You’ve Got to Believe Something

Is belief in nothing an option? Are there worldviews with no problems? Why rejecting Christianity gives you another set of problems–which might be harder to deal with.

By Gregory Koukl

I mentioned at the top of the show that I had a conversation with a gentleman the other night that had to do with morality, and how I felt that his conclusion as a result of some of our thinking together that moral absolutes must exist — at least some moral absolutes must exist — actually does a lot of work for us philosophically. It allows us to reason towards the existence of God, and it helps to falsify some world views like Hinduism or atheism or agnosticism or materialism and empiricism and things like that. It does a lot of work for us.

But there is another point that I made with him that I want to take some time here to stress, and this has to do with epistemology, which means how we know what we know. But it has to do with knowledge and trying to make decisions about spiritual truth or about any truth, frankly. The point that I want to make is that people have to

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believe something. Everybody believes something, and even what appears to be a rejection of all beliefs is a kind of belief. One holds something to be true. Maybe what you hold to be true is that nothing else is true, but that is something that you believe is true in itself. This is not double talk. Even agnostics have a type of belief. They believe that it is not possible to know things about ultimate issues like the existence of God.

Now, people often reject Christianity because of certain problems. My point is that there is no neutral place to position yourself in philosophic space. There is no place where you can place yourself in which you believe nothing and therefore don’t take on some burden of proof about what it is that you hold. You can’t fairly say, “Well, Christian, you believe this and you must prove this, but I have no burden of proof regarding what I believe because I believe nothing.” There is no person who believes nothing about ultimate things, and even if you are agnostic you believe in the justifiability of your agnosticism — your uncertainty — and you really have a burden of proof to justify your uncertainty — your unwillingness to decide — to justify your agnosticism. So there is nowhere someone can stand where he has no beliefs…


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