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Philosophy discuss What exactly do we mean by "Autonomy"? in the Apologetics Forum forums; Originally Posted by P. F. Pugh Here's the critique: Assume 1-5 6a. In the Christian WV there is a Transcendant source of ethics 6b. In ...

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by P. F. Pugh View Post
    Here's the critique:

    Assume 1-5

    6a. In the Christian WV there is a Transcendant source of ethics
    6b. In the Islamic WV there is a Transcendent source of ethics
    6c. In the Buddhist WV there is a Transcendent source of ethics
    6d. In the Taoist WV there is a transcendent source of ethics

    See the problem? All that the skeptic has to do is posit a couple of possible alternatives without recommending any one of them. Unless there is a necessary connection or at least an analyzable argument, all we're left with here is a Kierkegaardian leap.

    It seems to me that we have a couple of non sequitors here, since there is no "probable" and no necessary connection.
    Well first off I said this was simplistic, in a real context I would have to go in depth to the Christian WV to show how in its entirety it gives a basis for ethics.

    See the problem?
    No I do not see the problem with you doing sound philosophical analysis, that is what you are doing. You are stateing an obvious weakness in my argument and then I respond.
    Keep in mind the law of excluded middle, which in this case means that just because two religions are making a similer claim does not mean they are making the same claim.
    as far as a critique of 6b, I think Bahnsen does nice here:
    In some people's minds it is the Muslim faith, however, which presents a threat to presuppositional apologetics because, it is imagined, Islam can counter(feit) each move in the Christian's argument. This too is an inaccurate preconception. The two worldviews are dissimilar in pivotal ways when one reflects on Islam's unitarianism, fatalism, moral concepts, lack of redemption, etc. Islam can be internally critiqued on its own presuppositions. Take an obvious example. The Koran acknowledges the words of Moses, David, and Jesus to be the words of prophets sent by Allah -- in which case the Koran may be, on its own terms, refuted because of its contradictions with earlier revelation (cf. Deuteronomy 13:1-5).

    Sophisticated theologies offered by Muslim scholars interpret the theology of the Koran (cf. 42:11) as teaching the transcendence (tanzih) of unchanging Allah in such an extreme fashion that no human language (derived from changing experience) can positively and appropriate describe Allah -- in which case the Koran rules out what the Koran claims to be.

    Then again, the Islamic worldview teaches that God is holy and just toward sin, but (unlike the theology of the Bible -- see here the words of Moses, David, and Jesus) there can indeed be "salvation" where guilt remains unremitted by the shedding of blood of a substitute for the sinner. The legalism of Islam (good works weighed against bad) does not address this problem because a person's previous bad works are not changed by later good ones, but continue on one's record in the very sight Allah (who supposedly cannot tolerate sin but must punish it).[2]
    This quote came from this article: PA208
    As far as 6c and 6d they both have the same systemic failure, they have a code of ethics but teach that right and wrong disapear when one is enlightened. If right and wrong are illusions than why do anything the monk calls right?
    This beleif results in destroying objectivity.

    Unless there is a necessary connection or at least an analyzable argument, all we're left with here is a Kierkegaardian leap.

    It seems to me that we have a couple of non sequitors here, since there is no "probable" and no necessary connection.
    I think your still trying to squeeze the Transcendental argument into a Modal argument. The difference is this in a Modal argument you would be directly proving the necessaty of God's exsistance by directly proving a necessary causal link between His exsistance and logic. The Transcendental argument is proving That the Christian WV justifies ethics, thus inderectly proving the necessaty of the Christian WV.

    The catch 22 with a Transcendental argument is that if the unbeleiver admits that it is valid but is not prosuaded because they feel like I need to directly prove God's exsistance which will directly prove the validity of ethics, I would respond that by denying this argument they are denying ethics. They would either claim that ethics has no validity but when they turned around and ranted about the evils of religion, they would in fact be betraying their own admission that there is no such thing as evil! Or they would attempt to hold up a theory of ethics which did not fall under 3 or 4 of my argument, which I don't think is possible.

    ---------- Post added at 01:44 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:36 PM ----------

    Here is another presupossitional critique of Islam: Two Towers Falling: A Presuppositional Critique of The Quran's Theology | Events & News | Spirituality & Religious Issues | religious social issues | religious news
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  2. #42
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    The catch 22 with a Transcendental argument is that if the unbeleiver admits that it is valid but is not prosuaded because they feel like I need to directly prove God's exsistance which will directly prove the validity of ethics
    I wouldn't admit that it is valid because validity is a deductive term--an argument can be valid if and only if it is in deductive form.

    More importantly, I can bring up any number of counterexamples and unless every possible counterexample is answered, the argument is not sufficient.

    Keep in mind the law of excluded middle, which in this case means that just because two religions are making a similer claim does not mean they are making the same claim.
    Excuse me, but the law of the excluded middle is this:

    (a v ~a) & ~(a & ~a)

    I do not see how I have violated this law.

    In this case, the various religions are all making the same claim: to be the basis for ethics.
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    I wouldn't admit that it is valid because validity is a deductive term--an argument can be valid if and only if it is in deductive form.
    I always thought an argument of any kind was valid if the conclusion followed logically from the premises, thats what my Dictionary of Philosophy says.

    Excuse me, but the law of the excluded middle is this:

    (a v ~a) & ~(a & ~a)

    I do not see how I have violated this law.
    You got me here I got the names swaped on two different things, what I meant was that your argument seemed to be dangerously close to committing the fallacy of the undistributed middle, they both have middle in them and I sometimes mix them up, sorry about that. Notice I said that you seemed dangerously close to commiting this fallacy but I am not acusing you of actually commiting it.
    Here is why I am concerned:

    1. All religions are equally valid in making a claim to justify ethics
    2. Buddhism claims to justify ethics
    3. Therefore Buddhism's claim is equaly as valid as any other religion

    If that is what you are arguing than it is guilty of the fallacy I named, if this is not what you are saying than please elaborate.
    Also I can invalidate the buddhist claims to being able to justify ethics through an internal critique without ever making reference to any other P.O.V.
    More importantly, I can bring up any number of counterexamples and unless every possible counterexample is answered, the argument is not sufficient.
    I disagree. This is a pretty steep burden of proof that no one seems to be able to overcome. If this were the burden of proof for each and every kind of argument than no argument would escape this and all knowledge would reduce to skepticism. Also I never claimed in my Transcendental argument that every other P.O.V. was wrong besides mine, I obviously beleive that but it was not one of my premises( if it were than you would be absolutly right about the burden of proof but that was not part of my argument). Again a Transcendental argument is different from a Modal one, so unless you can prove that every single kind of argument is strictly Modal in nature than I don't see any reason to callapse a Transcendental argument down to a Modal one.
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    Since the original question was on the definition on autonomy, here are my thoughts. There are some good definitions here. THe one that I like especially after reading Bahnsen's book on Van Til's apologetic is, "Autonomy (Ancient Greek: αυτονόμος autonomos, Modern Greek: αυτονομία autonomia, from auto "self" + nomos, "law": one who gives oneself his/her own law) is a concept found in moral, political, and bioethical philosophy." This was repeatedly expounded in Bahnsen's book and was usually tied to his reference to autonomy (Man being a law onto himself) in that strictly from his own reason with no coercion from a creator he could make a rational worldview on the proposed creator. This of course is not possible as has already been stated due to the creator/creature distinction. So with this position it practically means that the autonomous man puts himself in a position whereby if he has formulated as to what would be convincing proofs he sets them and not the creator.

    I have rarely seen the unbeliever offer up their requirements as to what would constitute their belief if the requirements were met on the spot. So essentially they put themselves in a position where it is not possible to accept any theistic position because they have essentially made themselves (Law onto themselves) the deity for which the Christian is trying to argue for.

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    jandrusk, could you point me to a place where Bahnsen or Van Til defines it as you have defined it? So far, I haven't been able to discover a definition in Bahnsen.

    I always thought an argument of any kind was valid if the conclusion followed logically from the premises, thats what my Dictionary of Philosophy says.
    But notice that the transcendental proof, as you have presented it yields only that the Christian worldview is sufficient justification, not that it is true--we still have to make a Kierkegaardian leap to accept it.

    The other question which the argument raises is whether Christianity is using "borrowed capital."

    Also I can invalidate the buddhist claims to being able to justify ethics through an internal critique without ever making reference to any other P.O.V.
    The trouble is that there are nearly as many forms of Buddhism as there are of Christianity.

    Here's my next counterexample, though. Suppose for 6 that I substitute "Arianism" for Christianity. What we have, essentially, are two systems which are so similar as to both provide the same justification for morality.
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    The trouble is that there are nearly as many forms of Buddhism as there are of Christianity.
    Name one that doesn't suffer from the systemic failure that I mentioned and I will be happy to deal with it, keep in mind though my critique would still hold true for all forms of Buddhism that hold to this particuler belief.

    Here's my next counterexample, though. Suppose for 6 that I substitute "Arianism" for Christianity. What we have, essentially, are two systems which are so similar as to both provide the same justification for morality.
    Only if it it does not self-destruct in other areas, which I think we all agree it does. This WV denys a fundemental tenent of Christianity, thus deserving of a different name. Lutheranism and Calvinism are similer enough to both justify ethics, although they disagree on much but they agree on the essentials.

    The other question which the argument raises is whether Christianity is using "borrowed capital."
    I must say this is the first time I have ever seen this argument, it is a good one. First though I think "borrowed capital" is a metaphysical consequence of the idea of truth. Assuming Christianity to be true every other unbeleiving WV could not consistantly live in God's creation and pretend like He is not there. The very tools of reason they posses, because of Him, to try and disprove Him would be screaming loudly that they were hipocrites( metaphorically).
    Also this raises the question of "autonomous metaphysics", theories which try to understand the nature of reality apart from God. I would recomend the book by James K. A. Smith entitled Introducing Radical Orthodoxy on this subject it really goes into this well.

    But notice that the transcendental proof, as you have presented it yields only that the Christian worldview is sufficient justification, not that it is true--we still have to make a Kierkegaardian leap to accept it.
    This is one area where you are right to a degree. The Transcendental form of argumentation is, as far as I can tell, not completly worked out in every minute detail in philosophy. What is worked out though is that this form of argument is not a Modal one, so to try to treat it as such is still, I think, a category-mistake, unless you can prove that every argument is at heart a Modal one. If anyone out there knows of any really good work in the technical areas of the Transcendental argument please share.

    The Transcendental form of an argument is so different from any other kind of argument that it is tuff to tell how to procede logically from where we are, it is not a direct argument but is indirect so this makes a huge difference. So much technical work needs to be done in this area, but admiting this doesn't invalidate the form of argument( as far as I can tell it is a reconized form of argument). Also there is no leap of faith involved because the very nature of the Transcendental argument forces anyone who denys its validity to come up with a better explination or deny that the thing in question is intelligable( which is a self defeating argument).
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    Assuming Christianity to be true every other unbeleiving WV could not consistantly live in God's creation and pretend like He is not there. The very tools of reason they posses, because of Him, to try and disprove Him would be screaming loudly that they were hipocrites( metaphorically).
    But you cannot assume that which you are trying to prove, namely the Christian worldview--circular reasoning is just as fallacious in apologetics as in any other area of philosophy. Van Til asserted that all reasoning is circular, which produces a coherence view of truth.

    Also, adequacy does not equal necessity.

    This is one area where you are right to a degree. The Transcendental form of argumentation is, as far as I can tell, not completly worked out in every minute detail in philosophy.
    And if you try to use it to combat philosophies that are worked out to that degree, you will find it flawed. It's an argument that raises infinite numbers of questions.

    Also there is no leap of faith involved because the very nature of the Transcendental argument forces anyone who denys its validity to come up with a better explination or deny that the thing in question is intelligable( which is a self defeating argument).
    Or you can accept its validity and deny its truth. Let me show what I mean.

    1. All smurfs are blue.
    2. All blue things have antlers.
    3. Therefore all smurfs have antlers.

    The point being that even though the form is valid, the argument may still be false. Validity only means that the conclusion follows from the premises, not that the argument either a) is convincing b) yields truth.

    The other problem is when the transcendental argument gets turned against you. How do I know that my own set of presuppositions will stand up against the presuppositional scrutiny of the unbeliever? The only way for that to happen would be if I had perfect theology--which I don't.

