Presuppositionalism to me is fascist Christian fideism: Christofascism was caused by the embracing of arrogant authoritarian theology by Christian thinkers. Fascism in this case is a form of radical authoritarianism theory about epistemology: the theory of knowledge, beliefs, truth etc. especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. The ideological roots of fascism have been traced back to the 1880s, and in particular to the fin de siècle theme of that time notably supporting emotionalism, irrationalism. The theme was based on a revolt against materialism, rationalism, and positivism. Fascism may seem a bit extreme a claim but it can start to sound like fundamental christianity in how it adopted policies such as promoting family values, banning literature on birth control and increased penalties for abortion.
Presuppositionalism positions itself as Christian authoritarian fideism (all must accept their apologetic theology). It puts others under philosophic scepticism and places itself under fideism. Fideism is roughly a doctrine that faith is the basis of all knowledge.
Presuppositionalism is a school of Christian apologetics that believes the Christian faith is the only basis for rational thought. It presupposes that the Bible is divine revelation and attempts to expose flaws in other worldviews. It claims that apart from presuppositions, one could not make sense of any human experience, and there can be no set of neutral assumptions from which to reason with a non-Christian.
The Doctrine of Fascism states, “The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State—a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people.”
Let’s see how well the The Doctrine of Presuppositionalism sounds in the place of The Doctrine of Fascism
“The Presuppositionalist conception of the Christian apologetics is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Presuppositionalism is totalitarian, and the Presuppositionalist Christian apologetics — a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values—interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people.”
Critics of presuppositional apologetics claim that it is logically invalid because it begs the question of the truth of Christianity and the non-truth of other worldviews.
Fideism is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths (see natural theology). The word fideism comes from fides, the Latin word for faith, and literally means “faith-ism.”
Fideism has received criticism from theologians who argue that fideism is not a proper way to worship God. According to this position, if one does not attempt to understand what one believes, one is not really believing. “Blind faith” is not true faith.
Fideism can lead to relativism. The existence of other religions puts a fundamental question to fideists—if faith is the only way to know the truth of God, how are we to know which God to have faith in? Fideism alone is not considered an adequate guide to distinguish true or morally valuable revelations from false ones. An apparent consequence of fideism is that all religious thinking becomes equal. The major monotheistic religions become on par with obscure fringe religions, as neither can be advocated or disputed. As articulated by Friedrich Nietzsche, “A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything”.
Circularity of Presuppositional Apologetics
The goal of presuppositional apologetics is to argue that the assumptions and actions of non-Christians require them to believe certain things about God, man and the world which they claim they do not believe. This type of argument is technically called a reductio ad absurdum in that it attempts to reduce the opposition to holding an absurd, i.e. contradictory position; in this case, both believing in facts of Christian revelation (in practice) and denying them (in word). So in essence, presuppositional apologetics attempts to claim all facts for the Christian worldview as the only framework in which they are intelligible. The reasoning in such arguments is fallacious because simply presupposing the conclusion is true in the premises does not constitute evidence for that conclusion. Clearly, assuming a claim is true does not constitute evidence for that claim. (“X is true. The evidence for this claim is that X is true.”) They should be able to do this in a way that isn’t also equally valid for the truth claims of any other religion. If this can not be done, I can only assume that in their realm of thinking all religious scripture, from any religion is equally valid and equally true removing any special claim for christianity or they are using special pleading.
Presuppositionalism is a form of fideism that is based on philosophical skepticism. Presuppositionalists generally believe that theological assumptions or presuppositions are loaded into the epistemological foundation of every ‘worldview’ [i.e. philosophy]. Since they also believe that every worldview built on false presuppositions is a false worldview, and that Christianity is the only true religion, therefore, they conclude that only the worldview (i.e. philosophy) built on Christian presuppositions is true or reliable. The error is located in the very first premise, i.e. in the notion that theological assumptions or presuppositions lie behind every claim or position, theory, or philosophy. Why do they think that? Is Fascist Christian Fideism and the trinity of logical fallacies: begging the question, special pleading, and circular reasoning.
