What Jesus Christ Did For You in 80 Seconds

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Certainty, Logic, & God: When Worldviews Collide

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J.R.:

No such thing as an atheist, everyone was born with a knowledge of God’s existence.

What do you think Rudy Sepetjian?

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S.C.:

“No such thing as an atheist, everyone was born with a knowledge of God’s existence.”

That’s absurd. I wont even argue against that assertion because it is purely gratuitous.

———-

R.K.S.:

By objecting to the statement you ARE arguing against it, but further to the point:

Romans 1:18-20 says:

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Therefore, according to our Christian Worldview, everyone knows that God exists because God has placed that sensus divinitatis or sense of the Divine inside each person and to refuse that acknowledgement means that, for whatever reason, you are suppressing that truth in unrighteousness and you are, in the words of Scripture, “without excuse” in denying the God that you know.

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S.C.:

“By objecting to the statement you ARE arguing against it”

I merely called it absurd. That’s not an argument, just contradiction.

“Romans 1:18-20 says:”

I recognize no authority, here. You are not presenting an argument, rather just restating the gratuitous premise.

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R.K.S.:

If we’re going to get mired down in arguing over whether calling a position “absurd” and “gratuitous” is arguing against it, we’re not likely to have a genuine exchange regarding your beef.

I am happy to discuss this with you, but first we need to lay out our epistemologies. Therefore, since I don’t know you, are you saying that it is impossible for the God of the Bible to exist?

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S.C.:

Im saying there is no evidence for the proposition that there is a god. Im also saying that you have yet to make an argument for your proposition that the knowlege of god is innate, and you have only stated and restated that position. Unless/untill you do more than that, I have nothing to argue against. Gratuitous assertions are not arguments.

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RKS:

Steve, I’m getting there. But this discussion is meaningless until we lay out how we know what we know.

Now please answer my question:

Is it impossible for the God of the Bible to exist?

Yes, its possible.

or

No, its impossible.

————–

S.C:

Possible.

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RKS:

Ok, so if it is possible for the God of the Bible to exist, would it be possible for that God to reveal certain things to us, such that we could know some things for certain?

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SC:

Sure.

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RKS:

Steve, thank you for your patience with my questions.

Well, that is our claim. That God exists and that he has revealed certain things to us through revelation, such that we can know things for certain.

Now that I have laid out my epistemology, what do YOU know for certain, and how do you know it?

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SC:

We know very little for certain. If you want to get right down to it, the only knowable truth is Descartes “I think, therefore I am,” and we know that because a thought requires a thinking entity. Beyond that, we cannot, in absolute terms, trust our senses. All that said…as a practical matter we must accept that we do have a cognitive connection to reality, though we should be aware that senses and perceptions can be faulty.

Now…what does this have to do with the question at hand?

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RKS:

Thank you again Steve, and I swear I’m getting there.

Actually, it was Atheist Bertrand Russell who demonstrated that Descarte was guilty of the logical fallacy called “begging the question” with his “Cogito Ergo Sum” postulation. His first premise should have been, “There’s thinking going on.” And you cannot get from “There’s thinking going on.” to “I exist.” without assuming the proof IN the proof. That is circular reasoning. Same as trusting your reasoning to prove the validity of your reasoning or trusting your senses to prove the validity of your senses.

Therefore, am I understanding you correctly that according to your worldview you cannot know anything for certain?

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SC:

Im still with Descarte (note that the logic used to dispute descarte is the same logic Descarte uses himself). Other than that, as an absolute matter (not a practical matter) we can know nothing with certainty.

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RKS:

You began this thread by making certain knowledge claims. You started by claiming to KNOW that “Atheists never worry about hell, or desire for heaven.” You then went on the express that you KNOW that the innate knowledge of God in every person was “absurd” and gratuitous”. Finally, you went on to express that you KNOW that there is no evidence for God.

However, if you claim that you cannot know anything for certain, how then can you back up these knowledge claims?

Scripture teaches that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)

Therefore, my claim is that without God, you cannot know anything.

Now, you have conceded that God can exist and can communicate to his creation (divine revelation – the Bible) such that we can know things for certain.

Therefore, according to my worldview, it is possible for me to know things for certain and you corroborated that. You have admitted that we have a direct path to certainty.

My next question was , what do YOU know and HOW do you know it?—

Of which you answered: “we can know nothing with certainty,”

Well, if you can be wrong about everything you claim to know, and nothing can be known with certainty, then you don’t know anything. You have given up all claims to knowledge.

