Should we question the methods used to determine the truth before we sign up for surgery? The epistemology is the justification method used to arrive at a belief that what is presented is safe and true. What gives a new drug or a procedure validity? What if you go to your doc and he says he is going to perform a procedure that has never been tested or done before? With great enthusiasm the doc reports that the procedure came to him in a dream and he FEELS certain it will work? What if the doc says he conducted his own clinical testing would you agree to the surgery based on his subjective experience? What makes us comfortable enough to be persuaded by another? Is it when we can read what a witness wrote of the testing? If the tests are documented, and published in the AMA journal? After we validate the source, do we trust the method and believe it as truth? Reclaiming the Mind, offers a systematic method to establish a certainty in a belief in God, with respect for the reasoning mind. Epistemology Class #4 of Introduction to Theology. OBTAIN A FREE UPLOAD www.reclaimingthemind.org. FIRST COMMANDMENT of the postmodern world: "We are to tolerate each other" Whatever you believe is true for you, and whatever I believe is true for me. Subjectivism or relativity today does not welcome or allow any sort of intolerance. It is common among the churched and unchurched to believe that truth is not something that is transcendent, above our minds, BUT in the postmodern culture of today, truth is whatever we contain in our individual minds. Relativity is based on what we can see, what culture influenced our beliefs, what we were taught in school, or what feels right to the individual. Our unique, individual theology is based on our perceptions and our experience. The question is does whatever feels right to you make it TRUTH? EXAMPLE: A woman went to the doctor with concern over a single spider bite. According to the doctor, as far as he could see, according to his theology, what he was taught, he believed that the woman had nothing to worry about and sent her home. However, the woman felt itchy, and she believed that something was definitely wrong. She returned to the doctor the next day covered with tiny red spots. The doctor then could SEE that her whole body was infected, she had the measles. What was the truth? Regardless of her appearance, or in spite of the doctor's acquired knowledge, the truth was that her body was riddled with disease. One elderly man in the church was asked how he came to believe in God. He said
"There is temptation all around us, and the desire to sin is within each of us. We want to lie to protect our name and our reputations. We desire to do whatever it takes to appear noble and good. We delight in gossip, we pride ourselves in what we know. We are thrilled to trespass beyond the gate where it is posted "do not enter" - it is our sinful nature to want to go where we are forbidden, to eat the candy even knowing it is not good for us. It is our nature to sin, to do that which we feel is not right. We all commit sin over and over again." My eyes were wide and I listened as this old fella continued about his belief! "God sent His Son to earth, so that we could see and believe. Jesus was the sacrificial lamb whose blood washes away the sins of those who confess Him as Lord. Thrilled by his certainty, I then asked "Do you think that Christ is the only way?" To which the old man replied, "No way, who am I to say my way is the only way!" Our modern culture is changing the way we come to know or hold onto truth. The exclusivity of Christ is not held as truth by all who attend church today. The study of theology begins by defining a vocabulary which will be used to help the discover our individual epistemology, how and why we believe what the truth is. These are some terms that will be used in the study. A gateway to understanding how we arrive at truth by our epistemology, our method. Let us walk this way.Epistemology = a study of the source, the method used to arrive at knowledge. It is our individual justification of knowledge. When asked "What is your Epistemology?" The response will be how I came to know truth. For a Christian, scripture is a PART of our epistemology, it is a PART of the way in which we acquire truth. Where does truth come from, and what is it's nature? Does truth only exist beyond us, or does truth exist within us?
Relativism = The belief that truth is determined by a group, a society. Such as: This is the truth in America, but it is not truth Eastern countries. Texas truth is that the Cowboys are #1!
Subjectivism = Truth not defined by a group, but defined by an individual. Truth is according to me or as it relates to myself.
Skepticism = Truth cannot be known with certainty. Skeptics say truth is in limbo. They are swayed and remain uncertain.Perspecticism = Is the belief held by many that through many perspectives, by looking at all angles, they arrive at the truth. They believe that they only have a piece of the truth, and by adding the perspective of others they arrive at the whole truth. The landscape of truth as seen by your side of the mountain is different than my side of the lake. When we come together, the truth becomes a larger revelation because it has many facets. We come with a snapshot, our view, and an agenda to persuade others.
Pragmatism = Whatever works for me to accomplish my goal to get happy. A divorce, a new home is obtained in order to get happy. The pragmatist justifies the end by the method.
Objectivism = The idea that truth exists outside of the you, the human being. Whether we believe or not, whether we trust or not, truth exists no matter what. Which of the above describes the culture of your relationships today? Today things are not as simple, not as clear as they once were. When you say to someone "God loves you and He has a plan for you." In today's culture there is much confusion as a result of the many methods used to understand Who God is. Our society has changed to incorporate tolerance for all ways, for all paths, for all beliefs. When some people hear "God loves you and He has a wonderful plan for your life" To those that might mean the rocks and the trees because their "TRUTH" is that God is everywhere, in all things. Or some will say "Yes God is the force within me" The printed word has something to do with each epistemology of today's society. Many versions of written articles, or truth is found on the Internet. Heresy = any opinion contrary to the orthodox opinion. All condemned heretics interpretation of the truth was not acceptable. Joan of Arc was burned. Peter was beheaded. Martin Luther King was assassinated. How did you come to believe in Jesus, or not?