Presuppositionalism: There’s a clue in the title

The basics are the hardest to establish.

In a recent short comment exchange, on this blog, on the evidence for God’s existence, Dan directed me to an article entitled Still No Evidence, which he posted in 2010 to his ‘debunking atheists’ blog.

In it, he quotes Greg Bahnsen, who echoes a belief held by many Christians, that evidence of Yahweh’s existence is manifest in the natural world around us.

Dan goes on to correctly identify the obvious problem with this; that there are natural explanations for everything which can be measured and observed. He incorrectly states that this is an atheistic objection, when in reality it is a statement of fact, but the conclusion he reaches is nevertheless correct; that atheists aren’t interested in replacing evidence with faith; that we hold ourselves to a higher standard of proof, than mere belief.

The fact that Dan doesn’t realise this is what he’s done, has given me the chance to write about an unscientific experiment I’ve been conducting, on various comment threads at reddit.com/r/DebateAChristian, which deal with the problem of describing the difference between faith and evidence, to people who assume a belief in God to be the default position, and non-belief to be a rejection of that which is therefore ‘self-evident’ — at least within the internal logic of the Christian world-view.

We’ve seen, in many recent Fundamentally Flawed Podcasts, how presuppositionalism simply ignores the problem of its own logical inconsistency, when on one hand it claims to be a faith-based argument, while on the other it claims to present objectively valid evidence for Yahweh’s basic existence. In some instances it appears to tackle this, by borrowing from one to explain the other, and hopes no-one will notice it fails to do either. But in most cases, it simply demands that it is the atheist who must account for this discrepancy — which, of course, he is under no such obligation to do.

For some time now, myself and Alex Botten (as well as various others) have begun episodes of the podcast, where we talk to presuppositionalists, with a very basic question about exactly this problem. We have asked, quite simply: Do you base your position upon objectively valid evidence for Yahweh’s basic existence, or do you adopt a faith-based position?

This has been met with some extreme resistance, despite being a perfectly legitimate question, designed to be as transparent as possible, so as to establish some basics. Remember, presuppositionalism rises and falls on claiming that “Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought” and that “the Bible is divine revelation which exposes flaws in other world-views.”

Such is the strength of the objection to this question, despite that it directly invites the apologist to clarify their position, I feel it necessary to break down each element of it, in the hope of explaining exactly why it is such an important distinction to make. In so doing, I hope to bridge something of an impasse which has presented itself, in these recent podcast debates, and steer things in a different, hopefully more productive direction, so that some of the chief protagonists, who argue in favour of presuppositional apologetics, might be more willing to discuss it openly, on the podcast, rather than hide behind comment disabled blogs and the cut and paste, received opinion of their peers.

In his 2010 article, Dan correctly identifies the reason why apologists should avoid answering questions like this, if they believe the atheist isn’t actually interested in their answer. The reasons he gives for this are essentially twofold. Firstly, if an apologist claims to base her belief in Yahweh upon objectively valid evidence for God’s basic existence, the atheist can immediately demand that this evidence be presented. Secondly, because this evidence inevitably falls back on a faith based position, (that, for example, the bible is literally true), the atheist is then free to point out that this is not only a circular fallacy, but that the bible itself has been repeatedly demonstrated, by bible scholars, to be comprised of allegory and folklore, and is not historically accurate. The atheist then appears to score a double win, when in fact they have merely pointed out that Christianity is a faith, and not a science.

While this is a neat way of presenting the basic problem of presuppositionalism, to those who are not aware of other kinds of more interesting theological arguments, the mistake we atheists then make is to presume this is as obvious to the apologist, as it is to us and everyone else. We assume that this fundamental contradiction will stop the apologist from then going to say, “God is..” or “I believe that…”, as if whatever statement might then follow is being made independent of that which has already been demonstrated to be false, factually incorrect, or logically inconsistent. But it doesn’t. In fact it has the opposite effect. It actually causes them to commit to these arguments all the stronger.

A possible reason for this, is that rather than realise they’ve been given a strong reason to doubt their previous certainties, the interlocutor instead feels as if they’ve fallen for a ‘gotcha’ move; that by merely allowing themselves to be led through the basic flaw in their own argument, they have been somehow tricked into saying something which they wouldn’t ordinarily say — that in the mere act of demanding clarity on the basis for which their truth-claims are based, the atheist is playing a tactical game. Of course, in reality, we are simply asking an honest question, in an attempt to understand their true position. But because this is being done on a level which, often, they themselves have simply never thought to consider possible, it is perceived as a debating trick, designed to throw them off topic.

For an example of how this manifests itself in Christian to Christian advice blogging, let’s look at the following paragraph from Dan’s 2010 article:

I must make an apology to you at this point. We who believe in God have not always made this position plain. Often enough we have talked with you about facts and sound reasons as though we agreed with you on what these really are. In our arguments for the existence of God we have frequently assumed that you and we together have an area of knowledge on which we agree. But we really do not grant that you see any fact in any dimension of life truly. We really think you have colored glasses on your nose when you talk about chickens and cows, as well as when you talk about the life hereafter. We should have told you this more plainly than we did. But we were really a little ashamed of what would appear to you as a very odd or extreme position. We were so anxious not to offend you that we offended our own God. But we dare no longer present our God to you as smaller or less exacting than He really is. He wants to be presented as the All-Conditioner, as the emplacement on which even those who deny Him must stand.

Did you spot it? They think we don’t understand their predicament. They assume we choose to adopt a contrarian stance simply out of some kind of malice. This explains their belief that atheists “hate God”. It also explains why they believe we are ignoring what to them is obvious. In short, they believe we base our worldview as much upon faith as they do theirs.

So when we present an argument against this presumption, they not only assume we’re attacking everything which follows-on from their faith-based position (which they have incorrectly identified as objectively valid) but that we are also arguing against our own position — which they are literally incapable of seeing as anything other than a faith-based position — since these are the kinds of absolutes in which they exclusively deal, and so assume everyone else does too.

Pointing out that this is a fundamental misunderstanding of why we are non-religious, has led to a lot of bad feeling. And I would argue, we’re doing ourselves a great disservice for not acknowledging it, in the interest of moving the debate on.

We need to give them space to make their argument, without making them feel as if, no matter what they say, we’re going to disagree with it. We must make it clear, to the apologist, that if we state as a fact that no evidence for Yahweh’s basic existence has ever been presented, their insistence that it has, doesn’t constitute evidence that it has.

Similarly, we must accept that the standard of proof required to satisfy this demand, must exceed mere empirical observation. It must be a combination of all the available information about reality, comprising personal experiences, private revelation, and it must, above all else, be logically consistent. This is the standard of proof presuppositionalism itself insists would constitute evidence of Yahweh’s basic existence, so we must let them present it.

More than that, we must also allow them to explain how this constitutes evidence of everything from miracles, to Jesus’s divinity, Mary’s virginity and all points in-between. We must, quite simply, allow them to explain all of it. Each and every last one of their truth-claims must be explained, and we must listen to those explanations, with an eye on the same level of detail they would demand of us.

This is what they claim to have, and this is what they claim to be unique about Christianity, so this is what they should be given the space to account for. And on the assumption this is what they can and will do, we must then demand — just as they would from us — that they explain why this renders our position false, and theirs valid.

To the Christian reader: If you’ve ever wanted to ask an atheist, “What would constitute reasonable evidence that you are wrong, and Christianity is right”, you now have my answer: Prove all of it is true. I have identified what you yourself claim, so go ahead and convince me.

Please note:
“I cannot convince you, you can only do it yourself” doesn’t count. I am doing it myself by asking you, the expert.

