So tonight I’d like to talk a little bit about Presuppositional Apologetics. To start Let’s define the terms.
Presupposition – something tacitly assumed beforehand at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action.
Apologetics – reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.
So together we can gather that these are arguments based around ideas that one assumes everyone shares. Tonight I will be dealing with Christian Presuppositional Apologetics but the facts are that any person can delve into these ideas, it doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, Muslim, Atheist, Far-Left, Far-Right, etc… All that is required is for someone to make an assumption on some ideal that they believe everyone shares and form an argument around that assumption.
In the religious realm this takes the form of assuming that everyone, regardless of what they claim, actually does believe in god and not only that but they recognize the truth and inerrant nature of biblical scripture. If someone says that they do not believe in god or scripture, the presuppositionalist will claim they are lying and once again repeat that everyone knows the bible is true and that god is real.
The reasoning behind Christians, or anyone for that matter, using this type of argument is that there is really no way that any new information can enter into the debate. This prevents anything from contradicting the argument and so it may seem like it makes the one promoting this type of argument appear correct. It feels really good to be right and surprisingly it feels just as good to believe you are right even if the truth of the matter is different from what you may believe.
It may come as a shock to some that are new to this blog but I was once a Christian presuppositionalist. I knew that everyone believed in god and the only ones who said they didn’t were lying because the devil wanted them to lie. I was a major proponent of every bad argument that you have ever heard a creationist or fundamentalist promote. I wasn’t a young earth creationist but I was a creationist and I was definitely a fundamentalist.
At one point I thought that my faith in god was unshakable. If you would have told me ten years ago that I would be an atheist today, writing articles in an effort to disprove arguments I once used, I would have laughed you out of my church. However, my faith was anything but unshakable and it was actually the fragility of those beliefs that exposed the error of presuppositionalist thought.
You see, when I started to question my own beliefs I began to realize that it was actually possible to doubt the existence of god. It was possible to lose a belief that I once thought everyone shared. When my faith began to wane my christian life actually increased for a good period of time. I prayed more, I read the bible more, I fasted and tithed more, in every facet of my life I pushed myself to go further than I ever had in order to reignite the faith that I had once enjoyed. Yet, even with all that my faith continued to wane and I found that there was no devil over my shoulder leading me into the world of sin.
I never found myself falling into a world of sin that I assumed everyone who claimed to not believe in god lived within. I didn’t get a drinking problem, in fact I drink far less now than I did as a minister….yes I drank when I was a minister, and felt damn guilty every time I did. I didn’t find myself shooting up, wanting to rape or murder anyone, and I didn’t find myself going down any path that I considered sinful. I simply had lost my faith and it never returned. So here I am today telling you that presuppositional apologetics are enshrined by their own desperate weakness.
Now that we have that out-of-the-way let me talk to you a little bit about why these arguments are bad logically.
If I were to ask the classic,
“Have you stopped beating your wife?”
I am assuming, of course, that you beat your wife. You could answer yes, which means you beat your wife in the past, or no, which means you still beat your wife, but either answer still points to domestic violence at some point in time. The same is true for religious arguments.
“Why do you hate god?”
This question assumes that there is a god in this reality for which we can hate. If you answer that you don’t hate god, then the answer would be, “Well, why don’t you follow him?” If you answer that you do hate god, then the answer would be, “AH-Ha, you do believe in god or else how could you hate him?” If your answer was anywhere outside of the bounds of an I do or an I don’t, the presuppositionalist will simply say, “Of course you say that, you hate god.”
Now another reason why this argument is poorly thought out is that it is open to the exact reverse being said.
A Christian may say, “All men believe in god.”
An Atheist could say, “All men know god isn’t real.”
Neither side can be argued from a logical standpoint and but both arguments nullify any information that contradicts the argument. It’s true that both arguments can be debated against but the presuppositionalist will simply disregard any argument, no matter how sound it might be, as rubbish since it contradicts their original argument.
To put it bluntly, the Christian Presuppositional argument is simply a security blanket that allows them to feel better about their beliefs, superior to the evil ones who deny their supposed truth, and giddy at the fact that their argument makes those who use actual logical debate tactics want to rip their hair out.
Thank you for reading and it’s obvious to me that this is the greatest article ever written and anyone who says otherwise is definitely lying. Goodnight!