I suppose it was that "made in the image of God" thing (which Paul directly denies but indirectly affirms) that made Paul realize that such a response was disrespectful. Therefore, Paul decided to not "give up" on what did not "warrant a response" (per his own words) by taking a STAB at my rebuttal. Though Paul didn't respond to all of what I said, he at least provided some insights on his "expertise" in the matter since he's, "been a single father, taking a two year sabbatical, raising children from under 5 into their teens, so I know just a little bit about child development, and Mike's analysis is so naive as to not warrant a response."
I'm going to ignore some of his insulting words and respond only to what he said of substance. But feel free to read his response for YOURSELF to get the full context.
First Paul cites from a PAPER to highlight the following:
Deductive reasoning involves making inferences on the basis of some given premises. Making logical inferences is one of the key components of advanced thinking in humans. In fact, it could be argued that the ability to make inferences whose truth value depends entirely on the supposed truth of given, and possibly arbitrary, premises is one of the clearest examples of a cognitive capacity that differentiates human from nonhuman species. The distinctiveness of the processes involved in logical reasoning is sufficiently striking to have prompted some researchers to suppose that inference rules may have been biologically built into the human cognitive architecture (Braine, 1978; Cohen, 1981; MacNamara, 1986). However, while human reasoners often show the ability to make logical deductions in the classic sense, studies on reasoning also clearly show that inferential performance can also be highly variable and subject to a variety of influences. One of the major challenges of any theory of reasoning is to account for both the capacity to make inferences that are logically valid and at the same time to explain variation in reasoning performance due to both developmental and situational variables. While many forms of reasoning exist, one in particular, conditional reasoning, has been studied enough both in adults and developmentally to provide a set of empirical results substantial enough to provide a serious test for any theory of reasoning.Paul cites this portion in order to ask the following:
"How does Presuppositional Apologetics deal with that variation?"If I understand the cited portion correctly, the author is asking why some people reason in an underdeveloped manner verses one who is mature in their reasoning capabilities? The first problem is that of sin and how it darkens the mind to think sinfully and irrationally:
“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” (Ephesians 4:17-18)While it is true that humans who come into this world are made in the image of God and able to think as God thinks, their minds are darkened by sin because they are a son of Adam. So only in this sense is there a need for child development. When Adam and Eve came into the world, they weren't provided with courses in philosophy and formal logic. Instead, they were without sin and held the fullest potential in thinking rationally.
But how do Christians deal with variation? We, "bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4) by teaching them that in Christ, "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," and, "YHWH gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6) Thus, the Christian has a reason for expecting his or her children to reason logically:
1. They are made in God's image
2. Having trustworthy reasoning faculties requires the truth of God's Word.Can Paul provide a basis by which children should be expected to reason logically? On what basis could Paul tell his kids, "Let me show you why X is logical and Y is not." Is it because Paul says so? What if his kids ask, "Daddy, how do I know that your reasoning process is right? Why can't I just come up with my own reasoning process?" Would Paul answer, "Well, its because this is what your daddy learned in school and its what my dad taught me to do as well, just as I am teaching you." But this assumes that Paul's Father as well as his school system reasons logically. The regress could be pushed as far back as one could go, to the very first humans who began to reason about reality.
If proper reasoning is dependent upon what one's father or school system has taught them, then it would have to assume the proper reasoning abilities of the one who first decided to reason and impart his knowledge to others.
Another problem would be in the development of logic itself. Were those first humans able to develop a perfectly valid logical system from the outset? Or did logic develop? And how does Paul know that the logic he uses is in the correct stage of development? If Paul thinks that such is absurd to suggest, would not the first proponents of reason think that their stage of logical development is the correct and final stage? And this is the problem; every human who reasoned assumed the reliability of his reasoning faculties. But they did so without basis, just as Paul does and teaches his kids to do the same.
One could go on and on with the problems in Paul's child development epistemology, but the conclusion is this: neither Paul or his kids know that their reasoning faculties are truthful and produce reliable results about reality. Instead, they arbitrarily assume these things. Even Paul's children; though Paul may think that they are ignorant about all things philosophical in early stages of development, they have to assume their own reasoning faculties in order to interpret their Father's epistemological conclusions about reality. And the question I have for Paul is this: how and why do children assume their reasoning faculties from the outset?
My point was that reasoning does have situational and developmental influences, as well as logic, and to move on from there to state that this shows that the absence of logic from some decision making and reasoning processes highlighted an issue with the Presuppositional Apologetic in that if logic was evidence of, or a gift from, God then why did humans not use it all of the time?I've already answered this, and Paul should know better anyway if he has had so many discussions with Sye. Humans do not use logic all the time because of their sinful state, as the Bible clearly articulates. As I highlighted above, the idea of developmental logic is an epistemological mess for the atheist.
Piaget's theory of cognitive development also undermines the Presuppositional Apologetic in that it confirms the sceptics view of the justification for the basis of logic in humans.But what is it that is actually justified? That humans will reason in accordance with what their parents teach them as well as their schools? Such says absolutely nothing as to whether one's reasoning is truthful. In addition, such is arbitrary in that Paul would have no basis in disagreeing with the system of learning that one would have in being raised and educated in a Christian home. After all, its what their parents have taught. And if what parents and educated determines truth, then why would Paul be disagreeing with it? Its as if Paul thinks that this developmental theory actually determines the truthfulness of one's reasoning process.
Logic is not a God given set of laws that a human intuitively knows because they were created in God's image.And Paul knows this how? Again, i'm amazed at the closed-mindedness and assurance of a self-proclaimed "free thinker." I'd like to ask Paul the following: is it possible that, if God exists, he can enable man to reason like Him in virtue of being created in His image? If its not possible, then i'd like to hear how Paul knows this.
Logic and reasoning are learned as the baby grows into a child and then an adult. Indeed there are recognised developmental stages.This is certainly true as far as it goes (since man is sinful and must be pointed to Christ to have a trustworthy epistemology), but it doesn't answer the question: how does Paul know that the logic and reasoning he has learned is correct and trustworthy? And how can Paul explain the phenomena that children all around the world, even in societies separated from modern philosophical thought, able to reason like everyone else? Why is it that those in a secluded country like North Korea reason like those in the U.S.? And if they did live consistently with a hopelessly irrational worldview, then on what basis could Paul call their reasoning process right or wrong? At the most, he could only describe them as "different." They would simply be the product of a particular stage of evolutionary development.
I'd recommend anyone advocating that logic and reasoning is not developed in this fashion goes and spends some prolonged time at any pre-school parent and toddler groups and tries to guess the age of the child by their reasoning ability through play and social interaction.Yes, really. And in the absence of revelation, its not that one could say with certainty that their worldview is "absurd." Only the Christian can do that. I can call another's worldview absurd on the objective basis of God's Word. The atheist would have no grounds to refer to another as "absurd" or "perfectly logical." They could only do so with an objective standard. The most Paul could say is, "I don't know whether this child is absurd or perfectly rational. All I can say is that I reason like X and he reasons like Y. To each his own."
Has the pre-school toddler had a revelation from God to justify their logic and reasoning? Really?
I'd suggest not, and I'd also suggest that the absence of such a revelation does not mean that the worldview of the toddler is absurd. I'd like to see the Presuppositional Apologetic arguments about Child Development that suggest otherwise.