Presuppositionalism: Arguments 4, Supports 0


In this brief post, I will address four arguments made by presuppositionalists. I will contend, that all four are left unsupported by the proponents of this argument.

Argument One

Greg Bahnsen writes, "In various forms, the fundamental argument advanced by the Christian apologist is that the Christian worldview is true because of the impossibility of the contrary."

Bahnsen believes there are only two worldviews, the Christian worldview and the non-Christian worldview. He believes that the Christian worldview can be proven true because all other worldviews are contradictory and cannot make sense of logic, science, or ethics. He writes, "It is the Christian's contention that all non-Christian worldviews are beset with internal contradictions, as well as with beliefs which do not render logic, science or ethics intelligible."

Bahnsen believes that only one of these "two" worldviews (i.e. the Christian worldview or the non-Christian worldview) can be "intellectually justified." He writes, "Whose perspective is intellectually justified, the Christian's or the non-Christian's?" (emphasis added) Going back to his contention that the Christian worldview is correct because of the impossibility of the contrary, we can formalize this argument in a disjunctive syllogism.

Q v P
~P
:.Q

So that, "The Christian worldview is true or the non-Christian worldview is true. The non-Christian worldview is not true, therefore the Christian worldview is true."

Given the premises, the argument is valid. It is up to the person making the "contention," however, to support the premises.

First, then, one must support the claim that the first premise is correct. It must be shown that only one worldview can be true and the other false.

This premise could be easily established if the Christian worldview merely stated that all other worldviews are false. If this was the Christian worldview, then if another worldview could be true alongside of the Christian worldview, the Christian worldview would then be false and the first premise would hold.

So, easy enough, right? Just show that the Christian worldview states that it and only it is the true worldview.

But how is this proven? By reference to the Christian Bible? Well, that assumes (1) that the Christian Bible is a unified body of literature that says only one thing about this subject, and (2) that the Christian worldview is beholden to the Bible in the first place for definition of its worldview.

The first assumption may be easily proven. I can't think of any support off hand for the idea that the Christian Bible is anything but hostile to other worldviews (except, perhaps, Jesus' statement in Luke 9:50 ". . .for whoever is not against you is for you." but this is questionable, at best).

The second assumption, however, is not so easily demonstrated. How can it be proven that the Christian worldview is beholden to the Bible for its definition of its worldview. Many people who claim to be Christians do not believe this. They believe that they receive messages from God that tell them how to live. Others believe that the Bible is simply a human record of God's interactions with humanity and that their own interactions with God shape their worldview, not the recorded interactions of others long ago.

Must an unbeliever choose sides in this internal debate? When the presuppositionalist tells us that only one worldview can be true, must we believe them and disbelieve others who also say they are Christians but who claim that more than one worldview can be true at the same time?

This dispute may be a little easier to resolve between certain atheists and Christian theists. Most atheists believe the Christian God does not, and never did, exist. If an atheist has a materialist/naturalist/physicalist worldview, part of which says the Christian God does not, and never did, exist, one can justify the first premise of this disjunctive syllogism by reference to theistic beliefs.

The second premise of this argument, however, is that it is not the case that any non-Christian worldview is true. This is more difficult to support.

As I see it, presuppositionalists use three arguments to support their assertion that all non-Christian worldviews are not true.

Argument Two

Presuppositionalists use the transcendental argument for the existence of God (TAG). Bahnsen writes that if "predication, reason, explanation, interpretation, learning, certainty, universals, possibility, cause, substance, being, or purpose, counting, coherence, unity, or system in experience or in a conception of a 'universe,' logic, individuating of facts, unchanging 'natures' or laws in a chance universe, uniformity, science, connecting logic and facts or predication to reality, avoiding contradictions, avoiding the irrationalism or scepticism which arise from the tension between knowing discursively and knowing-asystematic, etc," are possible, then God exists. These are possible; therefore God exists.

Or, formally:

<> P-->Q
<> P
:.Q

Though, I think the second premise of this might be harder to justify than many presuppositionalists admit (these are some pretty weighty philosophical questions), I want to concentrate on the justification of the first premise.

