It appears Cheung has replied

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by tellville, Mar 1, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore


    Nature without some sort of definition is a meaningless word. Clark argued that logic in man is the image of God since even to understand one command or proposition presupposes reason.

    Neither do I, but since no empiricist, Christian or otherwise, can seem to provide an explanation of how their theory might work, nor do they ever feel the need to even define sensation much less demonstrate that men actually have them, it seems to me that Clark's rejection of empiricism in its various forms is spot on.

    Quick question for you; how did Abraham know it was God telling him to sacrifice Isaac and not Satan?
     
  2. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    [/quote]Quick question for you; how did Abraham know it was God telling him to sacrifice Isaac and not Satan?[/quote]

    Sean,

    The same way the reprobate will know on the last day that it is God casting him into hell and not Satan. God's self-attesting revelation of himself is clearly understood through the confirming work of the Third Person of the Trinity.

    Ron
     
  3. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    Maybe Ron. But how I'm I suppose to see what you have not shown me? What exactly is the fallacy I have made? :um:

    I think you have not addressed my question to you - "do you disagree with A and B?"

    Or perhaps you will show where Jesus "taught that we should not be deluded into thinking that a known sin of the heart does not entail judgment as a known sin that entails known physical objects!" or what that actually means.
     
  4. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    Civbert,

    I appreciate your ambition but truth be told, you're in way over your head. I'm sorry.

    Ron
     
  5. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I don't think so Ron. However, it's disappointing that you feel that way and do not want to discuss my points. I understand you gave it your best shot. It very frustrating when someone finds a fatal flaws in your views - and you don't see it. But I'm not giving up on you. We agree on too many things to let this minor disagreement stop our discussions. No doubt I have failed to be clear enough for you to understand my objections and I will try to be clearer.

    I appreciate it when someone can show me where my views can be improved, (especially if I am going against Scripture). Certainly this can be frustrating too, but the fire that burns also purifies. And as an elder, you have a special duty to teach the truth to the sheep. So if I am too ignorant to understand your arguments - then you can not give up on me either.
     
  6. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    Civbert,

    Response to A: It is a true statement, but doesnt encompass all the Biblical data on the issue. The Bible pressumes that we can know the particular instances as well as the "total score". For example, God has given the civil magistrate the right to punish and condemn criminals for their crimes. If no one could know anything about the particulars, then that would make no sense. Next, God has given the church government the right to excommunicate those who are unrepentant in their sins. If we cannot know who did what "in particular" then that is just nonesense.

    Response to B: Jesus makes the distinction between the sin of adultery in the heart and the crime of actual adultery. This presupposes that we can know the difference, or the story doesnt make any sense.

    So I would say that I agree with what you said in both statements, but the problems is what you leave out.

    CT
     
  7. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Quick question for you; how did Abraham know it was God telling him to sacrifice Isaac and not Satan?[/quote]

    Sean,

    The same way the reprobate will know on the last day that it is God casting him into hell and not Satan. God's self-attesting revelation of himself is clearly understood through the confirming work of the Third Person of the Trinity.

    Ron [/quote]
    That answer is satisfactory for me.

    I don't really find the question relevant, magma2, as a specific refutation of an epistimology different than Cheung's. Cheung offers no answer for surety himself. Seriously, how would you answer the same question? How does Abraham know his mind is not being deceived by God?

    I agree with Ron to say that Cheung's epistimology just leads to complete skepticism, if one is humble. I would add it leads to hubris if one is proud. If one is humble one would conclude that, since God may be deceiving me, I can be certain of nothing I believe about God. If one is proud, I would conclude that, surely, God would never deceive me.

    [Edited on 3-9-2006 by SemperFideles]
     
  8. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    Civbert,


    Sure I can and, also, I may. Nothing requires me before God to continue to put for sound arguments to one who either will not or cannot grasp them, no matter how eager the one thinks or says he is to learn. Your problem is that you have a pre-commitment to premises that reduce your worldview to skepticism. Several threads bear witness to this truth, which of course you deny.

    Ron
     
  9. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks CT,

    I was I was thinking about the responsibilities we have to judge the sin of other - e.g. "the civil magistrate the right to punish and condemn criminals for their crimes" and how that fits in, so I'm glad you mentioned it. And we are not to ignore the sins we see our brothers commit. But I don't think this entails "knowing" they have sinned in an epistemological sense. We are to be certain, and weight the evidence, hear the witnesses, etc, and make a judgment as appropriate, but this does not mean we "know" that our brother as sinned in the sense that we can know his heart which is the source of and seat of sin. We must do the best we can to get at the truth so that we can correct our brothers.

