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Thoran

The late Reformed Christian apologistCornelius Van Til (1895-1987) is most well known for an apologetic methodology known as “Presuppositionalism.” The belief that apart from God it is ultimately impossible to know or prove anything.

***ME***
Which is bullshit.

***YOU***
Deep down, all people know that God exists,

***ME***
You can claim anyone does anything "deep down" and ity's impossible to prove or disprove it even to yourself.

Deep down, you are a Rhutabega.

***YOU***
but because of man's sinful nature he will “suppress” the truth of God.

***ME***
Bullshit.

***YOU***
Sinful man does not wish to be accountable so he naturally (as a result of the sin curse) fights against the reality of God.

***ME***
No, other way around. Truely evil people look for excuses to do evil things. It can be anything; God, Libertarianism, etc.

***YOU***
In truth, man knows that God is there,

***ME***
We're Atheists.

***YOU***
that God is holy, righteous,

***ME***
Your god is an asshole.

***YOU***
and just.

***ME***
He once murdered hundreds of people and animals just to punish one guy for absolutely nothing. THEY didn't even do the nothing that earned his wrath!

***YOU***
And that God provides for man. Likewise,

***ME***
It is unwise to say "Likewise" after saying something your audience completely disagrees with.

***YOU***
deep down all people know that they are accountable to God and that one day they will stand before Him in judgment.

***ME***
Prove it.

***YOU***

The Bible declares: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

***ME***
Argumentum Ad Bacculum doesn't work on me. A Muslim one tried to scare me with genies.

Genies!

He said the Genies were gonna get me.

Fuck year! Barbara Eden!

***YOU***
because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

***ME***
Back up your claim!

***YOU***
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen,

***ME***
Invisible attributes... clearly seen.
Do I even need to say anything?

***YOU***
being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20 NASB)
Presuppositional Apologetics teaches that all people have “presuppositions” by which they live by and make decisions.

***ME***
Presuppositions are conclusions you jump to before you even start thinking and never ever question. Presuppositions are intellectual poison.

***YOU***
The Christian, by the grace of God, sees the Triune God as the ultimate authority and revealer of everything we know.

***ME***
And we don't.

***YOU***
God has revealed truth in many ways;

***ME***
*sigh* you are really repetitive, you know that?

***YOU***
including the written revelation of what He has told us in His Word.

***ME***
Please say something new.

***YOU***
So Christians “presuppose” the existence of God and the validity of the Bible when they proclaim the gospel. To tell someone they have presuppositions is not meant as an insult.

***ME***
Well, it is. And you should take it as one too. Hell, You KNOW we think you're calling us idiots because you just denied it! Presuppositions ARE stupid!

***YOU***
It's just reality.

***ME***
No, it's projecting your stupid way of thinking onto us.

***YOU***
Unbelievers, likewise have presuppositions.

***ME***
Fuck you theist!

***YOU***
The difference is that their presuppositions are incorrect

***ME***
ALL presuppositions are incorrect! Assumptions are flawed, anything anyone considders "unquestionable" is evil, therefore assumptions you never ever question are poison.

***YOU***
as a result of consciously or sub-consciously suppressing the truth of God.

***ME***
And you subconsciously rape carrots. Prove me wrong!

***YOU***

For the unbeliever, they are presupposing something other than God as the authority.

***ME***
No.

***YOU***
This "something else" is usually themselves

***ME***
No...

***YOU***
by way of their “reason” or “senses” or “education.”

***ME***
Ok... so, you are now arguing against thinking. Creationists have already declared that you can believe in science or God but not both. You are declaring that you can THINK AT ALL or believe in God but not both.

***YOU***
Man in his sin sits himself up as judge and declares that “I will weigh the evidence and make my decisions about what is true or not true.”

***ME***
Really? You can't think of a single reason people would think other than "sin"? You need a reason to think? Intellectual curiosity isn't enough for you?

***YOU***
In essence, sinful man puts as much “faith” in his reason

***ME***
*Facepam*
FAITH AND REASON ARE INCOMPATABLE YOU FUCKTARD!

***YOU***
as the Christian does in God's revelation.

***ME***
No you don't. Faith and belief in god aren't direct antonyms.

***YOU***
Who, then is correct?

***ME***
The one who uses their brain.

***YOU***
And which person is more justified in relying upon the presuppositions that they have?

***ME***
No one is justified in using presuppositions at all. If you jump to conclusions BEFORE you think rather than after, you are a moron.