    There is a leap of faith here because in order for my acceptance of the truth of Christianity does not follow from my acceptance of the adequacy of Christianity. You have (possibly) proved that Christianity is sufficient to explain morality--you have not proved that it is necessary to explain morality (which is how Bahnsen used the argument--at least in the Stein debate). It is possible for me to agree to the sufficiency and reject the necessity of Christianity as a precondition for morality.
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  8. #48
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    And if you try to use it to combat philosophies that are worked out to that degree, you will find it flawed. It's an argument that raises infinite numbers of questions.
    I havn't come across a philosophy in 11 years that could compete with Christianity, or was that worked out. Admiting that the logical intricacies of the Transcendental argument are not worked out says nothing of its usefullness or validity. On a practical level I have been doing layman Apologetics for 11 years, I have been a Van Tillian for only about 2-3 years. So all those years I practiced Classical Apologetics and I can say that Van Til's aproech utterlly destroys the unbeleiver's arguments in a way the I don't think the Classical aproech can, now I'm not as critical of other aproechs as Van Til or Bahnsen were but on a practical level there is no comparison.

    But you cannot assume that which you are trying to prove, namely the Christian worldview--circular reasoning is just as fallacious in apologetics as in any other area of philosophy. Van Til asserted that all reasoning is circular, which produces a coherence view of truth.
    I'm not trying to prove anything whatsoever here, you brought up "borowed capital". It is an analytical fact that whatever WV is true than everyother WV would be false and therefore hipocritical on some level, this isn't proof of anything just a logical consequence of the very idea of truth itself.

    Or you can accept its validity and deny its truth. Let me show what I mean.

    1. All smurfs are blue.
    2. All blue things have antlers.
    3. Therefore all smurfs have antlers.
    This isn't a Transcendental argument so you can't compare.

    The point being that even though the form is valid, the argument may still be false. Validity only means that the conclusion follows from the premises, not that the argument either a) is convincing b) yields truth.
    I agree but as far as I remember you offered no analytical critique of my argument. You did what any Philosopher worth their salt woud do and provided counter examples, and I as far as I can tell I refuted them.

    The other problem is when the transcendental argument gets turned against you. How do I know that my own set of presuppositions will stand up against the presuppositional scrutiny of the unbeliever? The only way for that to happen would be if I had perfect theology--which I don't.
    I think one point of confusion you have is in thinking that any claim to being a Transcendental argument are just as valid as anyother claim. Another strange thing about the Transcendental argument is that not every claim is the same. Each claim is evaluated on its own terms and then shown to be valid or not. If I were to criticize Kant's TA than I wouldn't claim that he was false because he couldn't disprove some later critique. In fact if you take your burden of proof to it's logical conclusion than no philosophical theory could in principle could be proven, after the person making the argument dies than they cannot defend against later/possible alternatives and we are left with pure skepticism.

    It is possible for me to agree to the sufficiency and reject the necessity of Christianity as a precondition for morality.
    Than the TA demands tha you( hypothetically if you reject Christianity) stop using or acting as if any value judgements of any kind exsist. Which I think is impossible.

    There is a leap of faith here because in order for my acceptance of the truth of Christianity does not follow from my acceptance of the adequacy of Christianity.
    It seems that your burden of proof makes all logical arguments of anykind a "leap of faith". The question is whether an unbeleiver can live consistantly in God's creation and rationally deny his exsistance. Lets cut to the heart of this, you and I both beleive that the basic Reformed faith is true so do you beleive that any unbeleiving theory could ever ultimatly explain the universe?
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    Than the TA demands tha you( hypothetically if you reject Christianity) stop using or acting as if any value judgements of any kind exsist. Which I think is impossible.
    I'm not sure that you understand my meaning here--from the fact that the Christian worldview is sufficient to explain moral language it does not follow that it is a) the only possible worldview which could possibly do so b) that it is necessarily the actual precondition for moral language. Here was your conclusion:

    "If we assume the christian WV to be true than it satisfies the logical demands to make ethics meaningful"

    In order for the argument to have any force, it needs to prove the following:

    "Ethics are meaningful if and only if Christianity is true."

    Otherwise, it yields at best this conclusion:

    1. If we assume the Christian WV to be true than it satisfies the logical demands to make ethics meaningful.
    2. Ethics are meaningful.
    3. It is possible that the Christian WV is true.

    See the flaw? At best we have a "possibly." We end up with no compelling reason to think that Christianity is true. You can try to get around this by refuting other worldviews, but you still don't have a compelling reason: all you've done is to produce a stronger "maybe."

    Lets cut to the heart of this, you and I both beleive that the basic Reformed faith is true so do you beleive that any unbeleiving theory could ever ultimatly explain the universe?
    I believe that the heart of man is black enough to do so--that it can twist God-given reason that much.

    In fact if you take your burden of proof to it's logical conclusion than no philosophical theory could in principle could be proven, after the person making the argument dies than they cannot defend against later/possible alternatives and we are left with pure skepticism.
    You here assume that indubitability is a precondition for knowledge--I ask only for warrant. I'm generally skeptical of skepticism--which is why I think presuppositionalism as an epistemology to be inadequate.

    This isn't a Transcendental argument so you can't compare.
    My point with the argument that an argument may be valid and still false. If I gave my version of the ontological argument, you would probably accept its validity, but not its truth.

    I can say that Van Til's aproech utterlly destroys the unbeleiver's arguments in a way the I don't think the Classical aproech can
    Destroying the approach of the unbeliever is not my concern. Giving reasons to believe is. Sufficiency alone is not a reason to believe--necessity is. What I would like to see is a transcendental argument that proves the necessity of the Christian WV.
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    I'm not sure that you understand my meaning here--from the fact that the Christian worldview is sufficient to explain moral language it does not follow that it is a) the only possible worldview which could possibly do so b) that it is necessarily the actual precondition for moral language.
    I see your point, I really do, but I think you have set a goal for all arguments to reach, which is deductivly modal in nature if I understand you, the TA does not reach this goal so therefore you conclude that it is not an absolute proof of any kind. But for the sake of argument look at it this way:
    1. Lets assume you are asking the TA to take on a form( deductivly Modal) that only destroys what it essentially is( indirect vs. dierect), is that really logically fair?
    2. What reason is there to assume that all arguments must pass your "burden of proof"( or warrant as you say later)?
    (So far I havn't seen any, in fact given all the work done in philosophy in the last 100 years each and every beleif must be evaluated on its own terms to decide how much warrant a person requires in order to call it knowledge, justified true belief)

    "If we assume the christian WV to be true than it satisfies the logical demands to make ethics meaningful"

    In order for the argument to have any force, it needs to prove the following:

    "Ethics are meaningful if and only if Christianity is true."
    This is trying to turn the TA into a deductivly Modal one, it was never desighned to be able to be proven that way.

    Otherwise, it yields at best this conclusion:

    1. If we assume the Christian WV to be true than it satisfies the logical demands to make ethics meaningful.
    2. Ethics are meaningful.
    3. It is possible that the Christian WV is true.

    See the flaw? At best we have a "possibly." We end up with no compelling reason to think that Christianity is true. You can try to get around this by refuting other worldviews, but you still don't have a compelling reason: all you've done is to produce a stronger "maybe."
    I absolutly concede the argument here, if you take the TA and reformulate it as a deductive Modal argument it will never be able to be proven for all the wonderful reasons you have brought up during this discussion. But if all you have been criticizing is a Modal form of the argument and not a Transcendental form of the argument, how do avoid sliding into the fallacy of a "straw man"( I'm not accussing of of this, but it seems to me that unless you prove that all arguments must meet your requirments than I'm afraid you may be guilty of this one).

    The flaws in these sorts of direct arguments is why Van Til favored his aproech over a direct one. Also as Bahnsen points out in his book on Van Til( pg. 487-488 ,footnote 41) "However, it has never been held (from Kant onward) that a TA (my abreviation not his) establishes necessity only by the exaustive elimination of real and imaginary ways of expressing the alternative..".
    Think about it when Schopenhaur criticized Kant he didn't say that Kant ruled out every possibility but that Kan't preconditions were not correct. All the idealists did this because that is rationally how you deal with a TA. In fact there are two ways to criticize one:
    1. Most importantly to preform an internal critique of the argument (Schopenhaur on Kant).
    2. Or to present an alternitive that does better, but this is only after you have internally critiqued the argument. Also it is up to the critic to offer an actual TA that does better, not imagine a possibel one.

    I believe that the heart of man is black enough to do so--that it can twist God-given reason that much.
    Do you beleive that this unbeleiving theory would ever practically work out? Like if I were to propose a theory that H2O actually freezes at 44 degrees farenheit (forgive me I'm a terrible speller) but this would not practically work out. I think practicallity plays a part in any theory of truth.

    You here assume that indubitability is a precondition for knowledge--I ask only for warrant. I'm generally skeptical of skepticism--which is why I think presuppositionalism as an epistemology to be inadequate.
    Well warrant isn't a bad thing, but I do think that every beleif should be judged on its own merit to see if it counts as knowledge (justified true belief). Take the proverbial "women's inuition", how many women with this gift could ever really lay out in perfect deductivly Modal form why they just know something, but they turn out to be right anyway, does their intuition really not count as knowledge?

    My point with the argument that an argument may be valid and still false.
    I agree but I still think TA's should be analyzed on their own ground and not on deductivly Modal ones.

    If I gave my version of the ontological argument, you would probably accept its validity, but not its truth.
    Oh I don't know try me, I'm not nearly as critical of the classical arguments as Van Til and Bahnsen were.

    Destroying the approach of the unbeliever is not my concern. Giving reasons to believe is. Sufficiency alone is not a reason to believe--necessity is.
    That is a steep "burden of proof" to apply to each in every possible argument, good luck with that.

    What I would like to see is a transcendental argument that proves the necessity of the Christian WV.
    If by necessity you mean your strict deductivly Modal sense than none exsists, but I think you are setting an unfair standered. Also given the size of the TA, in that it takes all of creation into account, a one-size-fits-all syllogistic argument is also out of the question, if you feel like this means it doesn't hold water than so be it.
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    My critique of transcendental argument, in the end, is that it at best yields the conclusion that Christianity is a sufficient condition for morality. However, it does not give a compelling reason why it is the actual precondition. Further, in starting from morality, without proving that it necessarily presupposes Christianity, aren't we just arguing from the common-sense standpoint that Van Til rejected?

    We should evaluate an argument not only on its own terms, but on the terms of what it actually does. My impression was that the TA was intended to give a reason why Christianity is true, not an account of why Christianity is satisfactory. Bahnsen says in the debate that he is arguing for the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary, yet fails to demonstrate a) that God is a necessary being b) that his opponent is actually "borrowing" from the Christian worldview. The disconnect between what Bahnsen actually does and what he says he will do is striking.
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    Bahnsen says in the debate
    Well keep in mind that in a debate it is impossible to deal with all the intricate details involved here, so I would recomend his books and his free articles. Here is a website with some free resources: Free Articles.

    My critique of transcendental argument, in the end, is that it at best yields the conclusion that Christianity is a sufficient condition for morality. However, it does not give a compelling reason why it is the actual precondition.
    Being that it is an indirect vs. a direct argument this requirment would be much harder to do, although this says nothing about its usefullness.

    Further, in starting from morality, without proving that it necessarily presupposes Christianity, aren't we just arguing from the common-sense standpoint that Van Til rejected?
    What Van Til rejected, and what I reject, is that there is this thing out there called morality and it is set in stone for all people at all times in the sense that we all agree about what is moral and what is not moral, and the problem is in deciding why these things are moral. This is obviously false, people disagree about what is right and wrong. We make a mistake in assuming that us and the unbeleivers are in the same room sort of on different sides of it, no we are in different rooms altogether. This is the myth of nuetraility. Unbeleivers don't come about their contrary opinions in an honest way and they did good but just fell short, no they purposlly stacked the deck in their favor, they are operating with a contrary WV, they cannot serve two masters and their master is sin and the devil.

    Look at the History channel, every time they do a show about some Biblical theme they always only bring on liberal thinkers who beleive the supernatural claims of the Bible are false in principle. Is this because they have good or legitmate reasons for their beliefs? Have Christians fallen short in the area of Apologetics and we have let ourselves down? NO and NO, they have no good reasons for beleiving as they do, their WV demands that only natural things and processes are real, they rule out supernaturalism in principle not in fact! When you start asking them why they hold to these things in principle they cannot give an answer. And no we Christians have not dropped the ball, at least Reformed Christians hav'nt. No matter what school of apologetics you hold too we all agree that they have no reason for beleiving as they do!

    We should evaluate an argument not only on its own terms, but on the terms of what it actually does. My impression was that the TA was intended to give a reason why Christianity is true, not an account of why Christianity is satisfactory.
    Well you seem to think that the only way to show something to be true is a strong deductive Modal arguement, we disagree there. I don't see any reason why the TA doesn't give strong indirect reasons why Christianity is true. If it satisfies all the preconditions to explein reality as we experiance it than that is all the argument was intended to do, but don't count out the subtlety of this argument it is very powerful if used in the right ways.

