Monday, February 6, 2012

Criticisms of "Is Philosophy UnBiblical?"

In this post I will give three criticisms of my argument that philosophy is not unBiblical. 

First, isn't this a debate over terms and nothing more? What if you defined philosophy as "a system of thought or involving such inquiry" (David Hume's definition)? Under this definition there seems to be a contradiction between "philosophy" which is promotes specific systems of thought and/or inquiry into these systems.

It must be clarified that this argument is making two points, first it says you're arguing about simple definitions, so what! Second, you can define philosophy in a way that makes philosophy unBiblical.

My response to the first part is that definitions are important. Words have meaning. If you improperly define those meanings then you're going to run into trouble. For instance, let's talk about the definition of faith. If you improperly define faith then you might accidentally be setting up a definition that goes against scripture. You want to avoid doing that so it is important to define your terms.

My response to the second part is that by agreeing with this objection I don't have to change my argument. Under this definition, Christianity itself is included under philosophy since it promotes a certain system of thought or worldview. So even under this definition we can't get away from doing philosophy.

A second objection is that there are Christians who stayed away from philosophy like...Okay I can't think of anyone right now.

My response is that if there are such major theologians who have been able to pull off a feat, I'd love to talk to them. Yet, even if their are theologians who've completely removed themselves from "philosophy" it doesn't mean you can just stop studying thinkers like Augustine, Edwards or Thomas.

Lastly, how do we know that your ESV Bible note is right?

My response, that's a philosophical question. Specifically, it is an epistemic question.

Bottom line: by involving yourself in the debate as to whether philosophy is a Biblical enterprise, you have automatically involved yourself in the enterprise of philosophy!

1 comment:

  1. excellent... i think people opposed to philosophy simply are cerebral couch potatoes


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