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January 8, 2014 / BTM

What Do All of These Statements Have In Common?

what's going onChristians have no business going overseas to try to change people’s religion.

You think that way because you’ve learned or been taught specific prejudices.

There is no truth.

All religions are equally true.

The only truth is what science can prove.

It seems a bit strange that statements that claim that there is no truth, that everything is true and that only what science proves to be true is true can all have something in common.  But they do.

What they all have in common is that they are self-refuting claims.  That means that these claims undermine themselves, so they can’t possibly be true.  You can tell that a claim is self-refuting if it fails to satisfy its own requirements.   Here’s what I mean:

Christians have no business going overseas to try to change other people’s religion.

Usually someone who states this is unaware that Christianity specifically teaches us to go into all the world and preach the good news.  So, by saying Christians can’t or shouldn’t do this, the person holding this position is really trying to change our religious beliefs.  The statement undermines itself.

You think that way because you’ve learned or been taught specific prejudices.

Many of us have fallen for this idea, but does it make sense?  Isn’t the person who holds this viewpoint also guilty of the same thing?  According to his own thinking, doesn’t he think that my opinions are a product of my prejudice, only because his thinking is a product of his prejudice?  If so, why take his view any more seriously than my own?  A person with this opinion can only remain silent in the face of other’s opinions.

There is no truth.

Uh oh.  If there is no truth, then what about this statement?  It can’t possibly be true either.

All religions are equally true.

This is a common belief, but completely indefensible.  If all religions are true, then why do they make mutually incompatible statements about who God is, what we are doing on earth, what our predicament is, how to earn salvation/paradise, what constitutes sin (if there is any such thing), what happens after you die, etc.  At an even more basic level, if all religions are true, but Christianity (a religion) states that all religions are not true, how can Christianity fit into the thinking?

The only truth is what science can prove.

This is an interesting statement, but you would have to ask how it can be proven by science.  Clearly, then, they don’t mean ‘all’ truth, so it remains to be determined what truth can be proven by science and what truth can’t.

The best resource I’ve come across to help create a foundation in logic and critical thinking is Greg Koukl’s Tactics.  It’s well worth buying and beneficial to review often.  If you don’t like to read, no problem.  It also comes in audio and video formats.  It’s a must-read/listen/watch with teens before they go to college or university.  But don’t wait until then, start pointing out these statements now to your kids to get them started.

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