Thing 1 and Thing 2

Recently I posted a portion of a discussion I had in the Choosing Hats chat room with a (somewhat) regular visitor.  This visitor was discussing the Cosmological Argument (well, at least one formulation of it) with me, and I was attempting to demonstrate for them how what they were presenting failed miserably as an argument for the existence of God.  This post has generated a few responses – some in the context of comments, some in the context of posts on other sites.  For the sake of context, here is a snippet from the conversation where I took the atheist in question to task over his assertions:

brilliant_atheist: i accepted the cosmological argument

BKing why?

brilliant_atheist: but I deny that it points to something alive

BKing it is a terrible argument

brilliant_atheist: because the universe needs a cause

BKing why?

brilliant_atheist: because it exists

BKing so everything that exists requires a cause?

brilliant_atheist: yes

Now, although there is more than one formulation of the Cosmo argument, I responded to that which the atheist in question was presenting to me and nothing more.  Of course, there are other formulations (some would say “better”) of the Cosmo argument out there, which is what I will respond to in this post.

Rather than saying “that which exists requires a cause”, the “better” formulation apparently says something akin to “that which comes into existence requires a cause”.  One could question even this premise, of course, but for the sake of discussion I will grant it.  However, does this formulation get us any closer to the existence of God?  Does tweaking the argument to avoid an infinite regress of causes place us any closer to the conclusion “God exists”?  I don’t believe it does.

All this tweaking gets us is an uncaused cause. If the universe is the first thing which came into existence, and if that which comes into existence requires a cause, then the universe was necessarily caused by this first, uncaused cause. But what could be the cause of the universe?

Some would take a leap and state that “this cause is God”, but such a leap is unwarranted.  There is nothing in the premises of the argument that necessarily leads to the conclusion that the cause of the universe is God.  All that is implied by the premises of the argument is that there is something in existence that was not caused, that is able to cause the universe (i.e. is a sufficient cause) to come into existence, and actually did cause it to come into existence.

For that matter, there is nothing in the premises of the argument that necessarily leads to the conclusion that the cause, whatever it is, is even singular.  It could be two beings, working as a team – call them “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” for convenience sake.  Why wouldn’t their existence as uncaused causes be sufficient, given the way the “better” argument has been reformulated for our consideration?

Thoughts?

BK


11 Comments

TurretinFan

Yes, it’s not proof. It may lead people to see that God exists, but it is not, of course, a formal proof.

Eldnar

Hi there,

Some would take a leap and state that “this cause is God”, but such a leap is unwarranted.

*GASP* I’ve only heard two people *ever* try to say that the uncaused cause is not God, and you are the second of the two. Here’s what happened to the first person:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCUE10dY3Rc

There is nothing in the premises of the argument that necessarily leads to the conclusion that the cause of the universe is God.
True. But it points to God “beyond reasonable doubt”. A person can unreasonably doubt anything.

All that is implied by the premises of the argument is that there is something in existence that was not caused, that is able to cause the universe (i.e. is a sufficient cause) to come into existence, and actually did cause it to come into existence.
To quote Dr. Craig… “what you are describing…is God”

For that matter, there is nothing in the premises of the argument that necessarily leads to the conclusion that the cause, whatever it is, is even singular. It could be two beings, working as a team – call them “Thing 1? and “Thing 2? for convenience sake. Why wouldn’t their existence as uncaused causes be sufficient, given the way the “better” argument has been reformulated for our consideration?
You’re absolutely correct, it could be thing 1 and thing 2, but look what the person would have done by postulating Thing 1 and Thing 2. They would have conceded that something exists OUTSIDE the material universe. Boom. That’s exactly the goal of the Kalam. That alone is HUGE for the atheist to have to admit. Once that admission is noted, you then move away from the Kalam to the resurrection (or whatever argument you seek to prove). The Kalam doesn’t get you Christian theism, that’s not its purpose, but it gets you to a creator (of some sort) which they denied before. From that point a person can argue more precisely to Christianity.

C.L. Bolt

Eldnar I struggled with what to do about your comment because it is rather lengthy and offered in an attempt to refute what BK has written, but the main intent of this site is to help us all gain a better understanding of apologetics and so I will go ahead and briefly respond to your comments. I do not think you have given your response as much thought as perhaps you could have and will explain why.

