Unification News for

March 1998


Nothing But The Truth

Before we launch into this month’s article, this writer would like take a moment to thank those Unificationists who recently took on a tremendous challenge. They assembled for a "western member’s conference" and discussed many serious, long-term issues involving our American families and movement. I’ve been writing these articles for several years now, and have used this forum to broach some related issues. We can only wish that the answers will be as readily apparent . . .

We will never solve anything without knowing the truth. In America’s courts of law, people are sworn in by asking them to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." This is the product of centuries of carefully thought-out legal tradition.

In 1997 an unusual lawsuit moved through the courts, one which sought to establish the right of government employees to lie, when done in order to deflect investigations of their own conduct. In this age of "moral relativism," the very need for truth itself can be called into question, even in such a sober forum.


What is truth? Ask a hundred people-or a hundred scholars-and they will undoubtedly give you some widely varying definitions. Let us be bold, and tackle that age-old question right here.

Some people grasp the truth through simple experience. Others attempt to understand it through careful study. Let’s use the example of a very rare animal. A jungle tribesman might see that animal every day, and observe its basic habits, yet know almost nothing about it. On the other hand, a zoologist might know all about its physiology, ecological niche and evolutionary history, without ever having seen a live one.

The same applies to human affairs, both good and evil. Billions suffered under communism. Anyone who wasn’t there could never fully grasp the horror of that experience. Yet, few of its victims could explain Marxism, much less recount its worldwide history and application. As Dr. Fred Schwartz put it: "Being run over by a truck does not make one an expert mechanic."

There were western scholars who knew all these details, without ever setting foot on communist soil. Those few people who grasped both opposed communism most effectively.

The Divine Principle chronicles a philosophical debate about "passive experience" versus "pure reason." Just as Kant combined the two philosophies, we Unificationists intend to know the truth, physical and spiritual, through both methods.


In this age of material sophistication, falsehoods spread fast and easily. Bizarre rumors go almost unchallenged. Radio shows such as Art Bell’s showcase many of these weird-even irrational- ideas, while Hollywood makes them glamorous. Fortunately, scientists and writers (such as Michio Kaku and Greg Bear) have appeared on Bell’s show, and offered truth and logic to his millions of listeners-some of whom may not have been able to tell the difference. We’re talking about people who think the main difference between 60 Minutes and The X Files is that 60 Minutes is too "establishment" to be trusted!

Truth has many definitions. Mathematics has its own strict principles. Logic itself has a set of ground rules. For example, "Ockham’s Razor" posits that, for any unknown phenomenon, the simplest explanation is the one to be preferred.

Science has its universal path of hypothesis, experiment and theory. In science, one cannot pin down the truth by means of testimony or personal impressions. It requires strict precision-unlike many areas of life.

As the Divine Principle states, in the human experience, goodness (based in truth) and evil (involving falsehood) can appear the same at first, and can grow, reverse or blend as time and action progress.

Sometimes scientific truth is difficult to accept, even for fellow scientists, especially if difficult to corroborate. (As illustrated in Carl Sagan’s Contact.) Sometimes it’s way outside the familiar ballpark!

Truth is eternal and unchanging-but. Old truths are superseded by new ones, yet they are not invalidated. The Principle speak poetically of ancient lights dimming before new religious truths. In science, Newton’s work was subsumed by Einstein’s, and now Einstein by Penrose and Hawking. Newton’s famous statement, "-because I stand upon the shoulders of giants" remains true.

Ironically, Newton accomplished most of his great work at an early point in his life. You see, he also believed in Astrology and other "mysteries." He spent the rest of his life poring over ancient texts, and prowling around places like the Pyramids, attempting to ferret out alleged secrets now ridiculed, or long forgotten.


From Newton we learn that, within the human mind, truth and falsehood can easily blend-and not even (in certain cases) cancel each other out.

One might picture "circles" of knowledge. The primary circle would represent the actual truth, while overlaid circles would represent various people’s (or theory’s) range of understanding. A "flat earther" would grasp only a narrow slice of geographic truth (along with a huge swath of falsehood), while a National Geographic Society member’s "circle" might lie almost wholly within the reality.

