Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
by Jonathan Hilton Day 51
There is a part of me that will argue that you have to challenge everything before you can accept it as a truth; otherwise you are susceptible to believe anything that someone tells you.
Yet there is another thought I have that sometimes you can just know that something is true without investigating it at all.
My contention is that most often you should challenge a truth, because even the wisest people don’t know when to accept something as it is.
When it Comes to Science
When it comes to knowing the truth, a good challenge is appropriate and should be welcomed, because if what you are looking at is the truth, then it will withstand any kind of investigation or inquiry and still be the same afterwards.
At one time the most prestigious scientists in the world believed whole heartedly that the world was flat, and that the Earth was the center of the universe. Challenging either of these “facts” would have gotten you into a lot of trouble and certainly would have lost you any chance of advancement in a field of science, however these ideas were proven to be false and other ideas took their place, to be challenged in their own turn.
It seems that today, we feel like we know everything and science should never be challenged, who knows what we will learn next if we keep questioning things. A question can never be a bad thing.
Social Norms Should Always be Challenged
Socially people seem to take a nearly deranged pleasure in putting people into groups.
Fitting people into nice, neat little boxes bases on dress, religion, sexual orientation or even skin color provided excuse for separation.
This type of discrimination has been systematically challenged and destroyed over the past one hundred years or so.
People who challenged societal norms always faced initial opposition, but after a concerted effort, there is more and more acceptance of all people. There are still challenges to make but that seems to be the case for people. Growth comes after challenge. I have to believe that the level to which differences will be accepted will continue to grow.
Why people hate to challenge
There is a lot of fear involved when a truth is challenged and found to be false, some people have the fear that if some idea that they held as absolutely true, now is false, then: What else are they wrong about?
This question can knock the sense out of people. Some will accept the changes as a normal growth pattern, and knowing the truth really shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing.
However many people turn the opposite way and cling ever deeper to their beliefs, never wanting to let them go, because it is just too scary for them.
The truth needs to be challenged most of the time because if it is really the truth it will stand up, and if it isn’t, a lie is never going to lead to happiness.
Higher Power Challenge
Sometimes though there are things that you have to accept as truth even if you can’t prove one way or another that they exist. Any religious belief has to be undertaken this way because there is no proof of God’s existence one way or another.
What God is and if he exists is a debate that has affected the history of mankind for thousands of years. Does that mean the idea of God shouldn’t be challenged?
No not at all, but I am not sure what kind of experiment you could perform to see that God exists definitively. When you look at all of the religions of the world, most of which differ only slightly in doctrine and practice, it is hard to believe that they could have all gotten it wrong.
But conventional thought is not conventional wisdom. For me I think that there has to be a reason that we are all here, to accomplish something, and that there is a reason why we have the ability to reason, be creative, and make moral decisions. Test away, and when you can prove God exists or doesn’t exist I will listen with an open mind.
Still Seeking The Truth
I think that for the most part it is impossible to know the truth without testing it, because the truth is everlasting and unapproachable, if something is true, then testing, trials or questioning won’t change it.
When it comes to things you can’t test or challenge, like the existence of God it has to come down to your faith. Either we are a cosmic accident that just happens to be here, or we are a magnificent creation that is here to do great things if we let ourselves.
Apparantly Seether has been looking for the truth: