Presuppositional Apologetics
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12-08-2013, 08:34 PM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics
(26-07-2012 08:25 PM)BusterFixxitt Wrote:  I just finished listening to the TTA Bruggencate podcast, so naturally, I'm feeling feisty.Wink

I may be wrong, but the point at which the Presup argument fails is 'How do you know your reasoning is valid without an absolute reference?'

Rephrased, is this not saying that relative measurements are useless without an absolute standard? So, without having an absolute measure of height, it is impossible to say that object A is taller than object B? The idea is clearly nonsensical. Is their empirically testable difference in height only possible because god is the tallest? Clearly not, any two things can be compared to each other and will yield testable data. If I've built a straw man here, I apologize and welcome clarification.

If we remove the 'absolute reference' aspect of the question, we're left with "How do you know your reasoning is valid?" That's simple: my reasoning is based on the Law of Identity which briefly states that 'A is A' (which includes the idea that "A is not Other-Than-A"). Here then is the 'absolute reference point' Bruggencate craves, one completely unreliant upon any 'god'.

To persist, Bruggencate would need to say that without god A is not A, or A is Other-Than-A. Note: A is not simply indistinguishable from, but actually IS Other-Than-A in this argument.

Bruggencate loves absolutes. His argument depends on them. However, if we understand 'absolute' to mean 'functionally indistinguishable from 100% (hereafter referred to as 'Absolute')' we allow that while there exists the possibility of Absolute, it is not necessary for it to exist in order for us to have functional absolute certainty.

Mathematically then, 100 and 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999 are different, however the difference is so minute that functionally they are the same. In short, Bruggencate's argument requires an unnecessary level of certainty, and I feel absolutely comfortable dismissing it as meaningless.

Charles
Ps. Sorry for the lengthy rant. I don't get much chance to vent this sort of thing.

Well said. I believe the basic problem with presuppositionalism is that it seeks to that which is disallowed by definition. All epistemology goes back to axioms, which by definition are not things subject to being "accounted for". Presuppositionalists only succeed with those who think that they open the door to God unless they can continually justify their justifications in an infinite regress. When I state that water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, I have sufficiently "accounted" for it even if I don't enter the discussion of where hydrogen comes from.

If my wife wants to know why I was two hours late from work, and I truthfully state that it was heavy traffic on the way home, I have sufficiently "accounted for" my lateness, even if I choose to avoid the deeper discussion of whether I can prove that I exist.
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13-08-2013, 07:38 AM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics
What exactly are "authentically born again Christians"?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-08-2013, 01:09 PM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics
(02-05-2012 02:28 PM)Questioning Wrote:  "The Christian worldview, in the nature of the case, has to be the only worldview that works. If it works, it must be the only one that works. Why? Because it claims to be the only one. That claim is either true, or it's false. If it's true, then there aren't any other ones. If it's false, then Christianity is not a worldview that will work. So, if Christianity is a transcendental...if there is one, and it's Christianity, it must be the only one. Because, internally, it claims to be the only one.

When I first took a look at this thread, the small paragraph above seemed rather circular "If it works, it must be the only one that works because it claims to be the only one that works"

That's just crazy

If this lighter works to light this fire, it must be the only lighter that works to light this fire because I'm claiming it's the only lighter that works.

Presupposing that anything has a certain nature before you investigate that nature is just STUPID.

I presuppose that rocks will make a great fire source.
I presuppose that clouds are made of cotton candy.

I see no benefit from thinking this way, unless your aim is to manipulate someone into only believing what you say and to never question for themselves the truth of what you are saying.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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25-09-2013, 08:58 PM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics
If you happen to encounter this type of apologist it is relatively easy to make his or her head explode using only the bible. As has been pointed out in previous posts' excellent summations, they rely on a god that is honest--in fact they emphatically assert that god cannot lie. When you (finally) get a chance to speak, ask them if it is possible for god to intentionally deceive humans. Of course they will say "no." It's important to get them to state this because they love to equivocate and play word games. Then show them these two bible verses, one from the Old Testament and one from the NT:

2 Chronicles 18:20-22
20 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ And the LORD said unto him, ‘How?’
21 And he said, ‘I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the LORD said, ‘Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail. Go out, and do even so.’
22 Now therefore, behold, [the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.”