How does the presuppositionalist support the assertion that the existence of any of the concepts mentioned above necessitates the existence of the Christian God?

The only thing I've seen from presuppositionalists is a slight-of-hand trick. Instead of justifying their own assertion, they demand that their opponent prove it wrong. Instead of supporting their assertion, they ask something like, "Show me how universal laws of logic (or any of the other concepts listed above) can exist in the non-Christian worldview?"

This, however, is not a support of their assertion. It is, instead, the introduction of a new argument. It is an implied argument, that I haven't seen explicitly stated, but it is present in almost every presuppositionalist argument I am aware of.

Argument Three

This implied argument can be stated formally.

Let:

E = the predication "cannot account for everything that exists"
T = true
n = all non-Christian worldviews

So that,

(x)[Ex-->~Tx]
En
:.~Tn

Verbally, this implied argument states, "For any worldview, if that worldview cannot account for everything that exists, then that worldview is not true. All non-Christian worldviews cannot account for everything that exists, therefore all non-Christian worldviews are not true."

The first premise of this may well be true enough. One would think that a "true" worldview could account for everything that exists.

It is the second premise, however, that the presuppositionalists must support. How do they do that? How do they show that all non-Christian worldviews do not account for everything that exists?

To actually "prove" this, the presuppositionalists would have to prove a non-tautological universal negative. They would have to demonstrate that no existing or possible non-Christian worldview can account for everything that exists.

I would be very interested to hear support for this one. I, personally, don't think it would be possible.

At this point, though, the presuppositionalists that I am aware of pull another trick. They form a new argument that they would never voice, but quietly assume.

Argument Four

This new argument goes like this--

P1: If a non-Christian debate opponent cannot account for all that exists in terms of his or her worldview, then that non-Christian worldview is not true.

P2: This non-Christian debate opponent cannot account for all that exists in terms of his or her worldview.

C: Therefore that non-Christian worldview is not true.

Here, P1 must be justified. How is it the case that a worldview is not true just because a particular proponent of that worldview cannot account for everything that exists? The non-Christian opponent's ignorance does not invalidate the worldview he or she may hold to. There might be a way to account for those concepts that the non-Christian debate opponent is simply unaware of.

To hold this argument is to hold an ad hominem fallacy. It says that a person's belief is not true because of the person's inability to demonstrate it. [An equivalent argument would be, "My old pastor couldn't justify the existence of evil in the universe given an all-wise, all-powerful, benevolent, free God. Therefore, there is no way to justify this reality."]

***

This is the lack of support and trickery that I have observed in presuppositionalists.

First, they cannot, in every case, justify their claim that only one worldview can be true. In cases where they can justify that claim (as mentioned above), they cannot support the claim that all non-Christian worldviews are not true.

Second, in the argument that is meant to support the claim that all non-Christian worldviews are not true (i.e. TAG), they cannot support their first premise that the existence of logic (and the other list of concepts above) demands the existence of the Christian God.

Third, in an attempt to support the claim that all non-Christian worldviews are not true, they adopt an argument that states that a worldview that cannot explain everything that exists is not true. While this may well be the case, they cannot support the second premise of that argument that all non-Christian worldviews cannot account for everything that exists.

Fourth, in attempting to support the premise that all non-Christian worldviews cannot account for everything that exists, they assume an argument that states that if "a non-Christian debate opponent cannot account for all that exists in terms of his or her worldview, then that non-Christian worldview is not true." This argument, however, commits a fallacy (i.e. ad hominem).

We see, then, that the presuppositionalist argument is smoke and mirrors. It has been successful in the past because it takes the presuppositionalists' opponents by surprise. If the argument has proven anything, it proves that there are some tough questions in philosophy.

The presuppositionalist thinks that s/he can easily answer any of the difficulties of justifying basic beliefs. The word "God" is invoked like some kind of magical, cure-all elixir. As a team-member here similarly stated, Why is the sky blue? God. Why are bumble-bees yellow and black? God. Why do babies die? God. How can I prove there are other minds? God. How did the universe get here? God. How can a universal exist? God.

