Presuppositional Apologetics: TAH DAH! Let Me Pull God Out Of A Hat.

Posted on January 10, 2011. Filed under: Apologetics, Atheism, Religion, TAG-Pressupposational Theology, Trolls |

So a number of my replies to Peter, over at Atheism Presupposes Theism, have been deleted by him in an effort to try and pretend that he wasn’t just destroyed by the truth.  That is not hubris on my part, take the time to read it for yourself, though you will have to go to lousy Canuck to see my replies, because Peter won’t publish them.  If you can read the exchange between Peter, Jason, and I and still think I’m exaggerating, I invite you to tell me how.  Presupposational apologetics is a farce.  It is a joke.  It cannot be taken seriously.  If you think differently, then please enlighten me.  I have decided that this year will be the year that I pull the curtain back from presupposational apologetics and reveal the diminutive little man pretending to be a wizard.  I take this seriously, presuppositionalism is wrong, it is a bald faced lie.  Why do I dislike it so much?  It is a lie masquerading, not just as a truth, but the Truth.  Those who practice it with any skill have to know it is a lie, a big lie for God.

If intelligent Christians can knowingly lie to bolster my faith, of what value is that faith at all?  If every question must be addressed with an ultimate untruth, how can I claim that my belief is not based on a foundation of lies?

Presuppositionalism depends on a shell game; it is a magic trick.  It relies on the premise that no one will follow the pea as it slips from shell to shell, up the sleeve, then back to the shell again.  “Keep your eye on the pea, keep your eye on the pea” the magician tells you as you watch the trick.  But you can’t “watch the pea”.  It is under the shell, maybe.  Maybe it is up his sleeve, maybe he dropped it off the table into his lap. ” Whatever you do”, he implies, “don’t watch my hands, and for heaven’s sake don’t ask any questions.  Just trust me when I tell you it is magic.”

As soon as someone figures out the scam, he has a few choices.  Pack up and bring the game to a new and unwitting audience, keep playing as if no-one is yelling “SHOW ME YOUR PALM”, or admit that he is fooling his audience.  I can say with no trepidation that an apologist will never take the latter option.

If you are a presuppositionalist, I ask you this.  Would you let the shell game be played if I put the pea under the shell, I moved the shells from one place to the other, if I turned them over?  You wouldn’t, would you?  Why?  If it is reality, then we should be able to do it any which way and it will still be real, right?  If morality is objective, then you should be able to answer a series of questions about the objective nature of reality, with no harm to your case.  If you have a truth, then it will always stand the test of scruitiny, right, or do you know that “opening your palm” gives away the trick?  You can only win by avoiding the consequences of your position and insisting on your interpretation of the opposing position without facts.  You can’t even concede your own position, that’s how ridiculous it is.  It’s a magic trick.  It’s dishonest because you pass it off as reality, when you have to know it’s not.

On Magic

When I was a kid, my Grandfather loved magic tricks.  He used to hide a quarter between his fingers on the back of his hand, show me his palms, and then appear to pull a quarter out of my ear.  I was amazed.  He had a card trick called the “Four Jack Brothers”, where he seemingly moved the four of them to random positions in the deck, then have all four of them appear back on the top just by tapping the deck.  I sat there for hours trying to figure it out.  It seemed like my Grandfather really was magical.

On my ninth birthday, my parents bought me a book about how to do magic tricks, they very astutely noticed my sense of wonder.  When I read the book, there was a card trick, called the “Four Queens”, which was <b>exactly</b> the trick my Grandfather did, and a page about pulling coins from a persons ear.  Once I knew the trick, the magic was gone.  All that was left was trickery.

That summer, I went to a birthday party.  The magician there had better tricks, but I was wise to the game.  It took me a while, but I figured out how each of his tricks worked. I performed the exact same routine for all but a few of them. My best friend was amazed.  “How did you do that?”, he said.  “Magic”, I said.  He has asked me if I did it this way, or that way; and I always say no, but I never lie.   To this day he still gets me to do the tricks at every party we go to; to this day, he really thinks I’m magic.

