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Questions, Questions

truthIn his encyclical last week PopeFrancis/Benedict XVI poses two questions that surely must be at the core of our understanding of the meaning of all human life: What is Truth? What is Faith? Or are they the same thing?

What is Truth?  - what we are told by the scientist?

What is Faith? - knowledge? superstition?


I'll start with the easiest one. Faith is something you believe because you are told by an authority figure or by someone you otherwise hold in high regard that that's what you should believe. You accept it because you believe it's the right thing to do. Faith needs no evidence, and in fact once you start producing hard evidence, it moves out of the realm of relying on faith.

As to what is "truth", apart from things that we say are true because they are defined that way, eg 2+2=4, it's a very slippery concept. I tend to be of the opinion that there is no such thing as absolute truth, only things that appear to be true under certain conditions.

Regarding "our understanding of the meaning of all human life", that is not the right question to be asking. Human life has no meaning, no more than a tree has meaning or a mountain. It just is.
Many have "faith" in something that they themselves decided, not because 'an authority' told them.