“God is the Supreme Being.” True or false?
Remarkably, this question can result in four acceptable responses, depending on one’s perspective: 1. TRUE; 2. FALSE; 3. BOTH true and false; 4. NEITHER true nor false. What makes this apparent paradox possible is a matter of definition and context (i.e., literal or allegorical).
Presented by Pangburn Philosophy and chaired by Bret Weinstein, the June 23 Vancouver BC debate between Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris on the nature of God and morality offered a classic illustration of this epistemological phenomenon, and is the focus of our look at the ‘God problem.’
To complicate matters, even the use of the words ‘true or false’ can present ambiguity. Though most agree on what ‘false’ means, the meaning of ‘true’ is another matter entirely, especially when confused with ‘Truth.’
There are those who argue that ‘truth’ must coincide with ‘fact,’ while there are those who insist that there is a ‘greater truth’ that ‘remains true’ irrespective of changing facts. Yet, each view is valid.
For our part, we hold that all facts are true, but that facts alone do not constitute Truth. Truth represents the Meaning of those facts presented in a manner consistent with reality and reason. Thus, armed with the Truth, all become free to choose a path away from ‘undue suffering’ and toward the ‘well being’ so desired by all.
Truth tells a story that relates the nature of reality in a manner that is Just Right.