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Evidentialism and Reformed Epistemology

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John Leonard

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Religious Epistemology
« on: December 27, 2010, 03:01:46 pm »
http://drcraigvideos.blogspot.com

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Paul Kelly

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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2010, 07:11:56 pm »

Nice post, drcraigvideos.  So far, this lecture is pretty much the exact same thing as the chapter on religious epistemology in Philosophical Foundations For a Christian Worlview.


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bruce culver

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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 12:56:57 pm »
I only listened to the beginning of this, but I must agree with Dr. Craig concerning the weaknesses of logical positivism and verificationism. However, in my opinion his Christian apologetics suffers from the same ad hocness which he stated was good enough to discredit the undetectable gardener in the analogy he quoted. In other words, I find the constant retreat to the possible that apologists employ to overcome every objection quite enough to render orthodox Christian belief specious in the extreme. I will listen to the crest later and see if he says anything to change my mind.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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bruce culver

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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 01:18:40 pm »
OK, per WLC own challenge that the atheist needs to prove that God should have left more evidence of his existence. I offer this argument, which is not definitive proof, but a sound argument I think.

   

   It is a Christian claim that God is a moral judge, and that one of the things he judges us on is our belief in him. If that is true, then I posit that it is  incumbent upon him to give us incontrovertible evidence of his existence. There is no incontrovertible evidence of his existence. Therefore, he either does not exist or is not justified in judging us on our belief in Him.

   

   I can anticipate some of the Christian counters to this argument, but I don't have the time right now to pre defend the argument, but I must say I find WLC's counter that there is no reason to presume that if more people believed in God that more people would come into a loving relationship with Him is specious in the extreme. There is much more reason to think that than the opposite. I've

   heard WLC argue that it could be that God has providentially ordered the world in such a way that this eminently reasonable proposition is actually false. That folks is the epitome of the kind of ad hoc retreat to the possible that renders His apologetics as specious as the undetectable gardener.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."

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bruce culver

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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 10:21:24 pm »
After listening to this and reading some on Plantinga, I have to say I am not impressed. unfortunately, sometimes it is much harder to figure out where the problem with a philosophical argument lies than to simply intuit that it is hogwash. Often the terminology makes the reasoning opaque to all but a university trained logician, and I tend to distrust arguments that can't be very well stated in plain language.

   

   Anyway, put into plain language his argument is that under the the assumptions of naturalism and natural selection the conditional probability of our mental faculties being reliable is low or inscrutable.

   

   First of all, I think the statement low or inscrutable resolves to inscrutable, because if they are not inscrutable, then we should be able to at least roughly figure some probability to see if it is low or not, but Plantinga does not figure any probability; thereby conceding that it is in fact inscrutable and including the low option is simply sophistry. And if in fact the probability is insrutable, then we have no way of knowing whether it is high or low and his whole argument is null and void.

   

   In fact, I think that the reliability of our unaided beliefs, or certain types of them anyway, probably is low. However, I also believe that the reliability of beliefs generated by the scientific method is in fact very high, and this is proven by the efficacy of science. Beliefs generated by proper scientific inquiry in fact appear to be high enough to be considered knowledge.

   

   Even if I were to give this first step in his argument the benefit of the doubt, I think it would still fail miserably in it's argument for warranted Christian belief, which appears to me to be just a sophisticated cover for a circular argument that because the belief claims to be the truth of God that it therefore must be true and therefore it is not only belief but knowledge. If this were true then every religious belief that included a God that bestows us with our reason and also claims to be true would also by necessity be true, but that can't be.
"The world is my country and my religion is to do good."