Posted by: Don Linnen | 30 November 2017

More Truth

I’m trying to spot it.  I really am.  Bob Schieffer just wrote a book about it called Overload: Finding Truth in Today’s Deluge of News.

“There is no God, no mystery, no secrets of life.  Everyone can know everything.”  That old Korean Democratic Youth League slogan can’t be wrong, can it? Look at what it’s done for North Korea.

Since Darwin, it’s been fashionable to believe that creation doesn’t require a Creator.  Darwin was a scientist.  He was all about knowledge.  Shakespeare told us that “knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.”

“If you want truth to go round the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go round the world, it will fly; it is light as a feather and a breath will carry it.” Was Charles Spurgeon right – or just another cynic?

Postmodernists claim that all truth is personal and subjective – except for their claim that truth is personal and subjective. (And they claim to recognize irony before anyone else.)

Jim Denison recently exposed my little brain to apophenia and instrumentalism. I’ve actually been exposed to it before. I just didn’t know what it was called.

Apophenia is the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena. This was based on research focused on finding abnormal meaning or significance in random experiences by psychotic people.

Instrumentalism is a view that scientific theories are more important to generate reliable predictions than to describe the world accurately.

Denison wrote that when enough people say enough skeptical things about something, a herd mentality emerges. Since our brains tend to perceive patterns in random phenomena (apophenia), “we can decide that the apparent popularity of skepticism must make the skeptics right.” It really doesn’t matter if it’s true if enough people say it’s true. Especially if I want to believe it. Right?

Denison went on to say that “in a society that denies objective meaning, people cannot possess objective or inherent value. Their worth is then determined by their usefulness to others. This view is known as “instrumentalism”—a theory or object is valued according to its use.”

This is where it gets yucky.  Denison concluded that the value of usefulness is often applied to unborn babies, unhealthy older people, and women everywhere. “If there are no objective values, women will not be valued objectively.”

Sure seems like a lot of people in powerful positions are having a lot of trouble figuring out objective truth these days. Where can they can go to get it right?

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

 


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