Presuppositional Apologetics: More Q & A With Someone Who Has Lots Of Q, But Lost All His A….
He Keeps Losing His A’s….Maybe He’s an “A-Hole”
I have been having a presuppositional
debate discussion talking to with Dan for the past two weeks or so, where he has continued to take the only tack that a presuppositionalist can take. He has lots of questions, he has no answers. TAG (Transcendental Argument for God) theology continues to be a combination of really good and really irrelevant questions designed to question the basis of the atheist worldview. It doesn’t positively argue anything, it just assumes that if a Christian can confuse someone with a competing worldview, that this makes Christianity true by default. Those who play the presuppositional game will rarely answer your questions. That is not part of the trick. Answering questions would reveal how bereft their own worldview is, so the focus must always be on the competing worldview.
Dan’s last comment, where he dutifully dodged answering any questions about his worldview, proves this point:
I have too many questions that you NEED to answer to move on. Your refusal to answer such questions places the discussion in a stale moment and stalls the entire point I wish to direct the conversation to.
Truer words have rarely been spoken by Dan. He does NEED me to continue to feed his script. He DOES want to direct this conversation somewhere my questions would complicate. If I refuse, I rob him of the fodder he needs to continue the semantic game that is TAG apologetics, but afford him the opportunity to imply that I lack the ability to answer. The problem is that all these questions are new. He never asked them before. So my “refusal” is based on not answering questions never asked. This post is designed to answer these new questions, and hopefully impel Dan to defend his own statements and beliefs. That will never happen (see above), but one can hope….
To say that source of all logic is the brain, begs the question of who’s brain? You see, in a sense-data environment, like you’re worldview claim of the brain, things are merely subjective. If we saw a table we would be both arguing the color size and shape of it because of our perspective. You would be screaming that its oval from your angle and I would be saying that its a circle since I am above it. We would exhaust our words discussing the color because of the way the light is shining on it (subjective). You would call it dark brown and I would be calling it light brown, etc. Same with time you could say the day is very very long and I would say, since I took a nap, it flew by very fast. Its all perspectives and subjectiveness. To say that logic originates only in the brain is nonsense! Sure, you could assume that since I had my eyes closed and was sleeping that time did not exist at all, or sped up to accommodate, or direct, the feeling of shortness. You could assume that cat that you were looking at suddenly leaped to another point of the room instantly since you looked away for a moment. But is that itself reasonable? You are claiming a sense-data ONLY world. But that alone is unscientific and illogical. There are things OUTSIDE of the senses (sense-data) that helps us understand our environment. Intuition and instincts to just name a few, as well as other things.
Dan continues the argument that logic exists independent of a logical being. This continues to blur the lines between reality, facts, laws, and convention. I have never said that logic is a convention, so his first question seems nonsensical. Logic is a concept, a concept ultimately based on the reality it describes, only valid with valid facts, independent of their elevation to laws, and not at all concerned with whether men agree with them. Like all concepts, they are abstract and live in the brain of beings capable of abstract thought. Logic is inexorably tied to the material world. If the reality that governed our universe were different, logic itself would be different or completely useless. To use Dan’s analogy, there would be no use to even discuss logic in a world without material things, if there is no tables and no people to observe them, logic does not still float around in the æther. Dan happily agrees that there is a well formed line between “sense-data” and logic, and this is good, because it really undermines his argument that reality and logic are easily conflated. If he accepts this well formed line, then it is possible to account for logic in a non-circular way in any worldview that can accept inductive reasoning. Since TAG considers presuppositions to be necessary in any worldview, I’m sure he wouldn’t object that the tentative acceptance of inductive reasoning is a valid presupposition.
To the red herring of subjectivity, Dan seems to disagree or be ignorant of the fact that logic depends on facts, and if a logical chain has subjective propositions, the conclusion will be subjectively true and logically contingent, given that logic was properly applied. Just as you could have a logically sound argument with a false conclusion if a proposition were false.
Do you use your reasoning when you reason about the past ‘success’ of your reasoning? Obviously you do, which makes your position viciously circular.
Well, Dan, if you accept that every worldview is contingent upon presuppositions, then obviously I don’t, or do so in a way that is no different then you do. Are you denying now that worldviews are contingent on presuppositions? So if your presuppositions are “virtuously circular” then you need to get very specific about how mine are less valid than yours. If you disallow this, and call it argumentum ad ignorantiam, then you are the one who disavows inductive reasoning. Unless you can show me how your presupposition guarantees universal, unchanging, immutable conformity in nature, which I’m really looking forward to. Can a Christian take conformity in nature to the bank?
Did you use logic to have the brain come up with logic?
Again, logic is contingent on reality, not my brain. As an abstract description of the properties of a material universe, the ability to reason is in my brain, but doesn’t pop up out of nowhere. I didn’t “come up” with logic, so this question is nonsensical.
Does everyone, individually, manufacture logic to use it?
Wow, Dan. Are you sure you’re not a materialist? Manufacture? I suppose though, every person could individually test logic for consistency with observation, if that is what you mean.
Is logic universal to you?
As in true under any conceivable circumstance, or true under any circumstance I think I’m likely to observe? I’m thinking you are conflating terms again…..
If so, how do you account for universal things?
I don’t strictly believe logic is universal in the sense that you think it is. I also don’t think things can be called universal outside of abstract reasoning. I also don’t consider this question well phrased,next…..
What observations of reality points to logic?
What observations of reality don’t point to logic Dan? Come on.
Your position (the source of logic is the brain) opens up too many questions that need to be fleshed out before we can move on. This forum is too cumbersome, and time consuming, to do such a thing.
My position has never been that the brain is the sole source of logic. You know that. You just pull-quoted my answer that logic is a set of rules that exist in the mind as a bridge between reality and abstract thought, and took out the part about reality and abstract thought. I’m glad you have trouble defending your position in a forum like this, at least that gives you a built in excuse to run away.
Are you going to answer any questions Dan? I doubt it. There are plenty you have ignored thus far, I expect that to remain an indication of the Uniformity of Nature. Your only remaining course of action is to either claim victory by just waving aside my answers as insufficient (without defending that assertion, of course), or resorting to the old presuppositional stand-by of “Are You Certain?….If so, why?”
That one is a real argument winner.
UPDATE: Jason has an excellent post on presuppositionalism up at his site, addressing it from a different, more scientific, angle. Check it out….