ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
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31-10-2014, 08:56 AM
ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
I've recently come across this video proposing, as the title says, a rebuttal to presup apologetics :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG63IEfAz2Y

Very short summary: to counter the claim of a possible absolute knowledge provided by divine revelation, affirm the possibility that reality is a computer simulation and that the computer is feeding the apologist with incorrect data that leads him to beleive that he *knows*.

I guess that this argument is OK in front of an audience of normally resonable persons, but then, do they have to be convinced anyway ? I can also imagine that people who already have a germ of doubt could be led to doubt more. But I cannot imagine a *convinced* presuppositionalist to fall for that, for two main reasons :
  1. A computer simulation could well be the modality of creation of this universe : a supernatural being with a supernatural computer creating a natural universe over which he has all power.
  2. It is an *argument*. It uses *reason*, the same reason that apologist denies to his opponent, and to himself if it wasn't for the divine revelation.

Basically, the presuppositional position is nothing more than uttering "Whatever!" again and again.

Then how to counter it ?

I'd like to propose a few strategies, none of which use a correctly formulated argument per se. They have in common that they assume the presupposition and let it develop itself to a practical impossibility or uselessness.
  1. You talkin' to me ?
    - When we debate one with another, do we use our reason to make sense of, and assess, eachother's statement ?
    Option 1
    - We sure do!
    - Then if my reason is flawed, how can I be sure that what I understand you are saying is actually what you are saying?
    Option 2
    - No (+ explanation).
    - You just made a statement about reality that I can not assess due to my reasoning being flawed.
    Conclusion
    Why did you want to debate anyway?
  2. Play stupid. Since presuppositions are legit in the apologist's logic, let's accept it and state our own "presupposition" : *nothing* can be known for sure. This should lead to quite an "interesting" debate :
    - I know that god exists.
    - No you don't.
    - Yes I do.
    - No you don't.
    - How do you know?
    - It's my presupposition.
    - How do you know your presupposition is true?
    - I don't. My presupposition precisely states that nothing can be known for sure.
    - It's illogical.
    - No it's not.
    - Yes it is.
    ....
    Hours of fruitful debate to follow.


You may say that these are childish scenarios, and I would agree. Nonetheless, if I accept to debate, I have to find a common ground with my opponent, a common language, a common logic. If my opponent sticks to his presupposition, I go with it. The presuppositionalist claim *is* childish, hence is the debate.

Actually I have other weird ideas, but I'm interested in what you guys think of all this.

If any presup apologist is around, I'd be quite interested in his/her opinion too.
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31-10-2014, 09:39 AM
RE: ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
I actually like these and would love to hear more. Most of my 'debates' are on youtube, and this is pretty much the intellectual high ground over there. Tongue
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31-10-2014, 12:52 PM
RE: ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
(31-10-2014 09:39 AM)OddGamer Wrote:  I actually like these and would love to hear more. Most of my 'debates' are on youtube, and this is pretty much the intellectual high ground over there. Tongue

Thanks OddGamer for the nice comment. I haven't debated a christian for at least 12 years and that was a JW (probably tougher than any presuppositional apologist).

I'm not fundamentaly interested in logical arguments in general, but these apologists really get me angry, mainly because of that paradox that I raise in the first scenario, that in order to have a debate, even an informal discussion, you defenitely have to use reason. The simple action of phrasing an idea is already an act of reason. Hence dismissing reason is dismissing the debate.

I had thought about a third scenario, but it demands a very condescending attitude. It could be called How comme you're still alive. It goes along these lines:
- How come you havn't yet died in a plane crash given that planes were conceived by engineers and scientists using their flawed reason.
Or
- How come you still have a website given that computer science is a highly abstract science demanding lots of unreliable reasoning...
Curios to see what answers you would get with this.

Anyway, OddGamer, are your debates still visible on youtube ?
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31-10-2014, 01:48 PM
RE: ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
Quote:Since presuppositions are legit in the apologist's logic, let's accept it and state our own "presupposition" : *nothing* can be known for sure.

Are you quite sure of your presupposition here?

