How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

Discussions about the Bible, and any issues raised by Scripture.
phonenumberonanapkin
Newbie Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:07 pm
Christian: No
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#1

Post by phonenumberonanapkin » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:48 pm

Suppose you meet a stranger in a coffee shop, and they tell you that their cat, a real living biological feline animal, meows the Star-Spangled Banner, in perfect pitch, all by herself with no external assistance or guidance of any form, and only when nobody else is around except the person telling you this story. This person then solemnly affirms they are telling the literal truth about their pet cat.

What would be your immediate reaction to this allegedly serious and allegedly literal truth-claim and why was it your immediate reaction?

User avatar
RickD
Make me a Sammich Member
Posts: 21925
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 207 times
Been liked: 1138 times

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#2

Post by RickD » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:11 am

I guess I would "believe" the person, just to see where he is going with the story.
Maybe there is something else this person is trying to tell me. While I know in my mind that what he says is not possible, if I play along, he may tell me what he's actually trying to say.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


The Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe.



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

User avatar
Byblos
Old School
Posts: 6024
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:21 pm
Christian: Yes
Location: NY
Has liked: 100 times
Been liked: 143 times

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#3

Post by Byblos » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:21 am

phonenumberonanapkin wrote:Suppose you meet a stranger in a coffee shop, and they tell you that their cat, a real living biological feline animal, meows the Star-Spangled Banner, in perfect pitch, all by herself with no external assistance or guidance of any form, and only when nobody else is around except the person telling you this story. This person then solemnly affirms they are telling the literal truth about their pet cat.

What would be your immediate reaction to this allegedly serious and allegedly literal truth-claim and why was it your immediate reaction?
One word: Youtube.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

User avatar
B. W.
Ultimate Member
Posts: 8355
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:17 am
Christian: Yes
Location: Colorado
Has liked: 102 times
Been liked: 260 times

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#4

Post by B. W. » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:23 am

phonenumberonanapkin wrote:Suppose you meet a stranger in a coffee shop, and they tell you that their cat, a real living biological feline animal, meows the Star-Spangled Banner, in perfect pitch, all by herself with no external assistance or guidance of any form, and only when nobody else is around except the person telling you this story. This person then solemnly affirms they are telling the literal truth about their pet cat.

What would be your immediate reaction to this allegedly serious and allegedly literal truth-claim and why was it your immediate reaction?
I once owned a black Persian Cat who actually knew and could say one word from that old Cat food commercial for Meow Mix!

Would that count?

More seriously, how can we tell if anyone speaks the truth?

Do trees really make noise when they fall alone deep within a forest when there is no human around to hear the tree fall?
-
-
-
Science is man's invention - creation is God's
(by B. W. Melvin)

Old Polish Proverb:
Not my Circus....not my monkeys

User avatar
jlay
Ultimate Member
Posts: 3613
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:47 pm
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Young-Earth Creationist
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 9 times

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#5

Post by jlay » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:04 am

Obviously anyone with a brain would be not just highly suspicious of the claim, but of the person.

However Phone#, you obviously have some reason for this inquiry. And my honest assesment of your 'question,' (if one could call it that) is just as suspicious as I would be about a singing cat. It seems like a loaded question from an atheist. Perhaps trying to give some absurd scenario to show Christians how silly they are for believing what they believe. So, maybe for your first post on this forum, you could perhaps share with us your motives for asking such a question.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

phonenumberonanapkin
Newbie Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:07 pm
Christian: No
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#6

Post by phonenumberonanapkin » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:31 pm

RickD wrote:I guess I would "believe" the person, just to see where he is going with the story.
Maybe there is something else this person is trying to tell me. While I know in my mind that what he says is not possible, if I play along, he may tell me what he's actually trying to say.
What was it about this truth-claim that made you speculate that perhaps this person is trying to tell you something else? If they had only said they walked to the store yesterday to purchase a loaf of bread, would you have speculated that perhaps there was something else they were trying to say?

phonenumberonanapkin
Newbie Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:07 pm
Christian: No
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#7

Post by phonenumberonanapkin » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:33 pm

Byblos wrote:
phonenumberonanapkin wrote:Suppose you meet a stranger in a coffee shop, and they tell you that their cat, a real living biological feline animal, meows the Star-Spangled Banner, in perfect pitch, all by herself with no external assistance or guidance of any form, and only when nobody else is around except the person telling you this story. This person then solemnly affirms they are telling the literal truth about their pet cat.

