Paul Manata and others, The Closet and Possibility

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ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
If I remember correctly, it broke down when it was *asserted* that the quadrune god was impossible while the triune God was possible. It was not shown that 4 was *impossible*.
My premise here is that the Bible leaves no room for the possibility of a fourth or more members of the God head. That kills the possibility of the situation.

That would mean that you would be asking to show that the Bible is true, which I do not believe to be a proper question.

I've seen you use Sean Choi's name quite a bit in support. But is Sean Choi even a presuppositionalist anymore? Not according to his comments on Jeff Lowder's blog a while back.
I have seen the same comments and believe that at best he has moderated his stance concerning VanTillian Presup. But if you have followed the thread, you would have seen that I was not using him as support for VT or anything close to that. I was using him because he is close to Prof. Salmon, who has written against S4 and S5 versions of modal logic. If those are not valid for possible world semantics, then a great deal of possible worlds stuff becomes problematic because they assume these levels of modal logic.

Dropping his name as an argument against modality doesn't do much good in defending VT.
Again, we have left Van Til and pretty much left TAG on the sideline for a little bit. The question is the validity of the Quadrune claim to be possible. One can despise Van Til and still could answer that such is impossible.

Even if he does reject modality, he apparently still rejects the strong VT argument - I could be mistaken though. So I guess it could be commented that I'd love to see the convo b/w you and Choi in regards to VT.
I do not have anything to discuss with him concerning Van Til


In the meantime, I'm still waiting for:

1) what these "preconditions of intelligibility" are?
2) what are the *essential* doctrines of Christianity? and
3) what makes these *essential* doctrines and them *alone* necessary for intelligibility?

Amen and Amen. ;)
Since I am not currently defending TAG but instead attacking Quadrinity, it might be a while.

;)

CT
 

Don

Puritan Board Freshman
My premise here is that the Bible leaves no room for the possibility of a fourth or more members of the God head. That kills the possibility of the situation.

That would mean that you would be asking to show that the Bible is true, which I do not believe to be a proper question.
and this is the contextual fallacy that was discussed.


I have seen the same comments and believe that at best he has moderated his stance concerning VanTillian Presup. But if you have followed the thread, you would have seen that I was not using him as support for VT or anything close to that. I was using him because he is close to Prof. Salmon, who has written against S4 and S5 versions of modal logic. If those are not valid for possible world semantics, then a great deal of possible worlds stuff becomes problematic because they assume these levels of modal logic.

Again, we have left Van Til and pretty much left TAG on the sideline for a little bit. The question is the validity of the Quadrune claim to be possible. One can despise Van Til and still could answer that such is impossible.
I know how you were using him. I also asked him a few questions on Vic Repperts blog about the claim that there are no atheists. He thought *this* claim was dependent on Bahnsens impossibility of the contrary, which he thought was not successful.

You stated in the other thread that Paul Manata was six months behind you and once he denied Possible World Semantics, he'd be 'right back in the camp'. My point is that that is not the only option as one can apparently deny PWs and still not be in the camp. So if you want to name drop Sean Choi or Nathan Salmon in regards to PW, then your interlocutor can name drop them in regards to VT - which is the primary subject at hand.


Since I am not currently defending TAG but instead attacking Quadrinity, it might be a while.
and my point was that the Quadrinity is not really necessary to defeat TAG - or to defeat a certain claim made by TAGsters.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
and this is the contextual fallacy that was discussed.
There is no fallacy anywhere. If God has said that "I am a trinity", then you have him being a liar for then being four in one but saying that he is three in one or you have him being able to just change himself into four, when he was once three.

Both are problematic. If you think I have missed something then you can talk to Paul because he has missed the same issue.

The end game is to show that one has to go to some other source of possibility contrary to what God has specifically revealed to His creatures.

I know how you were using him. I also asked him a few questions on Vic Repperts blog about the claim that there are no atheists. He thought *this* claim was dependent on Bahnsens impossibility of the contrary, which he thought was not successful.
Fair enough, and irrelevant concerning the issue with Dr. Salmon.

