Bahnsen and TAG

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Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
The non-Christian is ultimately the skeptic because he is denying a central tenet to the laws of logic that he already presupposes; perhaps we could say he is denying a version of the principle of sufficient reason, and therefore is under the burden of proof of why the PSR doesn’t apply to his assumptions.
But let's be clear here: PSR is not germaine to the question of whether or not the unbeliever is warranted in using reason or whether the reasoning process is de facto borrowed from the Christian worldview. The use of reason is self-evidently warranted.

As for PSR, there has to be a point where the chain ends---our disagreement is over where. The unbeliever is simply arguing for a multiplicity of places---it's a messy position, but not (from my understanding) self-contradictory.

Do reasons exist?
Ok, here's where you and I are talking past each other: when I talk about a reason for a belief I am simply speaking of the reason why I believe X. You, however, are speaking of the reason why X is the case.

Therefore, an Atom holds together for the reason of electromagnetic force; but this reason exists contingently (i.e., it is a contingent reason).
The term doesn't make sense---that's my argument. The reason for X is Y and Y is a contingent fact. But that doesn't mean that it's relation to X is contingent---its relation to X may be necessary. It may be the de facto reason for the truth of X, but its relation to X is an open question apart from that.

but this reason exists contingently (i.e., it is a contingent reason).
No, I don't believe that reasons exist---I'm not a Platonist or a Scotist.

Forgive me if this is too simple a reduction but is this the thrust of your challenge to transcendental arguments, that an unbeliever doesn't have to provide a basis for their presuppositions? Surely if certain presuppositions render other aspects of their world-view contradictory and inconsistent, then they would have to give an account for these presupps?
Part of the issue is this:

a) Presuppositions are the foundation in the sense that they are informing principles that shape the way we think. The very term Presupposition implies that it is a basic component of one's epistemic structure.
b) They aren't propositional at all, or rather their propositional forms are merely manifestations of underlying attitudes and precommitments, methodologies, and predispositions. How would one give an account of a predisposition?
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
But let's be clear here: PSR is not germaine to the question of whether or not the unbeliever is warranted in using reason or whether the reasoning process is de facto borrowed from the Christian worldview. The use of reason is self-evidently warranted.
Agreed, but that is not the question being asked, at least in my opinion. All intelligibility would be impossible if one argued that a person is not warranted to use reason without justification. Yet, I think it is perfectly within the realms of espousing a rational worldview to confirm your presuppositions after they are presupposed. In fact, it is biblically commanded. So, to ask for an account of logic is not to question one's warrant in using logic presuppositionally, but to question whether they are actually using what they presuppose in accordance with its own rules. We went around on this thing in things past, but if one just wants to rest in their warrant to believe and act as they do, since it is self-evidently true, that is fine. Monkeys do it too.

As for PSR, there has to be a point where the chain ends---our disagreement is over where. The unbeliever is simply arguing for a multiplicity of places---it's a messy position, but not (from my understanding) self-contradictory.
I agree it must end somewhere, and that is the very reason I like to use PSR. I don’t think the non-Christian can rationally end the chain, therefore it shows that all the train cars are moving up the tracks with no engine.

The term doesn't make sense---that's my argument. The reason for X is Y and Y is a contingent fact. But that doesn't mean that it's relation to X is contingent---its relation to X may be necessary. It may be the de facto reason for the truth of X, but its relation to X is an open question apart from that.
No, I don't believe that reasons exist---I'm not a Platonist or a Scotist.
Not sure this is worth perusing, but the way I am using reason is that it implies the thing itself (in my case, the fact of positive and negative charged subatomic particles). Reasons are the sets of conditions that precede some state of affairs, so the question of existence to me is simple: is condition X true or false. It may not be philosophically nuanced enough, but that is my meaning. Perhaps I need a better word.

So, if X is contingent on Y, and Y is contingent on Z, then X is contingent on Y (a thing that itself is contingent on something else). Wasn’t trying to say anything more than articulate the causal/reason chain that PSR creates.
 

Apologist4Him

Puritan Board Freshman
I just finished listening to a set of lectures by Bahnsen about Van Tillian apologetics from WTS on iTunes. I've heard them before but it's worth listening to again.

I think the thing to keep in mind is that one can never fully persuade a person who is objecting to being a creature dependent upon the Creator for life, being, and knowledge. By saying this, I believe a person can be shown to be inconsistent but, as pointed out, someone may simply assert "...that's just the way it is..." and have cognitive rest for something that is cosmically foolish.

I've seen attempts at TAG that make the claim that a person has no other option but to accede to the logic of the case but the problem is one of ethical hostility to what we believe is plain. Van Til speak of epistemological self consciousness by which he means that we need to listen to what the person believes is the foundation to knowledge and then challenging him to see that he is ultimately not arguing consistently according to his foundation. I've witnessed more than a few debates where this is done well and one never witnesses the person abandoning his foundation but simply clinging to it in spite of it.

I see in Van Til (and I also believe Bahnsen held to this) a desire to maintain in Apologetics what we have been born again into by way of Special Revelation. We were God haters and made to believe in Christ by the power of the Word. We understand, now, that the heavens declare our dependence as creatures upon the Creator for knowledge and Apologetics performs its service to remind the creature that he is, in the end, still a creature who suppresses knowledge of the Creator. This is why Bahnsen would never abandon the Gospel call as part of Apologetics or leave the idea of the true Trinitarian God for a theoretical God as First Mover or First Cause because he denied the idea that God was a brute fact that men were in a position or ability to reason toward. The point of contact was not unaided reason and the rules of logic but the Divine image that we share and the confidence that men were what the Scriptures say about them. Training in philosophy helped Van Til and Bahnsen to see clearly the various ways that men were applying their autonomous reason to the world around them and put their finger on the pits men fell into but the solution is always found in Christ.

