While assessing the traditional arguments for God’s existence in his Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant said it is indicative that an advocate for God’s existence cannot make his point, when he offers more than one argument. Surely if he possesses a valid, sound argument that proves God exists, he does not need any others. The history of natural theology confirms Kant’s claim. Aquinas himself felt the need to offer “five ways” we can know God exists. Many others followed with new arguments of their own.
The failure of traditional natural theology to make its point is emphasized as well by the consistent admission in our day that modern philosophical arguments for God cannot prove this claim with deductive certainty. Instead we must settle for evidence “beyond reasonable doubt.” Some hope to compensate for this lesser achievement by accumulating such inconclusive arguments into an edifice that will distract us from their individually tenuous nature. The hope seems to be that the sheer number of probable arguments assembled will lead to the impression there are just too many coincidences to avoid the affirmative conclusion. A final challenge is that most of these arguments do not even prove the God of Christianity. Instead they prove at best a god of generic theism, one that would qualify as the deity of other religious perspectives than Christianity itself.
I will leave it to the reader to decide whether Antony Flew was correct that it does not matter how many leaky buckets you have, they still will not hold water. Richard Swinburne claims by jamming them together they can. That is up to you to decide. After all, probabilistic reasoning does not force any of us to affirm anything. Without deductive certainty the answer is finally left to the individual’s subjective sense of the evidence.
Difficulty Proving God
I have always been very dissatisfied with probability where affirming God’s existence is concerned. As an Evangelical I have never seen this to be consistent with Scripture. The Bible never says God probably exists, or that our best evidence makes affirming he does the “most reasonable” conclusion. It simply declares God exists, insists only fools think otherwise, and says God has made what can be known about himself plain to us all so that we are without excuse if we do not honor him as God. Not much wiggle room there!
But before I come across as a closed-minded dogmatist I need to fill in a little biographical detail. The question of evidence for God’s existence is extremely personal for me. I have actually struggled with these biblical claims for the better part of fifteen years. God’s existence has not seemed plain to me and to my knowledge this was not because I was deliberately suppressing the evidence as Romans 1 suggests.
I grew up in an Evangelical church and never really questioned God’s existence until my early twenties. I came across the writings of Francis Schaeffer in high school and took a great interest in philosophical theology. Over time I began to seek intellectual underpinnings for the simple faith I received from my parents. I wanted to ensure my belief in God was not just because of my upbringing.
Since Romans 1 says God’s existence is plain, I assumed I should be able to find neutral evidence anyone would accept that this is so. But as I carried on my search I became less and less convinced a solid case could actually be developed. I came to appreciate all the skeptical arguments against Christian “evidences” and saw increasingly how the “case for Christ” always ends up inconclusive.
I won’t rehearse the challenges with the ontological, cosmological, teleological, moral, or historical arguments here. These have been addressed many times, and while some still hold out hope these arguments can be restructured to avoid the criticisms they have been subjected to, I do not expect this will ever be the case. Primarily though I just do not see Scripture offering such arguments, so I think we have been wrong headed all along in seeking to argue for Christianity this way.
Of course we do need to explain what Romans 1 is talking about in claiming we all know God exists, when so many of us seem to think otherwise. I will return to this shortly. But the net effect of my search was I came to see that both naturalism and theism are quite evenly matched in terms of providing potential metaphysical foundations for reality, when viewed from what I then thought was a neutral perspective. I was left with no clear basis to decide between them and so entered into an agnostic period that lasted over fifteen years.
I never really abandoned the faith during this time since evidence for God’s existence was definitely present. I sought to live “on the assumption of my Christian upbringing” since naturalism seemed no more obviously true than theism. I even worked out pragmatic arguments showing that theism was the choice to be preferred, given the ambiguity of the evidence. But I was not enthusiastically committed, given the tentativeness of my beliefs. I referred to myself as a “Christian agnostic.” Though somewhat oxymoronic, what I meant was that although I was uncertain God exists, I leaned more in the direction that he does, and also in the direction that Christianity is the most viable theistic option.
So forgive me if I seemed dogmatic earlier. Obviously my history has been quite the opposite. But what is significant and why I am writing now is that over the past few years I believe God has been leading me through a “Francis Schaeffer-like” re-assessment of my agnosticism.