“Your heart is hardened, you must allow the holy spirit to enter you” suggests that I am close minded. Don’t sell yourself so short. If your argument is as robust as you insist, my objections will melt away. Remember, you’re preaching what you believe to be the absolute truth about life itself.

“I would prefer not to appear on the podcast, as I think better when writing my ideas down” is a massive copout. Stand in the corner and think about what you’ve done, until your mummy gets here.

“I have some links for you to read” won’t cut it either. If you think I’ve never read any apologetics before, you’re judging me by a very low standard. If you understand it, you can explain it in a way which should make sense to anyone. It’s knowledge, not prison rules backgammon. Now get on with it.

“Jesus said…” isn’t an opening line, it’s a presumption Jesus existed, that accounts of his words are accurate, and that he was the creator of the universe in human form. Start from the beginning and work your way up. Again, these are your truth-claims, not mine. So present the evidence for them and I’ll sit back and listen.

“How do you account for…” isn’t a question for me to answer. It is you who claims to posses something unavailable to the non-religious. So, pretty please, don’t ask me to account for your argument on your behalf. Make your position stand on its own merits, and stop leaning against straw man, false refutations of what you believe my position is and is not. If it’s true, it’s true. You don’t need me to hold your hand. Speak, Ubu, SPEAK!

“Be like me, or suffer forever” spam comes through here every day. Save yourself the trouble. If you want to annoy someone, ask your church how much they paid in taxes last year.

To accept the above invitation, having understood the burden of proof you’ve placed on your own shoulders, you can take part in the Fundamentally Flawed Podcast debate, by adding the username thatjim to Skype, and leave a comment below. Good luck!

159 comments on “Presuppositionalism: There’s a clue in the title

  1. Good post Jim. Good read.
    I’ve been listening to, I believe all your podcasts dealing with presuppositional apologetics and I have tons of problems with his arguments. First of all I don’t know much about logic or theology but sometimes they say for example that logic exists independent from brains I don’t really understand what they mean. I mean even insects use the law of noncontradiction and most animals can figure out that there are for example two predators chasing them and not one. They don’t call it logic or reflect upon it. It’s just information from the senses and application for survival. The only reason we can make out sets or objects is because we see things at this scale. Go into a planck lenght and you would probably not be able to make sense of anything, let alone count stuff. It’s all a boiling brew of particles that we have had to make models of to even comprehend. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  2. Also, I’m not sure we will ever be able to get anywhere trying to reason with proponents of presuppositionalism. Cause if I remember right Reynolds in one of your podcasts pointed out that Yahweh seemed to be dishonest and straight out decieve characters in the Bible. The counter argument was that God is allowed to send evil spirits or demons to do the lying for him and that was all a part of Yahweh’s grand plan to bring glory to himself, but Yahweh can’t lie. To me, thats just revealing of what we are really dealing with behind the smoke screen.

  3. We’ve had more than one or two guests who understand this well enough. Their problem isn’t the science, it’s where the science “comes from” — as if the only way to answer what is essentially a hypothetical question, is to postulate immaterial complexity prior to the emergence of material simplicity; or to put the cart before the horse, cosmologically speaking.

    Now, that’s not to say that the cosmological argument isn’t an order of magnitude more interesting than, say, Kant’s Transcendental Argument, but it’s still firmly in God of the gaps territory. This article is an invitation to those who argue to the contrary of this, to therefore present the evidence their own position requires them to produce.

  4. Yeah, I went on a bit of a unnesccesary rant there, sorry. Yes, from what I understand despite the description, logic still exists. A rock is a rock despite us being there to describe it or not. But, it’s still just the way things are. A universe where the law of noncontadiciton don’t apply for example is beyond me. It almost seems to boil down to a ‘silly why question’.

    Also, I didn’t really mean that we shouldn’t have discussions. Of course we should. It’s still interesting and improves our understanding of other peoples views.

  5. I don’t think “what we are really dealing with behind the smoke screen” is necessarily always dishonest, it’s just that, of those who have responded to this open ended request, we’ve so far only heard from those who echo and regurgitate the extremely bad ideas of one or two provable frauds, who make it their mission to label well intentioned atheists with the worst ideas of their fellow non-believers, in order to shift the focus from their own shortcomings. I’m hoping that, by setting out in as unambiguous terms as possible, where I believe the debate could go next, we might encourage some original thinkers, from the apologist benches, to bring their A game and, by default, show those who came before them how it’s supposed to be done.

  6. According to the many worlds theory of quantum physics, a universe where the law of noncontradiction wouldn’t apply is not only possible, it’s probable. And if that doesn’t frazzle your cucumber, it’s also completely impossible at the same time. Infinity is a bitch :D

  7. …I should also add, that of course even the term “law” is irrelevant in describing the physics which may or may not apply to other dimensions in the brane.

  8. ..oh, and also, “logic still exists” also assumes that logic is logical, in other realities; that cause and effect are as intrinsic in other dimensions as they are in this one, which, thanks to the nature of infinity, is not so.

  9. I hate logic and science, it doesn’t make any sense! X)

    It is kinda funny. Before all this presuppositionalism, atheists argued that we don’t care about what makes us feel good, we care about what is true and now arguing against presuppositional apologetics we say that their position isn’t usefull in reality and that our ‘world view’ has built civilizations and they claim to have ultimate truth and tell us to give up truth in order to defend our position.

  10. You should try asking one of them to tell you a ‘truth’ that only they have access to, the results are often hilarious….for example, Dan Marvin presented the combination to his gun safe, and his child’s favourite things! Talk about utterly pathetic!

  11. Thanks Jim. You have just also given us empirical evidence affirming another post of ours called “The Arrogance of Atheism

    “The “arrogance of atheism” is manifest by those Atheists who presuppose the truth of their system of thought and expect the Christian to work within the framework of that system, all the while denying for the Christian the inverse thereof because the only presuppositions the Atheist permits in the field of debate are his own. Again, the issue is not about Atheists insisting that theistic claims be supported, but rather how they insist those claims get supported.” ~David Smart

  12. Dan, the framework for understanding isn’t mine, it’s yours. I’m not telling you what you can and can’t use in order to prove your own truth claims, I’m acknowledging that I understand your position and am inviting you to present evidence for its objective validity.

    Just by way of advice, however, I would be careful not to bandy words like “arrogance” around, while simultaneously claiming to have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe. It tends to confirm the stereotype.

    I’m also disappointed to see you didn’t actually read the article, beyond the parts which relate to you. I had hoped the consolatory tone would make you realise there is another person on the other side of this text, and that I am perfectly willing to hear what you have to say and why you say it. But you appear to be using an inverse of the tactics you rightly identify as problematic in other people, which is curious.

    Nevertheless, you know how to contact me via Skype, as and when you’re ready to clarify why this is.

  13.      I have a couple points of disagreement. First off, I believe that practitioners of Presuppositional Baloney are dishonest. They don’t think they have objective evidence. You see, Dan used to be honest. But after he embraced Presuppositional Baloney, he started telling blatant lies. He falsely claims that non-christians really believe in his god. He denied ever having his original purpose for starting his blog. And he claimed not to have advertizing when it was quite prominent.
         “I would prefer not to appear on the podcast, as I think better when writing my ideas down” is not a copout. There are people, like myself, that don’t like a lot of publicity. I, for example, feel very intimidated in the presence of a camera or a microphone. Please, do not tell me to “get over it.” I have heard that line far too many times. I am quite aware that many people love cameras. I only ask you to understand that there are those of us who do not. There is also another consideration. I, myself, take a sizeable amount of time composing one of my posts (whether a post on my blog or just a comment.) What takes 5 minutes to read may well represent hours of thought. A live debate, or even question and answer session is ill-suited to the way I compose my thoughts.

