Kind of related to the Islam thread, but I want to have this on its own. A long time ago, I was listening to a science teacher who taught at a religious school. He said something like; Never teach a kid something as if it is incontrovertibly true when you know they will meet other people later who will strongly believe it’s false.
My guru, Bart Campolo gave a longer version of that earlier this year.
“I really believe the way I see the world is true but I’m smart enough to know that I don’t believe it’s true because it is incontrovertibly true. I was raised and educated in such a way that I’m capable of seeing that it is true and if I was raised and educated somewhere else I would not think it was true, I would think something else is true. Whatever you believe is true, you should have enough humility to say, it may be true but you don’t believe it’s true because it’s true, you believe it’s true because your mother taught it to you, because you went to this school, because of your genetics and your hormones. Don’t kid yourself. You can’t take credit for your way of thinking. So, you shouldn’t blame other people for their way of thinking. Nurture whoever you can nurture.”
He shies away from the controversies though, so I’ll add there is definitely a time to question someone’s version of truth. If it is not supporting health, peace, human flourishing or worse if it’s promoting the opposite. Truth is a tool. And in some cases, it is the wrong tool. Unfortunately, this idea is easily abused.