Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Response to Paul Baird on Presuppositional Apologetics

PAUL BAIRD, who DEBATED SYE TENBRUGGENCATE, has posted a RESPONSE to some of my comments that can be found HERE. Up to this point, i've been a bit hesitant to be discussing this issue outside of the comment sections. Though I find this apologetic to be most consistent with the Bible, I still have a lot of reading that I would like to get done before delving into this more fully. However, I feel the necessity to address some of Paul's arguments, which I hope to do in a cautious way. My old comments will be in BOLD, with Paul's words following:

Mike, you've made many mistakes in your 'rebuttal', which is only to be expected as it's your worldview that you're seeking to defend so by definition it must be true.

Worldviews are not established in this way. That is:

X is my worldview and I am defending it; therefore, X is true.

I don't think anyone would argue in this way. And to represent Presuppositional apologetics (now referred to as "PA") in this way is to display simplistic ignorance.

If you listen to the debate again, or even read the threads on Premier, Sye again and again makes the assertion that Christianity must be true because all other worldviews must be false. He even has an entire page on his website dedicated to refuting 10 other worldviews - so that part of your rebuttal is a fail I'm afraid.

I admit to not having followed all the threads, and don't really have the time to sort through them all. Perhaps you could quote Sye if he has ever made this claim. If he has, then i'm going to have to disagree with him. But i'll leave it up to Sye to defend his position on this...if you are representing him accurately.

My position would be that if Christianity is the only worldview that can provide an objective basis for epistemology, then this would be the only true religion. After all, if no other worldview could account for the concept of "truth," then there would be no basis for truth and falsity.

Here is the challenge: we stand on our claim that without the Christian God, you can't know anything. If you have another worldview claim, bring it forward and let's discuss it.

The first part has been thoroughly debunked on the forums and the second part is irrelevant (but also debunked on the forums) - you need to prove your worldview.

The proof for my worldview is that without it, you cannot prove anything. And as long as you are unable to account for "proof," then why should I believe that your worldview is true? This was certainly discussed on the interaction with Sye, but I failed to hear anything of substance or consistency in your position.

However, did you notice what you just offered to do ? Prove your worldview by disproving mine - that would be proof of my first point don't you think ? So, fail again.

I never said such. All disproving your worldview does, in and of itself, is disprove your worldview. This comment of yours completely neglects the positive case PA makes for its position. That is, PA establishes itself apart from having to disprove any other worldview.

The Christian worldview is the only one with an epistemological foundation.

No it is not, but if you repeat that statement enough times then you might start to believe it.

I state this without detail because you already know the arguments behind this. It would be one thing for me to assert this with no previous qualification. But you know full well that my statement is backed up; even though you don't agree with the explanation.

I don't need the Laws of Logic to be absolute (note the difference between needing the laws of logic and needing them to be absolute, there is a difference) - so fail there, I don't need Morality to be absolute - so fail there

Are you absolutely sure about that? Or are you just kinda convinced that this is the case? If you don't need them to be absolute, then how do you know that you need them? Did you use the "absolute laws of logic" to determine this? Or the "relative" laws of logic?

(out of interest - name one thing that you believe is absolutely morally wrong, and remember my line of argument on this is battle hardened (Sye could't refute it and neither could David Robertson who wrote the Dawkins Letters)).

How about molesting babies for fun? Or someone raping, murdering, and eating your mother for breakfast?

So what you're left with is exactly the same as every other God seller. They make the same claims, and your claims is no more valid than anyone elses. Your parlour trick is to erect a strawman, "Ooooh, you have to use our worldview to reject our worldview"

Again, it is completely fallacious to claim that PA is "exactly the same as every other God seller." If this is not what you're claiming, then please correct me. If you can't see a stark contrast between evidentialism and PA, then i'm not sure what else I could say. Also, how is your borrowing from my worldview a strawman? Obviously, PA's realize that the atheist isn't going to admit that they are "borrowing," or else they wouldn't be atheists!

So,what am I waiting for ? The second round of the debate with Sye. Last time I was not as well prepared as I thought I was. Now I am. I've investigated this PA in depth, particularly Syes advocation of it, and I've found the holes in his argument (none of which he has been able to refute).