Realize firstly that it was not BK’s intention, so far as I know, to exhaustively refute the cosmological or even Kalam argument. He is merely pointing out some difficulties with the arguments especially as the arguments were presented to him in recent discussion. If you want a longer list of difficulties with the proof and answers to the typical responses to these difficulties then feel free to shoot me an email.

Second, you wrote, “GASP” in response to BK’s statement that it is an unwarranted leap to state that “this cause is God,” but I am confused as to why you wrote this. Granted, you explained that you have “only heard two people *ever* try to say that the uncaused cause is not God.” I will get to this claim in a moment, but first please note that BK *never* said or tried to say that the “uncaused cause is not God.” Rather, he wrote that it is an unwarranted leap to state that “this cause is God,” because it is. The two statements are completely different from one another. Thus when you write, “and you are the second of the two,” you are incorrect, for BK never stated any such thing. I would encourage you to go back and read the post again more carefully.

Third, if you truly believe that the leap to the claim, “this cause is God” is warranted, please provide us with your justification. I have known and studied this argument for at least a decade now and have never seen such a justification provided.

Fourth, you will find claims like the one BK made about this unwarranted leap coming from many more people than just two if you look around in the right places. I remember quite well sitting in a classroom where we read Thomas Aquinas completing one of his famous proofs and stating something to the effect of, “And this we all know to be God” with the result that the entire class burst into laughter. One of the reasons that I do not rely upon traditional proofs is that, frankly, they don’t work, and the lack of seriousness with which the students in that class took the statement from Aquinas was, in my opinion, understandable.

Fifth, BK wrote the following as the main point of his post:

For that matter, there is nothing in the premises of the argument that necessarily leads to the conclusion that the cause, whatever it is, is even singular. It could be two beings, working as a team – call them “Thing 1? and “Thing 2? for convenience sake. Why wouldn’t their existence as uncaused causes be sufficient, given the way the “better” argument has been reformulated for our consideration?

Now let’s look carefully at what you wrote in response.

“You’re absolutely correct, it could be thing 1 and thing 2”

Whereas you were writing in light of your misunderstanding of BK’s earlier statement as already pointed out, you go on to actually affirm what BK is arguing. This is true even if we take BK’s statement the way that you did. In your mind, BK had stated that the cause was not God, and you went on to write, “You’re absolutely correct, it could be thing 1 and thing 2.” But thing 1 and thing 2 are most emphatically not God. Hence it is strange (and fatally problematic) that you expressed shock at the suggestion you thought BK was making, saying that you had only ever heard two people claim it, and then went on right afterward to do so yourself (at least following your reasoning through the misunderstanding).
Now that we’ve seen that BK was not actually saying what you attributed to him we can examine your statement that, “You’re absolutely correct, it could be thing 1 and thing 2” in light of what BK was actually saying. BK believes that it is an unwarranted leap to state that this cause is God, but you have written a comment in disagreement, and in your comment have actually agreed with the contention you intended to disagree with in writing, “You’re absolutely correct, it could be thing 1 and thing 2.” So, I am glad you agree!

Sixth you write, “but look what the person would have done by postulating Thing 1 and Thing 2.”
They would have conceded that something exists OUTSIDE the material universe. Boom. That’s exactly the goal of the Kalam.

I’m not sure what you are reading on the Kalam, but that is most emphatically not the goal of the Kalam. For one thing, you initially argued that the cause is God, but here seem to go back on that bold assertion and want to claim that the argument proves something much, much less than God. Again you may want to reread the post and your response. But note also that the goal of the Kalam is to serve as a proof for the existence of God. I just picked up my copy of Craig’s first book on the topic. Guess what the very first line asks? “Does God exist?” Craig then goes on to explain that he is going to attempt to prove the existence of God. Believe it or not even presuppositionalists have read classical apologists, and believe it or not they do claim, in fact, that the goal of the Kalam argument is to prove the existence of God.
Seventh, you claim, “They would have conceded that something exists OUTSIDE the material universe…That alone is HUGE for the atheist to have to admit.”