    Bahnsen says in the debate that he is arguing for the existence of God from the impossibility of the contrary, yet fails to demonstrate a) that God is a necessary being b) that his opponent is actually "borrowing" from the Christian worldview.
    The whole impossibility from the contrary thing is developed on to fronts:
    1. It is simply a consequence of the idea of truth. If I claim Christianity to be true than I am by implication saying all other ones are false.
    2. We as Christians know the truth, we know the unbeleiver in his most basic assumptions is wrong, that is a fact for us as beleivers. If you assume the Christian WV to be true this makes perfect sense. To the Atheist it is just the oppossite he/she thinks the Christian makes no sense so we begin the two pronged Apologetical debate, internal critique of eachothers WV and then apply the WV's to reality to see which explains the world as we experiance it.

    As far as the whole borrowed capital thing goes it is arrived at on two fronts:
    1. Metaphysically, we beleivers know this world to be God's creation, the unbeleiver is living in God's creation so in order to live practically in the world he/she must accept and use things that are inherently creational. An atheist cannot explain logic as we experiance it, but they use it on a daily basis, that is borrowed capital. The buddhist has a code of morality but as we have seen they cannot be consistant with their WV, this is borrowed capital.
    2. It is a consequence of the TA. The argument gives the satisfactory preconditions for morality, as an example, if the unbeleiver rejects the argument than they are not rejecting a deductive argument, which would be fine, but because they are rejecting a TA they must show why the preconditions don't satisfy the logical demands and then give an opposite but better TA to satisfy the demands. If they fail to do this than everytime they use the word right and wrong they must assume the TA I gave to be right or we go back in a circle and they must do the cricism. To offer no TA in response to my TA and then go around calling things good and evil is selfcontradictory and implys they are borrowing from the Christian WV.

    The disconnect between what Bahnsen actually does and what he says he will do is striking.
    Keep in mind that if you are interpriting the things he is saying in a debate through a strong deductive Modal lens only than you will come to this conclusion, but if you interprit them through the Transcendental lens than I think it makes more sense, although that doesn't imply that you will be convinced.
    James
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  13. #53
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    Well keep in mind that in a debate it is impossible to deal with all the intricate details involved here
    If you can't spell out everything involved in an argument, then you shouldn't use it in a debate.

    We make a mistake in assuming that us and the unbeleivers are in the same room sort of on different sides of it, no we are in different rooms altogether. This is the myth of nuetraility. Unbeleivers don't come about their contrary opinions in an honest way and they did good but just fell short, no they purposlly stacked the deck in their favor, they are operating with a contrary WV, they cannot serve two masters and their master is sin and the devil.
    What exactly do you mean by "neutrality"? If there is no actual common ground between the believer and the unbeliever, then there can be no debate because they would be speaking two completely different languages, using two completely different logical systems, etc. In other words, communication possible if and only there is actual and perceived common ground.

    The logical conclusion you come to is with this line of thought is, "Belief cannot argue with unbelief: it can only preach to it." ~Karl Barth (I'm still looking into the similarities between Van Til's epistemology and Barth's).

    All that one has to so to expose the unbeliever's unreasonableness is to point out a couple common-sense principles. For example: if it's ridiculous in the courtroom, it's ridiculous in philosophy (Thomas Reid).

    Well you seem to think that the only way to show something to be true is a strong deductive Modal arguement, we disagree there. I don't see any reason why the TA doesn't give strong indirect reasons why Christianity is true.
    I haven't seen any reason why it gives any reasons at all for why I should believe Christianity. Again, what is the conclusion? Christianity is possible--not necessary, not even probable, possible. Sorry, but the unbeliever has already given you that by discussing it at all.

    1. It is simply a consequence of the idea of truth. If I claim Christianity to be true than I am by implication saying all other ones are false.
    Indeed--so demonstrate it.

    2. We as Christians know the truth, we know the unbeleiver in his most basic assumptions is wrong, that is a fact for us as beleivers. If you assume the Christian WV to be true this makes perfect sense.
    So how to prove that the Christian WV is a properly basic assumption? In order for this to be proven, a necessary connection must be made. To prove that the Christian WV is a sufficient precondition for thought is almost a given for the unbeliever--only a proof that it is a probable or necessary precondition is compelling.

    1. Metaphysically, we beleivers know this world to be God's creation, the unbeleiver is living in God's creation so in order to live practically in the world he/she must accept and use things that are inherently creational. An atheist cannot explain logic as we experiance it, but they use it on a daily basis, that is borrowed capital. The buddhist has a code of morality but as we have seen they cannot be consistant with their WV, this is borrowed capital.
    You can say this in theory, but you and I both know that the mere assertion of it is not convincing to anyone. The atheist can claim that logic is necessarily true. The Buddhist can claim that the disconnect is only seeming. Is there a compelling argument out there that at least makes it probable that the unbeliever is doing this?

    Also, you assume here that every WV has to provide a systematic account of everything. Why? Why should the unbeliever accept this assumption? Does everyone have to have a systematically complete philosophy?

    It is a consequence of the TA. The argument gives the satisfactory preconditions for morality, as an example, if the unbeleiver rejects the argument than they are not rejecting a deductive argument, which would be fine, but because they are rejecting a TA they must show why the preconditions don't satisfy the logical demands and then give an opposite but better TA to satisfy the demands.
    The trouble with the TA is it only proves a possibility. The TA does not prove that actuality. So what if Christianity provides sufficient preconditions for morality? The proposition you should be proving is that morality is justified only if Christianity is true. Otherwise, there's no compelling reason. Again, why assume that every WV absolutely has to provide preconditions for everything.

    To reject the TA is not to reject its explanatory power--but explanatory power is not the same as a compelling argument.

    Keep in mind that if you are interpriting the things he is saying in a debate through a strong deductive Modal lens only than you will come to this conclusion, but if you interprit them through the Transcendental lens than I think it makes more sense, although that doesn't imply that you will be convinced.
    Again, he makes much stronger statements than you are making. You cannot simply assert the impossibility of the contrary: you cannot simply assert that the unbeliever is "borrowing": you have to demonstrate that it is necessarily so. You must demonstrate that the Christian WV is necessary for logic, that it is necessary for morality. Otherwise, all you do is prove sufficiency, which just proves that you are consistent--you could just be consistently wrong.

    You are assuming here that all WVs are built on a single basic assumptions apart from reality. I maintain that all WVs are built on a set of assumptions that are then taken for granted--some of which (logic, morality, etc) are necessarily true. Some WVs are going to be more consistent than others--some may even be completely consistent and a) wrong b) right on some points. All non-Christian WVs are built on half-truths, not outright falsehoods.
    Philip
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  14. #54
    The Calvin Knight is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    I've been busy this week with school but I'll try to catch up and join back into the discussion in the next couple days. Having grazed over some of the post I would have to say that the transcendental argument is in some way a modal argument and some people have made this point as of late, see the recent issue of Philosophia Christi.
    Noah
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    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.--Romans 8:37

  15. #55
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    If you can't spell out everything involved in an argument, then you shouldn't use it in a debate.
    Our finitude is the problem here, the classical arguments have more problems than this one.

    What exactly do you mean by "neutrality"? If there is no actual common ground between the believer and the unbeliever, then there can be no debate because they would be speaking two completely different languages, using two completely different logical systems, etc. In other words, communication possible if and only there is actual and perceived common ground.
    I suggest you read Bahnsens book on Van Til especially chp. 6. I will try to explain it though. I used to be very critical of Van Til, and I would make this crticism as well. But the more I studied him, mainly through Bahnsen and Frame, I began to notice that the problem was not him it was me. I simplified his thinking where it was complex, I took his broad strokes with a brush to be absolute and intricate statements. This is true here as well.

    The point at which I noticed this was when I reflected on Wittgenstiens later theories of language. The atheist and I could both use the same word to describe the same thing but be saying two different things, I'll explain. The atheist and I can both use the word good to describe a noble action, but what I mean by good, as in what corresponds to God's law, and what he means by good, as in whatever theory or lack there of he would put up to explain morality, are two different things. So on the one hand Van Til would say that psychologically speaking we both mean roughly the same thing by the same words but epistemologically we mean two different things.

    We both use the same tool of logic (psychologically) but how we both explain what reason is is totally different (epistomologically). so there is common ground on two fronts:
    1. psychologically beleivers and unbeleivers inhabit the same world so we use common notions in a broad sense
    2. metaphysically speaking we are both made in the image of God we both can't escape it

    Epistemologically speaking there is no common ground between the believer's and unbeliever's respective WV. Since the WV is the lens through which we interpret the world there can be no common ground in this sense.

    The logical conclusion you come to is with this line of thought is, "Belief cannot argue with unbelief: it can only preach to it." ~Karl Barth (I'm still looking into the similarities between Van Til's epistemology and Barth's).
    I used to think the same thing until I read Van Til's book called Christianity and Barthianism. Also I have studied Barth for many years now and the similariaties I thought were there really were not.

    All that one has to so to expose the unbeliever's unreasonableness is to point out a couple common-sense principles. For example: if it's ridiculous in the courtroom, it's ridiculous in philosophy (Thomas Reid).
    I'm not accuainted with Reid first hand only through secondary sources so I'll refrain from criticizing him directly.

    I haven't seen any reason why it gives any reasons at all for why I should believe Christianity. Again, what is the conclusion? Christianity is possible--not necessary, not even probable, possible. Sorry, but the unbeliever has already given you that by discussing it at all.
    The reason is unless you can logically criticize the TA and offer a better TA than you must give up explaining whatever the thing in question is, that is a reason. To show that Christianity makes sense of the world as we experiance it and to reduce whatever oppossing WV in question to absurdity is a reason.

    So how to prove that the Christian WV is a properly basic assumption? In order for this to be proven, a necessary connection must be made. To prove that the Christian WV is a sufficient precondition for thought is almost a given for the unbeliever--only a proof that it is a probable or necessary precondition is compelling.
    I must say you keep asserting this strong deductive Modal burden of proof but you have not demonstrated why it is the only burden of proof. So it seems you may be arguing by assertion.

    You can say this in theory, but you and I both know that the mere assertion of it is not convincing to anyone.
    You are correct but I'm not asserting this in my argument, this is a methodological assumption I make when engaging in the apologetical task. You have your own assumptions about the unbeleiver in your method of doing apologetics as well, everyone has. I guess I didn't make that clear so my bad. These assumptions I make when doing apologetics are only my assumptions not part of my argument. I will be more clear in the future about this.

    The atheist can claim that logic is necessarily true. The Buddhist can claim that the disconnect is only seeming.
    They can claim anything they want, but they must present a TA for it that demonstrates that it logically fullfills the preconditions for logic or whatever. I have not met an atheist that even wants to do this they seem to think that the use of reason is sufficiant enough to explain it but they are two different things.

    Also, you assume here that every WV has to provide a systematic account of everything. Why? Why should the unbeliever accept this assumption? Does everyone have to have a systematically complete philosophy?
    Not an omniscient WV but it must basically be able to provide expinaitions for our experiance. It really depends on which unbeleiving WV you are refering to. I have debated mostly with atheists so I can say that they don't really like explaining anything, they want to take for granted things like morality and reason but offer no explination. Some philosophers get it like Danial Dennet in his philosophy does appear to understand the gravity of this but Hitcheson and Dawkins are hoplessly inadequate here.

    Again, he makes much stronger statements than you are making.
    He does, and I am a little critical of him here. I have refrained from using the word necassary because you understand the word in one way, which as far as I can tell you only assert this to be the case.

    The trouble with the TA is it only proves a possibility. The TA does not prove that actuality. So what if Christianity provides sufficient preconditions for morality? The proposition you should be proving is that morality is justified only if Christianity is true. Otherwise, there's no compelling reason. Again, why assume that every WV absolutely has to provide preconditions for everything.

    To reject the TA is not to reject its explanatory power--but explanatory power is not the same as a compelling argument.
    This statement only makes sense if you can defend the notion that all TAs must be transformed into a strong deductive Modal argument and then be proven that way, which it seems you have only asserted and not proven. I didn't want to shift the debate to the classical arguments but they don't even meet this burden of proof.

    You cannot simply assert the impossibility of the contrary: you cannot simply assert that the unbeliever is "borrowing": you have to demonstrate that it is necessarily so.
    Again this is more of a methodological assumption made, but in the course of the debate with the unbeleiver if they cannot account for say morality but they keep insisting on assuming there is such a thing as good and evil than they either criticize my TA and offer a better TA or that is borrowing from my WV.

