What to believe?

by Shelby Cade

Recently, I have had various conversations with individuals who come from a variety of different worldviews from Atheism to Wicca.  I always have questions concerning how these individuals justify their belief system.  Many times, their views are based on relativism and after asking questions, they too have questions of why they are holding to their particular view.  I would like to offer three points that are necessary in order to justify and defend a belief system.

A few comments are necessary concerning relativism.  Relativism holds that universal truth does not exit.  Either what should be true is determined by the individual or the culture.  In either case, the number of different belief systems are going to be incredibly huge.  When talking of cultural relativism, the person or group in power gets to decide the so called true beliefs of the community.  In the end, relativism is self defeating, because it makes an ultimate truth claim as to how things are, while at the same time denying the existence of objective truth.

For any belief system to be valid, it must withstand scrutiny over time and still be able to stand.  In other words, if any belief system crumbles under the scrutiny then it lacks a foundation that must be in place for it to be accepted as true.  What are the points that justify a belief system?

1.  There must be a foundation – Without a foundation the structure of any belief system will falter.  If the belief system fails to answer any question, then it must be discarded.  There is no way for a belief system to withstand scrutiny without a foundation.  The foundation would represent the basic structure of what the belief system is based on.  The foundation includes the big answers for the  particular belief system and the general principles by which the system is supported.

2.  It must be able to withstand testing – Any belief system that is put out there must be able to come through rigorous testing.  The testing of a belief system is necessary to see if the foundation of the structure is solid.  Most belief systems, with testing can be shown for what they are.

3.  It must correspond to reality –  Simply put, any belief system that does not correspond to way things really are should be completely discounted.  Correspondence deals with the heart of any belief system, for it drives the issue of truth.  If truth is not present, then there is no way to defend a belief system.  There are many avenues of correspondence that are necessary for any belief system to be considered valid…


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