    I don't think we can rightly account that as knowledge. But this is only because I have a very strict standard for what can is justified as knowledge, and what is a justifiable belief. We can not know the witness have not erred. We can not know from the evidence the sin has occurred - we can not "know" we saw what we "believe" we saw - but we can be justified and believing that a sin has occurred when the evidence supports that conclusion - and so we have a duty to correct it. It is reasonable to believe many things based on evidence - as long as it does not contradict what we "know" from Scripture. Scripture is my standard for knowledge - and if I can not justify a proposition is true from Scripture, I do not consider it knowledge.

    And any proposition I believe contradicts what I know from Scripture, I consider false.

    So, the methods for determining reasonable beliefs are evidence, testimony, observations, induction. And so it is only a matter of how I categorize the propositions I believe are reasonable and the ones I "know" are true. I can not know the person is guilty of murder, but I can believe it beyond a reasonable doubt - and that is what is required for me to judge.

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by Civbert]
     
  10. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I would answer the question the same way. As to relevance the answer speaks to your objection; "œIf we are only left with direct revelation from God, unsure whether He is revealing Truth to us, how can we be sure of anything?"


    I can´t really speak to Cheung´s epistemology because I´m not that familiar with him, but I don´t agree at all that his view, at least what I´ve read, leads to complete skepticism. He does seem skeptical about a lot of things that perhaps too many unthinkingly take for granted, but I don´t fault him for that. Also, Scripture does teach that God does send deluding spirits so that people will believe what is false (see 2Th 2:11 for example). Nothing earth shaking there either. As for certainty, it´s irrelevant. People are certain about any number things which are demonstrably false.
     
  11. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    Sean,

    One can believe that which is false while knowing a contradictory proposition that is true. If one of those contradictory beliefs have warrant, then knowledge obtains, even when the one possessing the knowledge believes a contradictory proposition. Contradictory beliefs are held all the time.

    One cannot know (be certain about) something false.

    Ron
     
  12. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Which is why certainty should not be equated with knowledge. Knowledge, epistemically speaking, is justified true belief -- even if JTB has fallen on hard times among some so-called "Reformed" epistemologists. Certainty is a psychological state of mind.
     
  13. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    I couldn't disagree more, Sean, with how you define certainty. In any case, the main issue is that you just argued that because God can send a lying spirit so that men would "believe" a lie, that we cannot know that we know. This is wrong, if for no other reason, one can believe a lie while knowing a contrary proposition because contradictory beliefs are possible to hold; again, knowledge obtains when there is warrant, even when an inconsistency is being embraced.

    Ron
     
  14. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    What do you disagree with? That certainty isn´t knowledge? I thought that was obvious. To be certain of something is to be free from doubt. It´s a conviction which frankly has no bearing on the truth or falsity of any proposition. Now, I realize that you have defined words in ways contrary to what they usually mean, so perhaps you are defining certainty in some sense that you haven´t yet explained? However, equating certainty with knowledge or even as a component of knowledge just seems confused if not just plain wrong. You said; "One cannot know (be certain about) something false." While one cannot know something false, since knowledge is JTB, true being the operative word here, people are certain about things that are false all the time. I don't know about you but I meet them every day.


    Actually, I haven´t argued any such thing, but I think the idea that one must know that he knows in order to know anything is, well, an unnecessary and perhaps insurmountable constraint.

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by Magma2]
     
  15. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    Sean,

    A proposition is epistemically certain if it has maximal warrant. "Epistemically certain" is redundant. Therefore, certainty presupposes warrant and true warrant is arrived at through deduction or revelation.

    This is just getting more confused with every post. What relevance was there in your pointing to the fact that God can send a deluding spirit? It was said in the context of whether Abraham could know "it was God telling him to sacrifice Isaac and not Satan." To which I noted that God can cause us to believe a lie while ordaining that we know a contary truth to the lie. Your point regarding the deluding spirit, if it is to have any relevance to this discussion, would seem to fail for reasons just noted.

    Ron
     
  16. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    Here is an article on certainty by John Frame: http://snipurl.com/ne7r

    It seems that he believes that certainty contains degrees and can be misplaced. One key aspect is that there are different definitions of the term.

