The more you read, the more you see most obvious truths could be very wrong.

The Politics Book (© Dorling Kindersley)

I have been reading way too much of late, and I started to come to a weird and disconcerting conclusion. Many of the ‘truths’ that I read every day may not actually be the end of the story.

Truths like: Democracy is the best of all bad systems of government; Capitalism allows people to be most free, which then is also assumed to be a good thing; People should be free to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t immediately harm anyone who is alive right now, by some definition of alive; Anything which cannot be put into a test tube, Erlenmeyer flask, or reproduced in the lab doesn’t exist.

We are told as soon as we start school that these are obvious facts, that anyone who thinks the opposite is deluded or confused. However, we aren’t ever given anything but explanations that require other more hard to believe axioms to get there. If we question people about these beliefs too much, we get more heat than light as their anger rises at the sheer thought of questioning these fundamental “common sense” truths.

But why not? Haven’t we got to where we were because we were willing to question the prevailing common sense of the time. Heck, one of the most prevailing “truths” that is drilled into our heads is to question authority – sometimes to our own detriment.

I’ve grown up in a society saturated with the idea of relativist morality, political correctness and social hedonism. Democracy, unregulated capitalism and scientific realism all are the foundational philosophical structures behind these ideologies. Unfortunately, unlike previous generations which accomplished great successes by working together. Instead, the consumerism we are surrounded with places our societies in an individualistic hell. Hell ceases to be other people, and becomes not being able to ever work with other people effectively.

What other options are there? Well, if you read you’ll learn that a good number of the historical ones used weren’t the terrifying disasters you’ve been led to believe. In fact, many of the myths that prop up our society start to fall down really quickly. Instead, you find out that we are flailing in the air as much as anyone else. Which is an incredibly freeing, if frightening revelation.

This is not the end of history, not by far. If anything it is another coda to the continuing saga of man. It is our choice whether to give up the future by succumbing to hedonistic individualism, or to build great things once more by shattering the myths that hold us back.

18 thoughts on “The more you read, the more you see most obvious truths could be very wrong.

  1. Simple Hiker says:

    Hi!
    I see you’re interested in the truth or so-called “obvious truths”. I’ve followed you elsewhere on the internet and know you are a man who claims to have faith in God. Have you tried questioning the “obvious truth” of your religion? You cannot claim to be honest with yourself until you do so.

    Coincidentally, I found another blog post today that is partly a”call to intellectual honesty regarding what we humans consider to be both truth and fact.” Are you willing to be intellectually honest with yourself and question your faith? Start here: http://www.paleolibrarian.info/2014/03/guest-post-fire-is-hot.html

    I would also suggest Michael Sherlock’s books I Am Christ: The Crucifixion – Painful Truths and I Am Christ: The Resurrection to examine the roots of the Christian faith and how it came to be.

  2. Simple Hiker says:

    Why do you claim that statement is a falsehood? Maybe it is the truth? You are not being honest with yourself because you’ve never investigated the origins of your faith. Do some reading of a book other than the bible to find the origin of your religion.

    • Because it is a myth. Centuries of scholars, beyond just biblical scholars, acknowledge that Jesus was a real person who existed. The similarities to previous myths are really just that, even Snopes points that out.

      I’ve read a ton of stuff beyond the bible, especially since as a Catholic we believe in apostolic revelation, well beyond the simplistic sola scriptura of other sects.

      Perhaps you should read something beyond the conspiracy theory sites you frequent.

      • “simplistic”?

        You were doing really well until that point.

        “Father, sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth.”

        “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

        “Shall we obey men or God?”

        There are many more.

      • The apostolic tradition, as well as the deep philosophical foundations of the Church are far more important than any simplistic interpretations of the bible. Unfortunately, this has been missed by many people who don’t understand those enough to debate against conclusions they reach.

        Random quoting is a great way to sound like you have thought through things, when in reality, you just dug for quotes that are easily misunderstood to fight your argument.

