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Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by bigheavyq, Nov 7, 2007.
That is what I call having your cake and eating it.
What I have been wondering lately is what distinguishes this remark from a form of evidence. To say that Christianity provides the necessary conditions for intelligibility --is that not a sort of evidence that Christianity is correspondent to reality?
Short answer--yes. Long answer (and more technical)--the above worldview argument makes possible the use of evidence. In other words, so goes the argument, appealing to evidence without a worldview fails to give the evidence any meaning.
What is it you use to say to me about the use of terms? We had to agree to our terminology first and it had to be yours. Something like that.
Where is Common Sense Realism?
Could be classical apologetics or it could be Reformed Epistemology. The two top thinkers in RE, Alvin Plantinga and Nick Wolterstorrf, have appreciation for common-sense realism. Heck, if we properly qualify it, I don't mind it either.
I'm all alone . Seriously though I think I gave New Evidence That Demands a Verdict to Goodwill...
Something like that, but that's not always possible. First, if I were talking to an evolutionist or a Marxist, I would make it clear to them what kind of "God" I am defending--namely the Triune God. I can't take that for granted in a discussion.
As to the OP, I actually like the way the Radical Orthodoxy guys read Thoma Aquinas. I don't think it is fully accurate as to what Thomas believed, but it does make for an interesting apologetic answering postmodernity and modernity.
I like Martin Luther's method - argument by assertion.
"Peter commands us to give a reason for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). And what need is there of a multitude of proofs? Nothing is more familiar or characteristic among Christians than assertion. Take away assertions, and you take away Christianity."
(The Bondage of the Will)
Luther is using "assertion" in a different sense than is used today. Nowadays, "assertion" means setting forth a proposition/position but without proof (like much Reformed argument online). Luther is using it in a different sense.
Given that Luther says 'And what need is there of a multitude of proofs?' it would seem on the face of it that he is using the word assertion to mean 'setting forth a proposition but without proof'. Perhaps this definition would shead light on the matter:
"I mean staunchly holding your ground, stating your position, confessing it, defending it and persevering in it unvanquished." (Bondage of the Will)
But if he defends it then it is no longer an assertion, but now is an argument.
Reid & Common Sense Realism
I would put it with the classical approach of Aquinas & Anselm.
Are Clark & Hoeksema really a different type of presuppositionalist?. They seem to me to be fideists that believed nothing could be known apart from special revelation.
Presuppositionalism is not fideism. Fideism rejects philosophy/logic and just says "believe," even if what you are believing is irrational and makes no sense. The Clarkian system depends on making deductions based on the propositions contained in scripture. It also holds that the Christian worldview can be logically/philosophically defended. Of course it holds to the need for an axiom, but if that makes it "fideism" then Euclidean Geometry is also fideism. In fact, it would make everyone a fideist because the construction of any system depends on presuppositions.
Are you a Clarkian, David?
Can you deduce the proposition: "presuppositionalism is not fideism" from Scripture?
If not, then youi don't really know that "presuppositionalism is not fideism," right?
Ironically, on the Vantillian pressuppositionalist, or some other apologetic methodology, can help the Clarkian out here. So, I'd agree with you that Clark's position isn't fideism. It's actually, as he says, dogmatism. The difference is, that I can defend the charge, you can't. Well, you can give your opinion on the matter, but you don't know that Clarkian presuppositinalism is not fideism.
Remember, David, Clarkians are consigned to silence. As Wittgenstein said, "Where one cannot speak, one should remain silent."
And while I'm at it, the 6 who voted that they were Clarkian, I'd like to know how they know that they are.
I wonder why you have made such a request? Hope there is no violence involved.
As a Van Tillian, I should be safe.
Why is self-idenity so importaint? Is it really importaint who I am? I am just an unprofitable servant. You will say to me then, how can you predicate that to yourself? Who else am I going to predicate that statement to when Scripture reveals I am but dust? The Gospel is all about looking outward to Christ; it does not matter if I exist. God only really cares about two men: Adam and Christ. All else are under their headship.
I think Paul's point was simply to say that the Clarkian view of knowledge does not permit us to have any knowledge.
I didn't mean to ask how they know that they "are" as in "exist" - though that would be interesting - I meant how do they know that they "are" ... "Clarkians." Can they deduce that from Scripture?
Should the poll read: "Which view are you of the unjustified opinion of that you are?"
I missed this, thank you for posting it.
