Most of the people I know are searching for some truth – we see the same sunrises and sunsets, life and death, good and evil – and we want answers, and we want to find something they can build a life on. This search is common throughout human history – who are we? where did we come from? what is our purpose? what is our destiny?
Some friends and I have been walking down this trail for several weeks now and last Monday we pondered this question:
Why are humans so quick to jump on to and cling to the latest truth claims (truth fads)?
We came at this question from a Christian perspective, heavily influenced by St. Paul’s words from Romans 1:
“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
We also discussed this question with some humility because each one of us has been guilty of being influenced by the “truth of the day.” Here is what we concluded in answer to the question:
- We prefer our autonomy; we don’t like having anything in authority over us.
- And if there is no authority over us, we are free to pursue our desires with no boundaries.
A few days later I heard this story from a “This American Life” podcast.
To summarize, a college professor with a family decided there must be more than this, more than what he could touch and see; if there weren’t more, then the beautiful universe would be diminished. So, he abandoned his wife and children and job at the university to try to establish contact with extra-terrestrials. He firmly believes that there is intelligent life “out there.” After years of effort, frauds and near-misses he still believes that something is out there – something big, over-arching, transcendent – in his words, “what we might call God.”
He said that he believes ET could exist BUT believes that God could not because, again his words, “it sounds too fantastic.”