A Quick Tour of the Ungodly Thinking Trilemma

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

A Quick Tour of the Trilemma

The logical fallacy of infinite regression:

When someone tries to prove a conclusion C using proof P but has no proof for the proof, this person ends in infinite regression. Infinite regression is a problem with the premise, the proof P.

Form:

P proves C. P1 proves P. P2 proves P1. P3 proves P2. (Continue infinitely)

Each P is a premise (proof). C is the conclusion.

This regression of unproven proofs goes on infinitely with no real proof for the proof.

Example:

An ungodly thinker says we can trust his reasoning. How does he know? He states an argument to support his reasoning using a premise, but how does he know his premise is true? He has to create a second logical argument to prove his original premise, the premise he used to support his claim that we can trust his reasoning. Of course, he hasn’t gotten anywhere since his second logical argument also has a premise that he must prove. He can then try to prove that premise with another logical argument, but this chain of unproven reasoning goes on forever. Well, not forever, but until he runs out of time. So, he never finds solid ground and never has sound reasoning because not one of his claims can stand on its own. Therefore, he knows nothing since he needs further proof for every claim he makes.

The logical fallacy of circular reasoning:

A persuader starts with what looks like infinite regression, but the infinite regression hooks up to itself in a circle of reasoning. With circular reasoning, the proof for one of the premises is one of the previous premises. Circular reasoning hides the problem of the unproven premise.

Form:

P proves C and C proves P.

C proves P, P1 proves P, and C proves P1.

Example:

An ungodly thinker says we should trust her reasoning. But how does she know? She uses her reasoning to try to convince us to trust her reasoning, but using her reasoning to prove we can trust her reasoning is circular reasoning.

The logical fallacy of axiomatic thinking:

Axiomatic thinking is just making up stuff and calling it true.

Form:

X is true. It just is.

Example:

An ungodly thinker says, “I take the validity of my reasoning ability as an axiom.” While we can ask for proof, we won’t get any. The ungodly thinker says, “It’s self-evident, and I don’t need to prove it because it’s an axiom.”

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We Call It the Ungodly Thinking Trilemma

The following quote is referring to the Münchausen Trilemma. We call it the Ungodly Thinking Trilemma because it only affects us when we try to think without the influence of the Holy Spirit. At this point in the book, we’re exposing the fact that the trilemma has flaws.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Even though the trilemma has real implications for ungodly thinking, it’s an illusion since the trilemma presents three choices when we have at least five choices. The trilemma eliminates two choices, so it’s a false trilemma. But even though it’s not real, it acts as a trilemma for ungodly thinkers because of its assumption of naturalism, and naturalism allows only three choices rather than five. The trilemma keeps all ungodly thinkers from thinking rationally about anything unless they would be willing to lift their self-imposed limitation of naturalism.

</end quote>

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Most People Don’t Understand Logic or How to Know What’s True.

It’s really about truth. How can we know the truth? The truth will set us free. Lies put us into bondage. Most people don’t know how to tell the difference between truth and untruth. That’s a problem.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

According to the rules of deductive logic the premise must be true or it proves nothing. If the premise is true and the form is valid, the conclusion follows from the premise. Then the logic is sound, and the conclusion is true. So a true premise and valid form are necessary for truth, but the trilemma doesn’t allow a true premise without divine revelation. Therefore, the trilemma is a terrible problem for ungodly thinkers, and this problem results in the inability to be rational while thinking without God.

Baron Münchausen said he had pulled himself out of the swamp by his beard. Of course, he was using humor to make his point that the human mind, by itself, has no way to reach logical conclusions under its own power. While something outside of the Baron could pull him out of the swamp by his beard, he couldn’t pull himself out by his beard. In the same way, logical conclusions need something outside one’s self since truth only comes from a person who knows all things and who can’t lie.

</end quote>

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Without Christ, We Can Know Nothing

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

While thinking based on made-up stuff may provide intellectual freedom, it’s not sane, and while escaping from sanity may be exhilarating, sanity is important. As a result, sound reason still requires a true premise. No one can rationally use an unproven premise to prove a conclusion. Otherwise, how could we know whose made-up stuff to use as a premise?

Is it the one who’s the most violent?

