UPDATE: Whoops! Just kidding:)
I don't know; I guess I'm just in a mocking mood today. Right on the heels of writing this post, I run across this- several thousand words of pseudo-rationalistic exposition that can be boiled down to a single, succinct statement. Are you ready for it? Here goes-
Anything anybody believes on the basis of any authority is rationally justified, even though those beliefs are not necessarily correct.
Read it yourselves, and feel free to say where I'm missing something profound. Is it just me, or isn't this just part of the reformed epistemological agenda to render terms like 'logical justification' into meaninglessness? I hate to say it, but I'm really starting to feel the same contempt for the whole discipline that I'm sensing from the scientific community at large. Which is a shame, really. In my mind, philosophy has always stood for unwavering inquiry into the big question about life; even granting the often weird metaphysical theories that sometimes come out the other side. But in modern theistic hands, it seems to have morphed into some kind of bizarre epistemic cone of silence (shades of 'Get Smart') that's simply contrived to insulate dubious belief systems that harsh reality would otherwise impinge upon. And when you have these kinds of statements issuing from so-called giants in the field...
...I don't think traditional arguments for God's existence... are all that powerful... but it just seems to me that there really is such a person [as God]...
...When I look at the mountains, when I look at the treetops in my backyard, when I go to church, when I read the Bible, and on many other occasions I just find myself convinced that there really is such a person as God... It's more like a personal experience than an argument or a philosophical proof...
On the other hand, I am asserting an even stronger claim that you attribute to me. For not only should I continue to have faith in God on the basis of the Spirit's witness even if all the arguments for His existence were refuted, but I should continue to have faith in God even in the face of objections which I cannot at that time answer. The first claim is not really all that radical: I think most theologians, not to mention ordinary believers, would say that arguments of natural theology are not necessary in order for faith in God to be rational. In the absence of some argument for the truth of atheism, I can be perfectly rational to believe in God on the basis of the Spirit's witness.
What I'm claiming is that even in the face of evidence against God which we cannot refute, we ought to believe in God on the basis of His Spirit's witness. Apostasy is never the rational obligation of any believer, nor is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. God can be trusted to provide such powerful warrant for the great truths of the Gospel that we will never be rationally obliged to reject or desert Him.
William Lane Craig
...well, all I can do is shake my head.
Some claim there is a renaissance of 'theistic philosophy' going on these days. I suppose in contrast to recent history, when the academic credibility of such a thing was hovering near zero, this would be technically correct. I hereby dub this to be 'the moon is made of green cheese' effect. Once the credibility of a movement based on such a ridiculous concept is thoroughly demolished, the victors share one last round of laughter, then move on to other, more interesting endeavors. However, there's always that sour grapes contingent that just won't let things go. At first they appeal to public ignorance, many of whom in their secret hearts just can't accept that the big light in the sky ISN'T, after all, a pendulous, extraterrestrial dairy product. Thus the sheep are fleeced, outdated concepts are repackaged and resold under the auspices of modern marketing techniques (consider Craig's rehashing of the Kalam and ontological arguments), professional spokesmen are hooked up to the cash cow via collection plate umbilicus, and the circus once again opens its flaps for business. This time with brighter lights, bigger name celebrities, along with the advantageous fact that nowadays even the mud farmers on Tobacco Road have laptops, DSL ports in every outhouse, and at least one cousin living on the outskirts of the big city who knows how to access PayPal.
Ok, that's my rant for today. I was feeling pissy, but I'm much better now :)
Here's the source of the above Wm. Lane Craig quote. There are some real doozies in there, including...
...if Jesus' bones were actually found, then the doctrine of his resurrection would be false and so Christianity would not be true and there would be no witness of the Holy Spirit. So if Jesus' bones were found, no one should be a Christian. Fortunately, there is a witness of the Holy Spirit, and so it follows logically that Jesus' bones will not be found.
There must be some stronger designation for this attitude than confirmation bias. Ah, I've got it! Confirmation certitude! And remember, folks...this guy's a professional philosopher!
In other words, if astronauts brought rocks back from the moon, the belief that the moon is made of green cheese would be false. However, we feel in our hearts that the moon IS made of green cheese, and so it follows logically that NASA is involved in a coverup.