Saturday, August 26, 2017

Which religion? (Which denomination?)

The question was asked (I paraphrase, since I don't have permission to quote from that forum):

"Suppose I know nothing about religions but want to know what is true.  How should I find out?  People of different denominations argue all the time, and don't even share the same version of the Bible in many cases.  Even on a given Christian radio station, you hear a variety of conflicting viewpoints sometimes.  So what methodology should one follow to find what is true?" 

Here's my first shot at an answer.  Though I'm sure I've left off some important points!

(1) Recognize that there is something as truth. You've done that already, great start!

(2) Recognize that when two claims conflict absolutely, they cannot both be true. So there is also falsehood. You've accepted that, too -- you're ahead of lots of people already.

(3) Recognize that religions (including secular ones) combine moral values, existential ideals, and truth-claims. It would be as much a miracle if any one of them were wrong about all it claims or espouses, as if any one were right about everything.

(4) Therefore, even given one truth which may be wholly true (because God may be behind it), it would follow that all other belief systems would be a mixture of truth and falsehood, baring a diabolical miracle of absolute error.

(5) The ultimate truth will be that truth which is best supported by the strongest and most diverse evidence.

(6) Also which explains the most diverse insights and observations within all human systems that seek for truth, goodness, and happiness.

(7)  think (and argue, in a bunch of books) that Christianity is that truth.

(8) As for which denomination, let the Bible, your conscience, your mind, God's calling on your life, fate, friends, family, transportation, even music be your guide. I won't quarrel, so long as they "love God (with mind, soul, strength) and love their neighbors as themselves."

(9) Which means I might quarrel, after all, and you might quarrel with me.

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