By Clarkian, I think you mean the claim that knowledge is comprised of the propositions of Scripture and their deductions. So you mean how do they know that all knowledge is Scripture and their implications. I guess they would point to passages that support that view (Job 38-41, Eccl. 1:14-18, 3:10-11, 7:23-29, 8:16-17, 11:1-6, Isa. 8:19-20, Matt. 16:17, 1 Cor. 1:18-31, 2:1-16, 3:18-20, Col 2:8, 1 Tim. 6:20, 2 Tim: 3:7, Jam 1:5), and show how all other claims to knowledge are illogical or fail in some way.
I mean how do they know that they are scripturalists.
So, let's just say, for arguments sake, that you are correct about what those verses mean, that still doesn't tell me how they know that they are Clarkians. Where are the deductions? Are their names in the Bible?
As far as those verses, surely you jest. I never even saw the word "deduction" in any of them.
Furthermore, "Scripture" isn't in most of them. And when it is, "all knowledge," "deduction" etc., aren't there.
I mean seriously, when you come with verses like this:
Ecc. 3:10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
as exegetical support of this position: "knowledge is comprised of the propositions of Scripture and their deductions." I can only let out a hearty gufaw.
Or take this one:
Matthew 16:17Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
The word "all" isn't in there. You're fallaciously going beyond the conclusion. That God revealed *ONE THING* to *Peter* doesn't logically imply that ALL THINGS must be revealed to ALL MEN in order for them to have knowledge.
Seriosuly, when I see stuff like this I get worried for the state of Christian philosophy and theology.
The same aplies to the rest of your proof texting.
Again, why is self-identity important? Why must I know who am I in order to have knowledge? Scripturalism or Clarkianism is an idea not an idenity. Let’s see if the idea is true.
You are right, the words are not there. I just copied down the verses that a Scripturalist gave in favor of his position. Perhaps we can look at some of the verses to see if the idea of Clarkianism is there.
Men cannot fathom or find out the work God has done from beginning to end. The verse shows that man cannot obtain knowledge of the works of God which are creation and providence. So man cannot know anything of God’s world that he made. This undercuts all claims to knowledge unless God reveals knowledge to us.
You are right; from this single verse you cannot deduce the universal statement. But from the verse we can gather that the way in which Peter got his knowledge was by revelation from God. It would seem that for us to know that Jesus is the Christ, God must reveal this to us as well. Jesus did not say to Peter, you got to your conclusion by empirical observation or by deducing it from non-scriptural premises or by a wild guess. Now do you believe that this verse is for us as well so that there is an application?
Note that I believe we can obtain knowledge from experience and deducing things from non-scriptural premises. I am just arguing what I think a Scriptualist might say, since I think there is some truth to their position, just not in their traditional formulations that I have looked at.
Might your method vary somewhat according to your audience?
Perhaps this is one of the better ones on the list.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10: But just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things; even the depths of God.
Here we find that all that God has prepared for those who love him are given by the Spirit. One of these things would be knowledge, since seeing, hearing, things entering the mind of man refer to ways of knowing. The context is that of methods of knowing. So knowing by experience and thinking are eliminated, and only knowing by revelation is left. So all knowledge is obtained by revelation, since I cannot think of another way of knowing.
I don't know about *method,* but *what you present* might differ.
There's no cookie-cutter approach.
Again, and for the last time, I'm not talking about self-identity.
But, here's how it is important. Say some person S says that all knowledge is obtained in some specific way W. Then for some item of knowledge P, if S says that he knows P, but P was not obtained by W, then S rebuts W. Showing how someone can't live up to their critieria, or holds contradictory beliefs because of their position, is important, I'd say.
And that should have told you all you need to know about their face-saving, ad hoc, contrived and forced position. Talk about grasping at straws.
For starters, "knowledge" isn't even a word in the verse. Secondly, is the context of Ecc. 3:10-11 to teach epistemology? To "undercut all claims to knowledge?" Why can't man "obtain knowledge of the works of God which are creation and providence." It seems that v. 14 indicates the opposite in that "God does it so that men will revere him." The text doesn't talk about "not knowing unless God reveals it to us." Where is that *in the text.*
Then why'd they use it as a proof text for a universal statement?
For us to know that Jesus is the Christ that must be revealed, okay. So what follows? Nothing that supports Scripturalism.
Next, how does the Scripturalist know that Jesus didn't say those things? Why believe that? Is he trusting his senses? Can he "deduce" that Jesus didn't say that?
"Some truth" is pretty vague. There's "some truth" in Quine's position. So what? Anyway, I don't feel it a wise use of time to debate a weak position with someone trying to defend that position even though he disagrees with that position. You think it's false. Nothing you've said rebuts my point that the Scripturalists don't know that they are Scripturalists. I was just wondering why they voted that way.