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Christian Apologetics - Lesson 12

Foundationalism

Arguments for and against foundationalism.

Ronald Nash
Christian Apologetics
Lesson 12
Watching Now
Foundationalism

Rationality of Belief in God

Part 2
 

II.  Foundationalism

A.  Introduction

B.  Model of Human Knowledge

1.  Non-basic beliefs

2.  Basic beliefs

C.  Two Kinds of Foundationalism

1.  Narrow

a.  Self-evident

b.  Incorrigible

c.  Evident to the senses

2.  Broad

D.  Plantinga's Rebuttal of Narrow Foundationalism

1.  Logically self-defeating

2.  Cut off from many rational beliefs

E.  Plantinga's Broad Foundationalism

1.  Many basic beliefs

2.  Augustine and Calvin

3.  Accept propositions based on authority

F.  The "Great Pumpkin" Objection

1.  Belief in God is arbitrary.

2.  Plantinga - "All beliefs are not basic."

3.  Plantinga is doing negative apologetics.

4.  Real-world situation - worldviews


Lessons
About
Transcript
  • Introduction to Apologetics.

  • Apologetics involves finding evidence and presenting arguments to defend the Christian faith.

  • Two prominent worldviews are Christian theism and naturalism.

  • The law of non-contradiction states that A cannot be B and non-B at the same time and in the same sense.

  • Explanations and responses to different worldviews.

  • If God is good and all powerful, then why does evil exist?

  • Discussion about how the existence of evil is consistent with God's character.

  • Your noetic structure, presuppositions and view of epistemology are important elements in the formation of your worldview.

  • Discussion of deductive presuppositionalism vs. inductive presuppositionalism.

  • Objections to inductive presuppositionalism.

  • Arguments for and against evidentialism.

  • Arguments for and against foundationalism.

  • Discussion of natural theology.

  • There are valid, sound and cogent arguments for the existence of God, but no coercive proofs.

  • Discussion of different arguments for God's existence.

  • One version of the cosmological argument for God's existence emphasizes God as first in time, another emphasizes God as first in importance.

  • A possible world is a way the real world could have been. Modal logic, propositions, state of affairs and eternal entities are some of the considerations when discussing a possible world.

  • Something is logically possible if its description does not include a logical contradiction. The existence of the laws of knowledge refute the system of naturalism.

  • Middle knowledge is a form of knowledge attributed to God by Molina.

  • Miracles are a dividing line and central to Christianity.

  • David Hume's rational arguments against miracles and responses to those arguments.

  • Two miracles central to Christianity are the incarnation and resurrection.

  • The question of whether or not Jesus is the only savior touches on pluralism, inclusivism and exclusivism.

  • Pluralism is the view that all religions have salvific value.

  • Inclusivism is the view that even though the work of Christ is the only means of salvation, it does not follow that explicit knowledge of Christ is necessary in order for a person to be saved.

  • Salvation is totally the work of God and all children who die in infancy are elect of God.

  • Discussion from a biblical perspective of God's character and attributes.

  • Open theists believe that God does not have a perfect knowledge of the future.

  • Divine omnipotence and divine omniscience are two attributes of God.

  • When contemplating life after death, remember, Jesus has been there and come back. Will you commit your life to him or reject him?

These lectures were given at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida during the fall of 2001.

 

Dr. Ronald Nash

Christian Apologetics

th601-12

Foundationalism

Lesson Transcript

 

