Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Finding the Truth

I've always had sympathy for Pontius Pilate in the New Testament. This is somewhat unusual, but hear me out for a second. He's given the blame along with the Jewish leaders for the execution of Christ, but let us look at it from his perspective for a second. He warned the crowd three times that it was probably not a good idea to let a known murderer out on the streets and letting the street preacher out might be a more beneficial choice to the welfare of society. Even with those warnings they still chose the murderer. His duty done, I'm sure Pontius just checked off some paperwork and went back to whatever his job required. During this process, Pointius poses perhaps one of the most important questions ever asked, “What is truth?” (And this is also one of the few scenes in Latin in The Passion of the Christ that I understood. Blasted Catholic Latin pronunciations.)

This is probably one of the hardest things for us as humans to determine, and a question that goes to the core of my soul in many ways. Certainly, for facts there are easy tests. Logical/mathematical thinkers like myself tend to reduce everything to Boolean statements where possible. (If you knew me, you'd know the irony of the “mathematical” thinker part.) Even so, some things simply can't be reduced to an either/or scenario. That's why God invented case statements. (Okay, okay, I'll stop with the lame computer programming jokes.) What about deciding the big things in life that simply can't be put through an if/then/else process?

I cannot tell you there is an easy way to determine this. This is where thought and quiet meditation comes in and why our teenage years can be so confusing until we finally work out for ourselves what is crap and what is wisdom. Quiet meditation and prayer are extremely useful to this process, as are talking it out with someone else from time to time. I've for what should be an obvious reason had to deal with this almost every day for the past few months. This all came down to me making a necessary conclusion about a confusing and conflicting aspect of my own personality.

I just wish I could flip a coin or run it through some easy logical test without another part of my mind rebelling against the decision.


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