Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
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09-01-2015, 06:16 AM
Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around

January 9, 2015 by Neil Carter 0 Comments

[Today's guest post is written by Brian (aka "The Apostate") who blogs over at A Pasta Sea.]

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was a Presuppositionalist. I’ve discussed this briefly before, but having grown weary and suspect of the weaknesses of apologetic methods like Thomistic arguments and evidentialism, I turned to the seemingly-unassailable circularity offered by this “epistemology.” I just used scare quotes there because Presuppositionalism probably isn’t as much of an epistemology as it is an apologetic method (if it’s even that). The basic claim of Presuppositionalism is that the Christian understanding of reality is the only internally consistent worldview and that the propositions contained in the Protestant Bible, and implicitly theWestminsterian interpretation of those propositions, are to be taken axiomatically. All other worldviews will fail the internal scrutiny of a reductio ad absurdum.

There’s a lot to unpack about this apologetic method and much could be said in critique of it. Maybe one day I’ll attempt my own full blown write-up. For now I want to focus on one particularly annoying aspect of it. Because in this view the propositions contained within the Reformed interpretation of the Protestant Bible are presupposed to be true, the claim is frequently made that there are no such things as atheists. Indeed everyone believes the proposition that the monotheistic god of the Protestant Bible exists. How do they know this? Well, the Bible tells them so, of course. Romans1:18-32 in particular can be appealed to in order to demonstrate this truth. Since it is a proposition contained in the revealed word of an omniscient being, it must be absolutely true. There are no true atheists or even pantheists. God said so. The people claiming to be atheists only pretend to not believe in the existence of Yahweh by “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness” and deceiving themselves into thinking that they don’t believe.

Full article: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around

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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09-01-2015, 10:40 AM
RE: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
The crazy things that you can come up with when dealing with Christians in MississippiTongue

It sure could sum up the truth that they don't really believe, just reminds me of the goofy darkmatter youtube videos that are great about if Christians acted as if they believed in Heaven

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09-01-2015, 01:34 PM
RE: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
(09-01-2015 10:40 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  The crazy things that you can come up with when dealing with Christians in MississippiTongue

It sure could sum up the truth that they don't really believe, just reminds me of the goofy darkmatter youtube videos that are great about if Christians acted as if they believed in Heaven

And yet, you do not even try to refute it... You just ad homenim it. You're playing right into our hands. Evil_monster

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09-01-2015, 01:43 PM
RE: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
"... Turning a bad argument around." ... and around and around and around ... etc.,. Wink

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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09-01-2015, 01:53 PM
RE: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
(09-01-2015 01:34 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  
(09-01-2015 10:40 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  The crazy things that you can come up with when dealing with Christians in MississippiTongue

It sure could sum up the truth that they don't really believe, just reminds me of the goofy darkmatter youtube videos that are great about if Christians acted as if they believed in Heaven

And yet, you do not even try to refute it... You just ad homenim it. You're playing right into our hands. Evil_monster

No need to refute, we know you don't really believe in god.

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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09-01-2015, 02:00 PM
RE: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
(09-01-2015 01:53 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(09-01-2015 01:34 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  And yet, you do not even try to refute it... You just ad homenim it. You're playing right into our hands. Evil_monster

No need to refute, we know you don't really believe in god.

Correct. I don't believe that God exists. I know that God exists. Believing in God does not require faith as atheism does.

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09-01-2015, 02:04 PM
RE: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
(09-01-2015 02:00 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  
(09-01-2015 01:53 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  No need to refute, we know you don't really believe in god.

Correct. I don't believe that God exists. I know that God exists. Believing in God does not require faith as atheism does.

Your lack of evidence is impressive, it is indeed hard not to know of god's existence when all us atheists have is evidence.

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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09-01-2015, 02:18 PM (This post was last modified: 09-01-2015 03:17 PM by gofish!.)
RE: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
(09-01-2015 06:16 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around

January 9, 2015 by Neil Carter 0 Comments

[Today's guest post is written by Brian (aka "The Apostate") who blogs over at A Pasta Sea.]

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I was a Presuppositionalist. I’ve discussed this briefly before, but having grown weary and suspect of the weaknesses of apologetic methods like Thomistic arguments and evidentialism, I turned to the seemingly-unassailable circularity offered by this “epistemology.” I just used scare quotes there because Presuppositionalism probably isn’t as much of an epistemology as it is an apologetic method (if it’s even that). The basic claim of Presuppositionalism is that the Christian understanding of reality is the only internally consistent worldview and that the propositions contained in the Protestant Bible, and implicitly theWestminsterian interpretation of those propositions, are to be taken axiomatically. All other worldviews will fail the internal scrutiny of a reductio ad absurdum.

There’s a lot to unpack about this apologetic method and much could be said in critique of it. Maybe one day I’ll attempt my own full blown write-up. For now I want to focus on one particularly annoying aspect of it. Because in this view the propositions contained within the Reformed interpretation of the Protestant Bible are presupposed to be true, the claim is frequently made that there are no such things as atheists. Indeed everyone believes the proposition that the monotheistic god of the Protestant Bible exists. How do they know this? Well, the Bible tells them so, of course. Romans1:18-32 in particular can be appealed to in order to demonstrate this truth. Since it is a proposition contained in the revealed word of an omniscient being, it must be absolutely true. There are no true atheists or even pantheists. God said so. The people claiming to be atheists only pretend to not believe in the existence of Yahweh by “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness” and deceiving themselves into thinking that they don’t believe.

Full article: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around

You can refute it easily, but you have to use a little science and a little common sense.

This argument seems awfully like the (failed) arguments for psychological egoism (which I explain here), which argues that people are essentially always self-motivated. The problem is that it is a "closed hypothesis" as it inherently impossible to prove.

An individual’s own motivations are ultimately unobservable, as they are inherently private. Attempts to pry into this privacy are fraught with challenges (e.g. whether the subject is sufficiently self-aware to opine objectively on his or her own overt or hidden motivations, or even whether an individual will want to mislead the investigator). At best it is an untestable assumption, as verifiable as an equally valid and plausible but opposite hypotehsis; that all humans are atheists.

One might indeed suggest that latter hypothesis is arguably more likely at the point of birth.

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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09-01-2015, 03:13 PM
RE: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
Presuppostionalism assumes its claim source (bible or koran) is true based on the source of the claim (bible or koran) and that any refutations of this are untrue based on its claim source (bible or koran). It isn't just circular, it's practically a sphere of illogical thought.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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09-01-2015, 03:17 PM
RE: Presuppositional Atheism: Turning a Bad Argument Around
(09-01-2015 03:13 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Presuppostionalism assumes its claim source (bible or koran) is true based on the source of the claim (bible or koran) and that any refutations of this are untrue based on its claim source (bible or koran). It isn't just circular, it's practically a sphere of illogical thought.

Atheism is worse. Atheism is a contradiction.

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