[00:00:01] The question is, is it rational to believe that God exists? And last time. We looked at one of the two major ways of attacking the rationality of Christian belief that one major way of attacking the rationality of Christian belief is evidential Islam. Okay, so we want to talk about foundational Islam. Now you've got to understand this foundational ism and evidential ism are the two major enemies here. They're the two major systems that enemies of the Christian faith have used for hundreds, if not thousands of years in an effort to disqualify the faith upon which our hope for eternal life is based. Now, there's a very real sense in which evidential ism and foundational ism are cousins, first cousins. These are different systems, but really they're different. You know, one of them is almost like the mirror image of the other. And because of that, the same kinds of criticisms that disqualify evidential ism will be useful in destroying foundational ism. All right. Now let me work into an introduction to foundational ism here. Let me put a sentence on the board. Foundational ism is probably I'm putting this weasel word in here because I hate to ever appear dogmatic is probably the most influential paradigm of human knowledge in the history of our species is probably the most influential paradigm. Now, what is a paradigm? It's a picture, a model. Let's use the word model here of human knowledge and the history of the human race. Let's just say in history. Okay. Let me tick off the names of great philosophers who have been foundational lists. Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, or at least at one stage in his thinking planning, regarded Aquinas as a as a foundational list all. But then we get to the philosophers of the modern period Descartes. There's a foundational list for you, John Locke. Descartes was a rationalist. Locke was an empiricist. Boy, are they foundational. And planning has a lot to say in this book about John Locke. Now, we don't even talk about Locke to any great extent in our history of philosophy. Of course, here, because we don't have the time. In fact, almost every thinker of the so-called modern period was a foundational list. And what is one of the distinctive features of postmodernism but an attack upon foundational ism. Okay, An attack upon foundational ism. So we need to find out more about foundational ism. And the best place to go here is not some postmodern. Now, the foundational model of human knowledge utilizes the analogy of a building. So let's let's draw a little building here that has three, four, five, let's say six stories. And we could let the stories of this building represent some person's noetic structure. Okay. We're comparing a noetic structure. And what is that again? It is the sum total of some person's beliefs and the relationships among those between those beliefs. We're comparing a Nordic structure to a building. Now, within this noetic structure or by analogy, within this building, there are two kinds of beliefs. There are non basic beliefs. And let's see if my great teaching inspires any of you to think what the alternative to or non basic belief is. Any y. Yeah. What a teacher. I've gone and it's just incredible the way this guy just stops and the very idea that other teachers would rush in to say occurs to you naturally. Now what is the definition? You must do this someday. You're going to have to talk about this. What is the definition of a non basic belief? Answer A non basic belief is a belief that we are entitled to hold, provided that it is grounded upon some other belief non basic beliefs. Our beliefs we are entitled to hold only when there is some other belief that is supporting than that non basic belief. Okay. Just as the sixth story of the building will continue to stand only if the fifth story is standing. And so on down to the foundations. Now, what kind of beliefs? We'll support. A belief that's up here. Well, they'll either be non basic or basic. Now, here's here's the relevance of this distinction and this model to the rationality of belief in God. A foundational says that a belief is rational for you, if and only if it is either supported by another non basic belief or by some basic belief. The point is that if you ever end up with a belief in your noetic structure that isn't supported by some other belief, it isn't rational and you're not entitled to hold it. So if you come along and you're on your noetic structure and you say, I believe that God exists, the foundational list is going to challenge your claim by saying upon what is that claim based upon? What is that belief based? Okay. Now, if we go back to the model of a building. All of these all of these beliefs that are on the sixth floor, the fifth floor, the fourth floor, they're all supported by non basic beliefs that are just a little bit below them. Now, if you want an example of a non basic belief oh, and I don't want to mention this, you know, the score of the baseball game yesterday. And for those people listening by tape, what we're talking about is another season ending defeat by the Cleveland Indians. All right. Another season ending defeat. Score three, two, one, three, two, one. Now, why do I believe that? Well, number one, I thought myself until I turned off the TV. I read it in the papers. It's reported. And I trust what I read in the papers. Unless it's the New York Times. So how do I know that today is Tuesday? Well, because I've got a calendar, and my calendar tells me that yesterday was Monday and Tuesday follows Monday. Our beliefs are always based upon other beliefs, but sooner or later, the foundation says you come to beliefs, you must arrive at beliefs that exist, that that function as the foundation of your noetic structure, the foundation and every foundation of a noetic structure must contain beliefs that are basic beliefs. Now, what is a basic belief? These definitions are very