Check out some of the free iTunes lectures at WTS.edu. Scott Oliphant has a great critique of the pitfalls Christians can get into as we place philosophy before theology. He argues that some of the notable Christian philosophers today would have benefited greatly from being good Theologians first and being properly trained in it. He doesn't despise the knowledge of philosophy but points out how we can unwittingly start from the wrong foundation and make our theology fit rather than beginning with a theology based on the Word of God and then using philosophy as a sharpening tool or even protecting us from some of the allures that these systems offer.
Brother Rich, what an excellent response, especially the part about creature dependence...as non-Christians would have us to believe immaterial conceptual realities such as logic, morality, predication, etc. ere independent of the Creator. This is really the whole heart of the matter! And I think it sufficiently answers Philip's curiosity "why things that are necessarily the case would be in need of accounting". To suppose they are not accounted for or do not need to be accounted for is to suppose they are independent of God! Further it is to suppose no need for warrant or justification, and double-minded. If they are not accounted for, and do not need to be accounted for, then why would God's existence need to be debated or accounted for? This turns the table upside down, showing the arbitrary nature of such a debate!
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
So, to ask for an account of logic is not to question one's warrant in using logic presuppositionally, but to question whether they are actually using what they presuppose in accordance with its own rules.
Ok, so what does logic presuppose? Logic therefore necessarily X. Solve for X.

if one just wants to rest in their warrant to believe and act as they do, since it is self-evidently true, that is fine. Monkeys do it too.
What's the problem with trusting your faculties to deliver accurate information? Monkeys do all kinds of things that humans do---what objection are you actually presenting here?

I don’t think the non-Christian can rationally end the chain, therefore it shows that all the train cars are moving up the tracks with no engine.
Yes, but can you demonstrate this logically? Why can't the non-Christian end the chain with logic?

So, if X is contingent on Y, and Y is contingent on Z, then X is contingent on Y (a thing that itself is contingent on something else).
Ok, but in order to make Y a presupposition of X, you have to prove that X is necessarily contingent on Y, which is to say that in no possible world could X be true without Y being true. PSR is not enough for a TAG to be logically valid: you must prove that God's existence is not merely a sufficient presupposition, but a necessary one.

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To suppose they are not accounted for or do not need to be accounted for is to suppose they are independent of God!
Andrew, I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try to explain them---I'm pointing out that in terms of warrant for their use, all you need is necessity. I don't know of anyone who believes in logic as a consequence of belief in God.
 

Apologist4Him

Puritan Board Freshman
Here is the problem of rationality for non-believers stated differently, if all humans ceased to exist, would logic cease to exist?
There's all kinds of speculation out there on this. How do we go about speculating regarding a world with no minds in it?
It's only speculation if humans have always existed...which I suspect neither of us believe, so the next related question then is this: at some point in time did logic begin to "exist", when God created humans with a mind capable of rationality? It's really a trick question because it required a rational mind, to create human minds capable of reasoning to begin with!

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To suppose they are not accounted for or do not need to be accounted for is to suppose they are independent of God!
Andrew, I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try to explain them---I'm pointing out that in terms of warrant for their use, all you need is necessity. I don't know of anyone who believes in logic as a consequence of belief in God.
Logic is a consequence of being created in the image of God, which all humans have in common, but because of original sin and total depravity the natural inclination is to supress the knowledge of God's existence. As it turns out, the very source of logic, is supressed at the same time, hence the non-Christian answers and lives on "borrowed capital".
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Ok, so what does logic presuppose? Logic therefore necessarily X. Solve for X.

Arbitrariness is an anti-logic; PSR, even for logic itself; the circle of truth.


What's the problem with trusting your faculties to deliver accurate information? Monkeys do all kinds of things that humans do---what objection are you actually presenting here?

Nothing, it just stops short of being a rational worldview – especially when you are given defeaters.


Yes, but can you demonstrate this logically?

Yes.


Why can't the non-Christian end the chain with logic?

Because the laws of logic preclude it, at least in my analysis of the options available within these laws. Secondly, because all justified knowledge ends in Christ; if this were possible God would be a liar; I would have to presuppose the non-existence of God to concur with you; am I supposed to do that?


Ok, but in order to make Y a presupposition of X, you have to prove that X is necessarily contingent on Y, which is to say that in no possible world could X be true without Y being true. PSR is not enough for a TAG to be logically valid: you must prove that God's existence is not merely a sufficient presupposition, but a necessary one.

Whether it is X and Y, or X and Z, or X and ZZ; it doesn’t matter. All the possible worlds in the world cannot escape the contingent/necessary/brute fact dilemma. I was merely using the X and Y as a model; generally, as far as I understand, the atom cannot be further described beyond the subatomic particles. But if it could, it wouldn’t make a difference, you would just shift your PSR to that “new discovery.” Conceptually though, subatomic particles represent an ending point where someone has to say a proton is positively charged for no reason, or it exists as a positively charged entity necessarily. The latter is precluded logically and the former is, naturally, the reductio you are looking for to begin showing the absurdities that flow from it.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Arbitrariness is an anti-logic; PSR, even for logic itself; the circle of truth.
Will, I'm asking that you present the argument so that we can analyze the logical form.

Nothing, it just stops short of being a rational worldview – especially when you are given defeaters.
Rational just means non-arbitrary---it has nothing to do with justification. It's only when presented with a defeater that is logically compelling that justification is even needed. What evidence do I need apart from that of my senses for my belief that there is a desk in front of me to be rational and warranted? Why do I need to construct a metaphysical system?

Because the laws of logic preclude it, at least in my analysis of the options available within these laws.
Ana analysis that I would dispute, given that the laws of logic are self-justifying.

Secondly, because all justified knowledge ends in Christ; if this were possible God would be a liar; I would have to presuppose the non-existence of God to concur with you; am I supposed to do that?
See, I don't buy this argument. I'm not interested in making Christianity into yet another metaphysical system---I'm interested in truth, not man-made metaphysical systems.

Conceptually though, subatomic particles represent an ending point where someone has to say a proton is positively charged for no reason, or it exists as a positively charged entity necessarily. The latter is precluded logically and the former is, naturally, the reductio you are looking for to begin showing the absurdities that flow from it.
So? All of this is beside the epistemic point---none of it affects whether I have knowledge of the electric charge of a proton. Having an explanation for why X is the way it is has nothing to do with my knowledge that X is the way it is. Else we would argue that Isaac Newton didn't know about gravity, given that he didn't know about quantum.