That word just fills every gap. You can squeeze it anywhere. The presuppositionalists have a ready answer for problems in philosophy. It's "God."

"What does that mean, though? Define God for me."

"God is powerful."

"Powerful like a truck?"

"No, powerful in a way that you have never experienced. Powerful in a way that you cannot imagine."

"Then what does this tell me about your God?"

"God is benevolent."

"You mean benevolent like volunteers for Doctors without Borders? He heals everyone he can?"

"No, God has actually ordered people to kill children and infants, donkeys and cattle. He is 'benevolent' in a way beyond your understanding."

"Then what does this tell me about your God?"

". . ."

Gees, that word "God" is a convenient bugger though, isn't it? You don't even have to define it intelligbly and you can use it to explain any problem in the world!

Come on, presuppositionalists! There is a reason that your view is ignored by so many. The argument is so full of holes, Swiss cheese is jealous.

19 comments:

E-3 said...

ex,

Two questions:

1. If someone told you they didn't believe in the law of non-contradiction how would you prove it to them?

2. In order to show that 2+2=4 would you have to refute that 2+2=0, 2+2=1, 2+2=3, 2+2=5, 2+2=6, etc...is not correct?

John W. Loftus said...

What about Descartes here? He sought to know something indubitably with apodictic certainty...something impervious to any doubting whatsoever. What Descartes concluded was that he knows he has doubts. So long as he was doubting he knew he existed (notice, it was only while he was thinking and doubting). Yet, Betrand Russell argued that Descartes was not fully consistent in his doubting because the only thing Descartes could actualy know with apodictic certainty was that "doubts exist." To conclude there must be a doubter isn't warranted, Russell argued.

In the process Descartes doubted whether or not the axioms of math were true becaue some evil demon might be deceiving him with regard to this.

The thing is this. If something is not known with apodictic certainty, then it's possible the one claiming to know something is wrong, especially when we're dealing with metaphysics.

Now apply this to TAG. In the first place, Taggers present this argument as if it cannot be doubted since to doubt it is to use logic, and to assess it's probability is to assume the inductive principles of logic and reasoning. But it surely can be doubted, as exbeliever is effectively arguing.

Logic supposedly is to be based in God, but the fact that Taggers base their views of God on the Bible has no connection with the argument itself....it is a non-sequitor, and it assumes the Protestant canon is God's canon, that they have properly interpreted it, and that the events have all happened as reported, even though they "happened" during a very superstitious pre-scientific era.

Taggers think their argument supports some kind of God but their definition of God results in a non-defensible theological quagmire. How can a being such as the one they believe exist when there are so many inconsistencies with believing in a Trinity, the incarnation, Open theism vs Classical theism, etc.

Let Taggers now show that these laws of logic represent the way God thinks. Let them show that God could not have created a world with a different logic (there have been Christian thinkers who have argued for this, like Ockham, I believe). Let them show that this God of theirs isn't a demon in disguise. Let them give an answer to the Euthyphro dilemna.

No wonder TAG has no real scholarly defenders. But what puzzles me is that so many of the Taggers I see do nothing but study that one argument and defend it alone.

exbeliever said...

E-3,

Two words:

Red-herring.

Do you prefer to answer my objections by shifting the burden of proof to me? You must be a presuppositionalist, huh?

But I'll bite anyway,

1. If someone told you they didn't believe in the law of non-contradiction how would you prove it to them?

I couldn't. All I could do is repeat what the law is explicitly or through analogy.

How would you answer this person?

2. In order to show that 2+2=4 would you have to refute that 2+2=0, 2+2=1, 2+2=3, 2+2=5, 2+2=6, etc...is not correct?

No.

But let me rephrase your questions in a more philosophical way.