You stated in the other thread that Paul Manata was six months behind you and once he denied Possible World Semantics, he'd be 'right back in the camp'. My point is that that is not the only option as one can apparently deny PWs and still not be in the camp.
I said that in a playful way, there are plenty of ways to be outside of the camp.

So if you want to name drop Sean Choi or Nathan Salmon in regards to PW, then your interlocutor can name drop them in regards to VT - which is the primary subject at hand.
According to this reasoning, one could never reference an unbeliever with regard to some philosophical argument because someone could just say, "well they are an atheist, deist etc. so why not accept them over there as well".

The primary subject is what we are discussion right now, which is a Quadrune God. Will we get back to Van Til and TAG, Definitely. But that is not the question at hand.

At this point we are analogous to a discussion of arguments that Presupps should not use against other schools of apologetics. Even if we believe the other schools are wrong, we have to fight them properly and not strawman them to death.

and my point was that the Quadrinity is not really necessary to defeat TAG - or to defeat a certain claim made by TAGsters.
I am not saying that it is necessary or that something else cannot defeat it. The point in discussion is should we move on to something else to potentially defeat TAG.

CT
 

Don

Puritan Board Freshman
I said, "So if you want to name drop Sean Choi or Nathan Salmon in regards to PW, then your interlocutor can name drop them in regards to VT - which is the primary subject at hand."

According to this reasoning, one could never reference an unbeliever with regard to some philosophical argument because someone could just say, "well they are an atheist, deist etc. so why not accept them over there as well".
I'll respond to the rest later. But this doesn't follow. If you want to name drop according to one subject, then your interlocutor can name drop the *same* ppl in regards to the primary subject. How that entails that one could "never reference an unbeliever with regard to some philosophical argument" is beyond me.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
I said, "So if you want to name drop Sean Choi or Nathan Salmon in regards to PW, then your interlocutor can name drop them in regards to VT - which is the primary subject at hand."



I'll respond to the rest later. But this doesn't follow. If you want to name drop according to one subject, then your interlocutor can name drop the *same* ppl in regards to the primary subject. How that entails that one could "never reference an unbeliever with regard to some philosophical argument" is beyond me.
Um, this is akin to saying the primary subject of a apologetic encounter is Christianity and not sub argument in favor of some aspect (resurrection etc.) So if I reference an unbeliever in reference to the resurrection one can just reference them in their rejection of Christianity as a whole, because that is the primary subject.

CT
 
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Don

Puritan Board Freshman
Um, this is akin to saying the primary subject of a apologetic encounter is Christianity and not sub argument in favor of some aspect (resurrection etc.) So if I reference an unbeliever in reference to the resurrection one can just reference them in their rejection of Christianity as a whole, because that is the primary subject.

CT
You miss the point yet again. If you want to name drop to obtain justification for your rejection of modality, then I'll name drop the *same* ppl (or different) in order to obtain justification for my position - and make the same type of smarty pant comments. And I'm still not exactly sure how all this entails that I can't quote unbelievers? Or am I breaking "Van Tillian" debate rules if I do while it's ok if you do it?
 
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Don

Puritan Board Freshman
Um, this is akin to saying the primary subject of a apologetic encounter is Christianity and not sub argument in favor of some aspect (resurrection etc.) So if I reference an unbeliever in reference to the resurrection one can just reference them in their rejection of Christianity as a whole, because that is the primary subject.

CT
oh and by 'primary subject' I did not mean 'Christianity as a whole' but *TAG* and *Van Tillianism* - or at least the right wing version of it.
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
My premise here is that the Bible leaves no room for the possibility of a fourth or more members of the God head. That kills the possibility of the situation.

That would mean that you would be asking to show that the Bible is true, which I do not believe to be a proper question.

...;)

CT
Why would one need to show the quadrune God from the Scripture which presents the triune God. We are talking worldviews.

The quadrune god is hypothetical, and would be an element of a hypothetical worldview religion. It would be equivalent to Christianity in all ways except it would have four persons in the Godhead. The quadrune God would have revealed himself so a chosen people, there would be a some holy text, would involve election, redemption, etc.

Meet Joe. He's a evangelist for the God, the quadrune God. How does Joe know God is Quadrune - Joe's has it right here in the Word of the Quadrune God. Read for yourself.

