I feel like presup is mostly pointless

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
That assumes the two are similar, and they are not.
The logic behind them seems the same to me. I just find it odd to suggest that our Christian apologetic be conformed to the felt needs, or lack thereof, of the fallen human mind. Most human beings don't find the need to account for logic a pressing one. So what?
 

TheWord4Word

Puritan Board Freshman
It seems there are only two ways there can be a account of revelation

God reveals to you that there exist a explanation for X but doesnt tell you WHAT the explanation is

or

God reveals to you that there is a explanation of X and also that the explanation for X is Y

If option 1 you know that the laws of logic depend on god but you dont know how.

if 2 you know that the laws of logic depend on god because he told you divine conceptualism is true. (or whatever other answer he gave)

If 1 then the proof is useless apologetically, as its not publicly accessible

if 2 then you should be able prove from the laws of logic that conceptualism is true.

So why even bother with presup?

option 2 is the only useful option and if you have option two you could just prove god exists

The presuppositional apologetic approach is a foundation approach, a necessary starting point to argue the existence of God, and everything else. We may point out that this is not the case for the atheist, since the atheist does not acknowledge God. To that I say; “Fair enough.”

The atheist is then left with his standard classical approach to his argument. However, (what if) the presuppositional argument could be used within the classical argument to show that the classical argument of the atheist is, and must be also, presuppositional if it has any chance of being an argument against the existence of God?

Part of the answer to that question is that by showing the atheist that his classical argument is in fact presuppositional, and that it must be to even exist, leaves the atheist with a huge dilemma.
1. They must either argue the nonexistence of God from the Christian presuppositional position, or …
2. They must show how the basis of their classical argument is self-existent AND self-proving as an objective standard.

Either way you win, because they can not do it without compromising their position.

If you have a classical atheist argument we can work with, I’ll be happy to take the presuppositional approach and see how we might use it to dismantle the atheist argument with it.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
The logic behind them seems the same to me. I just find it odd to suggest that our Christian apologetic be conformed to the felt needs, or lack thereof, of the fallen human mind. Most human beings don't find the need to account for logic a pressing one. So what?

The logic behind them seems different to me. Maybe our apologetic shouldn't conform to their felt needs, but I have demonstrated quite conclusively that one can meet all the criteria for knowledge without having to meet TAG.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I have demonstrated quite conclusively that one can meet all the criteria for knowledge without having to meet TAG.
Again, no Van Tilian would claim that TAG is required for someone to know something. This is a straw man and off topic.
 

Ulster Fry

Puritan Board Freshman
To be honest, at this point I don't understand what the Van Tilians are claiming to believe as when they are challenged to give a coherent statement of their position, and then given the logical outcome of their positions, they immediately claim they are being misunderstood. It's very hard to dialogue in this fashion.

For example, here's a basic question for the Van Tilian to answer. Can an unbeliever truly know a proposition or not (T or F) without presupposing the existence of God? If so, then despite our fallen reason, nonbelievers are capable of grasping true propositions outside of a religious epistemology. If that is the case, then what reason is there to believe they cannot accept propositions regarding God's existence? The demons are also guilty of rebellion, but they know the proposition that 'God exists' is true.

I guess the emphasis really is the 'worldview' aspect here (which is very postmodernist in my opinion and as with the demon example above, only applicable to humans). In terms of method, presuppotionalism is very similar to naturalized epistemology - begin with the assumption that your epistemology is correct and self-justifying, and then reject all forms of knowledge that operate outside of it for not fitting into your closed system.
 
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Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
For example, here's a basic question for the Van Tilian to answer. Can an unbeliever truly know a proposition or not (T or F) without presupposing the existence of God?
There’s a lot to unpack here even in this question. What do you mean by “presupposing the existence of God”? If you mean consciously—i.e., “I believe in God, therefore I know X”—then obviously not. However, not all presupposition is conscious. All people are in the image of God, which means they inescapably operate under certain givens, which is why they believe in things like moral absolutes and the uniformity of nature even though their godless worldview viciously militates against such beliefs.

I’m not sure why this is so controversial a position. This is precisely what Paul is discussing in Romans 1-2. All people know God—his existence, his being, even his attributes—and yet they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

Do people really use VT arguments with say a relative?
I have.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Again, no Van Tilian would claim that TAG is required for someone to know something. This is a straw man and off topic.

Strictly speaking, that is not what TAG is. You are correct. It is a Van Tillian talking point that without the existence of God, you can't account for anything.

