Evidential Certainty = Epistemic Certainty for the rational mind

If you don’t understand epistemology, you have no business assessing ontology.

William Lane Craig absurdly detaches degree of certainty from belief, and in so doing demonstrates his incompetence in assessing what is true.

Rational belief is a degree of belief that maps to the degree of the relevant evidence. Yet WLC states the following, seemingly without embarrassment.

“But if you were to ask me about confidence, I just don’t have any sort of way assessing that. I simply believe that the evidence points to truth, and that the conclusions are therefore true.” (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8KMd_eS2J7o 1:12:30)

That’s right. WLC thinks he does not need to figure in the degree of warranted confidence into a deductive argument for him to conclude the conclusion is true. He offers no nuance nor resolution in his degree of confidence, and the terms “believe” and “conclude” are offered in a binary form. Rational belief is necessarily on an epistemic gradient, an epistemic gradient WLC wholly ignores.

You can not pretend to have anything substantive to say about metaphysics if your epistemology is screwed up, and the epistemology WLC, in abandoning the intrinsic gradient nature of rational belief, is definitely screwed up.

In an assessment of the debate from which the previous quote was taken, WLC says…

“You don’t need to have super-high confidence in order to believe something.” (Reasonable Faith Podcast June 18, 2016)

So absurd! How can a philosopher detach degree of belief from the degree of certainty the evidence justifies?

Rational belief is a degree of belief that maps to the degree of the evidence. Rational belief is not some binary switch which is flipped at some arbitrary level of evidence. No. The rational mind will merely adjust its epistemic stance along the gradient of belief to map to the degree of the evidence.

Craig claims that he can’t assess the degree of confidence well, seeming to imply that we should not worry about whether our degree of belief maps to the degree of the evidence. But he has no problem in his arguments claiming one conclusion is more probable than another, and implying that accepting the one more probable is more rational to accept. So he at least admits that a relative degree of certainty is important. If he can perceive relative degrees of certainty, there should be no reason why he can not perceive general degrees of absolute certainty.

WLC tries to strip rational belief of its gradient essence. He treats belief as if it were binary. It is not, and more critically, this binary approach to belief has no place in a rational mind.

The degree of evidential certainty is inextricably tied to the degree of epistemic certainty for the rational mind. When there is a disparity between evidential certainty and epistemic certainty, you have irrationality. That irrationality can be in the form of irrational doubt, or irrational belief (often called faith). But make no mistake; if you are not consciously tying your degree of belief to the degree of the relevant evidence, you are not a rational thinker, and have no business dabbling in metaphysics.


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