Bi-nity

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by fredtgreco, Dec 9, 2004.

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  1. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Paul,

    Wouldn't at least some of these apply to other religions as well? In other words, these seem better arguments for the atheist than the Muslim. Couldn't the Muslim "account for logic" ?

    Just trying to sharpen here
     
  2. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Jehovah is 3 persons in one person. Diversity in persons, unity in one Godhead. Because diversity and unity are equal in the Godhead we can avoid the monism Mohammedism would logically fall into, but, why not a bi-nity, or a quad-nity, or a Godhead with any different number of persons?
     
  3. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    As a Calvinist Id say by the grace of God I was enabled and pursuaded by the holy Spirit, through the normal means, the word and the word opened by able Christians, later my worldview was refined and better systematized by reading and listening, especially Bahnsen.
     
  4. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    I dont understand what you mean. The idea of a bi-nity, or a Godhead w/ a plurality of persons other than 3, is something used to counter van tils belief of the necessity of the trinity to account for the one and many. My question was essentially, what is your reply to those that use it? What exactly are you asking me?
     
  5. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    So how did I come up with this worldview (bi-nity) is the question? Well, 2 difficulties with the way that's phrased are confusing me. One, most importantly I dont share this worldview, I dont think anyone does, its just a hypothetical postulated to criticize the theory that the Trinity provides equal ultimacy of unity and diversity. Two, I didnt come up with it, not sure who did but I think its been around probably as long as Van Til's theory (Im sure you know these things). If you mean where did I learn it, Ive seen it around the internet, I think the Vantil group. Recently a friend sparked my interest in it.
     
  6. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks Paul. I understand. Thats good, it explains why the bi-nity is false but... it doesnt explain the philosophical necessity of 3 vs. 2,4,5,6, ad infinitum, for unity and diversity, but i guess it doesnt have to.
     
  7. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Im not saying any definate number is necessary, including three (all other presuppositions aside of course). By the way, I see it as valid to examine TAG with pretend scenarios. Christianity must be proven the only conceivably true worldview, existant or conceivable yet nonexistant, and there is always the lingering possibility of these bizarre religions springing up in reality.

    Of course you're right, but what if I mysteriously discovered a rival book of revelation? It says God exists in Binity. Ive seen these objections raised yet never answered in terms I could understand.
     
  8. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    "so, what you're saying is: what if I found something that provided the transcendental."

    I didnt mean for the discussion to go that direction, but, its always been a nagging curiosity.

    I dont think they ask you to say you're wrong on any point, just if theyve found a worldview that allows transcendentals & doesnt fall into anyother logical pitfalls then it seemingly destroys the claim and mantra "impossibility of contrary."
     
  9. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    It doesnt seem to me they're doing that, asserting a claim into defeat, and if they are you must show me a little better.

    Here's why- hypothetically, the worldview is the same as Christianity except there are two persons in the Godhead and they have another different verbal revelation. With that they make transendentals rational and avoid metaphysical monism and I guess are otherwise internally consistent. Now you have multiple rival worldviews that meet that criteria. Prove me wrong. It seems to me you'd need to go to historical evidences to test them.
     
  10. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Its interesting, one of the presuppositional arguments against classical evidences is that such evidence wouldnt be intelligible to the unbeliever, but an unbeliever who shares so many common presupposition would probably be more prone to them. Thats the practical argument, theres still the ethical question about evidences.
     
  11. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    I thought we were playing make believe.

    P.S. Im getting tired of playing the bad guy.:bigsmile:
     
  12. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    My understanding is that the only appropriate use of them is for clarification, to use them to try and prove Christianity would be to step outside of your ultimate presuppositions and answer the fool in his folly. In our context to say our Jesus is the true Jesus, not ur bi-nity Jesus, because ours rose from the dead would be to accept Him on less than His word, to put Him to the test. Am I right?
     
  13. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    But really, if it's only been demonstrated that Christianity is consistent and a finite number of other worldviews have been demonstrated inconsistent, can the proof really be called conclusive?
     
  14. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    This is your challenge according to the presuppositional apologetic. Provide preconditions of intelligibility for transedental, be internally consistent, answer problems of philosophy. This religion meets these challenges essentially every way Christianity does. Absolute, immutable, immaterial God who is the standard, apes christianity in basically every way so its consistent, has a bi-nity so solves problem of 1 and many. My question thus far has been what other challenges can you test this religion by? I dont even think philosophical proofs or theorizing can work at this point, b/c it can always leech onto Xianity. Historical evidences seem to be the only way out of the dilema, but are they allowed w/in the presuppositional framework?
     