The difference between my Grandfather, Peter, and me is that my Grandfather never said that what he did was reality, in fact, he always called it a “magic <b>trick</b>”. So do I. I never asked my friend to suspend disbelief.  My Grandfather never stopped me from sitting around with that deck of cards trying to figure it out; when I did figure it out, he didn’t refuse to speak with me, or burn my book so no-one else figured it out. Likewise, I don’t shun my friends questions, and I wouldn’t avoid a discussion about whether I put the card up my sleeve.  I would prove to him that I didn’t, because I didn’t.  Peter does none of these things.  He claims that what he does is reality, refuses to let anyone see up his sleeves, and proceeds to continue the slight of hand show for anyone who is willing to not question it.

The worst thing about it is that I knew what I was doing was slight of hand.  My Grandfather knew what he was doing was slight of hand. Peter has to know what he is doing.  I showed him how he did the trick and he deleted my comments.  I showed him how he did the other tricks and he deleted those comments too.  Yet instead of patting me on the back and coming clean like my Grandfather, or showing me that I am mistaken about how it works like I do with my friend, he just continues on like nothing is happening, hoping the School for the Deaf in his audience doesn’t turn from the stage long enough to see me sitting beside them explaining the trick.

My big problem is that I know I’m not magic, so does my Grandfather.  If he believes that presupposational apologetics is the best proof of God, what must that say about his faith?
I think I’m going to go show my friend how those tricks work now…..

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9 Responses to “Presuppositional Apologetics: TAH DAH! Let Me Pull God Out Of A Hat.”

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Hey George, just checking in to let you know I’ve just now gotten around to having time to begin tearing into this debate…I’ve been working and moving from house to apartment, so sorry if my replies are sparse (it isn’t because I’m ignoring you, but that I’ve got too many things being demanded of me all at the same time in my life…which I’m sure you get that stuff, too). I’ve invited Peter to contact me, and encouraged him not to “claim false victory,” but instead to confess a need for retreat, as he and I work up an entirely FRESH argument (as the current one had him spinning his wheels, which gave him the impression he was doing work though in actuality, he was “going nowhere,” while running himself out of fuel miles away from the nearest filling station!)

Anyway, don’t have a feel for Peter yet…but I did dub him a knight for at least “attempting” to do battle with several atheists and without any Theistic “backup,” if you will.

I’ve volunteered to join forces with him…I will await his reply…hopefully he will respond??

If not, then that will be sad, because I’ve got lots of experience with what I call “the spinning-of-my-tires-while-getting-nowhere-and-running-out-of-fuel Argument for God’s Existence,” and I would like to share that experience with him…if he is open to it??

Anyway, just dropping a note to let you know I’m munching on all this (may take me awhile to get through it all and process…you know??)

I worry, because you also have the “spinning-your-wheels-against-George” experience, and you have forced my hand before. I respect your arguments, I respect you.
I can’t say the same for Peter, who has shown himself to be intellectually dishonest, and evasive about discussing the ramifications of what he believes. You have never done this, and I respect you the more for it.
He’ll probably consider you a plant, a Concern Troll, and avoid you altogether.

Well, anyway. The whole “spinning your wheels” argument for God’s existence is just something I find to be like a trap a person accidentally finds himself all caught up within…that’s why I said I have lots of experience with it…it seems like a natural pull to fall into that ridiculous trap.

Honestly, I don’t think I have a long enough life span to actually figure out how to debate something like God’s existence… I sometimes wonder if I’d be any good at debating things that exist in our 3-Dimensional system of reality…where I could actually have hard fact evidence to add to my debating!! Now, that might be fun! Maybe I could actually win the debate??

