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Backyard Skeptics Message Board › Critical thinking in the Bible

Critical thinking in the Bible

A former member
Post #: 70
Hi Bob,

I thank you for the discussion as well. Yes, will have to agree to disagree. Since you made your closing statement, allow me to make mine.

I still find your insistence that critical thinking is not going on here misinformed, since all the formal elements of critcal thinking are present. I think the problem is that I was dealing with the issue from within the context of the text and you were dealing with it from outside the text, bringing in your subjective dislikes of the content, as i have mentioned before. I really do think that if we removed the content and looked only at the form, most people would agree that reasoning was going on. So as one last parting shoot let me set up another scenario using the same form:

A company is on the verge of bankruptcy, all the employees are highly vested in the company, such that if the company folds everyone will lose everything and be thrown into poverty. The reason for the predicament is the bad judgment of the company management and the employees. By all rights they should go under. An outside venture capitalist offers to make the company completely solvent; thus saving all their jobs. But the company must take certain measures spelled out by the venture capitalist to ensure the company won't do again the same things that made them insolvent.

When you subtract all the content of the above and the passage in Isa. the form is identical. Let me review the form:

1) There is a dyer problem.
2) There is no internal solution.
3) A new option from an external source that solves the problem is offered, but it is based on corrective measures.
4) The options are defined.
5) There is an analysis of implications and consequences showing the outcomes of the two options; what happens if the current position is maintained or if the new option is taken.
6) The choice is offered.

This meets all the criteria for critical thinking, regardless of the content that is imported onto the form.

Well, thanks for listening. I hope we can leave this topic as friends, or at least as respectful acquaintances.

One last thing, you seem to think that God is immoral. That implies that you know what morality is and the contents of morality, (i.e. what acts are moral and what acts are immoral). Would you like to start a new thread and have a go at that topic? I would be interested in finding out how you came to the conclusion that God is immoral.
Cary C.
Tustin, CA
Post #: 66
Bob & Brady

How about if
1. the anti-scripturalists (I prefer this term because not all anti-scripturalists are atheists) admit the Bible encourages critical thinking to judge if new material conforms to foundational material.
2. the scripturalists (I prefer this term because not all Christians are scripturalists) admit that the Bible discourages critical thinking to judge foundational (Biblical) premises?
A former member
Post #: 71
Hi Cary,

I am not sure I know what you mean by foundational; are you refering to metaphysical foundations?

Cary C.
Tustin, CA
Post #: 67
Metaphysical as well as premises which are arbitrarily considered foundational by Biblicists, such as those pertaining to the nature of that which is called God.
A former member
Post #: 72
Cary, thank you for the clarification. Yes, all of that would fall under metaphysical foundations.

As to the first point you offer, I will let Bob or others answer. As to the second point. I will agree that many scriptualists would have to answer yes to the position you offer, but not all. It was the project of Van Til and many others in that camp to examine and critically compare the metaphysical foundations of both the religious and non-religious. Russ Manion has two papers dealing with the critical examination of theist and atheist foundations. Allow me to offer you the links to them:


I think you will find his arguments impecible.


Cary C.
Tustin, CA
Post #: 68

Your agreement:
Yes, all of that would fall under metaphysical foundations.
is not an agreement with what I said. I did not include premises which are
arbitrarily considered foundational by Biblicists, such as those pertaining to the nature of that which is called God
among metaphysical foundations, such as the principles of critical thinking and other necessarily true premises.

e.g. Biblicists might assert omnipotence and omniscience of the Biblical God among foundational premises.

Therefore I still don't know if you agree with my 2nd point.
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