  14. But Nide, ‘existence’ doesn’t provide ANY evidence for your god, given that it gives every appearance of being a naturally occurring phenomenon.

    Try again.

  15. pvblivs. I take your point on spoken debate versus written, but I still feel that if someone is confident of their facts, they should be able to explain the basics of them face to face.

  16. “Wishing doesn’t make it so.” Ah, so now you’re starting to quote Ydemoc, but (predictably) failing to understand what he was actually saying. Hilarious.

  17. Speaking personally, I think Dan should tackle this podcast discussion/debate.

    Jim, you seem polite and sincere, and while your opinion is probably well-established, you don’t come across (to me) as someone looking for a fight. You seem to value actual discussion.

    For this reason, I think you might be a better platform for Dan to express his views without falling into the tired back & forth theological discussions usually result in.

    Just my 2cp

  18. I’d love Dan to appear on the show – I know he’s listened to several of the other episodes, and knows full well that Jim and I are usually very polite to our presup guests

  19. Alex,

    Wrong again.

    It’s a quote from my favorite “atheist” i.e. Dawson Bethrick.

    Ydemoc is a dawson clone.

  20. I have five, sometimes naked, children running and screaming around me at all times. To have a video or audio Skype would be out of the question. It would be neglect to ignore them so I can have a debate, or conversations. I entertained the idea to have a one on one podcast even, but I had to shelve the idea until the kids are older.

    Here is what I wrote in my facebook status a few days ago:

    “So, the two year old, decided to cook and got the large garlic powder out and dumped a lot onto the counter. He got mad at me for swatting his butt a little and saying “no”, he was cooking for me after all. So he decided to go into my bedroom and make up for the mess by cleaning there. While I was cleaning the garlic up, he emptied a can of lysol into the electrical outlet and my bed sheets. Another swat, and durring the ventilation and sheet changing, the kid decided to resume his cooking and dumped the garlic powder on the floor and counter again! When I went to put all the sheets in the drier an hour later, he decided to dump the garlic just one more time so I “got the message” he is two. Whew. Patience, you get to know it well.”

    So, as you can see, I am not equipped to divert my attention away for a moment to have a conversation. It has nothing to do with the demure of an Atheist. My kids are right here next to me as I write even this.

    I respectfully decline and divert that meeting to someone you may know, his name is Sye TenBruggencate and can be reached at speaking@proofthatgodexists.org to arrange a time for a meeting. :7)

  21. Hezekiah:

         You seem to misunderstand the burden of proof. The burden is on you to convince us that your god is there. We acknowledge that existence exists. But we do not see it as evidence of your god.

  22. So, as you can see, I am not equipped to divert my attention away for a moment to have a conversation

    While I have no doubt that raising five kids is time-consuming, you seem to have enough time to annoy the people who annoy you so frequently on your blog.

    Surely, in the time it takes to formulate a post and respond fecklessly to the dozen comments you get each day, you could engage in 15 minutes of conversation via phone…

  23. Hello from Robert Bumbalough. Nice blog and well written. Although I do not understand why the author (Jim Gardner?) would care about a small and insignificant group of religious extremists. Presuppositionalist appologists and their followers seem to me to be in a similar category as those unfortunates in Jim Jones’ People’s Temple or Marshall Applewhite’s Heaven’s Gate cults. The presuppers are nutters and not at all representative of nominal Christianity. Why bother with them?

  24. “I respectfully decline and divert that meeting to someone you may know, his name is Sye TenBruggencate and can be reached at speaking@proofthatgodexists.org to arrange a time for a meeting.”

    I think the several hours we’ve already given to Sye (during which he singularly failed to make even one valid point) is more than enough.

  25. Pv said: “You seem to misunderstand the burden of proof. The burden is on you to convince us that your god is there. We acknowledge that existence exists. But we do not see it as evidence of your god.”

    Pv what you seem to misunderstand is that the facts don’t determine what some people will believe. Remember Pv we all have our filters.

  26. “facts don’t determine what some people will believe” – are you saying that facts don’t come into it when you decide what to believe, Nide?

  27. Robert Bumbalough wrote the following:

    The presuppers are nutters and not at all representative of nominal Christianity. Why bother with them?

    I’m not speaking for Jim or Alex, but I agree with you that they’re a small minority. The reason I’ve spent ANY time discussing their brand of apologia is that I’m amazed at the self-righteous dishonesty they display in the name of their religion. Spend time reading moderately-well-traveled blogs where they post, and you’ll see other Christians who seem actually to be enthusiastic about it.

    In my mind, I can not fathom how someone could claim to revere a deity on the one hand and reject that deity’s values on the other. I’ve tried to engage them to find out more about the whole thing; let’s just say that I’m not impressed and leave it there.

    In short, they’re a noisy, annoying minority. I’m sure you’d agree that, like any group of like-minded vocal individuals, the views of the moderate majority tend to be absent, leaving the impression that the group is represented minority views. It’s certainly not true with Christianity, but I hope to see more of the average believers standing up and calling presup nonsense for what it is.

  28. “facts don’t determine what some people will believe” – are you saying that facts don’t come into it when you decide what to believe, Nide?”

    Alex what is a fact and how is it that you are not imagining what you call facts?

    Ok, my point is. We all have guiding principles that determine our beliefs.

  29. I’m confused as to how Dan has the time to comment on this, while insisting his busy private life leaves him no time to answer a simple yes or no question, on his most basic truth-claim.

    If I were the cynical type I’d say his only real interest, is in arguing about arguing, as opposed to having any real understanding on the true scale of the lie being sold to him by messieurs ten Bruggencate and Bahnsen.

    As we’ve seen on every other occasion in which presuppositionalism is asked to clarify the simplest of facts, the moistest mouths are the first to clam up with the muffled, meaningless objections as to the worthiness of the person asking the questions. It goes from being the absolute, undeniable, proof that God exists, to a “my dad is bigger than your dad” toddler’s tantrum, quicker than you can say “burden of proof”.

    Robert Bumbalough: They fall into two groups. One, as you rightly point out, are nasty liars, who seek to financially gain from teaching presup. debating tactics and question avoidance, to those innocently drawn into the scam, such as Dan and Hezekiah.

    We’re simply trying explain to them, that there are far more interesting arguments for and against the existence of God, than the one they’ve being sold on by the likes of Sye ten Bruggencate.

    The point of this article, was to spell out exactly what we’ve been led to believe about their position, and allow them to clarify any misunderstandings we might have about that. So far we’ve had “because we exist” and “atheists are arrogant”.

    The question of why we bother, then, is simple. If this is the best Christianity can do, to provide evidence of it’s own truth-claims, it’s in serious trouble. I don’t believe, however, that this is the case. I think that, lurking out there somewhere, there are some clever, insightful Christian apologists, who are as appalled by this kind of nonsense as anyone else. It is the arguments made by these people which are far more likely to save Dan, Hezekiah and their chums from themselves, than anything we atheists can possible say.

    Unfortunately, this is where we now are. For as long as the concerns about their position come from the non-religious side, they’re forever doomed to believe we’re just trying to trick them into not believing in God — and nothing could be further from the truth. We’re simply worried that when they do work out the scam for themselves, they’re going to grasp at straws and slip even further into the cult — and it would be remiss of our humanist values if we did nothing to try and help them avoid this, before it’s too late.

    Hezekiah: You need to read more non-fiction. I recommend ‘How the Mind Works’, by Steven Pinker.

    Ydemoc: Thank you!

  30. Jim,

    I feel your pain.

    But let’s be honest with each other.

    I gave you existence.

    What more can I give you?

    I can’t go get God.

    You say not to read Bahnsen but then slip in one of your own.