    You must demonstrate that the Christian WV is necessary for logic, that it is necessary for morality. Otherwise, all you do is prove sufficiency
    You mean these words in one way so I try not to use them, I do beleive the TA proves more than just suffitancy but I don't use necessaty because you would read something in one way, so I try to avoid confusion as much as possible.

    which just proves that you are consistent--you could just be consistently wrong.
    This is one of those areas were I think Van Til is right on in his critique of classical apologetics. The pressopossitionalist and the reformed classicalist both agree that the unbeleiver is suppressing the truth in unrightousness, but then the classicalist assumes the unbeleiver will be fair in their setting the burden of proof. The classicalist also assumes that they can deny what they know to be true (the chritian WV) and actually make headway in apologetics. I make a claim about the unbeleiver, that you probally agree with, but demand that I apeasse the unbeleiver's burden of proof as if it were fair and balanced? Sorry but I have never met a fair and balanced person we all have biases, one of theirs is that they hate the truth.

    some of which (logic, morality, etc) are necessarily true.
    I doubt you could prove that these are "necessarily" true as you understand the term.

    You are assuming here that all WVs are built on a single basic assumptions apart from reality. I maintain that all WVs are built on a set of assumptions that are then taken for granted--some of which (logic, morality, etc) are necessarily true. Some WVs are going to be more consistent than others--some may even be completely consistent and a) wrong b) right on some points. All non-Christian WVs are built on half-truths, not outright falsehoods.
    I wonder if you could give biblical data to support this theory about the unbeleivers epistomological status, when the new testament declares that they have become "futile in their thinking" I think that sums it up.
    James
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  16. #56
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    Epistemologically speaking there is no common ground between the believer's and unbeliever's respective WV. Since the WV is the lens through which we interpret the world there can be no common ground in this sense.
    What exactly do you mean by Worldview here? Do you mean cultural lens? Ideological lens? Philosophical lens? Any of these will have elements of truth in them.

    I'm not arguing with the method of the TA, but with your idea that it somehow forms a compelling case for the truth of Christianity. Simply proving that Christianity is sufficient for logic does not prove that it is actually true--if you are going to argue for the latter proposition, there needs to be at least a reason why Christianity is probably true. In other words, you have to prove that the denial of Christianity equals the denial of logic necessarily.

    If one is to do such an argument, would it not be better to prove that the denial of Christianity entails the denial of the law of non-contradiction, the reliability of sense perception, the law of the excluded middle, or the analogical use of language? The TA just isn't sufficient to prove that the denial of Christianity entails any of these.

    Van Til accuses the classicist of assuming a fair standard of proof and indeed he does--because he assumes the ordinary standard of proof. If one were to use courtroom procedures to establish the resurrection, there would be no contest: the testimony would be sufficient to establish it. And that's the point: in denying Christianity, the unbeliever is assuming a set of criteria that would be absurd in any other context. The presuppositionalist wants to stack the deck the other way, while the classical apologist wants to even out the deck because he is confident enough in the evidence that is there and which the unbeliever denies.

    I would agree that in principle, we don't even have to provide such evidence because we have no burden of proof. However, I would submit that in undertaking the task of apologetics, we are playing the prosecution, not the defendant and therefore we have the burden of proof. The battle is for the soul and we call upon the soul to "decide this day whom you will serve." In engaging in debate we call upon the unbeliever to judge: it is not God in the dock, but on the witness stand. And ultimately, the decider is whether the Holy Spirit moves in the unbeliever's heart.

    My question about the TA is whether it would stand in a courtroom or even in a debate round? I don't think it would (at least not with me as a judge). At best it would yield a double loss where both sides have failed to satisfy their burden of proof.

    Sorry but I have never met a fair and balanced person we all have biases, one of theirs is that they hate the truth.
    I haven't either--which is why we have to expose the bias--but exposing the bias of the judge is not tantamount to proving one's own position.

    I'm not denying that presuppositional sets play a very significant role in our judgments and perceptions, just that there can be no common ground between them. I'm a presuppositional common sense epistemologist.
    Philip
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  17. #57
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    What exactly do you mean by Worldview here? Do you mean cultural lens? Ideological lens? Philosophical lens? Any of these will have elements of truth in them.
    What I mean here is a web of beleifs that are derived from various ways, the most central and basic ones are the most important elements. It is these beleifs that we use in interpreting reality around us.

    I'm not arguing with the method of the TA, but with your idea that it somehow forms a compelling case for the truth of Christianity. Simply proving that Christianity is sufficient for logic does not prove that it is actually true--if you are going to argue for the latter proposition, there needs to be at least a reason why Christianity is probably true. In other words, you have to prove that the denial of Christianity equals the denial of logic necessarily.

    If one is to do such an argument, would it not be better to prove that the denial of Christianity entails the denial of the law of non-contradiction, the reliability of sense perception, the law of the excluded middle, or the analogical use of language? The TA just isn't sufficient to prove that the denial of Christianity entails any of these.

    Van Til accuses the classicist of assuming a fair standard of proof and indeed he does--because he assumes the ordinary standard of proof. If one were to use courtroom procedures to establish the resurrection, there would be no contest: the testimony would be sufficient to establish it. And that's the point: in denying Christianity, the unbeliever is assuming a set of criteria that would be absurd in any other context. The presuppositionalist wants to stack the deck the other way, while the classical apologist wants to even out the deck because he is confident enough in the evidence that is there and which the unbeliever denies.

    I would agree that in principle, we don't even have to provide such evidence because we have no burden of proof. However, I would submit that in undertaking the task of apologetics, we are playing the prosecution, not the defendant and therefore we have the burden of proof. The battle is for the soul and we call upon the soul to "decide this day whom you will serve." In engaging in debate we call upon the unbeliever to judge: it is not God in the dock, but on the witness stand. And ultimately, the decider is whether the Holy Spirit moves in the unbeliever's heart.

    My question about the TA is whether it would stand in a courtroom or even in a debate round? I don't think it would (at least not with me as a judge). At best it would yield a double loss where both sides have failed to satisfy their burden of proof.
    Yeah like you said Van Til and Bahnsen made very strong statements about necessaty and absolute truth that make me a little uncomfortable but I think Frame is to critical. I must say that I don't have ready answers to some of your questions, so you got me there. I do beleive the TA to be the best argument for Christianity but I welcome other aproechs as well. So in all fairness to I will state explicitly my beleifs about this method for consideration:
    1. I beleive the TA absolutly proves its truthfullness against individual opposing WV. As far as an absolute metaphysical proof, that is one-size-fits-all syllogism, that can ecompass all oppossing WV in a single bound, no I am not comfortable making that statement, I don't know at this point if it is right or wrong.
    2. I agree with you that you cannot prove that the denial of Christianity equals the denial of logic. Although I would point out that the logical form of that statement is that it is a deductive argument not a TA form.
    3. I don't really see why I would have to make such an omniscient argument encompassing everything all at once, a God's eye view of things (plus such a proof for anything in any form is impossible). But I see no reason why I must choose between an omniscient P.O.V. (modernism) or pure skepticism about everything (postmodernism). Each individual beleif is judged on its own ground.
    4. I hesitate to say either way if Van Til was wrong in any of areas were I kinda refused to give an answer either way. But I do think I am well within the Presupossitional camp, although I am not as critical of other aproechs as the stricter Van Tillians would be.
    5. TA must be judged on their own ground and not turned into different argument forms and swiftly disproven.

    My question about the TA is whether it would stand in a courtroom or even in a debate round? I don't think it would (at least not with me as a judge). At best it would yield a double loss where both sides have failed to satisfy their burden of proof.
    Here is how the TA would have proceeded if you were an unbeleiver. As soon as you started mentioning rational necessity and all that I would have said that I would be glad to engage in those questions but first you must account for reason itself. The reason why we do this is because if the unbeleiver can give no satisfactory explinaition to justify reason than I'm not required to answer his rational objections at all.

    Since for him/her reason is the ultimate authority but if he/she cannot explain what reason is and why we should listen to it than I am under no obligation to take seriously his/her objections. Than I would show how Christianity as a WV satisfies the logical conditions to succesfully explain reason, which causes a problem for them not me. The reason it is a problem is because if they cannot provide a satisfactory explinaition for reason and a logical critique of mine than if they use reason they are borrowing from my WV. If I can give even a satisfactory explinaition of reason than that atleast answers thequestion I posed to them. If they cannot give a satisfactory explinaition for reason than everytime they make the same arguments you did I can point that if they cannot explian reason than I owe them no explinaition.

    Does that sort of clear up the fog in the whole thing? Let me know if it does or not? Your a great philosopher by the way, you have mastered one of the greatest skills any philosopher must master, making my job hard for me.
    James
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    I'll confine my reply here to the last part:

    The reason why we do this is because if the unbeleiver can give no satisfactory explinaition to justify reason than I'm not required to answer his rational objections at all.
    Actually, you do still have to answer them. The critique may be valid even if his worldview cannot provide an explanation. And again, what if he denies the need for such an obviously circular proof for the use of reason?

    Since for him/her reason is the ultimate authority but if he/she cannot explain what reason is and why we should listen to it than I am under no obligation to take seriously his/her objections.
    Because even if he/she cannot account for reason, you can. A critique presupposes nothing.

    The reason it is a problem is because if they cannot provide a satisfactory explinaition for reason and a logical critique of mine than if they use reason they are borrowing from my WV.
    Not necessarily--your WV might be borrowing from some other WV. Again, why should the non-believer be required to give a metaphysical account (whatever that means) that satisfies you?

    And again, there's always the famous "The laws of logic are necessarily true and therefore need no explanation" line.

    Again, what is needed is a criterion by which the debate will be judged before the debate begins. For a debate to take place, terms have to be agreed upon by all involved, else it's just a shouting match.

    Does that sort of clear up the fog in the whole thing? Let me know if it does or not?
    I understand the argument better, if that's what you mean. I still don't think that it gives a rationally compelling reason why a non-believer should accept Christianity--at best it only proves that the Christian faith has a more complete metaphysical explanation for certain questions which the non-believer may or may not think are relevant to whether he may use reason.

    Anyway, I have learned a lot from you as well and eventually I'll have to get around to outlining a more complete epistemology (as well as revising my defense of the modal ontological argument).

    And calling me a great philosopher is flattering, but rather a hyperbole.
    Philip
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  19. #59
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    Actually, you do still have to answer them. The critique may be valid even if his worldview cannot provide an explanation. And again, what if he denies the need for such an obviously circular proof for the use of reason?
    The reason this is a problem that requires an answer is because in every WV their view of things affects what the nature of a thing must be in order for them tobe consistant. For instance a materialist has a WV that determines that logic must be a material thing but there are all sorts of problems with that, as contemporary philosophy points out.

    So what if denies that an explination is needed, in good philosophy you can't take things for granted. I would ask him why, knowing in advance that he could only give about 3 types of answers and I'm basically prepared for them.

    Because even if he/she cannot account for reason, you can. A critique presupposes nothing.
    Your absolutly right so I can give rational objections to their WV, but they can't consistly critique mine. It goes without saying it that these hypothetical debates I'm refering to are ideal scenerios and in the real world it wouldn't go this smooth, but I think it lays out the basic form.

    Not necessarily--your WV might be borrowing from some other WV.
    That is true but you can't give a legitamate critique like this in the abstract. This means that if I claim my opponant is borrowing from the Christian WV I must show 2 things:
    1. That they cannot critique my TA of whatever the thing in question is
    2. That they insist on using this thing without demonstrating any other WV that can satisfy the argument
    You may not agree with it but the bottom line is it is a concrete connection I have shown not abstract, I'll show the difference.
    If the unbeleiver asks me how do I know if I am not borrowing from another WV I would ask which one if he couldn't answer the question than I see no need to pay it any mind. It would be like someone looking at a logical argument I gave and saying how do you know you havn't made a mistake, but pointing out no problems whatsoever. It is the responsability of the critic to point out actual problems not hypotheticlly abstract ones.

    Again, why should the non-believer be required to give a metaphysical account (whatever that means) that satisfies you?
    The Transcendental analysis of the thing in question determines the problems that must be satisfied. Logic demands it, if were to have made my argument in the deductive form all your criticisms would have been right on and logic would have required an answer from me.

    And again, there's always the famous "The laws of logic are necessarily true and therefore need no explanation" line.
    I have actually heard this one a lot from people. The problem with it is that it only proves that you cannot escape logic, its like using logic to try to disprove logic it is self-defeating. But this in no way explains what logic is, in every WV their metaphysics would determine what logic is. The apologist would examine their WV and see if it made sense out of logic or not, or to say it another way does their WV allow for logic. If a WV said that logic is impossible than it would obviously disprove the WV on those grounds alone.

