Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Testimonies of a Former Presuppositionalist

The comments of Sean Choi, AKA the metaphysician, on this blog, are very interesting.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If I may, I would like to post these two paragraphs by Sean on the Secular Outpost with some questions. Maybe he could address my inquiries.

Sean said, "At this point the atheist (or anyone else) could rightly ask: But why think that? And note that the above answer seems to presuppose (!) that his vantilian TA successfully accomplishes what it sets out to do: to show that only under Christian theism does uniformity of nature, logic, morality, etc. make sense.

So, whether Bahnsen's model of self-deception actually is applicable to professed atheists crucially depends on the prior question of whether his TA is successful. I think that it is not."


But is it necessary to based the NA thesis on an 'all-powerful' TA or was this just Bahnsen? Why would one need to base the NA thesis on the supposed 'silver bullet' of a TA?

I do not hold that the TA is a silver bullet, but it seems this claim (NA thesis) could be established by one's interpretation of Scripture and/or based upon a cumulative argumentative scheme. Now I know that the NA thesis being solely based upon Scripture would not be convincing to an atheist as they don't accept the Bible, but it would seem useful (if that's already your interpretation of Scripture) in a type of worldview apologetic to keep *some* atheists from averting the burden of proof.

the metaphysician said...

Anonymous:

"But is it necessary to based the NA thesis on an 'all-powerful' TA or was this just Bahnsen? Why would one need to base the NA thesis on the supposed 'silver bullet' of a TA?"

Good point. I guess in principle one doesn't need to base the NA thesis on a silver bullet TA. But one would need pretty strong evidence that, e.g. when an atheist assumes the uniformity of nature, that he thereby betrays (and acts inconsistently with respect to) his espoused belief in atheism.

But my point still holds for someone like Bahnsen, who seem to base the NA thesis on the prior success of TAG.

"I do not hold that the TA is a silver bullet, but it seems this claim (NA thesis) could be established by one's interpretation of Scripture and/or based upon a cumulative argumentative scheme. Now I know that the NA thesis being solely based upon Scripture would not be convincing to an atheist as they don't accept the Bible, but it would seem useful (if that's already your interpretation of Scripture) in a type of worldview apologetic to keep *some* atheists from averting the burden of proof."

I guess this would all depend on the question of whom one is seeking to estalish such a claim to. If there is a good scriptural case to be made for the NA thesis, then I guess the believer would be in a position to know that that thesis is true. But it is a completely different matter if the question concerns showing an unbeliever that that thesis is true. Then I think that one would need an argument (or arguments) that doesn't make an explicit reference to scripture in order for it to be useful as an apologetic argument.