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Logic is a consequence of being created in the image of God, which all humans have in common, but because of original sin and total depravity the natural inclination is to supress the knowledge of God's existence. As it turns out, the very source of logic, is supressed at the same time, hence the non-Christian answers and lives on "borrowed capital".
Andrew, this isn't what I'm asking at all. I'm asking how you came to believe in logic---things like training in reasoning. Your warrant for the use of logic is not in the metaphysical system that you've come up with to explain it---it's in the way that you actually came to use it. If you want to understand epistemology, try teaching someone to read.
 

Loopie

Puritan Board Freshman
But Eric, this is where you are confused: to give a justification is not to give an explanation, but to give the reason why you believe X to be the case. Your foundation for belief in X has nothing to do with your metaphysical system---or even with whether you have one.
I already made it clear that the term 'justification' can be used in different ways. If I ask you to explain how the earth revolves around the sun, you would present me with an explanation based on scientific principles. If I asked you to give me the reason why you believe that the earth revolves around the sun, you might present me with those same scientific principles that you consider to be very conclusive. Now I don't disagree that a person can often explain something without believing. I can explain the 'swoon theory' with regard to the crucifixion of Jesus, but I don't believe it to be true.

In the case of logic though, a person still needs to justify their beliefs. If a person believes in Santa Clause, and provides us with many different reasons why Santa Clause exists, we would likely say that they have concluded wrongly. In order to show them the error of their conclusions, we first need to know what they consider to be 'evidence' or 'good reason'. We need to look at WHY they believe that Santa Clause exists. We ask them to justify their belief (just like they would ask us to justify our non-belief). Keep in mind that both sides are viewed as 'skeptical'. The person who believes that Santa, not their parents, brings them their presents is a skeptic from our point of view. They are not satisfied with the evidence that their parents were the ones who brought the gifts. The person who does not believe in Santa is a skeptic from the Santa-believer's point of view. In their mind the evidence points to Santa as bringing presents, while we as skeptics continually deny his existence.


Sure: plenty of people know stuff without understanding how they came to believe it.
Yes, but do people actually 'know' something, or do they just 'believe' it? The answer is, it depends. Furthermore, do people ever believe something without having a single reason for doing so? Is there truly arbitrary belief? Do people actually believe things without a single, solitary, reason for doing so? No.

Eric, you've just confused the issue by conflating things again. Accounting for your beliefs has nothing to do with whether you can explain why X is X---only with how you are warranted in believing X to be true. In this case, practical necessity dictates that you believe in cause and effect.
Only because I am generally lazy. Often times people do what is practical without thinking about it because it is the easiest thing to do. They would rather take the path of least resistance. By saying that practical necessity dictates that I believe in cause and effect, you are offering a justification for why I believe something. I believe it because it is practical. It is the only way to make sense of the world without going mad. Well, we should simply go a step further and declare that belief in God is the only way to make sense of the world, which is a statement I think that you would agree with.

The fact that to be an effect is to be caused.
That is an assumption. You assume that to be an effect is to be caused. You believe in this so-called law of nature, and uniformity of nature, but you only believe in it because it is convenient. Well, there are plenty of other people who believe in wrong things simply because it is convenient for them. How comes they are wrong in those cases, but you are right in this case?

In the first sentence you decry skepticism, while in the second you play the skeptic. And even then, you're confused for the simple reason that you're still confusing epistemology and metaphysics.
But you try to separate them in a way that is impossible. They are interconnected. I play the skeptic to show you that unless you presuppose God, you will only ever be led logically to chaos, relativism, and arbitrariness.

So Eric, are people with Down Syndrome incapable of telling whether something is true or false?
I have never experienced what it feels like to have Down Syndrome. Have you? Do you know exactly what thoughts go through the minds of those with Down Syndrome? They might indeed have the capability of doing so. Simply because they can't express it to you does not mean that they can't. By the way, people look at the foundation for things all the time subconsciously. In fact, we often get to the point where we take things for granted because it is expedient to do so. I don't have to keep sticking my hand in the fire to realize that fire burns. Every time I see a fire I assume that it is hot. If someone told me that a particular fire does not burn, I would have to compare their justification for their belief with my justification for my belief, and see which one holds water.

You can't very well believe your instruments unless you believe your senses to a certain degree.
But what about in spiritual matters? Do you consider us humans as having a 'sixth sense'? When the Holy Spirit convicts you, you know that you are wrong without having any of your physical senses stimulated.

That's not what I meant at all. What standard has to be satisfied for a belief to be considered justified? What are the conditions that must apply for this to happen, and how are you going to convince the unbeliever to accept this standard (you can't have a meaningful argument without an agreed-upon standard of evaluation). You seem here to be conflating justification with truth-value here.
God's standard. I told you. I myself am not going to convince the unbeliever of anything that he does not wish to be convinced about. That is in God's hands, because the unbeliever requires spiritual surgery. That is the whole point I am trying to show you. The standard of evaluation for the unbelieve is different than that for the believer. His standard (or rock) is not like our standard (our rock). The question then becomes: which standard is consistent with itself and with the universe around us? Which one borrows from a different standard, and which one is self-defeating?

God doesn't judge unbelieving man for having epistemically unjustified beliefs: he judges man for unbelief.
And any attempt by the unbeliever to justify his unbelief is a failure. He does indeed judge man for unbelief, yet this does not ignore the fact that man's unbelief is still unjustified. You would agree with me that an unbeliever is NOT justified in his unbelief, correct?

The reason why you should continue to believe them is that you still have no good reason not to. As for Adam, of course you can't show him that he was wrong empirically because his mistake wasn't an empirical one. Again, you're confusing your methodologies.
Why do we start with the assumption that our senses are to be believed until further notice? Simply because it is convenient? Is convenience always a good reason to do something? I could just as easily say that we should NOT believe our sense until we have good reason to do so. Even then, we need to define what we mean by 'good reason'. Such an ambiguous term, don't you think? What is 'good reason' to you might not be 'good reason' to someone else. Why are you correct and they are not? By the way, Adam's mistake was empirical in the sense that he actually did eat an actual fruit that was forbidden. He was told not to do so, and he did. I have not at all confused methodologies, but simply shown why empiricism, as you seem to be defending, is built upon a weak foundation.

