Objections in Context

Since posting my response to my good friend who is agnostic, not atheist (my mistake), he let me know that he wanted to provide more context to the problems he had with presuppositionalism, Which is more than welcome here at Grassfire Apologetics =)

Objections

1. I think our different perspectives can be described as follows: I search for the “big picture” by looking at the little pieces and attempting to put them together (reductionism). You assume a specific “big picture” and see that the little pieces fit, and conclude that this picture is the correct one (holism?). However, your method of looking at the world has several problems:

A: Your system fails to distinguish itself from the other hypothetical “big pictures” in which the little pieces fit just as well. This problem is caused by your negative argument. Your negative argument is the argument that by disproving all other current hypotheses, you are proving your own. Even in principle this is false; disproving all other systems, says nothing whatsoever about the truth of your own.

There are at base two worldviews : Christian Theism, and the negation of Christian Theism.

Proving the negation of Christianity  to be false proves Christianity to be true.

You said :

“disproving all other systems, says nothing whatsoever about the truth of your own.”

1) If I am correct you seem to be saying it  is possible for there to be no true system.

2) If I am indeed correct that this what you seem to be hinting at, what if I did disprove all other systems and your system were false?

3) it would mean there was no true system

4) so if it were the case I am doing what you said I was doing (which I’m not), your conclusion is still false per your accusation

B: Your system invites bias when evaluating the little pieces. This is because your system assumes the big picture, whereas a reductionistic system seeks the big picture.

Your view assume a big picture as well. Otherwise you would  not be able to seek a big picture.

2. You defend the use of presuppositions by claiming that all epistemological systems have overarching presuppositions. Axiomatic systems either remove the presuppositions or explicitly define them as axioms or as logically derived from axioms. Thus, you cannot excuse your presuppositions on the basis that all systems have presuppositions.

Axioms rely upon a variety of epistemological and metaphysical presuppositions in order to be intelligible in the first place.

3. You have identified your presupposition about the nature of reality as this; the Christian worldview is objectively real. Thus, when attempting to prove the existence of God, your argument assumes the conclusion in a premise. You cannot, use the existence of God to prove that God exists. Because of the way your argument uses presuppositions, your argument is begging the question.

a) We presuppose the Triune God of Scripture. We are not proving He exists. This is self-evident, and even the unbeliever knows it. What we are doing is demonstrating that what is the case, is necessarily the case.

b) It is a proof  but it’s an indirect proof  and proof is being used as “show to be the case”, not “deductively build a case”.

We are arguing from the presupposition of the existence of the Triune God of Scriptures,we must do this  because that is the only epistemological basis from which to argue anything at all.

It is impossible for it to be other than the case that the Triune God of Scripture exists – and any argument advanced against it is invalid – because the argument is based upon:

1) Faulty presuppositions and

2) Inconsistency.

Since this is the case for the contrary – any contrary – it is necessarily true that the Triune God of Scripture exists.

So actually I argue to and from The Triune God of Scripture, and The Impossibility of the Contrary.

The impossibility of the contrary is both a positive and negative argument – and God’s existence, being necessary, is required for the argument to be made at all, as well as being the conclusion, indirectly.

4. As shown above, your arguments are ultimately circular. This is not necessarily a bad thing, except that your system uses the accusation of eventual circularity in an attempt to discredit other systems and show your own to be more “intelligible”. This circularity in your own system demonstrates that your system is not more intelligible than others.

1) Circularity isn’t bad. I agree.

2) Vicious circularity is bad.

5. You admit to a failure in demonstrating the (supposed) rationality of your system except to people that believe in God. You might say, “You don’t see him until you believe he is there.” You cannot convince rational people unless they want to believe it, before the convincing even begins. This implies that the people that are convinced are affected by a strong belief bias rather than by logical truth.

1) I don’t believe that you can see Him in the first place being that He is Spirit and Jesus has ascended. The Holy Spirit cannot be seen either.

2) I don’t intend to convince people per se, I do intend to demonstrate the foolishness of thinking autonomously

3) Rationality presupposes the Triune God of Scripture. Unless you decide to propose another standard that isn’t yourself.


6. You assert that we cannot be our own standard. You assert that God’s perception is your standard. I assert that you can only assess the world from your own standard. You can’t argue from God’s standard because you are presupposing God. Let me put this into question form: Who is it that is presupposing God? It is you, not God. Thus, you are the observer (final standard); not God.

1) we receive revelation

2)we reconstruct it and think in accordance with it

3) we are renewed by the transforming of our mind (Romans 12:2)

7. Your claim of seeing reality through the eyes of God does not make sense. By claiming this you are not distinguishing between yourself and God, as observers, unless you are implying that multiple identities can share perception. I assert that perception is singular.

This goes along with the above objection. The Christian think analogous to God’s thinking via the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. So we start with His commands and reasoning in the Scriptures by faith and conform our thinking accordingly.

8. You claim to use an ultimate standard that is not yourself. You assert that through prayer and divine revelation, you perceive reality through an ultimate standard; God. There is evidence that such things can be perceived without being real (i.e. hallucinations, delusions). You have not shown evidence that your perception through God is more than a deluded perception of reality through yourself. In other words, until you can prove the existence of God and the objective truth of Christianity rather than using them as presuppositions, many rational people will use the accusation of delusion against you and with good cause.

Remember the objective standard is God, and His revelation (special and natural). The subjective standard is The Holy Spirit. You keep asking for evidence for these things, when I’ve already said many times that the evidence is there you just reinterpret it to fit your worldview. So the best I can give you is the impossibility of the contrary. So the Christian understands the world via Special revelation as per above. God has revealed that He has made man in such a way that we can understand the world, through tools such as reasoning to draw true conclusions about reality as He has created it, and that He created everything for One set purpose and that is to Glorify Him. Since this is the case, all facts are created and preinterpreted by Him, and relate to each other. If the contrary were true, you could have none of the above. Predication would be impossible because one fact would not relate to another fact. It could be likened to trying to string beads together that have no holes on either end.  This is what we mean when you borrow from our worldview instead of remaining consistent with yours.

9. You use the Bible as a source of information. This requires you to show that the Bible is a reliable source of information. You have not done that.

I do so by the impossibility of the contrary.

10. You say that logic is transcendent and therefore it requires a transcendent cause.

A: You have not proven this

B: There is a better (i.e. natural) hypothesis:

Some aspects of quantum mechanics seem illogical. It has been proposed that they are inherently illogical. This shows that logic may be evident only in the macro-world and implies that logic is a product of the universe.

So this is a  claim that the micro world is illogical in how it operates. So even the Law of non-contradiction would not apply  in the case of really small things. If it is how he says it is, then we can forget trying to draw any logical conclusion about really small things (as he just did above contradicting himself. But this isn’t his biggest problem.  If the logical law of non-contradiction does not apply, then it could be the case that the law of non-contradiction does apply (as that would be a contradiction).

Given your failure to provide proof of the transcendence of logic, and given that the universe itself implies that logic is a natural result, parsimony dictates that we accept logic as natural and non-transcendent.

  • This is a non-sequitur, even if it were the case that I didn’t provide proof for the transcendence of logic, it would not necessarily follow that it happens as a natural result.
  • Also In my worldview God is necessary, therefore it would be violation of parsimony to accept logic as natural and non-transcendent
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