  15. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    "Above, I said that a claim for certainty can be made when a denial of that claim leads to self-contradiction"

    "(3) Harry Frankfurt's claim that: "The claim that a basis for doubt is inconceivable is justified whenever a denial of the claim would violate the conditions or presuppositions of rational inquiry."

    I dont know what you mean. Please rephrase. How have I violated the condintions of rational inquiry?

    [Edited on 11-12-2004 by Peter]
     
  16. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    I see, but those details can easily be adapted. For the sake of argument say the spirit is just an impersonal active force. Better yet we can limit whats been revealed to the minimal- one mumbojumbo, fasa, sasa. A redemptive plan isnt necessary for the challenges youve laid before me.
     
  17. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    "The Spirit is an impersonal force? What about the passages that ascribe personality to Him? Whta about acts 5, where lying to Him is to lie to God?"

    Wrong revelation Paul. Ananias doesnt exist in mumbojumboland.

    Im saying it doesnt matter either way. We could have a worldview identical to Christianity except for bi-nity and a different revelation with all the specifics adapted to bi-nity. Or we could just go with a simplistic revelation that says we have mumbojumbo in sasa and fasa but I see your point there. I thought of some possible ways to continue that line of reasoning, such as denying evil exists, but that just raises more questions. To conclude, Paul, how should we respond to someone who has reasoned thus. Please collect your thoughts and elaborate. 1. You need a complete worldview inorder for me to critique it? 2. You're asking me to grant you the conclusion for your premiss?
     
  18. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    The thing to remember is that there cannot be more than one transcendental. Real knowledge is not provided by "hypothetical transcendentals", whatever those are. If it has been shown that Christianity provides us with the transcendental that gives intelligibility to all knowledge, then the way to refute that is not to come up with another possible worldview, but to show how Christianity itself is internally inconsistent and we all have somehow missed it.

    If Christianity is true (i.e., it provides the transcendental), it is likewise the ONLY true worldview because (1) This is the claim of Christianity itself, and (2) the law of non-contradiction will have it no other way. If you provide a worldview other than Christianity that provides the transcendental, then not only have you refuted Christianity, but you have also refuted the non-Christian worldview as well, since you would be saying that both A and ~A are true. So here are your options:

    (1) Christianity is true.

    (2) No worldview is true.

    Since (2) is necessarily irrational, (1) must be true.

    [Edited on 11-12-2004 by luvroftheWord]
     
  19. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    While I'm convinced that evidentialism is unbiblical, and am convinced from Pratt's Every Thought Captive that defending Christianity in some type of presuppositional way is the biblical (and only) way to do it, I guess I don't really see the "gotcha" of the transcendental argument yet. The two questions I basically have are 1) As Peter well put it above, how can it refute the claim that someone has "a worldview identical to Christianity except for bi-nity and a different revelation with all the specifics adapted to bi-nity"? 2) Why can there necessarily only be one transcendental? Would most philosophers agree with that?
     
  20. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    First, to answer the challenge Peter has posed, if you have a worldview that is just like Christianity EXCEPT God is a binity and not a Trinity, then you have two worldviews BOTH claiming to be the one, true worldview, which means both contradict each other and thus neither of them are true.

    Also, To say that there can be two transcendentals is to say that there are two ultimate authorities. If there are two ultimate authorities that are not the same, we are left with a radical dualism, and thus there is no coherence or unity (that is, you fall prey to the one/many problem). Furthermore, if you are talking about two of the "same kind" of things, this would require a THIRD worldview that CAN account for unity to even talk rationally about them (thus making the third worldview the real ultimate authority).

    By the way, I'm indebted to Paul Manata for helping me understand this stuff.

    [Edited on 12-12-2004 by luvroftheWord]
     
  21. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Good point, there is only 1 transcendental, however, it appears there may be many worldviews that CAN (however do not other than the true one) provide the transcendental conditions.
     
  22. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Basically yes, but if its just a matter of taking out a bible and editing it a bit (or perhaps alot), it isnt as difficult as beating Michael Jordon in a game of basketball.
     