Is it the one with control of the media and schools?

Is it the one who controls scientific funding and the scientific journals?

Is it the one who can kill all who disagree?

Is it the one with the best persuasive skills?

Is it the one with the money to create the best presentation?

Are there some other criteria to decide whose made-up stuff will be the correct made-up stuff?

</end quote>

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It’s Not Against Reason but Irrational Reason

It’s not uncommon to read something by a godly Christian where the Christian appears to be bashing reason. If we were able to sit down with that Christian and clarify, I doubt that the Christian means what we are to be irrational or insane in our thinking. In many cases, we would find that the Christian hasn’t really given the matter serious thought, but they have seen many examples of irrational reasoning that’s not based on true premises. As is often said, “You can rationalize anything.”

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Even Christians sometimes try to depend on their own minds. One Christian said the following:

“But this can’t mean an abandonment of reason, for God commands us to serve Him with our entire mind, so surely we should strive to reason to true conclusions using our minds alone without God.”

While this statement may almost seem true at first, it’s false because God never asked us to disconnect from the Holy Spirit to use our minds. This statement defines rebellion against God. God is looking for a close relationship, but we don’t realize how close He wants this relationship. Of course, it’s a relationship in which He is God and we are in submission to God.

To clear up this muddy reasoning, abandonment of reason isn’t the issue, but rather the abandonment of UNSOUND reason is the issue. We want true premises and valid form so we can be sane, and we’re rejecting the common insanity of the culture even though this insanity has crept into the Church in many places.

</end quote>

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Godless People Can’t be Rational?

Wait! What? Ungodly people can’t be rational? Really?

To claim that ungodly thinking (trying to reason without the Truth that comes from God) will always be irrational—that seems like a wild claim. However, it’s obviously true. The following quote explains one of the problems the human ego has trouble accepting.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

As promised, we’ll now carefully examine the reason ungodly thinkers can’t possibly be rational. To start, let’s evaluate the ungodly thinking trilemma. A trilemma is like a dilemma, but it has three choices instead of two. With a trilemma, we must choose one of three undesirable alternatives.

Agrippa the Skeptic taught about the ungodly thinking trilemma 2,000 years ago, so it’s sometimes called “Agrippa’s trilemma.” Münchausen wrote about it in the 1700s, so it’s also known as the “Münchausen trilemma.” Hans Albert also wrote about it in 1968, so it’s sometimes called “Albert’s trilemma.” But a more descriptive name, “ungodly thinking trilemma,” is the name we’ll use, and as we explore this trilemma, we’ll find it to be an ungodly illusion caused by closed minds. To take this thought a step further, consider the following quote:

“The Münchhausen trilemma is a problem in philosophy that all statements can be questioned and then need evidence. This problem has been well known in philosophy for thousands of years, but rarely gets addressed because it breaks the legs of philosophy, science, and any other possible approach to reality.” ~ rationalwiki.org

This ungodly thinking website is pointing to a philosophy that still stands against all ungodly challenges today. As RationalWiki.org states, the Münchausen trilemma isn’t popular “because it breaks the legs of philosophy, science, and any other possible approach to reality.” However, the trilemma only destroys rational thought for ungodly thinkers, so it seems that the wiki has ignored the possibility of the real God Who reveals reality.

If the statement in RationalWiki.org is true, then all reasoning on RationalWiki.org is going to be irrational. It has to be. RationalWiki.org is claiming to be irrational in the quote above. They’re claiming that every article on their site is irrational and without merit, and they’re right for their site content, but they also try to project this problem out to others. They also claim that this problem holds true for all information everywhere, but their claim is also irrational because of the trilemma. As they try to project this problem, their claim “can be questioned and needs evidence,” so the trilemma “breaks the legs” of their own claim. Shortly, we’ll get into the reasons the trilemma is inescapable for ungodly thinkers and why it only applies to those who aren’t listening to Christ and following Him. The trilemma guaranties insane thinking for ungodly thinkers.