Now you can't say - "prove it to me from the Scriptures of Christianity".

"That's silly" says Joe. "God has revealed himself in my Bible, not yours."

And then Joe points out all the relevant verses like Duke 4:12 and 2 Bob 3:1-8. And the God of the quadrinity sent his only begotten son, Jimmy, to die on a tree for the sins of the elect.

So, there it is. The religion of the Quadrune God is contrary Christianity, but provides all the same categories and conditions of Christianity. It is contrary worldview because both can not be true at the same time.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
oh and by 'primary subject' I did not mean 'Christianity as a whole' but *TAG* and *Van Tillianism* - or at least the right wing version of it.
Oh I know but my analogy still holds, the issue is that I do not have to talk about everything at once. The point currently in front of me (or was in front of me) was to attack the potential for a 4 member Godhead. If I need to do more than that to defend TAG from all comers is absolutely fine. But once this is settled then we can move on to something else.

Your counter is akin to saying, Christianity still dies regardless of how I defend the resurrection (because it fails elsewhere). Let me at least address this point and then we can see if it all comes down somewhere else.

CT
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
Why would one need to show the quadrune God from the Scripture which presents the triune God. We are talking worldviews.
I know exactly what we are talking about. No worldview makes everything possible or nothing possible. So every worldview has a source to tell them that X or Y is possible.

With Christianity we have possibility being an idea in God mind, a creature that God has made or something in that vicinity.

Now if someone wants to counter with a possibility that is not in God's mind because they have another source of possibility then that is perfectly fine. However if they want to do that, they do not have the right to attempt to appeal to some neutral possibility. You either have God as the source or something else.

The quadrune god is hypothetical, and would be an element of a hypothetical worldview religion.
It is a hypothetical using what non neutral source of possibility?

It would be equivalent to Christianity in all ways except it would have four persons in the Godhead. The quadrune God would have revealed himself so a chosen people, there would be a some holy text, would involve election, redemption, etc.
Okay how is this any different then asking about a world where the laws of logic do not exist?

Meet Joe. He's a evangelist for the God, the quadrune God. How does Joe know God is Quadrune - Joe's has it right here in the Word of the Quadrune God. Read for yourself.
I would be happy to read it, but he wont let me read it because there is a different doctrine of providence in this other worldview.

Now you can't say - "prove it to me from the Scriptures of Christianity".
I would be happy to say prove it to me from their own worldview with the different providence. I would be happy to have him explain his source of possibility etc.

"That's silly" says Joe. "God has revealed himself in my Bible, not yours."
I would be happy to fight him over all the differences between his Bible and mine. God does not lie, right? So while the imposter was raining down fire in support of Elijah, where was he at?

And then Joe points out all the relevant verses like Duke 4:12 and 2 Bob 3:1-8. And the God of the quadrinity sent his only begotten son, Jimmy, to die on a tree for the sins of the elect.
I love to hear him talk about his God because now he is giving me rope to hang him. The only trouble is when he refuses to talk.

So when the imposter Triune God was having his revelation put forward, where was Quad?

So, there it is. The religion of the Quadrune God is contrary Christianity, but provides all the same categories and conditions of Christianity. It is contrary worldview because both can not be true at the same time.
I would love to see just how Providence is not completely altered, let alone other things that will come up as Joe tells me about his bible.

CT
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
I too have difficulties with the Hypothetical quadrinity worldview. How could it give the necessary preconditions for intelligibility? Here’s Bulter's comments:

But the Fristian worldview, which is, ex hypothesis, identical to Christianity in every other way, asserts that its god is a quadrinity. But if Fristianity is otherwise identical to Christianity, the only way for us to know this would be for Fristian god to reveal this to us. But there is a problem with this. Supposing Fristianity had inspired scriptures (which it would have to have since it is all other ways identical to Christianity), these scriptures would have to reveal that the Fristian God is one in four. But notice that by positing a quadrinity, the Fristian scriptures would be quite different from the Christian Scriptures. Whereas the Christian Scriptures teach that, with regard to man's salvation, God the Father ordains, God the Son accomplishes and God the Spirit applies, the Fristian scriptures would have to teach a very different order. But exactly how would the four members of its imagined godhead be involved in man's salvation? More fundamentally, whereas in the Christian Trinity we read that the personal attribute of the Father is paternity, the personal attribute of the Son is filiation and the personal attribute of the Spirit is spiration,[91] what would be the personal, distinguishing attributes of the members of the Fristian quadrinity? What would their relationship be to each other? Further questions flow out of this. How would the quadrinity affect the doctrine of man and sin? How would redemptive history look different? What about eschatology? This all needs to be spelled out in detail. This illustration reveals a general problem. One cannot tinker with Christian doctrine at one point and maintain that other doctrines will not be affected. It does no good for the proponent of Fristianity to claim that the only difference between his worldview and the Christian worldview is over the doctrine of the Trinity. Christian doctrine is systemic and a change in one area will necessarily require changes in others. It is necessary, therefore, that the advocate of Fristianity to spell out how this one change in doctrine affects all other doctrines. But once this is done, there is no guarantee that the result will be coherent.
Would not a Quadrinity cast a shadow on God’s unity and self-sufficiency? Could we not say that God by necessity is Triune? This gives us the one and many (that is more than two). So a fourth person in the Godhead is unnecessary and therefore not possible for God, who is by definition, a self-sufficient being.

Hope that makes sense VanVos
 

Don

Puritan Board Freshman
Oh I know but my analogy still holds, the issue is that I do not have to talk about everything at once. The point currently in front of me (or was in front of me) was to attack the potential for a 4 member Godhead. If I need to do more than that to defend TAG from all comers is absolutely fine. But once this is settled then we can move on to something else.

Your counter is akin to saying, Christianity still dies regardless of how I defend the resurrection (because it fails elsewhere). Let me at least address this point and then we can see if it all comes down somewhere else.

CT
Nothing in my name dropping counter implies that you have to talk about everything at once. That is irrelevant. My particular counter to *this tactic* has to do with your *name dropping* and attempting to obtain justification from that. If you want to play this name game, then we can do that, and this is what I was doing. Saying that it may be off-subject or whatever misses the point. I was simply trying to get you to go further. Even if your analogy holds (which I don't think it does as it misses my point), I still fail to see how it matters. Your analogy is akin to saying "I can name drop on 'side issues' but you can't name drop on the 'wider issue'. That's a foul and therefore illegal." That's ridiculous - what logical law is that derived from. Anyway, this is a side issue that perturbed me especially when I saw it in the other thread.

I may address the rest of your statements next week as I'm exhausted from shoveling all day, am particularly busy and tired of this subject. In the meantime, meditate on those questions I asked earlier that you dismissed and try to sufficiently state TAG instead of having an assertion party. ;)
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
All of this was debated in his thread. Read through it, first.

The quadrune god would would be unified in his 4-and-oneness.

You could *say* whatever you want. Proving it is another matter.

The one-and-many is had by more than 1, not more than 2. The fact that something is unnecessary, does not mean it's impossible. It's unnecessary for me to have size 15 shoes, that doesn't mean it's impossible.

Anyway, read the thread I linked to and also note that Butler said there that his article "was not intended to be the last word." I think even he knows the case hasn't been made.
Okay I will read the thread when I have time, because I really want understand your argument here. However I do have some questions based upon your response here. Would not Binitarianism be insufficient, since it would lack an objective testator to the reciprocal communion that exists within the persons of the Godhead? Also is not God exempt from the unnecessary/impossibility argument since God by definition is perfect and is therefore incapable of doing or being something unnecessary?, therefore making both Quaditarianism and Binitarianism impossible.

VanVos
 

Magma2

Puritan Board Sophomore
Paul, Perhaps it is your new found liberty having come out of the closet, but on the one hand you are saying that you are only informing me of another worldview, on the other hand you are expressing some security in the fact that a WSC professor is telling you God could possibly be four in one. Do you believe this nonsense yourself, or not?

May I suggest you pick up Heppe's Reformed Dogmatics and read the reformed consensus on God *necessarily* willing Himself to be Triune. Four persons is not possible in a reformed worldview.

