This thought has been firing the synapses in my head the last few days:
So much religious faith begins (and ends) with: “We have the truth.” Thereafter, the “life of faith” is not a search for truth but a search for buttressing one’s beliefs. Can this be called an honest search for truth?
I can’t help thinking of Jesus’ teaching: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” A wise statement, though here’s the dilemma:
If truth makes you free then you have the freedom to seek truth wherever it may be found, which may include changing what you thought was true.
Compare the activity of Science: begin with a theory (“I think this is true”) then seek for evidence the theory is based on fact, that it is, in fact, true. The scientific (and honest philosophical) endeavor is to keep looking, investigating, asking the hard questions, open to new discoveries, new truths.
A scientist does not say: “I proved the truth of my theory; the search is over. I’m done!” No. The task of testing the truth is perpetual, an endless process of learning.
The question bouncing in my brain is: Can any belief (religious or not) be true, if there is no honest search for truth?