important. A basic belief is a belief that you are entitled to believe that you are rational in believing, even though it itself is not supported by any other belief. Irrational belief. A basic belief stands on its own without any support, necessary support for many other belief. Okay. Now, there's a lot of intuitive plausibility to this model, this paradigm. In fact, you probably think that anybody who would reject this paradigm is probably in needing in need of some kind of counseling or some kind of help. But now we're ready to take one more step. Planning appoints out, and he's one of the first guys to do this that there are really two kinds of foundational ism, two kinds of foundation. Now he uses adjectives that I have rejected. He uses strong foundational ism and weak. I hate those adjectives. Here's why. If we if we stick with planning as terminology, the wrong position turns out to have to get the adjective strong. See, I don't ever want to say that my enemies hold to a strong position. Nor do I ever want to admit that I hold to a weak position. His terminology is all wrong. So I am the only philosopher in the history of the world who has replaced planning US terminology with the correct terminology. I talk about the true position as broad foundational as in broad minded. That's me, and I talk about the wrong position, the evil, erroneous, false position as narrow foundational as saying you got to win the battle of words here. Now, what is narrow foundational ism which is going to turn out to be the wrong position and what's broad foundational ism. It is this for the narrow foundational list. All non basic beliefs are based upon basic beliefs, but the narrow foundational says there are only two, maybe possibly three kinds of properly basic beliefs. There are only at most three kinds of properly basic beliefs. Now, what is a properly basic belief? It's a belief. It's a basic belief that has that that you have a right to place in your in the foundations of your noetic structure, that you have a right to believe without support from any other kind of belief. Now, please understand here that those of us who are on the right side, the side of the angels in all of this, we don't deny. The proper basic calorie of these three kinds of beliefs. We in fact, admit that, yes, this is properly basic, this is properly basic, and this is properly basic. What we deny is that the number of properly basic beliefs is limited to that number of two or three. We think there are many kinds of properly basic beliefs in addition to the three kinds, two or three kinds by the narrow minded foundation list. Now the narrow minded foundation list offers this account of rationality. He says A belief is rational if and only if it is grounded on a basic belief that is either. And here are the three points self-evident or two incorrigible or three evident to the senses. Now look, this last one could occupy us for a great deal more time than it's than it's really worth here. There's a there's some other things going on here, and I don't really want to burden you with them. What is a self-evident proposition? It is a proposition that is necessarily true and whose denial is a logical contradiction that is very important to be self evident. A In order to be self-evident, a belief or a proposition or a claim must be necessarily true. And another way to say that is to deny it is to Mr. Utter a contradiction. Here are examples of self-evident beliefs two plus two equals four. Can you see how denying that would be a logical contradiction? You don't want to say two plus two equals five. You're going to look pretty foolish. There are all bachelors are unmarried men and the denial of that would be some bachelors are married. Man, that's a logical contradiction. See, for the sum of the angles of a triangle are 180 degrees. That is still true, but. Well, I don't know. In this postmodern world. I don't know. And somebody who said it is not true that the sum of the angles of a triangle are 188. That's a contradiction. Okay. So to be self-evident is very rigorous. It's a logically true statement. It's necessarily true. It's denial is a logical contradiction. What is an incorrigible proposition? Well, it is a proposition that must be accepted. But it's denial is not a contradiction. It is a proposition that is true. It must be true. But it's denial is not a contradiction. That's the difference between in courage, ability and self evidence. Now, the key here, and I'm taking this is taking a lot of time, probably more time than I should. The key to understanding and incorrigible proposition or an incorrigible belief is the difference between saying there is a book on the table, okay, in other words and articulation stating a proposition that seems to report. I'm sorry, I should just reporting what? You perceive. There's a difference between saying there is a book on the table and saying, It seems to me that there is a book on the table. The difference between the two propositions is this. The first proposition makes a claim states of fact about the world. There is a book on the table. Okay. But you can be mistaken about that. This might be something other than a book that you are, that your senses are are deceiving you. Remember the classic case about an or or a air in water and the or appears to be bent. It really isn't bent. That's just the way your senses perceive it. Or the other example would be that of the two railroad tracks that seem to meet at the horizon. They really don't meet at the horizon. But that's the way it looks, you see. So as long as and philosophers have known this since Plato. As long as your statements only report the way the world appears to you, the we the way things seem to you, you can never be mistaken. Because in the case of the first proposition, there was a book on the table. You're making a claim about the world that exists outside your mind, and you could be wrong. But