Thursday, July 14, 2011

Truth and filters

Continuing from my previous thought...

Is Christianity the 'truth' or is it a lens/filter through which we see the 'truth'?

How can we discern the difference?

Of course, here I am assuming that there is something which is reasonable to call 'truth'. Basically what I'm aiming for here is some way of assessing to what extent our presuppositions and cultural filters modify the way we perceive our interactions with (what, for lack of a better, all-encompassing phrase, I will call) the supernatural realm. Of course, this presupposes a supernatural realm.

But let's start with that supposition, that the supernatural realm is a reality and that there is at least one god or supernatural being within it, and that we are able to interact with it/him somehow.

Is Christianity the best way of accessing the supernatural realm? Is it the only way of getting access to it? Does the Christian world-view in any way filter or distort the way we perceive the supernatural realm? And, most importantly, is it possible to know the answer to any of these questions without actually trying out alternative filters?

Christianity makes a very strong, exclusive claim: "[Jesus is] the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by [Jesus]". The claim is not only that Christianity is the best way to access the supernatural god, but it is the only way. All other ways lead elsewhere. Or, to use my current imagery, no other filters or lenses allow us to see the truth.

There's a couple of parables which suggest that once you have found 'the truth' you should do anything to keep hold of it - the parables of the pearl of great price and the treasure buried in the field. But even if you have found treasure in a field, how do you know there's not more treasure buried in a different field? I suppose one pot of buried treasure aught to be enough for anyone, but I think I'm losing the track here, the point is, even though you've found something, how can you know that it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth unless you keep looking in other places?

Maybe there's other sets of presuppositions that actually give a clearer picture of the truth?

Unless you consider the other viewpoints, you can never see just how skewed a picture of reality your own viewpoint actually gives...

What I'm wondering is this, does our Christian worldview completely colour our understanding of our interactions with the spiritual realm? We see all our interactions through a 'trinitarian' lens (for example), so we see God the Spirit at work in certain events. But maybe if you view the exact same interactions through a Hindu filter, you see Vishnu (or whatever) at work. Maybe we all just interpret events through our cultural filters and interpret meaning into them which validates our presuppositions.

Can we actually know God? Or do our presuppositions completely distort his reality?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What exactly should we know about God? Is there a difference between truth and truth?

Christianity in its course of development missed, and dismissed the point of the Gospel, as it is summed up in the Shema Yisrael, and in Love thy neighbour as thyself, and in Do unto others as you would have them do unto you', and in I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and 'If you do what is right is it not well with you?' etc, etc.

Can Christianity webbed in by rituals and ceremonies with a very hierarchical management system ever fully understand what God meant for His creation. Instead, leaders of religions of all sorts seek not to enlighten people but to control them. Jesus rightly put it when He told the Pharisees and Scribes that they control the way to heaven, but since they cannot go in, they won't let anyone in either.

Other religions? Didn't Jacob command his family to put away the family gods (and he buried them under an oak tree) before God guided him further?

Doesn't variety hide the truth? The person who found the treasure in the field had not given way to his greed to buy up all the land and start digging for more. He'd have certainly wasted all what he found on his empty purchases.
In which religion are the gods so much in favour of their human subjects? Are they not busy being greedy, jealous, lustfull and entirely self-seeking with so much disregard for their subjects?