Wednesday, February 01, 2006

why is "truth"--or the lack thereof--so scary?

"Brian McLaren scares me. It isn't his ambiguity on the question of [you name it] that worries me so much as it is his reckless passion for ambiguity in the first place, and his utter fear that someone, anyone, will take offense for any reason; the larger disease of which the first is a symptom."
i hereby post this comment from a blog...and i post it out of context. but it seems to speak to one of the things about "truth" that i find interesting. why is it that "truth," or perhaps "uncertainty about truth" (maybe those are two completely different things), is such a scary thing. why are we so afraid of those who claim to know it? and why are we so afraid of those who claim not to know it?


Sean said...

Those who claim to know the truth are frightening because such claims are often accompanied by claims to power, or justification of any number of repressive or even horrific acts in the name of "truth."

It is also unsettling to encounter someone who claims to know the truth if their "truth" is different from what we ourselves have determined to be truth. Such encounters threaten to undermine our belief system by calling into question those things which we had assumed were unquestionable. "If I'm wrong about the age of the earth (or whatever)" goes the reasoning, "what else am I wrong about?" It's the "slippery slope" fear.

Those who claim not to know the truth on doctrinal issues are equally unsettling, for pretty much the same reason: they call into question the validity of our own beliefs.

All of this brings us to the question, what do we really know for certain? Is there anything beyond Descartes' "cogito ergo sum" that can be known without question?

And who's buying the beer?

Dixon said...

I'm buying...and that's the truth.

(Lynette I'll pring this and bring it today. Good stuff)