5 Common Accusations Leveled at Christianity
Objectivst philosopher Andrew Bernstein debates Judeo-Christian apologist Dinesh D’Souza.
February 7, 2013 - 7:00 am
5) Neither God Nor Scripture Reveals Knowledge
The root from which a philosophy springs is its epistemology, the answer to how we know anything at all. The Christian worldview requires an epistemology which allows for revelation from a supernatural source. Scripture is said to be inspired by God, meaning it embodies more than the rantings of a desert nomad. Christians believe that God speaks to us through scripture, imparting a portion of his unbound knowledge for the benefit of mankind.
Objectivism, as the name suggests, regards the notion of revelation as a rejection of reality. The only way to know something according to Ayn Rand is to perceive it with your senses or deduce it from facts of reality established through observation and reason. This root idea regarding the source of knowledge informs all of Rand’s conclusions in the other branches of philosophy, metaphysics, ethics, and politics.
Christians entertaining Bernstein’s challenge to D’Souza should understand that faith and reason are defined as opposites in Objectivism. To accept an idea on faith is to concede that it defies reason, that it cannot be supported by the facts of reality, and that it carries no true moral authority.
Epistemology proves an irreconcilable difference between Christianity and Objectivism. Nevertheless, D’Souza will not need to argue epistemology in order to push back against the assertion that Christianity is a profound moral evil. We’ll explore why next week.