Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Atheist's Sensation, and Memory

I would ask the atheist how does he or she know their memory is reliable? How does he or she know their five senses are reliable? As a Christian I believe faith is the foundation for reason. Like Augustine said "I believe in order to understand." These questions I have asked are our first principles of Philosophy that one must presuppose for anything to be intelligible. However, I am curious given the atheism world-life-view in a general form, how does one justify presupposing the reliability of ones memory or five senses? Also, how does one account for their reliability?Given the Christian worldview the Bible says humans were created in the image of God (Gen 1:26) by the triune God whom does not lie, thus Christians can justify the reliability of their five senses and memory. Furthermore, Christians can account for the reliability of their memory and five senses because God is the one that created us.

Common Objections
One common objection is this does not answer a thing because there is supposable no coherent definition of the Christian God (I disagree, my definition would be found in the Baptist confession of faith of 1689 or the Westminster Confession of Faith) Christians are appealing to authority. Absolutely if God testifies of himself (in special revelation specifically the Bible) or says something, we would have to believe it on his authority because there is no higher.

Our five senses and memory are not always reliable, so your belief of being made in God's image and justifying the reliability of your memory is false. I would respond by saying we were made in God's image, but once the fall of Adam and Eve occurred sin tainted our cognitive faculties (Total Depravity or Radical Corruption) causing our memories and five senses to be no longer infallible.

The last time I checked my memory and five senses were reliable. This is circular reasoning (or begs the question) to say I know my memory and five senses are reliable because I used them and they were reliable. One must have an objective foundation, which given the Christian worldview is the Bible that accounts and justifies for the reliability of one's memory and five senses. However, both the Christian and Atheist does circular reasoning concerning the relability of one's memory and five senses, but the Christian worldview gives justification for believing it and can account for it. The Atheist given his worldview and his or her belief in a random, chance universe cannot.

What about other religions? I am not arguing for any other religion because I do not believe any other religion is true. All other religions fall short either they are incoherent, self-contradictory or do not provide the necessary preconditions of intelligability (Isaiah 43:10, John 4:16, Acts 4:12, Phil 2:10-11).

If our senses and memory weren't reliable, we all would have died at a very young age." This also begs the question one cannot assume the very thing we are debating about unless he or she has a foundation that gives justification for the relability of one's memory and five senses that does not change like the Bible, not science.

You have to use your five senses to read the Bible which is your justification for relying on your five senses. I can answer this objection in two ways either by adopting Scripturalism and internalism or defending a form of rationalism/empiricism with externalism. Ultimately, God has to communicate to us his Word whether it be directly to our minds (apart from sensation) or indirectly through our senses by the illumination of His Spirit.

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