A Response to KnownNoMore’s Video: Sye Ten Bruggencate’s Presuppositional Apologetics Refuted, Part 2: Wrong about EVERYTHING???

This is the second discussion on Part 2 of a video posted by KnownNoMore.  If you didn’t see the first video, please check out Part 1 of my blog.  KnowNoMore has split up his rebuttal to Sye Ten Bruggencate’s presuppositional apologetic technique.  I’m ordering my responses to match each of his separate videos.

A little background:

I’ve recently been visiting Google+ communities to discuss the existence of God.  There are several communities that post and debate on atheist and theist materials.  I think is a great way to build your apologetic skills and be ready to address any questions you might get while sharing the Gospel.  There are many more atheists in the communities than there are Christians which is disappointing.  Also, it can get a bit overwhelming when you have 3, 4, or 5 atheists challenging you at the same time.  These communities are an excellent place to see Proverbs 17:12 in action! (Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly)  We certainly need more Christian voices on the web so please consider joining in the share the Gospel and glorify the Lord by addressing atheists on the internet.

I was recently using a presuppositional apologetic when an atheist stated that presuppositional apologetics was refuted and posted a link to these youtube videos.  There are actually several videos from a you-tuber knows as KnownNoMore.  These videos focus on Sye Ten Bruggencate and his presuppositional approach.  Sye has become very popular on youtube and has debated many popular atheists.  To learn more about Sye and his ministry, please visit ProofThatGodExists.org.  Also, check out his video produced by Crown Rights Media called How to Answer the Fool.  The video is an excellent resource for learning the presuppositional approach to apologetics.

I’ve been responding to these videos with the goal of creating a resource to direct atheists to when this video is brought up again to keep the focus on the absurdity of the unbelievers world view.  I also hope that other apologists can use the blog as a resource too.

Here is the video we will be looking at:

A common question that is asked when using presuppositional apologetics is “What do you know for certain?”  The idea is to discuss how the unbeliever can justify knowledge without revelation from God.  We’re not saying that the unbeliever doesn’t know things for certain, but that they can’t justify knowing something for certain with their worldview.  The unbeliever wants to make themselves the final authority for truth and knowledge and then they want to decide whether God exists or not.  This is the same sin that we saw in the garden when Eve began thinking that she could have certain knowledge apart from God’s revelation.

KnownNoMore states he can know two things for certain.

1.”That I, as a thinking entity exist”

2.”The laws of logic”

When asked how he knows these things for certain, he answers, “Same way that you think you know your God exists, from the impossibility of the contrary.”  I’d like to clarify this point because it’s often missed by the unbelievers.  The possibility of the contrary does provide evidence that God exists.  However, we have certain knowledge that God exists because he has revealed himself to all of us (Romans 1:19).

KnownNoMore then provides a syllogism to demonstrate how he knows he exists.  He states:

1.In order for thinking to be going on, there must exist a thinking entity

2. There is thinking going on

3. A thinking entity exists

And this thinking entity is referred to as “I”

However, the syllogism only proves that a thinking entity exists.  It doesn’t lead to any proof that KnowNoMore exists.  He makes a jump from the conclusion that a thinker exists to I exist, but doesn’t demonstrate how he gets there.  There is no way to get from a thinking entity exists to I exist.  This was also pointed out by atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell in his work The History of Western Philosophy, p. 567.

In Part two, KnownNoMore introduces a proof to show how he can justify certain knowledge apart from God.  However, he attempts to make a leap from the conclusion of his proof, a thinker exists, to that thinker is I.  His proof fails to show how he can know that he exists for certain.  This isn’t a new problem, and was also discussed by Russell back in 1945.

In Part 3, KnownNoMore will be looking at the Laws of logic for justification of certain knowledge apart from God.  We’ll examine his argument and discuss any flaws we find.

 

 

 

 

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A Response to KnownNoMore’s Video: Sye Ten Bruggencate’s Presuppositional Apologetics Refuted, Part 1

I’ve recently been visiting Google+ communities to discuss the existence of God.  There are several communities that post and debate on atheist and theist materials.  I think is a great way to build your apologetic skills and be ready to address any questions you might get while sharing the Gospel.  There are many more atheists in the communities than there are Christians which is disappointing.  Also, it can get a bit overwhelming when you have 3, 4, or 5 atheists challenging you at the same time.  These communities are an excellent place to see Proverbs 17:12 in action! (Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool bent on folly)  We certainly need more Christian voices on the web so please consider joining in the share the Gospel and glorify the Lord by addressing atheists on the internet.

