Of course, the proofs of God’s existence are not the only arguments that upon examination disclose suspicious intricacies. All philosophy is intricate. Behaviorism in psychology, utilitarianism in ethics, the Newtonian law of gravitation, and the Marxian interpretation of history are all defended by elaborate and plausible arguments. When first read, they seem unanswerable. But minds as keen as Hume’s have attacked these positions very effectively. Theism is not the only philosophy that faces difficulties. All arguments seem doubtful. And what is worse, as the student makes his way through the mazes of speculation, he begins to see that even though some sequences of thought are logically valid, they all depend on original assumptions. Just as the theorems of geometry are deduced from the axioms, so the conclusions of behaviorism are deduced from the assumption that mind is a physiological process, utilitarianism from the assumption that pleasure is the good, and gravitation from a theory of space and time. But what about these assumptions or axioms? Can they be proved? It would seem that they cannot, for they are the starting points of an argument, and if the argument starts with them, there is no preceding argumentation. Accordingly, after the humanist or theist has worked out a consistent system by arranging all his propositions as theorems in a series of valid demonstrations, how is either of them to persuade the other to accept his unproved axioms? And the question is all the more perplexing when it is suspected that the axioms were chosen for the express purpose of deducing precisely these conclusions.
Gordon H. Clark (2014-06-05T04:00:00+00:00). A Christian View of Men and Things (Kindle Locations 336-347). The Trinity Foundation. Kindle Edition.
See also: A Christian View of Men and Things.