I think this quadrune worldview requires development before being presented for critique. 1 John 5 provides us with the Trinitarian basis of revelation and salvation.
Rev. Winzer, it seems to me the assertion out there in “la-la land” is the idea that one can prove Christianity is true by the impossibility of the contrary. The key word here is “prove.” TAG has been oversold by Van Til and his followers and the fact that some Van Tilians, like Paul, are beginning to realize this, I think is a good thing.

I can’t help thinking you have completely missed his point. We know that God is a Triunity because that’s what the Scriptures teach. Paul is not saying Four persons IS possible in a Reformed worldview. all he’s doing is pointing out a (glaring) weakness in TAG.
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
I'm curious also about the concept "impossibility of the contrary". I've not seen this in formal logic or in reference to anything other than Christian apologetics. I've always assumed it was a common phrase in logical analysis. Can someone point me to a reference explaining the concept of "impossibility of the contrary"?
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
I too have difficulties with the Hypothetical quadrinity worldview. How could it give the necessary preconditions for intelligibility? Here’s Bulter's comments:
.... But notice that by positing a quadrinity, the Fristian scriptures would be quite different from the Christian Scriptures. Whereas the Christian Scriptures teach that, with regard to man's salvation, God the Father ordains, God the Son accomplishes and God the Spirit applies, the Fristian scriptures would have to teach a very different order. ...
Necessarily different. And if so, would it be so different as to insure it necessarily does not supply the preconditions for intelligibility?

Could not the forth person be conceived as one similar in character and nature to one of the other three person. The fourth person could be obtained dividing the functions of the Holy Spirit into two persons. One could serve only to instill faith into the elect, or maybe would be function to cause sanctification in believers. There are many possibilities. As many possibilities as there are different angels.

Would not a Quadrinity cast a shadow on God’s unity and self-sufficiency? Could we not say that God by necessity is Triune? This gives us the one and many (that is more than two). So a fourth person in the Godhead is unnecessary and therefore not possible for God, who is by definition, a self-sufficient being.

Hope that makes sense VanVos
I think Paul addressed this. A fourth person may not be necessary - but that does not mean it is impossible. Is there some proof that the Godhead could not possibly have had any more persons than necessary? And I'm assuming that 3 persons are the minimum necessary.

And please note again, I'm not saying this is possible within the reformed or Christian worldview. This is a whole other worldview. Just as adding an additional side two a three sided figure turns a triangle into a quadrangle. Both are valid shapes. A four sided triangle is impossible only by definition of triangle. It's not an impossible shape. A four person Godhead is impossible within the Christian worldview - does not imply it is an impossible worldview.

There are many worldviews. While only one worldview can be true (sound), there are possible worldviews that are formally valid. We can check the validity of a worldview even while assuming our own. However, we can not prove which worldview is sound. If we assume one worldview, all others will appear unsound necessarily. But any formally valid worldview will appear sound if one assumes it first.

Are we all using the same definition of worldview? A worldview is not merely a way of looking at the world. Your worldview defines everything you think you know and believe true. It dictates what appears to be true, untrue, or uncertain. Your worldview is determined by your presuppositions regarding epistemology, ontology, and/or metaphysics. The axioms of a worldview take logical priority over all other propositional truths.
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
1. Is an "objective testator" *necessary* for intelligibility? If so, prove it.

2. The apologist for this worldview can appeal to mystery or paradox, just like you do.

3. Why can't one of the two person's "objectively testify?"

4. Who said the fourth member was "unneccessary?" How much would you have to know to know *that?*

I understand yon need take a break from debate, I know how exhausting it can be. But I will attempt answer the questions here

1. I would argue yes. An objective testator gives objective knowledge to the communion that exists between the persons of Godhead. In creation every case is establish by two or more witnesses (Matt 18:16) It's a precondition for proof of any given relationship.

2. A paradox with trinitarianism is allowable because it gives the necessary preconditions for intelligibility; I still don't how any alternative does.

3. See 1

4. Again trinitarianism sufficiently gives us the preconditions for intelligibility therefore 4th member of the God head is unnecessary, and since God is perfect He can not be or do something unnecessary.

