The Linguistic and Logical Improprieties of the Theistic Proofs

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Confessor, Dec 7, 2008.

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  1. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Ultimately, unbelievers are wrong because they deny the obvious fact of Scripture's divine authorship. In that sense, yes, they are just wrong -- even if they are not presented a formidable apologetic for Christianity in their lifetime, they are still absolutely and completely without excuse, per Romans 1. We cannot deny this crucial part of theology in our apologetic. You seem to think we can separate the two.

    Apologetics goes to demonstrate that the unbeliever is wrong by showing that all unbelieving starting points lead to absurdity. We do not believe because all other starting points are false -- it is right to believe first of all by the obviousness of Christianity's truthfulness -- but the rational underpinning of the Christian framework is made obvious in apologetics. People who say otherwise -- who say that things (i.e. presuppositions) must be inferentially proven to them before they accept it are presupposing an antitheistic belief that surfaced in the Enlightenment and is without any type of grounds at all. We do not believe in Christianity because we have proven it -- we believe in Christianity because it is obviously true. To show the absurdity of unbelief, and the consistency of belief, we invoke apologetics. Apologetics is not the ground of our faith; God Himself is.

    The notion of contradictions and paradoxes are actually not a problem at all. As an obvious example, it would be a paradox (a currently unsolved problem which can logically be "pushed back" towards divine mystery) to say that the Trinity is one essence and three Persons, but it would be an outright contradiction to say that the Trinity is one Person and three Persons. It is absurd to deny the obvious truthfulness of Christianity and claim that contradictions are possible within Christianity, but we can still definitively demonstrate that Christianity has no contradictions.

    That's interesting. All I have seen (and probably what I would claim if I were a materialist) is that the mass of the singularity is infinite or otherwise non-negligible.

    I don't know how it worked, but you can't tell me that something material definitely didn't cause it. In fact, all causality that we have perceived in this universe -- and upon which the appropriate premise of the cosmological argument exists -- presupposes the existence of time. Why couldn't the universe be self-caused? You have made a case that nothing can be self-caused into existence but not into occurrence.

    Only insofar as time has existed.

    No, I'm trying to say that the volume is infinitesimally small, as in negligible or of zero value.
  2. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    And here is the massive problem. Unbelievers are wrong before they see Scripture. If they never see a Bible they are still wrong. If they were born in Iran and they only know and ever hear from are Muslims, they are still wrong for being Muslims.

    No one will get to Judgment Day and be able to answer God, "but I never had the Bible in my language." I see now way of holding to the position, without natural theology of some form.

    Romans 1, does not talk about what one learns due to the Bible. It talks about what one knows from the created order.

    Who said about inferentially proving presuppositions? One does not inferentially prove the laws of logic, do you?

    Next, part of being obviously true is to be without contradictions. You seem to need to be able to accept truth before even thinking of contradictions.

    God is the ground of our apologetics. Fortunately, he has told us about himself in general revelation.

    Actually, one person and three persons does not have to be a problem. Just say that the word person is being used in two different ways that I do not understand. One could do the same things with any claimed contradiction. Dealing with contradictions is much harder than you wish it to be.

    You mean the density is infinite. If this is the case, then there is no difference between material and immaterial. And if this is the case, then why be a materialist vs. some sort of non-theistic idealist? And any argument against non-theistic idealism would be an argument against materialism.

    Then you would be claiming that that which does exist eternally was caused to do X by something that does not exist at all. You have nothing doing something. Or put another way, you have non-being bringing forth being (can't push if you don't exist) Now one can say that existence and non-existence are the same thing, but that would destroy knowledge.

    Next, certain things can be shown to be contradictory/incoherent without having experienced them.

    Next, are you hypothesizing that in the beginning was some mass and volume, but no time (time was created later) , the mass itself generated an infinite force to counteract the infinite density, then created time?

    What does causation without time even mean? You cannot conceive or argue for things that have no meaning.

    Lastly, the classic Christian view of time is that God created it when he created everything else. The cosmological argument has no problem with this scenario.

    Negligible and zero value have different meanings in this context. If you mean zero value then materialism can be reduced to a form of idealism.

  3. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    A non-inferential sense of deity, which everyone would possess, would solve the problem admirably. As I said, there is no possible way that everyone's being without excuse in Romans 1 is referring to the fact that everyone has thought about and understood the cosmological argument and decided that God existed and that they were under His condemnation -- thus Romans 1 cannot possibly be referring to natural theology, or any type of argumentation without a Bible. There's no way people would actually come to the conclusion that they're under the condemnation of a holy God from natural theology. Natural theology only proves a first cause, a designer, etc. at the very most.

    I know. I never claimed that it did. I merely claimed that the fact of every single unbeliever (including those who have never seen a Bible) being without excuse points to the fact of their necessary condemnation apart from apologetics. We cannot do apologetics while somehow forgetting this fact or deeming it false or unproven for the sake of "fairness."

    Have you never seen an atheist ask for "evidence for God"? They would be asking for inferential proof of a presupposition.

    This truth can be accepted before thinking of contradictions, because the certainty given to us directly from the Holy Spirit is far greater than any human's application of the law of contradiction. It opens our eyes to the obvious fact of the Bible's divine authorship, from which we derive that it has no contradictions, from which we can demonstrate that there are no contradictions. You seem stuck in the Enlightenment mindset where rational proof became the ultimate criterion and precondition for rational belief. While this is good in many circumstances, it is not nearly applicable to the truth of Scripture, or as a basis of any philosophical system.

    You know what I meant: it would be a contradiction to say that the Trinity is one Person and three Persons at the same time, in the same place, and in the same manner. It was implied in the example.

    What do you mean, "You mean the density is infinite"? I never said anything about density, only about mass. You keep asserting that a singularity with zero volume would be tantamount to being immaterial, but why? The fact that you can't understand the difference between a material singularity with no volume and an immaterial singularity does not preclude the fact that the former can exist.

    No, I would rather be claiming that that which does exist eternally did X by itself.

    Yes, but that does not necessarily apply to this. You are trying to apply a premise learned from induction in one area to an entirely different area, which does not work.

    Sure, why not?

    Whoa, slow down. You just admitted that you do not understand what causation without time is, and consequently denied that causation can be coherent without time! That is entirely arrogant and the exact problem I am pointing out in the cosmological argument, that we cannot induce a premise from one set of circumstances and argue that it applies in a different set. Causation sans time might be inconsistent with reality (which you couldn't prove from your being trapped in temporal circumstances), but it is not inconsistent with itself, such as the concept of a married bachelor.

    If you really want to "argue" that negligible is somehow different from "of zero value," then I'll just use the words "of zero volume" to suit your fancy. That being said, a material singularity of zero volume does not necessitate idealism. The fact that you cannot understand how something of zero volume contains matter does not preclude the fact of its possibility. Otherwise, if you think that a material singularity of zero volume logically leads to idealism, then please demonstrate this.
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