We might question this trilemma when we first hear about it. We might feel that we could prove things tentatively even if we couldn’t prove anything absolutely with human intellect alone. Or we may imagine that we could falsify arguments, that is, prove that something is false. Or we could try to prove that something is reasonable. We might try to come up with other arguments against the trilemma. And we might even be able to come up with an argument that sounds good enough for a superficially convincing fog. However, ungodly philosophers have been trying to get around this trilemma for thousands of years, but they haven’t been able to do it without God. Therefore, if we think we have a naturalistic way around the trilemma, someone has probably already tried it and failed. Every such argument fails because every argument against the trilemma is based on one of the three fallacies of the trilemma, so the trilemma “breaks the legs” of the argument. That means that we should demand a true premise without any made-up stuff from anyone who claims an exception to the trilemma. Of course, we should never accept an unproven claim anyway. If someone makes a claim, we need a true premise.

Therefore, we can only imagine how embarrassed those who worship their own minds feel when they discover human minds can’t be rational without Christ. It’s embarrassing. As a result, ungodly thinkers present many futile and irrational arguments to fight against this reality. We’ll go over some of them in the book Real Faith & Reason Volume Three. Though arguments exist, not one of those arguments is rational.

</end quote>

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Socrates and Skepticism

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Socrates

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” ~ Socrates

In this statement, Socrates claimed to know nothing, yet he claimed to know that the only true wisdom is in “knowing” you know nothing. We immediately see the conflict as he claimed to know nothing, yet he claimed to know something. He claimed to know that no one can know anything.

His logic seems confusing because he’s confused, so let’s look at it another way:

Socrates claimed to know nothing.

By claiming that other people can’t know anything, Socrates claimed to have infinite knowledge of those people’s minds and spiritual experiences.

Socrates conflicted with himself. How could Socrates know about the knowledge (or lack of knowledge) of every person? He couldn’t. As a result, Socrates couldn’t know what he claimed to know when he said, “No one can know anything.” To make his claim rationally, he would have to know all the inner spiritual experiences of every person, but only God knows the inner spiritual experiences of every person.

We should note that Socrates also had a different and conflicting theory of knowledge. He said everyone is born with some absolute knowledge. Although he didn’t tell us how he thought he knew that, his statement might contain some truth.

God tells us He formed us in the womb, He knew us before He formed us in the womb, and He wrote His laws on our hearts. Writing His laws on our hearts (innermost minds) is a form of revelation. However, God doesn’t tell us the extent of the laws He writes on the hearts of humans, nor does He tell us exactly how He writes these laws on our hearts. He does indicate we’re three-part creatures: spirit, soul, and body. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the Greek word “psuche” is translated “soul,” and this verse speaks of the human spirit, soul, and body. According to this verse, the soul is distinct from the body and the spirit. In other verses, “psuche” is translated as “mind,” “soul,” “life,” and “heart.” Therefore, we know that God wrote His laws on our hearts (minds or souls), not on our bodies or our human spirits. That means He wrote these laws (this information) on our hearts, on our minds, and the information didn’t create itself, but rather, God wrote it there.

Getting back to skepticism, Agrippa the Skeptic, Baron Münchausen, and Hans Albert have echoed the skeptical mindset as they each wrote about a basic flaw in the ungodly thinking process. This flaw is the ungodly thinking trilemma. And we’ll go into this trilemma more fully, but first let’s take a sixty-second break to watch this video about mindless logic. (https://youtu.be/_asypV77_54)

</end quote>

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Ungodly Thinking is Irrational

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Two Skeptics

Somewhere in a nearby city, two philosophy professors engage in a heated debate. While one insists the only thing he “knows” is that he exists, the other argues that he can’t even “know” he exists. Each man represents a different branch of skeptical philosophy.

We get the word “philosophy” from two Greek words. “Philo” means “loving.” “Sophia” means “knowledge or wisdom.” How could anyone love knowledge and wisdom while denying that knowledge and wisdom exist? And if no one can know anything about anything, how can either professor know what they think they know? Strangely, they assume that the laws of logic have value. They aren’t skeptical about that, but they have no reason for thinking that logic has any value.

Another question comes to mind: what are they teaching their students, and why do they think it’s worth teaching?

