Monday, December 01, 2014

More on Craig and Reformed Epistemology

What I am suggesting is that the question of indefeasibility seems to be something on top of the issues created by Reformed Epistemology. 

I think that religious experiences like those Craig mentions, if you have them, give you a reason to believe in God that another person might not have. But to say in advance that this will outweigh any possible argument that could arise against theism, I still think of this as a stretch. 

But not one that justifies ad hominem attacks in the context of the philosophical arguments.

1 comment:

RD Miksa said...

Dear Dr. Reppert:

You said:

"I think that religious experiences like those Craig mentions, if you have them, give you a reason to believe in God that another person might not have. But to say in advance that this will outweigh any possible argument that could arise against theism, I still think of this as a stretch."

Let me disagree with you for a second here. And in doing so, let me reference William Lycan's paper "A Particularly Compelling Refutation of Eliminative Materialism." In it, Lycan argues that believing in eliminative materialism will never be rational because any argument for eliminative materialism must, by necessity, have a philosophical portion to it. And yet, any philosophical argument for eliminative materialism will, Lycan argues, always be weaker in force than the clear and raw experience of having beliefs, being conscious, and so forth.

In the same way, if the theist has an experience of God that is so powerful that it is more real than real--say, more certain than even the fact that he is conscious--than would it really be rational for that theist to give up that belief in the face of some philosophical argument opposing it? I say it would not be rational, just as it would not be rational for me to find a philosophical argument for the fact that I do not have beliefs to be more compelling than the clear experiential data that I do have beliefs.

And so the theist who has had such an experience can use this very "Lycian" argument to rational argue that the experience that he has had will always be more rationally compelling than any philosophical argument against it. And such a position, in my view, supports Craig's contention that the Witness of the Holy Spirit could be so powerful as to be rational indefensible.

Take care,

RD Miksa