    Again, what is needed is a criterion by which the debate will be judged before the debate begins. For a debate to take place, terms have to be agreed upon by all involved, else it's just a shouting match.
    The beleiver and the unbeleiver are both using the same logical tools just for different purposes. Psychologically speaking we both inhabit the same creation so that will foster some agreement but I'm not sure what terms you are refering to, I thought you were making a point about a point of contact.

    at best it only proves that the Christian faith has a more complete metaphysical explanation for certain questions which the non-believer may or may not think are relevant to whether he may use reason.
    Concretely I have not met a single unbeleiver that did, although professional philosophers reconize how important these questions are, but they still must give a reason that makes sense why these questions are irelavant.

    I'll have to get around to outlining a more complete epistemology (as well as revising my defense of the modal ontological argument).
    I look foward to reading it, I'm sure it will be impressive.
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    Your absolutly right so I can give rational objections to their WV, but they can't consistly critique mine. It goes without saying it that these hypothetical debates I'm refering to are ideal scenerios and in the real world it wouldn't go this smooth, but I think it lays out the basic form.
    You misunderstand my meaning: the beauty of skepticism is that you don't actually have to advance a positive position.

    So what if denies that an explination is needed, in good philosophy you can't take things for granted.
    Again, I would highly recommend Thomas Reid, who deconstructs this idea that there are no givens.

    1. That they cannot critique my TA of whatever the thing in question is
    2. That they insist on using this thing without demonstrating any other WV that can satisfy the argument
    You may not agree with it but the bottom line is it is a concrete connection I have shown not abstract, I'll show the difference.
    Again, this assumes a question that the unbeliever does not answer because either a) he doesn't understand exactly what he's being asked to prove b) he may see no need for metaphysics c) he may see no need for such an accounting d) he may just play the necessarily true card.

    The Transcendental analysis of the thing in question determines the problems that must be satisfied.
    Maybe it's just my poor pre-Kantian notion of proof, but I saw no demands for any such thing in your proof. Why does a WV have to provide clear answers to every philosophical problem? Even Christianity contains a lot of paradox and mystery.

    But this in no way explains what logic is, in every WV their metaphysics would determine what logic is.
    Not quite--I would say that we all know what logic is, even though the definition is a bit tricky. Thus, we try various definitions until we find one that is sufficient to tell us what exactly logic is.

    The apologist would examine their WV and see if it made sense out of logic or not, or to say it another way does their WV allow for logic.
    But that's easy--most WVs do allow for logic, in fact they take it as an essential presupposition. You are assuming a view of WV that says that all WVs depend on a couple of basic premises where I would see a much larger base, some of which is just grounded in reality. You assume that all WVs are complete self-contained systems like the philosophies of Descartes, Russell, or Leibniz. In fact, though, the fact of the matter is that most worldviews are a whole lot bigger and fuzzier.
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  21. #61
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    You misunderstand my meaning: the beauty of skepticism is that you don't actually have to advance a positive position.
    You are absolutly right if I were giving a direct strong deductive Modal argument, but I'm giving a TA so the rules are slightly different. Its like the term warranted assertibility, if the unbeleiver does not explain the thing in question than they have no warrant to assert anything about that thing.

    Again, I would highly recommend Thomas Reid, who deconstructs this idea that there are no givens.
    I'm waiting on tax return but it is one of those books I intend to buy, I even know where to get it at (if and when I get it I'll let you know what I think).

    Again, this assumes a question that the unbeliever does not answer because either a) he doesn't understand exactly what he's being asked to prove b) he may see no need for metaphysics c) he may see no need for such an accounting d) he may just play the necessarily true card.
    I think I see where you are going. If you prefer in your apologetic to not deal with such metaphysical abstractions than more power to you, this is the aproech that prefer on a practical level. I don't particularly like to criticize other Christian's aproech to apologetics so, I won't change that here. But logically this is an area that can be pressed on the unbeleiver, whether they like it or not. Remember Hitler probally saw nothing wrong with what he did, and probally saw no reason to debate it but he was still evil.

    Maybe it's just my poor pre-Kantian notion of proof, but I saw no demands for any such thing in your proof. Why does a WV have to provide clear answers to every philosophical problem? Even Christianity contains a lot of paradox and mystery.
    Well I did say that this "proof" would be very simplicistic and in a real setting it would get more complicated, also a whole book could be writen on a TA for just one thing like logic. Mystery and paradox are fine, it is just these play out in a particuler WV that matters.

    Not quite--I would say that we all know what logic is, even though the definition is a bit tricky. Thus, we try various definitions until we find one that is sufficient to tell us what exactly logic is.
    Were not talking about definitions as much as explinations.

    But that's easy--most WVs do allow for logic, in fact they take it as an essential presupposition. You are assuming a view of WV that says that all WVs depend on a couple of basic premises where I would see a much larger base, some of which is just grounded in reality. You assume that all WVs are complete self-contained systems like the philosophies of Descartes, Russell, or Leibniz. In fact, though, the fact of the matter is that most worldviews are a whole lot bigger and fuzzier.
    I agree with you on the "fuzzyness" of WVs, that is why it is imperative for the presupossitionalist to ask questions of the unbeleiver to get a feel for their WV, because we are finite we don't have all the answers to every question and we can't know everything.
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    You are absolutly right if I were giving a direct strong deductive Modal argument, but I'm giving a TA so the rules are slightly different. Its like the term warranted assertibility, if the unbeleiver does not explain the thing in question than they have no warrant to assert anything about that thing.
    Why should the rules be different for a TA than for a deductive or inductive argument? What is it about a TA that makes it an epistemological trump card?

    But logically this is an area that can be pressed on the unbeleiver, whether they like it or not.
    That's news to them--I would argue that you're talking past the unbeliever (certainly, you'd be talking past me).

    Remember Hitler probally saw nothing wrong with what he did, and probally saw no reason to debate it but he was still evil.
    Wow--does Godwin's law actually work?

    Well I did say that this "proof" would be very simplicistic and in a real setting it would get more complicated
    That may be a practicality issue. Not only would the unbeliever not follow you, you'd have to flesh out the argument so much as to make its usefulness in a debate setting (ie: with time limits on speeches) suspect.

    Were not talking about definitions as much as explinations.
    You were speaking about explaining what a thing is--isn't that simply definition? Or do we have to define things by origins now? I would argue that this would be ridiculous in any other context, why should apologetics be privileged over other disciplines?

    I agree with you on the "fuzzyness" of WVs, that is why it is imperative for the presupossitionalist to ask questions of the unbeleiver to get a feel for their WV, because we are finite we don't have all the answers to every question and we can't know everything.
    And the thing we have to understand is that because we can't explain everything, the presuppositional method can be used against the Christian--it's a two-edged sword.

    The trouble here is that the TA works by trying to vindicate logic or whatever--a noble goal, but beside the point for the apologist. The apologist's task is to prove that God--the Christian God--is there and is not silent. In reality, the TA ends up being just a (highly entertaining) philosophical game. I love playing philosophical games (it's part of why I love philosophy) but in apologetics, I'm more concerned with showing a) that God is there b) that the unbeliever doesn't have a reason for denying this (answers to objections) c) that God is good (the existential side of apologetics).
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    Quote Originally Posted by P. F. Pugh View Post
    Here's the critique:

    Assume 1-5

    6a. In the Christian WV there is a Transcendant source of ethics
    6b. In the Islamic WV there is a Transcendent source of ethics
    6c. In the Buddhist WV there is a Transcendent source of ethics
    6d. In the Taoist WV there is a transcendent source of ethics

    See the problem? All that the skeptic has to do is posit a couple of possible alternatives without recommending any one of them. Unless there is a necessary connection or at least an analyzable argument, all we're left with here is a Kierkegaardian leap.

    It seems to me that we have a couple of non sequitors here, since there is no "probable" and no necessary connection.
    But do the God/gods/non-gods of the other religions provide an adequate foundation for ethics? Or are they sinking sand?

    For their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies are by themselves (Deut. 32:31, ESV)


    The foundations of the religions need to be compared transcendentally. This book is a good start on it and can be bought on another day than the Lord's Day:-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-Differ...7373993&sr=1-3

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/i...7373993&sr=1-3
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    Men shall be blessed in Him,
    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

  24. #64
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    Richard, what exactly do you mean by "adequate"? Is there an objective standard of adequacy to which the apologist can appeal and have the unbeliever accept? Or does "adequate" here simply mean, "satisfying to the apologist"? If this is the case, then presuppositionalism starts to look a whole lot like skepticism.
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  25. #65
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    Internally coherent.

    Have you got a better way of comparing false worldviews with Christianity than examining and comparing their foundations?

    The Christian apologist starts with the non-sceptical belief that not all worldviews are true apart from Christianity. Then he compares the basic foundations of the worldview being discussed with those of Christianity, to reveal the internal incoherence and incoherence with reality of the false worldview, compared with Christianity.

    It seems like a rational way of discussing and debating worldviews, which involve the basic assumptions/premises of the debaters.

    Ultimately the apologetic will only be as good as the ability of the apologist to point out the incoherence of the false worldviews and the coherence of the Christian worldview.

    It will only be fully satisfying to the target of the apologetic if he is converted by it, by the blessing of the Holy Spirit removing the sinful prejudice; but if not it may be a link in the chain.

    The same was true for the Apostle Paul when reasoning with various unbelievers.

    The Christian starts with his faith in God, the Muslim with his faith in Allah, the Buddhist with his faith in what he believes is ultimate. Which foundation is self-coherent and accords with reality? Obviously the Christian One. This isn't obvious to e.g. the Buddhist, but it is the task of the apologist to show the internal incoherence of the Buddhist worldview and its lack of coherence with agreed reality.

    Only the Holy Spirit can bless the apologetic encounter, just as only the Holy Spirit can bless what is more generally called preaching and evangelism. But at the same time there is good preaching, evangelism, philosophy and apologetics, and not so good.
    Last edited by Peairtach; 02-28-2010 at 04:28 PM.
    Richard Tallach
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    His Name forever shall endure;
    last like the sun it shall:
    Men shall be blessed in Him,
    and blessed all nations shall Him call (Ps. 72:17)

  26. #66
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    Internally coherent.
    This seems to be an incomplete definition. Freudianism, by your definition, would be adequate because it is internally coherent even though it has, in fact, little basis in reality. If I were refuting a Freudian, would I apply an internal critique? No--I would apply an external one because its assertions are ridiculous.

    The Christian apologist starts with the non-sceptical belief that not all worldviews are true apart from Christianity. Then he compares the basic foundations of the worldview being discussed with those of Christianity, to reveal the internal incoherence and incoherence with reality of the false worldview, compared with Christianity.
    Comparing a worldview with Christianity is well and good, but it can only show that Christianity is better, not that Christianity is best.

    What standard are we using in doing this? Common sense (Reid, Hodge)? Indubitability (Descartes)? Empirical data (Russell, Hume)? Evidence (James, Clifford)? And on what basis will you argue for that standard if it isn't commonly held?

    It will only be fully satisfying to the target of the apologetic if he is converted by it, by the blessing of the Holy Spirit removing the sinful prejudice; but if not it may be a link in the chain.
    But the apologist's task is to expose that prejudice in hope that the Holy Spirit will free him from it to judge rightly. By prejudice, I of course mean "unwarranted assumption that interferes with judgment."

    Only the Holy Spirit can bless the apologetic encounter, just as only the Holy Spirit can bless what is more generally called preaching and evangelism. But at the same time there is good preaching, evangelism, philosophy and apologetics, and not so good.
    Amen, which is why we need to be sure that our apologetic methods are warranted by Scripture and common sense.
    Philip
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  27. #67
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    is this post closed?
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  28. #68
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    Wow--does Godwin's law actually work?
    Yes it would seem it does. Hitler is the epitamy of evil inmost minds so this is probaly why Godwin is right. The incorect use of the "Reducto ad Hitleriam" is when you accuse someone of being Hitler, just to make their P.O.V. look bad.

    That's news to them--I would argue that you're talking past the unbeliever (certainly, you'd be talking past me).
    If I understand you correctly than this is one of those areas where the Clasicalist and the Presopossitionalist differ. CA allows the unbeleiver to take certian notions and ideas for granted as supossidly nuetral, which they are not completly nuetral at all. Now if this method of apologetics works for you then go for it. I prefer the PA aproech because it attacks the very roots of their WV allowing nothing to be taken for granted. Every supossidly nuetral word or idea must be justified withen their WV to make sense.
    Assuming things to be true on a methodological level in a debate is just fine, my assumptions I have already layed out or the atheist thinking religion is evil. But to assume something to be true, in the sense of beyond debate, and using it to formulate your argument without proving it first is bad argumentation skills, an example of this would be when an atheist says that evolution proves a certian thing to be true but they also say that evolution is so true that they will not debate it.

