Q+A: Christianity and Circular Reasoning
by Jason Petersen
Shawn writes: Can you point me to a good article on circular reasoning in regards to using the Bible as evidence of God and the truth of Christianity? Also, are atheists using circular reasoning when they argue that science is true because science tested it? For example, “that study was peer-reviewed!” Hope you can follow me.
I do follow you Shawn!
When you are evaluating a worldview, such as Christianity or atheism, you must take into account the implications of that worldview. In other words, we should take the both the starting points and the implications of those starting points, and test them for internal consistency. The mark of a lie or untruth is inconsistency. Therefore, if there are any inconsistencies or contradictions in a worldview, then that worldview must be false.
Anyone who is arguing for a worldview, be they Christian, Muslim, atheist, etc. will argue according to the starting points, or properly basic beliefs, that are contained in their worldview. Your worldview determines how you think. This means that any argument that any worldview puts forth will be affected by these starting points.
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For instance, an atheist that is a naturalist will make arguments that assume that only nature exists, but they will never insert the supernatural in their arguments. Why? Because a naturalist doesn’t believe in supernatural phenomena. If you were to confront a naturalist with evidence for Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the atheist will then attempt to come up with a natural explanations concerning the historical facts around Jesus’ resurrection. This is because one of the starting points in that naturalist-atheist’s worldview is that there is no such thing as the supernatural.
Since an atheist thinks it proper to appeal to their starting points when formulating an argument, then certainly other worldviews will think the same. Christians can use scripture to make their point, because in our worldview, scripture is the Word of God. By invoking scripture, we, like the atheist that we just used as an example, are responding in a way that is consistent with our own worldview…