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by ChristianTrader]
     
  17. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    quote]Originally posted by ChristianTrader
    Here is an article on certainty by John Frame: http://snipurl.com/ne7r

    It seems that he believes that certainty contains degrees and can be misplaced. One key aspect is that there are different definitions of the term.

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by ChristianTrader] [/quote]

    Yea, I have it on my pc.

    Here's the rub:

    If you (Sean) believe that JTB is knowledge, then you must believe that justification must entail maximal justification, as opposed to some sort of lesser justification, such as one might gain through induction, since knowledge cannot come through a lesser justification. Accordingly, if JTB must entail maximal justification by definition, then the "œjustification" for one´s epistemic certainty must entail maximal justification as well, lest we equivocate over the term "œjustification." Added to this, whenever there is maximal justification for a belief, the belief must be a true belief - otherwise the justification could not have been maximal! Consequently, if there is true "œjustification" for the epistemic certainty, which of course there must be if there is epistemic certainty, then there must be maximal justification, lest again we equivocate over what it is to have "œjustification." If the justification for the certainty is maximal, which it must be if it's "justification," then knowledge obtains. As for "œpsychological" certainty, such talk is utter nonsense. What is subjective certainty after all and what type of justification would it have?!

    Ron
     
  18. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Thanks for the article. Good stuff.
     
  19. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I would say "œepistemically certain" isn´t so much a redundancy as it is nonsensical as is "œmaximal warrant." Either a proposition has warrant or it doesn´t. That´s like saying that a syllogism has "œmaximal validity." It just confuses rather than clarifies Ron.


    Well, perhaps as in your discussion with Anthony you are the one missing the point (btw, questioning Anthony´s intelligence was uncalled for). The relevance of the question how did Abraham know bears directly on Rich´s objection to Cheung concerning the direct work of the HS immediately on the minds of men causing them to believe that which is true, or, by secondary means (i.e., sending deluding spirits), that which is false. As it turns out you both seem to be in agreement with Cheung after all. Without the immediate work of the HS illumining the minds of men no man could ever come to believe, much less, know the truth. For what it's worth Clark was right and epistemology is logically related to soteriology in that if man is going to know anything at all it is God alone who must provide.

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by Magma2]

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by Magma2]
     
  20. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    While am at it, and after further thought, this too appears to be nonsensical. Care to provide an example? Since it happens "œall the time" it should be easy. I would think if a person believes proposition A then he cannot also know the contradiction of A since knowledge entails belief. For examlpe, if someone believes a man is jusified by his faithful obedience, can he really also believe that a man is justified by belief alone?
     
  21. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    Sean,

    Warrant is justification. I'm afraid you don't know what you are arguing against. The rest of your post simply dodged the issues.

    Ron
     
  22. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    Sean,

    Atheists don´t believe that God exists, yet Romans one tells us that they know God, which presupposes belief in God. What is occurring is self-deception. They suppress their knowledge of the truth and believe a lie about what is true. They work hard at holding to contradictory beliefs.

    Yup, people hold to inconsistent beliefs all of the time. Men are saved through the means of imperfect faith. In weakness, a converted soul can believe that he must work in order to be forgiven but even given such doubt he doesn´t stop believing that Christ alone saves him apart from works, for saving faith cannot be lost. So, again, the same man can hold to contrary beliefs.

    Ron
     
  23. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    Yea, I have it on my pc.

    Here's the rub:

    If you (Sean) believe that JTB is knowledge, then you must believe that justification must entail maximal justification, as opposed to some sort of lesser justification, such as one might gain through induction, since knowledge cannot come through a lesser justification. Accordingly, if JTB must entail maximal justification by definition, then the "œjustification" for one´s epistemic certainty must entail maximal justification as well, lest we equivocate over the term "œjustification." Added to this, whenever there is maximal justification for a belief, the belief must be a true belief - otherwise the justification could not have been maximal! Consequently, if there is true "œjustification" for the epistemic certainty, which of course there must be if there is epistemic certainty, then there must be maximal justification, lest again we equivocate over what it is to have "œjustification." If the justification for the certainty is maximal, which it must be if it's "justification," then knowledge obtains. As for "œpsychological" certainty, such talk is utter nonsense. What is subjective certainty after all and what type of justification would it have?!

