This post is in response to a series of back and forth comments between Dawson Bethrick and myself in the post Missing the Basics below:
BK wrote: “If you are truly uninitiated enough about Presuppositionalism as a method to think it is exclusively used in arguments for the existence of God, then I suggest you go back and do some more reading on the subject.”
Dawson wrote: I never stated that presuppositionalism “is exclusively used in arguments for the existence of God.” I am quite aware of presuppositionalism’s intended aims, its devices, its gimmicks.
The fact that you referenced RK’s comment that his argument was not for the existence of God made it clear enough what you were implying; thus my response. If you are going to be disingenuous about something as trivial as this, what else are you willing to be dishonest about? Perhaps the fact that a TA uses no gimmicks to achieve its aims?
BK wrote: “I was present for the debate between RK and ML, and know exactly what RK successfully argued for… He… argued for the resolution at hand – that the Triune God of the Scriptures is the basis for knowledge.”
Dawson wrote: I have examined the transcript of the debate quite closely. I could not find an actual argument for the claim that the Christian god is the basis of knowledge. I saw this position asserted quite frequently, and RK apparently felt the need to build it into his view through what he called “axioms.” But I did not see an argument. If you did, could you reproduce it? What are the premises? I’d love to examine it.
You know, I guess it doesn’t surprise me that you didn’t recognize RK’s use of a TA anymore than you recognized it when Bahnsen explicitly used it against Stein (as you so clearly demonstrate in your post titled “Bahsen’s Proof”.)
Are you familiar with the form of a Transcendental Argument, regardless of what a person is attempting to prove by using it? You certainly pay lip service to the fact that it is indirect rather than direct, but apparently don’t account for that fact while evaluating either RK’s or Bahnsen’s TA.
I have read part I of your critique of RK, and have oh so much to say about it, but plan on dedicating a separate post (or series of posts) when I get the time to do so.
BK wrote: “RK’s appeal to scripture is expected (necessary, even) as a Christian Presuppositionalist, and you should know this”
Dawson wrote: Of course I know this. This is why I pointed out that presuppositionalists have no alternative to arguing in a circle when their theistic premises are questioned.
And yet you miss the oh-so-obvious reason why. Nobody is denying Christians reason in a circle (just as anyone who is arguing for their ultimates must do) when they appeal to scripture. [At least Christian Presuppositianlists are honest enough to admit what they are doing]. What is the alternative? I agree with Van Til who would prefer reasoning in a circle to not reasoning at all.
Those who are familiar with TAs understand that the question of reasoning about one’s ultimate commitments is essentially no different in form than reasoning about one’s own existence. The reason TAG is stated indirectly is to avoid the fallacy of simply appealing to God in order to prove the existence of God. Rather, TAs about the existence of God use the phrase “the impossibility of the contrary” to elucidate the fact that that since a denial of the existence of God leads to logical absurdities, an affirmation of his existence is therefore logically necessary.
Some (like yourself) may prefer to label that as fallacious in nature, but doing so demonstrates a lack of understanding of the only way to argue for one’s ultimate commitments.
Perhaps I will put together something that addresses this problem in more detail.