What is truth? Webster defines truth as that which is based on facts; i.e. a position taken after the examination and assessment of evidence. If we always had access to the truth about a matter it would be much easier to plan ahead, however, the truth may be very elusive.
Let’s consider three levels of truth-seeking. The first level will illustrate the difficulty of determining the truth when no precedent or historical evidence exists. The second level will illustrate the determination of the truth when some evidence exists to assist in the decision, and the third level will illustrate the relative ease in determining the truth when history has provided well documented factual evidence on which to base an assessment.
To examine the first level of truth-seeking the question can be asked, is it true that the $1 trillion stimulus plan being considered will cause the economy to recover or will it further suppress the workings of a free market? This question cannot be answered objectively because it deals with the unknown and there are no historical facts available to support such a decision either way. In other words the truth cannot be determined as to whether or not the stimulus plan will do as predicted.
Now let’s examine the second level of truth-seeking by considering the future weather patterns of the earth. A relevant question can be asked, is it true that we are in for a period of global warming? Many, if not most, pundits and political scientists are sounding the alarm that the sky is falling and the world is in for an extended period of global warming. If their prognosis is correct then we had better prepare accordingly. This is a case where there is a moderate amount of scientific evidence available to allow the truth to be determined.
Let’s consider the documented evidence. Firstly, the four reporting agencies that measure the earth’s temperature reported that the earth cooled by nearly .75C in 2007 and a similar result is expected for 2008. It is a fact that the average temperature on earth has remained steady or has slowly declined during the past decade. Consider further that Antarctic sea ice grew substantially in 2007 as did Alaskan glaciers, and finally, sunspot activity associated with earth’s temperature as reported by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory indicates an approaching period of global cooling. And if that weren’t enough evidence, even the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that we are in for a period of global cooling based on solar activity which could take us into the next half century. In this case the truth can be established relatively easy based on evidence, however, the truth may upset many alarmists who have profited by touting global warming.
The third level of truth-seeking takes us into the religious realm. This is an area in which mankind has sought the “truth” throughout the millennia. Many believe that religion is based on faith in that which cannot be proved by observation. At this level we’ll seek the truth by examining one Biblical passages and also one passage from Islamic literature and then each person can determine for themselves what is the “truth” based on their assessment of the evidence.
But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, how shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken” – when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:20-22
The above passage tells that if a prophet speaks in the LORD’s name and what he prophesizes comes to pass then he is in fact a true prophet and if it doesn’t come to pass then he is a false prophet. Literally hundreds of prophesies relating to the people of Israel and the birth of Jesus came to pass exactly as predicted many centuries before the event.
Similarly, from Islamic literature:
“Once the Prophet Mohammed led us in the Isha prayer during the last days of his life and after finishing it he said, ‘Do you realize the importance of this night? Nobody present on the surface of the earth tonight will be living after the completion of one hundred years from this night.’”
Mohammed died in 632 AD and the world’s population continues to grow. Based then on the evidence, the question can then be asked, i.e. is it true that Mohammed fits the description of a prophet of God?
One wonderful aspect of living in America is that everyone has the right to examine the available evidence and determine for themselves what the “truth” is as they perceive it and pursue life accordingly.