Well, no, it’s not. It’s not huge for the atheist to have to admit when you are trying to prove that God exists, and it is not huge for the atheist to admit if he or she is not a materialist anyway.

Eighth, you write, “Once that admission is noted, you then move away from the Kalam to the resurrection (or whatever argument you seek to prove).” There are other much better arguments to defeat materialism than the Kalam argument. Not only that, but classical apologetics seeks to prove the existence of God prior to moving into other arguments like for the resurrection, and by your admission you have not done that yet. There are many other worries here, but I don’t want to make things any more difficult than what they already are.

Ninth, “The Kalam doesn’t get you Christian theism, that’s not its purpose, but it gets you to a creator (of some sort) which they denied before.” But then there are some really serious theological difficulties with using it aren’t there? For example, if the Kalam argument holds sound, then you have just given the Muslim a great reason to continue to believe in Allah. But the Allah of Islam is not the God of Christianity. When do we ever see anyone in Scripture prescribing an argument like this or leading by example in using one? We don’t. Oh, granted, the Apostles will immediately begin talking to unbelieving philosophers about the Creator who exists, but they are assuming this, not arguing up to it, and the Creator they are talking about is the one true God, not Allah or Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Tenth and finally, “From that point a person can argue more precisely to Christianity.” Assuming that one can get to that point, which he cannot, and assuming that the other arguments which more specifically point to Christianity will work, which they do not.

If you are interested in a lengthier discussion or debate on this topic of the Kalam, traditional proofs, or on apologetic method in general then please let us know! It is my hope that you will see more clearly why it is that we take the approach we do, even if it is only by way of little bits and pieces that we get there. There is, even here, much more to be said.

Grace,
Chris

Dear Eldnar | Choosing Hats

[…] following comment and response may be found on this post. Hi […]

Eldnar

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the feedback. You are correct that I didn’t labor over my response, primarily because I wasn’t really trying to decisively refute BK, but I thought he was a bit overly dismissive of the KCA. You stated, “it was not BK’s intention, so far as I know, to exhaustively refute the cosmological or even Kalam argument.” I must have misunderstood when he wrote, “there are other formulations (some would say “better”) of the Cosmo argument out there, which is what I will respond to in this post.” I understood that to mean the intention of his post was to refute the better versions of the argument. You went into great detail in your response which I certainly appreciate. Obviously I can’t respond to every thing you wrote, nor do I want disagreement to escalate into an argument (we’re on the same team) =) You made some valid points and I will concede much of what you wrote (with a few exceptions below). My point is this. Most of us (I think) witness or apply our arguments to the man on the street (at least I do), to co-workers, friends, family, etc. I grant that there are certain philosophical circles where the KCA fails, but where it doesn’t fail (for me at least) is with the average person.

Rather, he wrote that it is an unwarranted leap to state that “this cause is God,” because it is.
Granted, in certain circles. Again, in the average encounter it’s not only warranted, but more often than not, conceded.

Third, if you truly believe that the leap to the claim, “this cause is God” is warranted, please provide us with your justification.
If you watched the link I sent, and I’m sure you already know, you don’t just walk up to somebody and deliver the KCA in a vacuum and stand back with folded arms and nod your head. There are other arguments in conjunction about the nature of the cause that make God/Creator (of some sort) the only reasonable and probable conclusion.

Fourth, you will find claims like the one BK made about this unwarranted leap coming from many more people than just two if you look around in the right places.
Agreed, if I look in the right places I can find the flat earth society, and other loons. I don’t want to look for the people who have become futile in their thinking to the point their hearts are darkened. I want arguments that work with a very large majority of friends, family, co-workers. The KCA can, and does work effectively.

One of the reasons that I do not rely upon traditional proofs is that, frankly, they don’t work,
I would be inclined to agree with your “unsupported assertion” if you are talking solely about an audience of philosophy students, but I rarely encounter an audience of philosophy students. If you want, we can head out to the beach one day and witness to non philosophy students together, I’ll put my money where my mouth is, I can’t promise conversions, but I can promise MANY concessions of the KCA. It works magnificently.