  23. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    Paul,

    What I meant was that both of the following cannot be true:

    (1) The Christian claim that Christianity is the one true worldview.

    (2) The claim of the bi-nity worldview that it is the one true worldview (a claim that this worldview would have to make if it is to be like Christianity in every way EXCEPT God is a bi-nity, not a Trinity).

    These two exclusive claims cannot both be true. They may both be false, but they cannot both be true.
     
  24. luvroftheWord

    luvroftheWord Puritan Board Sophomore

    Peter,

    Could you explain why it appears this way? I'm not sure I agree with you on that.

    And also, just as an aside, do you not find it amazing that any time you start piecing together what is necessary for knowledge that the worldview you end up with ALWAYS ends up looking like Christianity?

    [Edited on 12-12-2004 by luvroftheWord]
     
  25. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    You know when I say start with the bible I dont mean epistemologically. I mean practically, if we were to construct a hypothetical rival worldview, that is what we'd do. Youre right, my knowledge of systematics is very shallow, but I know enough to know that it would be very arduous but not very difficult b/c like you said, theologians have already done that work. I would merely be slightly altering it. I dont think many doctrines hinge on the *diety* of the Spirit.
     
  26. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    However this example does not prove that Jordan is the best. It only says that Jordan is the best that we have yet to see. TAG is supposed to prove that it is impossible for someone to exist to be better than Jordan (or can provide preconditions for intelligibility)

    How is TAG different from this example?

    CT
     
  27. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    :ditto: That's basically the same thoughts I'm having at the moment. Paul, I'm trying to hear where you're coming from--and in fact want to agree--but it seems to me that showing that nothing has yet refuted Christianity and showing that nothing ever can refute Christianity are two different tasks, just as with the Jordan example. Take the best player before Jordan - before Jordan, he could have said the same thing you're currently having Jordan say, but now that Jordan has come he cannot say that anymore. So for all we know the same thing will happen to Jordan.
     
  28. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    What Paul is saying is that we have Revelation. A real Revelation. Provide a real revelation that has such propositions in it as a Bi-nity, and not just a hypothesis, and you may have something. We still have to compare, though. But for now its just a matter of comparing a hypothetical with a factual. That's not really cricket.

    But Peter is getting there too. What he is saying it the same thing in reverse: you can't argue hypothetically and then not return on questions on the hypothetical. That too in not cricket.
     
  29. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Suppose someone claims to receive a revelation that tells them that the worldview set forth in the Bible just happens to be mostly right, except for the one difference of __________. They then have an espoused revelation, it just happened to be verbal instead of written, and it told them that an already-written document (the Bible) was true in all respects except __________.

    In this thread, people have been using the bi-nity example as the __________, which, as Paul pointed out, I think is a very bad example, as the doctrine of the Spirit's deity does in fact have massive theological implications for the Christian worldview. But apart from that example, how would the claim I mention above be refuted? Suppose the difference was, say, that Jesus actually rose in five days, or that milk is to be the element used in baptism. Sure, they're off-the-top-of-my-head examples, but I think they get the point across.
     
  30. JohnV

    JohnV Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Chris:
    In fact such things have been done. I recall that same methodology used to pry the women-in-office issue into the churches. At that time the concept was that some (undefined) elements of Scripture were culture-oriented and therefore not binding, e.g., the place of women in the church. Or we could say that Gen. 1-3 is figurative and not literal. Who's to say?

    But the same still applies: show me your Scripture and its Authority. It is still true that there has ever only been one "God" system given to man that is not originated in man himself; one that is completely revelational. All the others fall short of the mark. Show me an authority that over-rides Gal. 1 and we have something to discuss. Until then, its just a claim without authorized warrant. The ________, whatever it is, will either militate against the sufficiency of Scripture, the perspicuity of Scripture, the normativity of Scripture, and the completion of Scripture, if it is an added revelation of some kind. Otherwise the pronouncement of Gal. 1 regarding any other gospel, even if it came from an angel from heaven, is void. Either way, it runs into difficulty, and is not equal to the Christian revelation. It can never be just one little thing without having ramifications on the whole.

    If it were possible, how could we have a thelogical system? Everything would have an "if" to it in our creeds and confessions.

    Trinity is revealed, not come to by logic. Bi-nity is offered logically, not revelationally. "Don't compare apples to oranges." is the answer. Same with "_________", whatever it may be.
     
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