Every now and then I tip my hat in the direction of Cornelius Van Til – But he was wrong in a few ways, and I’d hate for anyone to think that I’m one of those dyed-in-the-wool Van Til fans who think he could do no wrong. He did much wrong (and much good), philosophically speaking. So here’s one way in which he was wrong: Van Til’s position committed to epistemic internalism, which is an indefensible view of epistemology.
Anyone familiar with Van Til’s apologetic, whether expressed by Van Til or his followers, like Greg L. Bahnsen, will recognise the Van Tillian quality of the argument:
- Laws of logic, science and morality require the existence of God.
- So called Atheists employ laws of logic, science and morality.
- So-called atheists show that they really do know that God exists (purportedly from 1. and 2.).
Just now I’m not denying either premise, and I’m not denying the conclusion either. But the above argument is formally invalid, and it might only appear valid if one assumes epistemic internalism.