Presuppositional apologetics have revolutionized the way I view life and creation. I truly see how everyone lives as though God is real and true, but there are those who deny it, and must continually suppress God's reality. In part one, I will attempt to simplify a complex philosophical study, epistemology. In part two, I will attempt to apply epistemology and will show the bankrupt thinking of atheists
First, I want to define keywords to avoid equivocation, a logical fallacy. At times, I will use the redundant phrase: “100% guaranteed certain” to make abundantly clear my meaning. Many Atheists equivocate or change the meaning of this word to mean other than it's most common usage.
The quality or state of being true.
I don't like definitions which includes the word or root being defined, so I will use the correspondence theory; that which corresponds to reality, or that which God thinks.
1.known for sure; established beyond doubt.
"it's certain that more changes are in the offing"
synonyms: unquestionable, sure, definite, beyond question, not in question, not in doubt, beyond doubt, unequivocal, indubitable, undeniable, irrefutable, indisputable, incontrovertible, incontestable, obvious, patent, manifest, evident, plain, clear, transparent, palpable, unmistakable, conclusive, recognized, confirmed, accepted, acknowledged, undisputed, undoubted, unquestioned, unchallenged, uncontested;
The theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.
1. Facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.
Bible definitions and usage:
I have used several scriptures with a keyword. I will list the definition or definitions, followed by scripture.
Strong's Definitions H530: אֱמוּנָה ʼĕmûwnâh, em-oInaw'; literally firmness; figuratively security; morally fidelity:—faith(-ful, -ly, -ness, (man)), set office, stability, steady, truly, truth, verily.
Jeremiah 5:3 KJV — "O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return."
Strongs definition: H1847:דַּעַת dah'·ath
Outline of Biblical Usage:
knowledge, perception, skill
discernment, understanding, wisdom
Proverbs 1:7 KJV — "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Proverbs 9:10 KJV — "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
Strongs definition: G1922 ἐπίγνωσις
Part of Speech: feminine noun
Outline of Biblical Usage:
Precise and correct knowledge used in the NT of the knowledge of things ethical and divine
2 Peter 1:2-3 "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue"
STRONGS DEFINITION NT 225: ἀλήθεια
ἀλήθεια, -ας, ἡ, (ἀληθής) [from Homer down], verity, truth.
1. Universally, what is true in any matter under consideration (opposed to what is feigned, fictitious, false)
John 14:6 KJV — "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 18:37 KJV — "Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all."
Good question by Pilate. Many contemporaries have no definition of truth, yet assume truth in all their communications. Though they assume truth, many atheists will deny 100% guaranteed accuracy in what they think they know. Pilate must have been confused by many truths; subjective, objective, or absolute, Hellenistic thought, Jewish thought, Roman thought, not to mention a host of capricious gods. Is Jesus right? He claimed not just to KNOW the truth, but that He WAS the truth. Are there absolute truths, and are absolute truths true at all times and in all places?
Wouldn't it be contradictory to make an absolute across-the-board claim that no truths are absolute? Isn't that a self-defeating statement? To make an absolute truthful claim, that no absolute truths exist is absurd. Isn't it wrong to be contradictory? How more so to be self-contradictory? If we are made in the image of The Creator, yes; it would be wrong. It would he wrong because God does not lie, does not change, and is self described accurately as “The Truth."
As we look from the Atheistic worldview; we are nothing but accidental bags of chemical reactions without purpose or meaning. There is nothing wrong with breaking a law of logic. Nothing has meaning beyond what our brains, the accidental electro-chemical meat machine, assigns. So who is to say something is “wrong?"
How then does one determine what is true or real? As a Christian, God, who is omniscient, in His loving Kindness, gives us revelation. Does an atheist use their senses to sense what is real? How does one put into context that which they sense? Do you then use your reason to make use of your senses? How do you know your senses and reasoning are valid? Do you sense that your senses are valid? Do you then reason that your reasoning is valid? An atheist may also rely upon their past experiences to validate their reasoning. In doing so, they assume their memory stores information correctly, have the capacity to accurately recall a specific memory, and rely upon their reason to correctly interpret a memory within a context which makes sense within a proper situation.
If we have an error in your senses, would we know? If our memory is suspect, would we remember it to be inaccurate? Likewise, if we have an error in our reasoning, could we reason it? Can one describe color to someone who was born blind? Can one describe the rustle of autumn leaves to one who has never heard? Could one describe the aroma of the salty ocean on a bright breezy summer day at the beach to someone with deficit cognitive abilities who has always been institutionalized? If an atheist measures their reasoning abilities exclusively by others who reason just like them, how could they recognize any error at all?
