Saturday, February 03, 2024

Concepts and Induction

Years ago I was in correspondence with a Christian apologist who presupposed that Christianity and only Christianity could solve the problem of induction. There were many Christians at one time who actually believed this. Perhaps some still do.

This apologist carefully demonstrated how a number of prominent academic treatments of the matter missed the mark, sometimes by wide margin, when it came to providing a justification for inductive presuppositions. The apologist of course claimed that the existence of a universe-creating deity which actively “ordains and sustains” the “created order” provides the rational justification which secular scholars could only miss due to their chronic “unbelief.”

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Answering Objections to my ‘Horse’s Mouth’ Collection

A commenter posting under the name “Jim” recently left reaction to my 2005 entry From the Horse's Mouth: Apologists Shooting Themselves in the Foot, asserting that I’m “being intellectually dishonest” in the “list of quotes” that I present in that entry. Jim called out three quotes and chastised me for my own comments on those quotes.

Given that Jim’s blogger profile indicates that he’s been on Blogger since 2024 and his comment was posted on the morning January 1, 2024, one might surmise that he created his account expressly to post his comment on my blog. I just found that curious.

Below I will consider Jim’s objections in order so that we can see how well they hold up.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Bahnsen’s “tremendous philosophical mistake”

Presuppositionalists love to tout the debate between Greg Bahnsen and Gordon Stein. In apologetic circles, it is commonly believed that Bahnsen got that evil atheist Stein real good, and no atheist thinker can really be capable of crawling back from that public whipping.

Of course, such evaluations are quite superficial and self-serving, and they willingly ignore many striking deficiencies in Bahnsen’s presentation (see for example here, here, here and here).

However, what’s curious is that apologists do not tend to point to Bahnsen’s discussion with George H. Smith, author of Atheism: The Case Against God.

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

Anderson’s Anti-Epistemological Argument Against Naturalism

Recently Christian apologist James Anderson recently published An Epistemological Argument Against Naturalism. Readers are encouraged to take a look for themselves.

There is much that I could provide in response to what Anderson presents there, but along with some comments about Anderson’s overall approach to the matter, I’m going to confine my present objections to two primary areas. In my estimate, the objections I will present below are sufficient to refute this argument beyond recovery. (Mind you, in doing so, I am not attempting to defend “Naturalism” as a worldview, for no version of Naturalism that I have looked at addresses the fundamental philosophical needs which Objectivism addresses.)

If, after reading through what I have to say here, readers still have further questions on Anderson’s argument, feel free to post a comment. Reader feedback is always welcome.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Visitor Questions on Jeff Durbin and Formal Debates with Apologists

A visitor to this blog recently left a question in the comments of this entry and I thought I’d share it in a dedicated post in case other readers had some insights to offer. Readers are invited to post any thoughts in the comments.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Jason Lisle on Sensory Experience and Epistemology

Nearly a decade ago now on this blog I interacted with writings by one Dr. Jason Lisle, a Christian astrophysicist who operates the Biblical Science Institute which, according to its own about page, is a “creation-themed science ministry” which “exists to help you rationally defend the Christian worldview against those who claim that the Bible is unscientific.” Now who could possibly make such a claim as that? Lisle is a proponent of presuppositionalism, and my past interactions with can be found here, here, here and here.

I recently came upon a blog entry by Lisle in which he makes some comments about sensory experience, a topic I explored in my previous entry. My 2014 posts which I linked to above themselves contain links to Lisle’s old blog; those links seem not to work any more – my machine gives me warnings when I click on them, so I’d suggest not trying to visit them. Lisle seems to have moved his blog to his “institute” website. The present entry I found is here: How do I Know that I Know? – a Response (Part 1).

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Do the Senses "Distort"?

Some time back I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine. Our discussion started touching on philosophical topics and it was clear on the surface, at least up to a point, that my colleague agreed with my points about foundational principles and the need to govern our reasoning by facts and to steer our inferences by rational principles. He expressed strong agreement with these points, but suddenly made the remark in passing, “Yes, the senses do distort, but…”

There I stopped him and asked him to explain this. He seemed taken aback by my challenge, as though it were self-evident that the senses “distort,” as though the recognition that the senses “distort” were unimpeachably true. After querying him on this assumption, it started to become clear that he really did not have an argument for this premise, but he also did not demonstrate any willingness to reconsider it.