As I work through this discussion on generational differences, I begin to wonder if people know the difference between ‘Conjecture’ and ‘Fact.’
In a lot of my research, I’ve found that the reasons given for why the Church is dying are simply conjecture.
Conjecture is a proposition that is neither proven, nor unproven. Basically, it is an opinion. It could be an educated opinion, but it isn’t something that can be defined concretely. This doesn’t diminish the importance of conjecturing, but it limits the ability to offer finite solutions to a problem that is very complex. For the sake of my argument, let’s call this ‘Subjective Truth.’
- Objective truth is something that can be un-quantifiably proven.
- Subjective truth cannot be proven, but holds validity to an argument.
This is important because some of what I have to say about generational differences is based on my opinion or the opinions of other, while other things I’m bringing forth are based on God’s Word. I just want you to be able to distinguish the difference.
Chances are, if you are a part of Western Civilization in the Digital Age, you have been manipulated by society to not be able to distinguish the difference between Objective truth and Subjective truth (a.k.a Conjecture). Evolution is a theory (a pretty word for conjecture) that is passed as the highest standard of absolute scientific fact. News Media passes itself off as being objective journalism, but in reality they are predominately subjective by nature (notice the different spins different networks will put on the same story). What news program you choose to watch will greatly affect how you interpret the facts and less-than-actual-facts. Many pastors, I am ashamed to say, use conjecture quite a lot to prove a point they wish was black and white in Scripture (surprisingly, the Bible is quite abstract). As a result, I’m not so sure the average person can delineate between fact and fiction anymore (This is called discernment).
Our society thrives off of information. Knowledge is power. Within the Digital Age (a.k.a. the Information Age), we are bombarded with information from every corner. From a very young age we are siphoned information from our parents, teachers, television, etc. But where does all that information go? What becomes of it?
The very framework of our education system in America is to simply teach and pass on information. There are very few exceptions where people are challenged to exercise their brains and work on skill building. We rely on information and muscle memory. None of which engages the mind to develop discernment.
Information is like calories and discernment is like exercise (I guess that makes wisdom like a chiseled six pack). Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 8 that knowledge puffs up, and I’d have to agree. Western civilization is cultivating a culture of mentally obese people.
So why are we so surprised when people can’t tell the difference between conjecture and fact?