    I think I deserve an explanation Jim?

  31. You’re right Jim.

    I’ve always believed God has existed.

    I can’t remember a time when I didn’t.

    I gave my evidence. Theres nothing more I can do.

    Blessings.

  32. And as I said to you on the podcast, I am the last person who would seek to tell you what you can and can’t believe. That’s not what we’re talking about here. This isn’t about me telling you not to believe in God, it’s me asking you why you believe in God, and why you continue to believe in the ten Bruggencate argument, despite that you yourself have conceded “there is nothing more I can do”.

    It took several weeks, and pages of text, but we finally have your answer to question number one. You hold a faith based position. Great! I’m glad for you. Don’t read that in a snarky tone, I really mean it. There is nothing wrong with having faith. It is a perfectly legitimate position to hold. So long as you’re honest about it, you’ll get no push back from me.

    Now, question number two. Can you give me one example, where adopting a faith-based position is clearly less reliable then one based upon objectively valid evidence?

  33. Because without God you can’t make sense of anything.

    I’ve never hid my faith Jim. In fact, I live by faith.

    We all do. Remember the podcast?

  34. That’s great. Now, can you give me one example, where adopting a faith-based position is clearly less reliable then one based upon objectively valid evidence?

  35. Jim all positions are based on faith.

    But I have a question:

    Jim you keep using language.

    What makes you think anything you say makes sense or has meaning.

    How is it Jim that what you are saying is not meaningless?

  36. I don’t know how many times you want me to agree with you on that, so I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you’re asking about meaning because you don’t understand the question. So let me rephrase it.

    We are standing at the edge of a swimming pool. A storm last night has caused the power line from an overheard electricity cable to break, and one end of it is in the water.

    We have no way of knowing if the power supply is still live. Therefore we can both agree, that to assume the water isn’t live and simply jump in for a swim, is an exceptionally bad way of determining whether or not the power is still connected. So we also therefore agree, that in this instance, adopting a faith based position, rather than one which depends upon objectively valid evidence, is the weaker position to adopt, in determining certain facts. Hence, faith based positions have limits which are by defined by their objective validity.

    I know that what I am saying is not meaningless, because my claim that the water is live, versus your claim that it is not, tells us more about the likely outcome of donning a pair of Speedos and jumping into the water, than one which is based upon the blind assumption that one scenario is more likely to be true than another.

    I know that water and electricity do not mix, not because I have faith in the laws of physics, but because those laws exist regardless of my understanding them, or my choosing to observe them.

  37. Nide, H.A.: > “I gave you existence.” and “I gave my evidence. Theres nothing more I can do.”

    Existence is evidence of existence. It is not evidence of any god.

    Nide, H.A.: > “what is a fact and how is it that you are not imagining what you call facts?”

    Fact is the actual ontological state of existence. Human knowledge includes the concept of truth, well stated by Nide’s favorite atheist, Dawson Bethrick:

    “truth is the non-contradictory, objective identification of fact. Truth obtains when an objectively formed, logically assembled conceptual structure (e.g., a proposition) conforms to the facts which it is intended to denote in accordance with the relevant content of those facts.”

    We know existence actually does exist independently of any consciousness because we are aware of information. We know awareness of information validates the primacy of existence because ontology of information only can occur as an encoding or embodying of reductionist, materialist, atomist particles. Such encoding or embodiment identifies a ratio of ordered causality to disorder in Shannon Information Theory, or a state proportional to a ratio of randomness to redundancy as in Kolmogorov-Chaitin information theory. Information is completely, totally, essentially dependent upon actual existence of consciousness independent reductionist, materialist, atomist particles. We know we are not fantasizing existence because truth obtains. We know truth obtains because we have direct sensory access to existence and because induction naturally operates. We know induction and the uniformity of nature are validated because of the reasons listed by Bethrick at:

    http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2012/04/answering-dustin-segers_12.html

    Nide and his buddies have been answered on these issues repeatedly. I suspect the longer they persist in their folly, the more frustrated they become. If frustration overpowers what little remains of their common sense, and they take up arms to compel others to adopt their views as do the Al Qaeda terrorists they should not expect mercy. The State will kill them.

    Do you understand Nide? If you use knives, guns or bombs to force others to accept your absurd nonsense, you will be hunted down and killed.

  38. Jim,

    Were not talking about speedos right now but how is that you are not imagining this “objectively valid evidence”?

    I “know” because I “know” is unacceptable Jim.

    “I know I’m real because I feel pain” is a weak argument.

    My point is Jim we could both imagine wearing speedos while arguing about whether we should jump in a pool.

    Jim how do you know that an hour from now you are not going to start yelling like an elephant?

    Get me now Jim?

  39. Hezekiah. That has to be one of the best examples of exactly what we’re talking about, when we say presuppositionalist don’t understand their own argument, I think I’ve ever read. It is quite literally a textbook example of how the bait and switch technique of ten Bruggencate manifests itself in people who take his argument seriously, without considering it might be false.

    You’ve just argued against your own previous position.

  40. But that’s not Sye’s argument.

    It’s God’s argument.

    God says reject him and you will be reduced to a fool.

    If you don’t start with him, you can’t know anything.

    The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

    Dr. Van Til said it pretty brilliantly:

    “If one does not make human knowledge wholly dependent upon the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man, then man will have to seek knowledge within himself as the final reference point. Then he will have to seek an exhaustive understanding of reality. He will have to hold that if he cannot attain to such an exhaustive understanding of reality he has no true knowledge of anything at all. Either man must then know everything or he knows nothing. This is the dilemma that confronts every form of non-Christian epistemology” – Cornelius Van Til

    Your thoughts Jim.

  41. And so the infinite loop of circular reasoning completes another revolution. You are the best advert for exactly what we’re talking about I’ve ever encountered. Thank you.

  42. This –

    “Dr. Van Til said it pretty brilliantly”

    followed by this –

    “Either man must then know everything or he knows nothing. This is the dilemma that confronts every form of non-Christian epistemology”

    does not compute.

    Nide, please explain how this naked, and baseless, assertion from Van Til proves anything at all.

    And then this –

    “It’s God’s argument.

    God says reject him and you will be reduced to a fool.”

    Please, Nide, tell me which verses in the Bible talk about formal logic and reason. A list will suffice.

  43. Hezekiah, if you’re around and free now, myself and Alex are on Skype.

    EDIT: This is an invitation also open to anyone else, obviously. Just add my username, thatjim and send me a message.

    EDIT 2: Hezekiah has confirmed he will chat via Skype tomorrow at 7pm UK GMT. Stay tuned to the Fundamentally Flawed podcast feed soon after (see link in top menu)

  44. “does not compute.”

    Not surprising.

    “Nide, please explain how this naked, and baseless, assertion from Van Til proves anything at all.”

    For a person who can’t tell the difference between reality and the imaginary, this is quite shocking.

    “Please, Nide, tell me which verses in the Bible talk about formal logic and reason. A list will suffice.”

    Everywhere it mentions God. God is absolutely rational and logical.

    I highly doubt you have ever studied formal logic or taken a class in critical thinking.

    Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” See the proof?

    Ephesiand 4: 17 “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart”

    1 Cor 1: 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach[b] to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

    Any more Alex?

  45. “For a person who can’t tell the difference between reality and the imaginary, this is quite shocking.”

    Ah, that’s called transference Nide, if you actually bothered to check it’s YOU who seems to have a problem distinguishing the real from the imaginary. I’m starting to think that you’re merely regurgitating what you’ve heard people like Dawson say, without actually understanding any of it.

    “I highly doubt you have ever studied formal logic or taken a class in critical thinking.”

    And yet I still run rings round you, weird huh?