    Ron [/quote]

    Ron,

    Is this an attempt to refute Sean et. al or do you actually buy what you wrote here?

    CT
     
  24. Ron

    Ron Puritan Board Freshman

    Of course I believe what I wrote.
     
  25. Don

    Don Puritan Board Freshman

    Sean,

    It may be helpful here to remember the dichotomy between epistemological vs psychological belief as described by Van Til, Bahnsen, Frame, et al. The unbeliever is autonomous (atheistic, et al) with respect to his ultimate epistemological authority, but psychologically, he believes in God. No contradiction is entailed by this distinction when holding opposing beliefs. There are other ways of explaining the self-deception of the unbeliever that Frame and others touch on.

    Don

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by Don]
     
  26. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    Okay, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, for I have serious issues that will be addressed a little later today.

    CT
     
  27. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore

    The bible also tells us that Adam knew his wife and the ox knows its owner. It appears to me that you are equivocating on the word to know. Atheists disbelieve what they ought to believe for the truth of God is evident within them, but because of their disbelief they never come to the knowledge of the truth. Paul said professing to be wise they´re minds are darkened. In 2 Tim he said such men are "œalways learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." Clearly, if some never come to the knowledge of the truth then it would suggest that when Paul says the unbeliever "œknew God" in Rom. 1:21 he is using the word in a different sense and I would suggest he is doing exactly that.


    We´re not talking about salvation by inconsistent beliefs, but if it is possible to believe mutually exclusive and contradictory propositions .


    We´re not talking about a momentary lapse into sin either, but whether or not, and per the example, if a person´s belief in salvation by works vitiates his claim that salvation is by belief alone. I say it does. In my experience, so take it for what it´s worth, those who claim to believe both generally end up redefining salvation by faith alone so that it means something quite different then how the the phrase commonly understood. A good example is Doug Wilson who, like any number of modern Romanists I´ve encountered, will openly claim he believes in justification by belief alone, but then redefines his terms and openly rejects and even mocks the idea of salvation by "œmere" belief alone. Clearly such a man has more in mind.

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by Magma2]

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by Magma2]
     
  28. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore


    Hi Don. You´re right, there is no contradiction as long as the word to know is understood in one sense in Rom 1 (which I assume per the above would be the psychological as opposed to the epistemological sense) and another in 2 Tim or even 1 Th 4:5 for that matter where Paul makes mention of "œGentiles which know not God." However, in all fairness, it doesn´t seem to me that Ron is making that kind of distinction. Or, if he is, I wish he would be clearer in explaing exactly what he means.
     
  29. Magma2

    Magma2 Puritan Board Sophomore


    Then again he may believe the contrary of what he wrote as well. :D:D
     
  30. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    Yea, I have it on my pc.

    Here's the rub:

    If you (Sean) believe that JTB is knowledge
    [/quote]

    I see JTB (or something close to it is sufficient for knowledge) but justification is not necessary. To say otherwise is to beg internalism.

    Maximal warrant is used by Frame et. al instead of maximal justification due to the wish not to beg internalism.

    Next, as Frame pointed out, maximal warranted means different things to different people, so to speak as if there is some uniform tradition that contradicts on pain of "nonsense" is not productive at all.

    It depends on the context what maximal warrant means. In some cases, it means one proposition has all the warrant and nothing else has any or it may mean that one proposition just has more warrant than any other but others have some as well.

    There also seems to be a wish for an infallibilist constraint on knowledge. Is this what you wish to convey.

    Here it seems that you want to say that one cannot gain knowledge from induction. Which is just "scary". That is all I want to say until I can confirm that is what you are attempting to say.

    Since we either are not using the same terms (warrant vs. justification) or we disagree over the meaning of the terms, not much can be done here.

    All that has happened here is that you have defined induction out of the picture and then scold anyone who bring it back into the picture. There is also the issue of wanting to take out the issue of degrees of certainty.

    We disagree at a basic level so its kinda hard to critique individual statements.

    One last thing. Psychological certainty is nonsense to you because it seems that you do not want to understand what it means. Epistemic certainty is the level of certainty based on the evidence (A sort of reasonable man idea) vs. Psychological certainty is the level of certainty that an individual has based on the evidence. If they are in conflict then one needs to be changed in order to make them both match.

    CT

    [Edited on 3-10-2006 by ChristianTrader]
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page