Eric, you miss the point entirely---one can have all the right methodological foundations and still come to the wrong conclusions. Reason is fallen too.
Oh I completely agree. The natural man does not reason rightly. That is why no mere logical argument will lead him to repentance. That is only by the work of the Holy Spirit. But as Christians we believe that there is a right way to reason. There is a worldview that is correct. There is an interpretation of the universe that is the only one that works. Unbelievers refuse to see it, and the only way they can avoid it is to be inconsistent and self-defeating.

Eric, again, you're conflating things and confusing the issue. When you were born, how did you learn? What methodologies did you adopt in order to get to know the world around you. If your epistemology cannot account for the knowledge of the world had by a newborn, then it's false. Newborns don't have a metaphysic.
Sure they do, but it is wholly subconscious. My baby daughter loves to pick up things. She is curious about all kinds of objects, whether dangerous or not. She learns that wooden tables are hard when she bumps her head on them. Her knowledge is primarily based upon her senses (aside from the spiritual knowledge of God, the sense of the divine, that she has). As she gets older she will grasp a deeper understanding of things. She will come to learn that when she puts her hands over her eyes in the game of peek-a-boo, the world is still there. She will learn that objects don't cease to exist once they disappear from her sight. Our understanding of why we believe the things we do develops over time. It ought to always point back to God, the creator of all things, but the natural person refuses to recognize this. Instead of pointing back to God, it always points to something else (in their eyes).

Having causes and reasons for belief is not the same as having metaphysical explanations. I don't give a metaphysical account in order to warrant my saying "there is a desk in front of me." Now it may well be that this belief entails certain metaphysical beliefs, but those are second-order beliefs that are not justificatory in nature.
It doesn't matter. Either the desk actually existed prior to you having knowledge of it, or the concept of the desk existed in your mind prior to you having knowledge of it. Either way, your knowledge of the desk is tied to its existence, whether real or imaginative. Metaphysics is undeniably tied to epistemology.

Ok, but what's wrong with saying that something "just is"? I say that God "just is." It doesn't seem clear to me why necessary truths need further justification for me to believe them any more than a necessary being needs any more justification for me to believe in His existence. Unless you can show that there are possible worlds that contain things like spherical cubes or rocks too big for God to lift, then you're going to have to come up with much better proof that these things are contingent.
Because when you say that something 'just is', you have no reason to criticize the unbeliever when he says that something 'just is'. Why can't their be infinite universes? Why can't the universe be eternal? It 'just is'. Those are necessary truths in the mind of the unbelieving scientist. The belief in the uniformity of nature is a necessary truth, and the unbeliever can simply say 'it just is'. You say that God 'just is', but then again, the Muslims say that Allah 'just is'. What makes your belief correct, and theirs incorrect? This brings you to comparing religions, scriptures, while looking for consistency. I agree with you that there are necessary truths, but what is necessary behind ALL of them is God. This is what Van Til's presuppositional apologetics leads to. You seem to go all the way back to 'necessary truths', but you never take the required next step, that they are only necessary truths because God is necessary.

Not necessarily---justification depends on information that you have. You can't be held responsible for stuff that you couldn't have known. If we're disputing a point of scientific theory and we design a new experiment, it may well turn out that one of us was right and one of us was wrong, but it says nothing about the justificatory status of our previously held beliefs because justification has nothing to do with truth-value. Knowledge isn't justified belief---it's justified true belief. Justification is simply warrant sufficient for a knowledge-claim.
If an experiment proves me wrong, then I no longer (based on my current gain in knowledge) am justified in holding to my previous beliefs. I agree that we can't be held responsible for stuff that we do not know. Yet being ignorant does not mean that I am correct. If you believe that justification is simply warrant sufficient for a knowledge claim, then there are a few questions that need to be asked. Sufficient for who? Who decides what is sufficient? That is the foundation that we need to look at. If you believe that knowledge is justified true belief, then the only way to discern between actual knowledge and false knowledge is to look at what justification exists for each one. If you sit here and say that there is no need for the unbeliever to justify his beliefs, then the unbeliever can in now way discern between opinion and knowledge (if knowledge indeed is justified true belief).

I don't see how doing an experiment would constitute a comparison of foundations at all.
It absolutely would. If I believe that the moon is made of swiss cheese, and you don't, then an experiment would shake the very foundations of one of our beliefs. I believe the moon is made of swiss cheese because my father taught me this. You believe the moon is made of rock because you claim that someone actually went there and collected a piece of it. Our beliefs are built upon different foundations. By showing me a piece of moon rock you are attempting to lead me to abandon my previous position that my father was correct regarding the moon. That was the foundation of my belief (my trust in him).

Sure you can: you can look at the world outside your epistemic structure. Your epistemic structure colours the way you view reality, but reality is external to it---justification is internal to it.
You assume reality is external to it. Why do you assume this? What if we all lived in the matrix? In truth, our sinful nature colours the way we view reality (at least in the case of the unbeliever). I was blind but now I see. Of course, our sinful nature has effected every part of us, including our reasoning and emotions.

Here's a good justificatory question for you Eric: how do you know that in your belief system you haven't committed a logical fallacy somewhere?
Because my belief system is founded upon the rock of Christ. He is the God of all creation, the creator of both logic and reason. You assume that to have any true knowledge of something requires that you have exhaustive knowledge of something. You seem to suggest that to believe my system to be consistent means that I must look at and personally address any and all logical arguments that are put forth against Christianity. Let me ask you this: do you believe that scripture is the word of God? How do you know that EVERY SINGLE WORD is God-breathed? Because the Bible told you so (and because the Holy Spirit led you to believe this), right? Did you analyze every single manuscript, every single word, every single verse, to determine if it was 'probably' God-breathed? Have you studied EVERY single 'alleged' contradiction in scripture? If not, then how can you say that you 'know' that scripture is the word of God?
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
See, I don't buy this argument. I'm not interested in making Christianity into yet another metaphysical system---I'm interested in truth, not man-made metaphysical systems.
Seems like a false distinction to me. Secondly, your assertion that my scriptural definition of knowledge is man-made seems quite arbitrary.

