Questions tagged [epistemology]

The study of how one goes about "knowing" what they know

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How do Christians who believe in a witness of the Holy Spirit via thoughts & feelings respond to the claim that thoughts & feelings are unreliable?

Many Christians believe that the witness of the Holy Spirit can come through thoughts & feelings (example). A common objection is that thoughts & feelings are unreliable: Some Christians ...
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Do Baptists who believe in a witness of the Holy Spirit distinguish their experience from that of Latter-day Saints?

Many non-LDS Christians ground their belief in Christianity in what they refer to as the witness of the Holy Spirit. For example, Christian apologist William Lane Craig, of Baptist confession, ...
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Are there Christian groups or denominations that believe that direct doxastic voluntarism is true (i.e. that atheists can choose to believe in God)?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxastic_voluntarism: Doxastic voluntarism is a philosophical view that people elect their own beliefs.[1] That is, that subjects have a certain amount of control ...
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How do Christians define knowledge and faith?

There have been many attempts at defining knowledge in philosophy. One of the most commonly used definitions is justified true belief (JTB), which demands that a claim must be (1) true, (2) believed ...
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If all demons are believers, then why are some humans atheists?

According to the Bible, all demons are believers: You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! (James 2:19 ESV) Yet, this is not the case for (all) humans. Some ...
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Believing that Christianity is "probably" true vs. being fully convinced that Christianity is definitely true?

Most apologetic arguments for theism/Christianity are probabilistic (i.e. they are abductive in nature, rely on premises that are not necessarily true, etc.), meaning that a rational person who is ...
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According to Latter-day Saint epistemology, do Latter-day Saints perceive the witness of the Holy Ghost as an intrinsic defeater-defeater?

From https://iep.utm.edu/defeaters-in-epistemology/: According to Plantinga (1986), some beliefs can, by virtue of their own degree of warrant, defeat defeaters that come their way. When a belief has ...
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What is an overview of Christian epistemological views on scientific skepticism and the epistemic value of eyewitness testimony?

Most atheists & agnostics are known for practicing scientific skepticism. They reject any miracle/supernatural claims unless solid scientific evidence is provided. A consequence of this ...
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From a Christian perspective, what are "nonresistant nonbelievers" most likely doing wrong that prevents them from finding and believing in God?

From Nonresistant Nonbelief, by J. L. Schellenberg: One might fail to believe in God even while God is open to a belief-entailing personal relationship if one prevents oneself from believing in God ...
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How do Latter-day Saints reconcile Moroni 10:3-7 with John 20:24-29 and Mark 16:14?

In John 20:24-29 and Mark 16:14, Jesus seems to rebuke unbelief and the request for direct evidence when indirect testimonial evidence has already been provided: 14 Afterward he appeared to the ...
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What is our Protestant apologetic outline when somebody says faith & science cannot be mixed?

I have a family member that asserts that faith and science don’t mix or match. That faith being preached is “alien” to any subject of science, including that of scripture. Yet, the Scripture is our ...
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Are there any Christians who are scientists and believe in modern miracles?

Are there any well-known Christian scientists who believe that miracles still happen today? Of course a Christian scientist, by definition, must believe in at least one miracle -- the resurrection of ...
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How do Cessationists react to a world-view-challenging testimony from a fellow Christian?

Note: this question is scoped to Cessationists (see Cessationism vs. Continuationism - Wikipedia). Suppose that a fellow Christian tells a Cessationist that God spoke to them, or that they were ...
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How do believers in present-day miraculous healings respond to skeptics requesting thorough scientific medical documentation accessible worldwide?

In my previous question Do any Christian groups pray for the sick to get healed of medically incurable diseases?, a user posted this answer. And in response, about some claimed healings, a skeptical ...
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How do Latter-day Saints rebut GM Skeptic's objection against the epistemic value of personal spiritual experiences?

