Defining Enough

Knowing When to Stop

Unless you want to live your life blindly accepting everything that you were taught as a child, deciding what to believe requires some research. How much research does it take? Should you investigate to the point of absolute surety? You cannot, because that doesn’t exist. Should you investigate to the point of reasonable surety? Perhaps not, because Pascal’s wager may skew the weighted value of the result.

At first, I think that one ought to investigate until he or she unearths enough subjective evidence to comfortably, solidly believe what one wishes to believe. I am of the opinion that there is some choice involved in these matters, and beyond a certain amount of evidence, there is nothing strong enough to urge a person out of his or her chosen conclusion.

However, I am of the opinion that atheists should never entirely close this book. You are going to die; the small disadvantage of remaining open to the possibilities is insignificant compared to the implications if these possibilities are—in even the most unlikely shape or form—actualities.

To the Christian, I say that there may be value in anticipating whether some catastrophic revelation will cause you to renounce your beliefs. However, there is nothing to lose that will not be ultimately be lost. I believe it is sensible for a Christian to close the book at some point, because a Christian life involves commitment and, inevitably, faith. In this case, you will have done enough when you know just how much faith is required of you.

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One Response to “Defining Enough”

  1. I just finished listening to a course on apologetics by Dr. John Frame. It was pretty good, and I would recommend it, but it isn’t what I expected it to be.

    Generally, apologetics tends to be about formulating arguments based on some forms of evidence, such as proof of the resurrection, proof of the historicity of the Bible, textual criticism, arguments against competing religions and worldviews, etc. All of these contain very strong arguments and serve as very compelling evidence for me.

    This course on the other hand, barely if at all delt with evidence, but focused the most energy to epistomology (your basis for determining what is true), the philosophies of apologetics throughout history, and presuppositions. It’s very interesting. One of the most interesting points he raises is the fact that every epistomological basis is inherently circular at its highest point.

    For example, a rationalist thinks that human reason is the basis for all truth, but how does he *know* that human reason is the basis for all truth? It just seems reasonable to him.
    A subjectivist thinks that truth is determined by the way he feels about something. Yet how does he know that his feelings are accurate measures of truth? He feels comfort in it.

    A lot of times religious arguments end in their epistomological roots so it can become difficult to define what constitutes evidence.

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