Apologetics 101: “There Can’t Be Absolute Truth If So Many Disagree!”
by Matt Rawlings
Yesterday, we began to tackle objections that Christianity is not good for our culture or for individuals. We saw that the claim by moral relativists or moral subjectivists that there is no truth or, if there is, we cannot know it, collapses in on itself because that is a truth claim. In fact, many relativists feel embarrassed when they realize in a debate that marshal an array of facts, truth and knowledge to try to argue that there is no such thing as facts, truth or knowledge!
Yet, when pushed, many relativists reluctantly admit there is truth (e.g., the earth revolves around the sun) and that pushing morality on others is not always a bad thing (e.g., ending the practice of suttee, or burning the wife alive at the funeral of the husband, in India thanks in large part to Christian missionary William Carey or intervening in the tribal wars in the Sudan, etc.). But they contend that when so many intelligent people disagree about religion and/or certain moral practices that it is arrogant to claim to hold THE truth in any of these areas.
Philosopher Paul Copan responds, “But disagreement does not necessarily imply relativism in any area. It may simply indicate that some—or all concerned—don’t have full knowledge, a clear or sufficient grasp of the issue at hand.” (See his book, True for You But Not For Me).
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Indeed many of even the most well-educated have a very shaky grasp on basic logic and the teachings of various world religions (to see how poorly many of the world’s leading academics fair when they step outside of their own area of expertise, see Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society). Moreover, there is a great deal of peer pressure within our culture to relativize religion and ethics and we will deal with the reasons for this and how to respond later. But none on these problems eliminate the possibility of truth or our ability to know it…
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