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.

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

  1. I hope this isn’t worthless, but I just came across KnownNoMore’s videos, and wanted to see if there was any arguments against it. I could only find this it seems! I will respond to the first two posts, to see if you bother responding back, as this was a year ago so I don’t want to spend too much time on it, if no one reads it! So on with the rant, woohoo!

    “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…”

    Sye’s argument is for God’s existence. Bible counts on God being true, thus the bible being completely true is predicated on this argument. Citing Bible versus, while it not being proven true, is contradictory since you are assuming such things are true. Also you say later in the post “…without starting with God, you can’t account for knowledge.” thus proving my point that, in this argument, God presupposes the account for knowledge. So we must assumes God’s existence FIRST, before accounting for the inherent knowledge we non-believers supposedly have neither of which the hypothetical debaters have done at this point, due to the arguments structure. You are getting ahead of yourself, and assuming God exists before “it” is actually acknowledged as existing (whether proven or assumed).

    “100% of the time, the unbeliever will say “Yes”, which is a reasonable answer.”

    If you think “Yes” is a reasonable answer, then why are you arguing against it? I’m legitimately curious, because its really weird to argue against something that you think is reasonable (although not unheard of).

    “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.”

    You should dive deeper into his explanation because he doesn’t say “No.” He says he has no reason to think its possible. His point wasn’t about possibility (although he concedes to bring so he can bring more weak points to this argument). The important part was that HE HAS NO REASON to entertain the idea in the first place. Do you often give reasons for existence of things you don’t understand (other than God)? Like the Quantum Chicken? Or the Astro-Plate Psychic? Would you try to provide reasoning for these things existing? I’ll assume no, and then go to more important question; why not? The two words “Quantum” and “Chicken” all have their separate and understandable meanings. But can you be intellectually honest in saying “I can conceive this”? If you want to argument pertaining to certain descriptions of God in this regard, KnownNoMore mentions he has videos on that in this very video you have in the article.

    ” 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.”

    I feel he understands it completely and you are getting ahead of yourself and assuming the argument is true from the get-go, rather than enact as an outside observer. In this hypothetical situation, they are simply asking the question “Is it impossible for God to exist?” Why are you bringing the account for knowledge, when that’s not even argued/mentioned for on Sye’s side at this point in time? You are getting ahead of yourself and assuming the argument works out. For the argument to work out, you have to start out by defining God which can clearly be confusing. He concedes, not due to lack of an argument, but instead wants to give more arguments to what he views as a hopeless topic. He concedes only to express more weak points.

    I’ll take a look at the next post see ya there!

    • The presuppositional argument rests on a disjunctive syllogism.

      Either God exists or He doesn’t
      It is not possible for God not to exist
      Therefore, God exists

      The support for the second premise is that you cannot account for the preconditions necessary to make sense of reality without God existing. The view where God does not exist, must start with the assumption that knowledge is possible, that there is uniformity in nature, that the laws of logic exist. One can’t even reason that God doesn’t exist unless He exists.

      We can start with the premise that God doesn’t exist.

      Either God exists or He doesn’t
      It is possible for God not to exist
      Therefore, God does not exist

      In which case, I’d ask you to explain the preconditions necessary for making sense of reality. Can you support knowledge, immaterial laws of logic, uniformity of nature?

      We can examine which argument makes the most sense given reality.

      I think KNM is stretching it when he says that God is an incomprehensible entity. Essentially, he is saying that since he doesn’t have the capacity to understand an entity that is an immaterial mind that is all just, all good, all loving, all powerful, and all knowing, that he can simply end the discussion. I doubt he would do the same with Boltzmann brains or quantum physics. Yes, the concept of God can be confusing. But because something is confusing doesn’t mean it’s not real. An ant can’t fully understand a human, but that doesn’t mean we don’t exist.

      • Damn it. I put a footnote on the second page responded (mistakenly I might add). These video series are broken into parts, so instead of arguing over the whole thing (which can get rather complex), deal with what each video presents. I.E., this one talks about mainly about “Is it impossible for God to exist?” and the diving into “what is a God?” If we come to an understanding or a conclusion through the first video, we then move onto the next. Without further delay here we go!

        “Either God exists or He doesn’t
        It is not possible for God not to exist
        Therefore, God exists”

        Yes I understand that is the crux of the argument in its simplest form. But to come to the conclusion “It is not possible for God not to exist” you need to define God, otherwise its a rather useless claim. You want to know what you are proving right? Going to go to the bottom of your reply to refer to this some more…

        “I doubt he would do the same with Boltzmann brains or quantum physics. Yes, the concept of God can be confusing. But because something is confusing doesn’t mean it’s not real.”

        No one is asserting that confusion is dependent on existence. And I would like to point out that both those “ideas” are indeed concepts of which certain people can understand. The problem arises when you try to prove quantum physics, without understanding the concept; that is what KnownNoMore is implying. It is unreasonable to try and prove something of that which you do not have an understanding of, is it not? And if it is unreasonable, then we can proceed with defining God.

        Question One: Is it unreasonable to understand what you are trying to prove? If yes, ignore this question and go to question two. Otherwise, please provide an explanation and ignore question two.

        Question Two: What is “God”?

