An Unbending Quest for Truth

The blog Unreasonable Faith shared this:

I think that really what it is getting at is the fact that some people do not think the truthfulness of their position is as self-evident as their rhetoric claims, since otherwise they would not be opposed to their children and those under their influence thinking and exploring freely.

As someone who is religious but who prioritizes truth above all else, I would say that the search for truth should take priority over any traditional truth claims that human beings may have adhered to. If truth is of paramount importance, then we won’t object to having to change our views when evidence requires it, whether those views have to do with matters of theology or astronomy or anything else.

Despite what the Lovecraft quote claims, it simply isn’t the case that all religion adopts the sort of program of indoctrination he suggests. Among Deists, liberal Protestants, and many other sectors of religion, there has been not merely an openness to but a pioneering quest for truth even though it challenged religious beliefs that those engaged in that quest may once have held dear.

The problem is not “religion” in some generic sense, but any religion that is opposed to an unbending quest for truth.

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  • James F. McGrath

    Here’s a post from another Patheos blog that ties in with this topic:

  • decathelite

    I can see where you are coming from, having used to be a Christian. The problem is that most religions claim to have “The Truth”, and that only by following them can the Truth be ascertained. Even the most liberal Christians look to Jesus when he says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light”. When so many religious groups are competing for our allegiance by claiming to have Truth, how do we distinguish between what’s really true and what men only claim to be true?

    I think there are very few people like you who are content with people discovering religion on their own, without pushing it on them, and that’s commendable. My father in law is the same way (he’s a Baptist).

  • Arni Zachariassen

    He also makes a basic category mistake: The truthfulness of religion cannot be measured by adherent conduct. A true religion might have 100% bad (bad, according to the internal logic of that religion itself) adherents, but that would not invalidate the given religion’s truthfulness. What Lovecraft is talking about is, I don’t know, something like the sincerity of religious believers? Important difference, I think.

    • Sunny Day

      Sincerity is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Batshit crazy people can be very sincere.

      • Arni Zachariassen

        You could say that it’s precisely the sincerity of crazy people that makes them truly crazy. If you suspect that there’s something fishy going and your perception of reality might not be entirely accurate, you don’t count as crazy. But if you’re truly convinced that your delusion is reality, if you’re sincere, *then* you are crazy.

  • Dr. David Tee

    People who say or follow the quoted pasage do not realize or know what the Bible says about teaching one’s children and they want an opening to bring their false teaching in to destroy the family unit.
    “As someone who is religious but who prioritizes truth above all else, I would say that the search for truth should take priority over any traditional truth claims that human beings may have adhered to”
    People who say this aren’t searching for the truth but for something that fits their own ideas, sensibilities, and desires.They seldom take n the whole picture and alter the biblical text to fit those pursuits.
    The Bible doesn’t teach to use evidence and science over God’s word but those who want that route find ways to ignore what the Bible teaches. Those ways come in a variety of methods but none have any biblical permission or support. They make excuses to continue pursuing these methods and disobey God’s word by following others who have rejected The Bible and God.
    They refuse to see what they are doing and end up attacking those who disagree with them also in disobedience to God’s word. Disobedience doesn’t bring about the truth.

  • George Elser

    Lovecraft hated Jews, admire Hitler, and was an advocate of Eugenics.
    Robert Price, atheist, wrote a biography of Lovecraft spelling all this out.
    Lovecraft was full of it.

    • rmwilliamsjr

      wrote a biography of Lovecraft

      could you give me the title of the lovecraft bio from price, i’ve been unable to find it. checked amazon as well. tia.

      from the wiki article on robert pricequote:
      H. P. Lovecraft scholarshipAs editor of the journal Crypt of Cthulhu[11] (published by Necronomicon Press) and of a series of Cthulhu Mythos anthologies,[12][13][14] Price has been a major figure in H. P. Lovecraftscholarship and fandom for many years.[15] In essays that introduce the anthologies and the individual stories, Price traces the origins of Lovecraft’s entities, motifs, and literary style. The Cthulhu Cycle, for example, saw the origins of the octopoid entity in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “The Kraken” and particular passages from Lord Dunsany, while The Dunwich Cycle points to the influence ofArthur Machen on Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror”.Price’s religious background often informs his Mythos criticism, seeing gnostic themes in Lovecraft’s fictional god Azathoth[16] and interpreting “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” as a kind of initiation ritual.[17]