I will be looking forward to this. And I suppose I can't blame you for not being prepared, unless of course, you knew about Sye's position and refused to look into it. I'd also be curious to know what works of PA you've read?

Thank you for your willingness to interact.

41 comments:

Mark Hunter said...

I feel a bit embarrassed for Paul.

Anonymous said...

My position would be that if Christianity is the only worldview that can provide an objective basis for epistemology, then this would be the only true religion. After all, if no other worldview could account for the concept of "truth," then there would be no basis for truth and falsity.

Assalaamu alaykum, Mike

Only the Islamic world view as revealed to us from the Qur'an can account for the laws of logic as only the Islamic worldview is both consistent and true with the laws of the universe, as revealed to us through the Qur'an.

May, Allah be with you.

Paul Baird said...

Hi Mike.

I was hoping for some orignal lines of argument from you - something that Sye hasn't already said and which we've haven't already debunked several times already.

Unfortunately, however, I had a late nights work so I'm not in a fit shape to post the required response on my blog today, but I'll post something tomorrow.

Posting responses on our blogs seems a better way forward too.

And Mark - you're embarrassed for me ? Look up Syes favourite Shakespearean quote :-)

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the Qu'ran tell it's believers to believe the Bible?

The Apologetic Front said...

Paul, unless you're encountering a Clarkian PA or some other subgroup of PA, you aren't going to find too many new arguments or approaches.

If you've already addressed these points in detail elsewhere, I understand your not wanting to repeat yourself for the hundredth time. Thus, it is completely legitimate if you choose not to respond again. However, if you do, then i'll be happy to interact :-)

Paul Baird said...

Hi Mike - I've posted my response on my blog. Actually that may be the best way to continue this dialog with each of us responding via our own blogs.

To the anonymous poster above your comment with regards to the Koran - please do some research.

The basic argument against the Bible is in it's compilation.

http://thegrandverbalizer19.blogspot.com/2010/07/does-quran-prove-bible-is-true.html

and

http://thegrandverbalizer19.blogspot.com/2010/07/does-quran-prove-bible-is-true-part-2.html

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaykum, friends.

No, the Qur'an does not ask of us to believe in the bible, if we did, we would surely be Christians.

Only the Qur'an can account for the laws of logic as only the Qur'an is consistent and reveals the truth to us Muslims, non-muslims cannot make the same claim therefore they have no rationale foundation.

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous Muslim, could you please quote from the Qu'ran where it would directly state or implicitly imply to your statement that it can account for the laws of logic. In addition, i'd be interested to see quotations whereby Muslims have a prescriptive basis for knowing the mind of Allah and thus having an epistemological foundation.

Not being all that familiar with the Qu'ran, I can't affirm or deny what it teaches in this area. Hopefully you'll be able to point these things out in backing up your claims.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaykum, Mike

Allah has revealed the laws of logic to me through the Qur'an -- which is consistent with all things.

The Bible is not consistent with the Qur'an therefore you cannot account for the laws of logic; i.e., you have no way of knowing if you're illogical or not.

So when you talk about what the Bible says or state that it can give an epistemological foundation, you have no way of knowing this because the laws of logic have not been revealed to you through the Qur'an.

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous Muslim, again, please quote from me in the Qu'ran where these propositions are made:

1. An accounting for the laws of logic
2. That you have an epistemological foundation
3. A basis for knowing the mind of Allah.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaykum, Mike

Questions 1-3 are revealed to Muslims in the Qur'an.

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous Muslim, so you're just going to refuse to offer any quotations from the Qu'ran?

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaykum, Mike

I have answered your questions sufficiently; what you seek is in the Qur'an.

What you know of the Christian Bible; is it based off of quotes or the book as a whole?

Allah has revealed himself to us through the Qur'an -- you can't experience New York, ice cream or love through pictures, so why would you expect a piece of Allahs word to quench your thirst?

It is only through the Qur'an that we can experience and know Allah -- we can only think that we know "Allah" through other religious text -- but without an understanding of the Qur'an through which Allah reveals the laws of logic we have no foundation.

Paul Baird said...

Hi Mike - I like the anonymous Muslims responses.

