January 20, 2008

The Intimate Truth on Objective Truth, Pt. 2


In continuing to reveal the intimate truth on objective truth, we continue our discussion on all things truth, objective, and relational today. Don't miss part 1, before continuing into this series.

Thomas Kuhn in
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions argues that no scientific, objective truth exists apart from value assessments and a person's perspective. All truth is colored by a person's commitments, experiences, and enculturation. You don't have to listen carefully to hear the tides of relativity washing onto the shore of objectivity. Even classicist professor Allan Bloom's famous "objective" statement on relativity is a relative statement:
“There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of, almost every student entering into the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.”
This statement is made relative by his biases, culture, and commitments. As a white male who had a bad experience teaching the classics in the '60's at Cornell, Bloom chose to ignore gender inclusive language by referring to speak generally of his students as "he" thus completely ignoring the feminist movement of the 60's. Also, with the rise of multiculturalism and new literature the classics fell on hard times, or at least lost the prestige Bloom felt they deserved.

Maybe this relative statement reveals that in our exploration for truth we just have to be "more" objective by submitting "more" to the primacy of reason. The answer to relativity is pure, objective reason right? We believe that all our commitments will be eclipsed in the light of reason. Reason trumps all other commitments. No!

In the Scripture when a person places their complete unadulterated trust or commitment in anything else than God for truth, life, worship, anything, its called idolatry. Yet, what we've failed to recognize is that reason has flown under the radar for too long as an idol. We don't recognize that the commitment to reason is just that, a commitment with no more a rational base than any other commitment whether to tradition, culture, or God.

Certainly humans can be committed to other things besides God such as environmentalism, but to place that thing over commitment to Christ is sin. In searching for truth, our first commitment must be to Christ, not rationality.
Truth is not found in objectivity, but relational fidelity. Thus when we allow final, authoritative hegemony of one tradition- the tradition of rationality- all other traditions we are in relation to are diminished or blurred.

Truth is much more holistic than objectivity and reason alone allows. Truth is best known when we are faithful to our relative perspectives while seeking intimate relation to this world, to God, to others, to whatever we are seeking to know.

1 comment:

bgh said...

Hey Joe, I didn't know you were working at FBC Gtown. Thats great. And you've met my girlfriend Kelsey I guess? Fun stuff. About the Copeland video. I think he is off his rocker. I haven't found any support of the statement that Jesus was "born again" from sin as far as Scripture goes. What do you think about it? Out of context or kinda crazy? The other two videos are really interesting too. What do you think about them?