This is epistemology, or the study of knowing stuff. Most never consider how they know things. Knowledge is just assumed. How do I know what I know? The facts that I assume I know; are they true and agree with what is objectively real? A basic question is, “Is there absolute knowledge?" or "Can we know something for 100% guaranteed certain?" There are two possible answers, only one is logically consistent with what is real.
If one were to answer “No, there can be no absolute knowledge”. This statement is self-defeating, for a knowledge claim is absolutely made that 100% guaranteed nothing can be known for certain.
If one were to answer "Yes, there is absolute knowledge." If there is certain knowledge, then there is a way to find it. The way to find absolute knowledge is only through some who knows everything.
Knowledge comes from only two sources:
Personal experience ie: The stove top is hot. You touch it. You can also use instruments to verify and measure the heat coming off the stove top. However, this assumes your senses and measuring apparatus are calibrated correctly and in working order. GIGO ( garbage in, garbage out) applies here.
Knowledge from others. Johnny's mother says “Don't touch the stove top, it's hot.”Johnny has a choice; believe it, or not. If he decides to believe and obey, he saves himself some pain. lf he doesn't obey, he confirms his mother's information.
However, the second pathway to knowledge has limitations as well. The information is only as good as the informant's knowledge. For example: Johnny has a calculus test the next day. His sister just aced her math exam. Is Johnny clever when he asks his sister to prep him for his exam? Not if his sister is 7, and in first grade. Or a college professor teaches his class in such a way to get his students to “think for themselves." The students will pass his course as long as they conform to the professor's way of thinking. The students now have the illusion being free thinkers.They are free as long as they think like other students, and just like the professors.
The logical conclusion to the second pathway to knowledge is called an infinite regress:
How do I know A? Because of B.
How do I know B? Because of C.
How do I know C? Because of D.
And so on ad infinitum.
How does Johnny know the stove top is hot? His mother told him.
Does his mother have knowledge about the stove top? Yes. His mother turned it on.
Does his mother have experience with hot stove tops? Yes. His mother has cooked many meals.
Is Johnny's mother able to communicate accurately and effectively about the condition of the stove top? Yes. She used the language of which they both have knowledge.
And so on….
To end this regress, one must either base assumptions which are thought to be accurate by unproven blind faith, or have all knowledge, or omniscience. If someone does not have omniscience, the endless regress can still end if someone KNOWS someone who has it, and information is shared based upon omniscience.
To positively have 100% guaranteed accuracy about something, one must know everything. Why is that? Consider this: If the reader has 1% knowledge of everything to be known, doesn't it make sense that within the 99% of what you don't know, may contradict with what you think you know? Just a few examples of this kind of contradictory knowledge are: The solar system was thought to be geocentric, then heliocentric. Now some people are convinced the Earth is flat. Disease moved from bad humors, to germ theory.
If you could be wrong in everything you assume to know, do you know anything for 100% guaranteed certain? The absurdity is this: could an atheist be 100% guaranteed accurate, when they claim they could be wrong about all their supposed knowledge? Isn't that a blanket statement claiming that all they know may be wrong…….. including that statement??!!!
This dovetails with a thought problem called solipsism. I'll get into that problem in future articles..
Is it impossible that the God of the Bible; an immaterial, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent benevolent, just, being to exist? To simply claim that He is an impossibility, one must know all things. This then becomes nothing more than an assertion… Unless you have omniscience, or know someone who is omniscient. If the Christian God has all knowledge, could this Being communicate to someone in such a way that they could be 100% guaranteed certain about some things? Obviously, of course, otherwise He would not be the things which describe Him.
God, using the Bible has confirmed that all men know that He is. Man either acknowledges Him, or pretends He does not exist, or assert they lack positive evidence. In part two, I will show the absurdity of this claim.
If we get information from the God of the Bible, we can be sure of it's voracity. How can we be sure of that? If we couldn't believe Him, He wouldn't be God, or The Great I Am, nor could He self-describe as “The truth."
Before you dismiss what I have to say because I am not omniscient, I am, made in the image of God. He has communicated to me in a way that I can be 100% guaranteed without error about some things. As created in His image, I am able to know with certainty, I exist in a physical realm with induction. There is also an immaterial realm where laws of logic, laws of physics, laws of mathematics and chemical laws describe the material world. He has made me to know, discover, and enjoy Him and His creation. God loves His highest creation, man, and has communicated to him via a library of books and letters which we call the Bible. He has also given each one of us knowledge of Him and has displayed His invisible character through creation.
Stay tuned for part two where I consider subjects where in truth and accuracy are assumed. In part two, I will look at the immaterial realm where laws of logic, laws of physics, laws of mathematics and chemical laws describe the material world. Do they actually exist, or are they nothing more than electro-chemical impulses in the three pound accidental meat machine called our brain.