So? All of this is beside the epistemic point---none of it affects whether I have knowledge of the electric charge of a proton. Having an explanation for why X is the way it is has nothing to do with my knowledge that X is the way it is. Else we would argue that Isaac Newton didn't know about gravity, given that he didn't know about quantum.
I never contested that you believe X, and that your belief is warranted (as warrant is defined), so this seems irrelevant. In the end, I don't accept your standard of what accounts for knowledge vs. simple warranted belief, and you end up equivicating your definition of knowledge into mine in order to argue against it. To use my analysis, I fully agree that monkey knowledge exists; but, so what? All monkey knowledge does is believe what it believes because it does. Secondly, I never said you had to know all the reasons, or even any reason, but the simple fact that there must be a reason. Imagine how much science would be done if we believed there were no reasons.

Secondly, your view that "why" has nothing to do with knowing that something is, seems to be quite off base. My daughter knows that there is just empty space under her bed only because she knows why it is the case.


Will, I'm asking that you present the argument so that we can analyze the logical form.
For starters, logic presupppose an absolute logic and entails PSR, whereby it can be deduced that logic itself is also contingent.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
If I asked you to give me the reason why you believe that the earth revolves around the sun, you might present me with those same scientific principles that you consider to be very conclusive.
No I wouldn't. I would explain that this is the commonly-held scientific view and that better minds than I have demonstrated it through experimentation.

Furthermore, do people ever believe something without having a single reason for doing so? Is there truly arbitrary belief? Do people actually believe things without a single, solitary, reason for doing so? No.
I haven't claimed this. I have merely claimed that reasons are not arguments nor are they justifications in the classical sense. The whole idea of justification is that it is not enough to have reasons---those reasons must satisfy some court of inquiry.

Well, we should simply go a step further and declare that belief in God is the only way to make sense of the world, which is a statement I think that you would agree with.
No I don't---making sense of things is subjective. What makes sense to me may not make sense to you.

That is an assumption. You assume that to be an effect is to be caused.
Eric, this isn't a disputable point: it's a tautology (meaning the statement is circular and therefore necessarily the case). Hume's denial of it is lunacy.

By the way, people look at the foundation for things all the time subconsciously.
Appeal to the subconscious is dubious at best.

Do you know exactly what thoughts go through the minds of those with Down Syndrome? They might indeed have the capability of doing so.
This is my point exactly, though. The linguistic centers in the brain of a Down Syndrome person are often such that the logical functions necessary for logical foundations do not appear---or at least are not expressible. Yet they seem to be capable of telling between truth and falsehood, and even of coming to faith in Christ.

Which one borrows from a different standard, and which one is self-defeating?
What if the unbeliever points out that this is a false dichotomy?

But as Christians we believe that there is a right way to reason. There is a worldview that is correct. There is an interpretation of the universe that is the only one that works.
Ok---so why is it that those who adhere to all of these things still disagree? Eric, in any debate of any kind, you have to be humble enough to admit that you're going to be wrong about some things.

Why do we start with the assumption that our senses are to be believed until further notice?
Because it's the only way to proceed. You're not going to get anywhere through denying this.

I have not at all confused methodologies, but simply shown why empiricism, as you seem to be defending, is built upon a weak foundation.
How does defending empirical sense equate to empiricism? Where have I argued for reductionism of this or any kind?

Either way, your knowledge of the desk is tied to its existence, whether real or imaginative. Metaphysics is undeniably tied to epistemology.
I said belief, not knowledge. Knowledge does entail ontological commitment, but my belief does not---I'm talking about warrant sufficient for a rational knowledge-claim.

Why can't their be infinite universes?
Because the term "universe" precludes it. He has transgressed the bounds of sense.

Because when you say that something 'just is', you have no reason to criticize the unbeliever when he says that something 'just is'.
Not at all. The only things that "just are" are necessary kinds of things---things that must be the case in all possible worlds.

You say that God 'just is', but then again, the Muslims say that Allah 'just is'. What makes your belief correct, and theirs incorrect?
The facts of the matter.

You seem to go all the way back to 'necessary truths', but you never take the required next step, that they are only necessary truths because God is necessary.
Eric, you can't have necessity beyond necessity. If something is necessary, then it demands no further explanation. You're making the wrong move here. If a necessary truth is dependent, then it isn't necessary.

If you believe that justification is simply warrant sufficient for a knowledge claim, then there are a few questions that need to be asked. Sufficient for who? Who decides what is sufficient?
Complicated, ain't it?

If I believe that the moon is made of swiss cheese, and you don't, then an experiment would shake the very foundations of one of our beliefs.
No it wouldn't. Because we have just agreed on a methodology for confirmation.

What if we all lived in the matrix?
Is there any reason for me to think this? Neo is not justified in believing such until he is shown such. You can have a justified belief that turns out to be false.

Because my belief system is founded upon the rock of Christ. He is the God of all creation, the creator of both logic and reason. You assume that to have any true knowledge of something requires that you have exhaustive knowledge of something.
Eric, I have been arguing precisely the opposite. I have been attempting to show that your skeptical method leads to this conclusion. You are arguing for a kind of positivism about revelation. The fact is that just because you're a Christian and God has revealed Himself to you doesn't mean you're always right, neither does it mean that your reasoning process is infallible. If you understand anything at all about the truth of Christ, it is by the Holy Spirit's work alone.

Let me ask you this: do you believe that scripture is the word of God? How do you know that EVERY SINGLE WORD is God-breathed?
Because it has been revealed by the Spirit, who has regenerated me and given me a new heart, new eyes to see, and new ears to hear. Because through Scripture, the Spirit reveals Jesus Christ, the image of the Father, who then points back to Scripture and says "believe this: it's true." Any account of the words of God in Scripture must make reference to the Word of God, Jesus Christ.

In the end, I don't accept your standard of what accounts for knowledge vs. simple warranted belief
Warrant is all that is necessary for a knowledge-claim. I'm not sure where you get this notion that something in addition to warrant is needed for one to claim knowledge. Of course not all knowledge-claims are true---everyone claims to know things that aren't true, but that's in part because we're finite.

I never said you had to know all the reasons, or even any reason, but the simple fact that there must be a reason. Imagine how much science would be done if we believed there were no reasons.
Ok, but we're not talking about this: we're talking about warrant for our claims---why I believe X.

econdly, your view that "why" has nothing to do with knowing that something is, seems to be quite off base. My daughter knows that there is just empty space under her bed only because she knows why it is the case.
No, she looked under her bed, said "it's empty, this must be because there's nothing under it." The "why" is only ever established in light of the "what."

