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时代讲场文章(至2017年2月14日)

剖析《挪亚方舟惊世启示》的神学进路

者曾听到一些电台的节目主持人表示,以前对福音没有多少兴趣,但最近的《挪亚方舟惊世启示》(下称《挪》),引起他们探索信仰的渴慕。无可否认,《挪》在香港整个城市是相当震撼的,福音的号角藉此已经响起来。但这件可喜的事,却引发了一件可悲的事,就是信徒之间产生了嫌隙。在兴旺福音时,信徒同心合意、保守圣灵的合一是顶重要的,失去同心足能使整个福音行动告吹。为此笔者常常省察自己,恐防自以为是踢爆骗局,其实是用脚踢刺,敌挡福音就以为是事奉神。

  像《挪》这一类福音性的制作,本应从福音布道的角度来评估才算公允。然而《挪》所带来的影响,已经不是局限於福音布道的层面,而是扩展到神学思维上的争执:低等批判与高等批判、历史与神话、信仰与科学等等。所以笔者不打算以福音布道的角度理解《挪》,反而以剖析它的神学进路,从而了解争端的箇中原因。

  神学进路或方法(prolegomena),可以说是探讨神学的大前提。近代神学家喜欢把神学进路分为两个向度:由上而下、由下而上。由上而下的进路是以神为本,承认神的主体性,宣讲天上的神如何启示地上的人。相反地,由下而上的进路是以人为本,彷佛神只有客体性,描述地上的人如何寻找天上的神。这种分法是笼统的,没有划一的标准。

由下而上的历史神学进路

  神学家潘能博(Wolfhart Pannenberg)在《系统神学》(第二册,第九、第十章)指出,他的神学论述结合了由上而下、由下而上双方的优点。可是神学界却认为,他所发扬的神学主要是以历史为基础,简称为历史神学,当中由下而上的向度占了主导的地位。在着述基督论时,潘氏首先阐述拿撒勒人耶稣的历史,包括:公开的职事、受审、复活。在此强调耶稣的历史及其信息的连贯性,这历史乃朝向耶稣复活的事件。接着,潘氏认为耶稣复活有一种向後回溯的力量,这力量能印证耶稣在复活前已经与神联合。这样的主张如他一向所认为,新约圣经对耶稣的了解是在默示性期望中形成,因此耶稣的权威性需要从一种末世性的角度来印证。这样向後回溯,把历史中的耶稣与信仰中的基督结合,从耶稣复活结合到基督的根源、从耶稣钉死结合到圣父与圣子的自我区别、从道成肉身结合到神人二性。

  与潘能博相似的,吴主光在《人造衞星发现方舟》(下称《人》)也展现了倚重历史的神学论述。吴氏首先引用许多科学和考古的证据,证明挪亚方舟的历史真实性,然後在总结「挪亚进方舟的日子」时指出,「倘若挪亚方舟的故事是假的,不用说主再来和世界末日的事也是假的,但现今经已证实方舟的故事是真的,那麽主再来和世界末日之事会不会是真的呢?当然真实的可能性极高了。」(页23-24)

  以潘氏和吴氏的两本着作而言,二人的神学进路均是历史神学的进路,其性质同是由下而上的。潘氏把历史焦点放在耶稣复活的事件上,吴氏则把历史焦点放在挪亚做方舟的事件上,两位都认为所强调的历史焦点不是神话。前者揉合了历史中的耶稣与信仰中的基督,後者则结合历史中的挪亚与信仰中的人子。潘氏的历史力量是回溯的,由耶稣复活追溯到神子第一次来临,以致於这位亘古者以前的事。吴氏的历史力量是前进的,由挪亚做方舟迈向人子第二次来临,以致於这位永存者以後的事。