These professors have chosen the thought-foundation of assumptions, so they base their thinking on unknowns that they treat as facts. Basing all reasoning on unknowns can work pragmatically if the assumptions happen to be correct, but those who base thinking on assumptions can’t be certain that their assumptions are correct. Not having truth as a starting point, they check to see if the assumptions lead to the conclusion they desire. They prove the conclusion they prefer by making up stuff. Then they predict results of specific actions, and if the actions lead to the predicted result, they take the assumptions as “probably true.” They didn’t prove that the assumptions are true, but they treat them as if they were true. They discard unfulfilled predictions without discarding the assumptions that these predictions were supposed to prove or disprove. Ungodly thinkers can dogmatically defend pure nonsense using these techniques.

Most ungodly thinkers assume certain necessary things like the laws of logic existing, their senses being reliable, the world around them existing, and they themselves existing. Then they assume the reliability of the laws of nature and math. They know these truths because God revealed these truths to them, but because they refuse to acknowledge God, they relegate these truths to assumption. Therefore, even though they hold some truth, they don’t know any truth. They’re always learning but never coming to knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7) They hear God’s voice, but as they hear, they don’t hear, so faith never comes to them. (Matthew 13:13-15)

Ungodly thinking always bases reason on making up stuff and calling made-up stuff true. Unfortunately, those who choose to be ungodly have no choice but to be irrational, yet they believe that they’re being rational. They can’t be rational without knowing that the premise of their reasoning is true, and they can’t prove that a premise is true. They can only make up stuff and pretend it’s true.

</end quote>

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Conversation with a Skeptic

This conversation begins with the skeptic’s reaction to a post from a Christ-follower that we call “Rocky Rockbuilder.” Rocky has just posted a few obvious facts as follows:

  1. Sound reasoning must be based on truth.
  2. If reasoning begins with untruth, it can’t be rational.
  3. We can’t make up stuff and base our reasoning on made-up stuff without being irrational.
  4. Skepticism is a claim that nothing can be known absolutely. It’s self-refuting since it claims to know an absolute truth: that nothing can be known absolutely.
  5. The human mind has no path to truth without divine revelation. Therefore, the human mind is always irrational without the leading of the Holy Spirit. The only alternative to divine revelation is making up stuff, or lying.
  6. God is able to reveal reality to humans. What would stop Him? Those of us who follow Christ know that He does this since He does this constantly in our lives.
  7. Only divine revelation supplies true premises, a starting point of truth for rational thought.

These are obvious and testable facts since every one who seeks Christ finds Christ. Any skeptic can set aside his or her dogmatically-held belief in skepticism and come to Jesus Christ, listen to His voice, and be transformed. Anyone can make a real commitment to following Christ in this way and allowing Christ to do His works of righteousness through him or her.

When confronted with these facts, Skeptic are likely to argue against the truth. Of course, every argument they bring is based on made-up stuff. No argument they bring is rational since they have no path to truth as long as they resist Jesus Christ. So, they will argue for a while, but it’s very common for them to finally admit that they know nothing and then switch over to some form of argument where they claim that we, who know Jesus Christ, are in the same boat as skeptics who don’t know Jesus Christ. That’s where we enter the following conversation.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Let’s sit in on another conversation:

Sandy Sandbuilder: “As to divine revelation, that premise itself would also lack proof, no?”

Rocky Rockbuilder: “You’re saying that I have the same problem you have, that divine revelation as a premise also lacks proof. That’s a tu quoque fallacy. For several reasons, your tu quoque doesn’t work. Do you want to know why?”

Sandy: “Of course, please explain.”

Rocky: “You have no way to reason to your tu quoque other than by making up stuff. You make up a story. In your story, you say that the Almighty God isn’t able to prove His divine revelation and make Himself and His revelation obvious. What possible mechanism would prevent God from revealing and giving us discernment? You can’t prove your story. You can’t even prove it to yourself. And yet, God does reveal Himself to me and to anyone who seeks Him. He reveals Himself explicitly, so we don’t have to guess. You can test my claim by seeking Him. I can also test your claim and find it false.”

Sandy: “I would like to know whether one person’s divine revelation should be accepted by another as true if they have not themselves received it. If so, how do we distinguish between competing claims of divine revelation?”

