No Place To Stand Part II

In response to my previous post Mitch has written this post.

Unfortunately the tendency Mitch has to advance irrelevant arguments continues in this post as well. Presuppositionalism is immune to the criticisms Mitch raises against it because, among other things, the majority position in presuppositionalism which I also adhere to does not involve the claim that logic is contingent as Mitch has stated in several of his arguments but rather that logic is necessary. Thus Mitch has allegedly advanced arguments against presuppositionalism that fall prey to the Straw Man Fallacy and may be submitting an entry to a philosophical journal which includes the same error. Mitch has responded to this charge by offering a series of irrelevant concerns about Properly Basic Belief, the Ontological Argument, Modal TAG, and other subjects that constitute little more than an instance of the Red Herring Fallacy. What adherents to a position state and what adherents to a position prove are different from each other. At the very least Mitch needs to properly represent the position he has spent three lengthy posts and an article submitted to a philosophical journal supposedly refuting.

Mitch thinks that I may be missing the point with his C1, C2, and C3, but the reader will recall that Mitch asserted a false proposition with respect to C1, C2, and C3 and they were shown to be incoherent.

While I never assumed or asserted that saying “that logic exists as a necessary abstraction is not the same as saying that it’s a thing”, Mitch does not believe that there is any contradiction between “logical principles exist as logically necessary abstractions” and “logic…is not an abstract object or entity”.

It was suggested that Mitch is unable to produce a satisfactory answer to the TAG and a TA in defense of TAG and that this may be the reason for the prolonged discussions concerning apologetic method. His silence “on the TAG as of late” is irrelevant to this comment made in passing, as I am referring to material Mitch has already written wherein he allegedly makes a case against presuppositionalism.

Mitch states that his “position on logic falls under the heading of conventionalism”. Logic is perhaps imposed upon the world only by our choices, and thus there is no reason to care about adhering to the laws of logic. It is difficult to see how logic is either universal or absolute on this view. Insofar as these considerations are correct, I submit to the readers that the position Mitch takes on logic both conflicts with other statements Mitch has made concerning logic and that by convention the discussion is to be decided in my favor.


7 Comments

Mitchell LeBlanc

I’m beginning to wonder if your insistence that the points I’m raising are irrelevant is due to persistent misunderstanding.

Firstly, I understand quite well that presuppositionalists do not assert that logical principles are contingent. I’m asking you to outline your position on the relationship between logical principles and God and show a state of affairs in which logical principles are both (i) non-existent in the absence of God, (ii) logically necessary. At the very least, you might defend Frame’s analysis.

With regard to Fristianity, recall in my post that it was quoted:

“…consider Fristianity, which is a theistic worldview that holds to the doctrine of the quadrinity (one God in four persons) and is otherwise identical to Christianity, or as similar to Christianity as possible (given its quadrinitarian tenet)”

You have, in your objection, shown that the worldview is not a Christian worldview. This is no great task, the challenge is for the TAG to show *outright* that this worldview is incoherent.

I also fear that your last paragraph here shows a misunderstanding of conventionalism. It would be very beneficial to hear what you understand conventionalism as being.

Mitchell LeBlanc

In reading your post again, would I be correct in assuming that you stopped reading halfway through ‘Argument #3’? this would perhaps explain why you’ve misunderstood the relevance of C1, C2, C3 as a preamble to (9), then leading into Choi’s usage of Fristianity.

C.L. Bolt

If you “understand quite well that presuppositionalists do not assert that logical principles are contingent”, but yet you present “two main arguments against the claim that logic depends on God’s existence”, then your misrepresentation is intentional. Since you are the one presenting the arguments against my position, you are the one who must “outline my position on the relationship between logical principles and God” etc. Setting aside that you did, in fact, misrepresent the presuppositionalist claim with respect to logic, you must present an argument that TAG requires a view of logic as contingent if this is an essential part of your main arguments.

While I addressed C1, C2, and C3 in my post, I did not address Fristianity other than to mention it and call attention to the basis upon which you raise the objection. You are conflating C1, C2, and C3 with Fristianity as they are presented in your post.

My last paragraph is a sketch of what I understand conventionalism as being as is presupposed by your “fear” that it shows a “misunderstanding of conventionalism”. If my understanding as presented there is wrong then I am not above correction and would actually welcome it.

Mitchell LeBlanc

@Chris:

In part 2, I attempted to offer some discussion on the relationship between logically necessary entities and a theistic God. This was never addressed at the time of posting (or an alternate explanation offered), so I continued on with part 3 in the manner that I did because I felt that no satisfactory exposition of the relationship was offered. I actually was partially waiting for some feedback from you so that in part 4, things could be adjusted accordingly.

As for C1, C2, C3, I simply do not think you should isolate a portion of a larger explanation in the manner that you did. The illustration was there to lead into (9), which led into the discussion on Fristianity.

As for conventionalism, surely I’m not expected to deduce your entire view on it from a few statements. If I had to, I could only conclude that you think conventionalism renders logic arbitrary and subjective. Is that the extent of your objection?

Ryft Braeloch

Chris,

If I may, please do not forget one rather important issue: LeBlanc has given himself the task of presenting a case against presuppositionalism. In other words (and this should already be obvious), it is not your task to make a case for presuppositionalism. For LeBlanc to think that you shoulder any burden of proof is for him to commit a very basic fallacy; i.e., it is not as though he can prove a thing false by your lack of proving it true. Do not accept his attempts at shifting the burden.

Additionally, it is not your task to educate LeBlanc. If he does not understand the relationship of logic to God, then the case he is attempting to make suffers because of it. One ought to understand a view before attempting to make a case against it. In other words, LeBlanc should be able to tell you clearly and accurately what that relationship looks like, citing relevant and reliable sources in support.

He is very clever, that LeBlanc. But what his task requires is more intellectual honesty than cleverness.

Ryft Braeloch

Conventionalism? Good grief, you have a bigger problem than merely the nature of logic—which is bad enough in itself, given the vicious circularity of analyticity. (This is why it is widely rejected in philosophy, along with most everything else related to logical positivism). The fact that you subscribe to conventionalism indicates the likelihood that you are in possession of a highly untenable view on the very nature of truth, such that analytic propositions are somehow true and instructive without corresponding to reality (Alfred J. Ayer, Language, Truth, and Logic).

Transcendental Argument for God: Mitchell LeBlanc, Pt. 1

[…] Bolt, Chris. “No Place to Stand” (7/Dec/09). ChoosingHats.com. See also: “No Place to Stand, Part II” (8/Dec/09), “Lost in a Sea of Subjectivism” (8/Dec/09), and “A Brief Word on the […]


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