历史神学的不济

  历史神学存在不少的困难。虽然现在有无数关於耶稣的史料,可以让人重构耶稣的历史,即使是反对基督信仰的人也不得不承认,历史上的确有拿撒勒人耶稣出现过,但是这种历史重构往往只承认耶稣的人性,并不承认他的神性,当然更不用提说他的复活了。因此,采用历史实证的方法,潘能博所选取的历史定点,难度已经是非常高,但相比之下,吴主光所选取的历史定点更是难上加难。创世记一至十一章是近乎史前时代,以重构历史的方法证实史前时代的事,其成功机会几乎是等於零。

  《人》以历史神学为基础,《挪》把《人》发扬光大,所以《挪》一点不差就是历史神学的产物。《人》的神学进路既遭遇困难,《挪》就不能避免这些困难了。例如,西方人在山的低处发现方舟,东方人在山的高处又发现方舟。结果,美洲信徒根据低处的方舟,展开他们的布道事工,亚洲信徒则以高处的方舟,在福音上大展拳脚。到底哪一只是「方舟」,哪一只是「谎舟」呢?双方都是主的仆人,两下都在做神的工,怎麽办呢?大家不要争吵!现在传来一个理论可以帮到大家。方舟断开了两节,一半在高处,一半在低处,两节都是真的!一人一半,人人有分,永不落空!可是这个理论存在不少疑点:两节方舟能够合并起来吗?为甚麽两节相距这麽远呢?

  这个旧理论帮不到,现在有一个新理论或者可以帮到,大家看看以下的理论是否更为合理。从人类专家、鑑证专家、地质学家、冰河学家及其他专家学者所得的理据,我们有理由可以相信,挪亚出了方舟以後,他的儿子们因为亲眼目睹洪水曾掩盖大地,恐怕这种灾难再次发生,所以按照他们父亲所做之方舟的样式,在不同的地区复制了几只方舟,以备不时之需。无论人造衞星或实地考察,都有足够证据显示,这几只方舟是真的,全部都是在挪亚时代所做的,洪水掩盖大地亦都是真确的。这个革命性的理论,是笔者效法考古学家创作的!倘若把这个空前绝後的理论放在网络上,加上一点学术包装,或者可以成为廿一世纪考古学界惊天动地的里程碑!……历史神学就是如此不济。

启示与信心

  相对由下而上,由上而下的进路可以称为启示的进路。启示是神主动的行动,是神所赐予的,在此人只能领受,人的角色是被动的。圣父将圣子启示出来,圣子将圣父启示出来,圣父、圣子藉着圣灵启示出来。人子降临的「显现」,希腊文apokalupsis,直译作「启示」。人子显现是神由上而下的启示,然而,寻找方舟只是人由下而上的尝试。

  神将奥秘的事向自以为聪明通达、不信的人就藏起来,向谦卑像婴孩、信的人就启示出来。如此,神的启示与人的信心是互相紧扣的。甚麽是信心?信心就是还没有看见的事的明证(来十一:1)。「明证」,希腊文 elegchos,带有裁判之意,由此引申到责备、就近光明的意思。眼见只能判断所看见的事,信心却能判断还没有看见的事,并为这些事提供确据、明证。「挪亚因着信,既蒙神指示他未见的事……」(来十一:7)挪亚领受启示的信心,就是一种相信还没有看见之事的信心。

  信的人行事为人凭信心不凭眼见,是因为眼所能见的非常有限。眼见受时间和空间限制,所以只能助人明白日光之下的事。信心却不然。藉着信心所知道的,是从过去的永远,到将来的永远;包括日光之下的事,也包括日光之上的事。不但物质的世界,连属灵的世界,因着信,信的人都能知晓。信心突破了时间和空间的限制,超越一切所见的。基督徒之所以接受基督,乃是由於信心;他们爱这位没有见过的基督,也是由於信心。他们虽然不得看见基督,却因信心,就有说不出来、满有荣光的大喜乐。

  要见过才信的,其信心是小的;毋须看见就信的,其信心是大的。要有神迹才信的,其信心是软弱的;毋须神迹就信的,其信心是坚固的。要有证据才信的,这人证实是缺乏信心的人;毋须证据就信的,这人据悉是充满信心的人。小信的人所得的大启示,大极也相当小;所得的惊世启示,最惊的就是启示愈来愈细。

