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Thread: Presuppositional Apologetics

  1. #11
    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Second, I don't see how the Presuppositionalist can avoid the brain in the vat problem.
    They assume they're not one, of course. As long as you're presupposing things, might as well presuppose yourself out of the initial stickiness.
    I'm not here anymore.

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    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Well we have an intelligible, finely tuned, life permitting universe where life actually shows up.
    We have one place out of an estimated 10^24 where life is known to show up. That's not exactly a convincing argument for intentional.
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  3. Amen stfoskey15 amen'd this post.
  4. #13
    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrikature View Post
    We have one place out of an estimated 10^24 where life is known to show up. That's not exactly a convincing argument for intentional.
    But why show up in the first place, why have a life permitting cosmos in the first place?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await our execution...

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    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    But why show up in the first place, why have a life permitting cosmos in the first place?
    There isn't necessarily a 'why'. Why is there something rather than nothing? Even if you believe that God created everything that exists, why does He exist? There aren't real answers to these questions.

    It could be that literally every possible arrangement of existence occurs. If that's the case, it's not really surprising that a life permitting cosmos exists.

    At the risk of making a huge over-generalization, I sometimes think the need for an answer to every question we can ask is what leads to belief in deities. I certainly don't require an answer.
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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Why is the reason for something. There being a deity only shifts the answer to why.
    How that something is, is do to a cause.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

  7. #16
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    But you are begging the question, the universe and its "natural" law is the thing that needs to be explained. And what we know is that intelligence can and does create order and specificity. I have no good reason to believe that the unaided forces of nature could create the kind of cosmos we live in and enjoy. Never mind the fact that in my view we have consciousness producing consciousness (like for like), in your view we have the non-conscious producing its opposite - consciousness (like for unlike). Again, I just don't see why your position is more plausible.
    How am I begging the question? All I am saying is that, as far as the knowledge we currently have about the universe, we have no evidence of a supreme being. Saying that it had to be an intelligence because of order and specificity, even though we have no positive evidence to support the claim, is to make the same mistake mankind has made throughout history. You see a mystery, and because you don't currently understand it you attribute it to God rather than doing the wiser, more humble thing and reserve judgment until we discover more. Thunder and lightening were not from Zeus after all, the seasons didn't change because of Persephone's journey to and from the underworld each year, and the peacock did not get its spots when Hera put them there from the 100 eyes of Argus. We know this now, but to the ancient Greeks these stories made complete sense of things they did not understand. Let us not make the same mistake. Yes, in our experience things that have a design often have a designer. The story comes to mind of a man finding a watch on the beach and instinctively knowing it had a watchmaker. But that is because we know something about watches, how they are made, the fact that watchmakers exist, that they frequently make watches, etc. In other words we infer design because of our prior understanding of watches. But we have no prior understanding of universes. It is not like we have a bunch of universes to study in order to build up a large enough body of knowledge so that we can make inferences based on how they normally come to be. This is why your conclusion that there has to be some kind of grand designer should be extremely tentative. It is hardly a solid enough claim upon which to base a worldview. I share with you the hope that this is the case, but I do not think we can make this claim based on the knowledge we currently have.



    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    And what makes more sense? A logical Mind behind a rational universe or the a~logical forces of nature?
    It is not about what makes more sense. It is about what we can demonstrate. It might make sense that there is a logical Mind behind everything. But at that point all you have is a hypothesis, and an unverifiable one at that. How do you verify that this is the case, and go beyond simply saying that this would make so much sense if it were the case?



