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Re: Empirical knowledge?



>VTLers,

As a raving Clarkian I guess this isn't addressed to me. Nevertheless 
I'll stick my oar in anyway ;-)

>[1] Mat 24:32 " Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch
>has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
>
>IOW, Jesus rebuked unbelievers on the basis of the fact that they *knew*
>that summer was near (because leaves were budding on the trees), but they
>couldn't discern the signs of the times. This is empirical knowledge via
>sense-perception.

I do not see how this conclusion follows. Sense perception is not 
mentioned, and if the verse and interpretation are contra Clark they 
must at the very least provide an example that cannot be incorporated 
under a clarkian interpretation. (Just now I only want to deal with 
the 'sense perception' part and so shall assume that knowledge in the 
technical sense is what is meant). So how would a clarkian respond. 
Well, Clark believed that people were illuminated to understand 
propositions and that these were directly occasioned by God with 
respect to events in the world. Now, regardless of the rights and 
wrongs of this position, I see nothing in it that is not consonant 
with the verse quoted. Therefore Bahnsens example fails at this point 
as a ciriticism of Clark.

>
>[2] Act 2:22 " Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man
>attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did
>through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know --
>
>Here Peter seems to appeal to the *knowledge* of unbelievers, as a means of
>proving their guilt before God. This knowledge was of historical events
>which had just transpired. And it appears to be empirical knowledge via
>sense-perception (at least for some of them, and via testimony for 
>the others).

The same point applies here, but with an additional complication 
regarding knowledge. Assuming that when knowledge is spoken of in 
these discussions it involves belief; it is not clear that belief was 
present in the hearers wrt the things spoken of by Peter (eg a man 
attested by God). So do these verses actually prove that "knowledge" 
is being spoken of? A moot point. (After all when it comes to common 
parlance "Knowledge in the biblical sense" has a very specific 
meaning).

>Bahnsen gives several more examples, but I'll stop here. Now, this
>VT/Bahnsen view seems obviously biblical to me. I can't see how it can be
>undermined. And yet it is clear that Clarkians reject it. How can they, in
>view of these Scriptural citations?

I hope the above at least clarifies why.

>I refuse to take this debate to the noxious, unmoderated Clark list.

Ah yes the (in)famous not-Clark list. Though I suspect that I find it 
noxious for different reasons. I can't imagine this list containing a 
thread debating van Til's eternal state, yet that has run on two (or 
is it three) occasions on that list.

>Does
>anyone here know if Clarkians have given arguments for their view which
>should make VTians quake in their boots? :-)

I hope that no one would quaking in their boots over any such 
arguments even if they were successful. Surely the differences 
between the two parties have not degenerated to that degree. ;-)

>Restricting knowledge to
>Scriptural propositions just seems so obviously false to me, unless one is
>operating with a highly idiosyncratic definition of 'knowledge'.

Of course it is. If it wasn't how would it say anything different, 
aren't all such definitions idiosyncratic to some degree.

>If
>Clarkians are doing the latter (which entails that the above Scripture
>texts are universally mistranslated),

How does this follow? Every word has a semantic range and translators 
operate to dictionary definitions not technical ones. I am sure that 
it was on this list that I saw some posts relating how amusing it was 
to see athiests trying to debate by using dictionary definitions and 
how inappropriate this was. Surely that doesn't mean that 
dictionaries should be banned or translators discard them. After all 
were the translators of the AV to be held culpable for translating 
'sex' as 'know'?

>I think their view reduces to an
>irrelevant autobiographical detail about some fairly isolated theological
>thinkers. And in that case, why should we worry about it?

tsk, tsk. Time will tell. But you certainly shouldn't worry about it; 
that would not be appropriate behaviour :-)

Cheers

George


-- 
========================================================================
George Macleod Coghill
Department of Computing Science
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen AB24 3UE

Tel No: +44 (0)1224 273829

Fax: +44 (0)1224 273422

email: gcoghill@csd.abdn.ac.uk


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