In Philosophical Investigations (185), Wittgenstein presented a scenario in which he imagined teaching a student to write a series of numbers in which every number has added two to it (e.g. 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.). He writes, "Now we get the pupil to continue a series (say +2) beyond 100--and he writes 1000, 1004, 1008, 1012. We say to him: 'Look what you've done!'--He doesn't understand. We say: 'You were meant to add two: look how you began the series!'--He answers: 'Yes, isn't it right? I thought that was how I was meant to do it.'--Or suppose he pointed to the series and siad: 'But I went on in the same way.'--It would now be no use to say: 'But can't you see . . . .?'--and repeat the old examples and explanations."

So, the answer to your questions is that it breaks down if someone doesn't accept the rules.

Another example. Let's say I'm playing tennis with someone. My serve lands about a foot deep in the corner of the service box. My opponent cries, "Out." I explain to him that the ball landed a foot inside the service box, and he agrees with me. I think the problem is resolved and say, "Then, okay, it's my point or we can play a let." He responds, "No, the ball was 'out.'" I say, "But you just admitted that it was a foot inside the service box!" He says, "I consider a ball that lands there 'out.'" I say, "But the rules of tennis say that it is 'in.'" He replies, "That is not how I read the rules."

How can I respond to that? I can't. We are playing by different rules. If neither of us accept the other's rules, we cannot continue to play.

If someone denied the law of non-contradiction, the only thing I could do is explain what the law is. I could not "prove" it.

If someone denied 2+2=4, I could only explain that it does. I could not "prove" it.

Now, I'm not sure that you are asking because you are a Christian, but if you are, I would appreciate it if you responded to your own questions.

If someone denied the law of non-contradiction, would your proof of it be to utter the magical word "God"? If someone denied that 2+2=4, would you prove it by saying that it is so because of "God"?

E-3 said...

ex,

First off I should say that by proof I mean not "What could you do to convince someone of truth x" for there are many people when provided proof of something stll stubbornly hold onto their beliefs. Rather I am talking about supporting the truth x by giving evidences.

In responding to your answers I will take them in reverse order:

E-3 said: "2. In order to show that 2+2=4 would you have to refute that 2+2=0, 2+2=1, 2+2=3, 2+2=5, 2+2=6, etc...is not correct?"

ex said: "No.... So, the answer to your questions is that it breaks down if someone doesn't accept the rules.... How can I respond to that? I can't. We are playing by different rules. If neither of us accept the other's rules, we cannot continue to play... If someone denied 2+2=4, I could only explain that it does. I could not "prove" it."


So you agree that not every separate possible answer needs to be refuted... that's because they are mutually exclusive. This was my whole point in this question. 2+2 can't equal 4 and 5. So anyone who says 2+2 equals something other than 4 needs to be refuted based on what they believe the "true" answer is but I would only need to show that 2+2=4 is the correct answer.

Unfortunately, in your response you seem to be saying "we are playing by different rules - I'm taking my ball and going home!" But I can't believe you really think that because otherwise you wouldn't even be posting on this blog?!?!? Why would you waste so much time trying to refute Christianity instead of saying - "You know those Christians - they just play by different rules - I am going to pop some popcorn, crack open a soda and watch a movie instead?"

E-3 said: "1. If someone told you they didn't believe in the law of non-contradiction how would you prove it to them?

ex said: "I couldn't. All I could do is repeat what the law is explicitly or through analogy... If someone denied the law of non-contradiction, the only thing I could do is explain what the law is. I could not "prove" it."


So you can't prove what you believe to be one of the most fundamental truths on which everything else is built? Yet you still believe it... is that not blind faith?

Anyway there is the proof that Aquinas gave to show that the Law of Non-contradiction is true... the impossibility of the contrary. When Aquinas put forth his proof - did he have in mind that he needed to refute every particular belief that denied the Law of Non-contradiction... no.. instead he held that if you deny the Law of Non-contradiction then everything becomes unintelligible... logic and language lose all meaning.

exbeliever said...

E-3,

I'm really struggling to find your point here.

Where are you going with this and what does this have to do with anything I've said in my post? Are you just giving me a quiz?