For starters, logic presupppose an absolute logic and entails PSR
Ok, so:
L -> L2
And
L -> PSR

First, we need to establish that both of these claims are true, which would mean showing that L2 is a necessary and sufficient condition for L and that L is a necessary and sufficient condition for PSR.

it can be deduced that logic itself is also contingent.
Actually, not necessarily. If L2 is a necessary and sufficient condition for L and (further) is itself necessary, then L will be necessary.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Ok, but we're not talking about this: we're talking about warrant for our claims---why I believe X.
Maybe we're not, but apparently I am.


No, she looked under her bed, said "it's empty, this must be because there's nothing under it." The "why" is only ever established in light of the "what."
Haven't you heard of invisible monsters? Empiricism isn't enough. I took her out to breakfast the other day and held up a wrapper and asked, "How come this wrapper can't just turn into a bird?" She said, "because God made it a wrapper;" and I am pretty sure she hasn't read Van Til yet. (She then continued to expound how all things consist in Christ and that only he could provide the necessary preconditions of intelligibility by which she could truly know this).


First, we need to establish that both of these claims are true, which would mean showing that L2 is a necessary and sufficient condition for L and that L is a necessary and sufficient condition for PSR.
We have already agreed that these laws are self-evident; and, since they are transcendentals they must prove themselves after being presupposed, which is my proof and cannot be refuted unless my proof is true causing the refutation to be necesarily false.

If L2 is a necessary and sufficient condition for L and (further) is itself necessary
Why would L2 be a necessary and sufficient condition for L? Secondly, do you grant that logic is conceptual in nature?
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Why would L2 be a necessary and sufficient condition for L?
That's what I'm asking you. You're the one who said that Logic presupposes absolute logic.

Secondly, do you grant that logic is conceptual in nature?
Sure.

We have already agreed that these laws are self-evident; and, since they are transcendentals they must prove themselves after being presupposed, which is my proof and cannot be refuted unless my proof is true causing the refutation to be necesarily false.
But what you haven't yet shown is the nature of the link between them, which is what we were discussing.

Empiricism isn't enough.
I would agree---where have I advocated pure empiricism?
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Neo is not justified in believing such until he is shown such. You can have a justified belief that turns out to be false.
If Neo is logical, he would also realize that the non-matrix world feels just as real as the matrix. Thus, he has a very good reason to doubt his senses in any apparent world. But then again, he could just ignore this under cutter and continue to follow what appears to be self-evident; which, given the evidence, would a good definition of being irrational.

---------- Post added at 08:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:52 PM ----------

You're the one who said that Logic presupposes absolute logic.
Its denial results in a logical contradiction.

I would agree---where have I advocated pure empiricism?
I really didn't mean it in a pure since, was just playing off the empirical methodology you advocated. But then again, your arguments have not really given me a clear picture of what you really do believe.

What are the preconditions for a concept to be?

---------- Post added at 08:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:03 PM ----------

Also, just curious, do you reject Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism?
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
If Neo is logical, he would also realize that the non-matrix world feels just as real as the matrix. Thus, he has a very good reason to doubt his senses in any apparent world. But then again, he could just ignore this under cutter and continue to follow what appears to be self-evident; which, given the evidence, would a good definition of being irrational.
No it's not and here's why: in these scenarios, Neo is operating under the assumption that certain faculties are de facto defective. What warrants him in thinking that his senses are deceiving him in a particular instance. He hasn't been given reason to doubt his senses in all contexts, just in a certain set of contexts. Similarly, I can distinguish between dreaming and waking. No, I can't give a clear set of necessary and sufficient conditions, but that may be because we're speaking about things that turn out to be family resemblances.

The trouble with Cartesianism is that it privileges one faculty (deductive reason) above the others and claims that anything that doesn't appeal to it alone is irrational. The trouble is that rationality covers a wider range of categories than the Cartesian will admit.

What are the preconditions for a concept to be?
That it have a use in language.

Its denial results in a logical contradiction.
Depending one what you mean by absolute logic, maybe. Remember that you also have to show it to be a sufficient condition.

your arguments have not really given me a clear picture of what you really do believe.
I would say that beliefs are warranted in a variety of messy and complicated ways that defy human systematizing. Any general theory of knowledge has to be extendable and willing to constantly revise itself in order to account for things. Further, this theory must also recognize that as a general theory, it is not necessary to believe it in order to have knowledge. That is to say, people don't have to agree with you in order to know stuff.

do you reject Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism?
No---it's a brilliant example of reductio ad absurdum where Plantinga shows that the theory of evolution proceeds on a necessarily non-naturalist basis.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Neo is operating under the assumption that certain faculties are de facto defective. What warrants him in thinking that his senses are deceiving him in a particular instance. He hasn't been given reason to doubt his senses in all contexts, just in a certain set of contexts.
In qualification, he doesn’t believe that any of his senses are actually defective. They are functioning normally and are accurately perceiving the things presented. Thus, what he learns is that properly functioning cognitive faculties are not a sufficient for knowledge. He then becomes a revelational epistemologist and goes to see the Oracle. He then learns, of course, that the Oracle is not the transcendent omniscient being he was hoping for, and the trilogy ends in extreme confusion and irrationality where there is no reality and nothing can be known.

No---it's a brilliant example of reductio ad absurdum where Plantinga shows that the theory of evolution proceeds on a necessarily non-naturalist basis.
Thanks, I like it too. I know there are some basic differences (I think I read an article comparing/contrasting a long while ago), but I don't see how this is a fundamentally different approach then TAG like arguments. EAAN provides a reductio defeater for rationality; TAG provides a reductio defeater for rationality; rationality exists, therefore one's underlying worldview is wrong. At least that's how I understand it. if I am correct, it seems you wouldn't think this is a good argument since the crux of it depends on showing that we have good reason to doubt our cognitive faculties.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Thus, what he learns is that properly functioning cognitive faculties are not a sufficient for knowledge.
Sure they are---he just has to distinguish between two different contexts.

if I am correct, it seems you wouldn't think this is a good argument since the crux of it depends on showing that we have good reason to doubt our cognitive faculties.
Well not exactly: what Plantinga is showing is that naturalism, rationality, and evolution are mutually exclusive---you cannot have a view that includes all three consistently. Specifically, the nature of naturalism as a control belief with evolution as a mechanistic belief would end in the conclusion that it is unlikely that both would be rational. It's basically the argument that evolutionary theory is not rationally compatible with naturalism.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Sure they are---he just has to distinguish between two different contexts.
Begging the question.