    “God is absolutely rational and logical.”

    Yes, because being 100% man AND 100% god AT THE SAME TIME is the height of rationality and logic!

    Try again, Nide.

  46. “Ah, that’s called transference Nide, if you actually bothered to check it’s YOU who seems to have a problem distinguishing the real from the imaginary. I’m starting to think that you’re merely regurgitating what you’ve heard people like Dawson say, without actually understanding any of it.”

    How is it that I am not imagining this Alex?

    “And yet I still run rings round you, weird huh?”

    Alex you have a wild imagination

    “Yes, because being 100% man AND 100% god AT THE SAME TIME is the height of rationality and logic!”

    hahhaah……..but you don’t even know what rationalty issssss!!!!!!!!!

    Try again Alex.

  47. Nide, that kind of thing only works if you have a nodding acquaintance with rationality and reality. You, as evidenced by your blog and your responses here, do not.

  48. “Nide, that kind of thing only works if you have a nodding acquaintance with rationality and reality. You, as evidenced by your blog and your responses here, do not.”

    Your imagination doesn’t make things true, Alex.

    “Btw, none of those quoted verses mention logic. Try again.”

    They don’t need to. What part don’t you get?

  49. “Your imagination doesn’t make things true, Alex.” I know, which is why I don’t think it does, unlike you.

    Really, you’re reaching Bob Sorensen levels of transference here!

  50. “I know, which is why I don’t think it does, unlike you.”

    Are You sure? How do you “know” Alex?

  51. “Why do you think that’s a good question, Nide?”

    And this is what it boils down to. How embarrasing.

    Good night Alex.

  52. “You don’t know why you think it’s a good question? Wow.”

    Alex: winded, tired, and left without a fight.

    “Nide, how to you account for possibly driving people AWAY from Christianity with you inane nonsense?”

    The road that leads to life is not a pleasant one.
    It’s better to be offended now than later.

    You know God exists, Alex. God is commanding you to repent and turn in faith to Christ.

  53. How do Hezekiah and Christians like him justify suppressing their knowledge of the fact that praying to a milk bottle is just as effective as praying to the Christian god?

    How does Hezekiah account for his inability to remember?

    How does Hezekiah justify his rejection of science?

    How does Hezekiah account for repressing the fact that hope is not certainty?

    How does Hezekiah account for his inability to tell us how he distinguishes between his god and what he may merely be imagining?

    How does Hezekiah account for his inability to recognize the fact that hope doesn’t make it so?

    How does Hezekiah account for his repressing his knowledge of the fact that there has been zero — no, not one — scientifically established miracle?

    How does Hezekiah justify his counting on science that supports his position, while repressing his knowledge of or rationalizing that which doesn’t support his position?

    How does Hezekiah justify telling the unsaved that they are not “not qualified to quote scripture”?

    How does he justify not making his case for a brainless, invisible, undetectable, imperceptible, non-biological being who, according to his worldview, can think, express emotion, and sit without a rear end?

    How does Hezekiah justify using a starting point that begins in the imagination?

    How does Hezekiah account for the fact that the phrase “renewal unto knowledge” is incoherent?

    How does Hezekiah justify presupposing that which does not exist?

    How does Hezekiah account for his inability to explain how it makes sense to presuppose that which does not exist?

    How does Hezekiah account for faith’s unreliability?

    How does Hezekiah justify repressing the fact that faith is unreliable?

    How does Hezekiah justify his not following Mat 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5?

    Hoe does he account for his inability to explain how scripture in anyway corresponds to reality?

    How does he account for being so unclear when attempting to deliver his world view’s message of salvation?

    How does he account for his belief system making him ignorant and incurious?

    How does Hezekiah justify his unreasonableness?

    How does Hezekiah justify his denial that knowledge is hierarchical?

    How does he justify his suppression of the fact that awareness requires something to be aware of?

    How does Hezekiah account for Jesus having or not having an erection?

    Ydemoc

  54.      “Dude, the term ‘logic’ was not introduced until the 15th century. What are you even talking about?”
         Strange, then that my Latin dictionary has Cicero using the word logicvs during his lifetime (106-43BCE).

  55. “Alex: winded, tired, and left without a fight.”

    Really? Nide, the readers can clearly see the reality of how things are going here.

    “The road that leads to life is not a pleasant one.
    It’s better to be offended now than later.”

    I’m not offended by your ‘message’, I’m offended by your utter inability to deliver it.

    “You know God exists, Alex. God is commanding you to repent and turn in faith to Christ.”

    Please prove that your version of your particular god exists, then prove that I ‘believe’ in your version of your particular god. Remember, citing a book is not proof.

  56. “Please prove that your version of your particular god exists, then prove that I ‘believe’ in your version of your particular god. Remember, citing a book is not proof.”

    Look out your window.

  57. Not really, mate. I wrote an article on my impression of the presuppositional argument, which specifically invited considerate and intelligent corrections and debate, and then Dan and Hezekiah appeared, confirmed everything I’d already feared about their actual interest in such things, and then they left again.

    Oh and proof that Jesus created the universe is everything you can see from your window. So, at least that one’s settled.

  58. >How do Hezekiah and Christians like him justify suppressing their knowledge of the fact that praying to a milk bottle is just as effective as praying to the Christian god?

    They try not to think about it.

    >How does Hezekiah account for his inability to remember?

    Complain you’re not asking the right questions.

    >How does Hezekiah justify his rejection of science?

    By rejecting everything which can be proven to be true, and embracing everything that can’t.

    >How does Hezekiah account for repressing the fact that hope is not certainty?

    By hoping some more.

    >How does Hezekiah account for his inability to tell us how he distinguishes between his god and what he may merely be imagining?

    By pretending you don’t know what you’re taking about, but he does.

    >How does Hezekiah account for his inability to recognize the fact that hope doesn’t make it so?

    EVERYTHING OUTSIDE YOUR WINDOWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    >How does Hezekiah account for his repressing his knowledge of the fact that there has been zero — no, not one — scientifically established miracle?

    He has a varied collection of blindfolds with colour coded ear muffs.

    >How does Hezekiah justify his counting on science that supports his position, while repressing his knowledge of or rationalizing that which doesn’t support his position?

    Quick! Close the window! You’re letting the holy spirit escape!

    >How does Hezekiah justify telling the unsaved that they are not “not qualified to quote scripture”?

    Something something something unrighteousness something something only a fool something something burn forever something something God is love.

    >How does he justify not making his case for a brainless, invisible, undetectable, imperceptible, non-biological being who, according to his worldview, can think, express emotion, and sit without a rear end?

    Ahhh, heck. You done use your mouth purdier than a $20 whore.

    >How does Hezekiah justify using a starting point that begins in the imagination?

    He hasn’t thought that far ahead. But he’ll be damned if any filthy atheist is going to get there first.

    >How does Hezekiah account for the fact that the phrase “renewal unto knowledge” is incoherent?

    By stomping his feet and insisting it is.

    >How does Hezekiah justify presupposing that which does not exist?

    Faith.

    >How does Hezekiah account for his inability to explain how it makes sense to presuppose that which does not exist?

    Faith.

    >How does Hezekiah account for faith’s unreliability?

    Faith.

    >How does Hezekiah justify repressing the fact that faith is unreliable?

    Faith.

    >How does Hezekiah justify his not following Mat 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5?

    LOOK OUT THE WINDOW AGAINNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    >How does he account for his inability to explain how scripture in anyway corresponds to reality?

    Mat 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5

    >How does he account for being so unclear when attempting to deliver his world view’s message of salvation?

    He doesn’t know what it is.

    >How does he account for his belief system making him ignorant and incurious?

