Topic 2 – Seeking Truth

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P201. I am an Ex-Atheist, a Philosophical Theist, and a Mere-Christian (i.e., a Christian who subscribes to the Core of the Christian Gospel, while NOT being dogmatic about secondary denominational doctrines).

 

P202. The Epistemology (method of coming to truth) that I use is a specific form of Abductive Reasoning (“Inference to a Rational Explanation”) based on Evidence, Logic and Reason.

 

P203. So, be aware that the reasoning below is Abductive, and is NOT intended to be Deductive in Nature.

 

P204. However, this is the SAME kind of reasoning that we use to come to the conclusion that (a) the physical world exists, (b) other minds exist, and (c) yesterday existed.

 

P205. Therefore, IF it is Rational to use this form of reasoning to come to the conclusion that (a) the physical world exists, (b) other minds exist, and (c) yesterday existed, (and it IS), then it is also Rational to use this SAME form of reasoning to come to the conclusion that (i) God exists, and (ii) the Core of Christianity is true.

 

P206. Please see Appendices 1 & 2 for more details regarding this epistemology. There we discuss four forms of Abductive Reasoning, (a) Abductive-Rational, (b) Abductive-Logical, (c) Abductive-Reasonable, and (d) Abductive-Inference to the Best Explanation.

 

P207. In the following sections, we look at (a) philosophy pointing to theism, (b) science pointing to theism, (c) philosophy and science pointing to MONO-theism etc.

 

P208. This is a Reminder that in the following sections, we are talking about Abductive Arguments (and NOT Deductive Arguments) that point to God.

 

Next – Appendix 1 & 2

 

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Appendix 1 – A Personal Epistemology (theory of knowledge)

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A101. Each of us has a personal epistemology (a way of coming to what we believe to be truth) whether we think of it as an epistemology, or not.

 

A102. This post is intended to be a clarification of my personal epistemology. Some of you may share the same epistemology. Some of you may not. And that is OK.

 

A103. I subscribe to ABSOLUTE Knowledge when it comes to the Descartes Minimal-Set* (and the truth of certain Abstract Objects).

 

A104. The *Descartes Minimal Set* is information based on the fact that “I must necessarily exist, in order to ask the question, do I exist?” This means that I can be absolutely certain that (a) something exists, (b) that something is conscious, (c) that something has choices, and so it is volitional, (d) that something has preferences, and so it has personality, (e) that something is MIND. I can know these things to be true with absolute certainty. The Abstract Objects (referred to above) are theorems and proofs in theoretical math and logic (these are true independent of the existence of the physical world). We can know these things to be true with absolute certainty.

 

A105. I subscribe to ABDUCTIVE levels of knowledge (NOT Deductive levels of knowledge) for ALL statements about Physical Reality.

 

A106. An Abductive Inference is an “Inference to the Best Explanation”. This is one form of Inductive Inference. So, its conclusions are NOT Absolutely Certain. BUT, they can be (a) Rational, (b) Logical, (c) Reasonable, and (d) the Best Explanation of the data.

 

A107. There are four possible kinds of Abductive Inferences. These are (a) Abductive-Rational, (b) Abductive-Logical, (c) Abductive-Reasonable, and (d) Abductive-Best. Definitions: (a) An Abductive-Rational inference is an Inference that is consistent with the rules of Rationality and does NOT violate those rules. (b) Abductive-Logical inference is an Inference that is consistent with the rules of Logic and does NOT violate those rules. (c) An Abductive-Reasonable Inference has Reasons for that inference that obey normal rules of reasoning. (d) An Abductive-Best Inference is an Inference to the Best Explanation, out of the set of available explanations.

 

A108. I subscribe to a Multi-Source Theory of Truth, i.e., a Multi-Source Epistemology.

 

A109. We have 5+ senses. It is true that one or two of our senses can be mistaken about a perceived state-of-affairs in reality (at a given time). However, IF the combination of the evidence from all of our senses points to the same state-of-affairs in reality, then our confidence in that state-of-affairs being true can be High.

 

A110. Abductive knowledge can come to us about events in reality from a variety of sources (a) our senses, (b) science, (c) epistemology, (d) philosophy, (e) historical methods, (f) personal experience, and the (g) testimony of other people. We can call these Abductive Methods.

 

A111. A hypothesis is a proposed truth-claim, a statement about reality.

