The Pretended Neutrality Fallacy

“When a person first comes to understand that we are dealing with competing worldviews, he or she is often tempted to think that the debate can be settled by “meeting on neutral ground.” That is, perhaps there is a position in between the evolution and creation worldview, – an “intermediate” worldview with things upon which both creationists and evolutionists can agree. Once we agree on the “rules of interpretation,” we should  then come to agreement on which worldview is better supported by the evidence. On the surface, this certainly seems reasonable.

But upon closer examination, we will find that such an approach cannot possibly work. It is logically flawed, and is unbiblical as well. It is impossible to be neutral with respect to worldviews, and to pretend to be so is fallacious. So we shall call such an attempt the “pretended neutrality fallacy.” Everyone must have an unquestionable ultimate standard that forms the basis of his or her worldview…

First, it is logically flawed. The creationist and evolutionist both have positive worldviews. Each person believes that his or her worldview provides the correct way to interpret evidence. A third (hypothetical) “neutral” worldview will necessarily provide a different interpretation of some evidence than both the creation and evolution worldview would (otherwise, it would not be distinguishable from one of those worldviews).

If the “neutral” interpretation of some data is incorrect, then why should we trust it to reliably point to either creation or evolution? (Why would we trust a faulty worldview to point to a correct worldview?) Alternatively, if the “neutral” interpretation is correct, then obviously the creation and evolution interpretations are both wrong- in which case neither is the correct worldview. Everyone must have an ultimate standard by which evidence is evaluated. That ultimate standard cannot itself be judged by a lesser “neutral” standard, otherwise it would not be the ultimate standard! Clearly, a “neutral” position is logically flawed.

Second, a neutral approach is incompatible with the Bible. Jesus indicates that there is no neutral when it comes to an ultimate commitment. In Matthew 12:30 He says, “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (NASB). Many other verses could be listed (Rom. 8:7; James 4:4; etc.). At first it may seem that this reason only applies for the Christian, since only the Christian regards the Bible as infallible source of truth. But the nature of the claim forces the unbeliever to be non-neutral as well. Since the Bible indicates that there is no neutral ground, anyone who says that there is neutral ground is necessarily saying that the Bible is wrong. But anyone who says that the Bible is wrong is not being neutral since he has taken the position that the Bible is wrong. It is therefore impossible to be neutral with regard to biblical authority!”

(Lisle, Ultimate Proof of Creation, 36-37)

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