    Why should the rules be different for a TA than for a deductive or inductive argument? What is it about a TA that makes it an epistemological trump card?
    The form of an argument determines its uniqueness. An inductive vs. a deductive form are both slightly different from one another. Also the idea of proof changes from non-traditional logical system to non-traditional logical system. Your still trying to lump them all together in one form.

    you'd have to flesh out the argument so much as to make its usefulness in a debate setting (ie: with time limits on speeches) suspect.
    Yeah this where Bahnsen was little weak but two things must be noted about that debate:
    1. Nearly everyone, including Stien himself, thought that Bahnsen dominated the debate
    2. Even John Fame, who is critical of Van Til on some major points, admited because of this, and other debates, that he though that Bahnsen was the greatest Christian debator of the time.
    I feel as though better tecniques must be developed to make up for the mistakes that Bahnsen made, like asserting over and over again that Stien did really beleive in God I mean how much time did that waste.

    Not only would the unbeliever not follow you
    It seems to me that both CA and PA both on some level both allow the unbeleiver to determine the method of apologetic, just from two different ways. You seem to make whether they would "not see the need in dealing with these with these questions" a primary goal for the apologets, but how is that not pandering to them unecassaraly? The PA on the other hand makes their own internal contraditions the determining factor for their method.

    You were speaking about explaining what a thing is--isn't that simply definition? Or do we have to define things by origins now?
    No it is not, defining what logic is is not explaining its exsistance. Do you really beleive that an absolute naturalistic metaphysical theory could consistanly give the same explination for logic as a Chritian metaphysical theory would?

    I would argue that this would be ridiculous in any other context, why should apologetics be privileged over other disciplines?
    Two things here. The TA was a standered method of proof from Kant to the Post-Kantians on through the Idealists, so your statement here is a little stretching it. When the Pragmatists and the Analytical philosophers reacted against Idealism they kinda through this out with it, but as far as I can tell this was not one of their major concerns about Idealism (this could be an example of "throwing the baby out with the bath water"). Also something like the philosophy of science would, on a basic level, qualify as being one big TA (what are the preconditions to making science possible as we experiance it).

    And the thing we have to understand is that because we can't explain everything, the presuppositional method can be used against the Christian--it's a two-edged sword.
    In this sense logic is a two edged sword. Also you havn't produced, as far as I can tell, a single legitemate example of an unbeleiving TA that cancels out mine. Saying that something is theoretically possible is one thing but without some kind of concrete example it doesn't hold much water.

    The trouble here is that the TA works by trying to vindicate logic or whatever--a noble goal, but beside the point for the apologist. The apologist's task is to prove that God--the Christian God--is there and is not silent. In reality, the TA ends up being just a (highly entertaining) philosophical game. I love playing philosophical games (it's part of why I love philosophy) but in apologetics, I'm more concerned with showing a) that God is there b) that the unbeliever doesn't have a reason for denying this (answers to objections) c) that God is good (the existential side of apologetics).
    All you have done here is held up the CA method as the only legitemate one, which you have merely asserted not proven. If the TA a) indirectly proves God b) destroys the unbeleiver's very notion of rationality c) doesn't allow the unbeleiver to take anything for granted, I mean how is this not a valid method?
    James
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  29. #69
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    I prefer the PA aproech because it attacks the very roots of their WV allowing nothing to be taken for granted. Every supossidly nuetral word or idea must be justified withen their WV to make sense.
    If nothing is taken for granted, then there is no worldview at all. Without givens, there is no debate because there is nothing to deconstruct. Even Christianity has givens.

    In most WVs, logic, sense perception, and such are just givens--axiomatic.

    The form of an argument determines its uniqueness. An inductive vs. a deductive form are both slightly different from one another. Also the idea of proof changes from non-traditional logical system to non-traditional logical system. Your still trying to lump them all together in one form.
    Again, maybe it's just that I am a pre-modern (non-classical) foundationalist, but I simply see no reason why the metaphysical account of a thing has any bearing on whether his critique of your position is valid. Unless the critique itself presupposes something invalid, then you have to answer it. If you could explain the reasoning behind the TA that makes it able to make this kind of (to me) unusual demand.

    Again, I'm taking a more or less common sense epistemology as a given, so if the argument wouldn't hold up in a courtroom or debate setting, then it shouldn't hold up here.

    Yeah this where Bahnsen was little weak but two things must be noted about that debate:
    1. Nearly everyone, including Stien himself, thought that Bahnsen dominated the debate
    2. Even John Fame, who is critical of Van Til on some major points, admited because of this, and other debates, that he though that Bahnsen was the greatest Christian debator of the time.
    I honestly don't think Stein knew what he was doing. Also, the way Bahnsen phrased the argument meant that he failed in his burden of proof and therefore in the debate. Wiping the floor with your opponent is fun, but pointless unless you produce a plausible argument for your own position--and I just didn't see Bahnsen doing that. The way he phrased it, Bahnsen's burden was to prove that the proposition "God does not exist" is self-referentially incoherent, which he did not do.

    No it is not, defining what logic is is not explaining its exsistance.
    If you're referring to the principle of sufficient reason, then all the unbeliever has to do is claim aseity (or, of course, he could deny PSR, as it is unprovable).

    Two things here. The TA was a standered method of proof from Kant to the Post-Kantians on through the Idealists, so your statement here is a little stretching it. When the Pragmatists and the Analytical philosophers reacted against Idealism they kinda through this out with it, but as far as I can tell this was not one of their major concerns about Idealism (this could be an example of "throwing the baby out with the bath water"). Also something like the philosophy of science would, on a basic level, qualify as being one big TA (what are the preconditions to making science possible as we experiance it).
    Currently, I'm wondering if Transcendental Argumentation actually makes sense. As far as I can tell, it doesn't actually prove anything definite--and certainly the same rules of argumentation and logic would apply to it as to any other type of argument.

    Again, I'm more or less Pre-Kantian common sense in my assumptions. I don't think a TA would hold up in a courtroom or debate round and so I don't think it holds up in philosophy.

    All you have done here is held up the CA method as the only legitemate one, which you have merely asserted not proven. If the TA a) indirectly proves God b) destroys the unbeleiver's very notion of rationality c) doesn't allow the unbeleiver to take anything for granted, I mean how is this not a valid method?
    And this is my contention: the TA a) is inconclusive on the existence of God (aka, the conclusion of the argument is not "God exists" but "God is one possible explanation for rationality") b) doesn't address the unbeliever's notion of rationality (aka, I'm still not getting why positing one explanation necessitates a counter-explanation) c) assumes that there are givens (necessary for debate to take place).

    As I recall, the TA is not necessary to PA (see also: John Frame), so I'm not doubting the validity of PA in certain contexts. However, the TA just (in my humble opinion) doesn't demonstrate anything conclusive. It builds a foundation the size of the great pyramid's and then places a tiny little obelisk on top. Nice obelisk, but hardly a justification for a foundation of such massive proportions.

    A valid argument is only as good as what it actually does.
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    If nothing is taken for granted, then there is no worldview at all. Without givens, there is no debate because there is nothing to deconstruct. Even Christianity has givens.

    In most WVs, logic, sense perception, and such are just givens--axiomatic.
    Here is one major difference between Clark and Bahnsen's take on Van Til, For Clark there are basic axioms that comprise the base of a WV but for Bahnsen this is a much more complex issue. The various beleifs that comprise a WV are developed in various ways and therefore must be treated individually as far as warrent goes but if you take the whole WV then you are not as worried about how they came to beleive what they beleive only the consitancy and applicability, to reality, of the total WV.
    If the unbeleiver thinks that Christians are taking something for granted then they can point it out, so far in debating them I have never seen one.

    Again, maybe it's just that I am a pre-modern (non-classical) foundationalist, but I simply see no reason why the metaphysical account of a thing has any bearing on whether his critique of your position is valid. Unless the critique itself presupposes something invalid, then you have to answer it. If you could explain the reasoning behind the TA that makes it able to make this kind of (to me) unusual demand.

    Again, I'm taking a more or less common sense epistemology as a given, so if the argument wouldn't hold up in a courtroom or debate setting, then it shouldn't hold up here
    I don't know about a court room setting, they must take things for granted just to function, but in a debate sure. Take the Atheistic Materialist (AM), they produce some critique of my WV, against miracles for instance, the conversation can take 2 different routes (I will only deal with one, also I like to try to respond to everything you write, because it is only fair to you, so I won't quote everything you say since you repeat this issue further in your post.)

    The AM points out that miriacles are far fetched on a scientific level, which is of course debatable, he/she declares that reasonable people cannot possibly beleive in a virgin birth. I could ask them what their metaphysical theory of the universe is, they would of course be surprised here but I would insist that they just humor me and they mention Naturalism as their theory. I would then ask what theory of mind they belong too, because there are differences among AM. They could respond with whatever I would then demonstrate how on their own proffessed Theories reason and even beliefs themselves don't make sense. I might even employ Lewis' famous argument from reason, against naturalism (or some form of it). After debating this I would point out that if they can't even make sense out of reason itself why should I even answer their question? If their whole house (appeal to the authority of reason) is built on crumbling foundations (innadequete metaphysical explinaitions) then they have no finished product (authority of reason).
    They might respond with saying I'm in the same boat as them, I would then lay out the Christian WV on this matter and show how in the Christian WV the whole foundationalist/non-foundationalist debate is completly irrelavent and the authority of reason rests on God's thoughts about things and our repeating these thoughts in our use of reason. Therefore the foundation of reason, in the Christian WV, is God's eternal being.

    I honestly don't think Stein knew what he was doing. Also, the way Bahnsen phrased the argument meant that he failed in his burden of proof and therefore in the debate. Wiping the floor with your opponent is fun, but pointless unless you produce a plausible argument for your own position--and I just didn't see Bahnsen doing that. The way he phrased it, Bahnsen's burden was to prove that the proposition "God does not exist" is self-referentially incoherent, which he did not do.
    Again I would base my opinions of Bahnsen's ideas on more than just his debate here.

    Currently, I'm wondering if Transcendental Argumentation actually makes sense. As far as I can tell, it doesn't actually prove anything definite--and certainly the same rules of argumentation and logic would apply to it as to any other type of argument.
    Again you asserting that everyform of arguments must be the strong deductive Modal type, but I have seen no proof of this.

    Again, I'm more or less Pre-Kantian common sense in my assumptions. I don't think a TA would hold up in a courtroom or debate round and so I don't think it holds up in philosophy.
    There is nothing wrong with that, from what I understand Ried represented a different answer to Hume's criticism over Kant so maybe it might hold water. My only worry is that it seems to takes too much for granted logically speaking. Also there have been excellant studies done on why the the modern project that stated with Descarte was doomed for failure from the beggining. My question about Ried would be how he escaped these systemic failures in modernism? Read the book Introducing Radical Orthodoxy by James K. A. Smiths, also the Christian thinker who lives in canada and is connected to RZIM Joe Boot.

    And this is my contention: the TA a) is inconclusive on the existence of God (aka, the conclusion of the argument is not "God exists" but "God is one possible explanation for rationality") b) doesn't address the unbeliever's notion of rationality (aka, I'm still not getting why positing one explanation necessitates a counter-explanation) c) assumes that there are givens (necessary for debate to take place).
    Well it seems here that we come from different philosophical traditions, which we have both already admited, so perhaps that is an strong area of disagreement between us, we both want to frame the discussion in our respective traditions.

    As I recall, the TA is not necessary to PA (see also: John Frame), so I'm not doubting the validity of PA in certain contexts. However, the TA just (in my humble opinion) doesn't demonstrate anything conclusive. It builds a foundation the size of the great pyramid's and then places a tiny little obelisk on top. Nice obelisk, but hardly a justification for a foundation of such massive proportions.

    A valid argument is only as good as what it actually does.
    Frame may admit this but I don't know of anyone else who would, they are probally out there though. My question for Frame would be is he trying to do what it seems you are trying to do and make a strong deductive Modal form of an argument the only legitemate form? I don't know but he seems to have a good grasp on the whole history of philosophy so, I can't say.
    James
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  31. #71
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    Here is one major difference between Clark and Bahnsen's take on Van Til, For Clark there are basic axioms that comprise the base of a WV but for Bahnsen this is a much more complex issue. The various beleifs that comprise a WV are developed in various ways and therefore must be treated individually as far as warrent goes but if you take the whole WV then you are not as worried about how they came to beleive what they beleive only the consitancy and applicability, to reality, of the total WV.
    The question, then, is how a worldview functions. What exactly do you mean by "consistency" for instance? You seem to be taking it differently than I am. If, for example, you can find a direct contradiction between a WV's epistemology and its metaphysic, then you have something. If, though, all you find is a transcendental disconnect, all you've proved is that both are basic to it.

    don't know about a court room setting, they must take things for granted just to function, but in a debate sure.
    Actually, in debate you do as well--otherwise it would be a shouting match. For example, a debate is expected to be conducted in the same language and using the same laws of reasoning. Without these things, a debate cannot happen--by the act of debating, you admit that there are givens.