VanVos
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks for the comments Civbert. But in my thinking, I still say it is valid to argue from the impossibility of the contrary. Also I think you will agree with me here; that in the nature of the case there can be no other worldview, there can be only be one transcendental for the meaningfulness of man's experience, and the one we have says there are no others. Plus you lose uniformity if you have two possible worldviews, and then you would need a third worldview to judge the two proposed worldviews. So guess, what I'm saying is that I'm not convinced that we should give up on the impossibility of the contrary argument formulation.

VanVos
 
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B.J.

Puritan Board Freshman
I guess I constitute the "others" of the thread topic. I to had to come to grips some time ago with the now obvoius fact that the "contrary" can never be shown to be impossible. CVT's TAG is bankrupt. It can't prove what it so boldly claims. Paul and I discussed this at some length in a previous thread where he slammed me for questioning what he now affirms. So my only question for Presuppers like myself, who have been stripped of their Bahnsneian rhetoric and Van Tillian cliches', is...What now? The bomb has been dropped on the playground of Presuppositionalism and we must salvage anything that can be of use.
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
I guess I constitute the "others" of the thread topic. I to had to come to grips some time ago with the now obvoius fact that the "contrary" can never be shown to be impossible. CVT's TAG is bankrupt. It can't prove what it so boldly claims. Paul and I discussed this at some length in a previous thread where he slammed me for questioning what he now affirms. So my only question for Presuppers like myself, who have been stripped of their Bahnsneian rhetoric and Van Tillian cliches', is...What now? The bomb has been dropped on the playground of Presuppositionalism and we must salvage anything that can be of use.
That doesn't mean we don't have an effective defense of Christianity. It only removes one questionable tool (TAG) from the arsenal.

And we can defeat every known worldview. The only thing that matches (but can not defeat) Christianity, is a hypothetical worldview that seems to have no real-world example. The hypothetical is only hypothetical as has as it is humanly possible for us to know. It means we can not, an an absolute sense, rule out all possible worldviews.

But we can (through an internal critique) rule out: empiricism, rationalism, mysticism, Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, Buddhism, Humanism, Atheism, etc, etc, etc. I know Gordon Clark has done this in his apologetics. I think Bahnsen may have knocked down a few himself.

Basically, we can knock out all non-theistic worldviews, and all known religions in short order. There's not much left apart from Christianity. If that's not an effective defense/offense, then what is?

And although not an absolute proof of Christianity, we can still use the evidential and historical arguments.
 

Don

Puritan Board Freshman
I would not call TAG itself questionable but rather the *claim* of proving the impossibility of the contrary using TAG.
 

B.J.

Puritan Board Freshman
[But we can (through an internal critique) rule out: empiricism, rationalism, mysticism, Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, Buddhism, Humanism, Atheism, etc, etc, etc. I know Gordon Clark has done this in his apologetics. I think Bahnsen may have knocked down a few himself.

/QUOTE]


Heres another monkey wrench for you. Not only can possible worldviews not be ruled out, but also worldviews we dont know of such as a possible tribe of jungle people with there own worldview. You act as though all the above worldviews cant do an internal critique of Christianity. Oh yeah, I forgot...we appeal to mystery when push comes to shove. Why cant all the others appeal to mystery. At best, when an internal critique is done on said worldview, you can say is that you have shown a contradiction within their worldview. Can they not say that it is only an apparent contradiction to us because we have not started with the Truth of the system? This apparent contradiction can be called a mystery, right? Does not every Orthodox doctrine of the Reformed worldview end in mystery?
 

Magma2

Puritan Board Sophomore
Heres another monkey wrench for you. Not only can possible worldviews not be ruled out, but also worldviews we dont know of such as a possible tribe of jungle people with there own worldview. You act as though all the above worldviews cant do an internal critique of Christianity. Oh yeah, I forgot...we appeal to mystery when push comes to shove. Why cant all the others appeal to mystery. At best, when an internal critique is done on said worldview, you can say is that you have shown a contradiction within their worldview. Can they not say that it is only an apparent contradiction to us because we have not started with the Truth of the system? This apparent contradiction can be called a mystery, right? Does not every Orthodox doctrine of the Reformed worldview end in mystery?
Great point, and, I might add, a decisive one! This, in my mind, is the real death knell for Van Tilian apologetics. “They” can and should say all those things you say they should. :up: I’m just continually surprised that so few do. What was that P.T. Barnum said? :candle:
 

B.J.