Reasoning Ourselves Away From God
There was a point during Schaeffer’s ministry at L’Abri when he hit a “reality crisis” where his Christianity ceased to seem real to him. He struggled whether his faith was justified. He says he spent many long nights pacing the attic of their chalet in Switzerland, thinking through his prior agnosticism and seeking God for intellectual and spiritual satisfaction. The result was a renewal of his faith in God.
My recent experience has been similar, though my reassessment has been of my agnosticism, rather than my Christianity. The result has been somewhat of a revitalization of my Christian belief as well, as I’ve come to see the claims of Romans 1 in a new light. I now believe I reasoned myself away from belief in God when I found the traditional arguments of natural theology inconclusive.
As I will show below, this is actually exactly what the Bible says will happen when we reason the way natural theology normally does. When we start our reasoning from ourselves rather than from God, we are not really reasoning neutrally at all. And we are reasoning in a way that will always end up in futile thinking. This is not because there is any problem with the evidence for God. The problem is with how we approach evaluating this evidence.
My turn back toward faith began with an exploration into the philosophical discipline of epistemology. Epistemology deals with the theory of knowledge, how we “know,” and how we “know we know.”
By studying epistemology and the challenges philosophers have experienced trying to show we can actually validate any of our knowledge claims, I came to see that God’s existence is more intimately related to this subject than I ever would have expected. In summary, I came to see that for finite human reasoners like ourselves to have knowledge that is justified, we need revelation from God. If we claim to truly know things, implicit in this claim is that we are recipients of such revelation.
This position is known as revelational epistemology, and is associated with the apologetic school of presuppositionalism. My current endorsement of this position is quite ironic because I have always in the past found this viewpoint very unpersuasive. Like many others I thought its professed Transcendental Argument for God should have been called the Transcendental Assertion for God. In my years of review I never saw anything that looked like a real argument for presuppositionalist claims.
My opinion changed with the publication of a recently discovered, previously unpublished manuscript by Greg Bahnsen titled Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended. The main body of this book is very helpful in clarifying this perspective, but it is the three appendices that changed my outlook. Tucked away in these short additions to Bahnsen’s magnum opus is what appears finally to be a genuine argument for the frequent presuppositionalist claim that “The proof God exists is that without God you can’t prove anything.” This popular phrase always seemed to be an empty assertion. But now Bahnsen provides a cogent argument for the claim.
While what I will say here is definitely indebted both to Bahnsen’s insights, and other presuppositionalist materials I have surveyed, I do have some distinct contributions to make. I believe the reason the Transcendental Argument for God is often unpersuasive and unimpressive is that it is not usually presented in its true biblical form.I hope to remedy that here.
Although I will be indicating the biblical form this argument should take, I will not be presenting an argument that is in any way dependent on belief in biblical revelation. Like other arguments of natural theology, what I present draws its evidence from sources available to all men through general revelation. Where the argument will differ from traditional arguments is it will not attempt to show that this or that specific piece of evidence proves deductively or inductively that God exists. Instead it will seek to prove transcendentally that we already know God exists before we even start looking at the evidences.
It will be an argument that God’s existence is already plain to us, as Romans 1 declares. The argument will show that we know this because revelation from God is the necessary precondition of us knowing anything at all. If we did not know God exists, we would not even be able to evaluate the evidences for or against the existence of God normally presented by natural theology.
This means if the argument is successful then Kant was correct. We need no other argument to prove our case. And although the argument is an argument of natural theology, the result will still be in sync with biblical revelation. It will be an argument for the God of biblical Christianity, and not just for a god of generic theism. The argument also takes the form the Christian revelation says the argument should take. Finally, unlike traditional arguments of natural theology, it will be an argument for the certainty of God’s existence, not just for his probability. A tall order indeed, but let’s see what we can do to fill it.
Although transcendental arguments are a form of deductive argument, they differ from standard deductive arguments, and also from inductive arguments. With normal deduction, certainty results because the conclusion is entailed by the premises. Provided the premises are known to be true, and the argument is valid, the conclusion follows. With induction the conclusion is never certain, because the argument flows in reverse. In a sense it takes a conclusion, and tries to prove what premises led to it. Inductive arguments attempt to move from the specific to the general, using probability to determine the likelihood of the proposed explanation.
The Ontological argument for God is the classic historical attempt to prove God’s existence with deductive certainty. It claims the very definition of the term “God” entails his existence. Few scholars find this argument convincing today.