        ———————————————————————————————————————————-

        “In which case, I’d ask you to explain the preconditions necessary for making sense of reality. Can you support knowledge, immaterial laws of logic, uniformity of nature?”

        Now this section of the argument is dealt with in the next video (where do we get the foundation of knowledge), so I’d rather touch on it, after we get a clear grasp of the above section? I trust you understand this is not admission of defeat on this section, I am merely “pausing it” in a sense because the discussion could easily evolve into eleven different sections like we are writing a twenty page essay on the topic: If I want to write a paper, I would. I choose this forum, because it allows “back and forth” between two people. Also, would you like me to delete the other comment on the second video so its a “clean slate” in a sense?

      • Question One: Is it unreasonable to understand what you are trying to prove? If yes, ignore this question and go to question two. Otherwise, please provide an explanation and ignore question two.

        It seems like a simple question, but it’s not. There is some gray area in the use of the word “understand.” What I understand KNM to be saying, is that he can’t fully grasp an immaterial, all knowing, all powerful being. I admit that he can’t because no one can fully understand God. For example, take the trinity. We can know about the trinity from the bible, that there is one God who consists of three co-equal and co-eternal persons. Can we fully understand this concept? No we can’t. But that doesn’t make what we do understand no true or not able to come to logical conclusions about God.

        You don’t have to have a full understanding of the person to answer a question if it’s possible for God to make it so we can know some things for certain. For example, is it possible if we created an Artificial Intelligence, that we can make it so it knows some things without having to acquire that knowledge through it’s “senses”? Do you need to have a full understand of what that AI is to answer that question?

        Do you know enough about God from the bible to answer the question? I believe you do. By answering that you can’t answer because you can’t possibly understand God’s characteristics enough seems like avoidance of the question. Take His one attribute, omnipotent (being able to do anything that power can do). This alone gives you grounds to come to the conclusion that God can make it so we can know some things for certain. This action would not violate the laws of logic. It seems quite possible to me.

        Question Two: What is “God”?
        God is that Supreme Being who exists independent of the universe, who does not change, is absolute, transcends space and time, who is self-aware, who is all-knowing, ever present, and all powerful.

  2. “You don’t have to have a full understanding of the person to answer a question if it’s possible for God to make it so we can know some things for certain.”

    You are putting words in my mouth. I did not ask for “Full understanding.” I did not say “full.” Yes, there is the question of how much understanding is required to then proceed, but that has to be dealt with on a case by case basis; the answer can vary because we can’t quantify “understanding” in the regular sense of numbers. Thus, we start with a definition and go from there.

    “What I understand KNM to be saying, is that he can’t fully grasp an immaterial, all knowing, all powerful being.”

    Yet you assume its because he just wants to avoid the question and don’t bother looking into why he feels this way? It is possible he is making irrational claims as might think, but you should investigate it rather than just say “seems like avoidance of the question.”

    “By answering that you can’t answer because you can’t possibly understand God’s characteristics enough seems like avoidance of the question. Take His one attribute, omnipotent (being able to do anything that power can do). This alone gives you grounds to come to the conclusion that God can make it so we can know some things for certain. This action would not violate the laws of logic. It seems quite possible to me.”

    If a teacher asked a child “What is eight plus eight?” is it avoiding the question to then wonder/ask what “eight” is? Trying to understand the question is not avoidance.

    Let me ask you a question; do you not feel use to people saying yes or no to the impossibility of God and thus might be assuming he is easily understandable? What if people are assuming a great deal many things when answering that rather loaded question with a simple “yes” or “no”?

    “God is that Supreme Being who exists independent of the universe, who does not change, is absolute, transcends space and time, who is self-aware, who is all-knowing, ever present, and all powerful.”

    Fantastic! Now we have a definition in place. I have arguments for all these attributes, but first let’s discuss the “all powerful” attribute because its rather loaded. By all powerful, does that entail “the ability to do anything” or do you mean “the ability to do all things that are possible”? There are contradictions with the first meaning, as you are no doubt well aware. For example…

    There is the popular “Is God an unstoppable force or an immovable object?” and “Can God create an unstoppable force or an immovable object?”

    However, if you concede to all powerful meaning “the ability to do all things that are possible” then my question is can he die, lie, be born, forget etc? These are all possible things.

    You may saw that “God” is not bound by Laws of Logic, physics or mathematics but then how do you prove (or even conceive of) something that is not bound by these concepts?

    These are all questions I’m legitimately curious about by the way. I have thought about these many times, actually – its quite fun!

    • Good questions. There are things that God cannot do. He cannot go against His character. This is also supported by scripture. For example, Titus 1:2 states that He cannot lie. Because He is holy (Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:16), He cannot sin. Because He is just, He cannot merely overlook sin. Because Christ paid the penalty for sin, He is now able to forgive those who will turn to Christ (Isaiah 53:1-12; Romans 3:26)

      He would be bound by the laws of logic and cannot do the illogical. For example, God can’t make a rock so big He cannot lift it. That’s a logical problem, not a power problem.

      As far as not understanding what an all powerful God can do, I still don’t think this level of knowledge is necessary to answer the question, “can God make is so we can know somethings for certain.” If He is able to create us, surely He can imprint knowledge of Him within us. If KNM can’t answer it with God, he can move down to a more familiar category. Assume there is an all powerful man who has the ability to create men. Could that man make it so his creations know some things for certain without having to learn it through their senses or through reasoning? I’d say yes to that. Now if an all powerful man could, then surely God can too.