If you point out the circularity in the thinking of Presuppositionalism they may say well under your worldview all positions are circular and under our worldview we have the truth of Christian god so we are not bothered by such a claim of circularity in the thinking as god created all thinking.
“We can say that at their core all positions are circular however this is not proof of the equalizations of all circular positions.”
I am stating this to address religion circular positions such as “are not equal to the problem of deduction (reason) and the problem of induction (evidence) underlining all problems in philosophy, especially epistemology.
All deductive systems, logic in particular and philosophy in general, rely on the truth of its axioms or premises. So the problem of deduction is really that it is impossible to know the truth of axioms without assuming some a priori “fountain of truth” on which to rely. While rationalism claims access to the truth of innate ideas or revelation, skepticism rightfully points out that such fountain of truth is unattainable.
The problem of induction is the philosophical question of whether inductive reasoning leads to knowledge, since it focuses on the alleged lack of justification for either: Generalizing or Presupposing.
1. Generalizing about the properties of a class of objects based on some number of observations of particular instances of that class (for example, the inference that “all swans we have seen are white, and, therefore, all swans are white”, before the discovery of black swans) or
2. Presupposing that a sequence of events in the future will occur as it always has in the past (for example, that the laws of physics will hold as they have always been observed to hold). Hume called this the principle of uniformity of nature.
Presuppositional apologetic fascist Christian fideism contrasts every non-Christian epistemology with Christian epistemology by saying that Christian epistemology believes in an ultimate rationalism while all other systems of epistemology believe in an ultimate irrationalism by the default of not being or starting with a Christian epistemology.
Certainly one of the most frequent characterizations of the presuppositional apologetic of Cornelius Van Til is that it is “fideistic.” Lewis, for example, is concerned that Van Til, despite serving forty-five years as a professor of apologetics, has constructed a system of theology, not a system of apologetics. In Lewis’s estimation, Van Til has not supplied a means of disputing with unbelievers concerning the truthfulness of Christianity. “In the name of defending the faith he has left the faith defenseless. Montgomery likewise warns against Van Til’s tendency to treat the unbeliever as a believer, working out systematic theology and its implications rather than verifying Christianity by “focusing upon their needs” and using as a “starting point” the “common rationality. Montgomery fears that Van Til has given the unbeliever “the impression that our gospel is as aprioristically, fideistically irrational as the presuppositional claims of its competitors.'” Pinnock also raises the same issue. While saluting the contribution that Van Til has made to “a virile twentieth century apologetic,” Pinnock contends that “a curious epistemology derived from a modern Calvinistic school of philosophy in Holland has led him to align his orthodox theology with a form of irrational fideism.”s Geisler, in his Christian Apologetics, includes Van Til in his chapter on fideism along with Pascal, Kierkegaard, and Barth. Geisler states that Van Til “speaks from a strong Reformed Biblical perspective theologically and yet in an absolute revelational presuppositionalism apologetically. “Methodological fideism” is Geisler’s term for this position.? Geisler notes five “central contentions” that are characteristic of fideism (including, apparently, that of Van Til): (1) faith alone is the way to God; (2) truth is not found in the purely rational or objective realm, if it is there at all; (3) evidence and reason do not point definitively in the direction of God; (4) the tests of truth are existential, not rational; and (5) not only God’s revelation but his grace is the source of all truth. Hanna has contended that “presuppositionism” (as he terms it) is able, in response to inquiries as to the warrant for belief, to answer only “in terms of obscurantistic fideism. Hanna regularly uses presuppositionism and fideism interchangeably in his book. More recently, Sproul, Gerstner, and Lindsley have argued that protestations to the contrary notwithstanding-Van Til’s apologetic has no place (or at least not warranted place) for reasoning with or giving evidence to unbelievers. In their judgment, fideism is the inevitable result of Van Til’s presuppositionalism. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
God, the Presuppositional Error
First, truly what is a god and how can you claim to know about it? Guessing is not evidence, neither is wild, unfounded assertions that are written in reality devoid documents such as holy books. Atheists do not have to prove that gods do not exist, as gods have never been proven to exist. Nor is there any good reason to think they could exist.