The Cosmological and Teleological arguments were also presented historically in deductive form, but the majority of scholars consider these attempts problematic as well. The most promising recent approach taken by Richard Swinburne and others is to present these and other theistic arguments in an inductive form where the existence of God is shown to be more probable than the alternative. But because induction does not provide a certain conclusion like deduction does, this approach can at best offer a tentative proof that God exists.
What I present here is neither a standard deductive argument, nor an inductive argument. Instead I present a transcendental argument where the conclusion is certain because it is necessarily presupposed by any attempt to affirm or deny it. The conclusion is a necessary “precondition of intelligibility,” of rationality itself. A couple classic examples of this type of argument are the undeniability of the logical law of non-contradiction, and the undeniability of personal existence expressed in Descartes’ famous cogito “I think therefore I am.”
Examples Of Transcendental Arguments
We know the law of non-contradiction holds because whether we attempt to affirm or deny it, our argument must assume it holds or we couldn’t even argue the point. The law on non-contradiction is transcendentally certain, since it is an undeniable precondition of affirming or denying anything else. Similarly with Descartes’ argument, we know we personally exist because whether we attempt to affirm or deny it, our argument must assume we exist or we couldn’t even argue the point. Our personal existence is transcendentally certain, since it is an undeniable precondition of being able to affirm or deny anything else. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason made significant use of this style of argumentation, in arguing for his synthetic a priori.
Presuppositionalists sometimes say this type of argument demonstrates “the impossibility of the contrary.” I prefer to say it demonstrates “the impossibility of the contradictory.” A transcendental argument does not just show that this or that contrary position is impossible, but that every contrary position is impossible because any contrary position must assume what it is denying or it couldn’t even argue the point. Something can be known with certainty to be true, if it must be affirmed to affirm or deny anything else. It is an undeniable precondition of rationality itself. Any position that denies what must be affirmed is contradictory and therefore known to be false.
This is the form of argument presuppositionalists use to demonstrate God’s existence. God is known to exist because of “the impossibility of the contradictory.” However just saying this is not showing it. Just like we demonstrate the law of non-contradiction cannot be affirmed or denied without assuming it, and our personal existence cannot be affimed or denied without assuming it, we also need to show that we cannot affirm or deny God’s existence without assuming it. God’s existence must be seen to be a necessary precondition of intelligibility and rationality itself. Only upon such a demonstration can the “impossibility of the contradictory” be claimed for God’s existence.
How Presuppositionalists Have Argued
So how have presuppositionalists sought to show this? They have done so in many ways. They have looked at various aspects of existence and claimed that God’s existence is the “precondition of intelligibility” with reference to those characteristics of reality.
For instance, laws of logic are immaterial and universal. Naturalistic materialism has no “place” they can reside that is not limited to the particular mind that thinks or the particular thing that is thought about. God is a mind that continues to exist when all other minds and things come and go, so God is the necessary precondition of intelligibility for immaterial, universal laws of logic.
Natural physical laws are uniform. Naturalism is subject to the chaos of undirected matter, chance and energy, so God’s presence to direct and order the cosmos rationally is the necessary precondition of intelligibility for the uniformity of nature required by natural science.
Moral laws are absolute and prescriptive. Naturalistic materialism cannot justify a move from what descriptively “is” in an individual case to what prescriptively “ought” to be done in every case, so God as our moral law giver is the necessary precondition of the intelligibility of absolute, prescriptive moral laws.
These arguments are less than persuasive; they are not transcendental arguments at all. They are simply variations of the traditional arguments for God. The only difference is they are now couched in “intelligibility” terminology instead of “metaphysical explanation” terms. They are still just inductive arguments. Denying any of their conclusions does not necessarily presuppose their affirmation.
It is easy to see how each of them fails in this regard. Laws of logic are indeed immaterial and so relate to mind, not matter. Although this may imply pure materialism is problematic, it does not prevent the idea of mind being an emergent property of matter, as materialists sometimes claim. Laws of logic could simply be laws of mind and whenever a mind is present, it will think in terms of these rules of thought. As Kant said, the mind brings its categories to reality and shapes what it finds there accordingly. God is not required to make the existence of logic intelligible.
Natural laws could be a function of natural selection favoring things that remain constant. Chaos is not the order of the day in evolutionism. Darwin’s answer to teleology in nature through natural selection could apply to this case, making the uniformity of nature intelligible without appeal to God’s action.