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
9 even him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 and with all the deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie,
12 that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

I have done this on several occasions and have found it to be more effective than pointing out logical flaws in their thinking. Firstly, you use their own so-called holy book for your refutation, and secondly, they don't really value or care about logic or understand thinking errors anyway. They are just following a script laid out by some confrontational idiot like Sye Ten (sic, Satan?) or Eric Potatohead.
Also, always bear in mind that although you may be intellectually honest, THEY WILL NOT BE. Beware of answering questions like, "Could you be wrong about everything you know?' with a "yes" even thought it is philosophically possible. They will use this later in the conversation any time you bring up a valid point, ie. "You've already admitted that you don't know anything." This is incredibly disingenuous to say the least. Most of them are not trying to convert you, only "win" a debate (and if it's on film, it'll end up on some crackpot show like Creation Today). Isn't it ironic that they are supposedly proselytizing. They make people more furious than curious.
Anyway, this is my first post here on TAA. Thanks for listening and I hope this helps someone sometime!
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25-09-2013, 09:21 PM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics



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25-09-2013, 09:31 PM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics
(25-09-2013 09:21 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  


Yeah, I liked this when I watched it on YT. Have you seen the follow up where he and Sye are sitting on the couch?
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25-09-2013, 09:39 PM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics
(25-09-2013 09:31 PM)Chopdoc Wrote:  
(25-09-2013 09:21 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  


Yeah, I liked this when I watched it on YT. Have you seen the follow up where he and Sye are sitting on the couch?


I have trouble sitting through anything Sye related. When he starts to talk I get this urge to grab the nearest pencil shaped object and shove it in my ears, so that the pain can distract me from the bullshit...

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25-09-2013, 10:02 PM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics
(25-09-2013 09:39 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(25-09-2013 09:31 PM)Chopdoc Wrote:  Yeah, I liked this when I watched it on YT. Have you seen the follow up where he and Sye are sitting on the couch?


I have trouble sitting through anything Sye related. When he starts to talk I get this urge to grab the nearest pencil shaped object and shove it in my ears, so that the pain can distract me from the bullshit...
Ha! I know exactly what you mean. "How do you know that for certain?" I know I certainly despise thugs like you Sye..
It's irritating that in our western culture sociopaths like that can cloak themselves in self-righteousness and we have to deal with them. Disrupting secular gatherings, picketing women's health clinics, infiltrating public offices and school boards, etc.
It's evident to me that TAGsters like the Sye & Eric show are not trying to convert. They are unabashedly cheerleading for the benefit of the gullible and generating revenue by propagating ignorance and superstition.
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25-09-2013, 11:25 PM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics
(25-09-2013 10:02 PM)Chopdoc Wrote:  
(25-09-2013 09:39 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  I have trouble sitting through anything Sye related. When he starts to talk I get this urge to grab the nearest pencil shaped object and shove it in my ears, so that the pain can distract me from the bullshit...
Ha! I know exactly what you mean. "How do you know that for certain?" I know I certainly despise thugs like you Sye..
It's irritating that in our western culture sociopaths like that can cloak themselves in self-righteousness and we have to deal with them. Disrupting secular gatherings, picketing women's health clinics, infiltrating public offices and school boards, etc.
It's evident to me that TAGsters like the Sye & Eric show are not trying to convert. They are unabashedly cheerleading for the benefit of the gullible and generating revenue by propagating ignorance and superstition.




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26-09-2013, 04:34 AM
RE: Presuppositional Apologetics
(02-05-2012 02:28 PM)Questioning Wrote:  I'm not sure how many of you listened to the mini-episode a few weeks ago called "Proof That God Exists", but it's worth looking into this argument. When I listened to the recorded podcast, I was getting quite angry listening to Sye, as he's rekindling the TAG form of argumentation. (TAG = Transcendental Argument for the existence of God). This method was developed by Cornelius Van Til, and his "bulldog" of promulgation was Greg Bahnsen. The reason I've been familiar with this method is because I used to listen to Bahnsen's lecture mp3s all the time when I was a believer.

While Seth and dprjones correctly referred to the argument as a "parlor trick", which it is, the TAG supporters will always claim victory if they're not properly called out. You'll first notice that they conveniently distance themselves from the Evidentialist form of argumentation, which immediately gives them a "get out of jail, free" card since they can remain strictly in the philosophical arena; that's the first red flag. The second, of course, is the fact that they presuppose the Bible to be true, and that God exists. In a nutshell, their epistemological argument says that you can't make sense of anything in the world without presupposing the Christian god. Their inductive questions are these: On what basis can you expect the future to be like the past, and what provides the preconditions of the intelligibility of experience?

If I remember correctly, in his "Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism", AronRa has a clip of Kent Hovind answering a question about his proof of god's existence by saying, "...from the impossibility of the contrary." This was one of Bahnsen's favorite lines, and it's sickening to see others ripping it off. Sye throws in Bahnsen-talk during this podcast discussion, as well. One of the ironies of the philosophy Bahnsen was peddling is that he was entering the arena-of-debate in an utterly biased manner while simultaneously accusing others of non-neutrality. Yes, he admits as much, but accusing others of automatically being non-neutral isn't reasonable just because they don't want the Christian framework presupposed.

Bahnsen was a philosopher/debater in the Calvinist camp who lectured against Evolution, and he thought that creation occurred in seven 24-hour days. He died in 1994, but there's a website that carries all of his debates/lectures in MP3 format, and I still have a collection of them. One of them is a lecture he gave to attempt to refute the refutations of the TAG argument. Several of the refutations are aimed directly at specific philosophers, but, in my opinion, only one of the refutations he brings up is needed, and his answer is, as you'll see, inadequate.

