Yesterday my son asked if dinosaurs lived a long time before people.
I explained that, while one of his books about dinosaurs does say that, the book was written by people, and people are sometimes wrong. The Bible was written by God, and God says the animals and people were created on the 6th day.
My son wasn’t sure what he believed for awhile. Then he thought about it more. He realized that God doesn’t tell lies. Now he believes God is telling the truth and other people are wrong.
When I recounted this story, a friend poked some fun at me:
So you “presupped” him?
Here is my reply:
Excellent question. Your comment illustrates a key misunderstanding. My son (4 years old) believes the Bible because he considers me to be the most credible source in the world, based on his unique observations of me.
This is wholly reasonable for him to do, given what he currently knows. He is judging me to be a qualified expert, the way you would judge a doctor with a longstanding practice to be a qualified expert.
This is not a fallacious appeal to authority. If what I said made no sense, my son would feel justified in doubting or questioning. But as long as what I say makes sense, he is willing to trust me on the basis of the knowledge about me that he has gathered by induction.
My son is a functioning Classicalist.
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