As an outsider what he is doing is no different from what you and Sye are doing.

The key for all of you is that you begin with a belief - his is in Islam and you and Sye begin with PA.

Each is unshakeable.

You see, it all depends on which of you gets to sell your vision of God to savvy consumer first.

Sye TenB said...

Paul said: You see, it all depends on which of you gets to sell your vision of God to savvy consumer first.

Then why aren't you either Paul? Perhaps your position is unshakeable? Well no, you doubted your position, but then crawled back to it because you love your sin so much that you choose to deny the God you know exists.

I took the time to refute the fellow who took the Islamic perspective on the forum, and I am looking forward to taking the time to refute you AGAIN in our next debate. Of course I would prefer that you repent before then, but I am ready nonetheless.

Cheers,

Sye

The Apologetic Front said...

Paul, there is an absolute difference in what we're saying. Notice that the Muslim refuses to show us where the Qu'ran teaches what he is claiming. I asked for references several times and have gotten nothing.

I could provide dozens of Bible verses supporting my views on presuppositionalism. And if you've read anything by Bahnsen, then you'll know this to be the case.

However, I must be honest in my skepticism towards this Muslim in that I have doubts that he is actually a Muslim. And the reason I say this is because no Muslim that I have ever heard of argues in this way. All Muslim apologists that I have ever heard of are evidentialists. And there is a reason for this: the Qu'ran may have very little to say in terms of epistemology, logic, etc.

My response to you is forthcoming. My apologies for the delay.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaykum, Mike, Sye;

Mike;
I've already been over this with you; the Qur'an has all of the answers you seek.

I have no doubt that you could provide dozens of Bible verses in support of your Christian worldview, but you would have to borrow from my worldview in order to do so, as only the Muslim worldview can account for the laws of logic.

Sye;

You would be wrong, in saying that you've refuted the Islamic perspective, because you would have to borrow from MY worldview in order to do so.

The only reason you say that you've refuted the Islamic perspective is because you don't want to be held accountable for not living your life according to the Qur'an -- and you do so only because you choose to deny Allah and in your heart you know Islam to be true, but you reject it so that you can continue to follow a path that is not righteous with the Qur'an.

Sye TenB said...

Anon said: "You would be wrong, in saying that you've refuted the Islamic perspective, because you would have to borrow from MY worldview in order to do so."

Yawn. What does the Qur'an say about the Bible?

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous Muslim, now i'm almost surely convinced that you are probably an atheist acting like you're a Muslim. I hope i'm wrong, because that would be absolutely pathetic if so. And you should be ashamed of yourself.

Look. Claiming "Qu'ran or nothing" without citing specifics is a completely meaningless claim. Until you can cite one passage from the Qu'ran in support of your claim, then this conversation is over between us.

Sye TenB said...

hope i'm wrong

You're not. I can pretty much guess who it is ;-)

The Apologetic Front said...

yeah, i'm no expert on Islam, but Muslim apologists do not argue presuppositionally.

Sye TenB said...

yeah, i'm no expert on Islam, but Muslim apologists do not argue presuppositionally.

And they don't spell "Assalamu" wrong.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaykum, Mike, Sye (..again);

So, Sye, you're going to give me a lesson on how Assalaamu is really spelled? Oh, please do!

Exactly what do you want the Qur'an to say about the Bible? We (you and myself) share the same prophets; Moses, David, Jesus, etc., so is there anything specific you would like to know?

Mike, what specifics are you looking for? I've already explained to you (more than once) that the answers you're looking for are in the Qur'an.

The Apologetic Front said...

The same specifics that i'm more than willing to cite from the Bible to back up my claims. You have refused to cite anything from the Qu'ran. This tells me you have no clue what you're talking about.

And if you knew what you were talking about, you'd be able to cite specific verses in the Qu'ran which speak about the "book," or the Bible. I know they are there. But can you cite them?

Sye TenB said...

Oh, please do!

Um, I already did.

"Exactly what do you want the Qur'an to say about the Bible? We (you and myself) share the same prophets; Moses, David, Jesus, etc., so is there anything specific you would like to know?"

What does the Qur'an say about the inspiration of the Bible and whether or not it is true?

