Archive for March 2011

A Problem with Presuppositional Apologetics

03/14/2011

Below is an excerpt from an informal debate on Facebook between myself and a few others. One of the other individuals, the one included in the excerpt below, a man who calls himself Atom, hijacked the original debate, which was about why calling a Christian “not a true Christian” is a No True Scotsman logical fallacy, and turned its focus to presuppositions. Why? The purpose of this Apologetic is to effectively level the playing field between the Christian and the atheist by claiming that both the Christian and atheist hold presuppositions, “beliefs that governs all other beliefs, or the most fundamental commitment of the heart,”* and therefore neither can objectively weigh evidence to reach Truth. Unfortunately, if you accept what the Presuppositionalist tells you, they then begin spinning men of straw about the “nature” of logic and how the only way to objectively look at the universe is to assume the existence of their deity. Of course, this is a load of bull, as the excerpt down below will show.

My Original Question:

If two people can read your Bible and come out with different understandings, why did the supposed author of it fail to make it clear enough to avoid that from happening in the first place?

Atom’s Response:

This is just another example how you get out of it what you take to it. Your presuppositions effect everything you interact with. Just like how you think the bible is “bullshit” so all you see is bullshit… (sic)

My Response:

Actually, Atom, I never thought, like most atheists who were raised in religious households, that the Bible was bullshit until after I did my homework on it so it isn’t an arbitrary presupposition but a reasoned conclusion. Most never went into it the study of their preferred religion with the presupposition it wasn’t true. We went into it with the presupposition it was true and that we wanted to actually understand it. I wonder how, having the same presupposition that you did, the Bible is true, we could have come out of it with the conclusion that it wasn’t. Hmm?

And, not only did you not answer my question, you’re actually begging it. Why would your God create us to have presuppositions to misunderstand the very book we’re supposed to?

Ahem….checkmate.

* Definition courtesy of Apologist John Frame: http://www.thirdmill.org/newfiles/joh_frame/PT.Frame.VanTil.Glossary.html

The Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan…

03/11/2011

Dead Bodies Wash Up On Japanese Shore

I propose we perform an experiment with Japan. Cease the clean-up. Cease the relief efforts. Cease trying to cool down the nuclear reactors that threaten to turn the entire island of Japan into a veritable Chernobyl.

Everyone…everywhere…pray.

From 8am – 9am we'll pray to Jesus. If Japan returns to the state it was in before this disaster, we'll have evidence for 1) prayer and 2) Christianity. From 9am – 10 am we'll pray to Allah. If Japan returns to the state it was in before this disaster, we'll have evidence for 1) prayer and 2) Islam. And etc… until we run the entire gamut of theism and find (A) the one, true religion or (B) that no religion is true.

Because then the real fun begins. If we discover the one, true religion, we can direct our collective outrage at the appropriate deity. We can start asking tough questions. "Why did you let this happen? What's the point of all the suffering? Because Japan didn't worship you? Because parts of the US tolerates homosexuality? Because there are atheists? Because you missed performing genocide so much but decided another global flood was excessive?"

Or, we'll all have conclusive evidence that either no god exists or that if one does, he doesn't give a shit and no matter how much you pray, he's not listening, at least not with the intent of helping. We can all finally move on from the bullshit. We can stop offering up empty words and fooling ourselves that we've actually contributed to feeding, clothing, and sheltering those that have lost anything and everything.

But of course I offer this up in jest. Past experience shows us nothing will get done unless we do it ourselves. And deep down we all know that.

“I get letters constantly from people saying, “Oh, God will look after it.” But He never has in the past, I don’t know why they think He will in the future.”
– Bertrand Russell