What Is Truth?

Now there’s a hell of a question. It depends, right? What is the true answer to the question, “What is two plus two?”.  You say “Four”, obviously. What if I ask “What is the number corresponding to the square root of two?”

 “You say “There is no such number”.

 Well, yes there is, sort of. It’s called an irrational number because it cannot be expressed as a ratio of two numbers. It just keeps going on and on….

 There’s a story about Pythagoras, who supposedly discovered the Pythagorean theorem(what else would you call it?), but it is now suspected he may have travelled to other countries and brought it back to Greece. Anyway, Pythagoras saw he had this amazing thing which said that A squared plus B squared equals C squared. All you had to do to get the answer of C squared was to find the square root of C.

 And then this smart alecky student came along and said “Master, what if C squared is 2? I can’t seem to find the square root of 2”.

 So Pythagoras smiled and said “Well, it’s…it’s…” and then he had the student drowned, we are told, to keep his mouth shut about such nonsense.

 So, from the beginning, we assume that the world is composed of truth, but every time we try to put it in one package, we just keep finding more holes. Disorder in the order.

 Then, someone comes along in the 1800s and says “The more we organize in one area, the more disorder results in related areas”.

 That’s because of a thing we call entropy. We can use energy, but we can neither create nor destroy it. So if we burn a log, that log will never exist as a log any more. We’ve scrambled the order of the electrons so that there is a portion of energy that can never be retrieved to make that log again.

 Every time we organize in one area, we lose a fraction of energy into the cosmos that we simply cannot put back in the scheme of things.

 Now, is that truth? Well, it’s called the second law of thermodynamics, and its pretty much foundational, so yes, it’s true.

 How far does this “chaos” go in trying to organize? it seems like it goes into pretty much everything we do. The more we organize in one area, the more disorganization we create in related areas. The harder we work at it, the more resulting destruction occurs in those areas we haven’t looked at.

 That’s truth. And then there’s this guy named Heisenberg who developed something called the uncertainty principle. He said we can measure the velocity of an electron, but not the position at the same time. The more we know of one aspect, the less we can know of the other. Either we  calculate position, or we calculate velocity, and the other becomes unknown.

 Sounds kinda like entropy, doesn’t it?  Organize in one area, and a proportionate “something” is lost in a related area. Whatever we know of one thing, we have no way of knowing the other.

 You think that’s bad? People then got started trying to figure out a system of math that would be both complete and consistent, a formalization of math, they called it, which allowed us to simply develop axioms and algorithms that would lead us in a line from “here’ to “truth”.

 One famous mathematician said “We can know, we WILL know”.

 And then came a man named Godel, who proved something that really upset the other mathematicians. He said, in layman’s terms “In any consistent axiomatic formulation of number theory, there exists undecidable propositions”.

 What really upset the other math experts is that Godel took the system of axioms themselves, our own number theory of the most complex level, created by Russell and Whitehead and known as “Principia Mathematica”, and he said this very system because of its complexity would contain numerous undecidable propositions!

 Then others came along and said such axioms would produce infinite undecidable propositions!

 Not only did we have Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle, but now the very process of math itself using itself for a reference, would produce an infinity of undecidable propositions!

 Does that mean there is no truth? No, because if there is no truth, we can’t have mathematics proving anything, because we wouldn’t have truth. We could all be certain that nothing is true!

 But we know that certain things are true. We just can’t list them all. I can take any axiom, develop a string of well formed theorems proceeding from that axiom, a nd sooner or later, I will reach a statement that just will not be proven by that system of theorems.

 So, there is truth, but there exists no predictive process by which we can ever put all truth into one comprehensive package!

 What does this mean? Actually, it’s quite nice for freedom lovers, because we can always know that there ain’t nobody who can tell us an absolute truth.  No such human knowledge exists.

 Let’s say we can develop a knowledge or system of rules that represent God, as religions like to do. Well, if it can be translated into language that is understandable, it can be translated into algorithms. If translated into algorithms, we can program it into any computer! Any human system of knowledge that can properly represented God can be equally represented by any computer!

 We can simply program a computer, call it “God”, and take orders from now on!  We won’t even have to pray! We can just send an email to “God” and get a correct answer!

 You think that’s silly? Why is it any more silly than trying to create a religion, which is nothing more than a human set of rules, and saying we ought to obey it simply because it’s supposed to represent God? If a religion can do it, a computer can do it, because both of them are created by human brains!

 So what is the truth about God? It is the same as the truth Godel discovered about mathematics and axiomatic formulations. Every time you try to prove “God” as the sum of truth, you’re gonna end up with an infinity of undecidable propositions! You can’t get “there” from “here”!

 And THAT is the truth about God! Not that there is, nor that there is no  God, but that if there is a God who is both complete and consistent in truth, we can no more arrive at that conclusion by human thought than we can predictively discover a procedure to get from here to truth in one mathematical package!

 What does that mean? It means exactly what Paul wrote in Romans 8:7! It means that the carnal, natural, fleshy mind is enmity against God and cannot be subject to God!

 But even more wonderful, it means that there exist no human on this planet who can get any closer to God by his/her efforts than you can!

 Guess what? That’s exactly what Paul said in Romans 9:16-22!

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