      • Weird. You are the first apologetic (as far as I can tell) to say it is bound by the laws of logic. If it is, it cannot be all-powerful because all-powerful is illogical. To say it cannot do some things is direct contradiction to all-powerful in definition one. I gave you an out though, on my previous response to which you did not answer (definition number two). Not to mention that all-knowing falls under the same band wagon.

        “That’s a logical problem, not a power problem.”

        How do you get to this conclusion? Its a logic problem about power. Do you argue that 2 + 2 = 4 therefore 2 + 2 + 2 = 6 is “just a logic problem” and not a math problem? Logic problems are important in both science and philosophy, and it is very dangerous and absurd just to dismiss something as a “logic problem.” You yourself (and Ted the guy you defend) are trying to use logic for the existence of this God yet dismiss illogical things about it. How is that not important?

        “As far as not understanding what an all powerful God can do, I still don’t think this level of knowledge is necessary to answer the question, “can God make is so we can know somethings for certain.” If He is able to create us, surely He can imprint knowledge of Him within us. If KNM can’t answer it with God, he can move down to a more familiar category. Assume there is an all powerful man who has the ability to create men.”

        If I go through each and every trait you described God to be, this entity named “God” would then prove that you don’t really know much about this entity except that it is an illogical entity. Why should I give credit to you for attempting to prove something metaphysically (not physically), when you don’t even have a grasp of what this “thing” really is? And as for the assumption, I need more information. How did this man create men? Did this man create all men? If so, why do you describe him as a man? Why should I assume this man is all-powerful? That attribute is illogical. I cannot conceive of this, there are way too many variables to consider; more questions than it answers. When we assume things such as “all-powerful” we use it describe a fictional character like superman, and avoid the contradictions all together because he is just for entertainment and not truth seeking. We enjoy it because at the end of the day, it makes us feel good inside but we know its not real. However, when trying to actually prove something that has this trait, the contradictions become very important; succumbing to what “feels right” is not inherently “truth.” Just because you can imagine an all-powerful being move a really heavy object, does not mean you get ignore all the other complications that come with this attribute when seeking true things.

        “Could that man make it so his creations know some things for certain without having to learn it through their senses or through reasoning? I’d say yes to that.”

        How do you come to that conclusion? You yourself have to add the notion that this man “can create men” yet all men can do this by way of intercourse with a female which you have not dismissed this man of doing (yet). Now you can claim this man is all-powerful yet the attribute itself is illogical as I’ve stated before; I have a higher standard of accepting things than you it seems. I need proof that this “man” can do this by way of testable means otherwise it is just another positive claim to which the burden proof lies upon yourself. Saying the man is all-powerful is NOT proof because you don’t have a full grasp of what all-powerful really is (nor do I) and no means of testing this man to see if he truly has this so called attribute “all-powerful.”

        By the way, quoting the bible shows you have an ulterior motive at best. There is no indication in the argument that this entity is indeed what you call “God” in your bible. This argument can be easily used for the infamous flying spaghetti monster, unicorns, leprechauns etc. The ONLY attribute necessary for this argument to work is that it needs the attribute “it is impossible for it not to exist” which can be attached to anything based on what you feel like proving at that moment in time.

        If you want to try and prove this entity exists and is indeed the entity the bible describes, those would be two separate arguments. The first is required for the other to be pursued. I understand the motivation for using the argument to then justify your God in particular, but just because you want to, doesn’t make it so. You need two working arguments for your God to be proven only metaphysically (which doesn’t get you very far).

      • I don’t see how “all powerful” is illogical at all. That’s the first I’ve heard of such a thing. Omnipotent simply means being able to do anything that takes power to do.

        Here’s a short clip of Greg Koukl discussing God’s attributes that will explain my comment on his limits.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JjBErbe2sO0

        “Why should I give credit to you for attempting to prove something metaphysically (not physically), when you don’t even have a grasp of what this “thing” really is?”

        That’s the power of deduction. You can come to truth without having every single fact via empirical means. If you have true propositions, you an come to true conclusions. If your expectation before coming to the conclusion that God exists, is to fully understand God, then you’ve simply created a standard you can never achieve. If I have to fully understand God completely in order for you to accept arguments for His existence, then you’re essentially saying that you won’t and don’t want God to exist.

        The presuppositional argument does not argue to the God of the bible, it starts with God of the bible. The argument looks at another worldview for contradictions, where it’s ideas lead, arbitrariness, and does it have the preconditions of intelligibility to explain reality. We are simply looking at the last part for an atheist worldview. If you were a believer of another religion, we’d be looking at another part of the argument.

  3. Straight from the dictionary – “Omnipotent: (of a deity) having unlimited power; able to do anything.”

    The very description says “able to do anything” yet when put it in to practice on various tasks, it becomes illogical. We cannot conceive of something that is “able to do anything” because there are things that are literally impossible to do. I’ve already explained this to you with the problem “can it create an unstoppable object?” if It can’t, then it can’t do anything. If it can, then by definition of “unstoppable object” it cannot stop the object created. You can conceive of a very powerful entity I’m sure, but an entity that has omnipotence is an entirely different story; you cannot conceive of such things without coming across an infinite number of contradictions.

