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Presuppositionlism: The New Fad?

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  • rlbaty50
    (I thought this added some interesting perspective to the engagement with one of my latest adversaries, Sye Ten Bruggencate. - RLBaty)
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5 1:39 PM
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      (I thought this added some interesting perspective to the engagement with one of my latest adversaries, Sye Ten Bruggencate. - RLBaty)


      Presuppositionalism: The New Fad

      By Adam Sweilem
      May 18, 2012

      > "The only proof for the existence of God
      > is that without God you couldn't prove anything."
      >> - Cornelius Van Til

      Among Young-Earth Creationists and other Christians, an argument is being resurfaced and re-popularized, especially on the internet, mainly due to the fact that they've begun to realize their regular arguments for God/literal six day creation were both horrible, and weren't convincing people. It's been especially promoted by Creationist apologist Sye ten Bruggencate.

      Presuppositionalism is usually an extension of the Transcendental Argument for the existence of God, advanced by Christian philosopher Cornelius Van Til and his disciple Greg Bahnsen and is based essentially around the idea that laws of logic, science, moral values, etc. cannot be accounted for unless you presuppose the Christian God as the ultimate source for these said laws, due to a problem within philosophy of mind:

      > How do we know what we know is true,
      > if we judge the reliability of our
      > cognitive faculties by using the same
      > said faculties?

      I won't spend a good deal of time addressing this issue, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy covers two major epistemological theories (Foundationialism & Coherentism) quite well in my opinion, and I will spend this time showing why Presuppositionalist apologetics is just so… stupid.

      Presuppositionalism claims to be able to solve this problem within Philosophy of mind by presupposing that the Christian God both exists, and can account for the things we claim to know to be true via the Revelation of same said God, to paraphrase Sye ten Bruggencate from his many debates/lectures,

      > "I know things to be true because an
      > all-powerful all-knowing God revealed
      > these things to me in such a way that
      > I can know for certain that they are true".

      The first incredibly obvious problem is this:

      > How does Sye know that the Revelation is valid?

      Sye's complaint is the `evolutionist' position is `viciously circular', yet he goes on further to ignore this obvious circle his argument takes him, and embrace it as `virtuously circular', saying (through a quote from Bahnsen) that because God is the Ultimate Creator, and since he (Sye) appeals beyond the physical realm, the circularity is therefore validated.

      This fails fantastically at actually addressing the problem, and stresses a second problem:

      > How would one know that it is God revealing
      > himself to begin with, and not a ruse by Satan?

      In Epistemology, there really is no getting around the circularity of our theories:

      > we do indeed `use reason to reason our reasoning'.

      However, this is not actually a blow against epistemelogical theories, for Presuppositinalism not only suffers from the same problem but unlike most other theories (Foundationialism & Coherentism) does not address it in a meaningful way, causing it to be viciously circular, and also adds the caveat of Presupposing God, creating a second circle, that they seem to demand we allow the to use, but will not allow anyone else do.

      It is reprehensible.

      It is intellectual laziness, causing virtually all conversations to halt and go down drains of intellectual stupidity, where the Presuppositionalist simply repeats

      > `How do you know this for certain'

      ad nauseam until his/her opponent begin insulting the Presuppositionalist in frustration or just cuts off contact completely, allowing the Presuppositionalist to claim victory against `those silly atheists'.

      This is why it is dishonest.

      It is a horrible form of argumentation, it is not stimulating, it is frustrating and it should go back to the trashcan where it belongs, never to be taken out again.

      Readers' Comments:

      (Go to link above for readers' comments.)

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