If you read what I wrote in my last post, you would know that I have no problem with transcendental arguments, just that the transcendental argument for the existence of God is unsupported.

If you've read what I've written on laws of logic, you would know how I justify the laws of logic.

So, really, make a point here. If you hold to TAG, justify the first premise. Explain the other points that I made.

Otherwise, wait until there is a post more relevant to your questions.

Aaron Kinney said...

E-3,


Dont know much about non-contradiction do you?

The Law of non-contradiction is axiomatic in that it is impossible to form any valid argument against it. I assume you know what an axiom is?

Aristotle stated that the Law of non-Contradiction can only be proven by showing opponents of the principle that they are in fact committed to it. This is another way of saying that its axiomatic and is impossible to form any attack against it.

non-contradiction is self-evident.

centuri0n said...

This last post left me somewhat confused. Most confusing was the last case -- which as the worst case of the puppet arguing with the puppeteer I have ever encountered.

Here's a definition of God for you that might pose a bigger problem for your example, and if you think it does not I'd like to read your thoughts on the matter:

"God is the creator and sustainer of all things, who is holy, just, merciful and loving; He has revealed Himself to man through creation, through special verbal revelation, and most importantly through the person and work of Jesus Christ."

Thanks.

centuri0n said...

I think E-3's point is exact Aristotle's point (which is probably no surprise to anyone). One of the strange elements of Aristotle's Metaphysics is Aristotle's confession that the philosopher's work is not science but in fact something else -- something prior to science and necessary for science to do its work.

For example, in Book IV, Chapter 1, A says, "THERE is a science which investigates being as being and the attributes which belong to this in virtue of its own nature. Now this is not the same as any of the so-called special sciences; for none of these others treats universally of being as being."

That is to say, Aristotle believed in indisputable foundations for knowledge. Even if the only one he posited was non-contradiction (and I think that's not the only one, but you can read Metaphysics for yourself), plainly he calls people who reject this idea uneducated and ill-informed.

E-3's point is that the atheist foundation is wrong and the Christian foundation is right. It ought to be the center of this debate, but it gets shuttled out to the sides of the debate -- and I don't understand why. If the atheist foundation is the self-evident one, it ought to have the Christian by the tail.

Instead, the application of atheist premises are simply never tested against the Christian premises to explain what they both claim they can explain. Or rather, the plausibility and reasonability of the two are never weighed out.

I'm in for making the comparison. It's the only ground upon wich this debate can get settled.

exbeliever said...

Hi, centuri0n.

I love that old reformed saying about babies sitting on father's lap slapping them in the face; we can only do the act because he is supporting us. Now the puppet playing arguing with the puppeteer. Good stuff. Would be a little better if you could give a reason or two to believe that a puppeteer existed, but I guess I'll settle for you non-answers.

Definitions are meant to tell you about something you know nothing about. So let's look at yours and see what we discover about god.

creator--all creators I know create something from something else, right? Are there any other ex nihilo creators? No. So what you are saying is that this thing "God" is a creator, but unlike any other creator. So the adjective doesn't really mean any thing to me because I have no experience with ex nihilo "creators."

sustainer of all things--sustains every atom in the universe? Is that what you mean? What do you mean that god is a sustainer?

holy--literally "set apart." So God is unlike any thing that I have ever experienced. What is this supposed to tell me again?

just--but in a way that says it is okay to kill Amalikite infants because of sins committed 400 years earlier. Oh, just in a way unlike any justice I understand.

merciful--but can threaten to send an army to rape women if they disobey. but must have blood for offenses. So, you mean "merciful" in a way that is different than any other being.

loving--but loving in a way that creates an eternal hell and laughs at the wicked who are sent there. Loving in a way that I don't understand.

revealed in creation--how again?

through special verbal revelation--the Qu'ran or the Bible or both?

Jesus--the guy who through evil spirits into a bunch of pigs causing them to run off a cliff, causing their unnecessary deaths and a farmers financial loss?