Donationcall

舊回應41則


張國棟 / 2005-04-17 00:21:30

to liberal


1. 如果你要談這些宗哲問題,你可以寫篇文,大家可以發表意見。


2. 如果你說你是基督徒,請你先問你自己你信甚麼樣的神。你何不將你的高見公諸於世,為何要如此動不墽彈一兩條問題來?我不明白你不斷問同一類問題,問到你好像不是相信有神似的,有甚麼用意。再重申,這是求真的活動,問和答是很合理的,只是,你既自稱基督徒,別人也就有權反問你。請你不要迴避不答,卻一味要求別人回應。


3. 顯然地,你根本沒有看過任何像樣的宗教哲學書,有關problem of evil,請看Howard-Snyder, Evidential Argument from Evil (Indiana University Press, 1996)。這本書今天沒有人會不談的。那個existence of evil is inconsistent with the traditional idea of God 是被推翻了的講法。


4. 我已多次請求你想清楚你以為很smart的那個arbitrary choice原則是甚麼,但你一而再再而三地迴避不答,但卻仍要用那個原則來質問別人,我不覺得你有甚麼談話的誠意。令人失望。


 

Liberal / 2005-04-17 00:06:55

God Loves You: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/Annotations/GOD.6.html Arguments for and against the Existence of God


God Loves You:


http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/Annotations/GOD.6.html


 


Arguments for and against the Existence of God:


http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/GODEXIST.html


 


This one illustrates that both sides have equally stong arguments.  So to choose to believe in the existence of God or not is an Arbitrary Choice.  Both are equally good choices.


Don't forget that the traditional Christian attributes of God are incoherent with the reality of evil.

Liberal / 2005-04-16 23:56:01

God


God:


 


http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/GOD.html


 


 


The traditional Christian attributes of God are incompatible with the reality of evil.

佚名Anonymous / 2005-04-15 10:31:21

To 張國棟

Totally agree. I am criticizing other people's way of believing.  At my present layman level of philosophical knowledge and skills, I hold that what I said in "The Demand of The Principle of Minimisation of Arbitrary Choices is Simple" are valid. I urge readers to judge for themselves what I have said there are reasonable or not and to reflect on their "faiths." That said, I agree with you that I need further philosophical training and consider those questions seriously, and refine or refute what I have said.

kam / 2005-04-15 02:02:02

to作者:好野!


坦白講,我對大家有關這電影長久以來的爭論,本來已分不清誰是誰非,對於我這個沒有深奧神學認識的人,大家的論點實令我很混亂,我最後只想問一句:究竟應否看這電影和推介給朋友?


多謝作者這篇文章,令我很多的疑惑都解開...結果是:一定要睇!


睇完結果是:要介紹更多人睇!


從未睇過咁直接傳福音既電影...


再次謝謝作者令我沒有錯過這部電影...和參與了神的事工! 還有,你的觀點給了我很多的提醒:我們應憑信心回應神,因最驚的啟示是啟示越來越少!


如果可早點睇到這文章,就少了好多煩惱!!再次衷心感謝和敬佩你的勇氣/謙卑!

張國棟 / 2005-04-15 01:42:32

to liberal

I'm afraid you don't know much about what you are saying, not with respect to religion but with respect to philosophy. What is it to know something? What's the difference between deduction and induction? What is the difference between justification and truth? What do they have to do with knowing? These are more basic questions. I'm not saying that therefore you should not criticize other people's way of believing. I'm simply saying that you, who claims to be a seeker of truth, should face those questions.

Liberal / 2005-04-15 00:57:35

The demand of The Principle of Minimisation of Arbitrary Choices is simple

The demand of The Principle of Minimisation of Arbitrary Choices is simple: to say "I don't know" to the things you don't know.  The advice of The Principle of Minimisation of Arbitrary Choices is to make fewer Arbitrary Choices by "faith."  When you don't know, just say you don't know.  When you don't know whether there are parallel universes, just say you don't know and continue to calculate, observe, and do experiments.  It’s so simple.  What's wrong with it?  When you don't know whether there is God, just say you don't know and continue to observe and consult various philosophies and religions.  It’s so simple.  What's wrong with it?  When you don't know whether there is revelation from God, just say you don't know and continue to search.  It’s so simple.  What's wrong with it?