    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    No, it is not a non-issue, the point is that you can not demonstrate, again logically or empirically, that what goes on in your mind actually corresponds to reality (your above appeal to delusions and such do not bear on the question). Which means at the very fundamental level of knowledge, knowledge of the world, you need to begin with an assumption, a presupposition. So it is a double standard for you to chide the theist for doing what you are already doing.
    Actually, we have ways of verifying that what goes on in my mind corresponds with reality. My senses can be compared with one another, as well as with the experience of others. I can also make predictions based on what I think I know and conduct experiments to see if they come to pass. Other people can also conduct the same experiment to see if they get the same results. I already discussed the brain in a vat scenario. Is it a possibility? Sure, and I cannot rule it out. Just like I cannot rule out that there is an invisible dragon following me on my way to work and waiting to consume me in flames if I stop at a red light. I cannot rule this scenario out, and yet it doesn't stop me from stopping at red lights. This is because when we judge how much weight we give to possibilities we take into account how probable they are. And because I have no positive evidence that I am in fact a brain in a vat, I don't give it much weight as a possibility, certainly not to the extent that it undermines my whole ability to know anything. The main reason this is a non-issue, though, is that to whatever extent this is an issue, it is an issue for both of us. Your worldview does not equip you to deal with this problem any more than mine.




    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    In one sense you are correct, even the law of God would be subjective to him. Yet it still would be objective to humankind. And objective does not mean absolute. The difference again is this, you live in an unjust universe, I live in a just universe. You live in a amoral universe, I live in a moral universe. Concepts like love, justice, goodness kindness, mercy, etc... are universal and eternal. In your universe there is no governing moral authority, in mine there is. In my universe what the Hutus did to the Tutsi was a violation of these universal moral norms and therefore their acts well be judged at the bar of God. In your world, it is just animals being animals.
    It makes for a good story. How nice it would be if morality were based on universal, transcendent laws. I can appreciate that just as much as you. But we need to stick to what we know, and as far as we know we are conscious beings living in an a-moral universe. Morality is not like the laws of physics or mathematical laws. No one jumps from a building on earth and floats upward, because gravity is an objective reality. No one adds one apple to another apple and somehow produces three apples, because mathematical laws are objective facts about reality. Morality, however, is extremely malleable. We can make what we want of it, which is exactly what we would expect if it were a subjective reality and not an objective one. What evidence would you offer that morality is in fact objective, because all I hear you saying is that you don't like that it is subjective? Once we realize the true nature of morality, the hard part is figuring out how to live together in a world where we sometimes disagree. I admit this is not easy. But I don't think the answer is to comfort ourselves with fairy tales. I don't say that to be condescending. I respect you even though we disagree. I am just saying that you need to demonstrate that you are not just constructing your own reality. As a side note, how is the horror of Rwanda any different than what God ordered Saul to do to Amalek, to kill him and everything he has, including "children and infants" (1 Samual 15:3)?

  8. #17
    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    . . . All I am saying is that, as far as the knowledge we currently have about the universe, we have no evidence of a supreme being. . . .
    Well, that cannot be true, the true God being the fundamental self evident true of all self evident truths.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

  9. #18
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    Well, that cannot be true, the true God being the fundamental self evident true of all self evident truths.

    I agree that some truths are self-evident, and don't require the same kind of argument as other truths. These kind of self-evident truths are known as axioms. We accept them as self-evident because without them we could not know anything. This would include things like trusting that our senses are feeding us accurate information, that this all isn't just an illusion, and the validity of logic. We must accept these things because without doing so we would not be able to know anything. But that is the standard that must be met for something to be considered an axiom. It must be self-evident in the sense that without it you could not know anything. But this is not the case with God. We can in fact know a great deal without assuming God. He is just not necessary. And that is only speaking of God in the generic, deistic sense of a cosmic creator. When you consider actual gods from various religions, the situation becomes way more problematic. When it comes to Yahweh, for instance, the Bible disqualifies itself again and again from being a truly divine revelation.

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    I have a problem with the idea that you see in certain conservative Christian circles that presuppositional apologetics are the only acceptable way to argue for Christianity. Their appeal is already going to be limited to people who reason in a super-logical, syllogistic manner, and then to people who actually accept the logical claims being made. As a Christian, I can't help but think this implies that the gospel call is effectively only for a certain set of INTJ people.
    For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. - Ambrose, 4th century AD

    All cruelty springs from weakness. - Seneca the Younger

  11. Amen Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
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    tWebber TheWall's Avatar
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    Why not both?
    Presupisitional, Evidential, and might I add evidential. They all have their pros and cons.

  13. Amen Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.

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