"I Can Only Believe in What I See"
"I only believe what I see" is a contradictory statement. A self-contradictory statement both affirms and denies its own basic meaning. [J.P.] Moreland points out that "the proposition 'I can believe in only what I can see' cannot itself be seen. The underlying metaphysical and epistemological principle of "what is real is visible," is not visible! The statement, "I only believe what I see," expresses a conceptual principle distinct from the literal written sentence and is therefore neither visible to the eye nor detectable by the rest of the senses. Thus, to accept the statement, "I only believe what I see" demands acceptance of a principle that cannot be seen. Put another way, if a person actually believed the declaration, "I only believe what I see," then he or she would not believe the statement itself, because the belief cannot be seen. The statement "I only believe what I see," reduces to absurdity."
[Atheists] committed to naturalism (that nature is the ultimate reality) often say, or imply, "I only believe in what can be observed empirically, or what can be inferred from what is empirically observed. This statement is also self-contradictory. Christian philosopher Greg L. Bahnsen [said]: "I only believe in what can be observed empirically, or what can be inferred from what is empirically observed' cannot itself be observed from empirical observation" The view that nature alone exists is not and cannot be derived from scientific inquiry. Rather, it is an empirical presumption or dogma of secularism that too often interferes with scientific inquiry."
- Kenneth R. Samples(Without a Doubt: Answering the 20 Toughest Faith Questions, p. 35-37 ).
Frankly, (like the above example) you would be amazed at how often you can catch people being inconsistent wherein an assertion actually cancels itself out. For example...
I recently read a long essay giving reason after reason in bullet points as to why we should never use confessions and creeds, thus he produced a creed that was against all creeds. He was constructing a document which argued a theology against all theology. Likewise those who say "no creed but Christ" have a problem since this itself is a dogmatic assertion, not to mention that as soon as they begin telling us who Christ is, they are, of necessity, forced to develop a creed.
Then the other day someone wrote me a long theological email "treatise" on why we should never use theological words such as "monergism" and "synergism" because it was done out of pride, but rather we should only use the words of the Bible whenever presenting Biblical truth. Interestingly, his theological argument against extra-biblical terms itself used many words and phrases not found in the Bible. And I suppose that he would be forced, by his own standard, to deny the Trinity.
The same kind of error is found in many postmodern Emerging churches: One of the leading dogmas of this movement is to deny all certainty ... so what you end up having is a declaration of certainty about uncertainty, a metanarrative which critiques and denies all metanarritives...in other words, a dogma (from what authority I don't know) that there should be no dogmas.
It astounds me that people cannot see the irony of all this. "I can only believe in what I see"