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

  1. Hello again! I’m back! Woohoo!

    “However, we have certain knowledge that God exists because he has revealed himself to all of us (Romans 1:19).”

    Again, getting ahead of yourself.

    “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.”

    He is labeling the entity, that is all. He could have just as easily called it “Purple Joe.” There is no conclusion or assumption being made. He calls it “I.” The conditioning of reasoning and logic (of which he goes to a lot later in his videos) probably made you think he’s assuming that this “thinking entity” is a human being of which he sees at a daily basis. He has made no claims to that – he simply calls it “I.” We get to the human part much later after the foundations of logic are brought forth.

    “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.”

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

    2) there is thinking going on

    3) thinking entity exists

    4) I will call this entity “X” to shorten the sentence. This thinking entity is labelled as a “X.”

    5) X exist.

    Would you have a problem with it being called X? I would venture to say no – because it has no societal connection, that could mistaken it for something else. You have to remember we are simulating a situation where there is no social tie to the letter “I.” Thus, whether its “I” or “X” it doesn’t matter. Its just a way of identifying something.

    Also you made an argument against his first point, but not his second? Do you agree that it being self-attesting proves its certainty? I.E. for Laws of Logic to be false, they must be true.

    Also, this post (and the previous one) were arguments against the claims on the pertaining post. If you have any other argument on the next videos, I will respond to them, but these are to argue to claims on THESE posts, not the next ones. I will respond to the next ones if you’d like (I’ll probably respond to them, if you respond), after these are dealt with.

    Anyways, have a nice day!

    • The problem I see is that you’re assuming the thinking entity is you. The argument only concludes that “there is thinking going on.” The argument doesn’t take you to who is doing the thinking. There seems to be a mind, since minds are necessary for thinking, but is it your mind or another mind that is doing the thinking and you are a part of that or perceiving that it’s you?

      I do agree with his second point. The laws of logic are properly basic. You can’t reason logically about them without them. I do agree they exist. The question is, where do transcendental laws of logic that govern thinking come from? What caused them?

      Everthing that exists has an explanation of its existence
      The laws of logic exist
      Therefore, the laws of logic have an explanation of their existence

      What can explain the necessity of laws that govern thought in a universe where minds are not necessary for it’s existence? Furthermore, where do immaterial laws come from? There are two types of immaterial things, abstract concepts (laws of logic, numbers, etc) and minds. But these are not causal agents. The only immaterial thing that has the capability of causation would be an immaterial mind. We call that mind, God.

  2. “The problem I see is that you’re assuming the thinking entity is you.”

    You are claiming that there is an assumption taken place with no evidence to back it up. As I said it is a label, nothing more. What does “I” attach to other than that which its labeled to in this scenario? If you are thinking he is referring to the thinking entity is attached to the body to which our sense can observe, then you would be wrong. We can refer to it as “X”, doesn’t make a difference as far as KnownNoMore’s argument is concerned.

    “I do agree with his second point. The laws of logic are properly basic. You can’t reason logically about them without them. I do agree they exist. The question is, where do transcendental laws of logic that govern thinking come from? What caused them?”

    To say “concepts exist” is referring to the neurons firing off in your brain. They exist as that and they certainly have an explanation (bottom of page). But to just straight up say Laws of Logic exist implies an entity of some sort – so what are you trying to say?

    “Everthing that exists has an explanation of its existence
    The laws of logic exist
    Therefore, the laws of logic have an explanation of their existence”

    How does this tie in with God’s existence then? Does he not need an explanation? Many apologetic claim that God has no explanation; he just exists. Are you someone who think he does have an explanation? If so, I’d love to hear it.

    “Furthermore, where do immaterial laws come from? There are two types of immaterial things, abstract concepts (laws of logic, numbers, etc) and minds.”

    Again what makes you think any concepts are immaterial? These concepts don’t float around in some supernatural and immaterial plane. If you want to get technical concepts are just a product of electrochemical activity in the brain that requires energy.

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