Cognitive Dissonance

grass_roots_weekendDr. Alan Carter spoke to us at the grassroots weekend at Matt’s house about his view of Apologetics.  It was great to hear his views and listen to the back and forth that it generated amongst the group.  Alan studied philosophy under Alvin Plantinga at Notre Dame, so we value his opinions on such things immensely.

One point he raised was that, to him, one of the main imports of apologetics and christian philosophy is to encourage “cognitive dissonance.”  Rather than bringing someone to faith through our arguments, many times the effect is simply to create an uncomfortableness in the mind by exposing held beliefs that can’t rationally co-exist with evidences we see around us.

For instance, cosmological arguments may not bring someone to a belief in Jesus as God.  But, it certainly may leave people uncomfortable with atheism.

Greg Koukl might call this “leaving a stone in the shoe.”

Let’s not overlook this important polemical aspect of christian philosophy.  We don’t have to be evidentialists.  We just have to trust that God made the mind of man in a way that abhors incongruity of thought.  Our minds want the world to make sense.

Thanks again to Dr. Cart, and to all the folks that came this past weekend.  It was a great time.

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