Given the title of this post, I thought I’d submit my comments in response to this. In my comments, I had raised the criticism that, according to the illustration which Bolt published, non-Christian philosophies were being grouped together by a trivial, non-essential characteristic, namely “ultimate commitment to human [independence] from God.” In fact, I dispute the claim that non-Christian worldviews could reasonably be characterized as founded upon or motivated by an “ultimate commitment to human [independence] from God.” I gave my reasons for this in my exchange with Chris Bolt, which spilled into subsequent blogs which he posted in response to my comments (see here and here). Chris of course sought to defend the division which his illustration portrays, but seems to have had difficulty answering the points I raised against it.
In his post Bahnsen Burner’s Presuppositional Apologetic for Objectivism, Part 1, Chris made the following comment:
There are only so many ultimate questions available to any worldview with a finite number of “possible” answers.
So to encourage further interaction between ourselves, I proposed a few of my own “ultimate questions” for Chris to consider in a comment which I posted on April 1. The first two questions are:
1) What is your starting point? and
2) What is the proper orientation between the subject of consciousness and its objects?
With respect to my second question, many thinkers (perhaps most?) do not seem to understand what it is asking right off the bat. My question is intended to allow a thinker to reveal his position with regards to metaphysical primacy, i.e., the relationship between consciousness and its objects. In fact, however, this is such a fundamental concern that most thinkers do not even recognize it as an issue, let alone explore it, and pass it over in their haste to pontificate on higher-level matters. So I proposed three additional questions to help Chris and anyone else who might want to consider them:
3) Are you conscious? (yes or no)
4) If you are conscious, are you conscious of any objects? (yes or no)
5) If you are conscious of any objects, what is the relationship between yourself as a subject of consciousness, and any object(s) of which you are conscious?
Now with respect to question 5), I can understand that this may be new territory for many thinkers. But it focuses on the most fundamental issue in all philosophy. The answer which a worldview gives to this question determines whether it is objective or subjective, rational or irrational, suitable for man’s life on earth, or unsuitable. Of course, once one does answer this question when he finally does consider it, it remains to be seen whether or not the views he endorses are consistent with the answer that he gives.
Perhaps I’m just naïve, but I was really hoping that Chris would take a few moments and consider these questions, and post his answers to them. After all, as he himself points out, there are only so many ultimate questions one can ask, and only a finite number of possible answers. My questions are intended to penetrate to the very core of one’s worldview, to the most fundamental level of one’s “presuppositions.” I would think that presuppositionalist apologists would relish questions of this nature. It’s been nearly a month now since I posed my questions to Chris. Perhaps he’s still thinking about them.
by Dawson Bethrick