Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Dumbing Down, Down Dummies
Daniel Fincke of Camels With Hammers has a justified problem with William Lane Craig over the little matter of Craig calling "infidel websites," which no doubt include any sort of secular site that doubts Christianity of the sort Craig espouses, "pornographic (evil writing)."
Read Daniel's deconstruction of Craig's anti-philosophical attitude and insulting attitude towards both "believers" and "apostates."
But, as often happens, there is something others may not notice that amuses me. Craig spends several paragraphs explaining how disappointed he was in his professors at Wheaton College actually trying to confuse him with reason. He eventually decides that reason isn't meant to actually ... you know ... reason. It's an apologetic tool only.
I hold that argument and evidence play an essential role in our showing Christianity to be true, but a contingent and secondary role in our personally knowing Christianity to be true. The proper ground of our knowing Christianity to be true is the inner work of the Holy Spirit; and in our showing Christianity to be true, it is His role to open the hearts of unbelievers to assent and respond to the reasons we present.Um ... in other words, he doesn't have to believe that his "argument and evidence" are true ... since he doesn't need reason to "know" ... he just has to "set up" others for the Holy Spirit by fooling them into thinking that there's some sort of reason behind Christianity, so they too can, with a clear conscience, chuck reason and just
A mind is a terrible thing ...
...which probably is a big part of the reason I'm now an atheist: because I could never get on board with the notion that Christianity had to be taken as a priori true, and all argument just a way of rationalizing that axiom. No: truth, ultimately, is all of a piece; evidence and reason are to be followed where they lead, not to a pre-determined destination.
If it quacks like a con man ...
Now, I wouldn't claim my reasons should have you agreeing that you too love Johnston's music. Does Craig actually claim that his arguments and evidence should be sufficient on their own to cause you to embrace his religion?
And, yes, you should check out Richard Johnston's music.
I would say something like this: while one can make an intellectual case for the truth of Christianity (or any religion, not trying to argue over which is more verifiable), the far more important issue is personal. Looking inside oneself and asking questions like "Do I believe this?" "If so, then what do I believe." "What does it mean for me?" Those spiritual questions are far more important for most people because they begin where spirituality begins - with the self.
Go ahead and call all that gobbledygook. I think it needed to be said.
Well, his point seems to be that reason (with the ... um ... unreasonable assistence of the Holy Spirit) is enough to "show" that Christianity is TRUE. Now I haven't read (and won't engage in the painful exercise of reading) Craig's entire oeuvre, but he seems to say it clear enough here.
You can give me rational reasons why I might ENJOY Richard Johnston's music (the musicians are technically good; his voice is well-trained; etc.) but if you tell me that reason shows that his music is the ONE TRUE MUSIC, and you then turn around and say that reason doesn't count in that determination, I'd naturally ask why you were talking about reason in the first place. Tell me "Try it, you'll like it" and I have no problem. Tell me "Try it because it is the only reasonable thing to do but, by the way, reason has nothing to do with it" and I'll likely call you a liar or lunatic without a second's consideration of any lord being around.
2) WLC drives me nuts. I'm just sayin'.
3) The world is deeply screwed up and one of the many ways that we know this is that skirts are considered women's wear and pants are considered men's wear. If any of this was guided by common sense, it would be the other way around.
4) Along with TB, I wish everyone a happy holiday, and if you are not American, I hope you do something fun over the next few days anyway.
-- pew sitter
Welcome to the club of know-nothings.
I didn't pretend to know enough to pronounce certainty and restricted myself to a particular statement of one particular person, instead of all Xnians and/or theists.
Saying what you know and don't know is not knownothingism. It's a little thing called "honesty." I hope you don't have a problem with that.