by Dick Buckingham
by Dick Buckingham
Everyone will look at the above equation and agree that it is true. It will be accepted without question and anyone who says otherwise will be ridiculed or ignored. But what if I ask you why you believe it to be true?
Some may give answers like the following:
“That is what my teachers taught me.”
“It just is. It is a statement of fact, like gravity.”
“Everyone knows that it is.”
But how do you know it is true for certain? Already, there are some who are rounding up the paddy wagons, heading in my direction. Allow me a little latitude to discuss with you further.
If you believe it to be true because your teacher or anyone else told you it was true, then I would ask how do know they were right? What if someone else comes along and says 1+1=6, will you accept this as easily as you did your teacher’s statement? And if not, then why not, since you are basing the authority of your acceptance of this math statement upon the teaching of another? What would make one teacher superior to another?
If it just is, then how do you know that? It really doesn’t answer the question; it just ignores it and says the same thing a little louder, giving us the impression that whoever can shout it loudest is right.
If it is because everyone knows that it is, what if I find someone who doesn’t? Does that nullify it? And if not just one, then how about two or three or four? How many would it take to disagree with the proposition before you would reconsider its truth? Are truths such as these dependent upon majority acceptance? Of course not!
What if I said, “1+1=2 may be true for you, but it is not for me.” Would you allow my relativism to have credibility? Would that work in a real world where I could change this addition to be whatever I like? Likely not as the feet of the men in the white coats grows ever louder. Yet, you have not yet given me solid reason as to why we must both conclude that 1+1=2.
Perhaps now, with some measure of sighing, you realize I am serious and you are about to set out to carefully prove that adding one to one is always true.
“According to our counting system, two is the next number following one.”
Why? Couldn’t our counting system have six following one? And why can’t we change our counting system everyday if we want? What is there to keep us from doing that? Why must we insist on 1+1=2? Why can’t it be 1+1=6? Excuse me, there is a knock at my door.
Clearly this is nonsense. That fact that I even spent this much space in this blog is silly at best. Why did I do so? Because there are many people today who want to discuss other truth and try to handle it in the way that I have above and we allow them credibility to think they could possibly have a point. An example is the declaration that God is. I make such a statement about God and very quickly I am challenged.
“You can’t insist that is true for everyone! It may be true for you, but it is not for me and many others.”
While this may seem like a gracious, generous statement, not forcing me to move away from my assertion as long as I don’t force it on others, but it is just as ridiculous as the argument above. There either is a God or there isn’t. It can’t be both ways. To insist otherwise is foolishness.
So that brings me back to my assertion that there is a God.
“What proof do you have?”
I will use the math above as my evidence. If there is no God, and the world and everything in it has come about by chaotic chance than we would not be able to insist upon our counting system and statements of mathematical facts. If everything is in a state of change, then so is our math system and what we once thought true about it no longer is and even that won’t last forever. The reality is, unless there is an orderly God who has created a world of order, we could not make any useful conclusions about anything that would help us in anyway. The fact that when you add one more to one the answer is always, always, always two is because there is order in the universe established by the Creator of order, none other than God himself.
You see, God has left Himself many witnesses of His existence in the things that He has made around us. An orderly world is just one of them. If one is so inclined, we can see evidence of a Creator in just about everything. That is what the scriptures reveal.
The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim His handiwork. Day after day they pour forth speech. Night after night they display knowledge (Psalm 19:1).
Is it any wonder that the psalmist also proclaims “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1)