    The trouble with the TA is that it is asking a question that only a small subset of epistemologists actually ask and an even smaller number have an answer to. The assumption that you are making is that one is unjustified in using reason unless one has a plausible metaphysical explanation for it. However, this assumption is not shared by most. I am justified in using a car, even though I can't explain the physics of internal combustion. I am justified in learning even though I don't (yet) understand the psychology of learning (and, really, no one does yet). What privileges epistemology? Why is agnosticism allowed in school and on the road and yet not in epistemology?

    Again, just because you can prove you have a nice theory (which is all the TA really does) doesn't mean that it's true, it proves that you have a nice theory. Phlogiston is a nice theory that explains a lot: it also happens to be false.

    Again you asserting that everyform of arguments must be the strong deductive Modal type, but I have seen no proof of this.
    And I haven't seen you show me why the form of the TA proves anything more than that Christianity is a nice theory that explains a lot. I haven't seen why one TA demands another as refutation.

    Also, what exactly do you mean by "modal". I mentioned the use you were making of the term to a logic professor who was unsure of exactly what you meant by the term.

    There is nothing wrong with that, from what I understand Ried represented a different answer to Hume's criticism over Kant so maybe it might hold water. My only worry is that it seems to takes too much for granted logically speaking.
    But that's based on a modern assumption that there are no givens: Reid argued that there are quite a lot of givens. For example, we can take it as a given that the things that I distinctly remember really did happen, that our sensations are of a reality that exists outside our minds, and that there are actually other minds in the world. Reid argued that if a line of argumentation would be silly in a courtroom, it's silly in philosophy. He argued that the givens of everyday life should be the givens of philosophy. It's the common sense or direct realist approach (Alvin Plantinga is a major proponent of this view).

    Well it seems here that we come from different philosophical traditions, which we have both already admited, so perhaps that is an strong area of disagreement between us, we both want to frame the discussion in our respective traditions.
    Which may actually highlight a problem for your position--why does the unbeliever have to accept transcendental argumentation at all? Just why can't there be givens? Are there properly basic assumptions that need no further warrant? Why does the unbeliever have to be able to tell a transcendental story about reason in order to be justified in using it? Seems to me that all he has to be able to do is show that he knows that reason is true by showing that it is properly basic.
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    The question, then, is how a worldview functions. What exactly do you mean by "consistency" for instance? You seem to be taking it differently than I am. If, for example, you can find a direct contradiction between a WV's epistemology and its metaphysic, then you have something. If, though, all you find is a transcendental disconnect, all you've proved is that both are basic to it.
    A WV is the web of beleifs we use:
    1. In interpreting the world around us
    2. Functioning in reality and society
    3. aquisition of new knowledge
    The list could probally go on but I hope you get the gist of it.

    Actually, in debate you do as well--otherwise it would be a shouting match. For example, a debate is expected to be conducted in the same language and using the same laws of reasoning. Without these things, a debate cannot happen--by the act of debating, you admit that there are givens.
    I admit only that they are neceassery for debate sure, but not that they are these givens which we cannot analyze or expalin. If I debate an AM and I show how their WV destroys the notion of reason and beleifs than that would raise the question as to why they are debating in the first place, a TA is possible for the very act of debate as well (Bahnsen alluded to this in his debate I beleive).

    The assumption that you are making is that one is unjustified in using reason unless one has a plausible metaphysical explanation for it.
    Why is this unjustified? Also a TA is not a plausible explination at all, again you are lumping all the forms of arguments together.

    The trouble with the TA is that it is asking a question that only a small subset of epistemologists actually ask and an even smaller number have an answer to.
    Everyone has a WV, every WV has an implcit answer as well. A theory of mind or reality has logical consequences and one of those will be the nature of reason itself.

    However, this assumption is not shared by most. I am justified in using a car, even though I can't explain the physics of internal combustion. I am justified in learning even though I don't (yet) understand the psychology of learning (and, really, no one does yet). What privileges epistemology? Why is agnosticism allowed in school and on the road and yet not in epistemology?
    This is only a difference in methodology, the CA verses PA. If you wish to not deal with these issues that go for it, but I wish to press the unbeleiver on these issues.

    Again, just because you can prove you have a nice theory (which is all the TA really does) doesn't mean that it's true, it proves that you have a nice theory. Phlogiston is a nice theory that explains a lot: it also happens to be false.
    And I haven't seen you show me why the form of the TA proves anything more than that Christianity is a nice theory that explains a lot. I haven't seen why one TA demands another as refutation.
    These two statements are lumping all forms of arguments together again.

    Also, what exactly do you mean by "modal". I mentioned the use you were making of the term to a logic professor who was unsure of exactly what you meant by the term.
    In the discussion, and links given, the word modal was used as a synonim for a strong view of necessaty. The forms of arguments given were of a modal form, possible world scenerios and the like, so I thought I would use the word instead of necessaty because everyone was using it already. I have refrained from using the word necessaty because I think you allow for one meaning and that is the strong version, does that clear it up?

    But that's based on a modern assumption that there are no givens: Reid argued that there are quite a lot of givens. For example, we can take it as a given that the things that I distinctly remember really did happen, that our sensations are of a reality that exists outside our minds, and that there are actually other minds in the world. Reid argued that if a line of argumentation would be silly in a courtroom, it's silly in philosophy. He argued that the givens of everyday life should be the givens of philosophy. It's the common sense or direct realist approach (Alvin Plantinga is a major proponent of this view).
    In philosophy there are no givens. Now I am all about common sense in philosophy, but from a more Wittgenstienian P.O.V. These "givens" are actually some of the most central elements in any WV. I think the court room may be a bad analogy but if you want I think the place of an expert testamony is somewhat like a TA. If an expert witness gets up for the defense and the prosecutor shows that through considering their backround they have no right to actually be asserting what they are, than that in rough form is a basic TA of the expert's expertese.

    Which may actually highlight a problem for your position--why does the unbeliever have to accept transcendental argumentation at all?
    Your point would be well taken if I invented some new form of argumentation, then the unbeleiver could rightly claim that the burden of proof was on me for proving its validity as a form of argumentation. But in the case of TA the unbeleiver must analytically show why all forms of TA invalid, this is a nearly impossible task. If they simply say they don't accept it but can't give me any reason why, than they have the problem not me. Remember I never said the form of argumentation that you prefer was invalid, only that it may not apply to all beleifs. I also pointed out that if you beleive that all forms of argumentation must be of this strong "necessatty" form than you would have to prove that.

    Seems to me that all he has to be able to do is show that he knows that reason is true by showing that it is properly basic.
    Much easier said than done. This view point is riddled with problems. What is the criteria for being "properly basic"? To my knowledge there is no consensus on this so it would do no one any good by throwing this phrase around.

    Why does the unbeliever have to be able to tell a transcendental story about reason in order to be justified in using it?
    Only if this were the line of argumentation I wished to employ. Like I said I could go in manydifferent directions but this is one of them. I could never raise the issue of explaining reason and let them keep on using it, but challenge their WV in other ways.
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  33. #73
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    A WV is the web of beleifs we use:
    1. In interpreting the world around us
    2. Functioning in reality and society
    3. aquisition of new knowledge
    The list could probally go on but I hope you get the gist of it.
    Whereas I see it as an edifice of beliefs built on a few foundational beliefs from which the others are derived.

    I admit only that they are neceassery for debate sure, but not that they are these givens which we cannot analyze or expalin. If I debate an AM and I show how their WV destroys the notion of reason and beleifs than that would raise the question as to why they are debating in the first place, a TA is possible for the very act of debate as well (Bahnsen alluded to this in his debate I beleive).
    If this were really true, then the debate should not be allowed to continue because you've proven that a) the non-believer cannot reason b) therefore the non-believer cannot be reasoned with c) therefore further discussion would be pointless.

    Why is this unjustified? Also a TA is not a plausible explination at all, again you are lumping all the forms of arguments together.
    It's unjustified because you are asking the non-believer to provide a very sophisticated philosophical argument in order to justify your debating him at all. Just how many non-believers do you know who would even be able to understand your argument, much less be able to provide a counter-argument? I'm still not sure I understand your argument, since you are claiming a whole lot more for it than is warranted by the actual argument.

    Again, please explain to me exactly how the TA provides more than a plausible explanation (ie: more than the conclusion warrants). I keep asking you to explain why exactly you feel justified in claiming more for the TA than the argument itself seems to warrant. I have asked a logician what you might mean here and he point-blank denied that your giving a TA in any way necessitates the non-believer providing a counter-TA.

    Everyone has a WV, every WV has an implcit answer as well. A theory of mind or reality has logical consequences and one of those will be the nature of reason itself.
    How do you know this? Have you examined every worldview?

    This is only a difference in methodology, the CA verses PA. If you wish to not deal with these issues that go for it, but I wish to press the unbeleiver on these issues.
    And I am saying that your pressing this issue in this situation is unjustified because a) he would not be asked to do this in any other discipline b) he may not actually have an answer--agnosticism is a perfectly fine position. It's perfectly legitimate for him to say "I don't know what metaphysical preconditions are necessary for reason (or whatever), but since they are necessary for this debate to proceed, I am justified in using it."

    These two statements are lumping all forms of arguments together again.
    How so? I keep asking you to explain exactly how you think the TA operates on a completely different plane. The conclusion doesn't justify the strength you seem to want to give it (unless you're really operating on Van Til/Bahnsen's coherence view of knowledge).

    In the discussion, and links given, the word modal was used as a synonim for a strong view of necessaty. The forms of arguments given were of a modal form, possible world scenerios and the like, so I thought I would use the word instead of necessaty because everyone was using it already. I have refrained from using the word necessaty because I think you allow for one meaning and that is the strong version, does that clear it up?
    It shows that you're misunderstanding my use of logic. I'm asking for the conclusion that God exists to actually follow from the premises of the argument. All that follows from it is that postulating God would provide the metaphysical preconditions necessary for knowledge. It does not follow from the conclusion that God actually exists.

    In philosophy there are no givens.
    So says the skeptic. This is the road to skepticism. If there are no givens, then you know nothing whatsoever--you are in an epistemic void. To say that there are no givens is to doubt everything--the first mistake of modern epistemology.

    I think the court room may be a bad analogy but if you want I think the place of an expert testamony is somewhat like a TA. If an expert witness gets up for the defense and the prosecutor shows that through considering their backround they have no right to actually be asserting what they are, than that in rough form is a basic TA of the expert's expertese.
    A TA is not a witness, but the argument used by the defense attorney.

    But in the case of TA the unbeleiver must analytically show why all forms of TA invalid, this is a nearly impossible task. If they simply say they don't accept it but can't give me any reason why, than they have the problem not me.
    But as I keep pointing out, the argument may be valid, but the conclusion is too weak to actually warrant my believing in Christianity.

    In the courtroom scenario, your prosecution strategy is to call up the witness, have him testify, give a theory as to how this is possible and tell the defense, "Now prove that your position is justified." At this point, all the defense attorney has to do is point out to the judge that the prosecution has shown that his theory explains a lot, but it doesn't prove that his theory is actually correct. The defense, remember, only has a burden of disproof: prove that the prosecutor's arguments are inconclusive.

    Your point would be well taken if I invented some new form of argumentation, then the unbeleiver could rightly claim that the burden of proof was on me for proving its validity as a form of argumentation. But in the case of TA the unbeleiver must analytically show why all forms of TA invalid, this is a nearly impossible task.
    If you would explain exactly why the TA's rather inconclusive "conclusion" proves anything other than what I have said, then maybe I will be able to answer this. Exactly why does a transcendental argument necessitate a transcendental counter-argument? Again, the logician I talked to thought this was nonsense.

    Only if this were the line of argumentation I wished to employ. Like I said I could go in manydifferent directions but this is one of them. I could never raise the issue of explaining reason and let them keep on using it, but challenge their WV in other ways.
    This is just a dodge. The question I keep asking is this: Why does the unbeliever in order to justify his assumption of __fill-in-the-blank__ have to tell a metaphysical story about why this is possible? Why can't the assumption be properly basic?
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    Whereas I see it as an edifice of beliefs built on a few foundational beliefs from which the others are derived.
    There may only be semantical differences between your view here and mine. Are you familier with the whole foundationalist/non-foundationalist debate?