    “Here’s a short clip of Greg Koukl discussing God’s attributes that will explain my comment on his limits.”

    The guy in the video says “can god beat himself in arm wrestling match?” and calls that rather odd. God, as he describes it, is omnipotent; able to do anything. So saying it’s “odd” actually supports my point; its impossible to do yet by the characteristic of “able to do anything” God should be able to do it. I would call that odd too. The guy in the video is unaware that he is defeating his own argument. Saying it’s “odd” doesn’t mean you dismiss it; you need to look at definition of omnipotence more closely. “Able to do anything” – just because you think something is odd or contradictory, doesn’t mean you get to ignore the definition. By definition it includes all contradictory/odd things which is why omnipotence is an absurd characteristic. As I said, I gave you out by saying conceding that omnipotent could be mean “able to do anything that is possible” (which it doesn’t, but I’m willing to concede such things). If you want to agree to that, fine. I have questions for that as well.

    “That’s the power of deduction. You can come to truth without having every single fact via empirical means. If you have true propositions, you an come to true conclusions.”

    Although you cannot get to “absolute truth”, I never denied this. If I did, I misspoke.

    “If your expectation before coming to the conclusion that God exists, is to fully understand God, then you’ve simply created a standard you can never achieve.”

    I never said I want to fully understand God. I don’t expect to know every nook and cranny about this entity; at least not at first. I don’t care what its favorite food is (if it even has one) for instance. What I do expect is to understand the entity in which you are conceiving by asking about what this “God” is. You gave me a definition, and I had questions about its contradictions; you then say that it’s not important. Well tough. If you even manage to prove the existence of this God, what then? We have a definition that is piled with contradictions, lack of evidence, and simply obscure. I care about the end result just as much as how we get there. I’m thinking ahead, you are not (so it seems anyway).

    “The presuppositional argument does not argue to the God of the bible, it starts with God of the bible. The argument looks at another worldview for contradictions, where it’s ideas lead, arbitrariness, and does it have the preconditions of intelligibility to explain reality. We are simply looking at the last part for an atheist worldview. If you were a believer of another religion, we’d be looking at another part of the argument.”

    The atheist worldview isn’t centered on just a metaphysical proof of God; atheists do as you do with other religions: we attack the contradictions, where it’s ideas lead, arbitrariness, etc. We have the same standards as to how we judge a religion it seems; we just go one step further and look at your religion too and see the same problems; yet you ignore them. You clearly value the importance of contradictions in other religions, but are willing to throw them away when dealing with your own argument for God.

    And you claim that there is more to the argument yet you take out part of it, as if it can stand on its own. If you want to argue whether this God is what is described in the bible, that’s fine, go ahead. But saying this…

    “Either God exists or He doesn’t
    It is not possible for God not to exist
    Therefore, God exists”

    can easily be replaced with…

    “Either the flying spaghetti monster exists or He doesn’t
    It is not possible for the flying spaghetti monster not to exist
    Therefore, the flying spaghetti monster exists”

    Now make your argument why you choose the first, rather than the second instead of explaining why you choose to section off the argument (which is a waste of time).

    • I would say you have an incorrect definition of omnipotence, and this would address the issues you raised. You define omnipotence as:

      “able to do anything” Or, “able to do anything that is possible”

      The definition I’ve found on two popular and credible sources has a definition consistent to my previous comments and would resolve the potential issues you’ve proposed.

      From Dictionary.com
      1.
      almighty or infinite in power, as God.
      2.
      having very great or unlimitedauthority or power.
      From Merriam-Webster
      1:the quality or state of being omnipotent
      2:an agency or force of unlimited power
      The presuppositional argument is a system used to examine worldviews. For the atheist worldview, I focus on the lack of explanatory power first. Why go into the contradictions of the atheist worldview, which would require using the laws of logic, when laws of logic shouldn’t exist if the atheist view was true. We first need to address how the worldview can explain how the tools exist before we can use the tools.

      In this system, I assume Christianity and you assume atheism. We then compare views using the system. We can do this comparison with any worldview.

      There are many other arguments for the existence of God: the Kalam cosmological argument, the moral argument, the teleological argument, the ontological argument.

      The ontological argument was first postulated by St. Anselm of Canterbury in the 11th. century C.E. He argues for the existence of God from the concept of “a being than which no greater can be conceived.” If you’re having trouble conceptualizing God, maybe this definition can help. At the very least, it’s allowed philosophers to create arguments since the 11th century.

      • Your definition of Omnipotence: almighty or infinite in power, as God.

        Definition of Power: ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/power

        So tell me…how does “infinite power” not translate to “able to do anything” when power means the ability to do things, and infinite means an unlimited amount. Despite the definition you have, it does safe guard you from “infinite power” pitfalls. You still have to demonstrate what infinite power is, and you have not.

        “The presuppositional argument is a system used to examine worldviews. For the atheist worldview, I focus on the lack of explanatory power first.”

        Here is the order of events:

        1) You present an argument (part of one, to which I’m unaware of the rest)
        2) I give an argument against it (valid or not is irrelevant).
        3) You say, there’s more to the argument from step one.
        4) You say the reason you did this is to focus on the lack of explanatory power first.

