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Objective Truth by Peter Kreeft

From the Handbook of Christian Apologetics
by

Anthony Basso

on 26 May 2011

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Transcript of Objective Truth by Peter Kreeft

Objective Truth
Definition
1. Objective: Independent of the Knower and His Consciousness
2. Truth: to say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not.
Alternative Theories of Truth
1. Pragmatism: Truth is What "works" (for you)
2. Empiricism: Truth is what you can sense
3. Rationalism: Truth is what can be clearly and distinctly understood by reason or proven by reason.
4. Coherence - Truth is the coherence or ‘oneness’ or harmony among a set of ideas (rather than the correspondence of one idea to reality).
5. Emotivist: Truth is What I "feel".
Flaw 1: You can't know what "works" unless you know what you are trying to accomplish.
Flaw 2: What "works" might be different for each person. We are left without Truth.
Flaw 1: This theory is an assumption that has no empirical proof.
Flaw 2: One's senses may be deceived (illusion).
Flaw 3: Not every truth is sensible
Flaw 1: One cannot rationally prove that all truth is rational.
Flaw 2: Many truths are not clearly rational - they must be discerned.
Flaw 1: Many feelings are false or mistaken, thus leading one to a false-truth.
Flaw 2: Many truths elicit no emotional reacition at all.
Attacks upon Truth
1. Universal Skepticism: No truth is knowable.
How do you know that? Isn't that a claim of Truth?
2. Universal Subjectivism:
All truth is within or dependent up on the knower.

Is not the "truth of subjectivism" itself subjective?
If it changes for everyone, then is it really "Truth"?
3. Religious Skepticism:
though we may know truth with some certainty in non-religious areas (like science) we cannot know truth in the realm of religion. (leads to Agnosticism)

Any intelligent believer would not claim that God is adequately or completely knowable via human reason alone. This is not skepticism, but the acknowledgement of mystery.
4. Religious Subjectivism:
Religion is "true for you, but not for me" because it is internal, personal (dependent upon the knower).
Religion is a feeling, a mode of sensibility, something to help us cope and live more succesffully. It is a set of ideas and values but not a creed or a statement of truth. For a statement to be true it must reveal or correspond to facts.

The claims of religion are not exclusively "truths", but facts as well. The claims may be true or false, but they are claims about things outside ourselves (objective) not within.
"White people will often say they are spiritual but not religious...which usually means they will believe any religion that doesn't involve Jesus"
-Christian Lander, Stuff White People Like
#2 - Religions their parents don't belong to.
"This position is held by many teenagers but few philosophers"
Flaw 1: Coherence does not permit for exceptions. If an exception (an incoherence) is encountered then the set of ideas is rejected as Truth.
Full transcript