Who is GM Skeptic Genetically Modified Skeptic is the name of a very popular YouTube Channel (487K subscribers as of March 2022) and also the alias of his owner, Drew McCoy, an American atheist ...
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Do any Christian groups or denominations teach reliable methods for scientifically minded individuals to seek and find God?

My question is inspired by an insightful chat discussion on this answer to the question How do Christians rebut Matt Dillahunty's objection that the resurrection of Jesus is untestable, ...
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How do Christians rebut Matt Dillahunty's objection that the resurrection of Jesus is untestable, unfalsifiable and thus unreasonable to believe?

On April 8, 2021, during a debate between Matt Dillahunty and Catholic Apologist Trent Horn titled Is belief in the Resurrection reasonable? Trent Horn Vs Matt Dillahunty Debate, hosted by Pints With ...
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According to believers in the deity of Christ, is the historical evidence for this belief as strong as the historial evidence for the Biblical canon?

I ask this question as a follow-up to For Christians who are skeptical of the writings of the Apostolic & Ante-Nicene Fathers, what is their epistemological basis for trusting a canon?. I highly ...
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For Christians who are skeptical of the writings of the Apostolic & Ante-Nicene Fathers, what is their epistemological basis for trusting a canon?

The process of formation of the Biblical canon(s) demonstrably required lots and lots of human intervention, judgement and discernment by the Early Church over the course of several centuries. ...
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To what extent is training in apologetics necessary to be fully convinced that Christianity is true? [closed]

Is in-depth training in philosophical and historical arguments for the veracity of Christianity a necessary condition for someone to be able to reach an extremely high level of confidence that ...
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How do Cessationists who believe in modern-day miracles judge the credibility of modern miracle claims?

Some "hardcore" Cessationists deny all possibility of modern godly miracles. Other Cessationists, who are a bit more open, do believe in the possibility of modern miracles -- it's just that ...
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What is the difference between the "burning in the bosom" of Mormonism and the more general "inner witness of the Holy Spirit" of Christianity?

When it comes to having epistemological certainty that one's beliefs are true, Mormonism has the so-called "burning in the bosom" experience. Please see this related question to find a few ...
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What epistemology was used to determine the canon of scripture in the Councils?

There have been many councils over the history of the early church that have set the canon (73 books, at least in the EO and Catholic Churches). What checklist or metric was used to determine what was ...
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How do Christian apologists defend the credibility of the miracles reported in the gospel accounts?

I'm reading Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy's article on Miracles, and it has an interesting section that presents several objections to the credibility of witnesses that may justify one's being ...
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Is there a name for a category of Christians who lack a doctrinal position in the debate about God's nature?

If a Christian considers that the burden of proof has not been adequately met by any known theological doctrines about God's nature, including mainstream ones such as Trinitarianism, Binitarianism, ...
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What is the basis for the different epistemologies of continuationists, cessationists and atheists regarding eyewitness testimonies of miracles?

Preliminaries From the Wikipedia article on Epistemology: Epistemology [...] is the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, ...
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What do Christians pay attention to in order to decide if a given piece of text or manuscript is divinely inspired?

Epistemologically speaking, when a Christian is faced with a given piece of text, manuscript, book, etc., how does he or she go about deciding whether the material at hand is divinely inspired or not? ...
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Why do non-LDS Christians accept the testimonies of the apostles but reject the testimonies of the 3 & 8 witnesses to the golden plates?

Simple question: non-LDS Christians believe the testimonies of the apostles, yet they reject the testimonies of the 3 & 8 witnesses to the golden plates. Why? In the mouth of two or three ...
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What is the source of Paul's issues with Sophistry?

Was sophistry a common problem that believers where faced with in Paul's era or sophistry just used in the Biblical sense to mean any time of misleading philosophy? Verses like this one makes me ...
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Why do Cessationists consider recent testimonial evidence for the gifts of the Spirit less reliable than 2000-year-old evidence for the resurrection?

