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Christopher Hall

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What are the educational implications of holding on to objective truth in a culture that values relativistic truth?

Besides conflict, of course! This question is deliberately broad, not focused on teachers, students, curriculum, or institutions specifically, so that the soil of it may be tilled as completely as possible through discussion.

Let's start here: if one holds that objective truth exists, then the interactions with culture, peers, professors, course content, and even the disciplines themselves must be flavored and shaped by that assertion. In a postmodern, relativist culture, this questions is somewhat pressing: there are movements in education that favor both types of truth, and that can make plugging into education, for a student, disciple, or apprentice of an opposing view, feel something like a 120V appliance being plugged into a 220V outlet. Without a transformer, step-down or step-up, these learners seemingly would not be able to approach, apprehend, or socialize around the learning because the premises behind its whole gestalt are out of phase. Or could they? What are the transformers necessary to do so? And the greater question: what are the implications for our culture? Can folks who have these two views, and therefore different educations, inherently, create a functional society together?

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  • Jul 12 2013: Excellent concern, because it is a process that shapes student and popular thought as to how to "determine" weather the truth is relative or objective.

    Most people view the world in terms of a supernatural creator. That evolutionary cultural reality means in terms of our natural history most of us have been subject to and taught authoritative dogma as to how things came to be. It is the tradition of followers. Faith can be and often is comforting, especially in our earlier ancestral history, when life could be brutal and short.

    Obviously, there are different faith views of how things came to be -- so enter the world of relativistic truth. To accommodate all these diverse and elaborate authoritative religious differences we have protected this liberty by deciding each has merit and needs to be respected and promoted via tax payer funding. Of course, the craziest notion of all contends that religion is all nonsense because physical reality computes so nicely even without a creator.

    Human life has been transformed by technology, education and design nearly over night during the recent Modern Era of our history. Religious authoritative script was discarded in favor of objective truths that defines the empirical nature of the physical world sought by these independant adventurous explorers of knowledge and objective truths.

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