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What Is Truth? Part 3

Joseph Nkwatle

‘“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

When we looked at faith and reason, it is clear that Christianity is not opposed to rationality; the unregenerate mind human mind alone is likely to miss the way because reason without faith lacks certitude. E.J Carnell writes: since the mind of God perfectly knows reality, truth is a property of that judgment which coincides with the mind of God. If man fails to say about reality what God say about it, he has made an error: for God, the source and power of all proper meaning and fact, cannot err in His judgment.

For Carnell, as with A.W Tozer, truth is that which corresponds with the mind of God. But the question now remains: How do you know when your judgment does correspond with the mind of God. Let us look at several criteria by which we may judge the truthfulness of a statement, such as the one made by Jesus Christ during his trial before Pilate.

Custom: custom is any habit or practice which has become traditional in a group of people. It is useful in influencing people to believe because commonly accepted beliefs and practices carry a special kind of authority in most human communities, especially for the very young. However, as a test for truth, custom is not helpful, since customs may be good or bad, true to the mind of God or out of harmony with the mind of God.

Instinct: It is one’s natural response that does not involve reason. While instinct may be a pointer toward truth, it is not adequate as a test for truth because it is not possible to determine clearly what is purely instinctive and what the product of one’s environment is.

Feeling: This is an inward impression or intuition one may have which amounts at times to a genuine conviction: an awareness based on nothing more than a subjective mood. As a test for truth, intuition and subjective feeling may mislead someone. Feelings and intuition themselves must be subjective to some other standard of truth.

Sense perception: This is also called empiricism. Tasting, feeling, smelling, seeing, and hearing make us to be aware of our surroundings. These sensory capacities help us relate to our environment and they are indeed valid source of truth. However, our sense perception may on occasion deceive us. Useful as it may be, sense perception is limited kind knowledge.

Pragmatism:  This test for truth is based on meaningfulness of an idea. As I indicated in part 1 of this series, that 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. This theory holds that the test of truth is to be found in its practical consequence, if the consequence is satisfactory, then the idea is found to be true. This test has some merit because one would hardly expect that which is ultimately true to have poor consequence. However, in our everyday experience we do not have the insight and understanding to know if the ultimate consequence of a given course of action will prove to be good or bad. Our limited vision of consequence diminishes the worth of this theory as a test for truth.

Consistency: Every true idea must be self-consistent. Truth cannot be self contradictory. Consistency means that propositions have connections so that one proposition follows necessarily from another. It is a systematic explanation of all facts of experience. There is however a limitation to consistency as a test for truth. Some untrue notions may not be self-contradictory. Consistency is limited; it is a pointer in the direction of truth.

Coherence: Coherence goes beyond consistency. It combines self-consistency with a broad view of all experience. It is sometimes referred to as systematic consistency, meaning it is non-contradictory and which fits the facts of experience. Important to this test of truth is its correspondence with the law of non-contradiction.

I close with what Francis Schaeffer said in his books ‘The God Who is There’ and ‘Escape From reason’ stating; “…The Bible does not set out unrelated thoughts. The system it sets forth has a beginning and moves from that beginning in a no-contradictory way.” I believe coherence as a test for truth is the best approach one can use to judge the assertion of Jesus the Christ as the truth. Many people are skeptical about Christ’s claim to be the truth. People are angered at the fact that someone would say they are the right ones and that everyone else is wrong. But yet, this is what Bible tells us, which are words straight from Jesus’ mouth Himself.


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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

… 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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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    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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