        We still have not successful solved what you claim can be done in step 4. I gave you argument saying it can explain ANYTHING, as long as it has one key attribute which someone can attach to it based on your own whim. This does not mean I concede that it successful explains all these things. I am saying that it fails demonstrably because a being you use to give explanatory power for, could easily conflict with another being using the same argument. Whether you can convince someone that entity A exists and is the God of the bible is irrelevant. It does not stop me from using the argument against you to prove entity B exists that comes in conflict with this entity A. This is a problem of explanatory power for your “part of the argument” to which you claim it can solve.

        The reason (I assume) you bring up this “part of the argument” is because you are trying to prove an entity exists (God or not). I am saying that if you use this argument for that reason, you fail miserable to understand that this can be used for any number of entities that you or I would like to “prove” exists. And giving attributes to this entity like “its impossible for this not to exist” does not have any evidence to back it up; you are giving an attribute to this entity based on a book or feeling alone. That is not how science and logic work together.

        “Why go into the contradictions of the atheist worldview, which would require using the laws of logic, when laws of logic shouldn’t exist if the atheist view was true.”

        First off, atheism isn’t a belief or assertion, so to say “if atheism view was true” is ridiculous. Also, why shouldn’t laws of logic exist? They are self-attesting. We have gone over this already (briefly, but you agreed they are properly basic).

        “There are many other arguments for the existence of God: the Kalam cosmological argument, the moral argument, the teleological argument, the ontological argument.”

        And they ALL fail due to a lack of understanding of science, logic and reasoning. Saying there are arguments does not mean they are right. So why would tell me this?

        Seriously, just respond to the issues I present rather saying what the argument is “trying to do” because I already know what it is trying to do. That doesn’t stop it from failing.

      • “So tell me…how does “infinite power” not translate to “able to do anything” when power means the ability to do things, and infinite means an unlimited amount.”

        If I give you all the power in the universe, can you create a married bachelor, or a square circle? No. It’s not logically possible. God can do anything that power can accomplish, but there are things that unlimited power can’t do.

        “You still have to demonstrate what infinite power is, and you have not.”

        Why do I have to do this? I obviously don’t have infinite power, so I can’t demonstrate it. It’s conceptual. Are you saying that you reject the argument unless someone can demonstrate infinite power or are you saying you reject the argument because you are not capable of conceptualizing infinite power? Either seem to be an absurd reason to reject the argument. The first reason is impossible. And it’s not logical to reject a concept because you are unable conceptualize it when others can.

        But it seems to me like you do understand it from the definitions you listed. You’re using the wrong definitions but clearly have some concept of omnipotence.

        ” it fails demonstrably because a being you use to give explanatory power for, could easily conflict with another being using the same argument.”

        The presuppositional argument is a system for examining worldviews. We are looking at one part because you are an atheist. True, if you believe God exists, we may not be examining if your worldview can explain the preconditions to make sense of the universe. If you are now admitting that God exists, we will use the presuppositional argument to examine the two worldviews and answer “who is God?”

        “That is not how science and logic work together.”

        But can your view account for science and logic? That’s the first step. You use the tools, can you explain how these tools exist within you worldview framework?

        “First off, atheism isn’t a belief or assertion, so to say “if atheism view was true” is ridiculous.”

        Do atheists you believe that God exists or do they believe that God does not exist? Atheism is the belief that there are no Gods.

        “Also, why shouldn’t laws of logic exist? They are self-attesting. We have gone over this already (briefly, but you agreed they are properly basic).”

        I’m not asking you to prove that the laws of logic exist. We both agree they do. I’m asking how you account for their existence within the framework of how you view the world.

  4. “If I give you all the power in the universe, can you create a married bachelor, or a square circle? No. It’s not logically possible. God can do anything that power can accomplish, but there are things that unlimited power can’t do.”

    The power of the universe equates to unlimited power? Sorry I don’t follow you are putting a limit on power by equating it something and you said “UNLIMITED power.”

    By definition power means “capability of doing or accomplishing something.” It does not say “ability to do something that must make sense.” That is the pitfall. When you attach “unlimited” to “power” you are saying “unlimited capability of doing or accomplishing something.” Whether you use “unlimited” or “infinite”, it does not matter; they are synonyms. It is nonsensical to throw around terms like “unlimited power” because there are contradictions in place; by you simply saying there are things unlimited power can’t do is a perfect example of your inability to comprehend what that actually means and why it is a nonsensical description.

    “Why do I have to do this? I obviously don’t have infinite power, so I can’t demonstrate it.”

    I I did not just say “demonstrate infinite power.” I said “demonstrate what infinite power is.” There is a key difference; the first is asking for you to show it, to which you can’t (you don’t have infinite power as you said). The second asks what it is; and that is what is required. You don’t have to have something in order to describe it.

    “And it’s not logical to reject a concept because you are unable conceptualize it when others can.”

    It is most certainly is. Whether something is true or not, the correct time to believe it is when there is evidence and understanding for it. I’ll give you an example. The Astro-plate Psychic: it’s impossible for it not the exist. There it must exist. Do you believe the Astro-plate Psychic exists? Why or why not?

    “But can your view account for science and logic?”

