Ydemoc asked some well thought out questions, in such a kind manner they do warrant a response.
>>the truths identified by Objectivist axioms.
Yes, there are self evident truths. As a mere example, even our founding fathers believed this also as "We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights" The rights are axiomatic. There is a Biblical necessity to deny the fundamental point of moral neutrality here. What
failed is southern men thinking that slaves are not people, but
property. Their axioms were simply wrong. It was also "self evident"
that the world was flat at a time in history, true? So how do we get
through axioms that are incorrect? More, correct, axioms and that is the purpose of TAG.
These points are not flip answers but my attempt to flesh them out
in my very limited philosophical education. But, I do not claim to be a
well versed philosopher, but an exegete in Scripture. At least that is
my goal and focus.
>>For "axiom of existence". So you presuppose that you exist.
>>For "axiom of identity". You presuppose that you are you.
"The problem here is that Dr. Copan, like many critics of
presuppositionalism, confuses a presupposition of an argument with a premise of an argument." ~~Dr. James N. Anderson
As Anderson pointed out, "the argument identifies a performative
inconsistency in the one who
doubts his own existence. (In a sense, all transcendental arguments aim
to identify a performative inconsistency in the skeptic’s position.)
Does it presuppose its conclusion? Yes, in the sense that the argument
can be mentally entertained by a person only if that person exists — but that’s precisely the point. This sort of non-trivial ‘presupposing’ is necessarily involved in all transcendental arguments that purport to identify a necessary precondition of rational thought...Once you see that Descartes’ argument doesn’t beg the question in any objectionable fashion, it ought to be clear that neither does the presuppositionalist’s argument."
>>since presupposing is a conscious activity (there’s the axiom of consciousness)
Can you just claim to be consciousness as an axiom without any
background, or explanation, (account) behind it? It is the thrust of the point
we're trying to make here, after all. One could say that life is an axiom, but that
gets us nowhere.
This specific point has been addressed in a past post:
"In such a naturalistic, materialistic conception of the universe, all must be accounted for in terms of the material interaction of atoms. With that worldview, it forces us to view ourselves as simply matter-in-motion. How can matter be self-aware? Are rocks self aware? Trees? Hammers? In fact, what view of the world makes self-awareness intelligible? Slime is certainly not self-aware, which eventually
becomes rational, which eventually becomes moral-and all by the evolutionary mechanism of time plus chance?" ~Self Aware
>>This is why they are the preconditions of knowledge (since knowledge is essentially identification of facts.
All facts, or even evidences, are interpreted within a framework of presuppositions though.
"God’s self-revelation in nature and in Scripture informs us of the two-level universe. God is not a fact like other facts in the world. He is the Creator and Establisher of all else. His existence alone makes the universe, and reason, and human experience possible… " ~Greg Bahnsen (Pushing the Antithesis pg.) 124.
What the world views as an "expert authority" is only as good insofar as that "expert" is consistent with what God, the ultimate authority reveals. This is because, as Jesus implicitly taught in Luke 16:31: the facts don't speak for themselves because all facts are interpreted facts.
>>But I find it curious that I don’t often (if at all) come across theists who ask: “How do you know that you are wrong?”
That is because all facts are interpreted facts. So, of course, you believe you're right, but how are you certain you are?
"In fact, that cannot be evidence for God if he is a naturalist, or an atheist. Because according to him its not possible to have evidence for God. If he is in fact an atheist in terms of his views on reality, then all of these things must be reinterpreted so they are regimented, or will
conform to, will comport with that man's naturalism, or atheism." ~(bit.ly/stillevidence)
>>We are wrong when we have failed to properly identify a fact of reality. And we have knowledge of being wrong when we take steps that properly identify the error in our thinking. Essentially, we “check our work.” What do we check with? With the same faculty of consciousness we check with reality.
So you reason your reasoning is valid. Got it. So how do you know which reality is the right one?
Someone said a while ago "We find a reality in which God exists, you, on the other hand find a reality where that is
not necessarily the case.
You see, in our reality, we can
attribute things to God whom we know exists, you cannot. For example,
if someone asks if X is "good," we can make this determination by seeing
whether or not it comports with God's revealed character according to
our reality. You, necessarily have another standard for goodness in
your version of reality. Both cannot be "true" at the same time and in
the same way.
So when I, for example, say that worshiping idols
is bad, and you say that it is not bad, how do you determine which is
the correct answer since we appeal to different realities?
How do you know whose reality is the right reality?"
facts are interpreted facts, then this type of question makes sense. If
you claim there is only one reality, then how do you know you're right
about the non-existence of God, or anything, within this reality?
You reason that your reality appears to conform to
reality. But you have yet to show the avenue to knowledge.
In quoting Peikoff you bring up a good point. "But if they cannot, how did they ever discover that they were wrong? How
can one form such concepts as “mistake” or “error” while wholly
ignorant of what is correct?"
It reminds me of another quote. "If we are products of mechanistic and
impersonal natural forces in a closed system, then our
thoughts and rules of reasoning are also parts of that
system. Any check against false conclusions would still be
a part of the system which produced the false conclusions." ~Henry W.
Middle | March 1st, 2010 | The Foundation of Logic in the Nature of God
So that brings us to that, now famous, question. How do you know?
man cannot grasp X, then “non-X” stands for nothing. Fallibility does
not make knowledge impossible. Knowledge is what makes
possible the discovery of fallibility.” (Leonard Peikoff, “‘Maybe
You’re Wrong,’” The Objectivist Forum, April 1981, 8)
X being "God" in that quote makes perfect sense. Again, we're back to the same
question, what is your avenue to knowledge? Which reality is right?
Atheists claim they cannot grasp "God", then as Peikoff points out, then
“non-God” stands for nothing. You KNOW God exists as Peikoff points
out, and confirms Scripture, that we are without excuse. Romans 1:18-21
>>So when you ask, “How do I know my reasoning is valid?” the answer is
very simple: I check -- much the same your kids probably check their
So you appeal to a STANDARD that your worldview
cannot account for. Unless you are admiting to a purposed and uniform,
not random, universe. Would you grant this, that your worldview only
allows for time and chance acting on matter, that its just the material universe, that its just random, there is no guidance, there is no governance, no sovereign, no purpose or plan over the universe?
You assert that you "check" but against what? Truth? Reality? Again, we're back to the same question. How do you know? Which "truth"? Which reality? If there is one reality then, one would think there would be only one worldview. So, since that is not the case, which reality? BTW, someday soon there WILL be only one worldview. The Christian worldview. God assured that.
>>Consciousness has a relationship with reality, and it is capable of
checking the conclusions it comes to against the facts of reality.
Indeed it does, same with consciences also. How is that? That is why your
atheistic worldview comes into question. It accounts for things with "It just is" or "it just works", and would that be sufficient for us explaining God? God just is? Of course not.
>> Would you say that your kids, by checking their results against the
facts of reality, are “reasoning in a vicious circle,” Dan? I doubt it.
As stated above, "Once you see that Descartes’ argument doesn’t beg the question in any
objectionable fashion, it ought to be clear that neither does the
>>..what would justify appealing to something above, beyond, outside (i.e.,
to something supernatural) in order to account for the simple fact that I
have identified these objects in my field of awareness? What justifies
appealing to a supernatural source?
>>Now, how do I know all this? Because there are no rational grounds to doubt it. And how do I know there are no rational grounds on which to doubt it? I checked.
By checking something that has, according to you, "no rational grounds
to doubt it", makes it irrational to do so?
That is, at least, consistent to that worldview you hold so tightly to. Irrational Exuberance :7)