PMW 2020-057 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
This is the second of a four-part series on worldview apologetics. I will open with a continuation of:
The Role of Presuppositions in Thought (2)
The Impossibility of Neutrality. Everyone holds to presuppositions. No one operates—or even can operate— from a vacuum. We simply do not think or behave “out of the blue.” It is impossible to think and live as if we were aliens having just arrived in this world from a radically different universe, totally devoid of all knowledge of this world, absolutely objective and utterly un-predisposed to ideas about truth: People behave in terms of a basic world-and-life view which implements their conceptions regarding truth.
Consequently, neutrality in thought is impossible. Each person—the philosopher and scientist included—has his own bias. This bias has predetermined the facts on the basis of his presuppositions. Yet almost invariably scientists claim to be presenting neutral, unbiased, impartial and objective facts in their research. But man is not and cannot be truly objective and impartial. All thinking must begin somewhere! All thinking must have some fundamental, logically primitive starting point or presupposition. At the very least we must presuppose the reality of the external world, the rationality of mental activity, the compatibility between external reality and the mind, and the uniformity of nature, i.e., the law of cause-and-effect. As noted previously a certain faith is necessary in the selection and organization of the several facts chosen from the innumerable number flowing toward us in every moment of experience.
Teaching for a Change
(by Norman De Jong)
Calls Christians to a biblical philosophy of education that deals with human nature, revealed truth, and a child’s need to be transformed.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
By the very nature of the case presuppositions are necessarily self-authenticating or self-evidencing. Facts are inseparable from their interpretation. Facts cannot stand alone. They must be understood in terms of some broad, unified whole or system. They must be organized in our rational minds in terms of their general relationships to other facts and principles.
This leads us then to our most basic question: Which system of though can give meaning to the facts of the universe? Which world-and-life view can provide an adequate foundation for reality? Why is our state-of-affairs conducive to rational thought and behavior? What is the basis for an orderly universe?
World-Views in Collision. When we contrast Christian thought with non-Christian thought we must realize that we are not contrasting two series of isolated facts. We are not comparing two systems of truth sharing a basically similar outlook with only intermittent differences at specific turns. We are contrasting two whole, complete, and antithetical systems of thought. Each particular item of evidence presented in support of the one system will be evaluated by the other system in terms of the latter’s own entire implicit system with all of its basic assumptions. Each fact or piece of data presented either to the Christian or the non-Christian will be weighed, categorized, organized, and judged as to its possibility and significance in terms of the all pervasive world-and-life view held.
World Religions and Cults (Bodie Hodge, ed.)
This work is helpful for understanding and combating false religions and cults. It deals with the leading false religious beliefs in the world today. Chapter on apologetics by Ken Gentry.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com
Consequently, it is essential that we see the debate between the Christian and the non-Christian as between two complete world-and-life views—between two ultimate commitments and presuppositions which are contrary to one another. Two complete philosophies are in collision. Appealing to various scientific evidences would be arbitrated in terms of the two mutually-exclusive and diametrically opposed, presupposed truths held by the systems.
Thus, the debate between the Christian and the non-Christian must eventually work its way down to the question of one’s ultimate authority. Every series of arguments must end somewhere; one’s conclusions could never be demonstrated if they were dependent upon an infinite regress of argumentation and justification. So all debates must terminate at some point, at some premise held as unquestionable. This is one’s foundational starting point, one’s ultimate authority or presupposition.
The question which surfaces at this point is this: Which system of truth provides the foundational preconditions essential for observation, reason, experience, and meaningful discourse? Thus, which faith system should be chosen; the Christian or the non-Christian?
To be continued.
It would be interesting to see if modern humans have to invent the wheel agsin the problem with humans is were not old on this planet and we ve not changed much as we still are fighting over territories in the same way animals do then we still have a long way to go everyting that can kill us we try to fight and eliminate that has created too many of us for the planet