Originally Posted by Dave Kerwin
If absolute truth DOES exist, then it is easy to conclude that we have access to it. If it didn't exist, then we could never be sure about anything.
But we have to be REASONABLE in our requirements for satisfaction of truth. We cannot ignore the human factor (ie, humans testify, humans test things). If human testing shows that 2+2=4, we have to realize that there is a possibility (to whatever degree) of error. As such, logic will allow us to make a conclusion on a matter to then call it TRUE. How sure are we that it is true? Absolutely sure, and therefore, it is absolute truth.
So when analyzing anything, and determining what is true, we often times have to make that reasonable conclusion based on the information we have available to us.
It is for this reason that I have come to strong conclusions about matters of faith. When ALL, and I mean ALL the data available is analyzed, picked apart, put under intellectual scrutiny, etc, we then need to make a conclusion, while using logic, to make a decision on what is true and what is false. What does a Judge do when presented with data that is conflicting? He hits it hard, gets all the data available, and eventually lands on a decision that is firm. So instead of just putting his hands up in the air with a confused look on his face, he makes a DECISION, the BEST decision that could be made based on all the information. The outcome of that decision becomes the operating principle. If the verdict is guilty, that person is guilty, and so on.
So what are we to do? The same.
Because humans have defined what "2", "+", "=", and "4" mean, we know the absolute truth of these things, and can say absolutly that 2+2=4.
But many times throughout the history of man humans have taken everything known about a certian subject, analyzed it, and came up with the wrong answer because their knowledge was too incomplete. Likewise, many times people are wrongly found guilty. If you were charged with a murder you didn't commit, but they found enough evidence against you to convince a judge and jury that you were guilty, does this then make you a murder? I think not.
Yes, we do have to take the best evidence we have and make a decision as to what the truth is, but until we have absolute knowledge on a subject I do not think we can say we know the "absolute truth". Until I know everything (which will never happen) I will continue to seek knowledge, and I will use that knowledge to reformulate what I believe to be the "truth".