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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31-10-2014, 02:14 PM
RE: ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
(31-10-2014 01:48 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  Are you quite sure of your presupposition here?

Depends on what side you stand Wink
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31-10-2014, 02:48 PM (This post was last modified: 31-10-2014 02:52 PM by TreeSapNest.)
RE: ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
I'd counter that my reasoning is tested constantly. Why just the other day I reasoned that since I had just turned off the stove it would still be hot. Sure enough, it was still hot when I put my hand close to it.

Sometimes it's the simpliest of examples that highlights the stupidity of an argument. It's the presup's first premise you must counter: "You don't have any reason to trust your reasoning." Well ya I do. Not only do I, it's so easy to show that even a fourth grader can understand it.
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31-10-2014, 02:54 PM
RE: ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
Yeah, it's really just a childish debating tactic, but it's what theists are reduced to when they have no evidence. Here's a graphic I made that shows what we should expect in the real world if any of their assertions were true:

[Image: presup_zpsc113b63d.jpg]

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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31-10-2014, 03:45 PM
RE: ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
(31-10-2014 02:48 PM)TreeSapNest Wrote:  I'd counter that my reasoning is tested constantly. Why just the other day I reasoned that since I had just turned off the stove it would still be hot. Sure enough, it was still hot when I put my hand close to it.

Sometimes it's the simpliest of examples that highlights the stupidity of an argument. It's the presup's first premise you must counter: "You don't have any reason to trust your reasoning." Well ya I do. Not only do I, it's so easy to show that even a fourth grader can understand it.

I'd say it depends on your objective: showing the audience the utter stupidity of the presupposition or entering into dialogue with the presup. In general, I'm more into the second option. Finding a common ground, a common understanding. Precisely what a non shared presupposition cannot allow.

To some extent I understand the presup's, though not from an epistemologic point of view : it must be great just to say "I know because I know that I know what I know". Mwahahah!

Or to say it *again*:
Quote:Early Freudianism saw a feeling of omnipotence as intrinsic to early childhood. 'As Freud and Ferenczi have shown, the child lives in a sort of megalomania for a long period...the "fiction of omnipotence"'.[8] At birth. 'the baby is everything as far as he knows - "all powerful"...every step he takes towards establishing his own limits and boundaries will be painful because he'll have to lose this original God-like feeling of omnipotence'.[9]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnipotence#In_psychology

TheInquisition : I like your drawing, it stresses the hierarchical difference. Though I would represent logic/knowledge as a loop from the brain to itself.
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31-10-2014, 04:10 PM
RE: ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
(31-10-2014 12:52 PM)corfou73 Wrote:  I had thought about a third scenario, but it demands a very condescending attitude. It could be called How comme you're still alive. It goes along these lines:
- How come you havn't yet died in a plane crash given that planes were conceived by engineers and scientists using their flawed reason.
Or
- How come you still have a website given that computer science is a highly abstract science demanding lots of unreliable reasoning...
Curios to see what answers you would get with this.

They don't say that other people can't use reason or logic, but that only the Christian worldview can account for them. They see all other worldviews as ultimately struggling fruitlessly to justify themselves, but they are able to figure things out, do science, etc, so long as they "borrow from the Christian worldview."

I'm just thinking out loud.
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31-10-2014, 05:08 PM
RE: ACE's Rebuttal to Presuppositional Apologetics
(31-10-2014 04:10 PM)KnowtheSilence Wrote:  They don't say that other people can't use reason or logic, but that only the Christian worldview can account for them. They see all other worldviews as ultimately struggling fruitlessly to justify themselves, but they are able to figure things out, do science, etc, so long as they "borrow from the Christian worldview."

That's not what I understand.

Quote from Wikipedia:
Quote:Presuppositionalism is a school of Christian apologetics that believes the Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought. It presupposes that the Bible is divine revelation and attempts to expose flaws in other worldviews. It claims that apart from presuppositions, one could not make sense of any human experience, and there can be no set of neutral assumptions from which to reason with a non-Christian.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presupposit...pologetics

I have difficulties seeing how this could leed to the acceptance of *any* scientific claim.
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