    If this were really true, then the debate should not be allowed to continue because you've proven that a) the non-believer cannot reason b) therefore the non-believer cannot be reasoned with c) therefore further discussion would be pointless.
    This isn't a statement about whether or not the unbeleiver can actually debate or not it is only about their WV, which we Christians beleive is wrong.

    I have asked a logician what you might mean here and he point-blank denied that your giving a TA in any way necessitates the non-believer providing a counter-TA.
    Only if he/she cannot critique my TA. They cannot sit back, logically speaking, and say I don't accept your TA but I'm not going to give an explination to the problem but lets reason anyway. You may be ok with debating them but I would choose on methodological grounds to press them here. Your teacher is correct but if someone were to criticize my TA, it would be perfectly legitemate of me to respond with asking them to come up with a better solution, it is not as though the debate gods have declared that to be an illegitmate response on my part. If I criticized Reid's response to Hume than it would be perfectly legitemate of you to ask me to come up with a better solution.

    Now it seems that your post is roughly divided into two major disagreements we are having so I will save space and try to deal with those in some detail.

    1. You seem to only accept the deductive "strong necessaty" (is that the right word to describe your view?) as the only valid form of an argument. Now the form of this argument is a logically different form of argument from inductive, TAs, and some non-traditional forms of logic so this presents a problem for you. You must demonstrate why even though they have different forms of arguments different from the one you prefer to use but they at the end of the day are really concealed forms of the one you prefer to use. Or that they may be different but that the burden of proof your prefered form has is the only valid one anyway?
    Even if you answer that question you still have problems to deal with; like the fact that I have never seen a form of the classical arguments that could ever meet your burden of proof. Also your burden of proof can't apply to all beleifs, and it doesn't account for the complexities of the human beings. In fact if Gordon Clark is right the classical arguments are all based on induction and therefore are formal fallacies.
    2. We seem to be having a lot of trouble wrestling with the idea of a TA. You seem, in connection with the above point, to demand that I directly prove the exsistance of God with this proof. Since I am not making a direct argument I don't really have to answer that question, unless of course you provide an answer to point 1, or until you show why I can only give a direct argument. You want to prove God's exsistance directly, good do it, I wish to provide an indirect proof, but this is not a logical problem but a methodological issue only. Also from a biblical P.O.V. why do think it is wise to allow the unbeleiver, who the bible declares is biased against the truth, to set all rules? Do you really think those rules will be fair? Calvinism does have epistomological consequences to it, how do those play out in your prefered method?

    If your ok with this I think we can reduce our discussion down to these 2 points rather than debating 20 things at once.
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    The question, as I see it, is this:

    The conclusion of the TA does not yield a compelling reason for the unbeliever to accept the existence of God as the actual precondition for knowledge and therefore it yields no compelling reason for the unbeliever to posit a counter-argument. You say that it does so indirectly, yet somehow, I'm just not getting the connection. Can you please describe to me in detail how exactly it does this?

    Even Kant's transcendental arguments only describe possible preconditions rather than actual ones.

    Also, what exactly do you mean by "indirect"? Do you mean that the conclusion makes it likely that God exists?

    In fact if Gordon Clark is right the classical arguments are all based on induction and therefore are formal fallacies.
    I do admit induction, first of all, as a generally reliable method of proof, else I would not be a common sense philosopher (unlike Clark). Sometime I will actually produce and defend my analysis and defense of certain forms of the ontological argument.

    In dealing with the unbeliever, my argument is most likely going to be a common sense one: calling the unbeliever to set aside unreasonable prejudice and actually look at the evidence which God has put before all. If the Holy Spirit is truly working in him, then he may actually do so--my job is to present the arguments and evidence, but it is the job of the Holy Spirit to convince.

    If I criticized Reid's response to Hume than it would be perfectly legitemate of you to ask me to come up with a better solution.
    And it would be perfectly legitimate of you to say, "I don't have one yet." Your critique, though, might be justified regardless of whether or not you actually have an answer to the problem. Again, a skeptic needs no answers, only doubt.
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    Do you mean that the conclusion makes it likely that God exists?
    The classical arguments all have this in common, they are directly trying to prove the exsistance of God, so God's exsistance is the object under discussion. The TA is not trying to prove God's exsistance, God's exsistance is not the object under discussion. The object under discussion is whatever you are doing the transcendental analysis of, so in our discussion this would be morality or reason. So the TA is trying to show things about whatever is under discussion, if God is listed as a precondition for this thing then He indirectly enters the picture, He is not the direct referent of the argument. That is one major difference between the classical arguments and this one.

    The conclusion of the TA does not yield a compelling reason for the unbeliever to accept the existence of God as the actual precondition for knowledge and therefore it yields no compelling reason for the unbeliever to posit a counter-argument.
    Lets take the example of an atheist who denies that a TA for ethics is possible, how then can they justify using the words good and evil (keep in mind that the second this person gives an answer they are making a TA of some kind)? If they are simply criticizing my TA than you are correct they are not required to give a TA of their own. But if they cannot criticize my argument but simply refuse to accept it than I can ask them to give one of their own, if they refuse to do so than at that point the debate is probally over.
    The actuality in the argument comes from the starting point, experiance. We start with something as both people of the debate actually experiance it, reason or whatever, and than analyze the necessary preconditions (or problems that must be solved by a WV) to make it what we actually experiance it as. If my oponant's WV cannot explain it as it actually is than they have no explination at all. Lets take science for example the major problem associated with any transcendental analysis of science will include the following at least a solution to the problem of induction, or some reason why such a solution is impossible.
    We actually do science on a daily basis that is the actuality of the argument.

    [I do admit induction, first of all, as a generally reliable method of proof, else I would not be a common sense philosopher (unlike Clark).
    I do to, my point was that no pure inductive argument could ever meet the burden of proof you seem to be advocating.

    Sometime I will actually produce and defend my analysis and defense of certain forms of the ontological argument.
    I look foward to it.

    In dealing with the unbeliever, my argument is most likely going to be a common sense one: calling the unbeliever to set aside unreasonable prejudice and actually look at the evidence which God has put before all. If the Holy Spirit is truly working in him, then he may actually do so--my job is to present the arguments and evidence, but it is the job of the Holy Spirit to convince.
    That is your method, you have yours and I have mine. I also perfectly admit the validity of your method as well. I would gladly stand next to you defending the truth only we would use 2 different methods for doing so.

    And it would be perfectly legitimate of you to say, "I don't have one yet." Your critique, though, might be justified regardless of whether or not you actually have an answer to the problem. Again, a skeptic needs no answers, only doubt.
    The critic could say this but it doesn't erase the problem, basically if they demolished my TA but didn't have one of their own then that basically would end the debate.
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    The classical arguments all have this in common, they are directly trying to prove the exsistance of God, so God's exsistance is the object under discussion. The TA is not trying to prove God's exsistance, God's exsistance is not the object under discussion. The object under discussion is whatever you are doing the transcendental analysis of, so in our discussion this would be morality or reason.
    But is this the job of apologetics? The job of the apologist is to show the unbeliever that God is there. By all means, God is the ground of our philosophy--but do not confuse simple philosophy with apologetics. All that the TAG proves is that the Christian WV has an answer to a question that only a certain subset of philosophers actually ask.

    But if they cannot criticize my argument but simply refuse to accept it than I can ask them to give one of their own, if they refuse to do so than at that point the debate is probally over.
    You can, but they can, at the very least, claim that they need to do more research before giving an opinion. In a formal context, you simply cannot expect a good counter-TA from an unbeliever who has probably never considered the question before. Again, the argument as it stands gives the unbeliever no reason, direct or indirect, to accept that God exists because he does not share your frame of reference. The TA only works if the unbeliever shares your worldview, which he obviously doesn't.

    If my oponant's WV cannot explain it as it actually is than they have no explination at all.
    Having no explanation is not the same as having no justification/warrant. A metaphysical explanation (from the unbeliever's POV) may or may not be possible, but the belief may be justified without it.

    I do to, my point was that no pure inductive argument could ever meet the burden of proof you seem to be advocating.
    Is any inductive argument truly "pure": most inductive arguments can actually be expressed in a valid deductive form without committing a formal fallacy.

    The critic could say this but it doesn't erase the problem, basically if they demolished my TA but didn't have one of their own then that basically would end the debate.
    Indeed this is so if you take the coherentist/Van Tillian view of knowledge/worldview.
    Philip
    Student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    Attending Christ the Redeemer Church (Anglican)
    Member at Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church (PCA) Leesburg, VA

  38. #78
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    jwright82 is offline. Puritanboard Senior
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    But is this the job of apologetics? The job of the apologist is to show the unbeliever that God is there. By all means, God is the ground of our philosophy--but do not confuse simple philosophy with apologetics. All that the TAG proves is that the Christian WV has an answer to a question that only a certain subset of philosophers actually ask
    I can definantly see your point here. I have been trying to break down Van Til's thinking for the person on the street, Bahnsen tried to do this but he was way to philosophical. One thing about apologetics is to challange th eunbeleiver in their blasphamas WV, so this method works.

    You can, but they can, at the very least, claim that they need to do more research before giving an opinion. In a formal context, you simply cannot expect a good counter-TA from an unbeliever who has probably never considered the question before.
    I agree with you and if this were the answer I got than I wouldn't pursue the matter anymore, apologetics should be done with love.

    Again, the argument as it stands gives the unbeliever no reason, direct or indirect, to accept that God exists because he does not share your frame of reference. The TA only works if the unbeliever shares your worldview, which he obviously doesn't.
    You are correct that is why it is imperative to include both WVs in the discussion.

    Having no explanation is not the same as having no justification/warrant. A metaphysical explanation (from the unbeliever's POV) may or may not be possible, but the belief may be justified without it.
    The point is whether their WV can support a metaphysical explinaition of whatever is under discussion.

    Is any inductive argument truly "pure": most inductive arguments can actually be expressed in a valid deductive form without committing a formal fallacy.
    You may be right but the two forms differ here:
    1. A deductive argument moves from a general premise to a less general premise to a conclusion that is implied by the premises, here necessaty plays a big role.
    2. An inductive argument moves from particuler observations to a general premise to a conclusion, all that is needed to disprove the general premise is counter-observation.

    Indeed this is so if you take the coherentist/Van Tillian view of knowledge/worldview.
    This is a big part of his ideas but comparing these WVs to reality is essential to his ideas as well.
    James
    Pinewood Presbyterian church (PCA)
    Jacksonville, FL
    My blog: http://thereformedcafe.wordpress.com/.

  39. #79
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    You are correct that is why it is imperative to include both WVs in the discussion.
    And what I'm saying is that the worldview clash that you would like to think happens just doesn't--the trains pass on separate tracks. With no point of contact, there is not simply no argument--there is no contradiction! Since this is manifestly absurd, I think we can reject transcendental argumentation as being in any way conclusive---its apologetic usefulness is limited.
    Philip
    Student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    Attending Christ the Redeemer Church (Anglican)
    Member at Potomac Hills Presbyterian Church (PCA) Leesburg, VA

  40. #80
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    jwright82 is offline. Puritanboard Senior
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    Quote Originally Posted by P. F. Pugh View Post
    You are correct that is why it is imperative to include both WVs in the discussion.
    And what I'm saying is that the worldview clash that you would like to think happens just doesn't--the trains pass on separate tracks. With no point of contact, there is not simply no argument--there is no contradiction! Since this is manifestly absurd, I think we can reject transcendental argumentation as being in any way conclusive---its apologetic usefulness is limited.
    Well, I am abit confused about something? It is essential of any Transcendental Analysis to take experiance into account in its proccess, yet you merely assert that it is only a clash of WV's. This is out of step with the whole history of TA and Van Til, in short you are talking about something else. Now of course you could demonstrate that I am wrong, either historically or logically, but you have to admit that I have made exeriance essential to what I am saying.

    We have covered a lot of ground in this discussion and I have a lot of respect for you, and your obvious talents. There are an incrediable amount of problems in you saying that the clash of WV's doesn't happen, do you beleive that every person comes to each and every new moment of experience with a blank mind or a tabula rasa? I think not, every person has a web of beleifs that they bring to each and every moment of experience. Since this web of beleifs is all a WV is than it seems, and I could be misunderstanding you here, you are talking about something else.
    James
    Pinewood Presbyterian church (PCA)
    Jacksonville, FL
    My blog: http://thereformedcafe.wordpress.com/.

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