Arguments for the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus strongly rely on testimonial evidence. Defenders of Jesus' resurrection as a historical fact typically argue that the writings of the New ...
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What method can we consistently use to identify the literal verses from the non literal? [closed]

Is there any consistent method by which theologians can disambiguate literal bible verses from non literal verses? Taking a plain reading of the following verses it appears that yahweh is plainly ...
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How do creationists address the similarity between Irreducible Complexity and God Of The Gaps?

"God Of The Gaps" refers to using holes in our understanding of the universe as an argument for God. It is rejected by modern creationists, as it is by Christians generally. However, the ...
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How can Protestants authoritatively declare something wrong or heretical under Sola Scriptura?

Within Protestantism there is no universal definition of theology or how to understand the Bible: Anglicans have one definition, Lutherans another, Calvinists another, (insert name here), etc. So ...
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What is the "fideism" rejected by the Catholic Church?

In philosophy, fideism seems to be used as a label to refer to epistemological approaches that tend to prioritize faith over reason. And this makes sense; after all, "fideism" is just Latin for "...
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What positions with regard to epistemology exist in Catholicism?

Mostly sparked by debates regarding evolution, I have become curious what epistemological positions exist in Catholicism. I understand the doctrinal priority of biblical texts, so from a Christian ...
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Is creationism falsifiable? [closed]

Falsifiability of a theory is an inherent possibility to prove it to be false. Which is a requirement in the field of scientific methodology for a theory to be regarded valuable. As by Karl Popper's "...
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Where does the idea that you cannot conceive of light until you see it come from? [closed]

A friend of mine is an atheist. I told him that his disbelief is an effect of his ignorance and gave him an example. So I told him to imagine a person, who was born and lived all his life in a dark ...
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What evidence is there to suggest that denominations have different epistemological preferences?

I've read the following: You will find different "schools" of Christianity have different epistemological preferences. To put very very broad brushstrokes (and I don't mean to offend), Rationalsm ->...
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How do Cessationists expect people to believe without seeing miracles today?

Classical Cessationism asserts that the "sign gifts" such as prophecy, healing and speaking in tongues ceased with the apostles and the finishing of the canon of Scripture. They only served as ...
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Was Jesus an adherent to 'Sola Scriptura'? [closed]

Adherents to Sola Scriptura basically believe that Scripture should be the foundation of all doctrine. (NOTE: That is not to say that outside sources cannot be used to aide us in understanding the ...
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What makes a Council's conclusions authoritative?

I was just reflecting on an answer to a question I recently asked, and began to wonder... How do we know the conclusions of a given Council were true? Are all findings by Christian Councils ...
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Christian Position on the meaning of Faith [closed]

We are told, 'The just (upright) shall live by faith.' So I have a question for the Christians here. How do you understand faith? This does not have to be strictly biblical (since the scripture does ...
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Are there truths that can only be known through spiritual means? [closed]

The motivation for this question basically comes from reading the discussion around the question Is it necessary to Biblically support arguments within discussions about Christianity? and a question ...
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Does the Bible espouse moral absolutism or moral relativism? [closed]

I believe that throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament, the Bible espouses moral absolutism. Yet, I recently read on this site a response to a question about slavery: As stated, ...
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Is a "skeptical viewpoint" more objective than "Christian viewpoint" in matters of theology? [closed]

Based on a recent discussion, the assertion was made that a skeptical viewpoint allows one to be more objective, even in matters of theology. Is this demonstrably true? When evaluating Christian ...
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Why is the Bible a foundation of theological evidence?

Please excuse my ignorance I'm new to this. I've been looking through the Q&A on the site and I've noticed scripture and especially passages from the Bible are cited as evidence for one argument ...
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How to verify if a "message from God" came from God? [closed]

If I doubted on the authenticity of a "message", must I automatically associate it with the enemy's attacks? Message here refers to any information that might be related to God's Will in our lives.
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