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What Is Truth? Part 1

Joseph Nkwatle
CHRISTIAN VIEW

‘“You are a king, then! said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of the truth listens to me.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked.”’ John 18:37-38


Just from the beginning of Church Age, Christians have from time to time been called upon to give an explanation for their belief in what the Bible says about God and His Son, Jesus the Christ. In our present times, there are detractors, mockers, and doubters everywhere who ridicule Christian faith and try so hard to dissuade believers from the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


The age in which me and you live in, is one of doubt and relativism is dominant. For a larger population there is no such thing as absolute truth. Many ask, “How can I be sure of anything?” This kind of approach culminates in purpose and meaning of their lives being seriously affected. But we can be sure! We can know the truth about God, and this knowledge will give direction to our lives. Why is that? Because God broke into human history through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus the Christ.


In the above quote, perhaps it was in mockery, or maybe in pure sincerity, that Pilate at the trial of Jesus inquired, “What is the truth?” What seemed to have prompted Pilate’s question was a statement Jesus made in verse thirty seven.

In His earlier conversation with the Jews who had believed in Him, Jesus told them, “If you embrace and hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Jesus thereafter in chapter fourteen of the same book of John made a remarkable follow up statement of proclamation to His disciples, saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

Now when you consider the implication of this proclamation, one is but inclined to draw this conclusion; that, in essence Jesus is saying, to be related to Him is to be related to Truth itself! The burning question therefore is, how can we be sure that, this is a true statement? Everything now hangs on the truth or falsehood of this assertion of Jesus the Christ.


Just as unbelief cannot change the truth, wishful thinking will not make a statement true either. The proclamation Jesus made asserts that, He alone is Truth and it demands a response. Otherwise, He was not what He claimed to be and is not worthy of honor because He was either being dishonest or He was deluded. I for one and I believe it is with you, it is desperately imperative to know for sure that this assertion can be tested to be true or has been tested to be true.


PHILOSOPHY AND CHRISTIAN FAITH
To put philosophy and faith in one sentence may lead to some of my Christian brothers and sister raising their eye brows; because there are those who propound the idea that philosophy in Christian circles must be avoided as it is the work of the unregenerate man and a product of demons or Satan himself. But I take the side that belief that philosophy anticipates or parallels Christian theology and therefore validates or confirms it. One’s philosophy is his world-and-life view. In this regard one can propound a Christian philosophy. Through philosophy we can know the questions that trouble people.

Just as philosophy attempts to search for answers to great questions, Christian revelation deals with many of the same issues. Much of Scripture follows the same kinds of logical formulation as one would expect in the realm of philosophy. So, contact with philosophy enables us to understand the kinds of questions that need to be answered from the Scriptures. Too often our teaching answers questions which are not being asked, and fail to hear the questions which are begging for answers. It is against this background that I embrace philosophy. There are tools of philosophy which are useful for Christians; philosophy has concern for truth.


Jesus’ claim that He the truth is one of the many claims He laid upon Himself that has caused many to take arms against Him and His followers, but before dealing with the criteria for testing truth; here are five brief descriptions of theories of truth as discussed by Bernard Ramm that have been employed historically by philosophers.


BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THEORIES OF TRUTH
 

Logic: its main concern is to investigate the nature of correct thinking and valid reasoning; using reason in an orderly, convincing way to make proof. It applies certain tests of truth such as reasonableness, correspondence and consistency to distinguish truth from error.


Correspondence: it concerns itself much with agreements of facts in that a proposition is accepted as true if it agrees with facts that cannot be disputed.


Meaningfulness: it holds that the full meaning of an idea or proposition can be found in the results that follow its application – if an idea works, it must be accepted as true. This is a criterion that places much value on the practicality of any proposition.


Consistency: this deals with connectivity between proposition or ideas. In other words a proposition is believed to be true because it agrees with other propositions that have been accepted as true.


Subjectivity: this criterion puts focus on one’s personal experience suggesting that truth can be tested on the basis of one’s feelings, intuition, instincts, or revelation. And revelation being defined as truth whose source is God. Many religions rely heavily upon this criterion of truth.


Clearly, a Christian must commit himself to some theory of proof. I strongly believe the likeness of man with God was not and is not necessarily physical; rather it is spiritual and moral. This likeness with God constitutes of rationality (reason), a mind that gives humans the ability to comprehend things in a genuine way. The human mind although limited, it possesses the capability to make a distinction between truth and fabrication. So, we have the capability to know whether the assertion made by Jesus about Himself hold water or not, and possibly advise Pilate in his quest to know “What is truth!”
Shalom!

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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