Tonight Raven had us do a quiz to discover our conflict resolution types. This involved rating value based statements as to how well it matches our typical responses during conflict situations and how we react or behave (not necessarily what we think is the correct response).
Most statements were easy for me to rate as soon as I heard them. Others, like the following statement, made me think. This one for a long time.
Being an educated, politically motivated individual who studied religious traditions, this statement first demanded I consider the question "What is truth?"
We all know "facts" change as new knowledge is discovered and we have all seen the power in grassroots movements and spiritual belief. It's hard to dismiss the importance of these phenomena in what we would liberally consider the pursuit of truth. Further, if a "truth" is believed by all but there are no facts or empirical evidence available to back it up, does that make it not true? Or is the majority belief in itself enough to make it a "truth" for everyone?
Of course this simplified argument doesn't allow for an understanding or definition of a variety of truths - we all deal daily with subjective, relative, objective, or absolute truths and might even hold different criteria for deciding which is which.
This statement gave me pause because, while I hold knowledge in the highest esteem I also value greatly the will of the people. I think, for the most part, that if the majority of people believe in something then that is enough to make it true in some sense. However, I do hold minority positions in issues I care fervently about - like equal rights for gay people and families - where I believe strongly the religious majority is just plain (and factually) wrong. I can't have it both ways, can I?
It might just be that there is actually no right or wrong way to find or place value in this statement. This might even be a discussion that doesn't have a natural conclusion. What do you think?