Therefore, when you admit I can know things for certain and you cannot, you prove that what the Bible states is true. Therefore, I can know for certain that God has placed the sensus divinitatis within each person according to divine revelation, and since you cannot know anything, you can have no reasonable objection.

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SC:

“Therefore, when you admit I can know things for certain and you cannot”

I admit no such thing. My inability to know is also your inability to know. You can claim otherwise, but that IS the dispute, not the resolution. Go ahead and claim to know anything you like. I say you cant know any more than I can.

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RKS:

Steve, you began this thread by making certain knowledge claims. You started by claiming to KNOW that “Atheists never worry about hell, or desire for heaven.” You then went on the express that you KNOW that the innate knowledge of God in every person was “absurd” and gratuitous”. Finally, you went on to express that you KNOW that there is no evidence for God.

———–

S.C.:

Do I know for a fact that no atheist ever worry about hell or heaven? Well, in fact, I do, as that is inherent in the very definition of atheist. If someone claims to be an atheist yet worries about an afterlife, he is misusing the word or simply lying.

Do I know that your claim is gartuitious? To the extent that I can know that you have made a claim (and without that knowlege the whole discussion is mute..or imaginary) then I know it to be gratuitous because it was made without support.

And, of course, these statements assume that we and the world exist. Im happy to make that assumption, simply because the alternative makes all discussion meaningless. I dont know it to be true, but if it isnt true, I dont/cant care about knowing.

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RKS:

“My inability to know is also your inability to know. You can claim otherwise, but that IS the dispute, not the resolution. Go ahead and claim to know anything you like. I say you cant know any more than I can.”

Steve, if you can’t know anything, how can you know what I can know?

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SC:

I know one thing (Descarte). That is knowlege that doesnt depend upon any empirical observations, so I need no empirical observations to conclude that you, if you exist, know no more than I do.

Which is what? You seem to think tha a mere claim to knowlege is relevant and disposiive. You also seem to be using logic to dispute logic itself. My knowlege claims are not dependant upion empirical observations, but only on logic itself. If you dispute logic using logic, you are circular. You cant use logic and dispute it at the same time

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RKS:

1) You admitted that according to your worldview, you cannot know anything, yet you are claiming now to know you exist. Which is it? Can you know you exist or is it true that nothing can be known for certain. According to the Law of Non Contradiction, A cannot both be A and not A at the same time and in the same way, therefore, it is YOU who are violating the Laws of Logic.

2) If it is true that you DO know things, it is only because you are borrowing from our Christian Worldview, which has been demonstrated in this exchange.

3) I don’t ordinarily give that one away as a freebie, but I will be gratuitous this one time; even if you deny the circularity that you know you exist because you are existing, how does that tell you what I can know?

4) If you believe only in a material universe, then how can you account for the Laws of Logic which are immaterial, universal and immutable?

5) When you reason that your reasoning is reliable, is that viciously circular? If not, why not?

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SC:

“1) You admitted that according to your worldview, you cannot know anything”

We (not just I) can know nothing empirical with certainty. We (not just I) know we are an existing entity a la Descarte.

“2) If it is true that you DO know things, it is only because you are borrowing from our Christian Worldview, which has been demonstrated in this exchange.”

See 1.

“3) I don’t ordinarily give that one away as a freebie, but I will be gratuitous this one time; even if you deny the circularity that you know you exist because you are existing, how does that tell you what I can know?”

Because that knowlege is not empirical, but logical.

“4) If you believe only in a material universe, then how can you account for the Laws of Logic which are immaterial, universal and immutable?”

The premise is nonsense. A material world can be goverened by physical laws. Logic is a tool, and does not depend upon anything physical.

“5) When you reason that your reasoning is reliable, is that viciously circular? If not, why not?”

What process are you using? When you reject logic (and stop attempting to use logic) I’ll consider your objection. You cant use logic to reject logic.

And it’s time to put the onus on you. Does your belief in logic depend upon the conclusion that there is a god? If so, how (by what process) do you arrive at the conclusion that there is a god?

————

RKS:

A. “We (not just I) can know nothing empirical with certainty.”

i) How do you know that?

ii) Is it certain that we cannot know things for certain, Steve?

iii) Once again, if you cannot know anything, how can you know what I can know?Saying “logically” doesn’t answer HOW you know, particularly when your worldview cannot even account for logic.