Well not exactly: what Plantinga is showing is that naturalism, rationality, and evolution are mutually exclusive---you cannot have a view that includes all three consistently. Specifically, the nature of naturalism as a control belief with evolution as a mechanistic belief would end in the conclusion that it is unlikely that both would be rational. It's basically the argument that evolutionary theory is not rationally compatible with naturalism.
Again though, I can't see why TAG isn't doing the exact same thing from a slightly different angle, if not with just different words. Asking for an accout for the laws of logic is asking the same question EAAN does: how can X and Y exist consistently together? If they can't, you have a defeater for X or for Y, not Y, therefore X (at least if you are talking to a traditional naturalistic atheist).
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Sure they are---he just has to distinguish between two different contexts.
Begging the question.
Both positions beg the question. You're either going to beg the question in favour of skepticism or in favour of common sense.

Asking for an accout for the laws of logic is asking the same question EAAN does: how can X and Y exist consistently together?
Well no---not quite. The argument is that if X and Y are the case, then our belief in X and Y is most likely not Z.

It's not asking for an account---it points out that there are two conflicting accounts within the narrative itself. It's not asking for anything that hasn't already been given.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
You're either going to beg the question in favour of skepticism or in favour of common sense.
Common sense is holding to that which has the best reasons, so unless you provide a reason why non-skepticism is common sense in this scenario, I am unconvinced; Neo is justified in questioning whether he is actually in Matrix-b. Nonetheless, if I grant that you are right, it still demonstrates the point: without revelation knowledge claims become arbitary, either way; they are just descriptions of what you believe. Knowledge comes from the mouth of God (Prov. 2:6), i will stick with that. Thanks for the diologue.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Common sense is holding to that which has the best reasons, so unless you provide a reason why non-skepticism is common sense in this scenario, I am unconvinced
Can you provide a reason why skepticism is common sense in this scenario? There seem to be clear criteria for distinguishing here.

Knowledge comes from the mouth of God (Prov. 2:6)
What kind of knowledge, though?
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Can you provide a reason why skepticism is common sense in this scenario? There seem to be clear criteria for distinguishing here.
I have, but we disagree, so it doesn't seem worth pursuing further.

What kind of knowledge, though?
The kind that rightly interprets the world, life, experiences, and thought in light of reality. Monkey knowledge known. True truth. Knowing, not just believing, that the world will exist tomorrow (Gen. 8:22); that the atoms in my coffee cup will continue to hold together preventing the contents from spilling on my lap (Col. 1:17); that my thought is rational since it reflects the image of god; and that all this remains true because God cannot lie or deny himself (Titus 2:3). Of course, much more could be said about the trueness of love, compassion, and morality etc., none of which could be truly known apart from the mouth of God.

It's not asking for an account---it points out that there are two conflicting accounts within the narrative itself. It's not asking for anything that hasn't already been given.
This seems to dodge the issue. The inability to "give an account" is implicit in the argument itself, as the only rebuttal to EAAN is if one could actually give an account. Therefore, to be a meaningful argument, it just goes without saying that "you cannot give an account, go ahead and try." Further, who's to say that TAG arguments follow one strict structural form, that you apparently take umbrage with? The potentially different modes of delivery seem inconsequential to me. I may not see your point (likely), but as a far as a "big picture" approach, I am still finding this to be quite an inconsistent concession on your part.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Knowing, not just believing, that the world will exist tomorrow (Gen. 8:22); that the atoms in my coffee cup will continue to hold together preventing the contents from spilling on my lap (Col. 1:17); that my thought is rational
Will, unbelievers know this too. The warrant for your belief is in the facts that make it true, not in whether your understand how they work. The unbeliever does know that the world will exist tomorrow, that the coffee cup will hold together, and that his thought is rational. He is warranted in this belief by the proper function of his faculties working together---regardless of whether he can give a coherent metaphysic of why this is the case.

The inability to "give an account" is implicit in the argument itself, as the only rebuttal to EAAN is if one could actually give an account.
Yes--but this is only because the theory in question is, in fact, an attempt to give an account. Most worldviews are not this systematic and don't pretend to be.

Therefore, to be a meaningful argument, it just goes without saying that "you cannot give an account, go ahead and try."
No: the point of the argument is that the account already given fails.

The problem with TAG as you're using it is first that you're claiming to be a foundationalist, in which case a TAG can't work because it's an inherently coherentist argument. Second, you're claiming rationalist standards of proof which do not apply to ordinary rationally-held beliefs.

Let's suppose that we are having a discussion about quantum where you propose string theory to explain it. Now, I may not have an alternative to string theory, but does that mean that I must therefore accept string theory? No, given that the theory is untestable even in principle. Part of what you are failing to recognize here is the role of faith in knowledge. All knowledge includes some element of faith such that very little is absolutely proveable. I can't demonstrate the veracity of empirical sense to a skeptic---but I don't have to in order to be rational in believing my senses. I also don't have to have any sort of logical argument for the existence of God---because I have the Holy Spirit who guides me back to Scripture to point me to Christ who points me to the Father. The assurance of faith is not in any argument I could come up with nor from my deductions from Scripture, but in the work of Christ revealing the Father by the Spirit. That's my assurance; that's how I know that God is God, Jesus Christ is His Son, and that His inspired word is true.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Will, unbelievers know this too. The warrant for your belief is in the facts that make it true, not in whether your understand how they work. The unbeliever does know that the world will exist tomorrow, that the coffee cup will hold together, and that his thought is rational. He is warranted in this belief by the proper function of his faculties working together---regardless of whether he can give a coherent metaphysic of why this is the case.
As I duly noted, they do believe this, but asserting that they believe it doesn't mean they know it in an ultimately rational way. And again, you are importing your definition of knowledge into mine to argue against it, which is what your entire last paragraph is also contingent on. I have already granted that monkey knowledge is warranted, but that it is not sufficient to represent what biblical knowledge is.

not in whether your understand how they work
It is not my position that one has to know how, or provide all the reasons, to know something. I use divergence from PSR, in light of a defeater, to govern whether one embraces irrationality. Diverging from PSR does not occur due to inductive ignorance, it happens when you abandon the principle contained within PSR - that there must be a reason, even if you don't know what it is. As rational beings in the image of God, it is also my position they we walk around with a constant defeater while rejecting God. The defeater is suppressed, allowing us to function "rationally," but still ultimately irrationally - which is necessarily the case when you hold a belief that is contrary to a known defeater.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I have already granted that monkey knowledge is warranted
Ok, so what's the problem? What is irrational about believing the input of the senses?

