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Thursday, January 5, 2012

episode 13, Anglican Pastor Mike Russell and universal knowledge of God

Download episode 13 of the podcast here!

Today we had guest Pastor Mike Russell of the Anglican Church of Australia, Adelaide diocese. We discussed the doctrine of universal knowledge of God, and talked about what exactly knowledge of God involves (touching on Plantinga's externalism). Check it out in the link above!

You can also check out his blog here:

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  1. Thanks again to Michael and Ben for our good conversation. I've been thinking about some of our discussion since Friday. I didn't have much of an answer on the subject of dreams during the discussion, so I thought I'd add a comment here.

    The question was to the effect of: if we are sometimes fooled into thinking that a dream is the real world, shouldn't we say that we are not 100% sure we're in the real world now? After all, couldn't we be in a dream now?

    We got discussing this in relation to the analogy between belief in other minds and belief in God. My claim is that neither belief in God nor belief in other minds should be argued for, but both can be rightly believed without arguments, with full confidence.

    So what should we say about dreaming as a counter-argument to the claim that we should have 100% confidence that people around us have minds.
    I had a brief look around, and noticed there are sites on how to tell if you're dreaming're-Dreaming

    What I want to say from this is that while we might be briefly fooled in the dream world, (fooled into thinking it is real), we will only be fooled briefly, and not sufficiently that we should have any (lasting) doubt when we are awake that we are in fact awake.

    God has designed us so that if our mind is functioning properly, we can test whether we are awake or asleep, and, though we might be fooled for a moment about whether we are in the dream world, we can't be fooled repeatedly, or over a lengthy period.
    Likewise any doubts we might have briefly about this being the real world can be quickly disposed of, by a brief reflection, perhaps using some of the tips in the site mentioned above.


  2. Michael,

    One of the interesting things about dreams is that that events that wouldn't make sense in our waking lives DO make sense while we are dreaming. While I SHOULD think it odd that I'm flying or that I have to go back to high school at this point in life, In a dream, those things don't necessarily strike me as odd. Isn't that your experience? Are all of your dreams lucid? Dreaming aside, you could have a stroke or a seizure at any moment which might distort your perception of reality.