 

A112. To determine if a hypothesis is FALSE, we can use the Abductive methods listed above to Disconfirm it (in an abductive sense). So, we look for DISconfirmation of a given hypothesis from MULTIPLE information-sources (for statements about reality; as described above) to see if that hypothesis is FALSE.

 

A113. If a hypothesis about reality is NOT disconfirmed by one or more information-sources, then we hold that hypothesis as being provisionally true.

 

A114. Conversely, to determine if a hypothesis is TRUE, we can use the Abductive methods listed above to Confirm it (in an abductive sense).

 

A115. So, we look for confirmation of a given hypothesis from MULTIPLE information-sources (for statements about reality; as described above) to infer that that hypothesis is true.

 

A114. If the Hypothesis is Confirmed by multiple abductive methods, that increases our confidence that that hypothesis is true.

 

A115. This (above) is my personal epistemology.

 

A114. When I use this method (epistemology) above, I come to the conclusion that (a) God exists, beyond a reasonable doubt; and (b) the Core of the Christian Gospel is true. Please see below.

 

 

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Appendix 2 – God, Epistemology & Abductive Inference

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A201. My Epistemology (theory of knowledge) leads me to a Pascallian-level-of-certainty (beyond a reasonable doubt) that God exists.

 

A202. See below.

 

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A203. The Existence of God is a Reasonable and Rational Abductive Inference, based on the Evidence.

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A204. The existence of God is a Reasonable and Rational Abductive inference based on the Evidence (i) Epistemological, (ii) Philosophical, (iii) Scientific, (iv) Historical, (v) Testimonial, and/or (vi) Personal -Experiential, (vii) Personal-Mystical, (viii) Personal-Answered Prayers.

 

A205. I am an ex-atheist, and a philosophical theist, because of the Evidence (the kinds of evidence listed in items i-viii above).

 

A206. And I am a Mere-Christian because of the kinds of evidence listed in iv-viii above.

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A207. I am certain beyond a reasonable doubt that God exists (i.e., certain enough to commit my life to the truth of the Christian God).

 

A208. Having said that, my view is that ALL knowledge about reality is Abductive in Nature (NOT Deductive), with the exception of the Descartes Minimal Set.

 

A209. So, the existence of God is an Abductive Inference (a Reasonable and a Rational Abductive Inference based on the evidence). The Existence of God is NOT a Deductive Conclusion (so it does not have 100% certainty; but then you cannot have 100% certainty that (a) the physical universe exists, or (b) that Other Minds exist, or (c) that Yesterday Existed.

 

A210. You CANNOT be 100% certain that (a) the physical universe exists, or (b) that Other Minds exist, or (c) that Yesterday Existed.

 

A211. However, you can come to the Abductive Inference (or Abductive conclusion) that A,B,C are true (even though you cannot absolutely prove (with Deductive Certainty) that they are true).

 

A212. As a Theist, I use exactly the SAME mode of Abductive Reasoning to come to the Reasonable and Rational Conclusion (abductive inference) that God Exists.

 

A213. IF it is Rational to use Abductive Inference to infer that (a) the physical universe exists, or (b) that Other Minds exist, or (c) that Yesterday Existed ...

 

A214. THEN it is Rational to use Abductive Inference (the SAME mode of reasoning) to infer that (d) God Exists.

 

A215. We DO use Abductive Inference to infer that (a) the physical universe exists, or (b) that Other Minds exist, or (c) that Yesterday Existed. And we are Rational in doing so.

 

A216.  Therefore, it is Rational to use Abductive Inference (the SAME mode of reasoning) to infer that (d) God Exists.

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A217. As I have mentioned above, the existence of God is a Reasonable and Rational Abductive inference based on the Evidence (i) Epistemological, (ii) Philosophical, (iii) Scientific, (iv) Historical, (v) Testimonial, and/or (vi) Personal -Experiential, (vii) Personal-Mystical, (viii) Personal-Answered Prayers.

 

A218. I am an ex-atheist, and a philosophical theist, because of the Evidence (the kinds of evidence listed in items i-viii above). And I am a Mere-Christian because of the kinds of evidence listed in iv-viii above.

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A219. The Topics discussed above (and below) describe some of the evidence that leads me to the inference above.

 

 

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Source: www.GodAndScience.INFO      (Peter B.)

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Disclaimer: This is a work in progress, and it will continue to be modified based on dialog and feedback.

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