Moral law could also be a function of mind in a fashion similar to what Kant envisioned. It may be something a mind logically affirms ought to done, based on factors it considers relevant to its actions. God need not be appealed to for moral law to be intelligible.
I am not saying any of above naturalistic alternatives is indeed the case, but they do show that logical, natural, and moral laws do not appear unintelligible if God’s existence is denied.
However, perhaps the best naturalistic retort to these alleged transcendental arguments is to apply them to God himself. God’s thought must be subject to the laws of logic. God’s nature must be uniform. God’s character must be subject to moral law. Does God require a god of his own as the precondition of intelligibility of all these things for himself? Variations of Euthyphro’s dilemma loom large here.
The Biblical Form Of The Argument
So how would we argue transcendentally for God, if the above forms of reasoning are ineffective for this purpose? The Bible presents the form of the argument as follows: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” and “The fool says in his heart there is no God.” Romans 1 tells us when we choose not to retain the knowledge of God he gives us over to futile thinking and we become vain in our reasoning.
So the claim is an epistemological one, not one of metaphysical explanation. It says if we don’t begin with God as the source of our knowledge, we will end up in absurdity, futility in our thinking.
This is what I found historically with my agnosticism. When I tried to “prove God exists” on the basis of reasoning that assumed he might not, I could not prove it. But I could not disprove it either. My thinking was futile. In fact, I found I could not establish any knowledge claim at all, when I really examined things.
This is what Scripture says will be the case. We need to affirm God, to make any non-futile knowledge claim whatsoever. In other words, God is a necessary precondition of intelligibility and rationality itself. Even the claim “God does not exist” requires us to affirm God exists to intelligibly attempt the claim.
Of course I have not yet argued for this. All I have done so far is indicate the form the Bible says the argument takes, in contrast to the way presuppositionalists usually present it. The Bible is not claiming that “laws of logic metaphysically require God for their intelligibility,” or “natural laws metaphysically require God for their intelligibility,” or “moral laws metaphysically require God for their intelligibility.” Putting things this way is no different than how traditional arguments of natural theology seek to inductively prove God exists. Presuppositionalist John Frame is right in this.
Although God truly is the metaphysical foundation for these things as their creator, I do not know how to show this is more than probable starting from the assumption the facts are neutral regarding this question. Given that potential naturalistic alternative explanations exist, I cannot claim God’s existence is necessary if I start out thinking the “facts” are neutral.
But the biblical form of the argument does not begin with any supposed metaphysical “fact” about reality; it begins before the consideration of facts, with the structure of knowledge and rationality itself. It says if you fail to start with God as your epistemological foundation, you will never arrive at any fact at all because you will end up in the futility of your thinking. It is saying that God is the necessary presupposition of affirming or deny anything to be a fact. He is the undeniable precondition of intelligibility and rationality itself. Every fact we know we know because God has revealed it to us.
What I will do now is attempt to substantiate this claim, and show that we do indeed know God exists as Romans 1 says. To make any knowledge claim, we must start with God. How would we go about showing this?
How We Know Things
Since the argument is centrally epistemological, we first need to explore how we know the things we know. There are really only a few ways we can. Clearly as we said above, we use logic to determine if premises entail conclusions. We know x is true if it is entailed by a valid argument leading to x and the argument is sound. But the argument is only sound if we know the premises it is based on are true. How do we know any set of premises are true? Usually by some other argument that entails those premises.
But this is where the epistemological fun begins because each set of premises requires new justification by another set that also requires justification in turn. This is known as the infinite regress and is one way skepticism ensues. Since we can never arrive at foundational premises that are simply known to be true without needing to be additionally justified, it seems we can never know anything at all.
The problem goes deeper still. Logical laws have no material content; they are just about the form an argument must take if truth transference is to occur. The only things we can ever reason about are things we are aware of through our experience, either of the external world or of the inner world of our thoughts. For instance, I can reason that I am typing this article because I see my fingers pressing the keys of the keyboard. I can know that because I have eyes that receive light sensations that reflect off my retina. I can know that because…you get the idea.
I apply the laws of logic to what I am aware of from the external world. I do the same thing when I am aware of my thoughts as I type and try to make myself clear. I’m also aware of how I am feeling a bit weary from my lack of sleep last night, and of my decision to keep typing despite this being the case. As I think about all these things I apply the laws of logic to what I am aware of from my inner world.
So if I am going to know any factual premise is true I will need to know it either because I can verify it through my own awareness, or it is entailed by something I have been able to verify this way. Logic applies to any set of facts. It just cannot give us any of the facts.