Doesn't help much.

By the way, would you be willing to justify the first premise of TAG for me? Or respond, in any way, to this post. It's getting lonely here.

First premise of TAG? Anyone? Anyone?

exbeliever said...

Wrote that before your second comment.

What is the Christian foundation for knowledge? That magical word "God"?

But let's not get side-tracked. This post is about the premises of presuppositionalism.

Can you support the first premise of TAG?

Can you support the first premise of Bahnsen's argument that precedes TAG?

I'm very interested.

E-3 said...

ex,

You really should be careful when accusing me of misusing formal logic. I'm pretty good at it.

If P equals "the Christian world view," ~P would equal "not the Christian world view." My cat is "not the Christian world view." So, are you saying that the Christian world view is true or my cat is true? That would be a mistake, huh?


So a negation of a particular proposition includes your cat?

Negation can be expressed as "it is false that" or "it is not the case that" (Copi)

exbeliever said...

Wow, I really thought that my challenges were straightforward. I asked presuppositionalists to support the arguments they put forward. Maybe I should read something into this refusal.

E-3,

Why are you commenting on something I said in another post here?

Oh well.

The context was my reading of Bahnsen into a disjunctive syllogism. He said that either the Christian's perspective or the non-Christian's perspective was the case. I used two different symbols to express these formally, the other guy used one symbol for both.

Neither of the expressions you, rightly mention, represent what Bahnsen said. He was not comparing the Christian worldview with itself so that either it is true or false. He was comparing the Christian worldview with all other possible worldviews. A new symbol best represents this.

How about this E-3. If you are a presuppositionalist, support the first premise of TAG.

centuri0n said...

EB:

I'll take responsibility for the reason you missed what I was saying in the puppet metaphor. I wasn't saying "Geez, EB is really arguing with God here." I was saying, "Geez, EB put a Christian sock puppet on his hand and then started an argument with it." The problem with your hypothetical argument is that it is not even a bad argument -- it's an unrepresentative argument, one which anyone who has been at Christian apologetics for more than a week wouldn't bother with.

So in saying we have the puppet arguing with the puppeteer here, I'm saying that you are arguing with the advocate least likely to even try to answer your question robustly that is available to you -- a puppet you control.

I'll get back to you in a few minutes on the subject of definitions and the other things you have responded to.

exbeliever said...

centuri0n,

Thanks for clarifying the puppet/puppeteer analogy. Sorry for misrepresenting you.

The problem with your hypothetical argument is that it is not even a bad argument -- it's an unrepresentative argument, one which anyone who has been at Christian apologetics for more than a week wouldn't bother with.

The TAG argument I presented is cut and pasted from Paul Manata and I think can be extrapolated from Bahnsen's work. Are you saying that anyone familiar with Christian apologetics would not say that if there is logic, then God exists?

Is TAG not:

<> P-->Q
<> P
:.Q

(where "P" is logic and "Q" is the Christian God)?

Maybe you would care to present the Christian argument the "right way" and explain to the presuppositionalists that their's is an inappropriate apologetic statement.

centuri0n said...

Responding to EB's comment posted 2:32 PM, April 19, 2006.
You have to follow me, EB -- and I know it's hard in an unthreaded comment box.

The hypothetical argument which you made which I think it quite daffy is not a restatement of Paul's argumet, or of Bahnsen's argument. The argument you made is that when the atheist deamnds a definition for God, the theist only says, "God is powerful."

That's not TAG, and that's not Paul's argument. That's your impression of Topo Gigio. God's power is not the foundational issue in TAG: God's ontological position prior to all things is the foundational issue.

In that, saying that the TAG advocate is merely saying "God is powerful" to define God is not even reductive: it is misrepresentative.

exbeliever said...

centuri0n,

The hypothetical argument which you made which I think it quite daffy is not a restatement of Paul's argumet, or of Bahnsen's argument. The argument you made is that when the atheist deamnds a definition for God, the theist only says, "God is powerful."

