Natural selection doesn’t mean truth-selection…

“Biologists discover the evolutionary roots of religion!”

“Biologists discover the evolutionary roots of food!”

In the second case, we uncontroversially see that food meets a need integral to vital human nature. In the first case, we see a similar instance of integral satisfaction. If God is an illusion generated by natural selection, then so is caloric consumption. In the order of analogy, God meets a need integral to human nature, just as everyday food does. Just as the need for food is integral to grasping the evolution of humans up to this point as metabolizers, so the need for God is integral to grasping the emergence of human beings as worshipers.

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Only brains that responded to the objective fact that 2 objects combined with 2 objects make 4 objects were selected for by prior selection pressures and reproductive opportunities. It takes special effort to overcome that mathematical illusion with the advanced powers of abstraction. We all ‘know’ that 2 things placed adjacent to 2 other things still only make for a pair of two arbitrarily juxtaposed objects.

Only brains that responded to the objective fact that God exists were selected for by prior selection pressures and reproductive opportunity. It takes special effort to overcome that illusion with the advanced powers of abstraction. We all ‘know’ that theology is just a hyped-up version of the natural cognitive assumption that agents lie behind motion and order.

If natural selection doesn’t consistently and profoundly yield truth-bearing cognitive apparati, why look to it for a consistent and fundamental explanation of truth as we perceive it?

No such animal…

If there is no such thing as a straight line, there is no such thing as a crooked line.

Likewise, if there is no such thing as truth, there is no such thing as lying.

If no one is ever absolutely right, no one is ever absolutely wrong, and therefore no one is ever absolutely guilty of deceit.

If all truth claims can be “reappraised” from countless “possible” angles that undermine their status as “truly true,” then likewise any lie can be “reinterpreted” so as to be “true in some sense,” and therefore not truly deceitful.

Quid est veritas? Veritas veritas est?

Is Truth True?

Elliot Bougis

When I proposed (in appallingly feeble Latin) a motto, which was revised by my Latinate superiors thus: Potest veritas se defendere (Truth can defend itself), someone brought up Pilate’s question to Christ, “Quid est veritas? What is truth?” and asked me for some help in responding to arguments against truth in favor of relativism. This post is my effort to help that reader, and perhaps others.

Relativism is the idea, immensely popular in our age, that truth is different things to different people and cultures in different places and times. By now relativism is not so much a specific argument, as a general climate of thought in most of the world. It denies that there is something like absolute, universal Truth “out there”. Even if there were such an absolute reality, relativists add, we are not equipped to know it. We can never reach a “God’s eye view” of reality, which is what they take Truth to be. According to relativists, we are all confined to our own narrow perspectives and limited by our own cultural biases. There is not truth: there are many truths, all relative to the inquirer. …

Because this article is being considered for publication in a magazine, I can’t have it “published” online or in any other periodical, so, if you’d like to read it, email me at fidescogitactio AT gmail DOT com.