The hypothetical question/refutation Bahnsen brings up is the following: "How do you know there isn't another possible worldview out there that would work?"

Here is his two-fold answer:

1) In the nature of the case, there can only be one transcendental. (ultimate authority)

2) I'm going to directly quote Greg's entire answer (verbatim) for this part, so excuse the grammar of spoken-word:


"The Christian worldview, in the nature of the case, has to be the only worldview that works. If it works, it must be the only one that works. Why? Because it claims to be the only one. That claim is either true, or it's false. If it's true, then there aren't any other ones. If it's false, then Christianity is not a worldview that will work. So, if Christianity is a transcendental...if there is one, and it's Christianity, it must be the only one. Because, internally, it claims to be the only one. Sometimes, you'll feel like, "I've got a good grasp on that", and, other times, that'll seem real slippery....say, "The fact that it says it's the only one...why does that establish it?" Because, you're granting that it really is a transcendental of meaningfulness. If it really is, you're granting that it's a true worldview. But, if you grant that it's a true worldview, then its claims must be...true. And one of its claims is: this is the only one. If that claim is wrong, then the worldview is not, as a whole, true, in which case it can't be a worldview that's a transcendental for meaningfulness. The argument assumes there can be two true worldviews...ultimately. But, on this assumption, Christianity couldn't be true because Christianity says there's only one (transcendental). So, that's what I'm calling "internal" demonstration that Christianity has to be the only one."

At this point in the lecture, a participant in the audience basically asks Greg how he would answer a person asking how Greg knows that the transcendental/worldview Greg uses is the only valid one, and what that's based upon. Greg answers:

"When you raise this question, where are you standing when you raise this question? If you're standing in the absurd worldview (atheism is implicit, here), I can ignore you. If you're standing in my worldview, then my answer is the Bible says it's the only one."

With due respect to the obvious debating ability that Greg had when he was alive (he was at least as good as WLC), I can simply no longer feel anything but indignation when I hear this nonsense. If you've watched Seth's video ad for the Oklahoma Freethought meeting in June, you'll see that Eddie Tabash will be speaking. Bahnsen debated Eddie back in '93, and the audio is up on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C8xZSyvaZA

I used to dislike Tabash when I was a Bahnsen fan, but I now realize that Eddie's form of argumentation is all that's needed. Eddie basically gets down to good, old-fashioned "proof", and there's a point in the debate that's crucial to Greg's argument. (and every other Christian apologist). At 1:35:39 of the video, Tabash's rebuttal of Bahnsen's self-authentication claim really does, in my opinion, render all of Greg's previous argumentation practically irrelevant. If you've watched any of William Lane Craig's debates, you'll notice a consistent tactic. Both Greg and William, whenever the Bible is brought up, will neatly sidestep Biblical legitimacy/inerrancy since the "topic of the debate" doesn't include any reference to the book. As Eddie says, Christianity stands or falls on that book, and there's simply no justified reason that it should ever be precluded from scrutiny.

Frankly, that's the reason that I now despise formal debates about the existence of god. While I'm thankful that they're available and that they ended up opening my eyes, the religious person always goes into the debate with the presumption that their holy book is true. Non-belief has no book, so it will almost always come across as a less-legitimate perspective.

Here's a quick interjection as to the only reason why I think seasoned Christian apologists are/will ever be necessary: They keep non-believing people/philosophers/scientists sharp and honest, and they force us to examine why we believe what we believe. That's a very good thing. We're still in an age where the proponents of superstition have absolutely nothing outside of the philosophical realm to defend their faith, so we need to be prepared to defend our stance in the same manner.

Bahnsen's most famous debate is the one he had in the mid-80's with Gordon Stein. As you'll hear, Stein wasn't prepared for the TAG argument, though he still comes across as a really smart guy and is quick on his feet. Now that I have a different perspective, I realize how bad Bahnsen can be during the Q&A period. Listen to his answer about the Problem of Evil, and then listen to Stein's completely apt response about "non-answers". One of the things that started bothering me about these apologists is the fact that their credibility instantly fades once they start talking about scripture and their religion. Here's the Bahnsen/Stein link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3T1vY0uB9Y

The other debate that's posted on youtube is the radio exchange between he and George H. Smith. George wrote "Atheism: The Case Against God". If you're at all interested in Presuppositional argumentation and where they're coming from, this is probably the best audio to start with. In my opinion, Greg's argument falls apart during this exchange when George brings up Aristotle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2hB3kjkWLM

There's so much more that I'd like to say, but it looks like I've already rambled on for a bit too long. I'm sorry for the levity, but I really do feel that it's important for you all to know the basis behind this form of argumentation that appears to be making a comeback.

All the Best,
Q

P.S. - If any Bahnsen supporters ever lurk on this forum, the mp3 I used for the quotation is titled, "Van Til's Critics: Hoover, Dooyeweerd, Frame - 16 of 16".

I appreciate your post, but the YT links must be old. YT says they're not available. Any other source for them?
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