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February 13, 2011

Truisms aren't Truth and Truth is constant

Time Saving Truth from Falsehood
 and Envy
François Lemoyne, 1737
 
The fashionable trend of hating religion (specifically, Christianity) is almost as annoying as the Hollywood elite hating America. Atheists: Either get some new material or outsource your issue with religion to someone who can. Case in point, the atheist who used the truism "God helps those who helps themselves" to convince me religion is false since there are the poor, the unfortunate and the downtrodden in the world. God didn't help these people.

First of all, truisms aren't always true either by their nature or by the misinterpretation they are based on, like the atheist above. I especially like the definition:
truism is a claim that is so obvious or self-evident as to be hardly worth mentioning, except as a reminder or as a rhetorical or literary device.
- Money can't buy happiness.
- Getting there is half the fun.
- It is what it is. (this one is really a tautology, but still.)

All moronic and provably untrue, just like the atheists truism about his misinterpretation of the benevolent nature of God who helps those who can't help themselves.

The United States has many laws - Federal, State and Local - consisting of rules, guidelines and regulations that help shape society. The US military uses 57 punitive articles in the UCMJ to keep military members in line (try as they might). Rules of business include the familiar truisms of customer service, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. There are also core values and standards for a more personal approach to what is right or wrong. Jesus gave us the Golden Rule, translated into common English, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This has also been referred to as ethic reciprocity and almost every major religion has a similar "rule". Murder is a good example of how most societies hold to the common value of human life.

But none of these statements are at the same level of consistency as Truth. What was true 1000 years ago is still true today and will still be true 1000 years from now- despite the (de)evolution of popular opinion, social  values or how many times E! tries to convince us the Kardashians are cool. My belief in God and my values are often at odds with mainstream culture- and I am more than ok with that. There is value in having "good" values. Mainstream culture teaches that if you can't get something in life then it is acceptable to justify our bad actions and to excuse our bad behavior as "no big deal' or, even worse, blame someone else.

Our founding fathers touched on the absoluteness of truths in our beautifully crafted Declaration to England:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Ironically, most of the men who wrote this document kept slaves. It was wrong then, it is wrong now and it will be wrong. Contextually, the Truth of the Bible has, is and will always be there- just because it is not revealed to you doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

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