when you begin every sentence with the with the phrase, it seems to me. That there's a book on the table. What you're describing is not the book. You're describing a phenomenon in your consciousness. See? And so long as you simply limit yourself to reports about what appears to you, you can never be wrong. Of course, you may never say anything very significant. Can you see a great evangelist saying? It seems to me that you're going to hell. Well, I'm sorry, but that's not going to get you many converts. Okay. But if you slam your fist into your hand and say you people out there are going to hell, then the door is possibly open. Now, please realize that if a belief is self-evident, it is basic. Heaven help you if you don't see that. If somebody says to you two plus two equals four and you say, prove it, you're in real trouble. I don't think we should give people like that a diploma from this institution. Okay. If some if if somebody gives you and encourage a belief, if you say to yourself, it seems to me that Nash is wearing an especially ugly tie today. But it matches. It matches the microphone really well. This is true. This is a basic belief. Okay. But planning us rebuttal, let's take planning. He says there are two things wrong with narrow foundational ism. Two things wrong. Number one, it is logically self-defeating. Why is it logically self-defeating? Because every narrow foundation list believes that this statement right here is true. Every narrow foundation has claims to be to know this statement, and yet this statement can't be confirmed in any of the acceptable ways, acceptable to a narrow foundation list. Now, let's repeat this belief. Belief is rational, if and only if it is grounded on a basic belief that is either self-evident or will slip back now evident to the senses. Well, okay, let's look at this belief. Is it self-evident? No, it's not self-evident. It doesn't pass that test. Why? Because you can deny this and you don't have a logical contradiction. Is it incorrigible? No, it's not incorrigible. Because something that is truly incorrigible can't be denied. Can't be doubted. Every morning at three in the morning, I wake up and I doubt this question. I doubt this statement. I don't need an alarm clock. I should sit up in bed at 3:00 and say that statement is. Not incorrigible, and it certainly is not evident to the senses. So if these are the only three, two or three criteria of rationality, then the narrow foundation list position collapses because it isn't satisfied by any one of the three or all of them together. Okay. So it's logically self-defeating. Now, the second refutation the planning offers of this goes like this goes like this. It's the same criticism we offer against foundational is if you're foolish enough to believe in narrow foundational ism, then you you are cut off from all kinds of rational beliefs. Because simply because they don't meet one of these three tests. And you know the best examples here, the same three we used before the external world. Is your belief in the external world based upon something that is self-evident? No. Is it incorrigible? No. Is it evident to the senses? No. Therefore, your belief in the external world is irrational. No, it's not. Yes, you can say. It seems to me that the external world exists. But what we're into. But that purely subjective. What we want to know here is whether the external world really exists. Not whether it seems to you that it exists. What happened in the 20th century was that philosophers, a lot of philosophers adopted a position which effectively cut them off from any knowledge of the real world of the external world. And so they were quite happy to deal with what they call phenomena. There is a position called phenomenology or ideas. And it really created a crisis in philosophy. How do we ever know anything beyond the contents of our own consciousness? So these guys would stick with encourage ability, even though I can sense here that some of you are saying that's a pretty dumb criterion, but it's a dumb criterion that was widely adopted by philosophers in England and the United States. The reason why so many students get mixed up is because there's a PhD standing in front of them. Present company excepted here. Obviously you accept everything that I say. They have a stage standing in front of them and they say, Well, that guy is never wrong. Now, it's hard to believe that that happens, but it does happen in university classrooms. That guy is never wrong. And as planning points out, especially in this new book, Warning Christian Belief, it's time that whenever somebody says something, with the exception of bullheaded philosophers, you should sit back and say, What does he mean? What is he saying? Can that be defended? And things like that. Okay. When you say you believe in God from narrow foundational, I would say to you, is that a basic belief or a non basic belief? The typical person would say, I believe in God and in the narrow foundation, which would say is, isn't that a non basic belief? And the typical person would say, Well, yes, which means I got to prove it, I got to support it, and how am I going to support it? By grounding it upon a basic belief. Okay, but don't you understand the narrow foundation? I would say there are only three kinds of basic beliefs and belief. And God doesn't meet. Doesn't fit into any one of those three categories. It's not self-evident. It's not incorrigible and it's not evident to the senses. Therefore, you've got a non basic belief that is ungrounded. Therefore it's irrational to believe it. That's the way these guys would operate. And we're in the business of dismantling their narrow foundational ism. What we're trying to do, what I'm trying to I'm trying to lay a foundation here for a punch line because when Alvin planning A comes along and says belief in God is not a non basic belief, it is a properly basic belief. That was a Copernican revolution, the likes of which we hadn't seen for several thousand years. And as a matter of fact, I happen to be present in the audience at Wheaton College when planning a first made that statement. It's kind of exciting. Because you got to understand that if belief in God is a properly basic belief, then you are entitled to believe it, even if you can't prove it. And nobody. Now, I almost said nobody had ever said that before, but somebody else had said that before. But he used different language. Okay. And that other person would have been Saint Augustine. Now why do we call planning this position Broad foundation lesson? Now, the answer ought to be obvious to you. There is a planning A is a foundational list. But he is not a narrow foundation list and he gives you his arguments against that. He's a broad foundation list, which means that there are dozens and dozens of different kinds of properly basic beliefs. And let me let me list some of them. Incorrigible beliefs are properly basic. So long as you can find your knowledge claim to the contents of your own consciousness. Self-evident beliefs are properly basic. But here are some other examples of properly basic beliefs. Your belief in the external world is properly basic. You are rational when you believe that a world exists outside your mind, even when you can't prove it. See what else your belief in other minds is a properly basic belief. No one has ever proven that you have a mind, but your belief that other people have minds is totally rational. Now, one of planning is early books. In fact, it was the first book that God. It may have been his first book, but it's certainly the first one that got him attention was titled God and Other Minds. And one thing that's interesting is in his newest book, he admits that his thinking in that first book was very flawed. He made all kinds of serious mistakes. But in the conclusion of that book, here's what he argues. He says, If it is rational to believe that other people have minds and it is, then it is also rational to believe that God exists. Why? Because the kind of reasoning by which we accept the existence of other minds is strongly analogous to the kind of reasoning that leads most of us to believe in the existence of God. So if one of those the belief in other minds is rational, so too then is your belief that God exists. Now, planning has never varied from that final claim, but He has varied from the kind of way in which he set it up and that early in that early book. So other the belief in other minds is rational, the belief in memories, memory, memory, beliefs and the belief that God exists. Is a properly basic belief. Okay. Now. Let's open your textbook and look at some additional comments that we make here. Boy, we we we spend a lot of time doing this. And I made the judgment that the time we're spending is worthwhile. Okay. It does have a payoff. Now, I'm looking here at page 85, 86 of the book Faith and Reason, and I look at planning as to objections to narrow foundational ism. And they're basically the same objections that he gives to evidential ism. Now what is planning as alternative to narrow foundational ism? Now I hear I'm going to read quite a bit. Okay. This is going to take some time. But. This reformed epistemology, the planning and others have developed and defended. Is worth the effort. So let me begin to read from page 87. Planning A has provided a valuable service and drawing attention to the often unnoticed way that one particular model of human knowledge, narrow foundational wisdom has influenced discussions of the rationality or irrationality of religious belief. He has also provided a clear account of the nature of foundational ism, along with the powerful criticisms of narrow foundational ism. What is wrong with narrow foundational ism is not its recognition that every noetic structure contains basic beliefs that provide justification for and thus serve as the foundation for that noetic structures non basic beliefs. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is the exclusive ism of the narrow foundational ism who claims that only a few types of beliefs are properly basic, a claim that is used both to eliminate belief in God from the foundation and to undermine the rationality of belief in God. Planning has challenged a narrow foundational ism includes two key moves, and I don't need to repeat any of that the next two paragraphs. Top of page 88. In one of its many facets planning. His position is reminiscent of the view of faith and reason set forth by Saint Augustine. A position that would centuries later reappear in the work of such Protestant reformers as John Calvin. This is where the name reformed epistemology comes from. Calvin and behind Calvin Augustine. Augustine saw that in order for any person to know anything, he must begin by believing something Credo wrote in Telegram. I believe in order that I may understand. Augustine saw that this meant that faith is not simply a religious activity, nor is it optional. Faith is operative in every person's life. If it weren't, we could not know anything. Now we begin to get some additional payoff here. Let's notice this next paragraph. One perfectly legitimate way for faith to operate. That's Augustine's term. Or for us to to to get into a properly basic belief that's planning as language is for us to accept propositions as true. On the testimony of some reliable authority. After all, this is how we come to learn about history. It is also the way in which most people are introduced to religious truth. And here planning it uses the example of a teenager. And I think he's talking about himself here. Let me read from planning his famous article, Faith, Reason and Belief in God. What about the 14 year old theist brought up to believe in God in a community where everyone believes? Okay. How many of you personally came out of a community in which your parents were believers and your church Life was important, and thus, for you, believing in God was the most natural thing in the world for you. Let me see your hands. All right. Well, you ought to thank God for that, because I didn't come out of that kind of community. Okay. Now, I mention this Sometimes a year and a half ago or so, my grandson just said to his mother came out to breakfast one day, while I guess the night before he'd said, Mother, would you leave the room? The Lord and I have got some things to talk about. And the next morning he came to breakfast and he said, Well, I'm a Christian, okay? The Lord. And I settled all of this stuff and now I'm ready to get baptized. Well, that's the way it is in our denomination. Okay. Quite different than my convert. I didn't know anything about the gospel. I didn't know a thing about it until I wandered into a Bible preaching church. One day a guy was preaching from John Chapter three. And for the first time in my life, I heard you must be born again. All right. Is Andrew's faith a rational faith? You bet it is. Now, let's go back to reading. Planning it here. What about the 14 year old theist brought up to believe in God and a community where everyone believes this 14 year old theist, we may suppose, does not believe in God on the basis of propositional evidence? I have never yet talked to my grandson about the ontological argument for God's existence. And if he's lucky, I never will. All right. How many of you came to faith without anybody ever giving you a proof for God's existence? He, the theist has. This 14 year old kid has never heard of the cosmological or the teleological or the ontological arguments. In fact, no one has ever presented him with any evidence at all for God's existence. And although he has often been told about God, he does not take that testimony as evidence. He does not reason because everyone around here says God loves us and cares for us. Most of what everyone around here says is true. So probably that is true. In other words, we don't put it in the form of a syllogism, an argument. Instead, he simply believes what he is taught. Now, is that kid rational? You bet he is. Planning a saying. In planning his example, testimony functions as a ground or triggering condition of the teenager's faith. Apart from his consciously drawing any inferences from or about that testimony. The teenager believes that God exists, but this belief does not come about as the result of any evidence or argument. He has never. Now, forgive me for saying this. He has never read our Sea Scrolls classical apologetics book. All right. RC Forgive me now. RC wouldn't disagree with it. Yes, he would not. One important claim made in chapter five of this book is that belief in God is similar to our belief and other minds and so on and so forth. Now, I'm because I'm an open minded guy. I'm going to tell you what has become the most famous, frequently published criticism of planning his approach to God's existence. All right. We don't hide anything under the rug here. So at the top of page 89, and if you want to write this in the margin of your book, I introduce what is called the Great Pumpkin. Objection. This is the this is the most often cited. Disagreement with planning US position the Great Pumpkin. Objection. Now, for those of you who are not from the United States, we have a comic strip in our newspapers called Peanuts, and there is a character in this and it should be showing up pretty soon. And the comic strips, it's a it's a it's a little boy named Linus who believes in the Great Pumpkin. And Linus believes that on every Halloween night, the great Pumpkin visits sincere pumpkin patches and I guess leaves presents for little boys and girls and so on. Now, of course, the now deceased writer of Peanuts is poking fun at a lot of American mythology. But I suppose various philosophers have published up to 100 journal articles arguing. That planning is defense of belief in God could be applied by Linus to the Great Pumpkin. For example, if Charlie Brown says to Linus, Linus, your belief in the Great Pumpkin is a display of irrational idiocy. What does Charlie Brown say if Linus comes back and says, Well, unlike you, Charlie Brown, I have read Alvin Planning and Ron Nash, and my belief in the Great Pumpkin is properly basic. Ha ha. Now let's read from page 89 Planning us. Critics argue that his claim that belief in God is properly basic entails that God belief in God is arbitrary. See? Planning. You're making belief in God arbitrary. Thus, anybody could say that any of their beliefs is properly basic. And how are you going to deal with that? How do you prevent anybody from from setting forth some particularly absurd belief, such as the belief in witches or witchcraft and saying, Well, I've read planning on this subject, and my belief that witches exist is properly basic and therefore it's beyond refutation. Now, here is planning his answer. But before I give you the answer, I want to admit to you that it's not completely satis factory. Because planning A fails to provide one additional step here that he should. But anyway let's what here's what planning a does on the top of page 89 just because he regards belief in God as properly basic it doesn't follow that he has to regard any belief as properly basic. I mean, to to to the complaint from anyone. Giving us the Great Pumpkin. Objection. I look, I believe the belief in God is basic, but that doesn't mean that I have to accept anybody. Anybody's belief is properly basic. There are differences here. Planning a claims that some properly basic beliefs do not satisfy the Christ. I mean, what he's saying is that some properly basic beliefs do not satisfy the criteria of the narrow foundation list. He rejects narrow foundational ism, but this doesn't require him to accept any belief as properly basic. Now, it does, though, raise the question, how are you going to make a distinction here, Dr. Planning? How are you going to make a distinction? Now. I have two comments to make at this point, and you're going to have to read all of the intervening paragraphs. My first defense of planning against the Great Pumpkin. Objection is this. Let me let me let me step back a minute and in and restate this objection in terms that are more relevant to what I want to address at this point. Mr. Planning. I'm sorry, but your claim that belief in God is properly basic just somehow doesn't help me jump the gap between uncertainty about the existence of God and psychological certainty about the existence of God. Here's the point. That kind of critique is confusing negative and positive apologetics. If anybody comes along and says, I don't find planning as account of the proper basic polity of belief in God a sufficient ground for me to become a believer as opposed to a nonbeliever. That critic is is claiming that planning his position here doesn't function as a very adequate ground for positive apologetics. My reply is it was never intended to be a virgin. A variety of positive apologetics. What planning is doing when he argues that belief in God is properly basic? Is it? It's an exercise in negative apologetics. Planning is defending the rational integrity of the Christian faith against those who would dismiss it. On either evidential list or narrow foundation list grounds and planning. This exercise succeeds completely as an exercise in negative apologetics. You can't kick. You can't kick Christianity off the playing field simply because it doesn't measure up to your totally inadequate criteria of rationality. How can somebody complain? When you know, I'll take a neutral example here. The Braves don't score. In the top of the first inning when they're playing in an Atlanta. Because all the Atlanta Braves can do when they're, you know, when they're wrong, when they have the home field advantage is play defense. You can't score when you're playing defense in baseball now because planning, I think, does not offer this as an as a as an avenue of positive apologetics. He's immune to any criticism on those grounds. Now, let's turn to the next page here. I'm going to read from the last two paragraphs on page 90, and then we're going to go over to page 91. In part one of this book. That would be the first four chapters. I sketched the method by which I believe positive apologetics is done best according to that procedure. Positive apologetics. There are tests by which we can judge among worldviews and the basic beliefs underlying those worldviews. My worldview includes belief in God as one of its basic beliefs. A naturalist may well regard the nonexistence of God as one of his basic beliefs. This might be a good time to go back and reread Chapters two, three and four and see how one might proceed to reach a decision as to which touchstone proposition, which basic belief, which worldview comes out ahead. C. Planning is recent work provides some hints that he himself looks favorably on approaching the work of positive apologetics in terms of worldviews. In a recent paper, he makes an important statement to the effect that the kind of epistemological activity we've been examining in Part two is rooted in the world view of the investigator. And I'm going to let you read for yourself the paragraph on the top of page 91, which incidentally comes from a non published paper now, but read my summary at the end of that long quote. In other words, the disagreement over whether belief in God is basic or not is rational or not may well turn out to be a reflection of a more basic clash between two competing worldviews, theism and naturalism. Now let me relate that to the issue of the Great Pumpkin. Objection. If I have just presented my rebuttal of narrow foundational ism as the basis for an attack upon the rationality of Christian belief, and somebody throws at me the charge that my position makes belief in God arbitrary, that any claim could be said to be properly basic on these grounds. I would say, okay, let's stop talking about the Great Pumpkin. Because the great nobody believes in the Great Pumpkin. This is a comic strip, for crying out loud. Give me an example of a real set of beliefs in the real world and let's see how it measures up. According to the criteria of a properly basic belief. All right. Well, let's take let's take a belief in witches. And you understand that witchcraft today isn't and isn't what you find on television programs. It's, you know, witches aren't aren't people who have supernatural powers or anything like that. They're simply people who are worshiping the demonic or evil or something like that. Now, the way to handle at that point, the clash between the Christian God and the belief system of. A practitioner of witchcraft, let us say, in terms of the relevant world view. This is where the world view business enters the picture. So I would say to this practitioner of New Age thinking, for example, or witchcraft, lay out for me, please, the entire worldview that goes with this set of beliefs. And they would say, well, ethics is relative. There are no absolute standards. What's that? What's your what's your worldview? Belief about ultimate reality. And then we would begin to have various propositions that we can fight about, that we can compare the Christian worldview versus a non-Christian worldview. And that's when I would argue that the approach we've given you in chapters one through four is sufficient, is adequate to handle this dispute. Okay. Well, if you if you see the planning as approach here, these are the both evidential ism and foundational ism is an exercise in negative apologetics. He clearly succeeds. If you want more, then I suggest we have to. We have to then begin our on our an explanation of positive apologetics, and that will get us into arguments for the existence of God. And that's what we're going to do next.