But thing 1 and thing 2 are most emphatically not God.
Unfortunately you completely missed my point. You made the same fatal mistake Lewis made in the video. You can call it “a computer”, you can call it, “Thing 1 and Thing 2” you can call it, “The conglomerate”, but if it has all the attributes that WLC described (and as I would argue in a conversation) it most certainly *is* God, and then one can explain why it has to be the Christian God.

I’m not sure what you are reading on the Kalam, but that is most emphatically not the goal of the Kalam. But note also that the goal of the Kalam is to serve as a proof for the existence of God.
I’ve only read WLC’s “Reasonable Faith”. I wouldn’t consider myself a philosopher (but I do study philosophy), my understanding is that you want the premises of your argument granted. Meaning the primary goal is to prove the existence of God, a secondary goal would be to have most or all of the premises granted, and being that one of the premises of the KCA is, “This first uncaused cause must transcend physical reality.” In that sense (which is the sense I intended) it is a goal of the KCA.

Well, no, it’s not. It’s not huge for the atheist to have to admit when you are trying to prove that God exists, and it is not huge for the atheist to admit if he or she is not a materialist anyway.
I could simply say, “Well yes, it is, it is huge for atheists to have to admit that” we would be in a battle of assertions, so let me rephrase it. “For the average atheist I have dealt with, (and the average atheist I predict we would meet if you were to chose to witness alongside me) that is a HUGE concession. I admire your patience in your conversations with these “super atheists” you deal with that nit pick every argument to death. The Lord hasn’t granted me that level of patience. =) I’d dust off my sandals at people like that. We would be a good team, I’d handle the hundreds and hundreds of regular people that concede the KCA, and I’d toss you the 1 or 2 people that are able to rip apart the KCA. Fortunately for me, I haven’t found one yet. *whew*

There are other much better arguments to defeat materialism than the Kalam argument.
In your opinion, granted. In my demonstrable and repeatable conversations, refuted. =)

But then there are some really serious theological difficulties with using it aren’t there? For example, if the Kalam argument holds sound, then you have just given the Muslim a great reason to continue to believe in Allah.
Who in the world, would use the Kalam on a Muslim? LOL. Why would a person try to prove the existence of God to someone that already believes in God? I’m not sure what your point here was, unless your are trying to say, “If one uses the KCA in a vacuum there are theological difficulties” To which I would agree. Otherwise, properly employing KCA with Christian evidences would result in no theological difficulties.

When do we ever see anyone in Scripture prescribing an argument like this or leading by example in using one? We don’t.
We do see arguments from creation with non-believers and arguments from scripture with Jews. Therefore, it is certainly Biblical to argue from creation.

Oh, granted, the Apostles will immediately begin talking to unbelieving philosophers about the Creator who exists, but they are assuming this, not arguing up to it, and the Creator they are talking about is the one true God, not Allah or Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Please name for me a generally recognized Christian apologist or two who does not already assume the Creator exists? Second, please name a Christian apologist or two who is not talking about the one true God. If you are able to somehow produce one or two, please let me know if this is the norm or a vanishingly small minority.

Tenth and finally, “From that point a person can argue more precisely to Christianity.” Assuming that one can get to that point, which he cannot,
This is completely false, and worse it’s your opinion stated as fact. It’s worked for me. Further, I can demonstrate it firsthand. =) Argument Refuted.

“and assuming that the other arguments which more specifically point to Christianity will work, which they do not.”
See above.

If you are interested in a lengthier discussion or debate on this topic of the Kalam, traditional proofs, or on apologetic method in general then please let us know! It is my hope that you will see more clearly why it is that we take the approach we do, even if it is only by way of little bits and pieces that we get there. There is, even here, much more to be said.
Again Chris, thanks for the reply, I’m sure some of what I wrote will be read incorrectly (such is the nature of written exchanges) but I hope you read it with the same charity with which I read yours. To be honest, I don’t have a “method” but I tend to believe that EVERY Christian by definition MUST presuppose the God of the Bible.

You’re welcome to the last word (after all it’s your blog and even if I wanted it I couldn’t take it, lol) . I’ll read it, but won’t reply (unless you promise to come witness with me). Keep up the good work. I will bow out now in defeat. Blessings! =)

In Christ,

Eldnar

Peter Ochoa

Many people accept KCA. Although it isn’t sound most people don’t rationally think every thing out. Presuppositional apologetics is over some peoples head. It is great to know both.

