We are drowning in information these days, and it can be hard to figure what is true. We are told from many different sources that the truth is this or that, and the explanations provided are often very convincing, or so complicated that the thought of trying to delve into it is intimidating. Luckily for us, I believe that there is a simple way of knowing if something is likely to be true or not. The test is, does it work?
If I said that I have a way to make huge amounts of money in the stock markets based on a complex theory and methodology, with simulations supporting my claims, many people would be very interested. But when put to the test with real money, this system fails to make any money. This means that most likely, the theory and methodology underlying the system is false or has a critical error somewhere at best. Because if it was true, it should be able to do what it claims it can do.
However, if I said that I have a model of the markets which allows me to make money consistently, and I actually do during real trials, then my theory and claims are likely to be very close to the truth.
If I said that I have come up with a model of economics which if utilized will result in a healthier economy, but down the road the economy gets worse and worse, with many unexpected and unaccounted factors coming into play, it most likely means that the model is false or only partially true at best.
But if I had a model which actually kept the economy healthy over a long period of time and had the ability to account for all type of events, then I could say that the model is likely to be close to the truth.
Same thing applies to religion. If a religion has at it’s core the salvation of man and sanctification (which means to become more god-like or closer to the ultimate good), yet the body of the religion constantly shows actions through history suggestive of evil rather than good, there is probably a big problem somewhere. Even for individuals, when they say they have converted, yet their actions in life and their character does not reflect this change (even if it takes a few years), then it is likely that their conversion is not true, even if they believe it to be.
So we have a simple but powerful tool at our side to help us figure out what is true (or at least close to being true), and what is false. Obviously this needs to be used judiciously and not applied mechanically, but even Jesus said to judge a tree by its fruits, as a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit and an unhealthy one cannot bear good fruit.