Puritan Board Freshman
Paul,
I didnt mean anything negative by the phrase "slammed me." I hope this is clear to everyone. It was just an expression. I guess I watch to much WWE.
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
I would not call TAG itself questionable but rather the *claim* of proving the impossibility of the contrary using TAG.

Fair enough. I only object to the presentation of TAG that goes "only Christianity provided the necessary preconditions for intelligibility". That is, I object to the term "only". The only support for the "only" is by the impossibility of the contrary.
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
Paul,
I didnt mean anything negative by the phrase "slammed me." I hope this is clear to everyone. It was just an expression. I guess I watch to much WWE.

I thought it was intended as a compliment to Paul. Kind of like saying the Chess Master killed me in last game.
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
[But we can (through an internal critique) rule out: empiricism, rationalism, mysticism, Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, Buddhism, Humanism, Atheism, etc, etc, etc. I know Gordon Clark has done this in his apologetics. I think Bahnsen may have knocked down a few himself.
Heres another monkey wrench for you. Not only can possible worldviews not be ruled out, but also worldviews we dont know of such as a possible tribe of jungle people with there own worldview.
I agree. It is possible. :)

You act as though all the above worldviews cant do an internal critique of Christianity.
Anyone can do an internal critique of Christianity. But a critique of Christianity shows it is fully valid and sound worldview, providing all the necessary preconditions of intelligibility.

Oh yeah, I forgot...we appeal to mystery when push comes to shove. Why cant all the others appeal to mystery.
Who's "we". I don't. And who says they can't? They can, but it would be to their detriment.


At best, when an internal critique is done on said worldview, you can say is that you have shown a contradiction within their worldview. Can they not say that it is only an apparent contradiction to us because we have not started with the Truth of the system?
An internal critique starts by assuming the worldview in question is true. Based on that assumption (assumed for the sake of argument), one can show that most worldviews falls apart. Empiricism, atheism, and rationalism, (really all non-theistic worldviews) can be shown to be incapable of producing epistemicly justifiable knowledge. It's a devastating technique.

This apparent contradiction can be called a mystery, right? Does not every Orthodox doctrine of the Reformed worldview end in mystery?
Only in irrational formulations of Christianity. The reformed worldview does not have to appeal to mystery (unless one takes the neo-orthodox perspective). If it does, Christianity too will fall apart.
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
As I suggested yesterday, if the discussion is going to move along, it will have to be applied to something that is not "necessary" to God, a possible world where God could have done something different than create, reveal, and redeem, and thus produce a religion substantively different to Christianity.
It would only be necessary for it to contradict one doctrine (e.g. the Trinity).

The impossibility of the contrary emerges from the ontological argument that a greater being than God cannot be conceived.
A God proven by the force of a man-centric argument is not the God of Scripture. The argument is circular to boot. It proves God by first assuming God exists.

On that premise the contrary IS impossible, and there can be no possible world where God does not exist, or where another God exists instead.
The God of the ontological argument is poorly defined, and certainly does not need to be the God of Scripture. The God of Islam also works.


As all "foundationalist" arguments for the existence for God are ontological, you either deny foundationalism or you accept the impossibility of the contrary.
A foundational argument should be epistemological, not ontological. Knowledge requires a foundation. Existence is undefinable everything and nothing.

Also, Paul, it is perhaps the case that your experience with modal arguments derives from acquaintance with Plantinga, and is more positive. My experience comes through Hartshorne and process theology, where the goal is to disprove an actus purus, and establish a becoming God. I would be open to learn a more positive use of the modal argument, but I would only allow it to pertain to properties, not entitites.
Me too! I can always learn more. I might even find out I'm wrong about somethings. :think: :wow: :candle: I day I'm not learning something or being corrected about something is not much of a day. Plantinga is on my must- read list.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
Can anyone point to works on how to determine what is an impossible world or just how to determine if something is impossible?
 
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