Switching Prisons

Not too long ago a good friend sent me this article: http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usnj&c=words&id=15275 The author is a Wiccan philosopher. I wanted to respond to it for my friend, and even for myself, as it helps to articulate a position you disagree with. The following is somewhat of a rough sketch, and I’m sure I didn’t get to everything in it. It’s not a response to Wicca per se, but to the philosophical underpinnings highlighted throughout.Here it is:

Alright so here are some of my initial thoughts. The author is clearly using a particular jargon, at times using terms only someone familiar …

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Response to “The Problem with Presuppositionalism”

One of our readers brought this post – http://philosophiles.net/2012/09/28/the-problem-with-presuppositionalism – to my attention. For some reason I was unable to comment on the post, so I have reproduced a brief response here.

The author is probably correct to think that premise four is the one that presuppositionalists are going to object to, but in attempting to defend that premise he makes at least three errors.

First, he focuses on, “The only effective way to falsify premise four,” which assumes that the burden of proof is on the presuppositionalist to falsify the premise. But that’s not the way arguments work. Since …

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Presuppositionalists Are Too Negative

Transcendental arguments are traditionally used in response to skepticism. See Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Strawson, Grayling, and Stern.

Transcendental argument in Van Til and Bahnsen is likewise a response to skepticism. They were not arguing for skepticism, they were arguing against it. It just so happens that the only answer to skepticism is the Christian worldview.

Presuppositional apologists often appear to argue for skepticism because their opponents attempt to respond to it through rationalist, empiricist, and pragmatic schools of thought. But it is unreasonable to assume, given the evidence, that any of these three general responses to skepticism really works.

Thus …

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The Truth About Presuppositions

“Presuppositional apologetics” are the same thing as “covenantal apologetics,” but only when we recognize that presuppositions are covenantal. It is relatively uninteresting to posit that everybody has presuppositions. However, to point to the content of those presuppositions as reflecting a relationship to God is something quite different.  Every person is under either the grace or the wrath of God. People view the world in virtue of their relationship to God.…

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Calvin and Thomas

Our wisdom, in so far as it ought to be deemed true and solid Wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other. For, in the first place, no man can survey himself without forthwith turning his thoughts towards the God in whom he lives and moves; because it is perfectly obvious, that the endowments which we possess cannot possibly be from ourselves; nay, that our very being is

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Overly Pious Apologetic Practitioners

Often people argue that conversions do not come about through argument. The idea is that faith in the Gospel alone is what saves. We cannot argue anyone into the kingdom. So we should just preach the Gospel.

The suggestion is superficially insightful. It sounds pious to preach the Gospel. And it is. But imagine preaching the Gospel to those who vocally reject its most basic tenets. Once the Gospel has been preached, and the unbeliever persists in his or her statements to the effect that God does not exist, sin is a psychological trick to get children to behave, Jesus …

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Models, Frameworks, Circularity, and Blind Faith

Introduction

A number of my debate opponents have spoken of “models” or “frameworks.” A model or framework is posited as the basis of knowledge.

For example, one model or framework claims that we may only come to know things through evidence available to the five senses. But the claim that we may only come to know things through evidence available to the five senses is not itself accepted upon the basis of evidence available to the five senses!

Assumption

Some will respond that a model or framework does not have to follow its own rules. A model or framework is …

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The Consistently Inconsistent Worldview Objection

Suppose someone posits that his or her worldview is consistently inconsistent. He or she admits that there are many inconsistencies within the worldview. In this case, inconsistency is not something to be shunned. Inconsistency is to be affirmed. Embraced. Granted approval. Are there such worldviews? Yes. There are worldviews that come close to rejecting the need for consistency. Buddhism and postmodernism are two examples. How might the covenantal apologist respond?

First, an inconsistency-affirming worldview is also consistency-affirming. There is nothing more inconsistent with inconsistency than consistency. To be consistent, an inconsistency-affirming worldview must also be a consistency-affirming worldview. …

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A Christian Epistemology of Testimony

Epistemology of Testimony

In the Word of God we have the testimony of God. We accept this testimony on faith. We are warranted in doing so. One might say that we have a testimonial epistemology.

Doubting Scripture

Unbelievers often call the aforementioned testimonial epistemology into question. They question our accepting the Word of God on faith. They question the notion that we have the Word of God.

Frequently the aforementioned doubts stem from other testimony. So for example, a young person reads that naturalistic, macro-evolutionary biology is true and that he would be stupid or wicked for not accepting …

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