For evangelism I just want to be ready. One point is how important the law is Gal 3:24. Not just bearing on their intellect but also their conscience.

Let God use us. Amen

C.L. Bolt

BK was addressing another form of the premise in question as it appears in the Kalam argument. Again, you were mistaken that he was attempting to provide exhaustive refutation. He was also not being overly dismissive of the argument, since he provided reasons as to why the argument should not or cannot be accepted. You have not dealt with these reasons in your responses aside from concession.

You write that your point is that, “Most of us…witness or apply our arguments to the man on the street…to co-workers, friends, family, etc.” However this was not your point at all. In fact you have not mentioned it until now. Regardless, it is not relevant.

If the KCA fails in “certain philosophical circles” then it fails “with the average person.” The implication of what you suggest here is that the soundness of arguments is a relative matter, but it is not. William Lane Craig offers the KCA as being objective proof for the existence of God. Your attempt to reduce the matter to subjectivism or relativism is inconsistent with the stated purpose of classical apologists who use the argument and has serious consequences beyond this inconsistency. If the KCA does not prove the existence of God – and it doesn’t – then it does not do so no matter whether we are speaking with the academic philosopher at Cambridge or the ship builder in Southern Indiana. Hence I do not use the proof either with the philosopher or the ship builder. Why would I offer someone a proof for God that does not actually prove God? That would seem silly at best or worse, dishonest.

You write that the unwarranted leap to state that “this cause is God” is unwarranted “in certain circles” and warranted in others. Again, this is relativism. It does justice to neither the argument nor our doctrine. Of course people can concede bad arguments, but that does not mean that the arguments are no longer bad. Again what you are suggesting here is that we offer bad arguments that do not actually prove the existence of God to merely “average” unbelievers whom you believe are not as sharp as others who would readily catch why the arguments do not succeed. I cannot think of why I would ever want to do that, but I can think of many reasons why I would not.

I asked you to provide us with your justification for leaping to the claim, “this cause is God.” Your response was to point me toward the video that I have already watched several times prior to this discussion. I would like to ask you again to provide such justification if you still believe that the leap is justified. I never suggested that someone should “just walk up to somebody and deliver the KCA in a vacuum and stand back with folded arms and nod your head.” I’m not sure what you’re referring to there.

You go on to claim, “There are other arguments in conjunction about the nature of the cause.” Correct, but why have you not presented them yet if you think that they provide justification for the leap in question? That is what I am asking you to do. I have not seen any such arguments yet that actually work.

You continue that the aforementioned arguments, “make God/Creator (of some sort) the only reasonable and probable conclusion.” Here you contradict yourself again since you have already conceded that the cause could be Thing 1 and Thing 2, but as I have already mentioned, Thing 1 and Thing 2 are most emphatically not God. Further I mentioned that what you are suggesting here is that the Muslim can utilize this argument to prove the existence of Allah (as you say, “God/Creator of some sort”), but then this would be terribly, terribly problematic in terms of Christian doctrine.
I wrote that you will find claims like the one BK made about this unwarranted leap coming from many more people than just two if you look around in the right places. You responded, “Agreed, if I look in the right places I can find the flat earth society, and other loons.” But you are missing the point. This was in response to your claim to have only encountered two people making the claim that BK made. The point of my response was to suggest to you that the claim in question is not so shocking at all. Further, those who deny that the leap to equating the cause with God are not comparable to the “flat earth society, and other loons.” You beg the question in your favor by offering allegedly comparable positions that are deliberately absurd. I am neither a flat earther nor a loon, but I do reject that one can justifiably leap from “cause” to God in terms of the argument, and you have so far given me no reason to think otherwise.
You continue, “I don’t want to look for the people who have become futile in their thinking to the point their hearts are darkened.” Frankly, this is offensive, but perhaps you are not keeping up with what you are stating. In the context of the discussion this description would be applicable to BK and to me and to whomever else finds your suggested leap from “cause” to God woefully inadequate. But I can assure you that the description is not applicable to some of these parties, and it certainly is not applicable in terms of the rejection of the argument for the aforementioned reason. Further, the Bible teaches that everyone has “become futile in their thinking to the point their hearts are darkened.” This is undeniable if you read the Apostle Paul on anthropology (especially Romans 1).

