Monday, September 26, 2016

Norman Geisler: There Is Some Truth In False Views

Introduction

In the process of defending views (whether they are worldview, political, or others) we will always come across people who hold to other views. Usually people hold to a particular view because they believe the view accurately reflects reality. However, since no two contradicting views can both be correct, one or both must be incorrect. But why would someone believe a false view? Norman Geisler provides insight into this in his book "Christian Ethics: Options and Issues":
"Few positions are totally without any merit. There is usually enough truth in any false view to make it hold water."

"Few positions are totally without any merit. There is usually enough truth in any false view to make it hold water."- "Christian Ethics: Options and Issues" by Norman Geisler

Distinguishing the True and False Parts

It is often difficult to persuade someone of the truth of your view if they believe that their view is accurate. The fact that their view may be able to explain certain parts of reality is what is the foundation for their holding their view. If their view did not have portions of it that were correct, they would not believe it. It is important to recognize these true parts as areas of agreement between the two different views. This will usually establish some trust between the two parties and allow for intellectual (rather than emotive and rhetorical) discussion about the false areas of their opposing view. We can then challenge the false views and show how our view not only explains the true views we've already agreed upon but better explains the areas of reality that the other view cannot.

Could WE Have The False View?

It is important that we also recognize the fact that none of us is omniscient. It is very possible that we would be the one with the incorrect view and are holding to that view because it explains enough (has enough truth) to appear accurate. The difficulty in persuading someone thatbelieve our view is correct could be founded in the fact that our view is actually false. We need to be willing to not only challenge other views but allow our views to be challenged. If our views are the false views, we must change them.

Conclusion

All views that people hold to explain reality contain some portion of truth that allows them a logical reason to believe the view. However, if the true parts are the only part they focus on, they can be blinded to the falsehood of their overall view. It is important that we recognize the true parts of their view to establish unity, but we do that in order to show them where they have gone wrong. If we expect others to recognize that their views may be false and need changing, we must be willing to examine our own views and change them when the evidence and logic is against our view.

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