Do All Roads Lead to Heaven? Part 3 Beliefs are Objective

Here is a short quiz to see if you understand the issue of objective and subjective truth claims.  Cover up the answers on the right if you want to take the quiz.  Identify whether the claim is objective or subjective[1].

(1) The car is red.                                                                             objective

(2) Green is the best color.                                                             subjective

(3) McDonald’s has the tastiest hamburgers.                             subjective

(4) I can bench press 500 lbs.                                                        objective

(5) God exists.                                                                                    objective

(6) Jesus is the only way to God.                                                    objective

(7) Sex before marriage is immoral.                                               objective

Explanations of 4-7:

(4) I can bench press 500 lbs.: Objective – This claim is either true of false.  It is definitely false!  However, it is still an objective truth claim.

(5) God exists: Objective – It is something we discover about the world.  The focus is on the object and not our preference.  This could be true even if no one believes it.  It could be false even if billions of people believe God exists.

(6) Jesus is the only way to God: Objective – The claim is either true or false.  A relativist (or subjectivist) would want to change the statement.  They would say this is not a matter of right or wrong, it is a matter of personal preference.  For them religion is like choosing ice cream, you like vanilla, I like chocolate.  You like Christianity, I like Hinduism. Who are you to say your religion is superior?  The person might change the statement to make the claim subjective; “Jesus is your way to God.”  However, in its original form it is an objective truth claim.

(7) Sex before marriage is immoral: Objective –Again a moral relativist would want me change it and say it is immoral for me.  However, it is currently written as an objective statement for everyone.  This moral rule is either true or false.  It would be true if the God of Christianity exists.  His Word, the Bible, calls sex outside of marriage a sin.  If God doesn’t exist then this statement would be false.  Without a transcendent moral law giver we are free to create our own moral rules.  Whether or not you have sex before marriage would be a personal preference.

Many people see all religious beliefs as subjective truths; like selecting ice cream.  One person likes one religion and you like another. Who are you to say another person’s religion is wrong?  It is similar to telling someone their choice of ice cream is wrong.  That sounds weird.  When it comes to religious faith, it seems for many people to call someone’s belief system wrong, is to be intolerant and close-minded.

The problem lies in the fact that all beliefs are objective in nature; they are a view of reality.  How do I know religious truth claim are objective?  Here is an example:  God exists.  Either that claim is true or false.  There are no other options.  Here is another example: God is personal.  As before this claim is either right or wrong.  It doesn’t matter how I feel about the statement.  It has nothing to do with our subjective desires.  Religious truth claims are either true or false.  Either Jesus is God or he isn’t.  Thus we can test them and see where the evidence leads.

Go to part 4 here

[1] The idea for the quiz and some questions were taken from a teaching by Brett Kunkle of Stand to Reason.

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