Does One Have to Know Everything in Order to Know Anything?

Howard Denham

A common fallacy in thinking today is the belief that in order for one to be certain of anything at all then he or she must know everything, especially about the subject being contemplated or discussed. This epistemic agnosticism has become ingrained in the thinking of many people due to the increase in skepticism in our culture. The idea of being certain about anything is simply unthinkable to many today. Unless one is utterly infallible, this skeptical view of knowledge goes, then it is impossible to know anything with certainty.

 
The theory, however, is self-contradictory, because those who appeal to it are implicitly claiming to know that one cannot know anything. They are claiming to be certain that there is no such thing as really being certain about anything. It is then a self-defeating view.
Christianity is based on facts – (1) the fact of God’s existence, (2) the fact of that the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, and (3) the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. These are the three most important propositions and profound thoughts that human beings can ever contemplate, because everything else of any importance relates to and depends upon these three basic truths.
 
Jesus Himself affirmed that, “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Paul could say of Christ, because of the certainty of the Christian faith, “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). It is possible for us to really know God and even know that we know Him (cf. 1 John 2:3-4). We can truly know the truth and know the One who gave it! He is the Answer to all doubt and despair (Philippians 4:13).

 

 

 

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