Areas like auto mechanics, science and religion are vastly different, in learning and in application. Still, all have their absolutes. Put sand in an engine, incorrectly calculate sums, or commit mortal sins-and you will always end up in a rather large mess!

A top specialist in any of these areas might know nothing of the others, and still be justly honored. A scientist might be completely wrong about religion, or auto mechanics-and even make a fool of himself by making declarations on those subjects. (Ditto for various other combinations.) Even so, this does not usually cloud their actual expertise. Rare indeed are those who can tackle all three!

People can and do get by with what they know, until a newer and clearer understanding comes forth. In medicine, good doctors welcome the news that they were wrong, like when it was discovered that a bacteria (and not stress) causes ulcers-and that killing those bugs will cure the ulcer.

People’s overlaid "circles of truth" are not static; they shift "inwards," and expand, as falsehoods are cast out, and more of reality comes within their grasp. Romans engineers knew plenty about mechanics, but today, your average guy in overalls knows a lot more.

The rapid growth of scientific understanding is almost a given, while the growth of religious knowledge is slow and arduous. The Principle honors science, even while emphasizing the need for religious truth.


It may not be politically correct to say so, but some cultures value truth more than others. There are subcultures in which a "well-pulled snow job" is a time honored art form.

Sometimes a "white lie" is preferred by all. There are popular (even humorous) stories about people who were somehow compelled to tell the truth, even when they thought a stranger was poorly dressed, or risqué, or ugly.

I won’t say which one, but one culture I’m intimately familiar with strongly prefers a "sugar coated lie" to any truth that might disturb personal or social harmony. Thus, its doctors can-and have- allowed patients to die untreated, rather than upset them with an unpleasant diagnosis.

In America, some people fear an absolute truth-for it will cause something else to be known as certainly false. Advocates of political correctness misapply "relativity" to truth itself. Two plus two does not equal five, even within the most precious minority culture. (However, the new "rain forest math" textbooks come very, very close to crossing this line . . . )

Japan’s traditional culture honors its elders, but to the point where questioning them on anything is simply unthinkable. Thus, America has a twenty-to-one lead in Nobel Prize winners. Japan had actually instituted a government program to "foster original thinking."


Expressing doubt is not the same thing as showing disbelief. Pointing out unpleasant realities doesn’t automatically equal disrespect for those who may preside over those realities. Checking things for one’s self is not sinful. Doubt is not faithlessness; in fact, hard questioning can ultimately strengthen one’s belief and understanding. (Especially when we’re talking about the Principle, where more deep answers await us than we could ever grasp.)

In this arena, the genders differ greatly. God gave us a Brain as well as a Heart. Men tend to rely on the former, women the latter. Men are "problem solvers," calculating logically, while women intuit, seeking harmony. With "teamwork" both may be employed-another reason why traditional marriages are so successful!

Science (from the mind) has been for learning about things, while Faith (from the heart) is for internal matters. Science could not correct our personal relationships, and our emotions cannot posit theories or invent technology. Even so, Science and Art can both improve our surroundings.

There is a common but false dichotomy: "blind acceptance/belief" vs. "evidence/hypothesis." As a science fiction fan, I’ve noted that most SF writers accept science as primary, and so marginalize-even denigrate-heir book’s religious characters.

Today’s "Creationists" display the weaknesses of both areas. Old-fashioned beliefs are bent around to match an equally distorted science. (Fortunately, they’re really good at shooting holes in Darwinism!)

These days, "circles of truth" are expanding faster than ever. No single human could possibly keep up; that’s why we need thriving Universities, and ways to convey accurate knowledge to the larger public.

The Providence of Restoration is revealing the most important truths, while exposing falsehood and evil. Opposing this process opposes God. And God is the ultimate source of truth, in every area.

By the way, that lawsuit I mentioned at the beginning failed. Lying remains unacceptable, even in modern America.

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