Awareness Of Facts
But how do I know what I am aware of is actually a fact? Sure it seems to me I am seeing my hands on the keyboard, that I am experiencing that. But those are just thoughts in my mind. The actual keyboard is not in my mind. Are those really hands I am using or does it just seem that way too? And how do I know what I take to be my thoughts on all this are really my thoughts at all? If I am aware of my thoughts, are they not also in some sense separate from my awareness of them? What says my awareness of my own thoughts coincides to what is really being thought?
One way I might try verifying my awareness of the external world is to ask you if you see me typing at the keyboard. This would be an appeal to authority. Most of our learning actually comes this way. If we had to experience everything we learn we would have pretty limited knowledge. If we had to have expertise about everything, or be able to verify the expertise of everyone we believe before we could say we know anything on authority, we would have very limited knowledge indeed. Since we often rely on authorities, maybe I could get you to verify I am really at a keyboard typing.
But then, how do I know your mind really exists? It seems like I am encountering you but that too is just a thought in my mind. What connects me with the real you? And even if you are real, are you not in the same boat I am, needing to rely on your own thoughts about the external world to verify mine to me? Are you not also unable to verify your awareness of your own thoughts? If you have the same problem validating your knowledge, how can your input validate mine?
And suppose we assume we are both aware of a real world and real people and real hands and our real thoughts. What says the logical laws of our minds have any correlation to what is actually “out there” in the real world or “in here” in the world of our thoughts? What reason do we have to think anything real conforms to how our minds think? For that matter, what says the real world stays constant long enough for us to think about it at all? How do we know it did not pop into existence a second ago, with our memories of it planted in our minds within that same timeframe?
Part of what started to convince me to reconsider my agnosticism was my discovery that the Bible actually claims if we do not start with God we end up in futile thinking. If you do not think what I just described is futile thinking, your thinking might just be futile!
The above issues of epistemology are central to the history of philosophy. The traditional arguments for God’s existence fall into the same category. They are all based on futile thinking that does not start with God. They have to be, because they are trying to approach the question neutrally, and see if they can prove God exists!
Internalism and Externalism
As we saw above though, when we start from ourselves and not from God, we really cannot escape ourselves or establish our own thinking. We cannot establish even one external or internal fact is an actual fact. Because we cannot get outside ourselves, we cannot verify anything we perceive is real. We cannot compare our awareness with what we are aware of to make sure they coincide. We cannot confirm the subject-to-object, subject-to-subject, or subject-to-self relationships. We cannot know there is any relationship between the way our minds think and the way reality actually is in its external or internal forms. So we really cannot know anything at all and all our knowledge claims collapse, if they are based solely on our own perspective.
All of this is the result of what epistemologists call internalism. It is the claim that if you are going to say you have knowledge, you need to be able to verify it yourself. Because none of us can get outside ourselves we end up in skepticism.
Since internalism ends up this way, some philosophers think we are wrong to say we need to be able to verify our knowledge so we can “know we know.” These philosophers are part of an externalist epistemological school called Common Sense Realism. Instead of agreeing we need to be able to validate our knowledge to believe it is justified, they say knowledge is just what happens to you when your “knowledge equipment” is working right. You know things when you end up believing things that are true, and they are produced by “true belief” producing mechanisms. When this happens they say your beliefs are “warranted,” even though you can not subjectively justify them yourself.
The problem with this view though is you can never yourself know your beliefs are warranted. Instead, they say you are internally “justified” in believing your beliefs are warranted, as long as you are not aware of anything that would call your beliefs into question. So by making the criteria for knowledge external warrant and removing the internal requirement that we know we have warranted knowledge, they think they have escaped the futility of their thought.
But really, how do they know they have escaped it? They do not know. Because on this model of knowledge you cannot even know you have knowledge. You might believe you do and be mistaken. What value is there in saying you have knowledge but you cannot know you do? Doesn’t that mean that in fact you just might not have knowledge after all? Without a way to verify things both from the inside (subjective justification) and the outside (external warrant), how could anyone have true knowledge?
To know I am experiencing a real world, I would need to be outside myself, observing the relationship between myself and the object, the subject-to-object relationship. To know I am experiencing another mind I would need to be able to make my own and the other’s thoughts an object of my awareness, the subject-to-subject relationship. To know my awareness of my thoughts coincides with my actual thoughts I would need to be able to see both my awareness and my thoughts, the subject-to-self relationship.
