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A Christian Perspective on Epistemology

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by R.Miller, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    I have read enough to know that I think the Van Tilian approach to epistemology, vie presuppositionalism is unsupportable (IMO). What alternatives are there?
     
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  2. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    That sounds like tongues. You should try that in church sometime and see if there is an interpretation! ^_^^_^^_^
     
  3. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

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    Most Christians take the classic approach of knowledge being justified true belief.

    The main uniquely Christian element is that if I have a justified true belief that God asserted the proposition P, then I have a justified true belief that P is true.
     
  4. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not familiar with Van Til 's epistemology. I didn't even know he had one, honestly. So I'm not sure what I am about to propose is a true alternative or not.

    When I think of epistemology I think of Jacques Maritain's reflections on Thomas Aquinas in 'Introduction to Philosophy' An Introduction to Philosophy by Jacques Maritain

    That is a rather simple introduction but there is some depth to the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas that may be good for you to explore. Guides to Thomistic philosophy include Pieper, Maritain, McInerny, Chesterton, and Gilson. Nothing like reading Thomas in Latin but not everybody can do that. His Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles are available in English, but before buying one be sure you are getting a translation that works for you. And read either Pieper's or Chesterton's introductions to Thomas so you can get the hang of reading a medieval philosopher with benefit.

    A Select Thomistic Bibliography Topically Arranged
     
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  5. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    In my discussions with believers, they make appeals to knowledge that I cannot make without sufficient evidence. It seems to me that every conversation concludes with faith as a form of knowledge. I see faith as a conclusion without positive knowledge. Believers seem to lay claim to extra knowledge.
     
  6. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    I have read Aquinas but, he places the text of scripture as evidence. That is circular reasoning. How do I know Jesus rose from the dead--'the Bible says so." How do I know the Bible is reliable?--"Jesus rose from the dead and attests to it." I am a bit incredulous with such reasoning.
     
  7. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

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    That made no sense to me at all; but I can hardly take responsibility for your interpretation of what other individual Christians have said.

    In this thread, we should probably just stick to established Christian positions that exist on paper.
     
  8. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    What I said is an "established" Christian position--and often "on paper." My question is whether or not a faith claim can have epistemological support. Christian theologians treat this issue differently than septics. I want to know why.
     
  9. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

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    That's a ridiculous parody of Aquinas's position.

    To quote the medieval poet Dante, who was a big fan of Aquinas:

    I heard: “The premises of old and new
    impelling your conclusion—why do you
    hold these to be the speech of God?” And I:

    “The proof revealing truth to me relies
    on acts that happened; for such miracles,
    nature can heat no iron, beat no anvil.”

    “Say, who assures you that those works were real?”
    came the reply. “The very thing that needs
    proof—no thing else—attests these works to you.”

    I said: “If without miracles the world
    was turned to Christianity, that is
    so great a miracle that all the rest

    are not its hundredth part: for you were poor
    and hungry when you found the field and sowed
    the good plant—once a vine and now a thorn.”
     
  10. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

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    Yet you cited no published work of any kind.
     
  11. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    Of course it is--it's a brief forum with a brief question. I'm not writing my dissertation. But essentially, that is the bumper sticker position of the Anti and Post Nicene Fathers. I am simply asking for a reason why Christians believe they have knowledge which many do not find compelling and how they view the acquiring of that knowledge--does it differ in any significant way from modern Epistemological methods?
     
  12. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    No, what does that have to do with anything--I've made no claim.
     
  13. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF

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    No.

    You've made all kinds of claims: about Christians in general, about Aquinas, and just recently about the Anti and Post Nicene Fathers.
     
  14. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    Okay, instead of being passive aggressive and kind of [bless and do not curse][bless and do not curse][bless and do not curse][bless and do not curse]ty--how about you help me out. This is my thread you decided to post in after all. I'm just asking a serious question here.
     
  15. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    I guess there are words you can't write on this forum. Kind of weird for adults, but okay.
     
  16. Tone

    Tone Star Fish Radiant Supporter

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    A real, personal, and powerful encounter with the Creator.
     
  17. Tone

    Tone Star Fish Radiant Supporter

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    Is this ^ done automatically when you type a curse word?
     
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  18. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    Okay, I can understand that. If I had such an experience right now, I would consider that evidence of a kind. But, how would I know if I had perceived properly? Also, how could I ever trust another persons testimony?
     
  19. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    You are missing the point. I am asking about epistemology. It one of this "forrest for the trees" kind of situations.
     
  20. R.Miller

    R.Miller Evidence is a beautiful thing

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    Look man, this is an EXPLORING CHRISTIANITY thread. Help or get lost.
     
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