How Do You Know It Is True?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

The title brings to mind a roomful of intellectuals discussing Kant, Hegel, Descartes, Voltaire, and arguing until they're blue in their mouths. While this article deals with philosophy, it is not highfalutin, impractical stuff. It's because I have learned some important things and want to pass them along, and they're very useful for reasoning. Also, I hope the programming on this site is going to deliver on its "promises" and doesn't distract from the content.

How you know that something is true is actually a very important question
Made at, with the text on concrete done using Paint.NET

Don't Let the Big Word Bother You

People who have read my material before probably know that I get to gnawing on that worldviews bone after a hearty helping of presupposition, as in presuppositional apologetics (a.k.a. transcendental apologetics). That is, everyone has a worldview, which is just as it seems: a way of looking at the world, our experiences, beliefs, assumptions, and so on. Presuppositions are those things we assume are true, but have not necessarily examined and tested.  Apologetics is a method of defending and presenting the truth of the Bible — and as Christians, we need to know what and why we believe. We all have our ultimate starting points. For the Christian, it should be the infallible Word of God. Other people have various fallible philosophies and opinions.

With me so far? Good.

I'm not going to load you up with a whole heap of big words, but there's one more we need so this article can be useful. That word is epistemology, and it means knowledge. Well, the -ology part means "the study of", so it's the study of knowledge. Don't run off just yet, it's not that hard to catch hold of. Epistemology is how we know something, and if it is true. Also important is the way certain terms are defined, so you really have to watch that in many discussions. If the basis for our knowledge is fundamentally flawed, we could be wrong about many things and end up where we don't want to be. See how that works? Since this article relies on the understanding and use of logic (no, you don't need to have an advanced degree in it), I suggest that you read "How should a Christian view logic?"

Knowing What You Know

Not  very many people make a point of examining and comprehensively defining their worldviews, presuppositions, and theory of knowledge. They have their opinions and "know" certain things, but are unaware of the hows and whys of what they claim to know. For most of us, our worldview grows over time, and is seldom consciously processed. One aspect of presuppositional apologetics is to give an internal critique of non-biblical worldviews. This includes asking questions about how people reached their conclusions, and how they know their starting points are accurate. Sometimes the in-between stuff, too.

It's interesting that, no matter what the subject, people will argue from what they've been told. Christians do this, especially when a celebrity or teacher they like makes a statement, and their epistemology stops with the authority or personality of that person. How do you know the claim is true? That person who told you — how does he or she know something is true? (I've embarrassed myself by relaying incorrect information from unchecked sources, now I tend to be more circumspect.) Atheists and evolutionists believe what they've been told about Christians and creationists, but their epistemology generally stops at misotheist sites and the statements of friends. Their epistemology seldom involves actual source material. 

Professing atheists are far more willing to pass along negative material that they know is untrue — which is something I've seen done. You'll find atheo-fascists that seek out their fellow travelers who will "refute" evidence against evolution with "arguments" that amount to, "That's not true!" Then they feel better about themselves and their erroneous worldview. I recommend that professing atheists and agnostics ask themselves why they believe all sorts of negative things about the Bible, Christians, God, creation science, and so on. Perhaps they are simply following a leader, or trying to gain the approval of others. According to the Bible, they are attempting to justify their rebellion against God.

People like this have an a priori definition of reality as atheistic materialism: God and miracles do not exist, Genesis is false, nothing exists except the material world, and so on. They consider Christians and biblical creationists to be "reality deniers" because we do not kowtow to their assertions.  They get ornery, ridiculing us for using our own starting point: the revelation of God's Word. Ridicule is one of the manipulative tactics use to control a discussion. 

Related to that is how atheists get on the prod when Bible-believing Christians will not appeal to their pride by letting them decide whether or not God exists, and argue on neutral ground. No, there is no "neutral ground": we believe the Bible, and it says they know that God exists, but suppress the truth (Rom 1:18). I have to add that demanding of material proof for the existence of God is a logical fallacy called the category error. This is ironic, since they claim to uphold science, logic, and reason. (Note to apologists who use evidence only: evidence does not save anyone, nor will someone's brilliant arguments. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, see 1 Cor. 2:1-5. Also remember that we must be honoring to God in our apologetic methods.). Another irony is that such questions are theological and philosophical, not scientific. By the way, what tinhorn made science the pope of truth?

Examples to Ponder

"Reality doesn't work by perspectives. Things are objectively true whether you accept them or not". Sounds good on the surface, almost intellectual. You can take someone like this back to square one and ask him how he defines reality. Also, ask if he can he defend his position that things are "objectively true", and how he reached that conclusion. Actually, it is an arbitrary assertion. (I happen to know that this particular atheopath is a materialistic atheist and evolutionist. A very bitter one, too.) Arbitrariness is irrational, and is devastating to a worldview because it has no basis. It also leads to bullying and pejoratives like we saw in the example.