Sandy Sandbuilder didn’t answer the question. Ungodly thinkers can use various techniques to dodge questions about their bare claims or they can answer the questions irrationally. They don’t have other options. The question was, “What possible mechanism would prevent God from revealing and giving us discernment?” Sandy didn’t answer because he had no answer. He’s just blowing smoke. Instead, he changed the subject.

Rocky: “You ask if you should accept another person’s claim of divine revelation if you haven’t received the revelation. I suppose you may be thinking this person would be asking you to trust them. However, if it is divine revelation, they aren’t asking you to trust them. If it’s truly revelation, you’ve received it. If it’s divine revelation, Jesus Christ is asking you to trust Him as He speaks through them. Christ teaches us that those who follow Him ought always to speak or write by the Holy Spirit. He says we should speak as His oracle. He says whoever rejects those who speak by His Spirit rejects Him directly. Whoever rejects Him rejects the Father directly. But what if the person isn’t speaking by the authority of the Holy Spirit? If you seek God, He’ll give you discernment to recognize and reject the false teacher or false prophet.”

Sandy: “But I don’t believe in God, so why would I seek His mind?”

Rocky: “God has also revealed one thing most disbelievers find disturbing. He says He revealed Himself, and a lot about Himself, to every person. Some people refuse to respond to Him. They then suppress this truth in their unrighteousness [deceitful trickery]. They reject Him because they love darkness rather than light since their deeds are evil. Otherwise, they would come to Him. They know that Jesus Christ would lead them out of their sins, and they don’t want that. They love their sin and independence from God. As God says, they have no excuse. Most disbelievers find this fact disturbing and hard to accept, but it means you already know. You know God exists and you know a lot about Him.”

“Beyond that, anyone can test the reality of Jesus Christ without any equipment or expense. No one has to take someone else’s word for it. All who seek Christ find Christ. Of course, they can’t deceive God. They must come with sincerity, persistence, respect, and submission to Christ. They must want Christ to set them free from sin.”

Through the mouths of those who won’t come to Christ with an open mind, God confirms the revelation He gave us through Scripture that those who reject Him are willingly ignorant. They know. They won’t come to Him with sincerity, persistence, respect, and submission even though they don’t need to buy anything or even inconvenience themselves. They know about the spiritual cost intuitively. They know that they would have to give up their sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. They’re comfortable as slaves of Satan.

At this point, Sandy Sandbuilder said axiomatic reasoning is reasonable and useful in all sorts of circumstances. Here’s where he’s confusing two methods of thinking. He has a brute-beast mind that can react to his five senses. He can make pancakes and learn about burning them. He can avoid the problem next time he cooks pancakes. He can work within what he learns from his five senses. However, when he tries to extrapolate beyond his five senses, he’ll be irrational.

Animals react to their five senses and learn, too. And Sandy would say, so what? He’s just an evolved animal. He can project from his sense data. He can see what’s happening ahead of him on the road as he’s driving and hit his brake or step on the gas as needed. He’s calculating the results of speed and how long it takes to slow down or speed up. He sees a car veering all over the road and gets away from it, extrapolating that information as a warning sign. Besides sense data, God gave him instincts. He can follow those. And though he won’t thank God for it, God also guides him. God helps all of us. He warns us of danger. He tells us of opportunity. His rain falls on the wicked and the righteous. Christ is the Light that lights every person who comes into the world.

Though Sandy has great ability within his brute-beast mind, he can’t think beyond his five senses and still be rational. He can’t tell the difference between what God reveals and what his own mind makes up. Sandy can’t discern the difference between what his own mind makes up and what a demon tells him. He certainly can’t reason to the conclusions he wrote about online in the conversation we just followed. He reasons to these conclusions based on axioms. Axioms consist of made-up stuff. Made-up stuff isn’t reliable information.

When he says axiomatic reasoning is reasonable and useful in all sorts of circumstances, he says he’s rational to make up stuff and call the made-up stuff true. He thinks that he can base all his reasoning on made-up stuff and he says it makes sense for him to reason this way. Of course, he says axioms aren’t made-up stuff. He says axioms are so obvious that he can take them as proved though they’re not proven. But how can they be obvious if we can’t prove them?