***YOU***

One of the most interesting arguments that Van Til made was that “atheism presupposes theism.”

***ME***
That is a contradiction.

***YOU***
In order for the atheist to argue anything they must use laws of logic which are uniform and constant.

***ME***
Here we go, you're gonna argue against logic itself. THIS is why I have gained respect for ordinary Creationists, they argue against Science, not logic itself,

***YOU***
And apart from God giving such structure to our world, logic would not exist.

***ME***
Bullshit.

***YOU***
So when the atheist uses “logic”

***ME***
Maybe it's nothing, but you just put quotes around the word "Logic". I do the same thing with the word "Faith". I do so to express contempt for the very concept of "Faith". Maybe you are not doing the same thing at all, maybe I'm the only one that does that. But still...

***YOU***
to argue against God's existence they are actually using a tool that they would not have unless God had given it to them.

***ME***
Bullshit.

***YOU***
The same would be true of arguments from science.

***ME***
What you just said wasn't true!

***YOU***

Scientific laws would not exist if God had not established the earth with a certain order that reflects His very nature.

***ME***
Your god contradicts himself all the time. Actually, a lot of the Bible makes a bit more sense if you assume Jehovah has multiple personalities. He sacrifices himself to himself to appease his own infinite wrath because he loves us.

***YOU***
To see rain fall from the sky and food grow from the ground; is to witness God's testimonial revelation in the created order.

***ME***
You know Science knows exactly why that happens, right? You can't be stupid enough to think we're supposed to be impressed by "water come from sky".

***YOU***

Such arguments would also be true in the area of morality.

***ME***
What is it with you and using terrible arguments and then saying "and the same is true for..."???

***YOU***
What basis would an unbeliever have for arguing that something (anything) is immoral?

***ME***
We're human.

***YOU***
The Christian's worldview tells them that morality is based upon what God has declared to be “right” or “wrong.”

***ME***
I have said many times that anyone who needs threats of hellfire to be a good person is a sociopath.

***YOU***
But for the unbeliever to declare something to be “right” or “wrong” they must hijack the Christian worldview that has these categories,

***ME***
No, other way around. You agree with the bits of the Bible that match your natural concience ("thou shalt not kill" etc) but re-interperet or ignore the bits you disagree with (Trial wives, luke 14:26 etc). We cut out the middle man.

***YOU***
then attempt to use God's standards against Him.

***ME***
That's sounds like you're involving the Charles I Defense; "By what right does this court put your king on trial"?

***YOU***

Therefore, as Van Til stated, “atheism presupposes theism.” The atheist cannot argue against God's existence without assuming (even unknowingly assuming) that God does exist.

***ME***
That is a contradiction.

***YOU***
Because the rules of logic, science, or morality that they use in their debate only make sense in a world where God exists.

***ME***
Bullshit.

***YOU***

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTE: Not all Christian apologists agree with Van Til's methodology.

***ME***
And I have respect for those ones. You're making Kent Hovind look intelligent!

***YOU***
Nevertheless, I would encourage all Christians to familiarize themselves with his teachings. There is great benefit in understanding where the unbeliever is coming from

***ME***
No they're not, not even close. If you want to know where we're coming from, talk to US! Van Till's arguments create straw-men so confusing, we have trouble even understanding them. That is a sign of a truely terrible straw-man; a straw-man so far removed from the victims actual way of thinking, the victim asks you to explain it.

Hell, people like you, specifically those who not only use Presuppositionalism but actually try to explain it, people like you often lament that Van Til's arguments cause us to be more confused than before forcing you guys to say "I'm not saying that I don't actually believe in logic..."

If you have to do that, then Van Till's arguments don't help anyone understand anything.

***YOU***
and why they think the way they do.

***ME***
We don't think the way Van Till thinks. Only the absolute dumbest, most closed-minded and brainwashed Theists think the way he thinks we think.

***YOU***
Then, as the Lord opens doors, pointing out the logical inconsistency of the foundation upon which the unbeliever stands.

***ME***
You have yet to even mention Skepticism.

...Oh, wait, no, never mind, you accused us of "Having faith in reason
Because to you thinking is evil. Never mind, you did adress the foundation of everything else we believe.