What would be your immediate reaction to this allegedly serious and allegedly literal truth-claim and why was it your immediate reaction?
One word: Youtube.
Suppose they don't want to supply hardcore proof, they simply want you to believe their testimony. Would you?

phonenumberonanapkin
Newbie Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:07 pm
Christian: No
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#8

Post by phonenumberonanapkin » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:38 pm

B. W. wrote:
phonenumberonanapkin wrote:Suppose you meet a stranger in a coffee shop, and they tell you that their cat, a real living biological feline animal, meows the Star-Spangled Banner, in perfect pitch, all by herself with no external assistance or guidance of any form, and only when nobody else is around except the person telling you this story. This person then solemnly affirms they are telling the literal truth about their pet cat.

What would be your immediate reaction to this allegedly serious and allegedly literal truth-claim and why was it your immediate reaction?
I once owned a black Persian Cat who actually knew and could say one word from that old Cat food commercial for Meow Mix!

Would that count?

More seriously, how can we tell if anyone speaks the truth?

Do trees really make noise when they fall alone deep within a forest when there is no human around to hear the tree fall?
-
-
-
I beg to differ, the purpose of this thread is just a bit more useful than debating your question.

phonenumberonanapkin
Newbie Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:07 pm
Christian: No
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#9

Post by phonenumberonanapkin » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:40 pm

jlay wrote:Obviously anyone with a brain would be not just highly suspicious of the claim, but of the person.

However Phone#, you obviously have some reason for this inquiry. And my honest assesment of your 'question,' (if one could call it that) is just as suspicious as I would be about a singing cat. It seems like a loaded question from an atheist. Perhaps trying to give some absurd scenario to show Christians how silly they are for believing what they believe. So, maybe for your first post on this forum, you could perhaps share with us your motives for asking such a question.
Why would you be suspicious about a claim of a singing cat?

phonenumberonanapkin
Newbie Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:07 pm
Christian: No
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#10

Post by phonenumberonanapkin » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:42 pm

RickD wrote:I guess I would "believe" the person, just to see where he is going with the story.
Maybe there is something else this person is trying to tell me. While I know in my mind that what he says is not possible, if I play along, he may tell me what he's actually trying to say.
Why do you hold the position that a singing cat is not possible? Wouldn't you have to have omniscient knowledge of all cats in existence in order to confidently claim that none of them are capable of meowing the star-spangled banner?

User avatar
Canuckster1127
Old School
Posts: 5306
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:31 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Tulsa, OK
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 2 times

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#11

Post by Canuckster1127 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:48 pm

Suppose 12 people made the same claim and over the course of time held to that position and of them, 11 when faced with the challenge of recanting their testimony chose instead to accept death rather than deny it. Would that impact your view of it?

Please take a moment to examine the Board's purpose and discussion guidelines. You were asked a reasonable question earlier as to your position and motives for starting a discussion and avoided the question. We're happy to have discussions with skeptics or persons of other postions. Our positions and motives are clear. It's not unreasonable to ask for the same courtesy from you.

Thanks!

bart
Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender

//bartsbarometer.com/

User avatar
RickD
Make me a Sammich Member
Posts: 21925
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 207 times
Been liked: 1138 times

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#12

Post by RickD » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:02 pm

phonenumberonanapkin wrote:
RickD wrote:I guess I would "believe" the person, just to see where he is going with the story.
Maybe there is something else this person is trying to tell me. While I know in my mind that what he says is not possible, if I play along, he may tell me what he's actually trying to say.
What was it about this truth-claim that made you speculate that perhaps this person is trying to tell you something else? If they had only said they walked to the store yesterday to purchase a loaf of bread, would you have speculated that perhaps there was something else they were trying to say?
Sometimes people make an outrageous claim to see how the person he's speaking with will react. From the listener's expression or openness, he can see if the person is a good listener. This may help the speaker tell if he can speak openly about his real issue.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


The Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe.



