Saturday, May 21, 2022

Apparently I don't have the right...

Cornelius Van Til writes:
No human being can explain in the sense of seeing through all things, but only he who believes in God has the right to hold that there is an explanation at all. (Why I Believe in God, emphasis added)

Really?

10 comments:

Robert Kidd said...

Hi Dawson,

Wow, who knew that simply believing in something gives one such power. Who needs reason and logic?

Bahnsen Burner said...

Hi Robert,

It’s the self-appointed privilege that comes adopting a form of mysticism. If you don’t adopt it as well, then you don’t have a right to the contents of your own consciousness. And if you do adopt it, then all your explanations reduce to “God did it.” So either way, reason and logic cannot apply because they have no function to perform.

But here’s the thing: Apologists, in particular the Vantillian type, are constantly asking non-believers “How do you account for [X]” questions. Such questions performatively grant that those being asked may in fact hold that there is an explanation for the point in question. But this action hardly coheres with the view that non-believers do not have “the right to hold that there is an explanation at all.” If I’m not allowed to hold that there are any explanations, why ask me to cough one up?

It's just another example of an internally disintegrated worldview.

Regards,
Dawson

Jason mc said...

So on Van Til's view "explanation", in one sense, entails "seeing through all things" i.e. omniscience, a divine attribute. Only a theist can, logically, believe in the possibility of an explanation of this sort, sure. Why would anyone need to believe in this sort of explanation, the sort beyond the reach of mere mortals? This seems to be assumed in the essay.

Robert Kidd said...

Thank you, Dawson.

And of course, the Bible is an excellent source for learning about individual rights. The Bible defines what a right is and how it can be discovered and validated objectively. OH, wait. It doesn't. I was
listening to a preacher on the radio earlier today because there was nothing else to listen to in the car and he was using the Websters Dictionary for a definition. But according to Erik Hovind, if you have to go outside your worldview for definitions then your worldview is inadequate.

I think I have finally figured out why they hold us in such contempt: They hate us because we are not afraid to do what they fear the most, which is to think and act on our own judgment. I used to think it was all about the fear of death that drove people to believe in gods. But now I think that while that is certainly part of the reason, the primary reason is this fear of thinking for themselves because if they are wrong, they are responsible. So they are profound second handers. After all thinking you can think for yourself is "hauty pride". It's hatred of the good for being the good. They see someone who is confident in his mind and they feel compelled to smash that confidence because they are not at all confident. That's what I think anyway.

On a side note I asked your question to a theist a while back about how we could reliable distinguish between God and something that he is merely imagining and something astonishing happened. He said that I probably couldn't.

Thanks again,

Robert Kidd

Ydemoc said...

Hey Dawson,

I was going to mention something about how nice it would've been for Cornelius Van Til to explain in detail what rights are, where they come from, and why we need them, but I see that Robert Kidd beat me to it!

Thanks for the entry!

Ydemoc

Robert Kidd said...

Hey Ydemoc,

I just wanted to tell you that I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments over the years.

Robert Kidd

Ydemoc said...

Thanks, Robert!

I'm glad you enjoyed my contributions! It sure got crazy at times back in the day, especially responding to Nide, AKA "Trinity," and all of that nonsense. But it was fun, too.

I wish I could contribute like I used to, but I seem to have little time to do so. However, I continue to enjoy every new entry Dawson publishes, as well as the commentary from you and others.

Thanks again!

Ydemoc

Robert Kidd said...

Yeah, I miss those days when theists would try to come here and criticize Dawson's essays. I think they have finally given up trying. Dawson can now deconstruct theism with impunity. He's reached the rarified ground and he deserves it. And many of his critics are no more, such as Sye Ten and Segers.

Aren't we always hearing about the importance of "standing the test of time"? Well, Dawson has outlasted them all.

I understand about limited time. My job as a woodworker keeps me hopping from the time I wake up till I go to bed but it also affords me a lot
of time to think and analyze ideas but not much to interact with others.

Dawson, if you ever find the time it would be really interesting to read your analysis interacting with some of the exchanges between presuppositionalists calling into the Atheist Experience show and some of their other shows such as Talk Heathen. The hosts of both shows have had some pretty heated exchanges with presuppers but they are hampered a great deal by their skepticism. They just can't bring themselves to recognize That axiomatic concepts don't need to be proven nor will they ever claim any certainty about anything.

Here's an example for those interested: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=7q63OKEOFVs

Good night,

Robert Kidd

Robert Kidd said...

Oh, and I wanted to add that Matt Dillahunty and some of the other hosts think that the senses are unreliable and that is why they have a problem with self-evident truths. One day when I have time I'd like to call into the show and talk with Matt about this.

Good night,

Robert

Jason mc said...

I miss the old debate days too. If any of us converts, they gotta come back and argue in the comments again.