And again, you are importing your definition of knowledge into mine to argue against it
I'm pointing out that when we define knowledge, the term has to be able to account for all of the ways in which we use the word in ordinary language. Definitions are descriptive, not prescriptive.

In fact, let's make a distinction: are we talking knowledge-that, knowledge-how, or knowledge-who (that is, knowledge of persons).

Diverging from PSR does not occur due to inductive ignorance, it happens when you abandon the principle contained within PSR - that there must be a reason, even if you don't know what it is.
Ok---where has to unbeliever done this? All I've argued is that he is not bound to provide one in order to have warranted true belief (knowledge).

The defeater is suppressed, allowing us to function "rationally," but still ultimately irrationally - which is necessarily the case when you hold a belief that is contrary to a known defeater.
And here's my contention: that the decision to suppress this knowledge is rational---that is, that it is made in full knowledge of the consequences. The rebellion of man is rational---man knows what he's doing and does it anyway.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
What is irrational about believing the input of the senses?
Nothing, in itself. My contention is that this notion is incomplete on its own. Beliefs have consequences, the laws of logic have consequences, and knowledge requires more than just developing beliefs via a properly rational mode. Similar to what Plantinga argues:

If I reject theism in favor of ordinary naturalism, and also see that [the
probability that my cognitive faculties are reliable given that naturalism is
true] is low or inscrutable, then I will have a defeater for any belief I hold. If
so, I will not, if forming beliefs rationally, hold any belief firmly enough to
constitute knowledge. The same goes if I am merely agnostic as between
theism and ordinary naturalism.
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
Incompleteness is not irrationality, though. Further, we haven't discussed non-reductionist views.
I meant that it is not accounting for all the facts that are actually there. As Plantinga also argues, for our cognitive faculties to be functioning properly it has to also include all the relevant defeater systems and "propositional inputs" that go with it. I am suggesting that engaging in rationality necessarily imports these defeaters, so knowledge cannot be established until they are dealt with.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
As Plantinga also argues, for our cognitive faculties to be functioning properly it has to also include all the relevant defeater systems and "propositional inputs" that go with it. I am suggesting that engaging in rationality necessarily imports these defeaters, so knowledge cannot be established until they are dealt with.
So if I haven't thought of all the possible arguments against my position, I don't have knowledge? This seems like a rather odd definition of proper function and I'll have to go back and reread Plantinga's account of such.

I meant that it is not accounting for all the facts that are actually there.
None of us are capable of this because none of us know all of the facts that need accounting. Again, was Newton's theory of gravity wrong because he didn't have the instrumentation to figure out quantum? Do we not know about quantum because the conditions for it are not capable of being investigated, even in principle?
 

Hilasmos

Puritan Board Freshman
So if I haven't thought of all the possible arguments against my position, I don't have knowledge? This seems like a rather odd definition of proper function and I'll have to go back and reread Plantinga's account of such.
I don't think that is what's been stated; if you don't know an argument against your position than it would not be a relevant defeater as far as your rational thought processes go. I don't have the book on hand, but here is the relevant quote from an article, which is taken from Warrant and Proper Function, 194:

According to the central and paradigmatic core of our notion of warrant (so I
say) a belief B has warrant for you if and only if (1) the cognitive faculties
involved in the production of B are functioning properly (and this is to include
the relevant defeater systems as well as those systems, if any, that provide
propositional inputs to the system in question); (2) your cognitive
environment is sufficiently similar to the one for which your cognitive
faculties are designed; (3) the triple of the design plan governing the
production of the belief in question involves, as purpose or function, the
production of true beliefs (and the same goes for elements of the design plan
governing the production of input beliefs to the system in question); and (4)
the design plan is a good one: that is, there is a high statistical or objective
probability that the belief produced in accordance with the relevant segment of
the design plan in that sort of environment is true.
Points 3 and 4 also seem to contravene with how you are using the notion of warrant. The notions of "design plan" and "proper function" doesn't allow a non-Christian to appeal to simple warranted belief since that results in appealing to the very thing that is a defeater.

None of us are capable of this because none of us know all of the facts that need accounting. Again, was Newton's theory of gravity wrong because he didn't have the instrumentation to figure out quantum? Do we not know about quantum because the conditions for it are not capable of being investigated, even in principle?
Again, this is missing the point being made; I am not talking about all of the possible facts, but the facts that are relevant and known; those that prove to be defeaters.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
As far as logic, I heard an atheist affirm that there were transcendent logical absolutes, but these logical absolutes are non-conceptual. His point was that TAGers equivocate on the term Logic, as conceptual reasoning processes of the mind, with logical absolutes, the non-conceptual absolutes that the conceptual logic points to. In other words, in this world we make logical statements that are conceptual (the rock exists and does not not exist at the same time); but, just because this logical statement is conceptual, it is a fallacy to say that the absolute that this conceptual statement references is also conceptual. By analogy, this is like having a conception of an apple and then affirming that the nature of the apple is conceptual.

When pressed on the question of the nature of the logical absolutes, however, no answer could be given. By affirming that logical absolutes were non-conceptual he affirmed that this didn't mean that they were material in nature (because they are transcendent). He held that there is a 3rd option, apparently, but said that he didn't know what it was other than to define it by its negation: "transcendentally non-conceptual." Of course, we can critizce this position by pointing out that if you don't know what something is how can you say what its not? Although true, it seems this could be countered by the fact that this is ultimately how we define the trinity, or the immateriality of God -- by negative statements (eg. we generally define immaterial as something not extendend in space).

So, in the end, I think to handle this objection you have to clearly define the nature of logical absolutes and why they must be this way.
This went completely over my head.....
 
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