Scientism • Hard – Science is the ONLY way we can know reality. • Weak – Science is the BEST way we can know reality.
If we rely ONLY on scientific answers to knowledge, we lose meaning, purpose and personal explanations of reality.
Science • Conclusions • Evidence • Facts • Knowledge • Proofs • Laws
Religion • Belief • Personal Convictions • Dogma • Faith (as understood as blindly accepting things) • Values
Post-Modernism- The rejection of objective truth.- The belief that all truth claims are simply social/linguistic constructs.- The rejection of a meta-narrative (bigger story) that unites people.- You choose truth based on your preferences. postmodernism
ProblemsTo say there is no objective truth is to make a statement that is assumed to be objective, which is self-defeating postmodernism
ProblemsTo say all truth claims are social/linguistic constructs attempts to make a truth claim that is outside of social/linguistic constructs postmodernism
ProblemsTo say truth is based on your preference violates its own standards. postmodernism
ProblemsLoss of critical elements such as truth, logic, ethics, meaning, purpose, etc. postmodernism
Worldview Impacts Christianity • Tentativeness about expressing truths • Powerless gospel • Our spiritual/religious activity will never rise above custom and convention • Scripture becomes how I interpret it • The Loss of expectation for God’s activity • Purely physical understandings of thoroughly spiritual ideas (soul, spirit world).
In what ways has this thinking impacted the American Church? In what ways might have these effected your thinking/living?
Right Way of Knowing Knowledge is the ability to represent things as they are on an appropriate basis of thought and experience. J.P. Moreland THREE TYPES of KNOWLEDGE: • Knowledge by Acquaintance • Knowledge by Skill (know how) • Knowledge by Proposition (K=JTB)
KNOWLEDGE Knowledge = Justified, True Belief Epistemology: • What do we know? • How do we know what we know?
Problem of the Criterion • Skepticism – can’t answer either question. • Methodism – answer “How do we know what we know” first. • Particularism – answer “What do we know” first.
Knowledge = justified, true BELIEF “I believe in order that I might know” Anselm and Augustine “All of them (items of knowledge) rest on fundamental assumptions which can be questioned. But the questioning, if it is to be rational, has to rely on other fundamental assumptions which can in turn be questioned. It follows that there can be no knowing without personal commitment. We must believe in order to know.” Lesslie Newbigin
IDEAS ABOUT TRUTH/ REALITY TRUTH/ REALITY
Knowledge=justified, TRUE belief TWO TASKS as KNOWERS • believe as many truths as possible • Avoid as many falsehoods
Knowledge=JUSTIFIED, true belief TWO TYPES OF JUSTIFICATION • Indefeasible (things you cannot doubt) • Defeasible (can be doubted, but are likely true though possibly wrong)
Knowledge=JUSTIFIED, true belief TWO TYPES OF JUSTIFICATION • Indefeasible (things you cannot doubt) • Self-Evident – can’t be doubted (I exist) • Incorrigible – can’t be corrected (I am doubting) • Evident to the Senses (I am having a sense) • Logic, Math proofs, Reason (only if obvious)
Knowledge=JUSTIFIED, true belief TWO TYPES OF JUSTIFICATION • Defeasible (can be doubted, but are likely true though possibly wrong) • Perception • Memory • Testimony • SensusDivina • Revelation?
Questions • Does it bother you that belief is part of knowledge? • If there is no certainty, can we really say we have knowledge? • What implications might there be in approaching knowledge this way?
Implications for Knowing • Christianity counts as knowledge • Knowledge and faith actually work quite well together • Certainty is not required for knowledge • Our certainty is in God, not in evidence • Humans need to know more than the Bible • Non-Christians can discover important truths • The Bible has limits, but is still ultimate
Questions • Does it give you confidence that you can claim to know Christianity is true every bit as much as you can claim that George Washington was the first president or that H20 is Water? • How should we approach apologetics in light of how knowledge works? • Where is the Spirit of God in all of this?
Knowledge of God “For His (God’s) unseen, but His eternal abilities and ‘God-ness’ are clearly understood/perceived from the creation of the universe (world) in the things He made (earth, wisdom, humans, etc.) so that the created are without excuse (literally – without a proof or defense).” Romans 1:20
Logic, Math Spiritual Religion Truth/ Reality Ethics science
Necessary Being Argument(the one who started the ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy’ system into place) • If things exist, then something has always existed. • LOGIC: From nothing, comes nothing. • There cannot be a time when nothing existed (contradiction – what created it?). • That something necessarily had to have ultimate existence in itself (not created). • So, who created God?
Unmoved Mover Argument (who hit the cue ball?) • If things are in motion, who started them? • Physics: Newton’s First Law (Inertia) states that every body remains in a state of rest or uniform motion unless it is acted upon by an external unbalanced force. • There had to be an ‘unmoved mover’. • Can God create a rock so big that He cannot move it?