Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Truth is Consistent with Itself

From the excellent blog Evangelical Realism, on the religious apologist's appeal to ignorance:

I do not claim that I can explain every strange thing that happens in life, I merely claim that truth is consistent with itself, and therefore I am confident that any future answers we may find will turn out to be consistent with the truth we already possess. But this is rather irrelevant to the particular issue under discussion here, since the question is not whether men are omniscient, but whether God shows up in real life. Man’s failure to know a particular answer does not constitute God showing up in real life. Ignorance is not knowledge. It’s as simple as that.

Appealing to ignorance is also a flawed approach when you consider the fact that the term “God,” as typically used, refers to a being about whom men claim to possess knowledge. We’re not postulating some being about which no one knows anything, whose existence might indeed be manifest only among the large body of answers we do not currently possess. A God who only “shows up” in the things we are ignorant of is a God who has not shown up. Showing up means we do know we’ve encountered Him; if we don’t know, then He hasn’t done it, and if He hasn’t shown up, then we’re back to the undeniable fact and its inescapable consequence. In God’s absence, the closest we can come to faith is to gullibly put our trust in whatever men tell us about God, despite the contradictions and inconsistencies.

Besides, we don’t need to appeal to ignorance, because we can use the evidence we do have to evaluate the different claims. I claim that God does not show up in real life. Test me. See for yourself, by real world observation, whether or not God does show up. I do not know you. I’ve never met you. I know nothing about your life. How is it, then, that I can know God has never literally, materially, personally shown up in your life? How can I be right 100% of the time? Easy: the truth is consistent with itself.

Deacon Duncan

Read the full article here.

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