A case study in the inherent dishonesty of presuppositional tactics
(More about Sye now at http://syetenbruggencate.wordpress.com.)
Sye Ten Bruggencate is a Christian presuppositionalist. He does not think you have any basis for rationality other than his choice of a god. After centuries of emphasizing faith, Christianity was forced by the success of science to focus on its “evidences”, and having manifestly failed there, is now justifiably cowering in the face of scientific scrutiny, and is desperately employing increasingly absurd tactics in an attempt to destroy the utility of rationality in order to salvage a god who, most Christians admit, would eternally torture all those who follow a nature they neither requested nor can avoid. Sye is a prominent promoter of a new tactic that attempts to wrest the right to rationality away from those rational enough to reject the bible myth by irrationally suggesting that, in the very use of rationality, those promoting rationality must acknowledge the god of the bible as the author of rationality.
Most of you know I’m not much for detail. I tell my students they get extra credit if they correct my spelling and grammar mistakes since my mind is often attempting to process what I’ll be saying 5 minutes from the present while I write on the whiteboard.
Phil inattentive in a 1969 grammar class
Well, recently I’ve discovered a cheap way to get someone else willing to do my proofreading for free. I’ve been engaging a lot of individuals from a lot of diverse positions to collect less-than-rational arguments for a website I’ve been developing on logical fallacies. Two of these individuals were a couple of common theists.
Well, with these two theists I was much more successful than I anticipated. I collected more logical fallacies than I’d imagined could come from just 2 individuals, plus I got them so riled up that they found this site and began to scour it for errors. They found at least one.
They said something to the effect that you’d expect an English teacher not to have a glaring grammar error greeting everyone on his blog. I had written “a incurable” rather than “an incurable” in my opening post. I have to hang my head and agree.
Give credit where credit is due. Thanks guys. Please continue to read my posts and let me know my short-comings. It’s much appreciated.
Here’s to volunteer proofreaders.
With apologists like this working so hard to embarrass christianity, I think the future looks rather bright for reason. These are comments spawned by a Youtube video a christian named Vekl posted.
“…deserve hell for eternity” [a quote in Vekl's video]
“why do you say that it’s absurd? Do you think you deserve heaven for eternity?”
Vekl, consider carefully the illogic in your statement. Do you actually think not deserving hell implies deserving heaven? Now consider what makes christians, who presumably have the “spirit of truth”, blunder so badly on simple logical concepts.
There is no evidence of a spirit guiding you into truth. Don’t you think it is time for you to abandon the absurdity of your faith that condemns you to make such simple error in logic, and come to reason?
In my most-read post entitled Reasons For My Deconversion, I claim that human minds are not well-equipped to assess what is true.
I recently had a christian who goes by the Youtube name anonazero point out the incoherency of this claim by sarcastically stating,
Yeah, that’s logically coherent. You say that we can’t know truth when you say that we are not equipped to asses what is true. If you can’t assess truth, you can’t know it.
This is a opportune case study in which we can explore the mind of a theist. We can, from this quote, extract 2 salient principles that may inform our understanding of christian illogic.
- The Abuse of Terms
Note that I said “not well-equipped” while our christian said I said “not equipped”. When I called him on this, he responded with the following.
If I’m WELL-EQUIPPED to assess truth it is the exact same thing as being EQUIPPED to assess truth.
This christian incredibly cannot distinguish between entailment and equivalency. His logic would require him to say…
If I’m WELL-ENDOWED it is the exact same thing as being ENDOWED.
While it would obviously be to the psychological advantage of someone poorly-yet-nonetheless endowed to adhere to this equivalency, an equivalency it is not. It is an entailment. And, as I need not tell those who have even modestly sought to remedy their poorly-equipped logical minds, non-tautological entailment is not bi-directional.
Having 6 legs entails having legs, but having legs does not entail having 6 legs. Being well-trained entails being trained, but being trained does not entail being well-trained. Thinking well entails thinking, but thinking does not entail thinking well. Being well-equipped entails being equipped, but being equipped does not entail nor equal being well-equipped.
I recently received a note from a very nice Christian that contained the following.
No matter who has wronged you as a Christian or how God has disappointed you that you work so hard to explain Him away, He still loves you and wants to live with you forever. So do I!
Please forgive me for offending you.
I responded as follows.
No problem, ——.
I once said the very same things to others.
As you know, many gods have been explained into existence, and the christian god takes many forms in the imaginations of its emotionally needy constituents.
Pause to think about your motivations. Would you want to live in a world where there was no god? Do you want to live in an immoral world that has no moral accountability?
Your reactions to these questions are also based on the lies that you have been taught, coupled with your imagination and a lack of interest in empirical data.
Your entire concept of self and of others is informed by the bible and your emotionally based imagination.
Recently, there has been an apologetics turn away from the traditional positive apologetics towards a negative defense of Christianity in which confidence in reason is claimed to be just as unwarranted as belief in god and every other belief. The bulk of the comments below from a christian named Nick Kiefer are a good example of this, and are very instructive as a reflection of the christian mindset. These comment were originally posted in response to my Reasons For My Deconversion post. I am adding my own in-line comments I’ll mark in [ green ]. If you’d like to contact Nick, he can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org.