Roger12

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I recently listened to Dr Craig's latest podcast defense of the Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit (henceforth IWHS) as a manifestation of Plantinga's Intrinsic Defeater-Defeater (henceforth IDD).

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/answering-critics-of-the-inner-witness-of-the-spirit

It struck me once again that the refutation of "Classical Foundationalism" is merely a just-so post hoc attempt to make room for subjective experience as inner certitude of God's existence and the veracity of the Christian faith in the face of potential and actual evidendential defeaters of warranted belief.

Feel the pressure of contrary evidence and arguments against your Christian beliefs? Want to feel you beliefs are still rational and warranted even so? No problem - just pull down the foundations of epistemology (so called Classical Foundationalism) and reinvent you own version where religious belief can be properly basic and indefeasible no matter what! Problem solved. Your beliefs are now safely insulated from any potential evidential or rational defeater! You know have a perfect ejector seat out of any uncomfortable discussion about the rationality of your faith!

It occurred to me that Dr Craig was once again guilty of special pleading and begging the question when he stated the Christian inner knowing was different to equally fervent inner knowing in Islam, Judaism or other religions simply because "the Holy Spirit is real". Surely this is just circular reasoning - perhaps "virtuously circular" in the same vein as presuppositional apologetics?


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FNB - Former non-believer

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Re: WLC & Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit - ?Begging the Question
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2015, 04:26:25 pm »
Quite a late response here but I would say the falsehood of classical foundationalism is something which can be shown. This would be independent of whatever Christianity teaches. Unfortunately the paradigm that we are taught is often out dated and would mean that our most basic beliefs are irrational. And removing classical foundationalism's bad foundation seems to be the only way to consider anything true. Certianly Plantinga has an agenda, but that doesn't make his claims false any more than it makes yours. And the existence of other religions claiming knowledge of God doesn't mean all religions are false. It just means all are probably not true. WLC and Plantinga have thought about it and Plantinga anticipates and deals with this objection in his very meticulous philosophical book on the topic.

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ParaclitosLogos

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Re: WLC & Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit - ?Begging the Question
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 10:50:34 pm »
Very late.

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Re: WLC & Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit - ?Begging the Question
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 10:58:24 pm »
It struck me once again that the refutation of "Classical Foundationalism" is merely a just-so post hoc attempt to make room for subjective experience as inner certitude of God's existence and the veracity of the Christian faith in the face of potential and actual evidendential defeaters of warranted belief.

Classical Foundationalism is refuted in that it falls by its own sword. CF asserts that there are two kinds of beliefs: (1) self-evident or incorrigible beliefs and (2) all of our others beliefs, which are based on the beliefs that fall under (1) and require reason/evidence. But, CF is neither self-evident or incorrigible. In order to be so, a person couldn't help but understand CF and see that it is true. Yet we all understand it - and we don't just see that it's true like 2+2=4 - so CF is not a belief that falls under (1). Yet at the same time, foundationalists typically don't give arguments for CF. So CF isn't a type (2) belief either. Therefore, CF is self-refuting.

Feel the pressure of contrary evidence and arguments against your Christian beliefs? Want to feel you beliefs are still rational and warranted even so? No problem - just pull down the foundations of epistemology (so called Classical Foundationalism) and reinvent you own version where religious belief can be properly basic and indefeasible no matter what!

This assumes a couple of things. (1) That there are good arguments/evidence against Christianity. Now there are two types of objections to Christian belief, as Alvin Plantinga explains in Warranted Christian Belief. The de jure objection - that Christian belief is irrational, or unwarranted, or intellectually irresponsible - and the de facto objection - that Christian belief is false. Now most objections to Christian belief are de jure objections, as Plantinga explains. People aren't willing to say they know (not necessarily with certainty) that Christianity is false - who'd know a thing like that? - but they are willing to say Christian belief is unjustified, irrational, etc.

What the de jure objection assumes is that Christian belief is only rational if it's based on other self-evident/incorrigible propositions we believe. Yet why can't someone simply see Christianity is true? Why is it impossible that God could - via the Holy Spirit - bring about a belief in the "great things of the Gospel" independent of arguments? It seems to me - aside from assuming the de facto objection - we have no reason to suppose he couldn't.

The other assumption (2) that's entailed is that God would actually want a Christian to apostatize when surrounded by objections. But most people in history haven't had the time or resources to develop a sophisticated defense of the faith. It seems if God really did just leave us hostage to the ever changing tide of arguments/evidence, He would in effect be abandoning the vast majority of people that have lived, and perhaps even a significant proportion of the people living today.

So Holy Spirit epistemology is not special pleading or circular. Nor do most people - least of all Plantinga - claim this model is true. Plantinga repeatedly emphasizes his goal is simply to show how such a model may be true.


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jayceeii

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Re: WLC & Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit - ?Begging the Question
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2019, 09:11:55 am »
It occurred to me that Dr Craig was once again guilty of special pleading and begging the question when he stated the Christian inner knowing was different to equally fervent inner knowing in Islam, Judaism or other religions simply because "the Holy Spirit is real". Surely this is just circular reasoning.
Indeed, Craig is desperate to support Christianity against the other religions, without allowing the possibility the same God is behind them all. Was God weak, and unable to spread a universal religion? Or did the very nature of the human audience demand compromise? The founders of the religions, notably, took few pains to establish their claims above the rest, although if they are logical and aware they should’ve done so, particular in the case of Christianity where the accepted belief is that Jesus was God. If the founders are not impressive logically, it makes us wonder about their revelations.

The religionists claim an inner feeling, the atheists claim no inner feeling whatsoever. So while the fact every religionist claims a spiritual feeling of certitude about his chosen brand could be understood as the actions of the same Holy Spirit, if God is universal, the atheists appear left out in the cold (content neither to know or care about existential issues). To identify common themes in the religions is either impossible or easy, depending on the chosen criteria. This book, World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, presents parallel scriptural citations on myriad subjects. Others viewing the religions see only huge differences and impossible barriers. To see the same God behind all the religions I think requires a higher context, aware of human limitations.