He also thinks it’s okay if we each have our own made-up stuff, and your made-up stuff can conflict with his made-up stuff. He says neither one is ultimately true, but you can use your made-up stuff, and he can use his made-up stuff for sound reasoning. Then two people can come to conflicting conclusions when both are using sound reasoning. He really says that.

Sandy: “Taking divine revelation to be an axiom, as you said, isn’t binding on those who haven’t received it. I further challenge whether those who HAVE received it and hold it axiomatic, are correct.”

Rocky: “I never said “Taking divine revelation to be an axiom.” We don’t hold divine revelation axiomatic, as you claimed. You’re trying to put your words in my mouth. We don’t offer axiomatic reasoning as a way out. Axioms are made-up stuff. Rather than axioms, we experience divine revelation in an ongoing flow from the Holy Spirit Who never leaves us or forsakes us.”

“You say Christ didn’t reveal Himself to you, but He has. He’s revealed Himself to you through me. He’s also spoken to you in many other ways. God has revealed Himself to you through the things He created, but you’ve suppressed His truth in your deceitful trickery.”

“Christ leads, teaches, and corrects every person who follows Him moment by moment, and Christ is how we know. When He speaks to us, faith comes. Faith is reality as opposed to concept, and faith is the only proof possible to prove anything. Jesus Christ authors it, and only the Almighty, All-knowing, Creator God Who cannot lie can establish any truth. If we hold divine revelation as an axiom, we forsake Christ and begin following the fallen human mind. God wants a relationship. He doesn’t want theoretical believers.”

“God doesn’t give anyone responsibility to convince you or persuade you. He holds you responsible since He provides the revelation you need. He’s very clear on this fact. Those on the side of truth listen to Christ. Many other voices exist, but God equips you to discern truth if you desire righteousness and truth.”

Sandy: “Axioms aren’t made-up stuff. They’re things that seem so self-evident we accept them without challenge. An example would be the ‘excluded middle,’ which is the impossibility for something to be both true and false at the same time.”

“God has certainly not revealed himself to me in the things he has created, not even when I prayed for such a revelation.”

Rocky: “Axioms are unproven claims, yet we accept them as if we had proved them. However, we have to be careful not to confuse divine revelation with made-up stuff. If we won’t acknowledge Christ, we’ll see everything the same. We make no difference between made-up stuff and reality. However, we do see conflicts between what’s in our worldviews and what’s in other people’s worldviews. We also see conflicts between what’s in our worldviews and what God reveals. Whatever we firmly establish in our worldviews seems “so self-evident we accept it without challenge.” For instance, God reveals that something can’t be true and false at the same time. A person without Christ would take this truth as an axiom. A person with Christ hears this truth from Christ at the moment God says it to that person. A Hindu says that things can be both true and false at the same time and in the same way and that you don’t understand Eastern philosophy. To the Hindu, what you call ‘self-evident’ is nonsense.”

“God has indeed revealed Himself to you. As I said, God says He reveals Himself to every person, and most disbelievers find this fact disturbing. He reveals Himself to you today in the words that I’m saying to you. You can’t hear Scripture quoted or read a verse without hearing His voice. You can’t look at any part of creation without Him revealing Himself to you. However, you can reject Him. You can refuse to acknowledge Him. One of the things I noticed about the way you express yourself, you look for reasons not to believe. You approach God with animosity and skepticism, with a closed mind. You look for ways to screen Him out. You must come as a child, full of wonder and acceptance of Him. He won’t force Himself on you if you don’t want Him. When you come with every intention to prove that He isn’t there, He knows your heart better than you do. He turns you over to your own corrupted mind. The fall corrupted every human mind. Our minds aren’t capable of rational thought without divine revelation.”

Sandy Sandbuilder is a skeptic who believes that he can’t know anything for certain. He claims that he was once a Christian who knew Christ. Then, he decided that he didn’t know anything and questioned everything he once believed. He became dogmatic enough about his disbelief that he now looks for every opportunity to argue against Christ. The trouble is that he bases every argument he makes on made-up stuff, so every argument he makes is irrational.

Here’s another point from the conversation:

Rocky: “God teaches those who follow Him to communicate guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. He says, ‘Speak as His oracle.’ He says whoever rejects His words as He speaks through His followers rejects Him directly. Whoever rejects Him rejects the Father directly.”

