Thursday, January 31, 2013

And Yet Again, Presuppositions . . .

I commented a few posts back on Dr. Enns' comments concerning presuppositions. I wanted to post his new post concerning them in order to demonstrate that my original post was, indeed, correct.

You can find his appeal to Silva here:

I can understand the level of misunderstanding that is built upon a long Enlightenment-oriented tradition in the belief of objectivity. Hence, one feels he can divorce presuppositions in terms of ultimate beliefs from his conclusions. Of course, if one has the same ultimate beliefs, or if his ultimate beliefs are not in conflict with those whose methodology of inquiry is governed by alternate ultimate beliefs, then there can be some agreement on these issues.

It's where they conflict where Silva et al. are deficient in their understanding. The idea that one can "approach objectivity" either by himself or via a larger community is absurd. Let me explain it this way. If all of one's view of reality is governed by his observation and all interpretation of his observation is governed by his ultimate beliefs, then everything he "knows" to be true is simply an interpretation of his ultimate beliefs, nothing more. 

Man does not know the world directly as God does. He interprets it through his beliefs concerning reality. Hence, it does not matter if you have one man or a thousand men interpreting reality. There is no such thing as approaching objectivity. 

As I said, we can agree on all sorts of things where our ultimate beliefs allow us to do so, and everyone's conclusions can be evaluated for how they are consistent or inconsistent with his own ultimate beliefs and sources of authority; but the idea that one can determine a "good" or "bad" presupposition by the evidence is nonsense (and I say that for both sides--good and bad are value judgments being made by one's ultimate beliefs, not something that can be proven). 

So merely appealing to teachers who also got it wrong is not going to help in this situation. In my opinion, Dr. Enns should drop this line of argumentation. It only displays that he has taken upon the attitude of many within the academy, both conservative and liberal, who also have gotten it wrong.

The issue of inerrancy or errancy is ultimately one of ultimate beliefs. Conservatives aren't going to prove it to the true and liberals aren't going to prove it to be false, unless you can prove inconsistency with one's ultimate beliefs. Maybe that argument can be made, but I have yet to hear anyone attempt to do so.

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