Thursday, May 10, 2018

Can We Know Anything Without God?: Problematic Starting Point - Part 1.

The non Christian encounters his first problem at the very beginning of his epistemology - the starting point. When we talk of epistemology we simply mean a theory of what we can know, what we do know and how we know. To know anything at all, we have to start somewhere. The Christian starts with God and his revelatory Word. The non Christian starts somewhere very different. He starts with the self/subject. Some have even suggested that we cannot but start with ourselves in constructing an epistemology. Before moving on, some things about the Christian epistemological scheme must be noted.

Our epistemological starting point is God's revelation. According to the Christian worldview, God has revealed Himself to us in his creation and in our very constitution. Man cannot escape the clear revelation of God because knowing ourselves implies knowing God as well. Given this starting point, we can know God. And because we can know God, we can also know ourselves and God's world. We are not limited to what can be known in Scripture, but can use it as guide for knowing other things. God created our minds and the world around us which we describe and know with our minds. Given such a presupposition, there's a connection between the subject and objects of knowledge. God's creative act is the connecting link.

The non Christian does not start with God but rather with the self. But in doing so he runs into a problem we can call the problem of connection. There's no known connection or relation between the subjects and objects of knowledge in a non Christian scheme. We cannot infer anything about the external world(containing the objects of knowledge)if we start our argument with the self. The non Christian by rejecting the Christian presupposition is stuck in the self with no way to reach the objects of knowledge. Hence, such an epistemology cannot account for knowledge and reduces to skepticism because we cannot affirm that we know things without an account of how the subject and objects are connected. An epistemology that begins with a disconnection between the subjects and objects cannot later on bring them together. Given this problem, the non Christian cannot even affirm the existence of the external world.

More will be treated as regards to the problem of connection because it affects more areas of the non Christian epistemological scheme.

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