I’m sure you can tell I’m back by the title above. I’ll be here sporadically until next Tuesday, as I have to do the day job as well as visiting friends. In the meantime, here’s a contest. The winner gets the same prize as in the last contest: a copy of WEIT, autographed as you choose. Warning: there may be no winner in this contest.
Here goes. In reading the accommodationist literature of the National Academy of Sciences, the NCSE, the NAS, and theologians like John Haught, John Polkinghorne, etc., I constantly hear that “faith and science are two different ways of understanding the world; each gives us access to different truths.”
Using the Oxford English Dictionary definition of truth given below, please name one truth about the world and/or universe that has been arrived at by faith alone, could not be arrived at by secular reason or science, and that is true in that it is in principle verifiable by all people.
OED: Truth: Conformity with fact; agreement with reality
NB: I don’t mean “truth” as “Joe believes in Yahweh”. That is of course a truth about a person’s belief, but not about the world or universe; and it isn’t arrived at by faith alone, but by observation. The same holds for statements like “God is good.”
ADDENDUM May 21: Moral prescriptions are not truths, although they can become truths if they are obeyed. Thus Lord Kitchener came close when he gave the Koranic statement below, which HAS SINCE BECOME a PARTIAL truth (it’s not true that you always get killed if you blaspheme Islam; depends on how and where) because the Qur’anic injunction was obeyed. Thus, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, “is not something that was, when it was uttered, in agreement with reality (nor is it now!) When a mom tells her son “Eat your vegetables,” that is not a truth as defined above. It is a COMMAND.
Here are some examples of such truths:
“There are those of you standing here who will not taste death before the Son of Man comes into his kingdom.” (Something that Jesus said: he would return before some people who heard him died.) Sadly, that one was false.
Any reliable prediction about the future gained through faith: predictions of second comings that gives dates (as above), world affairs, stock market gyrations, world wars with times and details, etc.
Recounting of past lives in an ACCURATE way giving verifiable details that could not have been known to the person who uttered them.
The stuff below about washing your hands before eating lest ye be afflicted with small deadly animals.