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaykum, Mike:

What specifically are you looking for?

As far as for what the Qur'an teaches us about the Bible; it's fallible because it has been corrupted by man; by influence and misinterpretation, i.e., its corrupted.

Now, what specifically are you looking for when you're asking me to cite the Qur'an? I'm not Allah, I cannot know what you're thinking unless you communicate with me.

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous, let's start with what Sye is asking:

What does the Qu'ran say about the inspiration of the Bible and whether or not it is true? Chapter and verse please.

Anonymous said...

I have already answered your question sir (what does the Qur'an say about the Bible).

Sye TenB said...

"As far as for what the Qur'an teaches us about the Bible; it's fallible because it has been corrupted by man; by influence and misinterpretation, i.e., its corrupted."

What does the Qur'an say about the Bible BEFORE it was allegedly corrupted? Who inspired the words of the Bible, and were they true?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the question you're asking (..or at least, what you want to know) but, i'll answer to the best of my ability.

Allah. It's not the words of the "Bible" or "Torah" its your interpretation of these words -- both Christians and Jews alike have broken their covenant with Allah -- both know that Allah exists but reject him because their hearts have hardened.

Sye TenB said...

@Anon,

Just to be perfectly clear, is it your position that the Bible is an earlier revelation of Allah, and that before it was corrupted it was true?

Anonymous said...

Just to be perfectly clear; only the Islamic worldview can account for logic, Christianity cannot and because this us so as has been revealed to us through the Qur'an you must borrow from MY worldview.

The Apologetic Front said...

@anonymous Muslim, unless you can start answering the direct questions that are being asked, i'm going to begin deleting your comments. The last question asked was:

Is it your position that the Bible is an earlier revelation of Allah, and that before it was corrupted it was true?

Please back up your answer with specific citations from the Qu'ran. And unless you do, i'm going to delete your comments until you can start complying.

Sye TenB said...

@Anon

Just answer the question please, I'm almost done.

Anonymous said...

Sura 5:68 (Al-Maida) - "Say: 'People of the Book (Christians and Jews), you stand for nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which is revealed to you from your Lord."

Sura 4:136 (Al-Nisa) - "0 believers, have faith in Allah and His Apostle, in the Book He has revealed to His Apostle, and in the Book He formerly revealed (Bible). He that denies Allah, His angels, His Scriptures, His apostles, and the Last Day, has strayed far from the truth."

Sura 5:48 (Al-Maida) - "And to you We have revealed the Book with the truth confirming what was revealed before it in the other Books, and standing as a guardian over it."

Does that answer your questions sufficiently or will you still deny that you believe in Allah but you choose to reject him so that you can continue on your sinful worldview that is a perversion of Allah's true word?

Sye TenB said...

@Anon,

Okay, so according to the Qur'an the Bible is a previous revelation of Allah. Now, what does the Qur'an say about whether or not the words of Allah can be corrupted as you claim they have been?

(See Surahs 6:34, 6:115, 10:64, 18:27)

Anonymous said...

Since you can't account for the laws of logic you cannot jump ahead and offer critique on my worldview.

Sye TenB said...

Anon said: "Since you can't account for the laws of logic you cannot jump ahead and offer critique on my worldview."

Who's critiquing? I just asked you a few questions.

Looks like it's over though.

Cheers,

Sye

Anonymous said...

Why would you want to know what the Qur'an says about The Bible unless you plan on applying that internal critique of my worldview ('others world views as both you and mike put it)?

Only the Islamic worldview can account for the laws of logic. Therefore, Islam is true and Christianity is a false worldview.

Its far from over. You can continue on denying the Glory of Allah whom you know is God and you'll only have Allah to answer to come judgement day.

Anonymous said...

Mike, Sye, Paul or Muslim dude -- you're all welcomed to continue the argument here if you'd like --

Sye's argument is already being discussed..

http://www.yelp.com/topic/los-angeles-proof-that-god-exist

Sye TenB said...

Anon said: "Why would you want to know what the Qur'an says about The Bible unless you plan on applying that internal critique of my worldview"

Actually I don't need to apply anything. You've done all the work for me.

Thanks