Monday, March 26, 2012

Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Seven

Today is March 26, 2012, which means: another anniversary of Incinerating Presuppositionalism has been reached. That’s right, another milestone has been achieved.

The past year has signaled a most momentous transition for me. I moved with my then three-year-old daughter to Thailand from the United States in May 2011, started a new position, and have sought to live as a functionally single parent in a foreign country (where I do not speak the language). It’s been the experience and challenge of a lifetime. My lasting as long as I have – with my daughter reaching her fourth birthday, completing her first year of kindergarten, and developing as an exceptionally gifted child (albeit, with my special help) – is not a miracle, but a testament to my dedication and perseverance as a civilized human being and my ability as a father. Indeed, I’m not the kind of parent who’s about to stand idly by and let his child be abducted, tortured and executed by a bunch of lawbreakers and miscreants. Nope, unlike the Christian god, I’ll protect my child till my last breath!

In the meantime, I have continued with my blog, and have published the following entries since my blog’s last anniversary, the same time last year:

250. Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Six – March 26, 2011

251. Imagine There’s a Heaven - April 29, 2011

252. The Argument from the Unity of Knowledge - May 25, 2011

253. Considering Tony’s Offerings - June 2, 2011

254. A Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist - July 15, 2011

255. Nide’s Snide - July 22, 2011

256. Presuppositionalism vs. Objectivism: How Objectivism Prevails - August 2, 2011

257. Five Years and Still Waiting… - August 12, 2011

258. STB: One Year and Still Waiting… - August 27, 2011

259. Answering Nide’s Questions about the Uniformity of Nature - September 6, 2011

260. Strange Bedfellows? - October 3, 2011

261. George H. Smith’s “Atheism: The Case Against God” – Online – Free PDF - October 16, 2011

262. Has the Primacy of Existence Been Refuted? - October 27, 2011

263. A Reply to Dustin Seger’s Dismantled Blog Entry on Objectivism - November 1, 2011

264. Cognitive Reliability vs. Supernatural Deception - November 21, 2011

265. Christianity’s Sanction of Evil - December 1, 2011

266. Christianity’s Psychological Price Tag - December 4, 2011

267. Some Thoughts on the “Sensus Divinitatis” - December 6, 2011

268. A Reply to Michael: Further Thoughts on the Issue of Supernatural Deception - December 10, 2011

269. Are the Laws of Logic “Thoughts” of the Christian God? - January 1, 2012

270. Reaction to My Critique of Anderson and Welty’s “The Lord of Non-Contradiction” - February 25, 2012

271. Nide’s 15 - March 6, 2012

272. Can a Worldview “Provide” the “Preconditions of Intelligibility”? - Part I - March 16, 2012

273. Can a Worldview “Provide” the “Preconditions of Intelligibility”? - Part II - March 17, 2012

274. Can a Worldview “Provide” the “Preconditions of Intelligibility”? - Part III - March 20, 2012

275. The Self-Attesting Absurdity of the Christian Worldview - March 22, 2012

Highlights from the past year include (not to mention being evacuated from a flooded Bangkok in the fall of 2011!):
- a most historic pwning of Dustin Segers in his fault-ridden attempt to refute the primacy of existence;
- two posts interacting with James Anderson and Greg Welty’s paper The Lord of Non-Contradiction, found here and here;
- and a three-part analysis of the presuppositionalist claim that the Christian worldview “provides” the necessary preconditions for intelligibility, found here, here, and here.
So there’s a lot here to sink your teeth into. So get busy – start reading, start digesting, start thinking. Consider the points I raise, and formulate your own view. Perhaps I’m wrong. If so, discover why. Perhaps I’m right. If so, understand why. In the meantime, I will do my best, given my haphazard and very full schedule, to keep up with my blog and carry it to its eighth anniversary.

by Dawson Bethrick

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Self-Attesting Absurdity of the Christian Worldview

Over the past week, I presented a three-part series exploring the common presuppositionalist claim that the “Christian worldview” is the “only worldview” which “provides” the necessary preconditions for intelligibility. My investigation of this claim, which can be found here, here and here, demonstrates why this claim simply cannot be true.

But in spite of giving the matter more careful and systematic attention than presuppositionalists themselves typically devote to their own talking points, this demonstration – and more importantly, just the idea of taking a critical look at such a claim – will likely be ignored by apologists.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Can a Worldview “Provide” the “Preconditions of Intelligibility”? - Part III

What Are the Preconditions of Intelligibility?
If intelligibility is the capacity of some thing to be an object of awareness and be identified and integrated into the sum of one’s knowledge without contradiction, then what can we say about the preconditions of this ability?

I would wager that we can say quite a bit, and everything we can say about them – it will be seen – vies against the presuppositionalist claim that the Christian worldview “provides the necessary preconditions for intelligibility.”

But let’s ask the question: what is needed for a thing to be an object of awareness and be identified and integrated into the sum of one’s knowledge without contradiction?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Can a *Worldview* “Provide” the “Preconditions of Intelligibility”? - Part II

What is “Intelligibility”?

In my initial post in this series, we saw that it is common for presuppositionalists to assume that a worldview is what “provides the necessary preconditions for intelligibility.” By ‘worldview’ presuppositionalists explicitly mean “a network... of beliefs,” and it has even been stated that “beliefs are preconditions for intelligible experience” (see here).

This is not an isolated example. Indeed, I gave several other examples in my previous entry on this topic, and here are yet two more:
TAG [i.e., the “transcendental argument for the existence of God”] asserts that only the Christian worldview provides the necessary preconditions for the intelligibility of human experience. (Michael Butler, TAG vs. TANG)
Van Til contended that the Christian worldview supplies the preconditions of intelligibility. (Steve Hays, Theonomy under fire-2)
Logically this all means that “a network.. of beliefs” – i.e., a worldview - is the source of the necessary preconditions of intelligibility.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Can a *Worldview* "Provide" the "Preconditions of Intelligibility"? - Part I

One of the more commonly met elements of presuppositionalism is the assumption that a worldview can “provide the necessary preconditions of intelligibility.” From what I have seen, this assumption in itself is never defended. Presuppositionalists typically do not present arguments for why one should expect that a worldview as such (regardless of the particulars of that worldview) “provides the necessary preconditions of intelligibility.” The assumption that “the necessary preconditions of intelligibility” are “provided” by a worldview is generally taken completely for granted by presuppositionalists, and I’ve never seen an argument which establishes this premise.

Rather, it is typically embedded into the presuppositionalist characterization of the antithesis between Christian theism and any acknowledged contenders, as though it required no substantiation whatsoever. This in itself is noteworthy since presuppositional apologists commonly seek to make a worldview’s ability to “provide the preconditions of intelligibility” the fulcrum upon which the debate between Christianity and any non-Christian position hinges.

In this series, I will argue that at least some (indeed, the most fundamental) preconditions of intelligibility are actually not provided by any worldview. The position which I will defend is the view that those preconditions in question would already need to be in place for any worldview to exist in the first place. Moreover, I will argue that in the case of those preconditions for intelligibility which a worldview should supply, Christianity as a worldview comes up far too short to be seriously considered as their source.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Nide's 15

Christian apologist in-the-making Nide Corniell, who blogs and comments under the pseudonym “Hezekiah Ahaz,” continues to insist on playing the court jester. I recently posed 15 questions for Nide to consider (in the comments section of this blog), and he addressed them in his usual evasive and tirelessly adolescent manner (see here.)

Most of these are questions that I had posed to Nide earlier in our comment discussion but which he had resisted answering. Now we have his answers. Let’s take a look and see what he says.