Fundamentalist atheist Paul Baird asked me to rebut the following proposition PR:
PR – “I have had a revelation from a non-Christian supernatural transcendental entity that I use to ground my worldview.”
First, Paul is merely claiming that PR provides “grounding and certainty.” But how does it do that? Paul refuses to tell us, and so PR fails to constitute any sort of counter to presuppositional apologetics. It is a mere assertion.
Second, argument APR refutes PR as follows:
If atheism is true, then PR is false.
Atheism is true.
Therefore, PR is false.
The argument form is modus ponens and Paul has not given any reason for thinking that either of the two premises is false. I have satisfied Paul’s request. Yet Paul has wasted a significant amount of my time lobbing condescending remarks and rhetorical devices my way rather than satisfactorily addressing either of the two concerns with PR above. You may read the exchange in the links below:
Changing the Subject
Most recently Paul has attempted to change the subject of our discussion, but fares no better on the new topic. Paul presents a story about Person A and Person B. A and B offer alleged competing transcendentals (transcendentals = positions that provide the preconditions of intelligible experience). Paul asked how the disagreement between A and B should be resolved. I replied, “The matter must be resolved transcendentally.” (Transcendentally = by way of positive presentation and negative transcendental critique; internal critique).
Paul asks, “The solution to the problem lies in a transcendental proof ?”
The solution lies in approaching the disagreement transcendentally, as I already stated.
“Just for clarity, is that a transcendental proof or a transcendent proof ?”
I did not mention a “transcendental proof,” and I do not know what a “transcendent proof” is.
“Is ‘yogic flying’ involved for example ?”
“Is it available on the NHS ?”
“Does it come it pill form, or, more importantly, is it falsifiable and repeatable ?”
“Then, here it comes
‘This is not the Christian position. Perhaps Paul does not mean to represent the Christian revelation here. I do not know. He is, again, exceedingly unclear.’
and that, is the expected special pleading. Hook, line, sinker, fishing rod, keepnet and the meat paste sandwiches to boot.”
Paul is so concerned about catching me in a fallacy that he misses what I was responding to in what he quotes from me. Here is the context:
“A revelation by it’s very nature is an internal mental experience.”
This is not the Christian position. Perhaps Paul does not mean to represent the Christian revelation here. I do not know. He is, again, exceedingly unclear.
Paul claims that “revelation” is “an internal mental experience.” In the portion of text Paul quotes from me I was pointing out that this claim is not what the Christian position teaches about revelation. Paul thinks that what I am doing is responding to the pub story by asking which of the two positions (A or B) is the Christian one and hence engaging in special pleading, but he is mistaken.
“Chris also pleads for a debate – why, when it must be oh so simple to lay out, with brevity, what his transcendent/transcendental proof is ?”
The reasons for suggesting a debate were provided in the previous post and will not be repeated here.
“If he feels insulted by my comment about his pomposity…”
I do not. However, it indicates a failure on Paul’s part to make an argument instead of an insult. Paul is a scoffer and not a scholar, a mocker and not a thinker, and he is apparently proud of it. Why not? Fundamentalist atheism encourages this sort of anti-intellectualism.
Paul offers no new objection to my pointing out that he provides no support for PR, no new objection to APR, no objection to my answer concerning alleged competing transcendentals, and no acceptance or rejection of my debate proposal. Paul Baird is blowing smoke.