    I don’t think he’s ignorant, I think he’s brand new to all of this and assumes we are too.

    >How does Hezekiah justify his unreasonableness?

    Faith.

    >How does Hezekiah justify his denial that knowledge is hierarchical?

    By denying that knowledge is hierarchical.

    >How does he justify his suppression of the fact that awareness requires something to be aware of?

    Alpha course apologetics, beeeeyach!!

    How does Hezekiah account for Jesus having or not having an erection?

    Something about the wood of the one true cross?

  59. >Are you denying that Jesus created the world?

    As has been repeatedly explained to you on this very page, Hezekiah, this is your truth claim not mine. You really don’t get this whole ‘burden of proof’ thing, do you?

    I should also say, for anyone who missed it, that about 20 replies ago now, I conceded to Hezekiah that faith is a perfectly reasonable starting point, so long as you’re honest about it. So far he hasn’t picked up on this, and is continuing to argue as if I somehow disagree with him on this basic point, when I don’t.

    The reason for this is that Hezekiah, like many others, believes that faith is exclusive to the religious; that instinct, intuition and inspiration are unavailable to the non-religious. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all start from a faith based position. But some of us accept that this is meaningless, unless we establish some evidence for our claims.

    But as soon as you explain to the likes of our friend Hezekiah, that this is precisely how the scientific method works, he switches into “I don’t like science, because science is for atheists” mode, and completely ignores everything you try to explain to him henceforth. And they have the nerve to suggest we’re the ones who need saving.

    @kyomesvex: We’re supposed to be recording a Skype chat with Hezekiah later on this evening (UK time). I don’t know if he’ll show up, but he said yesterday that he was interested, so we’ll see.

  60. Jim,

    Great answers! They made me laugh, many because they were exactly how I’d expect Hezekiah to respond; others because they were just plain funny!

    Thanks!

    Ydemoc

  61. I conceded to Hezekiah that faith is a perfectly reasonable starting point, so long as you’re honest about it.
    I caught that, and thought it was spot-on. It’s a mirror image of my position on religion as well. I have a number of religious friends who are more than happy to talk or not talk about their faith, and we get along fine because we’re honest with each other about the whole thing.

    So far he hasn’t picked up on this
    I caught that too. Isn’t it funny that the people who crow the loudest about morality are often the fastest to abandon their own standards of behavior.

  62. Jim,

    I know especially the revelations you have been getting from a ghost that has given you an invisible book with his revelation in it.

    How hilarious. Jim you sure is really not a leprechaun?

  63. Nide, you’re simply showing your rebellious nature when you deny the existence of the Ghost That Never Lies. You KNOW he exists, yet you choose to deny that fact in unrighteousness!

  64. Alex,

    What else did the ghost tell you?

    Did he tell you that Christ saves sinners?

    How many times a week do you read his invisible “bible”?

  65. Well Alex,

    While I was napping a ghost revealed himself to me and said your ghost is possesed by a demonic deciever. So, how is it that he is not?

    If he tells you that he is not and that “he never lies” how do you that’s not a lie?

  66. You see, Nide, what’s happened here is that you’ve started to see how ridiculous your position is by being presented with it dressed up in the language of ‘The Ghost That Never Lies’. By arguing against the GTNL you’re actually arguing against your presup nonsense. Thanks for playing.

  67. Actually no it just shows how desperate you are. You pick up arbitrary arguments that are pretty much useless. But thanks for confirming again your inability to distinguish the real from the imaginary.

    Where is the wise?

    Where is the scribe?

    Where is the debater of this age?

    Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

  68. Desperate?? LOL!

    People will be able to hear just how incoherent you are by listening to the podcast! Remind me again, how did you reason your way to Christianity if, by Van Til’s argument, you couldn’t know anything at all at the time?

    [audio src="http://fundamentally-flawed.com/pods/?p=episode&name=2012-04-27_47_episode_47__hezekiah_ahaz_round_two.mp3" /]

  69. Nobody can reason their way to Christianity.

    But this is coming from somebody who can’t even account for why his thinking.

  70. Hezekiah: Listen to your own answers to your own questions and look me in the face and tell me it meets your own standard of proof.

    [audio src="http://fundamentally-flawed.com/pods/?p=episode&name=2012-04-27_47_episode_47__hezekiah_ahaz_round_two.mp3" /]

  71. Wv,

    I take the “validity” of my reasoning for granted. So, no you can’t do it.

    How about you wv?

  72. I take the “validity” of my reasoning for granted. So, no you can’t do it.

    Is English your second language, Hezekiah? I ask because you seem fundamentally unable to understand what you write.

    For example, when I tell you that (I can prove) you can’t account for the validity of your reasoning, you respond by telling me that you can’t account for it either. You merely take it for granted.

    Hezekiah, you agreed with me.

    Thanks.

  73. Hezekiah, you’ll never be any good at either evangelism or apologia if you don’t take care to say what you mean, and mean what you say.

    To date, I’ve yet to see you do either.

  74. Whether I’m a good apologist or not is not important.

    What’s important is:

    That Christ died, was buried, and rose.

    And now God commands you to repent and turn in faith to Christ.

    He has appointed a day when he will judge the world by Christ.

    Blessings.

  75. That pretty much convinces people that you don’t care about what you’re talking about. You were shown to be wrong, and instead of considering how you might avoid being wrong in the future, you hide behind your script.

    Tell me, Hezekiah: if you can’t show people that your ideas are good ideas, why would anyone listen to what you say about the really important stuff?

  76. this is coming from somebody who can’t even account for why his thinking
    Here, you imply something negative about people who can’t account for the validity of their perceptions / reason.

    You have the same problem.

  77. Wv,

    And what makes you think anything you say is rational?

    What’s your standard of rationality?

  78. You started first, Hezekiah. As long as you continue to avoid answering mine, I will return the favor.

    You were wrong, and you were shown to be wrong. What are you going to do about it? Continue as if you were never wrong? Asking people to account for their reason and perception is dishonest, because you’ll have exactly the same problems they’ll have if they ask you to do the same.

  79. Hezekiah, you closed the podcast conversation by self-identifying circular reasoning and blind assertions as meaningless. Ordinarily this would be enough, but as well as this, you also point blank refused to differentiate between a faith based position and one which is objectively valid, at the same time as conceding that this tells us nothing worth knowing.

    You then went on to regurgitate the same thing you’ve said a million times before, about imagination, despite that you’ve been given several detailed examples of exactly how we account for things which you nevertheless continue to assert can’t be accounted for. And to top it all off you asserted the validity of scripture is based upon the unshakable validity of your own subjective opinion, despite that you also self-identified this as meaningless when applied as a test to the validity of religious faiths other than the one you just so happen to believe in.

    You committed yourself to just about every logical fallacy in the book, and the only thing you offered by way of an excuse, was the received opinion of the very liars and frauds we’re trying to warn you about.

    In short, you are by far and away my favourite presuppositional apologist of all time, and every single person reading this is going to cut and paste the link to the podcast, in every single blog you post to, so everyone you look up to can have it explained to them, in the words of one of their own, exactly why they are flat out wrong.

    Well done, and thanks for coming.

  80. I’m usually not this arrogant, but it’s time to set the record straight:

    I know how to fix Hezekiah

    Clearly, he’s broken, and the problem lies in this claim he keeps making, namely that he “lives by faith”. I believe he believes this, and if you look at the way he collectively treats Van Til and Sye/Dan and Scripture, you’ll see what I mean. He takes everything they say as true on faith alone. It seems as if anything that supports his world view is treated with the same level of veracity/authority as the Bible.

