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Questions tagged [epistemology]

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

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Is 2 Peter 3:16 a blanket endorsement of Paul, a partial endorsement, or a veiled warning?

Within the context of 14-18 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as ...
looniverse's user avatar
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8 answers
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What lines of evidence and arguments refute the notion that the gospels are nothing more than dismissible 'reports of reports of reports of reports'?

In a previous question addressing skeptical analogies aiming to cast doubt on the evidential worth of testimonies for extraordinary claims, I cited this source which I'd like to revisit here with a ...
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How do Christians address the "Bigfoot" analogy presented by skeptics in relation to the resurrection of Jesus?

Bigfoot was brought up by Joe Rogan during his interview with Stephen Meyer, as discussed in Paulogia's review of the interview in this video: Stephen Meyer: And then that there were reports that he ...
Mark's user avatar
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Do Young Earth Creationists believe the evidence for YEC is unmistakably conclusive if studied diligently, unbiasedly, sincerely, and open-mindedly?

Young Earth Creationism postulates two main theses: Creationism/Intelligent Design: the thesis that the universe was created by a divine entity. Young Earth: the thesis that the Earth is ...
Mark's user avatar
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Which Christian theological frameworks support anchoring one's faith in a direct encounter with God?

I've identified several potential pathways for why someone may embrace Christianity: Option 1: Influence of birthplace, culture, and upbringing, possibly resulting in a 'cultural Christian'. See ...
Mark's user avatar
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How do Christians outside of the LDS faith interpret the reported spiritual encounters of Latter-day Saints with the Holy Ghost?

Latter-day Saints believe in the concept of 'gaining a testimony'. I provide supporting quotes in my previous question How crucial is it for Christians in general (not only LDS) to “gain a testimony” ...
Mark's user avatar
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What are Christian guidelines for making the transition from "knowing about God" to "knowing God"?

My question is motivated by Eleonore Stump's video Can Philosophy of Religion Find God?, suggested by this answer. In the video, Stump elaborates on how philosophy of religion can be helpful in ...
Mark's user avatar
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In Christian epistemology, how is Reformed Epistemology different from mysticism?

Note: For context, please see my recently asked question Can Reformed Epistemology be considered a special variant of mysticism? on Philosophy Stack Exchange. It includes many useful references and ...
Mark's user avatar
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3 answers
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What is an overview of perspectives on whether the existence of the Christian God can be established solely through the use of reason and evidence?

Note: I'm interested in the Christian perspective on the question Can God's existence be established through reason and publicly accessible evidence? that I recently asked on Philosophy Stack Exchange....
Mark's user avatar
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Can faith be based on hope rather than belief or intellectual assent?

I've been reflecting on the interplay between faith and hope, especially when hope entails some degree of uncertainty and lack of intellectual assent but a strong desire for something to be true. ...
Mark's user avatar
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How do "skeptic's prayer" advocates address the objection that the prayer is unnecessary because belief is a decision?

In my prior question, Is there scriptural support for the "skeptic's prayer" as a legitimate plea that God might be open to answering?, several responses concurred that this form of ...
Mark's user avatar
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How do Evangelical Protestants understand the relationship between "intellectual assent" and the experience of being "born-again"?

I'd like to start this question by citing the definition of intellectual assent provided by the article Is faith intellectual assent?: To give intellectual assent is to agree with something on a ...
Mark's user avatar
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How crucial is it for Christians in general (not only LDS) to “gain a testimony” validating the truth of their beliefs?

The idea of “gaining a testimony” is a key aspect of Latter-day Saint teachings, suggesting a special kind of revelatory spiritual experience serving to establish the truth of specific doctrines. ...
Mark's user avatar
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According to Latter-day Saints, should every honest, rational, and well-informed individual be able to reach the conclusion that Mormonism is true?

I have two questions actually for Latter-day Saints: If a person is rational, honestly interested in the truth, and well-informed (by studying as much of the available evidence as humanly possible), ...
Mark's user avatar
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What is the success criterion for the task of 'seeking God' in Christianity?

The notion of 'seeking God' can be found in multiple passages in the Bible: Acts 17:26-27 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined ...
Mark's user avatar
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According to Christians who argue for the testability of Christianity, what is a step-by-step guide on how to perform such a test?

Context: before answering this question, I highly recommend reading the answers to Is Christianity testable? and What is the biblical basis for John Lennox's claim that Christianity is testable?. ...
Mark's user avatar
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How can I know that I believe the resurrection of Jesus? [closed]

How can I know that I believe the resurrection of Jesus? Many Christians say that the belief in the resurrection of Jesus is the necessary condition of being a Christian. However, I don’t know whether ...
with-forest's user avatar
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4 answers
2k views

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 ...
Hold To The Rod's user avatar
3 votes
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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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8 votes
8 answers
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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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10 votes
10 answers
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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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23 votes
13 answers
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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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-1 votes
2 answers
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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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5 votes
4 answers
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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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7 votes
4 answers
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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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2 votes
2 answers
203 views

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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2 answers
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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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1 vote
1 answer
229 views

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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1 vote
1 answer
225 views

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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2 answers
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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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1 vote
6 answers
562 views

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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12 votes
8 answers
6k views

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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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
406 views

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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1 vote
2 answers
200 views

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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1 vote
1 answer
424 views

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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
198 views

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 ...
Luke Hill's user avatar
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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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1 vote
2 answers
216 views

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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-1 votes
1 answer
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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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0 votes
1 answer
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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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14 votes
12 answers
7k views

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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1 vote
1 answer
164 views

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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1 vote
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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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0 votes
1 answer
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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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6 votes
4 answers
409 views

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 ...
curiousdannii's user avatar
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18 votes
9 answers
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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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13 votes
3 answers
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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 "...
Nathaniel is protesting's user avatar