So, after 1592 words in a post entitled "Presuppositionalism: Arguments 4, Supports 0," you pick 223 words that are not even listed as one of the "four arguments" to discuss.

Sure, that sounds about right.

In that, saying that the TAG advocate is merely saying "God is powerful" to define God is not even reductive: it is misrepresentative.

This hypothetical conversation has nothing to do with the main post. What is was meant to illustrate is that Christians use this term "God" as if it explains everything.

Presuppositionalists push atheists to account for universal laws of logic. If a particular atheist cannot do so, they feel they have proven that Christianity is superior. Asked to account for universal laws of logic themselves they give some kind of answer that relies on this word "God." This is very convenient, but the word "God" is squishy itself. It seems as if it is an answer, but isn't.

The hypothetical argument is supposed to prove a point about how flippantly people use the word "God" to justify things.

The hypothetical conversation was an attempt to direct attention to a bigger problem. It does that. Of course, a real conversation would not proceed like that.

If you really think that the last few words of my post was supposed to be a detailed argument about this position and not just a side note that points out a bigger problem, I have been giving you more credit than you deserve.

E-3 said...

Why are you commenting on something I said in another post here?

Oh well.

The context was my reading of Bahnsen into a disjunctive syllogism. He said that either the Christian's perspective or the non-Christian's perspective was the case. I used two different symbols to express these formally, the other guy used one symbol for both.

Neither of the expressions you, rightly mention, represent what Bahnsen said. He was not comparing the Christian worldview with itself so that either it is true or false. He was comparing the Christian worldview with all other possible worldviews. A new symbol best represents this.


Yes it was posted on another blog but oftentimes if you place a comment on an older blog nobody responds to it. You never answered my question though.

anyway, you keep stating that there are a "multitude" of other worldviews. Why? Could there be any number of beliefs that deny the law of non-contradiction is true yet you don't feel the need to refute everyone of them in order to show the Law of Non-contradication is true! Instead you look at it as true or false.

"If you are a presuppositionalist, support the first premise of TAG."

I believe the first premise has already been supported by Bahsen, Frame and even Paul on his blog. You just choose to continue to refuse to see it.

The Christian worldview is correct in that any denial assumes the truth of the Christian worldview and any argument against it ultimately leads to hyper-skepticism and irrationality.

There are plenty of instances where Paul has pointed this out in response to atheists.

exbeliever said...

e-3,

The time I've spent on blogging has caught up with me so I must be brief and then retire for a while.

You never answered my question though.

Your inability to understand an answer does not mean that an answer wasn't given. Read it again.

I believe the first premise has already been supported by Bahsen, Frame and even Paul on his blog. You just choose to continue to refuse to see it.

The first premise of TAG is that if universal laws of logic exists, then God exists.

Tell me how your statement that "The Christian worldview is correct in that any denial assumes the truth of the Christian worldview and any argument against it ultimately leads to hyper-skepticism and irrationality," has anything to do with this premise. You have not explained why the existence of universal laws of logic demands the existence of God. You have not even supported your assertion that "any denial of the Christian worldview and any argument against it ultimately leads to hyper-skepticism and irrationality."

These are merely assertions. Assertions that no one has supported.

Further, presuppositionalists refuse to support it. They try to pass the burden of proof in their own argument.

So again, whay does the existence of universal laws of logic demand the existence of the Christian God?

Adam M. said...

The actual meat of the original post has been left almost completely ignored, from what I've read. And that's a shame, because until someone can either 'correct' this analysis of presuppositionalism, or answer the arguments presented, it seems like it's been completely refuted.

I'm speaking as an engineer with no formal education in philosophy. Still, I found this post to be succinct and very easily understood.

Maybe someone can tell me, and this is an honest question: Why isn't more philosophy presented in terms of syllogisms, with the premises supported, terms defined, etc.? It would be so much easier to get to the heart of the matter, instead of wading through page after tedious page of emotionally charged, barely relevant b.s. For that matter, why not use propositional, first-order, or second-order logic? Is there something magical about syllogisms?