Tuesday, February 22, 2022

An Examination of Van Til’s "Argument from the Uniformity of Nature"

A typical strategy of presuppositionalism is to focus on some area of philosophy which has historically been surrounded by controversy – a “problem” of philosophy in which consensus has historically been elusive and debate continuously ever-raging – and proclaim that the controversy is neutralized by adopting a specific brand of theism. It does not seem to matter to apologists that such a move does nothing to increase our understanding of the problem in question or that it invites yet new problems which apologists cannot resolve. This is because solving the problem was never their actual goal in the first place. On the contrary, their goal is to convince themselves of the alleged truth of their self-imposed delusion and to bamboozle as many unwitting sideliners as possible. This assessment is only confirmed by the fact that, even when the defects of their theistic “solution” to such philosophical quandaries are pointed out, apologists will continue on as though their defenses were entirely tenable. 

The appeal to ignorance underlying such a strategy should not be difficult to detect. Instead of pointing to empirical evidence demonstrating the existence of supernatural beings (e.g., prayer fulfillment, curing diseases by “laying on of hands,” restoration of amputated limbs, resuscitation of decedents, in-person meetings with angels – or the risen Jesus for that matter, etc.), apologists seek to put non-believers on the spot to “account for” some fundamental recognition about reality and articulate full-blown philosophical explanations solving some centuries-old debate found only in the hallowed chambers of academia. Wouldn’t it be most ironic if the ignorance which such apologetic strategies are purportedly aimed at exposing and exploiting actually haunts the proponents of those strategies in the first place?