Two Sides to Everything

Arguments have two sides (possibly more), or they wouldn’t be arguments. The thing about two sides is, they can’t both be right.

We understand this in competition. Two football teams battle it out in the Super Bowl, and only one will be crowned champion at the end of the game. Two speed skaters compete in the Olympics, and they won’t both win the gold medal. (In that instance, with numerous competitors, neither one of them may end up winning).

Why, then, with the love of sports so high, seemingly worldwide, is it so hard to grasp the concept that competing philosophies can’t both be right?

I look at my life, for example, and marvel at God’s goodness and grace that brought me to a place of belief in Jesus and His work at the cross that reconciled me to my Creator. An atheist undoubtedly would look at my life and say that cultural influences have convinced me of a theist myth, and I’m merely showing my ignorance to hold to it despite the void of scientific proof for God’s existence.

Two sides—God is good and gracious; or culture is determinative, and I am ignorant.

The two are mutually exclusive. Did God choose my cultural influences as part of His plan for me, or did my culture superstitiously manufacture God to explain the unknown, and I am refusing to graduate to the modern (or post-modern) era?

I see the truth and the atheist is blind, or the atheist sees the truth and I am in the dark.

I see the light and the atheist is a fool (the fool has said in his heart, there is no God), or the atheist is insightful.

Who’s to say?

I submit there is only One who knows for sure. God, who transcends the universe, is the only one in position to reveal Himself to Mankind. So did He?

The Bible says so. He chose a people group to show the nations what He was like, sent prophets with messages about His purpose and plans, sent His Son to the earth in the form of a Man, gave His inspired written revelation, put His Holy Spirit into the hearts of those who are reconciled to Him. Does any other religion present such an unrelenting God, willing to go to such extents to reveal Himself to Mankind?

Despite all God has done, however, people today still demand a sign. If God would only make it clearer, if He’d only show Himself.

I wonder why these people think they would believe a new sign if they haven’t believed the ones they already have. 🙄

Published in: on December 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm  Comments (5)  
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  1. Good words.


  2. Tongue-in-cheek, but I have to disagree with your initial premise:

    “The thing about two sides is, they can’t both be right.”

    Not so. My wife and I are your proof. Many times we get into arguments only to discover that we’re talking about the same thing. We unfortunately tend to emphasize different qualities of whatever it is we’re discussing and often use differing language as well, but semantics aside we two can most certainly both be correct at the same time. 😉


  3. I tend to believe that universal truths do not have two sides as oppose to opinions. Reality has a way of shutting us up pretty well. Sometimes it shouts at us and at times it’s a whisper that’s so gentle one can ignore it if one wishes to but it inevitably meets us when the time is right. Well, life is such : )


  4. dsmith77, even with semantics aside, you and your wife are not arguing different sides. You see, there are several different types of opposition, and only one of those types is fully opposed (or contradictory, if you prefer). This form of opposition is being correctly applied to universal truths; if a universal truth is taken to issue, and the two sides are in full opposition, then only one side can ever be right. These are the dictates of classical logic, which, I might add, has been around much longer than its modern counterparts.

    Technically, of course, any argument does not necessarily require to fully opposed sides. A fully opposed side requires someone to argue the exact opposite of someone else. Numerous other positions can always be offered.

    Now that I have hopefully cleared up some thoughts about argument.

    Well, in my experience, there is an opposing side to every truth, universal or otherwise. There will always be someone who claims that a statement (whether it be a truth or not) is wrong. Such is mankind.


  5. Good discussion, all. I wish I’d had my computer sooner so I could have entered in. Suffice it to say, Neil has presented my position clearly. While I agree with Christine, that there aren’t two truthful sides to a universal, there are still two or more opposition positions and they can’t both or all be right.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.



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