Friday, July 26, 2013

A bit of a presuppositionalist argument - Part I

A website exists with 1990's style web design that attempts to prove god exists.

What stands out to me, is that it spends a significant amount of time painstakingly taking the user through a series of questions and points that probably could have been simply stated up front, as givens, to any nonbeliever (though that maybe arguable).

Let's breeze through this.
  • Absolute truth exists
  • I know something to be true
  • Logic exists
  • Logic does not change
  • Logic is not made of matter
  • Logic is universal
Agree? I think those choices are reasonably straight forward. The site says,
To reach this page you have admitted that absolute truth exists, that you can know things to be true, that logic exists, that it is unchanging, that it is not made of matter, and that it is universal.

And then, we are hit with a walloping non sequitur.
Truth, knowledge, and logic are necessary to prove ANYTHING and cannot be made sense of apart from God. Therefore...
First, "Truth, knowledge, and logic are necessary to prove ANYTHING"... the heck? This is one discombobulated statement.

Discombobulated, I say.

Let's start with "truth". Here's what the almighty has to say:
1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.4. the state or character of being true.5. actuality or actual existence.
I agree with the above. They're all synonyms of what I was going to say, which was "Truth is the set of things that are true."

The author basically has the statement backwards.

Logic and empirical evidence are necessary to figure out what's true... and when we figure out something that's true, that's defintionally knowledge. Our total knowledge represents what portion of The Truth that we've figured out so far.
So this author has it as:
Truth, Knowledge and Logic --> Proof
... whereas how it actually works, is:
Logic and Evidence -> "Proof" (Demonstration beyond a reasonable double) -> Knowledge --(Subset)--> Truth
So, wow, maybe the author was just incredibly dyslexic and put the words all in the wrong order? But moving on to the next sentence...
... and cannot be made sense of apart from God.
I have no idea how Author justifies this claim. There's multiple different problems with this statement.
  • The idea of God inventing logic without logic is unintelligible.
  • Just because something "makes sense" or is internally consistent, doesn't mean it's true.
  • Just because something "doesn't make sense", and doesn't seem to be internally consistent doesn't mean it's not true. It could be that it's on the right track, even if the model isn't perfect.
The statement is actually literally an Argument from Ignorance. It's taking on the form of "Well we don't know how else it could happen"

There's a modicum of irony in that, too. The person is failing logic in an attempt to demonstrate that logic/"proof" requires a god. God's own logic, apparently, cannot be successfully used to demonstrate that logic comes from him.

The page ends with:
Therefore... [button link]

Gasp! What's on the next page!
The Proof that God exists is that without Him you couldn't prove anything.
Cool. Care to actually demonstrate that claim is true? You didn't actually accomplish that on the previous page. How is this claim more credible than claiming that you can't use Math without ZodBlat, the Interdimensional Octopus-Mathematician?

Do you actually have any means for demonstrating that your claim is more than merely an unsupported assertion?
While this proof is valid....
Woah woah... what? What proof? I didn't see any math on the site. Did I miss something? Or do you mean "proof", as in "demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt", because you didn't come close to that either. As far as I can tell, you just asserted a claim... and that was that.
... no one needs this proof. The Bible teaches ...
Oh, boy... here we go. Things are true because dusty old book says so.
The Bible teaches us that there are 2 types of people in this world, those who profess the truth of God's existence and those who suppress the truth of God's existence.
I am exactly zero surprised that the Bible would construct a false dichotomy. If there's no "truth" to suppress, neither of the first two types are true... it'd actually just be:

  1. Those who believe there's a god
  2. Those who don't believe in a god

Of course, without sufficient evidence, we don't know which dichotomy it is, which is kinda/sorta the problem.
The options of 'seeking' God, or not believing in God are unavailable.
... do you mean legally speaking? I'm sitting here proving you wrong, right now. Maybe I should turn myself in...
The Bible never attempts to prove the existence of God as it declares that the existence of God is so obvious that we are without excuse for not believing in Him.
The Book of ZodBlat says that his existence is even more obvious, and no one extra double hardcore doesn't have excuse to not believe in him.

Take that!

It's true because the Book of ZodBlat says so.

The author spits a Bible quote at us. Amazing... and ends with:
God does not send people to Hell for denying what they do not know, but for sin against the God that they do know.
... well, as it turns out, I don't know he exists. That'd imply that his existence is demonstrably true... which I keep asking for, but typically only get silly syllogisms without any attempt at empirical confirmation.

... so I guess we're done here?

Wait! He's got followup, where he explains why God is necessary... the meaty stuff. I'd like to address that separately, so see you next time.

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