I was hoping I could get Peter to contact me and that I could talk him into understanding that it was his duty to publicly retract his “false claim” of victory, and to publicly admit he’d lost, instead. It would do his dignity some good if he did…and it would show you guys some honor for all your battling as well…but maybe you’re right… maybe he isn’t going to respond??

Darn. I was hoping to have a Theist to join forces with… If he does dishonorable stuff, fine…so have i and still do… but if he’s the sort who refuses to be transparent about that fact, and to suffer the necessary humility, well, I can’t really do business with someone who can’t stomach humiliation…and I can’t do business with someone who refuses to honor a victor with a confirmation salute.

I was just hoping he was a young kid who didn’t have much experience and I was going to give him a few pointers…but, who knows??

Anyway, I’m still here, and I’ll be checking out your site (actually, still working on getting through all the debate, as there’s stuff on your site, Jason’s, Peter’s…and I haven’t looked at Dan J.’s or George David’s…

Sorry if I spun my wheels on you. You don’t have to “worry,” because I’m not powerful enough to “get” anyone if I were “out to get them,” if that makes any sense. I’m a peon, just a peon.

I actually think you’re pretty cool… and I talk to God about you sometimes, because you make me laugh! You really have an eye for the ridiculous stuff people say and do!!

Katie.

Kate,
Did I do something to piss you off? I mean, really. This guy is not the kind of people I would wish you to align yourself with. You may be weird, but you weird and honest. This guy is a liar. He is a liar for Jesus. I can only tell you that I will think less of you for supporting him, just so you know. That is not a threat, it is an “Objective Moral Truth”, so to speak…

Well I just got that comment. Look, I haven’t been able to get him to comment back to me anyway. Was he that bad?? Sheeesh, give me a break, I have been working and trying to get a house ready to sell…

You haven’t pissed me off, George. I would literally break down in tears if I thought I’d somehow offended you!! You’re my opponent…but, damn! You’re damn good! You do battle better and more honorably than many atheist’s I’ve jousted with.

To be honest, I don’t know anything about Peter. I think I was just hoping…hoping…hoping… that I wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. I was hoping for someone to do battle with. But if he’s the wrong sort, then believe me I’ll know it at first conversation! All I have to do is ask a couple questions and analyze his answers. Then I can tell if he’s a good guy or a bad guy.

But you actually know the guy…so I’ll just listen to you.

Have mercy on me…I was just lonely.

Katie.

(I rarely have any Christians visit my site and comment…save my professor friend).

Also, I never said I supported what he did. I just wanted to privately rebuke him, via email, so as not to humiliate him in front of everyone, but he hasn’t responded, so I guess that says a lot.

Let me tell you this. Deleting people’s comments is utterly “beloved of evil,” in my opinion.

Refusing to suit up and show up and respond in the mid of an argument…reprehensible!

Taking on the subjective conception of morality in order to SHOW the atheist how absurd it is: UTTERLY DISGUSTING!!

I never said I supported the guy…I just thought maybe I could talk some sense into him. But you’re seeming to think that can’t happen, and I trust you, George, so I’m backing down.

Katie.

No worries Kate. I knew you’d be turned off the idea eventually. Just so that we are clear, I am George W. and George David. My responses on Blogger show up under my Google account, which is my first and middle name. When I noticed how confusing that was for people reading Jason’s site and Peter’s, I changed it to keep consistency. Though one of my last comments at Peter’s or somewhere else reverted to the old George David handle. I hate Blogger, and Google, they are both so counter intuitive.
I’ll respond to your older essay of a comment soon, I just need to finish up this other issue, tie up loose ends.

Pull God out of a hat? No, with presupp, you have to tell people to trust you: God IS in the hat, but you’re not going to pull him out because atheism doesn’t give you a moral responsibility to do so!

[...] two.  The third definition for Moral Presup will be the subject of it’s own post, though I have argued against it in the past. Argument From Incredulity:  The assertion that a premise is true or [...]


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