There are any number of misconceptions in these replies. Given that we shall be posting other front page responses on our respective blogs I shall confine myself to correcting only the main problems. This post was intended to go under “comments” but is just too long.
You say I have a “version of” the answers to the Big Questions”, but then go on to aver the fact “that we keep asking.” The presuppositionalist says that the Bible has the only worldview that doesn’t reduce down to nonsense when its underbelly is uncovered. Thus, Christians who know their Bibles are not among the seekers you refer to. Further, the Christian-biblical position states that you will always be searching for answers to the Big Questions because you are willfully looking passed the Answer – Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life!
The Bible declares your difficulty as being of an ethical rather than an intellectual nature. One will not be able to provide the preconditions upon which any of your assertions are based (see below) because your interpretation of the world does not match reality. This term “preconditions of understanding” or “of intelligibility” connotes that which is necessarily the case in order for us to say something true and base it on a something that does not undermine the truth claim being made. Hence you have misunderstood what presupper’s mean by it.
You provide a good example:
You state, “our reason evolved in this universe, so it should not come as a surprise to us that we find the universe intelligible to our reason.” This is the position you are reasoning from. You call this “consistent.” But by tying the laws of logic to the “evolving universe” you are strongly implying the mutability of logic. If the “laws” of logic are mutable (changing) then they are not static. If they are not static they are not “law-like.” Thus, you are building your worldview on the shifting sands of unlaw-like logic! If you believe logic is changeable it is a wonder you appeal to it. If you don’t you will have to explain how laws of logic evolve yet remain static.
I would respectfully say that the reason you “see no reason to apply a Biblical framework around the world in order to somehow make it intelligible” is because you have not analyzed your worldview and its adequacy to account for what you assert. I deny that “[there are many things in the world we experience that simply are not accounted for in scriptures”, since that would contradict the biblical framework itself (and you would not expect me to do that 🙂 )
The biblical worldview does give the preconditions for all states of affairs. I just don’t think you understand the ramifications of the biblical outlook on God, man and the world. Your worldview outline (which I thank you for) provides no preconditions at all – it simply assumes them (e.g. order) and goes from there. But what I am trying to get at is not that you and I know order is there in the universe. It is the question of how to account for that order (among other things) from our most central presuppositions. To claim the universe “behaves in an orderly and predictable fashion” is to state the obvious. It is not to account for it.
You then say that you “can’t demonstrate that I’m not a brain in a vat, but taking a Biblical view wouldn’t help me with that either.” Well, yes it would. Why? Because it is the Word of your Creator to you, and that same Word describes what must be the case if our truth claims are to make sense.
Of course, I don’t expect you to agree with me here, but as I said, try to do it without borrowing from the biblical description.
Next, your corralling the God of Scripture in with other gods shows me that you neither understand what the Bible says about the God of Scripture nor the false deities He commands against. To save time here I will refer you to my review of an excellent book on the subject, plus (if you’re a sucker for punishment) these articles on ANE creation-myths (here, here, and here). It is simply not possible to take your position once one compares the different sets of propositions on God as opposed to pagan gods.
You say “presuppositional apologetics assumes that… there is no way that humans can trust their senses and reason without Biblical grounding – whilst at no stage does it demonstrate that this is so. Yes it does! It demonstrates it by providing the only context in which human truth claims are not reduced to absurdity. This is a transcendental type of argument. It seeks, as I said, for what must be so in order for our knowledge to be knowledge. Kant’s version of it, being centered in man, actually brought everything within the realm of subjective impressions. Van Til’s Christian version finds the only solid foundation for knowledge in the self-revealing God of Scripture.
You ask where “things like fossils and gravity and quantum mechanics fit into your worldview?” Well, most fossils were formed in the global flood and quantum mechanics (which I know hardly anything about) deals with things so elusive that it is not possible for anyone to be sure what they are dealing with. However, what appears to be random at the subatomic level is placed there by the Creator in as a part of creation.
In human experience to have order (never mind the mindblowing specified complex order like ones sees in the most basic cell) there has to be an Orderer. You have no orderer; hence you have no explanation for order. The explanation you do offer is by way of non-explanation. It actually reduces to “it’s there!” (see my original piece).
One may derive some kinds of order without an orderer (e.g. crystals), but this is Shannon Information, not (pre)-specified complex information. This is what you must explain.
Again you say I seem to think that numbers “must be consciously or deliberately produced, rather than being simple characteristics of material things.” That is not quite right. I am saying numbers, which are immaterial (neither you nor Sye T. can go and get me three…you would have to ask “three what?”), are there because God has put them in there and has given us minds whereby we can discover them. How does Sye T. account for the correspondence between his mind and the physical world outside? You ask, “If there were no material objects, what could there ever be three of?” Well, there would be at least one instance of three Persons in the Christian God – who is immaterial! There would be at least three laws of thought – immaterial.
There is more to be said, but it seems clear enough to me that you have seriously undermined your ability to produce the preconditions I am asking for, especially now you have straddled your logic with the burden of mutability. Perhaps one day the illogical will be logical?
Now I shall look into your blog posts. Though I first must write on another matter.