Make-believe or reality
<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Make-believe can go anywhere, whereas reality is restricted to reality itself. In fact, reality doesn’t include anything we pretend, so we can’t sanely impose make-believe onto reality. In effect, when we fallen creatures make up stories, our thinking quickly degenerates, especially if we pretend those stories are part of reality. In particular, we end up losing our ability to tell the difference between reality and make-believe, and it all starts with a little pretending.
In this light, we see that ungodly thinkers try to give the illusion that they have a rational reason for believing the bare claims of naturalism, materialism, atheism, or other ungodly philosophies. They use smokescreen fallacies to hide the axiomatic thinking of these philosophies. The schools teach a way of thinking that can’t be rational since, without God, there’s no reason to believe any thought can be rational. Adding to the problem, ungodly thinkers are often experts at loaded language and insincere tactics. They aren’t willing to consider the alternative to irrational thinking. They aren’t willing to turn to Christ. C. S. Lewis had some things to say about the futility of reasoning without God:
“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.”
C. S. Lewis didn’t use this statement to prove God’s existence. Instead, he merely pointed out that arguments against God are always irrational because, without God, there’s no justification for belief in rational thought. Even the arguments against this C. S. Lewis quote are impossible to justify since those who bring the arguments can’t justify belief in rational thought.
From what we’ve learned so far, we can finally understand why ungodly opinion is always tentative even when they’re stated dogmatically and emphatically. Knowledgeable ungodly thinkers admit the tentative nature of ungodly opinion freely. And yet so many of them are dogmatic. They’re internally inconsistent since they’re dogmatic while claiming that all knowledge is tentative. That’s not sane. In other words, while strong ungodly opinions are the norm, strong ungodly opinions are always irrational since they’re unsupported claims. Basing thinking on unsupported claims, ungodly thinkers have no way to know whether their most dogmatically held opinions are true or false, so those opinions are unknown to them. Therefore, it makes no sense for ungodly thinkers to have strongly-held opinions since no one can be certain of any knowledge about anything without divine revelation.
An ungodly thinker may say, “Not so fast! I memorized nursery rhymes as a kid. I learned Aesop’s Fables. I studied evolution. I know a lot.” We can understand that reaction, but when we say no ungodly thinking can lead to certainty of knowledge, we have to remember how we’re defining the word “knowledge.” In this case, we define “knowledge” as accurate, precise, and absolute knowledge of truth as opposed to knowledge of made-up stuff. This knowledge isn’t the pragmatic familiarity of brute beasts who follow their senses but are destitute of reason. By our definition, ideas, stories, lies, conceptual frameworks, assumptions, or other forms of made-up stuff are not knowledge. These aren’t part of reality. Truth is absolute by nature since truth is actual reality.
As we’ve mentioned, naturalists may claim that divine revelation can’t provide knowledge with certainty. At first, this claim almost seems like it might be true in a sense. It’s not true though. Granted, many people claim to have divine revelation when God hasn’t spoken. And it’s true that the problem of false prophets, false apostles, and false teachers is a major theme in the Bible. Although, the benefit of true prophets, true apostles, and true teachers is also a major theme in the Bible.
This issue isn’t simple since Satan is always working to create confusion. False prophets, false apostles, and false teachers accuse the true ones of being false. God never sent the false ones, but they went anyway. Disagreements over various doctrines separate sincere Christians. Those disagreements come from rationalized doctrines. They don’t come from listening to the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit speaks to all of us. He won’t give conflicting revelation to different people. However, our preconceptions may keep us from listening to Him. He will be pure, but we’re not pure.
God has a solution to conflicting opinions. If we remain humble and respect the presence of Christ in each member of Christ’s body, He’ll eventually lead us all to the same truth. He’ll tear down the strongholds in our minds and demolish our preconceived ideas, replacing them with truth. God promises to complete this work. We see His vision in the Letter to the Ephesians.
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