Shane Kastler

Hi Thoran,

Thanks for the lengthy response. I’ll try to address some of your arguments. At least the ones where you actually made arguments rather than merely uttering an expletive. (You seem sharp, so I’m sure you know answering by simply saying “Bull-s**t” is not a logical argument). In fact, you seem too sharp to resort to the gutter to defend your position. But maybe I’m wrong about you.
Regarding the claim that deep down all people know there is a God. The explanation in Romans 1 is convincing enough for me, but the examples for this are myriad. I might even use you as an example. If you are an avowed atheist, then why would you devote so much time and energy to refuting me, or Van Til, or the God you say doesn’t exist. Do you spend this much time refuting those who believe in Santa Claus? It looks like you might be fighting against someone you know is there, but would rather not deal with. Or that you merely deem to be unfair. It may be an old and stale argument for me to make, but nonetheless true, “Why do you seem to hate God so bad when you say he doesn’t even exist?”
Another interesting evidence that solidifies my point is that all people seem to innately believe in some concept of God. Even tribesmen in jungles who have never heard of modern religions still hold to a concept of a God who provides and judges. This would seem to verify what Romans 1 teaches and what Van Til taught.
I do accept that all will one day stand before God in judgement; and I do believe that God is fully justified in demanding this of us. He is our creator and as such, can do whatever he wants with us. You want me to “prove it.” I have no doubt that I cannot prove it through argumentation in a way that would satisfy you. But I have no doubt, God will prove it experientially soon enough. Argumentum Ad Bacculum is a fallacy when the threat is a mere tool to persuade. But it’s no fallacy if the warning is legitimate. When the Weather Channel issues a tornado warning because a funnel cloud is bearing down on your town, this is not Argumentum Ad Bacculum. It’s real life. And so is God.
God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen “through what has been made” (Romans 1:20) --- in other words the creation itself testifies to God’s unseen attributes. You’re right, we know how rain works, scientifically. But why does the whole process work? Condensation, precipitation, and evaporation make for quiet an orderly way of watering the earth. Especially in a world of random chance. It seems to point to a Creator. As does the constant rotation of the earth and the constant orbit around the sun. There’s too much constancy for this to be mere chance. It screams of something more. And to totally dismiss the God factor is illogical and absurd. If you offer and cling to other theories, feel free. But those who would offer a Divine “theory” (as you might call it) are not necessarily “stupid a**holes”. Some of us know how to read, write, and even brush our teeth on occasion. You and I may disagree; but we’re not Neanderthals for holding to what we do. Most of us have studied it in depth to arrive at our conclusions. Not all have. But some of us do.
We all bring presuppositions to this issue. But that doesn’t mean all presumptions are wrong. Some are and should be rejected, but some are right. Presupposing God’s existence is verified by Scripture, observation, and logic. While you accuse me of arguing against “thinking” I’m doing nothing of the sort. I’m arguing in favor of thinking that involves examining the world around us and not immediately ruling out Divine answers. Especially when they make logical sense.
Apart from a universe of order, rules of logic, science, and morality could not exist. If random chance, sparked an evolutionary process that led to our current society, then we would expect to see chaos in nature, not uniformity. In order to argue using this type of uniformity; one has to embrace laws that only make sense in a world governed by God.
In conclusion, as for your claim that I disregard parts of the Bible I don’t like while embracing the parts I do. This is untrue. I see the entire Bible as an unfolding story beginning with Adam and Eve and ending with the return of Christ. Much of the Old Testament, for example, was written to Jews under the Old Covenant and would thus not apply to a Christian living under the New Covenant. Many people, Christians included, muddy the waters needlessly by taking Bible verses (and even entire books) out of context and trying to apply them to themselves or others.
At the end of the day, everyone has to trust in something or someone they can’t see to explain past events that none of us were around for. How did the world get here? Scientists present theories, sometimes mislabeled as facts. Christians present Biblical revelation, often ignored as mythology. I’m fine with everyone stating their view and seeing who is right in the end. My point is that Christianity is not at odds with logic. Yes, I have faith in God. But unbelievers have faith too…..in someone or something. Maybe its faith in a scientist whom you believe was correct in his evolutionary theories. That’s fine, embrace his views. But since none of us were there when the world came into being, ALL of us offer answers of faith. We believe (even loosely) to things we cannot see.

Thanks for the dialogue,

Shane K.

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