I was recently using a presuppositional apologetic when an atheist stated that presuppositional apologetics was refuted and posted a link to a youtube video.  There are actually several videos from a you-tuber knows as KnownNoMore.  These videos focus on Sye Ten Bruggencate and his presuppositional approach.  Sye has become very popular on youtube and has debated many popular atheists.  To learn more about Sye and his ministry, please visit ProofThatGodExists.org.  Also, check out his video produced by Crown Rights Media called How to Answer the Fool.  The video is an excellent resource for learning the presuppositional approach to apologetics.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be going through KnownNoMore’s videos and exploring the content.  I wasn’t able to respond to the atheist in the Google community since I hadn’t had any exposure to these videos before.  He was able to use the video to deflect the conversation and my questions.

My goal is to create a resource to direct atheists to when this video is brought up again to keep the focus on the absurdity of the unbelievers world view.  I also hope that other apologists can use the blog as a resource too.

Let’s start with part 1 and we’ll work through each of his videos.  I do have to admit, I like the background music that he has in his videos.  He goes at a nice pace, has a good online presence and voice which adds credibility to his videos.  Also, he attempts to deal with Sye’s arguments at an intellectual level, and I haven’t seen any ad hominem attacks yet.

Here is the link to part 1

KnownNoMore (KNM) states that Sye presupposes God exists and revealed things in such a way that we can be absolutely certain about.  Without doing that, absolute global skepticism applies, and you can’t know or account for anything at all.

He doesn’t have it quite right here.  It’s not that global skepticism applies, and you can’t know or account for anything at all.  What we are saying is that the unbeliever does know things.  The unbeliever is made in the image of God (Gen 1:16-27), and God reveals things to him just like Christians (Ps 19:1-4).  Moreover, he is able to be absolutely certain about things including God’s existence (Rom 1:19).  The unbeliever does this the same way a Christian does.  God reveals things to us so that we can know them for certain.  Even in this early part of the video, we can see how KNM thinks of himself as the starting point of knowledge.  The unbeliever knows things for certain, but cannot justify how by using a world view where they are the starting point of knowledge and suppress the authority of God (Rom 1:21).  The difference is that the Christian accepts that God is the starting point for knowledge and therefore, can justify how certain knowledge exists. (Proverbs 9:10)

KNM then addresses the question “Is it impossible for God to exist?”  I’ve heard this question used to start conversations with unbelievers.  100% of the time, the unbeliever will say “Yes”, which is a reasonable answer.  However, KNM attempts to provide an argument to answer “No” to this question.  I suggest that if KNM does indeed feel that it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to exist, he should show some support for his position instead of saying he isn’t able to understand the question since he can’t understand the attributes of God.  KNM is simply being intellectually dishonest when he says that it is impossible for God to exist.

To summarize, part 1 was a very basic video that outlined general points of the presuppositional apologetic approach.  I thought it was interesting how this video shows that KNM makes himself the starting point for knowledge.  It’s clear that he doesn’t quite grasp the Christian starting point and that without starting with God, you can’t account for knowledge.  He attempts to refute the apologetic through the very unusual tactic of refusing to admit the possibility of God’s existence.  However, he eventually concedes that it is possible that God exists so that he can examine more of Sye’s presuppositional apologetic approach.  I’ll be reviewing the other videos by KnownNoMore in the next few weeks.

The Blind Men and the Elephant

I’m currently reading a book by Tim Keller called The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. I’ll be adding my thoughts on various topics he covers to share his perspective and add my own. I hope this highlights topics you can use in conversations with skeptics.

In the first chapter, Tim discusses the story of the blind men and the elephant.  It’s a story I’ve heard skeptics use to try and show that all religions are the same, that all lead to God. The story goes like this:

One day, several blind men were walking through the forest.  They came upon an elephant. Not knowing what it was, each man reached out their hands and touched the elephant. The first man touched the elephant’s side and said “this is a huge wall.”  The second blind man touched the elephant’s leg and said, “no, it’s a large tree trunk.”  The third blind man reached out and touched its tusk and said, “You are all wrong, it’s a spear.” Other blind men touch other parts of the elephant and think the elephant is something it’s not. You get the idea. They begin to argue until a wise man of some kind comes along to explain that it’s actually an elephant. They each had a part of the truth, but the whole truth could only be seen when all their truths were combined.

The skeptic will argue that this shows that all religions are leading to the actual truth. They argue that we are the blind men, blinded by our cultural biases and presuppositions. Only when we can see the whole elephant can we know the actual truth.

if you are presented with this story, the best question to ask is “tell me who you are in the story.” They will say either a blind man or the wise man. If they are a blind man, ask them how then they are able to see the whole elephant. If they are the wise man, ask them how is it that they are able to see the truth and no one else can. What makes them different?

the storyteller will simply refute themselves. If they are subject to the same biases and presuppositions as the rest of us, they cannot possibly know the full truth. If they say they do know the truth, how is it that they are able to do away with their cultural bias and presuppositions?

One final thought about this story. The story assumes the elephant can’t help the blind man by talking to them. God has spoken to us through His revelation. We don’t go grabbing at God randomly. He tells us exactly who He is through the Bible.