Praxis Presup: Episode 19

Chris begins his critique of the counter-apologetics podcast Reasonable Doubts as it addresses presuppositional apologetics.

The counter-apologetics podcast may be found here – http://freethoughtblogs.com/reasonabledoubts/2012/02/09/episode-97-presuppositional-apologetics-part-1

An initial comment on the podcast may be found here – http://www.choosinghats.org/2012/02/reasonable-doubts-about-presuppositional-apologetics

4 thoughts on “Praxis Presup: Episode 19

  1. Hey C.B.

    This is Jeremy Beahan (the other guy) from Reasonable Doubts. I’m listening through this and am not going to bother with a point by point rebuttal but I need to point one thing out. It concerns your remarks starting around 40 min or so. I’m talking about how the presuppositionalist believes the atheist truly does believe in God. I say my “usual” way (talking to a non-presuppositionalist) of responding to such a claim would be to say “you cant get inside my head and see what I think, I could just as easily say all theists really dont believe in God. But both claims would be impossible to prove or falsify.” Your response is to shake your head and say “whats so hard to get”. The Chrisitan is presupposing the bible and it says atheists know there is a God. The atheist on the other hand has no basis on which to assert that all Christians know God doesnt exist. First let me hit on a tiny misunderstanding of what I was saying before addressing the larger problem which led me to comment here (against my better judgment). Small problem…I wasn’t claiming an atheist actually could know Christians don’t really believe in God. I was explaining how a claim like that, though easy to assert, is completely without evidence, cant be proven, cant be falsified, because we cannot directly observe anothers thoughts. I think because you are too quick to hit the pause button you didn’t get what I was saying was “we could say that, but it would be baseless. And likewise, the opposite claim would also be baseless for the same reason.” Simple misunderstanding. Now the bigger problem…So you respond it’s not baseless presupposing the Christian worldview, and then scold us for loosing sight of the role of presuppositions and not taking the time to think about what we were saying. Chris, you need to take time to think about what we are saying because you fail to realize we are agreeing with you! The whole point in bringing that up was to say “Atheist, here’s what you might might want to say but if you try to understand where the presuppositionalist is coming from you wont use that type of argument!” Its not just this example, you do this throughout your entire critique (which is not to deny on rare occasions we put things too simply and clarification was helpful). You pause to critique us but half the time, right after you press play again, we make the same point you just did. You’re clearly put off by hearing our frustration with your position, but you falsely take these comments to be critiques when we are simply trying to inform our side how NOT to argue, and we are doing so in a “heres what you might say…dont” fashion. Stop hitting pause after the “heres what you might say” part to rant. Wait until the “dont” part and you’ll save yourself a lot of redundant and pointless commentary.

    p.s. no one suppressed your comment at the RD blog. We dont moderate comments, though they do occasionally go directly into our spam folder especially when they contain a bunch of offsite links as yours did. As soon as I saw it, I made sure it went up. Everyone is welcome to write whatever they want. The only comments I ever delete are racist ones.

  2. My comments are not always in reference to what was said in the podcast. I try to be thorough. So for example, there are atheists who claim that Christians do not really believe in God. Dan Barker makes that claim. Why not address it while I am there?

    Additionally, I listened to the podcast very quickly before going back through and responding to each comment. I did not always know what was coming next. There are places where I correct you, and then you add the qualification I was just talking about. That’s fine. I am thankful for that, and people can hear where you were saying the same thing that I was.

    But I am afraid you are not making much sense in the rest of your comment above. You wrote, “I think because you are too quick to hit the pause button you didn’t get what I was saying was ‘we could say that, but it would be baseless. And likewise, the opposite claim would also be baseless for the same reason.’ Simple misunderstanding.”

    It was obvious that you were not in favor of the atheist making the comment about Christians not really believing in God. I got that part. So what you *were* saying according to your comment above, not just advising others *not to say*, was that the hypothetical atheist claim that Christians do not really believe in God would be baseless, and likewise for the opposite claim. But the opposite claim is the one that the Christian makes. It is the claim that everyone believes in God. So, what you *are* saying, not just what you were advising *not to say*, is that the Christian claim that everyone believes in God is baseless. And I disagree.

    Yet you write, “Chris, you need to take time to think about what we are saying because you fail to realize we are agreeing with you!” Well, no, you were not agreeing with me on that point, and you are not agreeing with me now, if I understand your comment correctly. But perhaps you are being unclear.

    Also, thank you for mentioning what happened with the comment on your site. I figured something like that had happened, or that someone thought my re-posting it here was sufficient. I firmly believe that your comment policy is your business. It is your site!

    In any event I look forward to listening to the remainder of the program as well as the next one.

    • One other thing I forgot to mention -

      There was a bit of laughter that went along with the universal belief in God position which quite strongly implied that you were critiquing it. I hope that makes sense.

  3. Mr. Bolt,
    Thanks for this episode! I particularly enjoyed your distinguishing and clarifying the difference between Covenantal Apologetics and reductio arguments. The atheist, it seems, often tries to label his opposition. He cares very little for addressing the points but instead grasps for any possible absurdity in the oppositions case. Why is he then so upset when the apologist demonstrates the impossibility and absurdity of unbelief?
    FYI. Coherentism is addressed and refuted on pg. 168ff of the Bahnsen Van Til reader.

    Thanks again,

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