September 21, 2010
David Smart pointed out to us and posted about The Arrogance of Atheism on a familiar day to me.
In one of his posts that I was reading, he stated the case in the following manner:
"When it comes to Christian apologetics, there are basically two camps: on the one hand is evidentialism, and presuppositionalism on the other. Please notice that neither of these two systems deny the Atheist his presuppositions and epistemological criteria! (To charge either with the arrogance I speak of requires ignoring the facts.) The evidentialists tend to argue from the same epistemic axioms and criteria as the Atheist, starting from this common ground toward defeating the Atheist’s metaphysical presuppositions (to their peril, as they forget that ontology grounds epistemology). And the presuppositionalists actually enjoy granting the Atheist his presuppositions and epistemic criteria because it’s the very means by which they achieve their end, the self-stultifying death of any non-Christian world view (q.v. the TAG). When a Christian employs either apologetic approach when confronting Atheism, he is not guilty of the same arrogance which so many Atheists are because he does allow the inverse—especially presuppositionalists, who purposefully allow the inverse.
When an Atheist makes a moral judgment, for instance, and the Christian asks that he support his claim, is he denied the use of his system of thought for discharging that burden? No. In fact, that is the very means by which we prove the bankruptcy of the Atheist’s argument.
What about the reverse of this scenario?
When a Christian makes a moral judgment and is asked to support it, does the Atheist deny him the use of his Christian system of thought (e.g., the norms of Scriptures) for discharging his burden? Yes. In fact, he is told that the Scriptures are not any sort of evidence, a conclusion that is produced by the Atheist’s own presuppositions and criteria.
Hence, the arrogance of Atheism."
Smart also pointed out:
"The “arrogance of atheism” is manifest by those Atheists who presuppose the truth of their system of thought and expect the Christian to work within the framework of that system, all the while denying for the Christian the inverse there of because the only presuppositions the Atheist permits in the field of debate are his own. Again, the issue is not about Atheists insisting that theistic claims be supported, but rather how they insist those claims get supported."
Excellent, and "Smart", points!