Puritan Board Sophomore
I would say that it is not clear to an unbeliever that the Bible is God's word because his thinking, governed by his sinful nature, doesn't comprehend it; the pieces don't fit together. Whether or not it is irrational, I wouldn't be able to answer right away, because there are differing views on what makes a belief or act irrational. I have not for myself decided what makes a belief irrational or not. I would say that disbelief in the Bible in conjunction with other beliefs (like, atheistic naturalism, for example) could be subject to undefeated defeaters and be self-defeating and irrational, I suppose, but whether or not disbelief in the Bible on its own is irrational, I am not able to answer at the moment. I have been saying that the Bible's being the word of God is not clear to the unbeliever, and yet I don't want to say that a man can be rational in disbelieving the Bible. I will have to get back to you,, unless you can suggest for me a criterion of rationality.We can get into motives etc. later, the question at hand are results. Whether or not it is clear to reason that the Bible is true or whether such a claim is false. If it is clear to reason then a person would have to behave "against reason/irrational" in order to reject the claims of the Bible.
Or are you asking what does an irrational decision look like? If such is the question that you are asking, then the above should answer that as well.
Good enough I suppose!That's a good question. For now please accept it as a possible third alternative -- since the (reasonably) possible viability of a third option is all that is needed to demonstrate a false dichotomy. Otherwise, I will do some reading to find out the Scriptural basis for this, if there be any.
I wouldn't know if I interpret it differently than you or not. I don't have a set-in-stone opinion on the matter. I would find it hard, I'll say though, to believe that Friedrich Nietzsche or Daniel Dennet have some kind of belief in God deep down inside there somewhere; it seems to me that some people are quite convinced that this God person does not exist. I don't know. I would have to get back to you I suppose.Yes, I would say that suppression of the truth presupposes possession of the truth; therefore people have to actually have the belief in God in order to suppress the truth in the first place. I'm curious to know how you interpret mankind's suppression of the truth differently from my interpretation. (I'm not trying to say there's no possible alternative; I'm just interested in hearing your interpretation of it.)
But let's say there is not a desire in a person to believe any specific thing (like him willfully believing in Ares, for example), but only to believe anything but what he ought to believe (and given his circumstances, he comes to believe in Ares, maybe because he was born in 200 B.C. Athens and is told that Ares exists, perhaps). I don't think the sinful nature works in a person to do any specific sin, but rather to do any sin it can at any point in time. And so likewise, just as a person doesn't want to obey God's law (while he might not want to commit any one specific sin but rather commit whatever sin is available to him given his circumstances), he also doesn't want to believe that God exists (while he might not want to believe any specific sinful belief, but whatever sinful belief is available to him given his circumstances). So, this way the misuse of the sensus divinitatis can still be by the will of that person, although he did not will any specific belief (which I would likewise agree is not possible, though I am somewhat leaning on the fence on the position). What would you think of that?However, if beliefs were completely matters of choice (an impossible stance as far as I see it), then yes, your rebuttal to my assertion would be completely valid. For in that case, the same structure would exist for a person making moral choices, which are necessary yet involving culpability, and a person believing certain things, which would be necessary but consequently also involving culpability (because there'd be no difference between the former and the latter).