Showing posts with label Reformed Epistemology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reformed Epistemology. Show all posts

The Demon, Matrix, Material World, and Dream Possibilities


Below is Appendix C from my book, Unapologetic: Why Philosophy of Religion Must End (Pitchstone Publishing, 2015), pp. 257-271. You're welcome! Given the influence of Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig, I doubt very much believers have heard these issues discussed like this before. I share it in hopes you'll like what I write enough to read the whole book. 

The Demon, Matrix, Material World,

and Dream Possibilities,

by John W. Loftus

The Intuitive Faith Path. Reviewing Mittelberg's Book "Confident Faith" Part 14

On January 2018 I started a series of posts on Mark Mittelberg's book, Confident Faith. The first post introduced Mark and his book right here. [See the Tag "Mark Mittelberg" for more]. I stopped reviewing his book when I got busy on my final three books [See Link.]

So I'm back to Mittelberg. To briefly rehearse, Mittelberg begins his book in Part 1, "Six Paths of Faith", by speaking about approaches, or methods readers adopt to embrace their respective faiths (remember, *cough* he says we all have faith):

1) The Relativistic Path: "Truth is Whatever Works for You"
2) The Traditional Faith Path: "Truth is What You've Always Been Taught"
3) The Authoritarian Faith Path: "Truth Is What You've Always Been Told You Must Believe"
4) The Intuitive Faith Path" "Truth Is What You Feel In Your Heart"
5) The Mystical Faith Path" "Truth Is What You Think God Told You"
6) The Evidential Faith Path: "Truth Is What Logic and Evidence Point To"

"This is crucial" he says, "because the method (or methods) you use in deciding what to believe has a huge bearing on what those beliefs will actually be, as well as how confident you'll be in holding on to them." (p. 9) "Most people never consider this" he goes on to say. "They just arbitrarily adopt an approach--or adopt one that's been handed to them--and uncritically employ it to choose a set of beliefs that may or may not really add up." (p. 10)

To his credit, Mittelberg does something intellectually respectful, that William Lane Craig does not do. Mittelberg discusses other ways of knowing the truth about faith and religion. Craig participates in debates about apologetics but he only defends his own particular view in them. It's like he's forever in debate mode!

So far I only got to method 3. Given my emphasis lately on William Lane Craig's Spirit Guided Epistemology, it's time to compare and contrast Craig's views with Mittelberg's.

On Plantinga and Craig's Psychic Epistemology

William Lane Craig's Favorite Hymn!
Plantinga and Craig are prime examples of what philosopher Stephen Law said, “Anything based on faith, no matter how ludicrous, can be made to be consistent with the available evidence, given a little patience and ingenuity.” (Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2011), p. 75. Or as anthropology professor James T. Houk said, “Virtually anything and everything, no matter how absurd, inane, or ridiculous, has been believed or claimed to be true at one time or another by somebody, somewhere in the name of faith." (The Illusion of Certainty. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2017), p. 31.

In what follows is an excerpt from my chapter 6, "The Abject Failure of Christian Apologetics" in The Case against Miracles (pp. 190ff).

Jaco Gericke: Fundamentalism on Stilts: A Devastating Response to Alvin Plantinga's Reformed Epistemology

[First published 12/12/09] Dr. Jaco Gericke is a philosopher of religion and a biblical scholar to boot. He has written what can be considered a refutation of Plantinga's Reformed Epistemology. Gericke tells me, "The trouble with Craig and and Plantinga is that their philosophy of religion conveniently ignores the problems posed for their views by the history of Israelite religion. They might as well try to prove Zeus exists. People sometimes forget 'God' used to be Yahweh and it is possible to prove from textual evidence that 'there ain't no such animal.'" Dr. Gericke writes:
Not so long ago I was so irritated by a book of Alvin Plantinga's that I wrote a rebuttal from the perspective of a biblical scholar who happens to know what goes on in the philosophy of religion. It concerns the foundations of Plantinga's views and can be applied to William Lane Craig as well. Their philosophy may sound complex and formidable but if you know both the philosophy of religion and also the history of religion their smarts ain't nothing but Fundamentalism on Stilts.
Anyone who is biblically literate should know there is no reason to be a Christian fundamentalist. So with that in mind, below is a summary of Gericke's important points and a link to his pdf article. Enjoy!

Reformed Epistemology Requires Psychic Abilities!

I'm trying to meet a deadline for a new book I'm writing by the end of this month. I think I'll make it. Below are 2200 words out of a 10,000 word chapter on Christian apologetics. See what you think.