skopein uses "TAG"

Sometimes presuppositionalists are mocked for holding what they do concerning their own view being right and others being wrong. We can expect this in a largely postmodern context. After coming in on a discussion where some atheists were speaking negatively about TAG because of its affirmation of exclusivity and problems with non-Christian positions, I tried to put the point back to the atheist. A few other topics came up during the discussion. This is not the greatest of conversations but maybe someone will find something useful.

skopein: it’s the Transcendental Argument for God.

skopein: here is a good summary of TAG…

skopein: This reasoning contents that all other worldviews ( Atheism, Buddhism, Islam, etc), if carried out to their logical conclusions, are reduced to either absurdity, arbitrariness or inconsistency.

skopein: what do you think of that argument?

Chris:  skopein would you say that an Atheist thinks that all other worldviews (other than Atheism) if carried out to their logical conclusions are reduced to absurdity, arbitrariness, or inconsistency?

skopein: Chris, hmmm.  No an atheist wouldn’t necessarily think that.  Some atheists aren’t committed to any worldview and remember that atheism isn’t a worldview in itself.  It’s just the lack of a belief in God.

Chris: Some atheists are not committed to any worldview??

skopein: Chris, that’s correct.

Chris: Could you define what you mean by worldview?

skopein: Chris, worldview originates from the term weltanschauung.

skopein: Which literally means “look onto the world”

Chris: So a worldview is one’s view of the world?

skopein: Sure.  It can be defined in a wide variety of ways.

Chris: Right…that is why I was asking how you were defining it.

Chris: So…how can an atheist or anyone else have no view of the world?

skopein: You could also look at it as someone’s mental map of reality.

Chris: So are you saying that some Atheists do not have a view of the world, or that some do not have a mental map of reality?

skopein: Or a framework of ideas that someone might hold about reality.

Chris: Are you saying that some Atheists do not have that framework of ideas about reality?

skopein: Chris, I’m pointing out that there is more than one definition of worldview.

Chris: skopein I understand that. I am asking which definition you were using.

Chris: “Some atheists aren’t committed to any worldview”

Chris: Now, what does it mean?

skopein: Chris, atheists aren’t necessasrily committed to any particular set or comprehensive system of beliefs.

skopein: Chris, I thought what I said was clear at the time.

Chris: So some Atheists are not committed to any particular set or comprehensive system of beliefs?

Chris: I just want to make sure I understand you correctly.

Chris: And set or system = worldview?

skopein: Atheism simply is a lack of belief in God.

skopein: If you lacked a belief in unicorns, would that constitute a worldivew?

Chris: skopein did you see my question?

skopein: Chris, no set or system doesn’t equal worldview.  Where did I state that?

Chris: It seemed you were using the term and the phrase synonymously.

Chris: I am just trying to make sure I understand you correctly.

skopein: Chris, okay.  So where does the difficulty lie exactly?

skopein: I thought my last statement seemed pretty straightforward.

Chris: So are you saying that some Atheists do not have a view of the world, or that some do not have a mental map of reality?

Chris: Are you saying that some Atheists do not have that framework of ideas about reality?

Chris: In other words, how are you defining “worldview” when you are saying that some Atheists do not have one.

skopein: Chris, okay I see where the problem is.

skopein: I guess I am thinking more in terms of philosophical worldviews.  Many atheists have not made up their minds as to where they stand philosophically.

Chris: But do you think those Atheists are completely devoid of a worldview?

Chris: No views about language; for example?

Chris: And wouldn’t that just be called agnosticism in the broader sense?

skopein: Chris, okay, let me ask you now, how are *you* defining worldview.

skopein: Perhaps we are not on the same page.

Chris: I’ll accept any of the definitions you gave above.

Chris: One’s view of the world.

Chris: Maybe one is unsettled about some things.

Chris: But it seems that one would have to adopt some sort of view of the world even if it is that nothing can be known, or that language is meaningful to communicate one’s ignorance of worldview.

skopein: if you take the various philosophical worldviews, you may find that there are atheists out there who aren’t necessarily committed to any particular philosophical worldview.

Chris: Okay.

Chris: How do they communicate that fact?

skopein: Chris, through language.

Chris: Does language involve a philosophy of language?

skopein: Actually, they may not communicate the fact.

Chris: How do you know that there are such Atheists then?

skopein: Chris, a baby for instance is an atheist who doesn’t hold a philosophical worldview.

Chris: How do you know that?

skopein: or a young child who doesn’t know about philosophical worldviews.

skopein: how do I know what?

Chris: Well people hold to certain philosophies without actually knowing what they are called or even what they involve. But I am happy with your answers up to this point.

Chris: I wanted to ask you something else before you made the comment about worldviews.

skopein: Chris, are you saying that baby atheists hold philosophical worldviews that they just aren’t communicating to the rest of the world?

skopein: This conversation is getting to be a bit absurd.

Chris: Well I hope it will not degenerate to that level.

Chris: I am just asking questions for clarification.

Chris: But I’m ready to change the topic back to my original question.

Chris: skopein would an Atheist think that all other worldviews that involve God or gods if carried out to their logical conclusions are reduced to absurdity, arbitrariness, or inconsistency?

Chris: That one.

skopein: Chris, when you ask questions that lead to absurdities, then we know that your questioning is pointless.

Chris: skopein my questions do not lead to absurdities.

Chris: You claim to know that babies believe in no God or gods and have no philosophical worldview.

Chris: How do you know that?

Chris: I am ready to change the topic back to the original question of mine that you avoided.

Chris:  skopein would an Atheist think that all other worldviews that involve God or gods if carried out to their logical conclusions are reduced to absurdity, arbitrariness, or inconsistency?

skopein: Chris, an atheist may allow for the possibility of God and therefore may not have ruled out the logical possibility of the existence of God.

Chris: I am not sure how that is relevant.

skopein: Chris, the atheist may just find that the evidence is lacking and therefore not believe in God, which is typically the case.

skopein: It’s weak atheism.

Chris: So the Atheist finds the theistic or deistic position to be arbitrary?

Chris: (Not based on evidence?)

skopein: What do you mean by arbitrary?

Chris: Not based upon evidence.

Chris: Without reason.

skopein: I find it to be arbitrary.

skopein: I can’t speak for all atheists though.

Chris: So you think that all other worldviews that involve God or gods, if carried out to their logical conclusions are reduced to arbitrariness?

skopein: No.  I don’t think they are necessarily logically arbitrary.  But that is not the same as evidentially arbitrary.  I think that in the case of the Christian God, there is no evidence that I’m presently aware of that exists.  If you have some to offer, I’m open to it.

Chris: Okay, so evidentially arbitrary.

Chris: Here is where I am trying to get to…

Chris: skopein: “here is a good summary of TAG…”

Chris: skopein: “This reasoning contents that all other worldviews ( Atheism, Buddhism, Islam, etc), if carried out to their logical conclusions, are reduced to either absurdity, arbitrariness or inconsistency.”

Chris: Are you using a type of atheistic TAG?

Chris: Since worldviews with God or gods are arbitrary?

skopein: There is no evidence at present, which makes them arbitrary in that sense right now.  Yes.

 


One Comment

Chris A. Baird

It is clear skopein completely is missing the entire point of the presuppositionalist argument. It is that you don’t come to the table with a blank slate. He somehow got the idea that having a “Worldview” means having to subscribe to a particular philosophical set fully and by name. Thus, a baby would have no “world view” and atheists he knows have no “world views.”

I did like the going to the origins of the word “weltanschauung” in order to establish “World View” means “view of the world” 😉


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