters” supported the “winner”.
It is also truth that no matter who is doing the reporting, they have a limited amount of time or space.
It is also truth that this column should end before you fall asleep.
Also published in Reader Weekly of Duluth, 2016-02-04 at http://duluthreader.com/articles/2016/02/04/6677_truth_or_truth.