Dangers of Requiring Complete Knowledge

This was written by my friend  at his blog Faithful Thinkers

This was written by my friend  at his blog Faithful Thinkers
A while back I wrote a post regarding our lack of complete knowledge and how, rather than being a bad thing, it is actually a good thing. I’ve also written regarding the fact that our knowledge will never be complete, which is something that we must get used to and be comfortable with.
This is true regardless of which worldview that one holds. However, many people act as if that they require complete knowledge and understanding of a worldview before they decide to accept it as true. They argue that since they don’t want to blindly accept a worldview that may be false, they must not accept a worldview unless they have certainty that it does not contain any falsehoods. On the surface, this is being quite careful. But we must remember that while we are investigating one worldview, we are holding another- that we are not investigating (maybe we haven’t ever, maybe we have in the past). I’ve heard it commonly put that “the skeptic must be skeptical of his skepticism” to avoid being dishonest. Even skepticism must be investigated and justified.

This Requirement Applied in Crime Investigations However, this doesn’t really come up as an issue until someone possesses much evidence for the truth of the worldview that they are investigating but still do not accept it, due to some unanswered questions or some mystery that they want prior to acceptance. In chapter 6 of his book “Cold-Case Christianity” homicide detective J. Warner Wallace (of PleaseConvinceMe.com and Stand to Reason) compares this situation to his own investigations of crime scenes: 


When we have overwhelming evidence pointing in a particular direction we may have to get comfortable with the fact that there is some ambiguity related to other items at the scene (Wallace, pg 104).


Wallace goes on to explain that every detail of a crime cannot necessarily be known, neither will the detective be able to make sense of every item present, but that does not prevent the detective from concluding from the majority of the evidence at the scene that a crime took place, what crime took place, and who committed the crime. These are all sufficient for a jury to convict a criminal. The jury doesn’t need to know every minute detail. If that was the standard for conviction, then every criminal would walk; they would commit more crimes, and conviction would fail again for the same reason, and the cycle would begin again. This is not a wise requirement for investigating crimes, and neither is it a wise requirement for investigating worldviews.

Even though we may not be able to make complete sense of every little detail of a worldview, if the majority of the evidence points to one worldview and against the others (including the one that the skeptic currently holds), then the evidence at hand is sufficient to conclude that the worldview is correct. When that is granted, then the person is free to commit their lives to that worldview. There are two major advantages to accepting the worldview at this point:

Consequences For This Requirement

First, if the worldview holds that consequences are eternal for not accepting its truth, then the sooner the skeptic accepts it, the better. With a crime, the consequences of such a requirement will end for the members of the jury when they die (naturally or unnaturally- perhaps at the hand of the suspect they released due to their unwise requirements for conviction), but the consequences of such a requirement will never end. Of course, depending on the worldview that is true, we may or may not be conscious to experience those consequences.


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