Liberal / 2005-04-14 23:23:22

The necessity of Principle of Minimisation of Arbitrary Choices


//So both choices are Arbitrary Choices, because both are equally good, they are not stronger or weaker than each other.//
我相信THEISM較ATHEISM能夠更cohere well with the totality of experience.  這一點許多非基督徒都同意。


and many think that atheism 較 theism 能夠更cohere well with the totality of experience too


the following may be more obvious:
the christian attributes of god do not cohere well with the reality of evil



//i do not think a biology book which starts with "we believe biblical narratives are true" is a good biology book//
...那根本就不對題吧。這不是faith statement與否的問題。


不對題, exactly! i sound absurd, right? i'm afraid some christians in the states are really demanding inclusion of biblical narratives in biology courses! so the Principle of Minimisation of Arbitrary Choices (Faith Statements) is not a luxury, it is necessary because it helps to prevent such an absurd thing from happening



//張國楝曾指出要對faith statement作出更清楚的定義才能夠好好討論。我認為根本很難分辨那些是faith statement,那些不是。因〔此〕要limit faith statement有難度。或許你仍然有傾向使用實證論或其他提出的檢證原則去判斷甚麼是faith statement,但那正是我想指出的問題。我們可以提出一些近乎荒謬的過時信念來作faith statement的例子,例如堅持地球是平坦的。不過這種只是用來「講」的例子,在真實的研究過程中,我們不是面對一些已由許多線索否定了的信念,而是類似「RNA world是否真實存在的一個生命份子形成的過程?」,「是否有多重平衡的宇宙?」等等。你如何決定這些屬於甚麼?Faith statement or not.  「同性戀傾向是生物性地決定(biologically determined),不能改變,勉強改變有危險」這又是否faith statement?//


good point, the critical problem of Arbitrary Choice is the definition of faith statements, this issue needs further exploration


“god exists” is definitely a faith statement
“earth is flat” is definitely not a faith statement
between these ends, the cut-off point must lie somewhere, but where? That is the problem


i think the important point is the method we use:
the wrong method is to accept or reject parallel universes by “faith”
the correct method is not to accept or reject, say “I don’t know,” and continue to calculate and observe and experiement


we should not accept 「同性戀傾向是生物性地決定(biologically determined),不能改變,勉強改變有危險」by faith either
the correct method is to consult professional opinion and review research results, and maybe to do more research


so what The Principle of Minimisation of Arbitrary Choices teaches is to continue to observe, experiment, and calculate; and not to suffocate the process by premature assertions such as “god exists,” “revelation exists,” “there must be parallel universes,” etc

陳國偉 / 2005-04-14 18:53:38

多謝你們的意見


其實我對影音的宣傳手法, 早前已經表達過:


http://www.christiantimes.org.hk/Common/Reader/Feedback/ShowPage.jsp?Fid=1&parent=28127&Pid=6&Version=0&Charset=big5_hkscs&Cid=150&Nid=28127&page=5








時代講場















如果那不是方舟──拒絕「差不多」的佈道話題

回應文章: 給使團的一點獻議 回應者: 古斌 
        


如果使團有同工看這貼,我可以有點話分享。



我個人基本上是支持影音使團的事工的,所以我對你們過往的電影是肯定的,這一點大家可以找一找我怎樣看天作之盒,怎樣看生命因愛動聽,然後再比較其他人的批評。



面對宣傳中出現失實和誤導的成份,我覺得使團是可以回應的。我不認為只怨人家不明自己佈道心是負責任的做法。宣傳福音,仍要用誠實的手段,我知道過往華人佈道,愛用上不少有誤導的技巧,這使我們跟XX寛頻、YY固網的宣傳變得無異。宣傳是要誠信的,福音是誠實的。福音工作者必須誠實無偽,這不是我講的,是保羅講的。



