One of the atheist commenters there directed me to a link on empiric epistemology. This is quite a long read, but worth analysis.
To jump ahead a little:
"We must put epistemology first and get it right, and make no bones about it."Amen. Now, to the beginning!
The introduction talks about the differences between our understanding and reality. How our mental models might be wrong, and that can lead to disaster for us. I would agree, and include theology as the most important mental model.
"that unregulated mortgage-based securities could coexist with a stable financial system, that they represented real wealth, but in reality they didn’t."This reveals a real problem for the rationalist - why are so many people irrational? And given that we agree that many people are irrational (while believing themselves to be rational), how can you claim to be rational? If these others have blind spots, how can you know of your own log in the eye?
As a Christian, I really have no problem. Sin is irrational.
Then we come to the main argument:
"The only reliable basis for knowledge, the only route from subjectivity to objectivity, is to relentlessly subject a belief to doubt, then to allay the doubt (or confirm it) by gathering evidence that’s independent of one’s commitment to the belief."I would agree, that apart from God, this is the only way for us to know anything. Of course, it is primarily an inverse way of knowing - we can never be sure of anything. This is the heart of postmodernism, which has overthrown modernism.
I'm running long here, so I will pick this up tomorrow...
Let me give a peek at the end:
"This certainly seems a recipe for nihilism, so those wanting to press the epistemological question in service to empiricism should have a response to such fears. This involves providing reassurance about the existential, ethical and practical viability of worldview naturalism: that without God, the soul and free will we’re still moral agents bound by ethical norms, fully capable of leading meaningful lives and fully engaged with our human communities and concerns"That is an odd conclusion. What is morality without God?
Further, it is a failure to apply one's worldview to it's logical end (teleology and eschatology). If everything, everywhere will die - then what we do now is meaningless. Our actions and have no effect on the end state.