Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Truth Deficit

Here is an interesting story about a young father who was prompted by the anguish of the loss of a child to “try out” twelve different religions, one per month, during 2011.  During his youth he had been a Baptist of some stripe.  During this time his wife remained a Christian, which led – as they report and you might expect – to some family tension.

What is most interesting is the perspective of this young couple on the whole experience.

According to the wife, the husband’s exploration of other religions cause him to be “more patient. There was more of a sense of peace about him.”  According to the story, after the experiment, the husband “still meditates daily using various prayer books, and he attends Mass occasionally at a Catholic church.”

The husband (Andrew) kept a blog about the whole experience.

It is amusing that anyone would think that a religion could really be “tried out” in the space of a month.  I suppose that is our culture of the short-term (and even instantaneous) at work.

But there is something even more telling in this project.  Scanning everything I could find about this, I noticed something very significant that was glaringly absent from Andrew’s blog (I sampled it), the stories, and so forth.  There is no mention of truth in the whole thing.  Andrew took religions for a one month test drive.  He reports various experiences and attitudes he gained from those test drives.  But there is no mention, not even a hint that I could find, that he ever considered the truth of these various religions.

All religions make claims, at least implicit claims, about the nature of God, of human beings, and of reality.  Did Andrew never wonder whether or not these various claims are true?  That is, do they describe reality accurately?

There are many deficits in the world today, but of these, the greatest is the deficit of truth.

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