我覺得使團可以做的是,自己修改宣傳標語,把重點重新放在海尼夫所講的,是一種信仰探索,不是考古,不是講科學。影音可以印製新的單張,或更改海報的標語,或在給教牧的信中澄清。我覺得表現承擔可能的誤導帶來的不安,這樣做,使團可以予人負責任的感覺,想一想星展的危機管理,或者以前維他奶的危機管理,那裡有很多智慧。












回應文章: Agree with 古斌 回應者: 陳國偉 
        
This work is not able to claim as scientific work yet.


==============


在此不再重複. 至於其他方面, 讓我再思索思索.


Liberal, nice to meet you. Keep in contact in this website.


 


 

海尼夫 / 2005-04-14 18:29:26

回自由派


多謝回覆。


//So both choices are Arbitrary Choices, because both are equally good, they are not stronger or weaker than each other.//


我相信THEISM較ATHEISM能夠更cohere well with the totality of experience.  這一點許多非基督徒都同意。張國楝所提的那些基督徒哲學家當然更同意。


//i do not think a biology book which starts with "we believe biblical narratives are true" is a good biology book//


你把生物學與聖經研究放在同一領域,所以才產生了你提的那些問題。就如我不會說一本生物學的書,若劈頭第一句說,「本人支持台獨」或「支持獨栽及奴隸制」,那根本就不對題吧。這不是faith statement與否的問題。


//the key to approaching reality is to dialogue with it, not by limiting faith statements//
both are needed, while limiting faith statments, we can, as a separate exercise, still scrutinize each faith statment by letting it to dialogue with reality//


張國楝曾指出要對faith statement作出更清楚的定義才能夠好好討論。我認為根本很難分辨那些是faith statement,那些不是。因為要limit faith statement有難度。或許你仍然有傾向使用實證論或其他提出的檢證原則去判斷甚麼是faith statement,但那正是我想指出的問題。我們可以提出一些近乎荒謬的過時信念來作faith statement的例子,例如堅持地球是平坦的。不過這種只是用來「講」的例子,在真實的研究過程中,我們不是面對一些已由許多線索否定了的信念,而是類似「RNA world是否真實存在的一個生命份子形成的過程?」,「是否有多重平衡的宇宙?」等等。你如何決定這些屬於甚麼?Faith statement or not.  「同性戀傾向是生物性地決定(biologically determined),不能改變,勉強改變有危險」這又是否faith statement?[按:提這個例子,因為見你曾寫過話同性戀是先天決定的]


這方面的討論都差不多了,這一週因為忙於其他事,不再回覆了(包括作者陳國偉的觀點),日後再談吧。


 

佚名Anonymous / 2005-04-14 16:41:46

To 海尼夫: Arbitrary Choice is not positivistic


thank you for your good opinions


 


//I still detect trace of "foundationist" inclination in your thought (which I maybe wrong).  You seem to belief that the less fatih statements being involved, the more secure a theory to be.// 


yes, a theory built upon a faith statement "I believe the earth is flat" is insecure.
i do not think a biology book which starts with "we believe biblical narratives are true" is a good biology book.
i do not think public theology based on "illumination by holy spirit" is good public theology, as u have rightly pointed out.
i don't know whether that is foundationalistic or anti-fundationalistic.


 



//the key to approaching reality is to dialogue with it//
sure, that's what science has been doing


//the key to approaching reality is to dialogue with it, not by limiting faith statements//
both are needed, while limiting faith statments, we can, as a separate exercise, still scrutinize each faith statment by letting it to dialogue with reality


//It is true that a statement like "God exists" is not easily verified.  So you may put it into a faith statement list.  But if you say you will not bother yourself with "vague" faith statement, then you may be still adhere to the positivist tradtion.//


i must make clear: "not bother" = put aside = not building further upon it (an unreliable foundation), but not = reject it


my position is not positivistic:
if i say "God exists" is meaningless because it is non-verifiable, then i am positivistic.
now i say "God exists" is meaningful but an Arbitrary Choice because "God does not exist" is equally meaningful and probable.