B. “The premise is nonsense.”

If nothing can be known for certain, how can you know that?

C. “You cant use logic to reject logic.”

If nothing can be known for certain, how do you know that?

D. “I can know nothing empirical with certainty”

Then please stop making knowledge claims.

I am happy to let the readers decide which of us has been inconsistent.

A Mid-January New Year’s Greeting from Across the Fruited Plain

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Dearest Readers and Followers of Across the Fruited Plain,

As we bring another year of web publishing to a close and embrace the exciting prospects of the new year already upon us, I’ve had a lot to reflect upon. Proud of the intellectual journey, academic integrity and civility of discourse which has become synonymous with Across the Fruited Plain, it has been a genuine pleasure to write, edit and manage a website whose record of thought provoking and unconventional perspectives as well as collegial engagement in healthy and vigorous discourse across a myriad of controversial topics, has been its own reward. In fact, the consensus sentiment that echoed throughout the year was recognition of the rare and conspicuous affinity for high-level and respectful exchange despite how committed or spirited the disagreement. In fact, some of the folks you have read me disagree with the most heartily or most regularly are actually people I have grown to appreciate and respect the most, personally.

We began 2012 with the institution of a daily prayer segment entitled Grace Before Meals; daily mealtime prayers taken from a small, cloth-bound, 1911 volume from my personal library. This enterprise afforded me the opportunity of daily dedication in publishing and prayer, a venue for my photography, a daily chance to pray along with believers worldwide as well as the blessings of bathing my website in prayer. Maintaining this segment across the face of a year was an interesting challenge. In fact, if someone were to ask me whether they should start a blog, I might advise trying the commitment of a similar daily entry on a text document for 60 or 90 days, just for a taste of the experience and required endurance.

As has come to be expected from Across the Fruited Plain, 2012 saw the humble yet unrelenting advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through hundreds of articles related to the Bible and science and the tremendous and irreconcilable distinctions between the Darwinian and Biblical Worldviews. Some of our more popular series’ included “Age Limiting Factors”, “Anticipated Discoveries of the Bible”, and “Myths of Evolution.”

2012 also saw the theological introduction of Pre-suppositional Apologetics, (apologetics meaning a defense of the faith), augmenting our already robust arsenal of scientifically substantiated evidence-based examples for the truth of God’s Word (see Category Scientia). As we considered in various pieces, Pre-suppositional Apologetics, which is a philosophically transcendental apologetic approach, stands on the truth of scripture and bottom-lines the fact that only the Christian Worldview can account for things like knowledge, truth, morality, love, justice, laws of logic, laws of mathematics and absolute standards and how the Atheistic Worldview borrows these concepts from the Christian Worldview with no way to account for them. In preparation for an upcoming exchange demonstrating this, you may want to search “pre-suppositional” in the search box above to familiarize yourself with past articles about Pre-Suppositional Apologetics.

As we set sail for this new year’s horizon, it is our aim to continue to produce competent and challenging content as we wage to stem the tide of deception regarding the Bible, creation and evolutionism. Over the course of the next few weeks, some of our content will include: A rebuttal of Senator Marco Rubio’s recent Old Earth comments, an investigation into a Michigan boy’s discovery of an alleged 13,000 year old bone, how ancient man was probably much larger and smarter than modern humans and, even the third rail of the creation-evolutionism debate—dinosaurs. Did they really go extinct 65 million years ago? If you are prepared to be challenged by concepts that contradict everything you have been taught since Kindergarten, tune in to find out more.

Warmest Personal Regards from Across the Fruited Plain,

R. K. Sepetjian

Morning Grace: December 25

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This Christmas Morning prayer is dedicated to my friend Adam Benton from across the Big Pond.

Merry Christmas, Adam!

We thank Thee for the blessings received during the days that are gone, and ask Thy Divine blessing upon this food this Holy Christmas morning, for Jesus sake. Amen.

(A William Nyce., and Hubert Bunyea. Grace Before Meals. Philadelphia, PA, 1911)

Evening Grace: December 24

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Christmas Eve

Dear Lord, we do gratefully thank Thee this day for allowing us the privilege of coming together again to enjoy the abundant blessing Thou hast so lovingly provided for our physical bodies; may it be food for our bodies and nourishment for our souls, and may our hearts be made pure from all sin, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

(A William Nyce., and Hubert Bunyea. Grace Before Meals. Philadelphia, PA, 1911)