You write, “I want arguments that work with a very large majority of friends, family, co-workers…The KCA can, and does work effectively.” Well no, it doesn’t, because it does not prove the existence of God. You have an opportunity to change my mind about this, but I have not seen anything provided by which I might do so aside from your repeating that the argument “works.”

Continuing in this same vein of thought, I wrote, “One of the reasons that I do not rely upon traditional proofs is that, frankly, they don’t work.” You respond, “I would be inclined to agree with your ‘unsupported assertion’ if you are talking solely about an audience of philosophy students, but I rarely encounter an audience of philosophy students.” First, my assertion is not in any way shape or form “unsupported.” Please go back and reread my previous responses to you. Secondly, as already mentioned, whether an argument works or does not work is not a relative issue. By “works” here I am still referring to the argument actually accomplishing what it claims to accomplish, which is what the contention is about. You seem to be trying to define “works” now in terms of whether or not someone accepts the otherwise faulty argument. Of course people accept faulty arguments all the time, but that does not mean that we should offer them faulty arguments! Such would be deceitful and certainly not glorifying to God, among other things.

You write, “If you want, we can head out to the beach one day and witness to non philosophy students together, I’ll put my money where my mouth is, I can’t promise conversions, but I can promise MANY concessions of the KCA.” First, I would love to head out to the beach with you and witness. Second, I have no doubt that many people concede to the KCA, but that is irrelevant. I’m not sure you’re understanding the problem here. The KCA does not prove the existence of God. As you’ve conceded, it just as easily proves the existence of Thing 1 and Thing 2, assuming we can even get that far. Third, I hope you don’t think that I only spend time witnessing to philosophy students, as that has never been the case.

Now I’ve explained to you several times that Thing 1 and Thing 2 are not God. Amazingly, you claim that I have completely missed your point and ascribe to me, “the same fatal mistake Lewis made in the video.” I am making no such mistake. I am not calling the cause “a computer” or the “conglomerate.” I am saying with BK that the cause could be Thing 1 and Thing 2. Now you say, “You can call it…’Thing 1 and Thing 2,’ but if it has all the attributes that WLC described (and as I would argue in a conversation) it most certainly *is* God, and then one can explain why it has to be the Christian God.” This seems to indicate that you really have not been following the conversation up to now. Again I would love to speak with you through a better format such as email. We also have a chatroom and I’d even be willing to make some time for Skype. Reread what you just wrote. Are you really suggesting to me that two things (2, dos, II, dual) are the same *thing* (note, singular, one, 1, I, uno) as God?

You have already agreed with us that the “cause” of the KCA might just as easily be Thing 1 and Thing 2. Note that we are talking about *two* beings. Two beings are not the same as *one* being. You may want to go back and read the original post and subsequent comments again now.

You wrote, “I’ve only read WLC’s ‘Reasonable Faith’.” I don’t mean to be rude, but I have to wonder why you are attempting to correct me or teach me concerning the KCA if this is all that you have read on the argument. You wrote, “the primary goal is to prove the existence of God, a secondary goal would be to have most or all of the premises granted.” The way that the argument works is that the premises must be granted in order to prove the existence of God. You wrote, “being that one of the premises of the KCA is, ‘This first uncaused cause must transcend physical reality.’ In that sense (which is the sense I intended) it is a goal of the KCA.” Okay, I think I see what you are saying here, although it does not help your case overall.

I wrote, “It’s not huge for the atheist to have to admit when you are trying to prove that God exists, and it is not huge for the atheist to admit if he or she is not a materialist anyway.” You responded, “I could simply say, ‘Well yes, it is, it is huge for atheists to have to admit that’ we would be in a battle of assertions.” No, because I did not merely make an assertion. If the point of the argument is to prove the existence of God, which it is, and the atheist admits that materialism is false, the atheist has not admitted very much at all.

