Problem with Absolutism and Relativism

For some time I have struggled with strong views of people based on their belief that they are absolutely correct. Equally wrong I find that so many people think that “everything is relative” therefore we cannot arrive at the point of truth on anything.

For some people the only absolute is that everything is relative if so can even that statement be trusted?

On the other hand we know that there are relative differences in culture, philosophy, law that is applied differently around the world etc.

I am always surprised by the regular TV statements that portray religion in the negative light because of some presenter’s had some unfortunate bad experiences in their past. Or opposite to that I find it rather unfortunate and uncomfortable feeling of shame when I watch TV evangelists damning everyone else who does not agree with their particular theological views.

Whilst I do believe that we can know absolute truth on some things, equally we must recognise that there are unknowns and vague areas where our knowledge is simply insufficiently acquainted with the facts that are necessary to form firm opinion.

I love debate and I believe in intellectual logic and reason as well as I believe in theological orthodoxy, but where is the point at which we need to accept that some things are certain whilst others are coincidences or uncertain inference that may or may not be related cause and effect elements of the same topic. (Some interesting debates these days on the issue of Young Vs Old earth, Global warming, predestination all stimulating but not essential)

I remember as a young man opening up my broken personal stereo because I was very keen to fix it and as I could not afford new one I knew that giving it a go was a right thing to do if I was to enjoy music that would not offend those around me. Choices were limited; I could not afford repair ether so there was only one choice open to me. I knew that I had to have a go and try to fix it.

I don’t have electronic engineering degree but I knew if I could see some disconnected wires I could try to work out where they belong and try and reconnect them. To make the long story short I did fix my personal stereo because it was obvious what was wrong as there were indeed two wires that were lose. But I could not fully understand all of the complexity in there. I believe this is exactly the same as with life, religion and God.

It seems to me that in this life I can know only limited number of truths. Most of the truths that interest me I find in the Bible, I guess as I get older I have come to realization that I cannot know everything of don’t have inclination to do the necessary search.

Therefore after some search (I continue to enjoy reading theology) I have found Bible to be trustworthy and to be proved again and again through subjects like Archaeology, History, philosophy and the also one of my favorite subjects defense of faith (Apologetics).

And here comes the main point for me here. At what point does the information and data about something need to be taken that bit further one more step in order for us to arrive to that point when we can have faith?

Faith that is logical, reasoned one that can be relayed on as being tested affirmed and accepted not as blind faith but one that can be called upon as being intelligent assessment of the situation and constructed not only on our past experiences but also our understanding of the world around us.

I wish that there was a shortcut that we could use, so that I don’t have to tell people that if they seek God they will find him. I wish that there is a mathematical formula that can be understood by all and accepted as absolute truth but science and faith are often intermingled and neither is always fully understood.

And this is why I believe that there must come a point where all my hard work my entire search for the truth will need to be committed to one way or the other. And this is why I have come to conclusion that for anything to make sense there has to be God. (My reasoning is that he must be the originator of logic otherwise what measure would we use to test anything) We must come to conclusion, that there is a God who is a creator of reason, logic, understanding minds that can see the mathematical certainty and recognize that some things are founded on the founder himself.

Pascal was right:

What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.
-Blaise Pascal

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