    Yes, given we have the laws of logic for starters. I’ll get to that in a moment.

    “Do atheists you believe that God exists or do they believe that God does not exist? Atheism is the belief that there are no Gods.”

    Atheism: The disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

    Atheism is not a believe, it is a disbelief. Use your words carefully as they carry different meanings.

    “I’m not asking you to prove that the laws of logic exist. We both agree they do. I’m asking how you account for their existence within the framework of how you view the world.”

    Clearly you misunderstood my proof when you agreed with me then. I’m saying the fact that they are self-attesting is how they come to be true. They don’t exist, and stop asserting that existence is attribute that laws of logic have; they don’t float around in some mystical plane for concepts to call home. They are just true or false.

    • “By definition power means “capability of doing or accomplishing something.”

      I think your difficulties are again coming from your definitions.

      Merriman-Webster defines power as:
      1a (1) :ability to act or produce an effect (2) :ability to get extra-base hits (3) :capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect
      b :legal or official authority, capacity, or right
      2a :possession of control, authority, or influence over others
      b :one having such power; specifically :a sovereign state
      c :a controlling group :establishment —often used in the phrase the powers that be
      d archaic :a force of armed men
      e chiefly dialect :a large number or quantity
      3a :physical might
      b :mental or moral efficacy
      c :political control or influence
      4plural :an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy
      5a :the number of times as indicated by an exponent that a number occurs as a factor in a product ; also :the product itself
      b :cardinal number 2
      6a :a source or means of supplying energy; especially:electricity
      b :motive power
      c :the time rate at which work is done or energy emitted or transferred
      7:magnification 2b
      8:1scope 3
      9:the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis in a statistical test when a particular alternative hypothesis happens to be true
      It does not say “capability of doing or accomplishing something.” Therefore, unlimited power does not mean the ability to do anything.
      “The Astro-plate Psychic: it’s impossible for it not the exist. There it must exist.”

      If I can conceptualize it, it exists as a concept. Does it exist as a concept. Does it actually exist? Well, we’d have to use reason and logic to determine that.

      “Clearly you misunderstood my proof when you agreed with me then. I’m saying the fact that they are self-attesting is how they come to be true.”

      “They don’t exist, and stop asserting that existence is attribute that laws of logic have; they don’t float around in some mystical plane for concepts to call home. They are just true or false”

      So the laws of logic don’t exist but these non-existing things are also true? The fact you say there are no laws of logic to maintain your worldview is absurd.

      • “It does not say “capability of doing or accomplishing something.” Therefore, unlimited power does not mean the ability to do anything.”

        I provided you the where I got it from in the previous post (dictionary.com) here is the actual link though…

        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/power?s=t

        It is the very first definition. Now that we got that settled; you have many definitions in place there. Which one do you claim is the one you think properly makes “unlimited power” a sensible concept?

        “If I can conceptualize it, it exists as a concept. Does it exist as a concept. Does it actually exist? Well, we’d have to use reason and logic to determine that.”

        Let me get this straight; the argument you have, that I used with Astro-Plate Psychic, only proves that there is a concept? And so we must go further to use reason and logic to determine that? First off, what makes you think the concept you have in your mind is the same is what I have? And if you don’t think that, then what makes you think we can move forward if you have the wrong idea? The purpose of the argument is to convince someone that what you conceive of as “God” must exist, correct? What if I have a completely different concept of God than you? What if the argument works for both? Are there now two Gods that exist?

        “So the laws of logic don’t exist but these non-existing things are also true? The fact you say there are no laws of logic to maintain your worldview is absurd.”

        They are neither existing nor non-existing. The chemical process in the brain which make us have these concepts can have that property if that is what you are referring to. But not the concepts themselves. I guess it depends on what you think existing means. You used a word that I’ve come to use this definition…

        Definition of Exist: to have life or animation; live.

        Definition of Non-existence: absence of existence.

        Both straight from dictionary.com

        Defining something as non-existent, does not mean “everything else.” It is simply the lack of having life. If you want to throw another definition at me, then that’s fine and we’ll deal with that when it comes. When I say “my chair exists” I’m not worried about whether or not it has life or not; you’d still understand what I mean. However, we are having a discussion about something “existing” in a scientific and philosophical sense, thus the word needs to be used more carefully.

        Think about it like this; Not existing is a synonym for dead (http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/dead). Would you say my chair is dead?

      • If you use the definition of ability to do anything, then that is not a correct characteristic of God. If you use, having complete or unlimited power, then I’d say that is a correct description of a characteristic of God.
        Either way, this appears to be a red herring.

        If we have different concepts of God then there are two concepts of God. But one concept can be correct and the other incorrect. The purpose of the presuppositional argument is to compare two different worldviews to see which has the best explanation for reality. But again, another red herring.

        Let’s discuss your claim that the laws of logic “are neither existing nor non-existing.”

        I think the first definition of “exist” fits better than yours in this context.

        a :to have real being whether material or spiritual

        The laws of logic exist. They are immaterial, universal, and unchanging. I don’t agree that they are the byproducts of chemical reactions in our brains.

        This attempt to get around their immaterial nature makes them not universal and not unchanging. Since no two chemical reactions in two different brains are the same, the laws of logic would be different for every person. Changing brains and changing chemical reactions could not produce unchanging laws.

