At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction.Proverbs 1:7
True knowledge has prerequisites, and the foundational prerequisite for that true knowledge is the fear of the Lord. The contrast that is set up here is between the wise man, who begins in the fear of the Lord, and takes the first initial steps toward knowledge, on the one hand, and the fool, on the other, who despises wisdom and instruction.
The fool starts from what he believes is a blank slate. It is not blank, really, but he tries to pretend that it is. He thinks he can begin by assuming nothing, and reason his way to some kind of autonomous knowledge. But this is like stepping into a bucket in order to carry yourself upstairs.
We are finite beings, and this means that—of necessity—we have to assume certain things in order to be instructed, in order to attain to knowledge, in order to gain wisdom. The central thing we have to assume is not a something, but rather a someone. We must begin with the Lord, and we must begin with a certain disposition toward Him—that disposition being one of fear.
In short, we are not supposed to reason our way to God. We reason from God. Without God, we could not think at all. One of the evidences of being unable to think clearly without God is the fact that people assume that they know how to think clearly without God. How much plainer can it get?
We must start with God in order to get to God, and this is not begging the question. A finite creature cannot reason about ultimate things at all without assuming an axiomatic starting point. If a man wants knowledge, it would be good to begin here.