"Calling a creationist scientifically illiterate is dead on".
This, too, is based on evolutionary materialism, and is obviously bigoted. How does he know that creationists are "scientifically illiterate"? The claim requires knowledge beyond the capabilities of the one making the comment. His statement is also a lie that has been handily refuted many times. Related to this, "Creationism is more scientifically illiterate than flat earth, so no scientist can be a creationist." How would this jasper know that "creationism is more scientifically illiterate than flat earth"? This bigoted claim was made on a post that listed creationary scientists, so it is another falsehood based on arbitrary assertions, prejudicial conjecture, unargued assumptions, and an invalid comparison. Too illogical to warrant a prolonged discussion.

Also, notice that assumptions of superior atheistic "morality" gives some folks an imaginary license to lie, use multiple false accounts, deception, ridicule, and so on. When queried, some respond that creationists deserve ridicule and deceit. Really? Upon what basis? Do the critics use the same criteria for other people? It turns out that their erroneous epistemology gives them the "knowledge" and a right to ridicule those who do not hold to naturalistic presuppositions; they claim to have the greater good The end justifies the means, mein Schatzi

Normally, I try to do posts and articles several days in advance, and then schedule them to post. This article was several days in the making, and I actually finished it on the day I wanted it to publish. How do I know that it will publish? Because the software has been reliable before, according to my memory. Mostly reliable. My epistemology shows me that it's best to check and see that the software did not fail me, both here and sharing to social media.

Short-Form Summaries

The starting points for many people are based on opinions without knowledge (that is, poor epistemology), and can be summed up:

"There was no Genesis Flood, that is fiction!"


"Because atheism!"

Someone like that just disqualified himself from rational discussion and lost credibility. For one thing, it is not a science statement, it is his or her personal philosophy.

Here's another:

"You don't pick at flaws in evolutionary theory, namely because there are no such flaws."

How do you know this?

"Because evolution!"

That is, there are fundamentalist evolutionists who are compelled by blind faith to prop up Darwin at all costs — including contradicting evolutionary scientists who admit to flaws in evolution. They can not admit that a creationist is right in anything of consequence. In fact, we must be slapped down, even in small things.

Atheism and Evolution Make Science Logically Impossible

The epistemology of atheists and evolutionists relies on their ability to use reason. How do they know their ability to reason, their perceptions, their memories, are reliable? One atheopath said, "Presuppositional apologetics will always be self defeating. You always have to assume your brain is reliable a priori". 

Actually, the opposite is true. Important aspects of science are uniformity of nature, repeatability, and consistency. God is the author of logic, and upholds the universe (Heb. 1:3), so we know that the laws of logic and science will be the same tomorrow. Universal common ancestor evolution relies on chance, uncountable random mutations that somehow improve organisms, and a whole heap of time. According to atheism and evolution, we are simply bundles of chemicals responding to their reactions — we cannot trust our thoughts and memories. How can you trust your evolved-by-chance brain to give you reliable information? Not happening, pilgrim. 

By using logic and science, atheists and evolutionists are actually denying their own epistemology and worldview, and standing on the biblical worldview! They cannot explain science, logic, or anything else regarding the preconditions of human experience in their own worldview.

Finding Logical Fallacies

My regular readers probably knew I was going to bring this up. Because of their erroneous epistemology, atheists and evolutionists make numerous errors in reasoning — especially those that frequent the internet. Like the big words in this article, the term logical fallacies may seem intimidating, but those fallacies are often easy to spot. (They are fun when bundled. I've seen three or more fallacies in one sentence.) It's mighty difficult to build a rational, persuasive argument when using bad reasoning. Knowing about these errors not only helps us when Darwin's disciples attack, but helps us to reduce our own errors when presenting our reasons for believing. One place to start is my list of "Logic Lessons" and resources listed there.

Bringing It Together

The main word here is epistemology, which is the study of knowledge. How do you know what you know, and how do you know it's true? We all have an epistemology, but few people have actually given theirs a detailed analysis. We build our presuppositions on things we believe are true, and from there, we build our worldviews. The whole shootin' match is often done a piece at a time.

Atheists have an irrational and incoherent epistemology that is internally inconsistent. Logic and science are impossible according to a materialistic, atheistic worldview, so they indirectly admit that their belief system is incoherent, and stand on the biblical worldview. Likewise, evolution is scientifically impossible, since it relies on illogical things. 

Biblical creationists rely on the Word of God. It is internally consistent, and contains the answers necessary for human experience: where we came from, where we're going, and how we get there. Atheists hate presuppositional apologetics because those of us who use it will not appeal to their egos, and we will not compromise on the Bible. Further, we use this apologetic method to show that atheism and evolutionism are incoherent, internally inconsistent, and that Scripture contains the truth that they lack. Our epistemology is certain.

For further reading in addition to links used above, I highly recommend two articles that spurred me on to write this article. First, Dr. Jason Lisle's "Are You Epistemologically Self-Conscious?". Second and a bit deeper is Dr. Dave Greear's "The Role of Presuppositions and Worldviews in the Creation-Evolution Debate".