This point means that God spoke to Sandy Sandbuilder during this conversation, but Sandy rejected God. Sandy refused to acknowledge God. He has closed his mind to God.

During this conversation, Sandy tried to prove three things. He wanted to prove that he was open to God, but that it was God’s fault that he couldn’t find God. He wanted to prove that he could be rational without a true premise. And he looked for ways to question knowing anything by divine revelation. We’ll go over a few of Sandy’s comments to see how he argued.

Sandy Sandbuilder has done his part. He tried. He implies that God failed him.

Sandy: “I have been completely open to being convinced of God’s existence by revelation or reason on several occasions in my life.”

We notice that Sandy isn’t open now. He’s become dogmatic. He’s entrenched in His philosophy and unwilling to challenge His own dogma. Sandy insists that he can think rationally by depending on axioms as long as he sincerely feels that those axioms are obvious. We’ll go into some detail on this journey to find out why our axioms, even the false ones, seem so obvious to us.

Sandy: “I must have received divine revelation since I appear capable of at least some rational thought. Since I am not conscious of having received revelation, the word “revelation” does not seem appropriate to whatever I may have received from God.”

Sandy receives revelation. He refuses to acknowledge God, so he can’t tell the difference between what he makes up and what God reveals to Him. Most of what God shows him, he rejects. The revelation Sandy accepts seems like something obvious that he got from some unknown source. He puts his made-up stuff into the same category. He makes no difference between the two. And because he continually and consistently refused to acknowledge God, thank Him, and give Him the glory, God turned him over to his own corrupted mind. As he continues to disrespect and ignore God, even trying to convince Christians to stop following Christ, he hardens his mind against God. He develops disbelieving answers for every approach the Holy Spirit may make toward him. His senseless mind is darkened. The following quotes show how he claimed to be rational without a true premise:

“The thought was rational, even though its premise and conclusion later turned out to be false.”

“It’s entirely possible to have rational thought of correct form without ultimate certainty in its premises.”

Though Sandy can’t be sure of anything, he’s sure that he can reason rationally without a true premise. But he can only state bare assertions. He exposed his useless definition of “rational thought.” He thinks that valid form is rational thought, but sound logic must also have true premises. Rational thought is sound reasoning, not merely valid form.

When Sandy says “of correct form” he’s pointing out a failure of the education system. Schools teach that correct form is all we need for sound logic. Sandy feels that he’s reasoning rationally even though he uses premises that may be false. He thinks rational thought only requires valid form. Consider the sociopath who thinks it’s OK to murder people on Tuesdays. This claim seems obvious, so the sociopath takes it as an axiom. Sandy is saying that the sociopath is rational if he uses this axiom about murdering people on Tuesdays as a premise. Here’s this valid form with a false premise:

Sociopath: “It’s OK to murder people on Tuesdays. It’s Tuesday. Therefore, I can murder people today.”

The form of the sociopath’s logic is valid. Sandy is saying that a sociopath can make this statement rationally as long as the sociopath feels that it’s obviously okay to murder people on Tuesdays.

Sandy also insisted that he couldn’t know anything for certain. And yet, he doesn’t claim his uncertainty in uncertain terms. He’s certain of his uncertainty. How can he be so certain that he can’t be certain about anything? Here are a few of Sandy’s claims about not being able to know:

“I have no way of knowing anything.”

“I have not denied that divine revelation may be possible.”

“You are certain about some things, unlike me; I’m uncertain about everything.”

“I do not believe such a proof (for or against God) is conceivable, or necessary.”

Disbelief is a form of belief. It’s belief in not believing. Sandy doesn’t just express a lack of belief. He willfully disbelieves. When he says “is conceivable,” we can see his desire to push the possibility of knowing God as far from himself as he can. When he says “or necessary,” he’s rationalizing a complete theology and concept of the spiritual and natural world. Since he can’t be certain of anything, how is he so certain about his belief? Why would he willfully disbelieve God? Here’s what he said as he looked back at when he was a Christian:

“I found I could not at all distinguish between the things I was convinced were revelations and the things that turned out to be wishful thinking.”