        Unchanging, immaterial, and universal laws of logic make sense with the Christian worldview. These are all characteristics of God who created the world. However, the atheist worldview has to say they exist and don’t and try to create a material explanation for them. This collapses in that it can’t explain the laws immaterial and universal characteristics.

  5. “If you use the definition of ability to do anything, then that is not a correct characteristic of God. If you use, having complete or unlimited power, then I’d say that is a correct description of a characteristic of God.”

    Never mind that you blatantly dodged the question; lets say it is unlimited power. What makes you think that makes anymore sense? Do you understand what unlimited means? Its the exact same problem with can God create a boulder that unstoppable. By saying he can’t, by definition you are putting a limit on what his power does. It does not matter if you or the guy from the video find it an odd question; THAT IS THE POINT. Just because its an “odd question” doesn’t mean you get throw out the contradiction.

    “If we have different concepts of God then there are two concepts of God. But one concept can be correct and the other incorrect. The purpose of the presuppositional argument is to compare two different worldviews to see which has the best explanation for reality.”

    Just because you say it does, doesn’t mean it actually does that. I’m saying outright, that if you think this works for your God, there is no reason to think it won’t work for another. Now if you are uncomfortable about that statement then by all means, refute it with logic and reason; not just saying “the purpose is this.” I know what the purpose of it is; doesn’t mean it accomplishes such things.

    “I think the first definition of “exist” fits better than yours in this context.

    a :to have real being whether material or spiritual”

    Where did you get this definition? Its definitely not where I got it. Here you go: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/exist

    “This attempt to get around their immaterial nature makes them not universal and not unchanging. Since no two chemical reactions in two different brains are the same, the laws of logic would be different for every person.”

    First off, the definition of existing you provided says “material or spiritual” and yet you peg the laws of logic as “immaterial.” Wouldn’t that defy your definition of being material or spiritual?

    Second, I did not say they were a created from a chemical reaction in the brain. I’m saying they were tested to be true by chemical reactions in the brain. Third, there are plenty of similar chemical reactions that go in the brain; and you act as if the chemical reaction “poofed the laws of logic into existence” when I clearly stated they neither exist or not exist; they simply don’t have that attribute to attach it to which is animation. Sure there might be people who think differently than others about the laws of logic (I’ve yet to see one refute laws of logic, but that’s beside the point) are self-attesting. They are not granted permission to be true by some guy named Bob. You say you understand self-attesting, but yet you seem to imply there is a second party involved, giving permission to the laws of logic to be true, when that’s not the case.

    • I think your own statements addressed the proposed problem. The unmovable/unstoppable rock is by definition unmovable/unstoppable. If power could move/stop it, it would not be unmovable/unstoppable. What you’ve proposed is not a power problem, it’s a logical problem. You’ve acknowledge you know it’s a logical contradiction when you said: ‘Just because its an “odd question” doesn’t mean you get throw out the contradiction.’

      The definition I use is from Merriman and it is the appropriate for the context for “existing.”

      The spiritual world is immaterial. Our spirits, God, concepts, thoughts are all immaterial. These things make sense in the Christian worldview but the atheist can’t account for them because everything that exists is material.

      The laws of logic are self attesting but this fact only shows them to be true and existing. This doesn’t account for why they exist. The atheist can’t explain this with their view of reality.

      We’ve discussed the system of the presuppositional argument. This same system can be used to compare any two worldviews. You say you can refute the presuppositional argument by positing a God. Well, be my guest and admit that God exists

      Your argument seems to boil down to: since omnipotent is a characteristic of God and omnipotent is logically contradictory, then God cannot exist.

      The conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises. The only thing you could get from this is that omnipotent is not a characteristic of God.

      The second problem is that your use of the definition “omnipotent means the ability to do anything” is incorrect. Power cannot turn a logically fallacious statement into a logical statement.

      Third, I don’t know why you have trouble with supposed logical contradictions of omnipotence. You’ve stated that the laws of logic “neither exist or not exist” which violates the law of non contradiction. In one instance, you have no problem with the illogical but in other situations, you do have problems with the illogical.

      Forth, once you say the laws of logic don’t exist, I am under no obligation to present a logical argument and can present any argument for God no matter how illogical.

      We’ve gone back and forth awhile now. I’m not sure what’s your goal of the conversation. Your argument has some serious logical flaws. If we are going to continue, I’d like for you to define the laws of logic and show how you can account for them without God. If you can’t, then a logical discussion between us isn’t necessary.

  6. “I think your own statements addressed the proposed problem. The unmovable/unstoppable rock is by definition unmovable/unstoppable. If power could move/stop it, it would not be unmovable/unstoppable. What you’ve proposed is not a power problem, it’s a logical problem. You’ve acknowledge you know it’s a logical contradiction when you said: ‘Just because its an “odd question” doesn’t mean you get throw out the contradiction.’”

    its a logic problem that addresses the contradictions of unlimited power. If power could move/stop it, it would not be unmovable/unstoppable. Exactly! Unlimited power is an impossibility, because you are putting a limit on what the power can do. What kind of argument is “its just a logic problem who cares?” If that’s how we can do things then I can throw out the presuppositional argument cause “its just a logic problem!” Logic problems address subjects; and in this case yours addresses the subject of God and mine address the subject of unlimited power.