If I said "know" instead of "account," I misspoke. My point stands, though, and has not been refuted. I can meet all the qualifications for knowledge (K=JTB) without presupposing God. I mean this, of course, epistemologically. Ontologically, as RC Sproul has said, God comes first.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I’m not sure why this is so controversial a position. This is precisely what Paul is discussing in Romans 1-2. All people know God—his existence, his being, even his attributes—and yet they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

It is not a controversial opinion. RC Sproul holds as much. The controversial opinion is when you link that claim to whether you need to presuppose God to account for x, y, and z.

Romans 1 says the unbeliever has real knowledge. He has met all the conditions for JTB.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I can meet all the qualifications for knowledge (K=JTB) without presupposing God. I mean this, of course, epistemologically. Ontologically, as RC Sproul has said, God comes first.
You keep pressing a point that no one is arguing against. Who here has said that unbelievers cannot know anything? What reputable Van Tilian is there who has said unbelievers cannot know anything? Cite one. The very point of presuppositionalism is not that unbelievers cannot know anything but rather that unbelievers’ epistemology conflicts with their metaphysic. Given their professed worldview—i.e., what they believe about the fundamental makeup of the universe—they cannot make sense of what they do in fact know. That is far different from saying that the unbeliever cannot know anything.
 
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Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
One of the things that makes these kinds of threads frustrating is that much of what is said I cannot recognize as my own position as a presuppositionalist, nor can I recognize it in what I have read of actual presuppositionalist literature. Hardly ever have I read a criticism of presuppositionalism here and said, “Yes, that portrayal represents exactly my own position.” I actually can’t remember it ever happening even once.

I’ll make this my last post here. If anyone wants to hear about these things from one of the actual sources, I would suggest going to the Bahnsen Institute. They have all of Greg Bahnsen’s lectures uploaded, and many of them remastered. Even if you don’t agree, still listen. It will be a far better use of your time than enduring yet another classical vs. presuppositional Puritan Board thread.
 
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RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Given their professed worldview—i.e., what they believe about the fundamental makeup of the universe—they cannot make sense of what they do in fact know. That is far different from saying that cannot know anything.

Fair enough. I withdraw the stronger claim. My weaker claim, that making sense of what one knows adds nothing to the act of knowing, still stands.
 

jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
The presuppositional apologetic approach is a foundation approach, a necessary starting point to argue the existence of God, and everything else. We may point out that this is not the case for the atheist, since the atheist does not acknowledge God. To that I say; “Fair enough.”

The atheist is then left with his standard classical approach to his argument. However, (what if) the presuppositional argument could be used within the classical argument to show that the classical argument of the atheist is, and must be also, presuppositional if it has any chance of being an argument against the existence of God?

Part of the answer to that question is that by showing the atheist that his classical argument is in fact presuppositional, and that it must be to even exist, leaves the atheist with a huge dilemma.
1. They must either argue the nonexistence of God from the Christian presuppositional position, or …
2. They must show how the basis of their classical argument is self-existent AND self-proving as an objective standard.

Either way you win, because they can not do it without compromising their position.

If you have a classical atheist argument we can work with, I’ll be happy to take the presuppositional approach and see how we might use it to dismantle the atheist argument with it.

There are many problems here.

The problem is "accounting "here refers to ontological accounting not personal accounting.

For example a child cannot account for how the flood effected sedimentation, that does not proof that the Christian worldview doesnt account for it.
So strictly speaking a atheist doesnt have to personally account for it, which is the point of my complaint.

TAG only works if it can be shown to be necessary WITHOUT REFERENCE TO HOSTILE WORLDVIEWS .
(caps for emphasis )
Another problem is presups dont seem to be able to articulate how God is needed without begging the question
For example ill play the part of a atheist.

I Believe in a non-material non-mind having ultimate.

Show me how to proof the above wrong
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
@jubalsqaud,

What are you after here? Looking at your 34 posts on this board, it seems you have an obsession. Are you trying to convince? Vent frustration? Rant? If this is such an important topic to you, I would suggest your time would be better spent engaging with lectures and actual literature. Read a book, go listen to one of the 1,600+ lectures I linked to above, and then come back and post about a specific statement or idea from them. Coming into Puritan Board and posting a thread titled “I feel like presup is mostly pointless” is, well, pointless. When presuppositional folks are saying you don’t understand presuppositionalism, and when even anti-presuppositional people are having trouble deciphering what you’re talking about, it is a good indicator you haven’t given this much deep thought.
 

jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
Presups claim i dont understand presup all the time, then they subsequently fail show how

Presup= the claim that christianity is the only worldview that accounts for reality
 

Polanus1561

Puritan Board Junior
Take a break from online debates. Unless there is for some reason, presuppers are ganging up on you in real life in Nashville.

Peace.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Take a break from online debates. Unless there is for some reason, presuppers are ganging up on you in real life in Nashville.

Peace.

