Can Religion Be Tested for Truth?

by Luke Nix

testing for truthMost of the time, I’m not too fond of using the term “religion”. I normally prefer to use “worldview” because it is more clear about what all a belief-system entails. However, for this post, I will use the term common for the question posed in the title: Can religion be tested for truth?

Many years ago, I would not have even thought to ask if religion can be tested for truth. I never thought much about it, because the obvious answer to me seemed to be “Yes”. Apparently, though, many people are questioning whether religion can be tested for truth today. Some even say that religion can’t be tested, thus such a term as “true religion” is an oxymoron. A common slogan that I hear is, “You can’t put God in a test tube”. I thought that I might take a few minutes to break this down and form some kind of defense for the idea that religion can be tested.

Just to get us started, I want to give a basic definition of “religion”. I want to go with “a series of beliefs and practices”. If we further define “beliefs”, we find that beliefs are a series of propositions about reality that one trusts accurately reflect reality. If someone were to say, “I believe A”, they are saying that they trust that A accurately reflects reality.

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Some people have stated to me that a person can have a religion that has nothing to do with reality. I beg to differ. If a necessary part of religion is a trust that a proposition accurately reflects reality (belief), then religion must have something to do with reality. What’s really great about most religions of the world is that they tend to not just make claims about how we should live (practice), but they make claims about reality- propositions that are claimed to accurately reflect our world. This makes it quite easy to test the religions of the world for truth…


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