You write, “I admire your patience in your conversations with these ‘super atheists’ you deal with that nit pick every argument to death.” You just have to be good with a bo-staff. In all seriousness, I doubt that most atheists I have conversed with throughout the years differ much at all from the ones that you witness to.

I wrote, “But then there are some really serious theological difficulties with using it aren’t there? For example, if the Kalam argument holds sound, then you have just given the Muslim a great reason to continue to believe in Allah.” You responded, “Who in the world, would use the Kalam on a Muslim? LOL. Why would a person try to prove the existence of God to someone that already believes in God? I’m not sure what your point here was.” That’s fair, I’ll explain it. You are contending that the Kalam argument is a sound argument for the existence of God. However you are also saying that it does not prove the Christian God specifically. My point is that a Muslim can use the Kalam argument. In that case, the Muslim has a sound argument – a great reason – for believing in the existence of Allah.

You wrote, “We do see arguments from creation with non-believers and arguments from scripture with Jews. Therefore, it is certainly Biblical to argue from creation.” No, we do not see examples of traditional argument conceived of in terms of natural theology in Scripture. This is something else we could talk about in much more depth in another format.
You asked, “Please name for me a generally recognized Christian apologist or two who does not already assume the Creator exists?” When did I say that Christian apologists do not already assume the Creator exists? My point here is that the Apostles assumed the existence of the Creator *in their argumentation*. They did not argue *up to the existence* of that Creator.

You asked, “Second, please name a Christian apologist or two who is not talking about the one true God.” Again we are talking in terms of the argument. You’ve already conceded that the argument does not prove the existence of the one true God.

You disagreed with my assertion that someone cannot argue to Christianity in the blockhouse manner you are suggesting we should argue. That is fine. I have reasons for saying this. Again if you’d like to move the conversation elsewhere it would be a better one.

You wrote that you,“tend to believe that EVERY Christian by definition MUST presuppose the God of the Bible.” I agree! Now if only we’d start presupposing the God of the Bible *in our argumentation* rather than arguing over whether or not the thing that caused the universe might actually be Thing 1 and Thing 2. 🙂

I hope you’ll give some of these things some more consideration. Again I look forward to continuing the conversation with you in a better format if you are willing. I’ll even give you a chance to present your full argument to me. I do believe that these are important matters, and that is why I have taken the time that I have to respond.

Grace,
Chris

C.L. Bolt

“Many people accept KCA. Although it isn’t sound most people don’t rationally think every thing out.”

This is correct, however it does not follow since people accept faulty arguments that we should offer faulty arguments. Christian apologetics are better than that!

“Presuppositional apologetics is over some peoples head. It is great to know both.”

It is great to know both, but I disagree that presuppositional apologetics are over some peoples’ heads. That is the fault of the apologist, not the method. You would also need to be more specific.

“Not just bearing on their intellect but also their conscience.”

Most apologetics by nature pertain to the intellect, and that is something I do not apologize for.

defectivebit

[…] This affinity to a defensive posture was also made clear to me in a post at Choosing Hats.  In this post an explanation of the shortcomings of the Cosmological Argument caused some commotion among […]

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Peter Ochoa

“This is correct, however it does not follow since people accept faulty arguments that we should offer faulty arguments. Christian apologetics are better than that!”

Yea I agree. We want to Glorify God honestly.

“It is great to know both, but I disagree that presuppositional apologetics are over some peoples’ heads. That is the fault of the apologist, not the method. You would also need to be more specific.”

Yea I suppose I will need more practice in this area.

“Most apologetics by nature pertain to the intellect, and that is something I do not apologize for.”

I would agree. My only reason for saying this is that it doesn’t stop just at apologetics and intellect(James 2:19). We can’t just give them a reason to believe in God but we want also to bring conviction of sin through the Law so the Gospel makes sense.

Afterall the main problem with the sinner is a moral problem not an intellectual problem.

I want to reach the lost such an important thing. Using whatever means possible.

How about a little offense? by Nick Heath (Guest Post) | Choosing Hats

[…] This affinity to a defensive posture was also made clear to me in a post at Choosing Hats.  In this post an explanation of the shortcomings of the Cosmological Argument caused some commotion among […]


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