Agreed. I think there are better ways to deal with perceived inadequacies in presup. I found that focusing on the Aristotelianism in form and method that we find in the Reformed scholastics is far more effective than trying directly to attack presup.
 

TheWord4Word

Puritan Board Freshman
Presups claim i dont understand presup all the time, then they subsequently fail show how

Presup= the claim that christianity is the only worldview that accounts for reality
Everyone frames their argument from some type of presuppositional position.

The difference between the believer and the non-believer, is that the believer starts with The God of the Bible, and the Non-believer starts with themselves; Their own logic, their own reasoning, i.e. their own a'priori and empiricism.

What the non-believer doesn't understand is that in order to argue the non-existence of the God of the Bible, from their own self as the standard for their own knowledge, requires either the God of the Bible, or some type of higher god type being that is the first cause. Otherwise, they make themselves the first cause of all logic and reason without any solid explanation of how they came to knowledge and reason.

As has been suggested, I highly recommend studying Dr Greg Bahnsen. You can find his books and lectures on line, often for free.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
The difference between the believer and the non-believer, is that the believer starts with The God of the Bible, and the Non-believer starts with themselves

In terms of logic and how the mind knows things, we all begin with ourselves. Before I can say "I believe in God," I have to start with the laws of logic and that A = A. Even Calvin alluded to it. Van Til himself will occasionally admit that we can start with temporal facts (Survey Christian Epistemology, 120).
 

Anti-Babylon

Puritan Board Freshman
I wish we would go back to chops, frankly.

View attachment 9961

Man I get those small hot razor bumps breaking out over here just looking at that image of the baby smooth upper lip and chin.

If we do away with full beards and go mixed, my vote is for gotee. But I was told that signifies "evil" in most media formats in art, movies, TV etc.

To paraphrase Larry Norman "Why should the devil have all the good facial hair styles?"
 
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TheWord4Word

Puritan Board Freshman
There are many problems here.

The problem is "accounting "here refers to ontological accounting not personal accounting.

For example a child cannot account for how the flood effected sedimentation, that does not proof that the Christian worldview doesnt account for it.
So strictly speaking a atheist doesnt have to personally account for it, which is the point of my complaint.

TAG only works if it can be shown to be necessary WITHOUT REFERENCE TO HOSTILE WORLDVIEWS .
(caps for emphasis )
Another problem is presups dont seem to be able to articulate how God is needed without begging the question
For example ill play the part of a atheist.

I Believe in a non-material non-mind having ultimate.

Show me how to proof the above wrong

There is a bigger question we can use here to bring the TAG view home, and that is this; While it is true that everyone brings their own presupposition to the apologia game, and that fact is perfectly fine, the bigger question is, can the argument being made stand up on the presupposition being presented? OR does the presupposition require something else? Because if it can not stand up on it's own merit and authority, and or, requires something else inorder that it is true, then it is not true on it's own.

Do you see the issue?
If I say that logic, or reason, is my foundational starting point for the argument I am making (whatever that is) Then I have a problem if I am arguing for the non-existence of God, because logic and reason do not exist by themselves, as self authoritative, whereas God can. So, when it comes to the Teleological Argument, either philosophically or theologically, the foundation for the truth must begin and end with a self existing "thing" otherwise it must arise from something else that in turn must be self existing in order to support anything else.

Paul lays out this same argument in Romans 1 starting in verse 18.
You can argue the non-existence of God all you want from any presupposition you want, but if the argument you're making against the existence of God, does not prove the non-existence of God then your argument against the existence of God, fails right where it started.

That make sense?
 

jubalsqaud

Puritan Board Freshman
There is a bigger question we can use here to bring the TAG view home, and that is this; While it is true that everyone brings their own presupposition to the apologia game, and that fact is perfectly fine, the bigger question is, can the argument being made stand up on the presupposition being presented? OR does the presupposition require something else? Because if it can not stand up on it's own merit and authority, and or, requires something else inorder that it is true, then it is not true on it's own.

Do you see the issue?
If I say that logic, or reason, is my foundational starting point for the argument I am making (whatever that is) Then I have a problem if I am arguing for the non-existence of God, because logic and reason do not exist by themselves, as self authoritative, whereas God can. So, when it comes to the Teleological Argument, either philosophically or theologically, the foundation for the truth must begin and end with a self existing "thing" otherwise it must arise from something else that in turn must be self existing in order to support anything else.

Paul lays out this same argument in Romans 1 starting in verse 18.
You can argue the non-existence of God all you want from any presupposition you want, but if the argument you're making against the existence of God, does not prove the non-existence of God then your argument against the existence of God, fails right where it started.

That make sense?
Yes but the problem is a nonmaterial nonmental ultimate doesnt seem to lack anything needed.
At least not in a obvious way.

