Reply To: Presuppositional Apologetics


Well, I didn’t see an introductions thread, so I figured a thread that is more than five months old is as good a place to start as any!

I’ve been meaning to join Liberty Classroom for some time now, and Dr. Woods 60% off deal was enough to lure me in.

I’ve spent quite a few hours studying the presuppositional argument, or “TAG”. I am intrigued by these sorts of arguments for the existence of God. I’ve also studied other arguments for the existence of God at some length. If nothing more, it’s rather fun to think about.

Some problems I have with TAG.

Firstly, to say that the laws of logic are either immaterial or material is to create a false dichotomy. So, the laws of logic are immaterial? Fine then, please tell me what they are.

Secondly, to say that the laws of logic “exist” is to commit the fallacy of reification. The laws of logic do not exist “out there”, but the objects the laws of logic refer to certainly do. It seems to me that those who argue TAG would rather focus on the concept rather than the referent.

I think Dr. Casey is ultimately right that, when the believer uses this line of reasoning, it creates a gap between the believer and the unbeliever that is unbridgeable. Here is what my mind has come up with in regard to TAG. The believer ultimately thinks that the universe, and all of the laws that govern it, like the laws of logic, physics, etc. must have a prescription, and God is that Grand Prescriber. The unbeliever thinks that the laws of the the universe merely describe how the universe works, and these law do not require a Grand Prescriber.

A person who uses the presuppositional argument often states that the unbeliever must borrow from the believer’s world view to even have a coherent argument. They claim that if not for God, words would not even hold the same meaning from one second to the next. As you can imagine, it can be rather frustrating arguing against TAG when the believer takes this path.

The dichotomy between prescription/description is the fundamental divide between the believer, and the unbeliever. Again, Dr. Casey is right that these arguments are often argued by the deaf.

Myself, if I’m anything, I’m a Spinozan Deist. I just can’t seem to muster the faith that it takes to get me the rest of the way. And, I think that’s what it ultimately comes down to; faith. There’s, nothing wrong with that in my opinion, it’s part of the human experience.