Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ presuppositionalism

September 1, 2021 • 9:45 am

The new Jesus and Mo strip, called “science”, deals with “presuppositionalism,”  (or “presuppositional apologetics”) defined in the strip. (You can also read about it here, and it will come up in a post later today when we learn that Christianity was necessary for the advent of science because science began as a way to understand God’s plan and his Roolz.)

The whole presuppositionalist enterprise is indeed question begging, as it presumes the truth of Christianity.

14 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ presuppositionalism

    1. However, it is not a counterexample. The Christians can say that their God always existed and that logic, morality, and science are consequences of His existence. Whether people knew about it or not is a different matter. This is exactly the problem with religion. Many religious statements are not sufficiently concrete to be conducive to rational analysis.

  1. It is quite common for religious people to use flawed arguments to defend their faith while not allowing people of other religions to use similar arguments to defend theirs. The religious institutions that exist today were probably built by people who were sincere in their faith. I wonder how many of the current lot are sincere. Surely, they must be interrogating themselves.

  2. it will come up in a post later today when we learn that Christianity was necessary for the advent of science because science began as a way to understand God’s plan and his Roolz

    Maybe I’m being a bit premature here and I should wait until the presaged post arrives, but Archimedes (c 287BC – 212BC*) is surely the most obvious counter example to sink that theory, although there is, I believe evidence to support the idea that enlightenment scientists had the understanding of God’s design as a motivation.

    *Normally I’d use “BCE” for dates before the year 1 in the Gregorian calendar, but “BC” is appropriate in this instance.

    1. Ah, but the presuppositionalist might argue that earlier scientists and philosophers were directly inspired by God even though they didn’t realise it! (Hence Plato is regarded by some as almost an honorary Christian).

  3. There is a fallacy which is similar, I learned it as “The Fallacy of the Stolen Concept.” This happens when someone assumes the truth of what they’re arguing against, with the common example being “there is no such thing as reason, and I’ll provide a rational case against it.” Clearly, if you’re using reason to demonstrate there’s no reason, this is an internal contradiction.

    The problem with presuppositionalists plugging “God” in here as the author or source of reason is that this isn’t a universal premise or basic truth — it’s the conclusion of an argument. Reason may or may not be created by God. Substituting “GodCreatedReason” for “Reason” doesn’t mean you’ve caught the atheist committing a Fallacy of the Stolen Concept.

    I used to play the Stolen Concept card first.
    “Can you prove the existence of reason?”
    “Internal contradiction in the question — you lose!”
    Drove them mad.

    1. Sastra,I got my undergrad degree at a Christian college (don’t ask) so a religion class was mandatory. I had to write an exegesis paper on a bible excerpt. I was reading some theologian’s “justification” when it hit me that he was using reason to try to argue for faith. That’s when the light bulb went on.

  4. Christianity was necessary for the advent of science because science began as a way to understand God’s plan

    Kinda irrelevant what they first used it for, isn’t it? To pick on a different Greek from Jeremy’s, the prime mover argument began as a way for classical Greek polytheist Aristotle to understand the god who created the universe. Does this mean Greek polytheism is necessary for prime mover arguments? Does it mean classical Greek polytheism is right?

    IIRC one of the earliest employments of statistics was figuring out that cholera was spread by wells in London. An admirable use, but it doesn’t support the notion that cholera was necessary for the advent of statistics or that statistics requires the existence of cholera.

    Then, of course, there’s probability theory and gambling…

  5. I ran into one of these people in a different forum a few years back. He was utterly impervious to reason and incredibly smug about it. He seemed to think that assuming his conclusion was an unassailable argument. He was also of the opinion that everyone really believed in a god, even when several of us told him we most certainly did not. Because he assumed — excuse me, *presupposed* — the truth of the Bible, he knew what we thought better than we did.

    It took me longer than was sensible to stop arguing with him.

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