OSC’s Thoughts on rational warrant and the Defibrillator argument


David’s argument goes something like this. . .to begin doing science (e.g. test tubes, burners and measurements) takes certain presuppositions, beliefs like the universe is orderly, rationally intelligible and that we’re the kind of beings who can get to that info. He calls one science and the other Science, so you don’t get little s science without first having big s Science. Descarte in his meditations worked through problems kind of like this, and in the end, grounded a lot of his thinking in the fact that we are the product of an all-good God, for which He wants us to use our faculties to know something about Him. Almost everyone who’s into this stuff will be thinking of Charles Darwin right about now, since he wrote that classic line used by apologists “would I trust the convictions in the mind of a monkey, if they had convictions at all.” I’d have to write no on my own behalf, if I really and truly believed I was the product of unguided evolutionary processes with a mind to “survival”, then no, I wouldn’t trust my various beliefs insofar as truth finding goes. Then again, I’d have to begin doubting my doubts if the process was as evolutionists describe, even doubting my beliefs in evolutionary biology. For example, perhaps my believing in evolution, that we evolved from scummy pond life, helps in terms of reproduction, not shackled by pesky words like fornication, marriage and sin I’m open to explore my sexual freedoms with a variety of partners and even pass on my DNA should the desire arise.

Presupposing evolution were true, how am I to know the reasons why I’m inclined to believe in the story of evolution are in fact good reasons. Do I believe because the story commends itself to my rationality? Of course not, so then why believe it? Either way, Science as another example (since to do science we first need Science). As an example, I don’t search for monsters under my bed, why don’t I do that? Better yet, why do kids do that? Well, because they believe there’s something under there. I don’t believe there’s anything under my bed except dusty old books written by atheists, because they’re normally so bad they don’t find a place on my bookshelf. I’ll look beneath my bed for a really bad atheist screed against God, but not much else. Likewise I’ll look for an orderly universe if my presuppositions insist an orderly universe is to be had (had by my senses and rational mind). So, who holds beliefs like that? Not Charles Darwin, he had his famous doubt, and not modern atheists, they’re bothered not only by Darwin’s doubt, they’re also impacted by other ideas like materialism and determinism upending their beliefs, orderly operations of the universe aside. So, whose background beliefs gave rise to science in the small s sense? Whose belief set could afford to presuppose Science? Let’s find out (from minute 8 until David’s opening statement ends). . .

I’ve got a simple version on Unapologetic but it sounds muffled listening back to myself, so this version is really best ^^^ in spite of the clicking around you need to do. Anyway, this argument really helps for those of us who aren’t science history buffs, although for those of you who are, it’s easy to make a case for grounding Science in the faith presuppositions of the vast vast majority of scientists. Hope you’ve enjoyed that. And on a side note, this upcoming Sunday I’ll be doing my first serious teaching class (how exciting!) It’s Palm Sunday so I’m planning to make this relevant to the entry into Jerusalem material found in Luke 19 and elsewhere. Is Jesus weeping over London in the same way He wept over the city of Jerusalem? Are young believers in the church ready for when He comes to our cities and homes and lives? Still, before signing off I’d like to ask for your prayers, it’s a first for me and I really want to leave these young people with a passion for the Lord and the part He plays in their lives (there’s nothing bigger). Prayer is a big deal and something that’s always on my heart, so your support would be awesome on that front.

God bless everyone and enjoy the material.

― T. C. M

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