Sandy Sandbuilder brings up something every Christ-follower must overcome. We do find out that we’re wrong sometimes. We find out that we misinterpret God as He speaks to us through Scripture, intuition, the created world, or any other way He communicates. We find that teachers tell us things we believe, and we later, sometimes decades later, realize that those teachers were wrong. The only reason we’re ever deceived is that we’re immature in Christ. We haven’t grown to His fullness. We have a fleshly nature that’s deceitful and desperately wicked, so we all make many mistakes. However, as we focus on Christ and His will, He continues to correct us where we’re wrong. As we forsake our own will and our own strongly held opinions, He reveals truth. We need patience. We have Christ rather than dogmatism.

We can’t look into Sandy’s past when he was a Christian and see the experience he’s describing, so we don’t know if it was real. If God did reveal reality to him, he looked back at those revelations at a certain point and convinced himself that God’s revelation was wishful thinking. Then he knew HE COULDN’T BE CERTAIN of anything, YET HE WAS CERTAIN he couldn’t tell the difference between God’s revelation and wishful thinking.

If God didn’t reveal, but Sandy Sandbuilder just believed the things he wanted to be true, that’s a different story. Sandy may have wished for a million-dollar check and imagined that God told him it would come on April 30th of 2012. We don’t know what Sandy means by “revelations,” but we’re just giving an example of what these revelations might have been. Perhaps a pastor told him to name it and claim it, but, for obvious reasons, God didn’t honor Sandy’s claim. If Sandy had cared about God’s will and submitting to God’s will, he would have been seeking God’s mind continually. If he was wrong, the Holy Spirit would have corrected him at some point and told him that he was prophesying a vision out of his own heart. The Holy Spirit would then have revealed the truth He wanted Sandy to know, and Sandy may have received this truth from the Holy Spirit, or he may have rejected this truth since he didn’t want to hear it. He may have decided to get rid of God if God wouldn’t be his vending machine to give him his own will. Then, he may have directed his mind to believe that he couldn’t be certain about anything.

He’s inside his bunker, protecting himself from God by willful ignorance. He said he couldn’t know the difference between what his mind makes up, what demons tell him, and what God reveals, but only in the ultimate sense. He didn’t say what the “ultimate sense” is. He’s not uncertain about his uncertainty. He’s certain that he’s uncertain about everything. And He’s certain that God hasn’t spoken to Him. He said, “God has certainly not revealed himself to me.” And yet, he can’t see that he’s conflicted with himself in describing his certainty and his universal uncertainty at the same time and in the same way.

He thinks he has moral flaws, yet he doesn’t admit to a lawgiver. He doesn’t know of a source of morality. He’s eliminated every means by which God could give him an understanding of right and wrong with certainty. In all likelihood, he tries to follow God’s Laws, since God reveals these Laws to every person. However, he refuses to acknowledge God or give Him the glory.

We can see why Jesus said, “I tell all of you with certainty, unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom from heaven.”

Sandy Sandbuilder’s thinking is similar to the thinking of many who reject Christ. A person who is open to Jesus Christ won’t defend thinking based on made-up stuff while trying to find a way to prove that those who follow Christ aren’t experiencing what they’re experiencing. (video: Scooby-Doo and the Skeptometer https://youtu.be/YrGVeB_SPJg)

</end quote>

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Unity

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
 
Even when followers of Christ disagree about doctrine, if they keep walking with Christ, all error will be exposed and expelled. However, if loyalty to an organization or doctrine is greater than loyalty to Christ, then the Holy Spirit won’t force anyone into submission to Him.
 
A skeptic may disagree with this truth, but the skeptic will have to base any such disagreement on made-up stuff. Consider this quote from True Truth by Art Lindsley.
 
“We might ask, is it objectively true to say that there are no objective truths? Can you deny the validity of reason without using reason? If “all perspectives of reality are culturally determined,” then is this statement itself culturally determined or transcultural? If all metanarratives are suspect because they lead to oppression, then can it not be maintained that post-modernism is itself a metanarrative and equally suspect? If all knowledge claims are a grab for power, then are not post-modernism’s contentions equally motivated by a will to power?”
 
</end quote>
#RealFaith&Reason
 
Have you read this book yet?
 
http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf
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