William Lane Craig on Information Overload

Here is William Lane Craig’s response to a relevant issue.

I also have noted that there are 6 things that impact discussions on the existence of God.

1. Proofs and evidence are person-relative. While one proof or a line of evidence  may be a home run for one person, it may result in little more than contempt  for someone else. How may times have both sides looked at the other and said “Don’t you think that is a convincing argument?” or ” How can you reject such a sound argument?”

2. An individual’s presuppositions play a large role in how they evaluate the evidence for God. A presupposition is something assumed or supposed in advance. If someone presupposes that God must not exist or that miracles are not possible, in many cases they will seek out evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and dismiss evidence that might challenge or overturn their position.  Likewise, if someone presupposes that God does exist, they will seek evidence to support such a claim as well. This does not mean there is no objectivity involved here. But in many cases, we can’t avoid presuppositions. They are not going away!

3. Humans are not only intellectual beings, but emotional and volitional (involving the will) creatures as well.  Hence, it is folly to divorce the objective and subjective nature of evaluating the evidence for God’s existence.

4. If the God of the Bible does exist (and I am not dealing with evidence and arguments here), we can’t overlook the fact that sin and a hardened heart can dampen a person’s receptivity to the evidence that is already available to them.

5. Some people haven’t  had the time to develop their intellectual virtues to the place where they are in a position to understand and evaluate the evidence for the existence of God.  This doesn’t mean some people are stupid and some people are just really smart! The reality is that many people don’t have the time or resources that is needed to evaluate the arguments for and against the existence of God.  I am not advocating laziness! But in reality, does someone need to  master philosophy, theology, history, science, or linguistics to find a relationship with God? No!

6. The Issue of Certainty: Humans are knowers. Many people are looking for confidence about why they believe. But the question becomes how certain can we be about what we believe. I don’t have any need for absolute or exhaustive knowledge. As Paul Copan says here:

“We do not need 100 percent certainty to truly know. After all, we cannot show with 100 percent certainty that our knowledge must have 100 percent certainty. We believe lots of things with confidence even though we do not have absolute certainty. In fact, if most people followed the “100 percent rule” for knowledge, we would know precious little. But no one really believes that.

Now, if our only options were either 100 percent certainty or skepticism, then we would not be able to differentiate between views that are highly plausible, on the one hand, and completely ridiculous, on the other. They would both fall short of the 100 percent certainty standard and so both should be readily dismissed. But that is clearly silly. We know the difference. And what about those who seem to know with 100 percent certainty that we cannot know with 100 percent certainty. Interestingly, skeptics about knowledge typically seem quite convinced — absolutely convinced — that we cannot know.”- see the entire article here:

A similar approach to this issue is seen in Mortimer J. Adler’s Six Great Ideas where he has a chapter called The Realm of Doubt. The problem we meet is when we attempt to decide which of our judgments belong in the realm of certitude. In order for a judgment to belong in the realm of certitude, it must meet the following criteria: (1) it cannot be challenged by the consideration of new evidence that results from improved observation, nor can it be criticized by improved reasoning or the detection of inadequacies or errors in the reasoning we have done. Beyond such challenge or criticism, such judgments are indubitable, or beyond doubt.

A judgment is subject to doubt if there is any possibility at all (1) of its being challenged in the light of additional or more acute observations or (2) of its being criticized by more cogent or more comprehensive reasoning.

How many theists and atheists would be silly enough to admit that they have arrived to certitude? Are the claims that both parties are making beyond such a challenge or criticism? Are such judgments indubitable, or beyond doubt? No, I’m afraid not.

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4 thoughts on “William Lane Craig on Information Overload

  1. Herman of bibledifferences.net November 29, 2014 / 4:03 am

    Good day Eric,
    I just love the realism in this post.
    Your second point especially is so important. We believe and see what we want, whether in relationship to our understanding of God, or in everyday life. Therefore the moment someone does admit just a little doubt his understanding of God, the skeptic immediately takes that as evidence that even the most devote Christian is in doubt and therefor God does not exist! This post of yours opened my eyes to this problem, and to ways to answer them.
    Thank you for a logical outlook on the whole problem.
    I will try to reblog it on my website studying the causes for the differences between older translations of the Bible like the KJV versus modern versions like the NIV

  2. Herman of bibledifferences.net November 29, 2014 / 4:10 am

    Reblogged this on Bible differences and commented:
    Why do people reject with 100% certainty the existence of God when a follower of Jesus mentions only 10 % uncertainty? Yet through life we accept many things with far less certainty or evidence? Eric Chabot has some very interesting thoughts on this problem.

  3. chab123 November 29, 2014 / 7:53 pm

    Thanks Herman. I appreciate it. And thank you Truth For Freedom for reblogging it.

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