Showing posts with label inner witness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inner witness. Show all posts

The Fatal Flaw In William Lane Craig's Psychic Epistemology

William Lane Craig has said, "Communicating my understanding of the proper basicality of certain Christian beliefs grounded by the Spirit’s witness has proven to be extraordinarily difficult." Source. Craig also said, "What we know is that people make up their minds for all sorts of non-rational reasons unrelated to the evidence." Source.

Craig should listen to himself. Complexity is needed when obfuscation is the goal. Craig should pay heed to the author of Colossians who wrote: “See that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy" (2:8)!! Brilliance in the servitude of obfuscations, special pleadings, red herrings, and non-sequiturs has nothing to do with an honest search for truth.

Let's take a look at Craig's podcast on Religious Experience: Subjective or Objective?:
It is very important to understand that the witness of the Holy Spirit is not just a subjective religious experience. It is a witness which God himself bears with our spirit. It produces an awareness of the truths of the Gospel, assurance of salvation, conviction of sin, things of this sort.

It is the claim that you can know that God exists and that Christianity is true wholly apart from arguments simply through the inner testimony of God to your heart. So don’t think of this as an argument from religious experience. Rather, it is the claim that for the person to whom God bears witness by means of this spiritual testimony, such a person can know with confidence that Christianity is true because of the witness that God bears to him.

The fundamental, ground level way in which I know my faith is true is through this inner self-authenticating witness of God’s Spirit which assures me that I am a child of God. That entails, of course, then, that God exists and the great truths of the Gospel are correct.

Delusional on a Grand Scale: Assessing The Inner Witness of the Spirit

William Lane Craig claims the inner witness of the Spirit "trumps all other evidence." It is "an intrinsic defeater-defeater" for anyone who experiences to it. So even if I don't have that witness, and even if I don't like the idea of such a witness, I'm in no position to judge that he does not possess it. Craig claims this inner witness provides all the evidence he needs to know Jesus personally and that Jesus is his savior. This witness is sufficient for him. It defeats any evidence to the contrary as utterly irrelevant. But this is delusional on a grand scale. How do you convince a delusional person like this? I probably can't. That's the power of a delusion like this. So for people not impervious to reason let me speak to them. What Craig is doing is sophistry plain and simple. He's describing a subjective experience and claiming it's an objective veridical experience that defeats all other objective evidence. Now it's one thing to say a subjective experience is to be considered objective evidence, as delusional as that is. It's another thing entirely to say a subjective experience carries more weight than all objective evidence. People wonder why I call Christians delusional. You need not wonder any more.

Dr. Craig's Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit.

Let me add to what Michael Martin wrote on “Craig’s Holy Spirit Epistemology,” Here.

Dr. William Lane Craig argues that Christians should start with faith in the Christian God. Why? “We know Christianity to be true by the self authenticating witness of God’s Holy Spirit.” What does he mean by that? “I mean that the witness, or testimony, of the Holy Spirit is its own proof; it is unmistakable; it does not need other proofs to back it up; it is self-evident and attests to its own truth.” Hitchhiking on the philosophical work of Alvin Plantinga’s defense of the a properly basic belief in God, and citing the Bible (Gal. 3:26; 4:6; Rom. 8:15-16; I John 2:20, 26-27; 3:24; 5:7-10), Craig writes: “I would agree that belief in the God of the Bible is a properly basic belief, and emphasize that it is the ministry of the Holy Spirit that supplies the circumstance for its proper basically. And because this belief is from God, it is not merely rational, but definitely true.” [Apologetics, (pp. 18-22)].

Does Dr. Craig mean to say that he cannot be wrong? I think so. He knows Christianity is true. With this understanding he has insulated himself from any and all objections to the contrary. Dr. Craig knows he’s right because he knows he’s right, and that’s the end of the matter. Since he knows he’s right, Christianity is true.

But consider first the content to this inner self-authenticating witness. Does his inner witness of the Holy Spirit lead him to believe that all of the traditional Christian doctrines are true, as he understands them? Does this entail he has the correct understanding of things like God’s foreknowledge, predestination, eschatology, and Calvinism? Are his specific views on the Deity of Christ, baptism, the atonement, the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the grave, and his second coming all the correct ones? What is the particular content of this self-authentication from the Spirit? There must be some content to the witness of the Spirit that gives him assurance he’s right, and where does he learn this content? At what point does it stop and he’s left on his own to work things out from reading the Bible? Furthermore, does this inner witness tell him that his views on the self-authenticating testimony of the Holy Spirit are true?

So what is the actual content of this God experience? Where did this content come from, and how coherent is this content? That’s what I want to know, and I believe Craig will have no real satisfying answer to these questions, at least not to third person outsiders like myself.

And what about the coherence of the inner witness of the Holy Spirit of the things he has led Bill Craig to believe? An eternally uncreated Triune being (3 in 1?) who has always existed as he is (with no growth, for he was always perfect), with all power (but doesn't use it like we would if we saw a burning child), all knowledge (since he never learned anything), and who is present everywhere (a non-embodied being?) is just is too complex of an entity to believe in. And in the New Testament (which surely forms the content of this witness, and not the witness of the Spirit itself) we find an Incarnate Son of God who atoned for our sins (even though no one has yet made any reasonable sense of either an incarnate God or how his death atoned for our sins). Those who disbelieve go to hell (however conceived), making the problem of evil for a good omnipotent God impossible to solve (even though without a belief in hell it's insoluble anyway).