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Yes, but “faith” isn’t how you learned about the Resurrection of the Body. Your faith is the confidence you put in that doctrine. Your source of the knowledge is Scripture – revealed truth. So Scripture is the source of the knowledge – faith is the confidence you invest (or not) in that knowledge, right?Vischer has honed in on the core Christian belief--the Resurrection--and has explained exactly how that belief is supported. In doing so, he's letting the cat out of the bag.
Faith isn't how you learned it...
Exactly right. No, faith isn't how you learn something. Faith isn't that kind of a method, and that's a key point. People do not come to new knowledge by faith. Faith is used to attempt to justify (more accurately to warrant, following Alvin Plantinga's careful teasing apart of those words, rightly recognizing that faith cannot justify a belief), not to learn. That is to say that faith isn't what's leading to what the religions claim as knowledge.
Faith is the confidence put in doctrine.
Exactly right again. The problem is that the degree of confidence put in any statement should match the evidence supporting that degree of confidence. Thus, immediately bearing upon faith is whether or not it leads someone to hold a justified amount of confidence in the article of belief in question. It does not.
To clarify by generalizing, saying that "faith is the confidence put in X" is unlikely to be what is properly meant with the word "faith" in this context. Otherwise it would be superfluous. The evidence for X justifies a certain amount of confidence for it. Hence, I have every reason to suspect that a better way to put this would be "faith is the additional confidence put in X that isn't justified by the evidence." To back this up, I hearken back to Tom Gilson's remark from the other day, in which he said that faith "goes beyond provable knowledge."
If we really want to split hairs here and make sure we're getting this right: there is a gap between the confidence justified by evidence and the confidence held in the belief, and faith is the unjustified confidence filling that gap. Put more briefly, faith is unjustified confidence in a belief.
That means that Vischer is right to identify "your faith is the confidence you put in that doctrine," at least if we take care to identify that what is meant is the unjustified confidence going beyond the support of available evidence.
Your source of knowledge is Scripture.
Exactly right yet again. And this is a problem. It's not a problem in the sense that scripture cannot provide a certain kind of knowledge (specifically, at the least, knowledge of what the scripture says). It's a problem in that the reliability of that claim to knowledge--note that we are now talking about knowledge claims, lest that slip under the rug--is now bound up in the reliability of the scripture itself.
Not to sound demeaning, but faith even the size of a coconut in the knowledge that Hogwarts Castle exists, that knowledge coming from Harry Potter, leaves me subject to the reliability of the Harry Potter series in terms of holding beliefs about buildings in the north of Britain.
Scripture [is] revealed truth.
There it goes! Did you see it? This is precisely where Vischer let the cat out of the bag. Combining this with the previous sections, we get: faith is confidence put in knowledge whose source is revealed truth.
I'm glad Vischer didn't make this hard on me. He's done all of the heavy lifting for me when it comes to explaining how reliance on scripture as a source of knowledge about reality is a problem: its source is "revealed truth."
The uber-relevant question here is How can someone determine that revealed knowledge is objectively true, even in principle?
Revelation in general suffers the unfortunate circumstance of being indistinguishable from imagination, invention, or insanity. It also suffers, as a claim to knowledge, a complete lack of theoretical description for how it would work, if real. Additionally, it suffers a complete lack of credible evidence for any hint of any ability to ever produce reliable predictions. If we get specific about religious claims of revelation or those presented in ancient scriptures, the list of what revelation suffers, as a claim to knowledge, gets multiplied many times over.
Of course, noted theologian and Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga gives multi-volume accounts of this in his "reformed epistemology," in which he tacitly admits that revealed knowledge cannot be justified by arguing instead that it satisfies a different criterion he calls warranted. (The reader should note that these terms were considered synonymous prior to Plantinga's efforts, which teased them apart, making it a tacit admission that "warranted does not imply justified," even if the opposite implication is true.) (The reader should also note that the Great Pumpkin, from the comic strip Peanuts, has served as a substantive objection to Plantinga on this front.)
Without a solid answer to the question of how revealed notions can be known to be true, we arrive back to my claim: faith is the additional confidence, that part not justified by evidence, placed in a belief. That is, faith "goes beyond provable knowledge" (Tom Gilson). That is, faith is putting more confidence in a belief than is supported by evidence. That is, faith is pretending to know what one doesn't know (Peter Boghossian).
And so, I have to say it:
Phil Vischer, I think you'd do better not only to drop this particular case against Peter Boghossian, but also to stop claiming to know what you do not know and repudiate all faith-based epistemologies--Christianity among those.