    “The spiritual world is immaterial. Our spirits, God, concepts, thoughts are all immaterial.”

    Wait wait wait wait. You have no evidence of this spiritual world even existing. And second you are just paying attention to the last part of your definition “material or spiritual” and then just saying “ha ha exist counts for everything!” You are missing the “To have real being” part. You do realize that means to “to have life” right? I’m sure you are just going to try and rush to find a definition that works for you but I’ll save you the trouble…

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/being

    1.
    the fact of existing; existence (as opposed to nonexistence).
    2.
    conscious, mortal existence; life:
    Our being is as an instantaneous flash of light in the midst of eternal night.
    3.
    substance or nature:
    of such a being as to arouse fear.
    4.
    something that exists:
    inanimate beings.
    5.
    a living thing:
    strange, exotic beings that live in the depths of the sea.
    6.
    a human being; person:
    the most beautiful being you could imagine.
    7.
    (initial capital letter) God.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/being
    1
    a : the quality or state of having existence
    b (1) : something conceivable as existing (2) : something that actually exists (3) : the totality of existing things
    c : conscious existence : life
    2
    : the qualities that constitute an existent thing : essence; especially : personality
    3
    : a living thing; especially : person

    Have fun, pick and choose.

    “You’ve stated that the laws of logic “neither exist or not exist” which violates the law of non contradiction.”

    You don’t know the law of non-contradiction then. It states that two propositions cannot be both true. Not that they cannot be both false. Every heard of contrary statements? Look it up; its logic 101. By the way, have you also heard of schrödinger’s cat? Very famous experiment where a cat can be thought of as alive and dead; a state known as the quantum superposition. Feel free to look it up.

    “Forth, once you say the laws of logic don’t exist, I am under no obligation to present a logical argument and can present any argument for God no matter how illogical.”

    Yep. I’m saying they are true. Not that they exist. You are under obligation because they are true, not because they exist. You are using exist in the sense that all things that don’t fall under the category of “existing” must be false, when that is absurd. You are a solipsistic in that regard.

    “Your argument has some serious logical flaws.”

    You say this yet you’ve proven to me you don’t even know what law of non-contradiction is. You don’t know what contrary statements are either. Stop making wild ass assertions. You are ignorant of some basic forms of logic 101.

    “If we are going to continue, I’d like for you to define the laws of logic and show how you can account for them without God. If you can’t, then a logical discussion between us isn’t necessary.”

    1) Law of Identity: A is A. Apple is Apple. A is not B.

    The reason the law is self evident is because if someone asks “Why is A itself” they must already know what A is. You must already know what A is before you try to prove its something else, so you must assume the law of identity to try and prove its falsehood.

    2) Law of non-contradiction: Tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time.

    If someone tries to prove that A and not A can exist at the same time, they must first know that A is not not A. So they must assume the law is true before they try to disprove the law.

    3) The Law of Exluded Middle: A statement must be either true or false.

    If someone tries to prove that this law is false, they must already assume that the law can either be true or false. Again, self-refuting.

    They are all self-refuting, they do not require my permission to do so. You are claiming that “God has possession of logic” but no evidence to support that claim; only a wild assertion that can be rejected on the basis that there is no proof or evidence.

    • “Unlimited power is an impossibility, because you are putting a limit on what the power can do.”

      Power does have limits. Power cannot do the illogical. Take the statement, “the world exists and does not exist at the same time and in the same way.” Just adding more power doesn’t change this. You can push on that statement as hard as you can, you can electrify that statement with as much electricity as you can…… It doesn’t make it logical.

      “then I can throw out the presuppositional argument cause “its just a logic problem!” ”

      You’d have to support it as a logic problem and account for the laws of logic with your worldview.

      I’ve asked for how you can account for the immaterial, universal, and eternal laws of logic. You’ve stated they are true but don’t exist. You’ve then wanted proof that the immaterial exists and take the position that immaterial things don’t exist. But that would then mean any laws don’t exist, concepts don’t exist, numbers don’t exist.

      This is a point that we can’t move past. A further logical conversation doesn’t make sense when you take the position that laws of logic don’t exist. Your argument against the presuppositional argument is taking the position that the laws of logic “are true. Not that they exist.”

      You seem comfortable with this position, but I encourage you to explore your position further and the presuppositional argument. Since we’re at a point we can’t get passed, I’m stepping out of the conversation. It’s been nice talking with you.

  7. “Power does have limits.”

    THEN IT CANNOT BE UNLIMITED.

    “You’d have to support it as a logic problem and account for the laws of logic with your worldview.”

    You do realize that I was just copying what you were doing? I don’t actually believe what I said can be validated.

    “This is a point that we can’t move past. A further logical conversation doesn’t make sense when you take the position that laws of logic don’t exist.”

    As I’ve stated plenty of times. They are true. That is property they have. Equating laws of logic to “existing” is like saying laws of logic are alive or animate. You don’t get define existing one way, and then use a completely different meaning when its convenient for you.

    “You seem comfortable with this position, but I encourage you to explore your position further and the presuppositional argument.”

    I encourage that you actually seek truth of matters, despite the apparent comfort they might give.

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