The past five posts have presented the arguments of Atheists that prove [to them] that Christians are, by logic, ignorant and unquestioning. Some very good responses have come in the comment section as a result.
I have a portion [only a small portion thus used without permission] of a Q@A time between a skeptic and a philosopher who is a Christian that underscores the thought that all operate on a system based on faith. It's like Woody Allen said "There is no evidence that God doesn't exist..you just have to take it on faith."
I thought you would enjoy reading a philosopher's approach who is also a fair to middlin theologian. I'll post his picture next time. I'm not assuming you will agree with the Philosopher on every point. [As somone said in a comment, you get two Baptists in the same room you have three opinions on every issue.] But I thought you would enjoy giving him a hearing. He's, as I said, fair to middlin. [Which in Oklahoma is "quite good."]
The Skeptic asks how I KNOW that Jesus was God and not just a really amazing human being. 'You can't know that can you? You have to just believe it. Objectively, it's kind of preposterous.'
"You've asked the gazillion-dollar question. And this is where it often gets uncomfortable for the skeptic. [Or, in our case, the Atheist.] You're right about having "to just believe it," although I am loath to minimize it by using the word "just." Believing is not easy. While the Bible affirms that belief (the same word as "faith" in the original Greek language) is a gift from God, the Bible also says that those who have not been given the gift of faith are nonetheless without excuse concerning God's existence and the deity of Jesus.
When we as human beings assess the things we know -- and it is a inevitiable human thing to do -- the more thoughtful and astute among us will wonder, "How do I know what I know?" This question, strangely enough, ought to lead each and every human being to the conclusion that God exists, that Christ is God, and that we are all accountable to him. I realize that's quite a claim, and here's the basis of that claim:
The ultimate epistemological [theory of knowledge] question asks for a foundation -- a solid ground -- on which to base all of one's reasoning, inference, thinking and knowledge. This is why Archimedes said, "Give me a ledge on which to stand and I will move the earth," or something like that. He recognized a deficit in his reasoning, namely, that he needed to justify his method of knowing. David Hume, one of my favorite philosophers, wrote eloquently about this. In a nutshell, he acknowledged that there exist no objective grounds on which to trust logical inference, to use induction or to expect uniformity in one's experience.
Epistemologically speaking, the true skeptic should not trust chairs. Every time he attempts to sit in a chair, the true skeptic, if he is consistent with his espoused thesis, must check the chair to see if it will hold his weight this time. It should not matter that the chair held his weight just 5 minutes ago.
Surrealist artist Salvador Dali seemed to pay homage to this conundrum with his Lobster-Telephone sculpture. The quote that accompanies the sculpture at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. says: "I never understand why, when I ask for a grilled lobster, I am never served a cooked telephone."
What's the point of all that? It's this: ALL knowledge and reason is based on belief/faith. How does one know one can trust logic and reason? Do you have to just believe it? One cannot prove the verity of logic and reason. To say, "It just works" is to beg the very question, to commit a violation of logic itself.
Some say that the only way to ascertain reality and truth is by the scientific method. The problem is glaring: By what method does one establish the verity of the scientific method? The statement is self-refuting. Rather than face this problem, all the skeptic scientists I've debated on this matter are forced to the conclusion (although most refuse to admit it): You have to just believe it.
This was unacceptable to Hume, and for good reason (no pun intended). If someone is committed to sound logic, that very logic demands that logic itself must be logically grounded. But it is utterly impossible to do so without question-begging (that is, to commit a logical fallacy).
It is important to recognize that objectivity is not the believer's problem, but the skeptic's. You used the word "objectively" when you wrote: "Objectively, it's kind of preposterous."
I agree with you, IF we assume a godless and purposeless universe. Hume assumed there was no god and no purpose in the universe, and it led him to irrationality, concluding that there is no ground for logic or reason. One can only go on blind faith.
Archimedes realized that there had to be an ultimate foundation, and without God, there is no "ledge." Without God, there is only blind faith. The existence of God gives us the only rational grounding for logic, a basis for trusting in mathematics and science, a foundation for expecting uniformity in nature, a bedrock to undergird the inductive principle and modus ponens.
So yes, for the skeptic, you just have to believe it -- BLINDLY. For the believer, it isn't blind faith. It is rather a wide-eyed, perspicuous faith. Everything, all knowledge without exception, is based on faith. The difference is: Some have an unjustified blind faith (the skeptic) and some have a justified grounded faith (the believer).
Those who recognize this deficit in their epistemology ought to conclude that God must therefore exist. Otherwise, nothing makes sense. Thus, the proof of God's existence and the deity of Christ is the impossibility of the contrary. It is a transcendental argument, primarily because that which grounds our very thinking must transcend our thinking. And that ought to lead us to the existence of God and the deity of Christ."