So knowledge, to be completely justified (internally) and warranted (externally), would require me to be myself, the other, and the one observing us. I would need to be a triune being, three persons in one! This is required to establish just one single fact that can function as a starting premise in an argument!
I would also need to know how this fact relates to the other facts in the argument that contains it, and how the argument relates to all other arguments, to ensure its implications are truly understood. So I would finally need to know all facts. Even if I have accomplished all of this, the final barrier is how to be sure the facts I am thinking about actually correspond to the way my mind thinks about them. To know this I would really need to be the creator of all the facts themselves.
Knowledge Proves The Christian God Exists
What our understanding of epistemology naturally shows us is that we are not, nor could we ever be, our own epistemological foundation. We cannot ground our own common sense knowledge claims. We cannot ground our internal perspective. Starting from ourselves we must end in futility. If we are going to know anything we must have revelation from an epistemological authority capable of grounding our knowledge for us. This authority must not be subject to the same epistemological futility we are.
He must be triune so he can establish both the internal justification and external warrant of any fact by grounding the subject-to-object, subject-to-subject and subject-to-self relationships. He must be omniscient so that he knows all factual premises, and the relationship between them and between all logical arguments. He must be creator and sustainer of all facts and the relationship of our minds to those facts, so he knows the facts actually correspond to the way his mind and ours thinks about them and knows they have not just popped into existence a moment ago.
Only the triune creator God is the final authority for knowledge, and only he can be the beginning of knowledge for us. For knowledge to be established for finite human reasoners like ourselves, we must have revelation from God.
At this point a common reply is that if the above reasoning is sound it does not prove we have revelation from God, but only that we cannot know anything. This reply is mistaken. It says we can prove that we cannot prove anything, that we can know that we cannot know anything. Both of these statements are contradictions and so cannot be true. The above argument does not prove we cannot know anything, it proves we cannot know anything without revelation from God. And since the argument proves this, it proves with transcendental certainty that we do indeed have revelation from God, since we know what the argument proves.
The undeniable precondition for finite reasoners like us to be able to affirm or deny anything at all, including the conclusion of this argument, is that we have revelation from God. Revelation from God is the precondition of rationality itself. This is the Transcendental Argument for God. “The proof God exists is that without God you can’t prove anything.” Since we have proven this, we have proven God exists.
If the above argument is sound, it shows that any knowledge on our part presupposes the existence of the triune God who has revealed to us what we need to have this knowledge. Without this revelation our knowledge claims would be unintelligible. But we cannot affirm our knowledge claims are unintelligible because doing so presupposes they are not. If we affirm or deny anything at all, we are affirming the triune God exists and has revealed this knowledge to us. Even to question or deny his existence assumes his existence, because without revelation from God we cannot know any facts by which to make such a claim.
Both agnosticism and atheism presuppose revelation from God to make their claims and therefore are impossible positions to hold without contradiction. All facts are God’s facts. We cannot be neutral regarding this. This is exactly what a transcendental argument entails, that whether you affirm or deny its conclusion, its conclusion is seen to be certain because its conclusion is the necessary precondition of making the affirmation or denial. Everything we know entails God has revealed knowledge to us, making his existence plain to us, as Romans 1 declares. If we know any fact we know this fact: God exists.
Historically presuppositionalists have been accused of simply asserting that “The proof God exists is that without God you can’t prove anything.” I have now argued for this claim. Additionally, since the God required by epistemology must be the triune God, I have also argued for the existence specifically of the Christian God, not only a god of generic theism. I have done so in the form of argument claimed by the biblical revelation of the Christian God, that to deny he exists is to condemn ourselves to futile thinking. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” “The fool says in his heart ‘There is no God.”
We cannot even affirm our thinking is futile in order to avoid knowing he exists, since to affirm anything is to make a knowledge claim, which demonstrates we are recipients of revelation from the God we seek to deny. Even choosing to be silent and affirm nothing at all does not avoid this conclusion, since implicit in such silence is the affirmation of the need to be silent to avoid affirming God. Since this argument shows that we cannot deny the triune God of the Christian scriptures exists, Kant was correct. We need no other argument to prove our case.
Copyright 2019 Kel Good. This publication may be copied freely as long as no alteration is made to the text. For more information write: Kel Good via What I Believe This Week (www.whatibelievethisweek.com)