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

User avatar
RickD
Make me a Sammich Member
Posts: 21925
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:59 am
Christian: Yes
Sex: Male
Creation Position: Day-Age
Location: Kitchen
Has liked: 207 times
Been liked: 1138 times

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#13

Post by RickD » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:07 pm

phonenumberonanapkin wrote:
RickD wrote:I guess I would "believe" the person, just to see where he is going with the story.
Maybe there is something else this person is trying to tell me. While I know in my mind that what he says is not possible, if I play along, he may tell me what he's actually trying to say.
Why do you hold the position that a singing cat is not possible? Wouldn't you have to have omniscient knowledge of all cats in existence in order to confidently claim that none of them are capable of meowing the star-spangled banner?
It's just my opinion that cats can't meow a tune. Although, I do remember a cat in a meow mix commercial meowing a tune. So, maybe cats are more intelligent then I believe.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


The Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe.



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

phonenumberonanapkin
Newbie Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:07 pm
Christian: No
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#14

Post by phonenumberonanapkin » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:19 pm

Canuckster1127 wrote:Suppose 12 people made the same claim and over the course of time held to that position and of them, 11 when faced with the challenge of recanting their testimony chose instead to accept death rather than deny it. Would that impact your view of it?

Please take a moment to examine the Board's purpose and discussion guidelines. You were asked a reasonable question earlier as to your position and motives for starting a discussion and avoided the question. We're happy to have discussions with skeptics or persons of other postions. Our positions and motives are clear. It's not unreasonable to ask for the same courtesy from you.

Thanks!

bart
Fine. If anybody says they wouldn't believe the witness to the singing cat, I will ask why they believe the parts of the bible that mention a talking donkey and talking snake.

If anybody says yes, they would believe such a story, then I will ask them what criteria they think a truth-claim must fulfill to rationally justify remaining suspicious of it. If talking cats are no problem, is the sky the limit? Must we believe everything we hear whether it corresponds with our knowledge of the how the world works?

Unfortunately, because I didn't first reveal my motives, I caught several posters with their guards down: Several said they'd be suspicious of the singing cat story, without further commentary on why. Because I didn't reveal my motives earlier, they chose to answer the question without first putting their apologetic defense mechanisms on red alert. They actually came out and admitted that when a story describes certain realities in ways that we know from personal experience have never worked as described, THAT is rational justification to refuse to accept the story.

And you know where the argument goeth from there: If its ok to deny the truth of a signing cat story on the grounds that it contradict's one's personal experience of how cats work (in spite of the fact that God 'could have' made the cat sing), then skeptics are rational to deny the resurrection of Jesus on the grounds that it contradicts their personal experience of how long dead people stay dead after 2 days dead in the grave (in spite of the fact that God 'could have' made Jesus rise from the dead).

In other words, the reason you wouldn't believe the signing cat story is the same reason I deny the resurrection of Jesus, we both know the world doesn't work like that in our presence, so we are confident that it also doesn't work like that in our absence. This is merely a single argument, it is not the only reason I deny this Christian claim.

phonenumberonanapkin
Newbie Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:07 pm
Christian: No
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: How do you evaluate a truth-claim?

#15

Post by phonenumberonanapkin » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:21 pm

RickD wrote:
phonenumberonanapkin wrote:
RickD wrote:I guess I would "believe" the person, just to see where he is going with the story.
Maybe there is something else this person is trying to tell me. While I know in my mind that what he says is not possible, if I play along, he may tell me what he's actually trying to say.
What was it about this truth-claim that made you speculate that perhaps this person is trying to tell you something else? If they had only said they walked to the store yesterday to purchase a loaf of bread, would you have speculated that perhaps there was something else they were trying to say?
Sometimes people make an outrageous claim to see how the person he's speaking with will react. From the listener's expression or openness, he can see if the person is a good listener. This may help the speaker tell if he can speak openly about his real issue.
Fine, but that doesn't answer my question. The question to you was: What was it about this truth-claim that made you speculate that perhaps this person is trying to tell you something else? If they had only said they walked to the store yesterday to purchase a loaf of bread, would you have speculated that perhaps there was something else they were trying to say?

Post Reply