mamajama: That series of articles is an excerpt from his book, so it's designed to be read in conjunction with the rest of his Christian apologetic, or by someone familiar with presuppositional thinking. In the above quote he's referring to (among other things) the doctrine of occasionalism, but it's rather more complex than that. Rather than derail the thread I can recommend some more complete works on the topic, if you like, or we can continue this discussion via PM. But of course, even if you don't accept Christian science as a viable alternative to secular science, the logical and epistemological problems presented by the secular scientific method, as he describes them, are still insurmountable. (ETA: Where do you get the notion that he uses the ontological argument? I can't find that in his posts anywhere, and when I asked him he said 'LOL, no'...)
|how is using empiricism as an epistemological foundation self refuting?
By definition. 'Knowledge is gained through the senses', the first principle of empiricism as an epistemological foundation, is not a statement which can be tested by the senses.
|By knowledge, I think you are referring to the definition: justified true belief. This definition, it's true, has been refuted (most famously in Gettier's paper). But then, of course, Gettier's paper has been criticised and the classical definiton of knowledge (justified true belief) amended, expounded upon, replaced...
Pretty much. I think Gettier's objection simply stems from a different view of the 'justified' part, which I wouldn't call 'justified' at all, simply 'seemingly justified'.
|basically, by disputing empiricism, it seems as if you are suggesting that the only other option is idealism. I disagree. As a number of catholics and other practicing religious people on this thread have stated: it is possible to study and embrace both creationism and evolution, science and spitrituality, etc. In fact, many posters on this thread are including as evidence the fact that many scientists and other thinkers from the past and present were and are devout christians. That can serve as evidence that the two schools are not dichotomous.
It's not about disputing empiricism; you misunderstand. Christians use empirical methods all the time. It's about philosophically justifying empiricism
, which secular science is unable to do. (Not that Christians justify empiricism-as-epistemology, but they can justify it as a fairly reliable tool--part 5, I think, of my husband's blog entry deals with this). The alternative to empiricism is not idealism but occasionalism. And while I am aware that many Christians view secular science and Christianity as compatible, I disagree with them. The plain reading of Genesis 1-3 is clear, and in order to be textually honest, I think a six-days reading of Creation is necessary. (Incidentally, most of the 'Christian scientists of the past' weren't working under a secular scientific framework at all, but under a scientific framework based on Christian principles. The principle at least of occasionalism was present, whether or not it was defined--which I should look up. Certainly it was around in Calvin's day).