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
“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“. Philosophers have identified a number of different forms of fideism.” ref
“Theologians and philosophers have responded in various ways to the place of faith and reason in determining the truth of metaphysical ideas, morality, and religious beliefs. A fideist is one who argues for fideism. Historically, fideism is most commonly ascribed to four philosophers: Blaise Pascal, Søren Kierkegaard, William James, and Ludwig Wittgenstein; with fideism being a label applied in a negative sense by their opponents, but which is not always supported by their own ideas and works or followers. A qualified form of fideism is sometimes attributed to Immanuel Kant’s famous suggestion that we must “deny knowledge in order to make room for faith.” ref
“Alvin Plantinga a prominent Christian philosopher, defines “fideism” as “the exclusive or basic reliance upon faith alone, accompanied by a consequent disparagement of reason and utilized especially in the pursuit of philosophical or religious truth”. The fideist, therefore “urges reliance on faith rather than reason, in matters philosophical and religious”, and therefore may go on to disparage the claims of reason. The fideist seeks truth, above all: and affirms that reason cannot achieve certain kinds of truth, which must instead be accepted only by faith.” ref
The doctrine of fideism is consistent with some, and radically contrary to other theories of truth:
- Correspondence theory of truth
- Pragmatic theory of truth
- Constructivist epistemology
- Consensus theory of truth
- Coherence theory of truth
Fideism and presuppositional apologetics
“Presuppositional apologetics is a Christian system of apologetics associated mainly with Calvinist Protestantism; it attempts to distinguish itself from fideism. It holds that all human thought must begin with the proposition that the revelation contained in the Bible is axiomatic, rather than transcendentally necessary, else one would not be able to make sense of any human experience (see also epistemic foundationalism). To non-believers who reject the notion that the truth about God, the world, and themselves can be found within the Bible, the presuppositional apologist attempts to demonstrate the incoherence of the epistemic foundations of the logical alternative by the use of what has come to be known as the “Transcendental Argument for God’s existence” (TAG). On the other hand, some presuppositional apologists, such as Cornelius Van Til, believe that such a condition of true unbelief is impossible, claiming that all people actually believe in God (even if only on a subconscious level), whether they admit or deny it. Presuppositional apologetics could be seen as being more closely allied with foundationalism than fideism, though it has sometimes been critical of both.” ref
Criticism of Fideism
“Catholic doctrine rejects fideism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, representing Catholicism‘s great regard for Thomism, the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, affirms that it is a Catholic doctrine that God’s existence can indeed be demonstrated by reason. Aquinas’ position, which is to be distinguished from rationalism, has deep roots in Western Christianity; it goes back to St. Anselm of Canterbury‘s observation that the role of reason was to explain faith more fully: fides quaerens intellectum, “faith seeking understanding”, is his formula.” ref
“The official position of the Catholic Church is that while the existence of the one God can in fact be demonstrated by reason, nevertheless on account of the distortion of human nature caused by the first sin, humans can be deluded to deny the claims of reason that demonstrate God’s existence.” ref
God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (cf. Rom. 1:20), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated …” ref
“Similarly, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that:
Though human reason is, strictly speaking, truly capable by its own natural power and light of attaining to a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, who watches over and controls the world by his providence, and of the natural law written in our hearts by the Creator; yet there are many obstacles which prevent reason from the effective and fruitful use of this inborn faculty. For the truths that concern the relations between God and man wholly transcend the visible order of things, and, if they are translated into human action and influence it, they call for self-surrender and abnegation. The human mind, in its turn, is hampered in the attaining of such truths, not only by the impact of the senses and the imagination, but also by disordered appetites which are the consequences of original sin. So it happens that men in such matters easily persuade themselves that what they would not like to be true is false or at least doubtful. — Catechism of the Catholic Church, ss. 37.” ref
“Pope John Paul II‘s encyclical Fides et Ratio also affirms that God’s existence is in fact demonstrable by reason, and that attempts to reason otherwise are the results of sin. In the encyclical, John Paul II warned against “a resurgence of fideism, which fails to recognize the importance of rational knowledge and philosophical discourse for the understanding of faith, indeed for the very possibility of belief in God.” ref
Fideist currents in Catholic thought
“Historically, there have been a number of fideist strains within the Catholic orbit. Catholic traditionalism, exemplified in the nineteenth century by Joseph de Maistre, emphasized faith in tradition as the means of divine revelation. The claims of reason are multiple, and various people have argued rationally for several contradictory things: in this environment, the safest course is to hold true to the faith that has been preserved through tradition, and to resolve to accept what the Church has historically taught. In his essay Du pape (“On the Pope“), de Maistre argued that it was historically inevitable that all of the Protestant churches would eventually seek reunification and refuge in the Catholic Church: science was the greater threat, it threatened all religious faith, and “no religion can resist science, except one.” ref
“Another refuge of fideist thinking within the Catholic Church is the concept of “signs of contradiction“. According to this belief, the holiness of certain people and institutions is confirmed by the fact that other people contest their claims: this opposition is held to be worthy of comparison to the opposition met by Jesus Christ himself. This opposition and contradiction does not inherently prove something is true in Catholic thought, but only acts an additional possible indication of its truth. The idea of the sign of contradiction is related to the conviction that, while human reason is still operative, the distortion of fallen human nature causes concrete instances of reasoning to grope and often to go astray.” ref
“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. Notable articulations of this position include: Peter Abelard – Sic et Non and Lord Herbert – De Veritate” ref
Some critics argue that 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.” ref
A case for reason
“Some critics note that people successfully use reason in their daily lives to solve problems and that reason has led to a progressive increase of knowledge in the sphere of science. This gives credibility to reason and argumentative thinking as a proper method for seeking truth. Galileo Galilei, for example, said that “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” On the other hand, according to these critics, there is no evidence that a religious faith that rejects reason would also serve us while seeking truth.” ref
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.
While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.
The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:
Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!
Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)
Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO
Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO
Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO
Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO
Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO
Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO
Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO
Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO
I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.
The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.
An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”
My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?
I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.
I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.
The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”
Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.
Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?
Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reached its height of empathy? I as everyone earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.
I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist but I am happy to tell you my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.
Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.
At the same time of the rise of the male god 7,000 years ago was also the very time there was the rise of violence war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago and it mover across the world.
The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)
Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticalcory
The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.”
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Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.
Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”
Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):
Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism