In my last post titled, Faith vs. Knowledge, I set out to establish why uncertainty is actually justified in light of how the Bible itself defines faith. Faith is defined as a form of confidence, assurance, or conviction about the things that are not seen. There are flaws within this approach to establishing knowledge. 1) Faith assumes that an unseen divine being is going to keep feeding this confidence. Are there any examples where this does not seem to play out? The honest answer is, yes. Many sincere individuals acknowledge that God is only relatable ideologically and not practically speaking.

The next contention then becomes, 2) What utility does the word or concept of faith have in discussions about knowledge? The majority of honest Christian thinkers actually admit that they do not possess undisputed certainty pertaining to God’s existence. This is commendable because intellectually we are now acknowledging that there is a common human element pertaining to knowledge. In regards to knowledge, this world appears to be one in which human beings are not able to have undisputed certainty about God’s existence.

Some Christians and people of other faiths may interject and say, “even though I personally do not have undisputed certainty, others within my faith tradition did, my Bible or holy book documents this.” Fair enough, it may be true that for whatever reason, only a few select people in history are said to have had undisputed certainty about God’s existence. However, how is this helpful within the human scenario right now? Especially when it comes to establishing proper knowledge and belief?

It would appear that the further away we get from isolated events that were said to be miraculous, the more justified it becomes to question the veracity of such a thing. I say this because we must take into account how much competition there actually is to establish divine authority in this regard. Not all of these claims can be correct, can they? Especially since many of them contradict one another. Also, why should we show favoritism?

If Muhammad truly did receive a different revelation from Allah is there any reason to reject the possibility of that set of scenarios in favor of the ones in Christianity? Well, the real question is, what can act as the best filter for me to discern between what is probable or improbable? This is where I now advocate the value of uncertainty. I do this because by the nature of such claims as they stand, one cannot actually know if either set of scenarios is more true or valid over the other. This is due to the absence of any kind of verification that can aid us in the present.

How could verification be established? Logically it would be established in conjunction to possessing undisputed certainty about God’s existence. Since undisputed certainty is not able to be established, the more honest position is one of uncertainty. Regardless of whether or not you personally profess faith.

The next question for my believing friends is this, if faith can only be established as a conviction and not as a form of certainty, how should you label yourself in regards to the question of origins? Uncertainty is equal to agnosticism is it not? I understand that there are many agnostic Christians but what case can you make about knowledge to justify your position? Doesn’t uncertainty allow you to truly be open to either direction?

2 thoughts on “Lack of Knowledge (Faith vs. Knowledge)

  1. Faith is a touchy concept to define, and I like your use of the word conviction. When Christians accusingly say that atheists have faith, they are failing to see that that faith has multiple definitions. Atheists can be guilty of this too, though, assuming that faith only means ‘believing despite (or in spite of) evidence.’

    “Conviction” is good though. I don’t have the knowledge that there’s not a God, but based on everything I’ve read and studied, that is definitely my conviction. A conviction can be changed, but it will take evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As it is my conviction, Jon Darby! It’s a pleasure to meet you! I gotta say I’ve never thought so deeply about life until my own brain taught me that doubt is a very justified tool to use when searching for answers. I can think of one close Christian friend of mine who tries to challenge me to doubt my own doubt. Now that in itself isn’t a bad piece of advice but it must be applied appropriately. I have to wonder whether he fails to see where doubt is often justified, especially when surveying what knowledge appears to be Biblically. I was a pretty big Bible nerd before I made the switch. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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