How do you know you’re not wrong?

Ever have those types of conversations at coffee shops or via social media?

When dialoguing about worldviews (especially in today’s relativistic, “hey, whatever works for you” culture), some deep and reasonable thinking is required.

Philosophy is hard.  It takes serious mental discipline. (My ‘Philosophy of Religion’ class, studying the works of Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, and other philosophers of history, at times, turned my brain into a pretzel. But, it forced me to learn how to think critically. This is quit helpful in a culture that elevates relativism over reason.)

Philosopher and author, Paul Copan, wrote a book he titled “How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong?”  The introduction is thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating.


“An electrician was doing some wiring in our home. When he found out that I teach philosophy, he asked, “So who’s your favorite philosopher?” I told him, “Jesus Christ.” He was taken aback. “That just blows my mind! I’ve never thought of Jesus as a philosopher.” Well, a lot of people don’t think of Jesus as a philosopher, which is a tragedy.”

“Philosophers have gotten a bad name as those who think about and discuss obscure and irrelevant topics. The satirist H. L. Mencken said, ‘Philosophy consists largely of one philosopher arguing that all the others are stubborn jerks. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.”

“However, when done rightly, philosophy can be an immensely useful tool, and being a philosopher doesn’t have to mean being a stubborn jerk! Philosophy is ‘the love of wisdom,’ and it involves hard thinking about things.”

“In his brief, readable book ‘On Jesus’ (in the Wadsworth Philosophers Series), Douglas Groothuis presents Jesus of Nazareth as a rigorous philosopher. He defines a ‘philosopher’ as one having a ‘strong inclination to pursue truth about philosophical matters.’ These philosophical matters include ‘life’s meaning, purpose, and value as they relate to all the major divisions of philosophy’—especially the areas of knowledge (epistemology), ultimate reality (metaphysics), and ethics.”

“A philosopher’s task is accomplished ‘through the rigorous use of human reasoning and . . . with some intellectual facility.”

Copan concludes,

“Of course, Jesus was more than a philosopher, but certainly not less.”

Thinking deeply together, nick