The usual suspects for why God is needed are things like divine conceptualism, the unity of the trinity, minds cause obligations etc.
The problem is all these things are controversial even among team Jesus.

I have never heard a argument for why god is necessary that doesn't have a atheistic alternative.

Even the Van Til one and many argument has a atheistic counter part.

Consider this analogy of proportionality

Wood is to splinters as glass is to shards as Gibbal is to Yeety
Here we have set of relations that we recognize and two unknown terms.

We can infer that Gibbal has the same relation to Yeety as glass to shards.

Similarly we could say God is to the persons of the trinity as the atheistic ultimate is to the non mental aspects of its being.

How you gonna prove the guy advocating that wrong?
 

TheWord4Word

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes but the problem is a nonmaterial nonmental ultimate doesnt seem to lack anything needed.
At least not in a obvious way.

The usual suspects for why God is needed are things like divine conceptualism, the unity of the trinity, minds cause obligations etc.
The problem is all these things are controversial even among team Jesus.

I have never heard a argument for why god is necessary that doesn't have a atheistic alternative.

Even the Van Til one and many argument has a atheistic counter part.

Consider this analogy of proportionality

Wood is to splinters as glass is to shards as Gibbal is to Yeety
Here we have set of relations that we recognize and two unknown terms.

We can infer that Gibbal has the same relation to Yeety as glass to shards.

Similarly we could say God is to the persons of the trinity as the atheistic ultimate is to the non mental aspects of its being.

How you gonna prove the guy advocating that wrong?
Your response here, is a pretty good example of denying God, and choosing to argue that God doesn't exist because you can't prove it, but refuse to start with God as the basis for your argument.

This is a classic atheist dilemma.
Without God, the God of the bible, you have no basis for any objective truth, because the truths you want to use, true as they may be by themselves in a vacuum, can not exist independently of a higher power.

Some atheist will admit this and simply say they are still working on it, and some day they'll find out what the real higher power is that is the first cause of all the little things they use as the foundation for their arguments, but they've yet to find it.

If you want to know God you must start with God. If you're going to argue the existence or the non-existence of God, then you must also start with God. However, it will not prove God doesn't exist. It will only prove God. So then the atheist is left right where they started.

I'm not sure what your motive here is. Are you wanting to learn how to form an apological argument? or are you trying to prove something about the method? In either case, I'd say you've worn out the attempt.

Blessings,
Dan
 

ryanpresnell

Puritan Board Freshman
In terms of logic and how the mind knows things, we all begin with ourselves. Before I can say "I believe in God," I have to start with the laws of logic and that A = A. Even Calvin alluded to it. Van Til himself will occasionally admit that we can start with temporal facts (Survey Christian Epistemology, 120).
Is this not the reason for Van Til's distinction between the proximate starting point and the ultimate starting point? It seems to me that Dan is referring to the latter, while you are referring to the former.

From Van Til's Introduction to Systematic Theology (quote found here):
“The orthodox notion begins with God as the concrete self-existent being. Thus God is not named according to what is found in the creature, except God has first named the creature according to what is in himself. The only reason why it appears as though God is named according to what is found in the creature is that, as creatures, we must psychologically begin with ourselves in our knowledge of anything. We are ourselves the proximate starting point of all our knowledge. In contrast to this, however, we should think of God as the ultimate starting point of our knowledge. God is the archetype, while we are the ectypes. God’s knowledge is archetypal and ours ectypal” (IST 203).
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
In terms of logic and how the mind knows things, we all begin with ourselves. Before I can say "I believe in God," I have to start with the laws of logic and that A = A. Even Calvin alluded to it. Van Til himself will occasionally admit that we can start with temporal facts (Survey Christian Epistemology, 120).
I think it must pointed out the basic question the transcendental argument is seeking to answer is this, does the truth or falsity of Christian theism affect states of affairs or not? That is if CT were false would we have a different state of affairs than what we experience?
It seems obvious that the answer is yes lest we invert the Creator/creature distinction and make autonomous the creation itself. That is logic, science, morality, etc would all be exactly as we experience them whether or not CT is true or false. See autonomous reason and creation make God (and CT) superfluous and optional.
Simply claiming I can show a JTB is knowledge only works as an argument against TA if knowledge, belief, etc are in fact autonomous and they're being created is pointless because they would be exactly the same whether or CT were true or not. That's the TA. How do we make JTB as even possible without succumbing to an autonomous view of the epistemological situation (it would be exactly what it is regardless of the truth or falsity of CT)?
 

Anti-Babylon

Puritan Board Freshman
Well, I am officially dumb. I have read, re-read all posts and cannot find any context clues for what "JTB" stands for.

Can some Good Samaritan help an intellectually broken and bleeding man here? Thanks in advance.
 
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