    For the moment, ignore the fact that Van Til (et al) is not Jesus, and that no Christian should treat a human being as infallible. This is a huge problem with his world view, but I think it’s secondary to the main problem:

    Hezekiah does not realize that faith is only a tiny portion of his epistemology.

    He does not use faith to cross the street, or make his dinner, or pay his bills. He doesn’t consult it when assessing the claims of the average person in the news. He ignores faith when it comes to buying a vehicle. In any area not related to his religious beliefs, he uses the information coming from his senses, from memories of past events in his life, from stuff he’s learned or is learning, and from his own opinions & reasoning. Faith plays no part in any of these things (assuming he doesn’t trust that they’re infallible).

    If you can get him to understand that “faith” is not as important to him as he claims, you might have a chance at getting him to distinguish accurately between things he believes and things he wants to believe.

  81. Wv,

    Did you listen to the podcast?

    I said van til is fallible.

    Just keep making ignorant claims.

  82. Whateverman: His fascination with the imagination, and his mistaking it for being one and the same as that which is imagined, is also very telling. It shows that he doesn’t differentiate between descriptions and categories. I’ve found that this is by far and away the single biggest difference between people who take readily to critical thinking, and people who appeal to and accept things from authority, while incorrectly believing themselves difficult to influence: the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Talking to him about the actual content of his received opinion isn’t going to get us anywhere, because it is hermetically sealed behind the faith card — which he sees as being inextricable from fact. So by explaining why Van Til and Sye/Dan’s argument simply doesn’t work, we’re merely inviting him to look to those very same arguments for rebuttal, because he hasn’t thought to explore other types of arguments, many of which immediately reveal the inherent weakness of presuppositionalism without necessarily being atheistic.

    If we can get him to realise his faith is in far more danger from the likes of Van Til and Sye/Dan than it is from us, I think we stand a better chance of helping him see a way out of it, without losing his Christian faith. Indeed, if anything, exposing himself to other arguments would probably embolden his faith even more — which for someone with such an emotional attachment to belief in belief itself, is probably no bad thing.

    Now, of course, he would immediately insist there’s nothing we could say that would rock his faith in Van Til and Sye/Dan, as if this is a sign of his argument’s strength. But he won’t learn for himself why it’s actually a fundamental weakness, until he examines his conscience, and finds that niggling doubt about the true motivations of Van Til and Sye/Dan is an itch he has to scratch.

  83. “I said van til is fallible.”

    Not *strictly* true.

    You refused to admit that Van Til was wrong about knowledge when presented with irrefutable evidence that he was, referred to him as the ‘horses mouth’ for the presup argument – going as far as admitting that your god WASN’T the source of the argument, and then didn’t challenge me when I REPEATEDLY referred to Van Til as ‘your messiah’ and stated that you appeared to venerate him more than Jesus!

    Comedy gold!

  84. Jim,

    In other words, you are saying I should reject the bible?

    “You refused to admit that Van Til was wrong about knowledge when presented with irrefutable evidence that he was, referred to him as the ‘horses mouth’ for the presup argument – going as far as admitting that your god WASN’T the source of the argument, and then didn’t challenge me when I REPEATEDLY referred to Van Til as ‘your messiah’ and stated that you appeared to venerate him more than Jesus!”

    Because van til is not wrong. evidence that you merely may be imagining.

    No, I said his argument is based on scripture.

    Why should I reply to a foolish statement like “van til is your messiah”? For a 40 year old man, you really know how to act like a childish ass.

  85. Because van til is not wrong

    Give us two examples of things Van Til wrote that were wrong. Unless and until you do that, claiming you believe he’s “fallible” is nothing more than lip-service.

  86. >In other words, you are saying I should reject the bible?

    No. I’m saying the exact opposite of that, and have been throughout. Your inability to realise this, even at this stage, speaks volumes.

    You’re being lied to by people who claim to know things they cannot know, and which are demonstrably false. The very fact that you can’t differentiate between the bible and pedlars of presuppositional apologetics, proves the very point we’re trying to get you to understand.

    And how the actual fuck can someone be fallible and “not wrong” at the same time, you dozy tart!

  87. “Why should I reply to a foolish statement like “van til is your messiah”? For a 40 year old man, you really know how to act like a childish ass.”

    And yet you STILL wont admit that he was wrong! Seems to me you DO think of him as being equal to Jesus!

  88. Jim,

    But Jim that’s what God says. How many times do have to say this?

    Alex,

    Grow up. You’re 40. It’s embarrasing

  89. “Grow up. You’re 40. It’s embarrasing”

    Pay attention, I said I’ll be 40 at Christmas.

    We explained exactly why Van Til was wrong, do you accept that he was fallible?

  90. “I guess he has but he can’t be wrong about his argument becuase it’s God’s argument.”

    Yet YOU said on the podcast that Van Til is the ‘horses mouth’ when it comes to the presup argument!

    You also said that the argument wasn’t designed to make sense!

    If you accept that Van Til is fallible, could it be that he was mistaken with the TAG? Yes or no?

  91. “Yet YOU said on the podcast that Van Til is the ‘horses mouth’ when it comes to the presup argument!”

    An argument he formulated based on Scripture. Remeber that part?
    try telling the whole story next time

    “You also said that the argument wasn’t designed to make sense!”

    To fools it doesn’t make sense. That’s what God says remember?
    Try telling the whole story next time.

    I already said he was fallible. did you miss that part?

    No, he can’t be wrong about TAG.

    And I explained why he was right. Alex you dont know anyhing remember?

  92. “No, he can’t be wrong about TAG.”

    Why not?

    “Alex you dont know anyhing remember?”

    Did you miss the entire part of the podcast where we DESTROYED that assertion???

  93. “Why not?”

    Because God says so.

    “Did you miss the entire part of the podcast where we DESTROYED that assertion???”

    This is a good joke.

    Without God you can’t even be certain you exist. There goes the argument you borrowed from descartes. Have you even read descartes?

    He believed in God. In fact, in his meditations he gives a few arguments for God’s existence. Here get educated:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-ontological/

  94. Wv,

    Depends.

    But I see your little scheme. I was daily with you in the temple and now you come out as if I was a thief and a robber.

  95. ““Why not?”

    Because God says so.”

    Where did your god say that Van Til couldn’t be wrong about the TAG? Please quote the relevant Bible verse

  96. Nide, your constant questions about the reality of other people speaks volumes about your sanity. You come across as someone who is profoundly worried that he is imagining everything around him.

  97. Alex,

    That’s not the right question.

    I gave you some of the verses.

    God says he is the back of everything.

    The thing is Alex you don’t know anything.

    Im waiting for you to tell me one thing you know.

    Remember without God you can’t be certain about anything even your own existence.

  98. “Im waiting for you to tell me one thing you know.”

    Go back and listen to the podcast again, we spent quite some time on this, and an irrefutable example of something I know was clearly given to you.

    “I gave you some of the verses.”

    Where? I’ve not seen a single verse that mentions Van Til.

  99. Alex,

    How do you know Descartes was right?

    Have you even read his meditations?

    if not then you are seriously wasting time.

    Van Til doesn’t need to be there. This is a desperate question.

  100. Hezekiah. If you’re going to keep going around and around on the same questions I have no choice but to assume you’re not actually reading any of the replies we’re taking the time to write for you.

    You’ve been politely asked some very straightforward questions here. All you have to do is go away and do some reading up, and come back when you’re more confident of your facts. Don’t feel as if you have to keep posting the same thing over and over, as if we didn’t understand you the first time around.

    We get that your faith is important to you, and we understand why you’re frustrated with us for not believing a word of it. But repeating yourself over and over again merely highlights the depth of your misunderstanding as to why this is.

    We tried to tell you this makes you come across as mentally unstable, during the podcast, but I don’t think you were listening or perhaps thought we were kidding. We weren’t.

