Monday, April 01, 2013

Authentic Belief Births Questions

Climbing the large dune at Warren Dunes State Park in SW Michigan

The more you know about something, the more you realize how little you know. The one who knows much, for example, about black holes and dark matter, has more questions than I do about such things, and different questions from what I could have unless I gained epistemic access to their mind.

Greater knowledge births questions which are different in kind, and more in number.

For this reason we can be suspicious of people who convert to an alternative worldview and now "know" with a confessional epistemic certainty that their worldview trumps all others. Here is the danger of a college student who takes Psychology 101 and now claims the ability to analyze everyone. And here is the "deconverted Christian" who now boasts of and rejoices in the stupidity of religious people because of their newfound worldview. Such boasting is actually, could they see it, a sign of greater ignorance as regards their (supposedly) new worldview. (Supposedly, because in actuality they still retain massive chunks of their "old" worldview, but are blind to this.) Because we hear no questions being asked. When one really and in a scholarly way tries to support atheism as a worldview big questions arise. The true, philosophical atheist knows about these; the gleeful internet atheist cheers in ignorance of them. Surely some will never discover them.

The more you know, the less you know. The more real knowledge, the more authentic questions.

Within every worldview there are questions. There are difficulties. No one, in any worldview, sees through a glass with perfect clarity. No exceptions.

These things do not ultimately count against a particular worldview. A lot of Q&A strengthens it. This is what has happened to me over the years.

The question is: should one abandon one's worldview? What counts as evidence against it? In regard to this I know some "ex-Christians" who left Christianity way too early, and missed the great opportunities of living within the inexorable questions and discovering deeper answers.