Tu Quoque Argument Advanced as a Primer for the Presuppositionalist Response to Evidentialist Critiques of Method

Arguments which cut both ways are not always self-refuting, but are significantly weakened by their hypocritical nature. The activities of traditional non-presuppositionalist apologists almost always fall prey to the same objections the proponents of the traditional method advance in their critiques of presuppositionalism.

Just today I heard a professional apologist and philosopher argue that the Transcendental Argument for God, an argument utilized within the presuppositional method of apologetics, may more or less be dismissed because an unbeliever might quite easily claim that logic is something other than what the presuppositionalist needs to portray logic as in order to make his or her argument. Accepting that this is true, how is this not also an argument against the traditional methodology, which relies quite heavily upon formal systems of logic?

Only a few hours later I listened to a recording where another professional apologist and philosopher mocked the Transcendental Argument for God and complained that it could never save anyone. While this is true, how is it an objection against this specific argument and not all of the others?

Perhaps the most popular objection of all amongst those who think more soberly about apologetic methodology involves the reduction of the Transcendental Argument for God to an inductive argument followed by its complete dismissal.* To play on a cliche of the Christian culture, the apologist who advances this objection has such a large plank in his or her own eye that he or she cannot see properly. We work within the context of a zero sum game with respect to such a critique. The winner comes out as much of a loser as the person who adheres to the method that falls prey to the allegedly fatal critique. As Van Til writes, “When these men construct their inductive systems, believing that all facts speak for themselves, they build an island of ice floating on a bottomless, shoreless cauldron of chance.”

While tough questions are not answered in this manner and one must be careful to avoid fallacious responses in defense of the presuppositional method, I believe the tu quoque here provides both a valid and important primer for the discussion. It is rare for a traditional apologist to take a swing at TAG or presuppositionalism without the bat coming back and hitting him as well. To put all of this another way; make sure you are wearing pants before you come out to play.

*A rather small audience reading this post may object to this statement. Please take note of and think through the italicized portion as it is consciously written in such a way as to avoid this objection.


2 Comments

RazorsKiss

Dude? You left your pants. Outside.

Ryft Braeloch

“Another professional apologist … mocked the [TAG] and complained that it could never save anyone.”

Did he mistakenly think the ‘G’ stood for ‘gospel’?


Leave a Comment