//I will not object to "God exist" statement simply due to its difficulty in verification.//
neither will i, i just point out the choices "God exists" and "God does not exist" are Arbitrary Choices of equal strength



//Any statement, faith or not, should be put into dialogue with the reality.   Congruence and consilience is two important affrimation of a theory.  ...a statement like "God exists" ...If this belief coheres well with other beliefs (faith or not) or theories, and it produces good consilience, then the belief is on good ground.//  


The choice "God exists" coheres well with other beliefs and theories, and it produces good consilience.


The choice "God does not exist" coheres well with other beliefs and theories, and it produces good consilience.


So both choices are Arbitrary Choices, because both are equally good, they are not stronger or weaker than each other.

Liberal / 2005-04-14 14:06:47

《基督教信念的知識地位》

Is that the Chinese traslation of Warranted Christianity?

Liberal / 2005-04-14 09:28:12

To 張國棟


Thank you for your very helpful input and recommendations.


I will think about them.


May respond later.

張國棟 / 2005-04-14 01:53:42

To liberal


I sincerely hope that you answer seriously the questions I raised, which would be beneficial to your pursuit of truth, and of God ultimately.


In case you won't reply sooner and this thread be removed to archive, let me suggest some articles and books for you to read.


Alvin Plantinga is the best scholar to read on this topic. Here are two simple articles, one by him, one by me introducing him.


http://occr.christiantimes.org.hk/art_0006.htm


http://occr.christiantimes.org.hk/art_0010.htm


Then you may read his student's book,


Kelly James Clark, Return to Reason


中譯:重返理性,北大出版社


If you get really serious, read Plantinga's own writing,


"Reason and Belief in God" in Plantinga and Wolterstorff eds., Faith and Rationality (University of Notre Dame Press, 1983).


One of Plantinga's most important works has been translated into Chinese, by some scholars and me:


《基督教信念的知識地位》北京大學出版社,2004


I do not agree with him on some other issues but his account on this topic is the best so far, particularly insightful to people who care about other branches of knowledge like natural sciences, not just theology alone.


If you think it's too biased merely because all are about one person (though I don't think so), you may also read Richard Swinburne, Revelation (Clarendon Press). Also his The Existence of God (Clarendon Press). These are part of his 'series' (he doesn't call that a series) that offers a highly rational case for Christian theism. But mind that all of the books in that series are very difficult. He has spent almost 20 years to complete that series. I doubt if a layman could finish half of a book.


The reason why I suggest something so difficult to you is not to brag about my ability, but that I believe you probably are fed up with some simple and naive answers from traditional Christianity. So, here is my challenge. If you think that traditional (as opposed to liberal but not referring to fundamentalist) Christianity sucks in many aspects, read those books and see if your position, whatever it is, is still so great as you think now. If you don't think you yourself have a strong opinion, then simply take this as a way to pursue truth, as you say you want to do so.


 


 

祥文 / 2005-04-14 00:21:50

to author

I understand you try to serve our God. U have self-confidence and faith to God indeed. But I do agree to Daniel Cheung. Sometimes one's confidence and faith make he ignore some important points.

海尼夫 / 2005-04-14 00:06:34

To作者:我同意張國楝


張國楝不同意你為自己把吳主光與潘靈博的比較所作的答覆,至少有我支持。張兄對閣下的用意之猜測也許不準確,但你把曾在神學院教過書作為理由就太兒戲了。有話直說,對不起。


我沒有在這些地方回應你,不是同意你,只是既然你嘗試從神學方法來看這問題,因此便不離題。閣下不用誤會只張國楝才不同意。按你從聖靈光照的方式回答Liberal,你是徹底做單邊神學獨白,抱守封閉的神學路線。這也的確是一條路,不過如此便把神學封鎖在自己的園子裡。潘靈博至少肯定要go public,正視科學及其他學問。