  3. Simple Hiker says:

    Let me ask you this then: How do you reconcile the contradictions in the bible? Some key examples include the two different conflicting creation stories in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. Two different flood stories. Where was Jesus born? House or manger? Where did his parents live before he was born? Bethelehem or Nazareth? When was Jesus born? Near the end of Herod’s reign (~4BC) or during the census of Quirinius (7AD). Can’t possibly be both. I don’t want to hear the Catholic position regarding these contradictions – I want to hear your position on how you reconcile these conflicts in your mind.

    • I don’t and neither does any good Catholic. The items from the old testament are perfectly reconciled as theological discussions and metaphorical within Catholic theology.

      We are not sola scriptura, I think you have confused me with southern baptist.

      • Facts are facts.

        If the history — even in the Old Testament — isn’t true, then you can’t trust Christ, Who said that it is.

        You’re not only “not Sola Scriptura” — by the way, neither are Southern Baptists, even though they think they are — you’re not any Scriptura.

        You need to rethink that.

      • Yes, you can trust Christ, because Christ rose from the fricken dead, and that was something that was referenced by many sources that were non-scripture. At the end of the day, that is the primary thing that differentiates our religion from any other. You can get most of the basic elements of Catholicism from basic rationality and philosophy, just reference Thomism and you will be good to go. However, we are differentiated by the fact that our messiah actually died and rose from the dead.

        The history can be true without the scripture itself being a one-to-one reflection of it. The scripture is just a reflection of it.

    • With regard to your so-called “contradictions”:

      1) The Creation accounts (not “stories”) do not conflict; they focus on the event from two different perspectives.

      Both accounts were written by the same author, Moses, who was educated in all the wisdom of the ancient world. Don’t you think that he would have noticed that he was “contradicting” himself? And the people of ancient Israel, to whom this subject matter was Life-and-Death and who preserved Moses’ writings as the very words of God — don’t you think someone (everyone!) would have noticed? “Hey, wait a minute, Moses ….”

      2) “Two different flood stories”? Genesis is still written by Moses.

      3) The fact that you have to ask where was Jesus born and where His parents lived indicates that you’re either intellectually-lazy or cravenly-dishonest, since the answer is available to anyone who can read.

      Christ was born in Bethlehem, in a manger. When the Magi (number unstated) find Him, it’s close to two years later, which we know from the historical record: Herod ordered the slaughter of all male babies two-years-old and younger based on the time of Christ’s birth he learned from the wise men:

      “Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men” (Matthew 2:16).)

      4) As for Bethlehem or Nazareth? No one’s ever moved from one city to another, have they?

      “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David […]” (Luke 2:4).

      “And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth […]” (Luke 2:39).

      5) Archaeology has uncovered another official named Quirinius, because, you know, no one’s ever been named the same as someone else.

      Your objections are simplistic, dishonest, and stale. You’re neither reading nor thinking for yourself, or you’re hoping only to undermine the faith of others.

      Perhaps, Hiker, it’s time for you to reexamine your religion. And your motives.

      • After further study, an amendment to 5):

        Luke calls Pontius Pilate “governor of Judea” in Luke 3, even though Pilate was “procurator”; Luke used the word to mean “one who governs” and not necessarily as a title. Luke also notes that the Luke 2 census was the “first” while Quirinius was governor; he notes a later census under Quirinius in Acts 5. Finally, Vardaman notes microletters on the Lapis Venetus also placing Quirinius as proconsul of Syria and Cilicia c. 12/11 B.C.

  4. The bible is a theological book that reveals through revelation. This is not a new concept and is something that was dealt with philosophically centuries ago.

    It’s kinda sad that somewhere in the last 50 years so many people have forgotten this.

  5. Simple Hiker says:

    I have to ask you to watch this video.

    Why do you reject Islam? Hinduism? Buddhism? Mormonism? Why do you reject Pentecostal beliefs? Baptist beliefs? Why is Catholicism the One True Faith™?

    • Simple, Jesus is the one guy who actually rose from the dead and there was an overwhelming number of individuals who saw it occur and testified to it.

      As St. Peter put it:
      ” there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.”
      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+15%3A12-15&version=NRSV

      It is really that simple. You are absolutely correct, without that one piece then there is no difference between our faith and any other reasoned and rational person from any other faith beyond political bs.

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