    When you’ve done some more reading and you have an actual argument you’re more than welcome to report back, but until then I’m going to have to ask you to refrain from posting, so someone else can speak up. I’m not closing the comments, and I never delete an article, so take your time and come back when you think you’ve got something new for us, OK?

    As for everyone else, please don’t respond to Hezekiah if he posts the same questions he’s already been given answers for. I wrote this article in the hope of attracting some serious debate, not to go over the basics with someone who isn’t actually listening. Thanks.

  101. Wv,

    Yes.

    For example, “arguments” that claim Jesus wasn’t God, that there is no trinity, particular atonement etc.

    We can refute those by checking what the whole bible says not just random verses.

  102. Wv, Yes. For example, “arguments” that claim Jesus wasn’t God, that there is no trinity, particular atonement etc. We can refute those by checking what the whole bible says not just random verses.

    That’s not a bad answer.

    Now then, since you claimed Van Til’s argument is God’s argument (because it’s based on Scripture), I’m assuming you’d change your mind if we were to point to Scripture that contradicts his argument.

    Right?

  103. Actually it’s pissing down today. We’ve had a week of solid rain. I know this, FOR A FACT, because I opened my window and made an empirical observation. My friend told me it was raining, before I looked, but rather than take his word for it, I went and found out for myself, just in case he was wrong. But I now see, given that we have both clearly identified the same phenomena, from two independently acquired, yet mutually corroborative standpoints, it is indeed raining. The fact that it is raining is in no doubt, whatsoever. It is an indisputable, logically valid fact.

    Now. Prove me wrong.

  104. Wow. That’s… amazing. I am a believer now. Well done! Now I see the light. Praise his noodly appendage. He created the rain to explain how rain exists! He didn’t have anything to do with creating AIDS or childhood cancer, though. No. None of the shite things that prove He isn’t all loving. Just the pretty sunsets and butterfly wings. He’s very selective our particular god from our particular religion, isn’t he? He’s a real prankster like that. LOL! Childhood cancer. Oh Jesus, you do test our arbitrary faith sometimes.

  105. Jim,

    Even if God showed himself to you, you won’t believe him unless he allowed you.

    The problem is not that my evidence, arguments, proofs aren’t Good enough but that you can’t and won’t believe them.

    I’m willing to have a chat sometime just me and you. If you are interested, let me know.

  106. >The problem is not that my evidence, arguments, proofs aren’t Good enough but that you can’t and won’t believe them.

    EXACTLY!! THE PENNY IS FINALLY BEGINNING TO DROP!!!!!

    Fuck me, Hezekiah you’re hard work. That is precisely the point. There is NOTHING of ANY value to BELIEF in BELIEF itself!! You have to present EVIDENCE of your claims for them to mean ANYTHING to ANYONE ELSE!!

    Do you want me to take a hammer and chisel and etch this on a tablet of stone for you?

    They are BY DEFINITION YOUR BELIEFS. Not mine. Not anyone else’s. YOURS!! And that is ALL they are UNTIL you present EVIDENCE of them — subjective, biased, BELIEFS!

    Your definition of evidence is everything we can see and prove exists. EXACTLY AS WE’VE BEEN TRYING TO FUCKING WELL TELL YOU IS PROOF OF REALITY, NOT THE SUPERNATURAL all along!!

    Your only come back to this, is to prove our point entirely for us, by insisting you’ve just done the exact opposite. AND YOU KEEP COMING BACK FOR MORE!!

    Why? Pretty please with a FUCKING CHERRY ON TOP would ANYONE want to believe in something which is exceptionally bad at telling them ANYTHING of any value, when they can prove that IN REALITY that SAME THING works in a completely different, MORE INCREDIBLE, EVIDENCE BASED way?

    What mystery world of nonsense have these people been filling your head with?

    Ask yourself, how on EARTH is it better to believe in something than it is to prove something? Please tell me that. I FUCKING dare you to say God, after YOU YOURSELF HAVE JUST PROVEN THAT THIS IS FALSE!! LOOK!! It’s right there above this very text. In front of you. IN YOUR OWN WORDS. ON THE SCREEN. LOOK!! RIGHT THERE!!!

    Hezekiah. I’ve just been given twenty billion dollars by Bill Gates. He came round my house and pushed it through my letterbox. I’m going out to buy a sports car, right now. I’m also dating Cameron Diaz. We’re getting married at Batman’s house next week. Do you want to come? I’ll send my personal helicopter pilot over to your house to pick you up. Or would you prefer to teleport onto the Starship Enterprise? I can text Captain Kirk now and get him to beam you up. What time is good for you? 8:30pm this Wednesday?

    By the way, all of this is just in my imagination — BUT BY YOUR INTERNAL LOGIC THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT’S REAL!!

    THIS.

    IS.

    WHY.

    YOUR.

    “ARGUMENT”.

    DOESN’T.

    “WORK”!!

    I have never in all my time had to explain to ANYONE — not even my son when he was an infant — the basic difference between wishful thinking and facts — and in such mind numbingly obvious detail too. It’s… baffling. Utterly baffling. And what’s even more incredible, is you’re the one who thinks we don’t get it!! It’s “let’s all point and laugh at the fundsmentalist” hilarious.

    Seriously, mate. You should sue for whoever told you some of the UTTER BOLLOCKS you come out with has anything to do with Christianity. They’ve mushed up your brain. I could eat a bowl of alphabet spaghetti and SHITE a better argument than you. I’m not even kidding. Sue them. Get a legal team together, tell them what you’ve told us, and I guarantee they’ll do it Pro bono, on humanitarian grounds.

  107. Jim,

    You don’t get it.

    The natural man can’t and won’t believe in God.

    Look out your window Jim..See the proof?

    Now, the reason why you won’t be persuaded by it is because God has blinded the minds of men. No one seeks after God Jim.

    Try and control yourself it’s embarrasing.

  108. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

    That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:…Acts 17:27

  109. If anyone is interested in listening to a recording of the Skype chat I’ve just had with Hez, I’ll post it to Mediafire, but it’s not worth putting in the podcast feed because he just repeated the same arguments against his own arguments over and over again without realising that’s what he was doing.

    The guy has ZERO critical thinking skills. He thinks “I start with the bible” is all he has to say to prove that the bible is a valid starting point.

    He is the perfect reminder of how happy I am to be no longer a Christian.

  110. Whateverman: I spent 45 minutes on Skype with him today and he knows it perfectly well. Then 5 seconds later he doesn’t. Then five seconds after that he knows it again.

    While you’re talking to him, you can hear the cogs in his head whirring as he tries to remember the next “argument” in the script. He isn’t actually listening to anything you say, or reading anything we’ve taken the time to write to him. We are literally wasting our time.

    His only response to exactly this accusation, word for word, to his face, was “I start with the bible”, as if I was supposed to say, “Oh, I didn’t know that. Well that’s OK then. Have a nice day and praise the lord!”

    It’s like talking to the lawyer in the film Idiocracy, only much less enlightening.

  111. That makes sense to me, Jim. He sounds like he’s got a script.. He’s like an evangelical: not interested in listening to anyone else unless they help him tell his story.

    I often wonder what he’d do if everyone treated him the same way he treats us.

  112. How do presuppositionalists account for
    1. Christian missionaries, clergy and church officers who struggle with their faith and then decide that they cannot logically believe it anymore?
    2. the need for missionaries if the whole thing is self-evident?
    3. the fact that very few devout Believers of any flavor agree with everything they believe to be self-evident through faith?

    At what age do presuppositionalists claim that children become aware of the things they believe to be self-evident? What happens to children younger than this?

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