This essay will be dealing with the concepts of rationality and knowledge, and the abuse of these terms by presuppositionalist apologists.
I will first make statements of my own personal beliefs that will be clarified and defended in subsequent expanded arguments.
I have no absolute knowledge of anything outside my subjective perceptions, nor does anyone else. (This will be true of every statement in this essay. But read the next point carefully.)
Having no absolute knowledge does not equate to an inability to assess the likelihood of various propositions since I have access to my perception of regularity.
Making statements about things for which I have a high degree of belief does not require that I have absolute knowledge in those statements since the default conventional definition of truth does not imply absolute knowledge.
A rational position does not necessarily equate to an objectively true position.
I am rational in my high degree of belief that an objective world exists based on the high degree of regularity I perceive.
This post is an elaboration of #3 from a list of things I’ve learned late in life. How do we test the reliability of human knowledge? Don’t we have to first demonstrate what is true, then assess the percentage of the world that disagrees with that truth?
No. All we have to do is to determine the percentage of believers holding a world view that is logically exclusive of other dominant world views. Consider the logically exclusive religions of Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Since Christianity has the largest market share of 33%, the percentage of humans who hold a false world view is at least 66%.
Don’t pretend to be a truth seeker if you begin your quest with any of the following assumptions.
Truth will be comforting to me. Truth will place me on the pleasurable side of existence, unlike the depravity of wild animals. Truth correlates to happiness.
Truth will include an objective purpose for my life. There is no way I am as purposeless as a turkey on a turkey farm.
Truth will not run against my intuitions. My mind is not prone to self-deception (as are the minds of most of world’s other humans).
I have the mental capacity to find truth within my lifetime. Truth is necessarily within my reach. I will not end up having to say “I don’t know” in response to many epic questions.
I don’t need to rigorously assess my mental and emotional disposition and capacity before I begin my search. I was designed to be a truth-seeker.
I was born with the necessary tools to discover truth (critical thinking/probability/logic). I will not need to acquire any additional skills to process the data correctly.
Truth can be accessed by flipping a “faith” switch. At some point after examining the immediate evidence, employing “faith” will be a legitimate way to transcend insufficient evidence to arrive at truth.
Truth will be found in a discrete package of answers, rather than incrementally. I’ll uncover a canned truth that will eliminate the need to continue my quest for truth.
Truth will be accompanied by a manual for me to live my life. Truth found in this manual will be focused on humans, is benevolent, and comes with a standard for behavior.
These are all assumptions that have no place in the mind of a genuine truth-seeker. These assumptions, like all others, must remain outside a skeptical mind until there is evidence that warrants their acceptance.
Last night I had a discussion with a friend on the possibility of reaching objective truth without it being tainted with subjective emotions. This afternoon, I sparred with another friend on whether an objective assessment of reality is possible. And just an hour ago I received a comment from a gentleman named Dave on this same topic in a response to my post Reasons For My Deconversion.
I responded to Dave’s comment and decided to post both of our comments in this separate post. Continue reading →
The God of the Bible has made several promises. These include the following.
The promise to lead believers with the holy spirit “into all truth”. [ John 16:13 ]
The promise to supply all the needs of Christians. [ Philippians 4:19 ]
The apparent unconditional promises to answer believers’ prayers the way they expect. [ Matthew 17:20 & 21:21; Mark 11:24; John 14:12-14; James 5:15-16 ]
I contend that these promises are most commonly interpreted into meaningless gibberish by Christians so that a world where the promise is fulfilled would appear no different from a world where the promise is broken. In doing this, Christians, in effect, make their omnipotent god impotent at best, and either a liar or a fiction at worst.
I’d like to challenge Christians to assess these promises, define them in a way that does emasculate them, then specify in a comment below how a world in which these promises are fulfilled would appear different from a world where these promises were broken. Continue reading →
Ravi Zacharias, a prominent Christian apologist has said “There are four fundamental questions in life; origin, meaning, morality and destiny.” He then goes on to suggest that only God is big enough to give a satisfactory answer to these questions. Watch Video
Consider the following quote by respected Christian apologist William Lane Craig.
Genesis 1 permits all manner of different interpretations. And Christians are not necessarily committed to special creationism. (Youtube Video)
It is strange to hear an apologist, who presumably believes the Bible contains relevant truth, speak of it this way. But he’s right. The Bible is inherently vague. Were it not, and its truths were absolute, it could not have adapted to the ever-changing pressures of change placed on it over the centuries. Let me list a few implications of this notion that the Bible is, to some degree, packaged in vagueness. Because the Bible is vague… Continue reading →