Liberal / 2005-04-13 21:57:56

to author



























1.

i understand your position

remind you that your belief in revelation is an Arbitrary Choice

i respect your choice and your choice may be right 


2. 張兄

//...沒有跡象顯示其他網友有你的感覺...//

i'm afraid i have the same 感覺 as 張兄 (regarding the hidden points in your article that 張兄 said)

 

 




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陳國偉(作者) / 2005-04-13 18:56:50

一點回應


1. Liberal

 

我定義特殊啟示(special revelation)為耶穌基督和聖經. 耶穌基督是成了肉身的話語(incarnate Word), 聖經是明文的話語(written Word). 嚴格來說, 我不是建立(establish)神有向人啟示, 我不會作這樣的事. 我乃宣講(proclaim)神所已經啟示的. 至於別人能否得到啟示, 乃在乎神. 人信主是聖靈的工作, 我只是與神同工, 在聖靈裏宣講神的啟示. 

 

當然此刻你不會同意, 你認為原因是你還未得到證據, 但我對此的解釋是:你還未蒙聖靈光照.

 

一隻又黑又白的牛, 吃了綠色的草, 生產白色的牛奶, 給我這個黃皮膚的人喝了, 結果長出黑色的頭髮. 對於這個關係, 老實說, 直到如今我仍未研究過. 但我喝了, 事情就是這樣發生. 有時做人簡單一點未必是一件壞事.

 

2. 張兄

 

很欣賞你能將我的一句話化成幾段文字, 但因為沒有跡象顯示其他網友有你的感覺, 所以我只能將你的意見記錄在案, 留待他日處理.  

張國棟 / 2005-04-13 02:31:58

to liberal: questions for questions


In "Arbitrary Choice", I'm afraid you conflate the idea of justifiedly believing that p with p being true. Not having enough evidence or justification for a belief does not mean that that belief is not telling you something which may be true. There may be a belief which is accepted with strong justification but false. There may also be a belief which is true but lack justification (with regard to one particular person or with regard to the human race).


So, first you need to ask yourself what you count as justified (or proved). Then, why is that so important in your pursuit of truth? You need to ask yourself whether your standard could explain all kind of knowledge, not just religious knowledge. For example, will some kind of truth be precluded by the way you count some beliefs as justified? Then, you may ask what we may make of when a belief does not receive full justification. This point was made by 海尼夫 that it may be too weak to call it Arbitrary Choice.


Also, please define "faith statement".


I would not recommend you to think about postmodern epistemology when you don't have better ideas to the above questions.

海尼夫 / 2005-04-13 01:10:51

a little clarification


//the faith that the earth is flat, the faith that the sun evolve around the earth, etc; historically, such faith statements have hampered science for centuries and executed many scientists//


Historically, I think those beliefs were not regarded "faith" statements.  There were as "scientific" as round earth and heliocentrism, as seen with the eyes of those who were in the debate.   For any incomplete scientific theory, there are always some discrepancy observations. Sometimes we need ad hoc hypothesis to save the theory.  Only when too muct ad hoc hypotheses has been made would call into question the validity of the general theory.   So it is not that easy to tell which one is a faith statement and which is not.  Only by the benefit of hide sight could we out run our forerunners. 


I still detect trace of "foundationist" inclination in your thought (which I maybe wrong).  You seem to belief that the less fatih statements being involved, the more secure a theory to be.  Critical realism of course will not object to triming off unnecessary faith statements, but the key to approaching reality is to dialogue with it, not by limiting faith statements.  Any statement, faith or not, should be put into dialogue with the reality.   Congruence and consilience is two important affrimation of a theory.   It is true that a statement like "God exists" is not easily verified.  So you may put it into a faith statement list.  But if you say you will not bother yourself with "vague" faith statement, then you may be still adhere to the positivist tradtion.  I will not object to "God exist" statement  simply due to its difficulty in verification.  If this belief coheres well with other beliefs (faith or not) or theories, and it produces good consilience, then the whole package of that nexus of theories is on good ground.