I recently wrote an article addressing Presupposition. You can find it by clicking the link.
I then went on my merry way and wrote about other things.
Today, a Christian apologist who I’ve pleasantly exchanged many comments with commented on my post while I was at work.
I work in the social service field, and sometimes I have to work long, mentally draining hours, although I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else. The people I work with are some of the most amazing and inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. They show me every day what it means to have strength in the face of adversity.
But I digress.
I really think I did a fairly good job of refuting presupposition apologetic in my original post. I think it’s based on a false presupposition that offers no way to differentiate between the truth claims of one religion over the other. Long story short, this sort of apologetic presupposes that Christianity is correct and that any way of looking at the world other than through the lens of Christianity is automatically ‘sinful in his mind’.
I don’t know what else to really say about that.
Anyhow, after this gentleman was kind enough to leave a comment, I told him that I was texting a reply and that since we’d already had a lengthy discussion on the topic, I would wait and see if anyone else commented on his comment.
So here I am after a short nap on my couch thinking of what I want to tackle on my blog. Am I in the mood for a heavier topic or a light one? Happy, sad, humorous?
It’s totally up in the air.
To my surprise, I’m notified by WordPress’ magical notification window that someone had linked to my blog. Intrigued, I went to look and saw it was the Christian apologist throwing down a digital gauntlet.
So here is what he said in response to my blog post about presupposition and my response:
It’s astounding how quickly atheists dismiss presuppositions. Even if you don’t make a categorical assertion that “no god” exists, everyone has something that they presuppose. Some presuppositions *project* while others don’t. I acknowledge that some who employ this particular methodology don’t truly understand the implicit strengths or weaknesses.
Not sure why it matter if everyone presupposes something. I was talking about your erroneous presupposition that Christianity is automatically true and the dismissal of every other religious claim that theirs is true. I’m pretty sure I understand the strengths and weaknesses of this argument and I already addressed them. I think this type of reasoning is mostly full of weakness.
Some of the comments even go so far as dismissing the method because words like *epistemology* are used. This is a trite objection; and while some Christians/Atheists might not know what the word means it does not follow that one should be dismissive of the implicatures of certain presuppositions.
I agree with you in a way.
However, my Nan used to say that if someone didn’t understand your message, the problem isn’t in the receiver but in the sender. Honestly, people don’t want to engage with someone who uses million dollar words all of the time. They want to engage with someone they can understand.
For example, Stephen Hawking could talk using million dollar words and equations all day, but his message wouldn’t be received by anyone besides other physicists. One big reason he’s so well known is because he brings science to the layperson. He makes science understandable. In my opinion, you seem to fail at this in a big way.
Let me demonstrate by using your own words in your original comment:
The project of presupppositional apologetics is to ascertain whether the entailments of any particular view (including the Christian view) follow without contradiction. This is why the Christian considers the Christian God to be the necessary precondition of intelligibilty. Properly speaking a coherent worldview is a “proof”.
Okay, I think most people (including myself) would be following happily along up to this point. So far, you have not answered why the Christian God is needed for intelligibility, or why this deity is required for intelligibility, or why you’re wasting your time talking to the unintelligible, because I certainly don’t believe in this god. You have also not answered why the Christian worldview is coherent or even more coherent than other religious and non-religious worldviews.
Moving along to the million dollar word stuff:
Let me provide you with an example, if you presuppose the rationality of laws of logic (and)
1. Laws of logic are immaterial
2. Laws of logic are invariant
3. Laws of logic are universal
Can you account for (1,2,3) in your worldview? I am not asking if you use laws of logic, you have presented yourself as rational and thoughtful. I am asking you to examine your presuppositions and assess whether laws of logic can be coherent is a reductionist, materialist worldview? Are these laws a priori? If so, how can this be if on empiricist presuppositions one must experience the laws of logic before appropriating them?
Any time a presuppostion is found to be implicitly or explicitly contradictory, reason would tell us that the proposition entailed by the presupposition must be false by way of negation. I wrote an article about presuppostions and projection that details the entailments and the operators that are involved in determining whether presuppositions project. I would welcome thougthful exchange on this topic, however if the degenerates into certain people calling me a dickhead, my interest will wane.
I hate to break it to you, but you lost me (in an eyes glazing over sort of way) right around the ‘let me provide you with an answer’ part. I understand what you’re saying, but I doubt anyone in their right mind wants to sit around and engage that. It’s a bunch of questions with no answers.
So no, I don’t think anyone has mailed it in. I think you’re failing at making yourself intelligible. I think you’ve failed to even come close to explaining why your assertions, Christianity, your deity or your apologetic should be taken seriously.
Don’t get me wrong, I think you’re a hell of a smart guy. I think you cloak your message in important sounding words, which make it difficult to pick apart or engage in any serious manner. Most people just don’t have the time to sift through such literary wreckage. If you could say what you’re trying to say in plain English, I really think you’d have more people willing to engage you in conversation.
However, I think it plain to anyone reading this that I don’t view non-engagement as a ‘mailing in’. Perhaps they didn’t notice your comment. The article is a few days old. Perhaps they felt like they already said all they had to say on the subject. Perhaps they didn’t feel like engaging or were unable to at the time. Perhaps they didn’t want to sift through the verbiage.
I don’t know. There are other possibilities other than ‘mailing it in’. It really boils down to what I said in my last post – with evidence, there would be no need for apologetic. And like I said, I think I already exhausted what I had to say on the topic in my fairly lengthy blog post about it.
But don’t take my word for it. After all, my fallen nature prevents me from seeing the truth. *wink*