Monday, January 30, 2012

Facing It

The right course for anyone who cannot accept the mere voice of authority, but feels the imperative obligation to face the arguments and think freely, is to begin at the beginning and to see how far one can reconstruct one's case for belief in God, inference by inference on a secure foundation of irreducibly basic premises, as far as possible without any preliminary assumptions and with a resolute determination to know the worst.

--Highly redacted from Flew, A. G. N. God: A Critical Inquiry (LaSalle, IL: Open Court, 1984) page 14.

Idol of the Circular

Christian theology without metaphysics is an illusion. However much some theologians may want to avoid the issue by talking about revelation, there comes a point when the question can no longer be evaded: Why believe in God at all? If the only grounds for belief in the Christian revelation are part of that alleged revelation, the theologians have cut themselves off from people who think about their beliefs. If there are no grounds for believing that a Christian scheme is preferable to some non-Christian one, the choice between Christianity and some other religion or none becomes arbitrary, irrational, even trivial.

--Slightly redacted from H. E. Root, "Beginning all over again" in Soundings, edited by A. R. Vidler (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1962), page 13, quoted in Flew, A. G. N. God: A Critical Inquiry (LaSalle, IL: Open Court, 1984) page 13.