Friday, July 16, 2010

Steve Hays on Presuppositionalism

Steve Hays responded to my post on Van Til.

This is Van Til’s way of indicating that if you take the unbeliever’s position to its logical extreme, the unbeliever negates his knowledge of God (or anything else). In principle, the unbeliever knows nothing. ...Van Til does think that unbelievers retain some true knowledge

"Common ground" could stand for common beliefs. What believers and unbelievers both know about God, at a conscious or subconscious level. Or it could stand for common standards. Do believers and unbelievers share the same methods and assumptions?


If this is what Van Til meant, then I don't have a problem with it. But at lest in this respect, his view doesn't seem different than Clark's.

I’d just say that, in Van Til, circular reasoning doesn’t have reference to a fallacious type of syllogistic reasoning. Rather, I suspect that it represents a modification of the coherence theory of truth, a la idealism.

That's different than Clark and that's the scepticism and reliance on Kant that I was referring to.

15 comments:

steve said...

How does a modified coherence theory of truth reflect skepticism and reliance on Kant?

Godismyjudge said...

Steve,

Both idealism and the coherence theory of truth disconnect truth from reality. They confuse the ontological question of "why is this true?" with the epistemological question of "how do we know?" In the process they loose sight of the self-evident principle that cannot be rationally denied that consciousness observes reality.

God be with you,
Dan

Steven said...

"Both idealism and the coherence theory of truth disconnect truth from reality. They confuse the ontological question of "why is this true?" with the epistemological question of "how do we know?" In the process they loose sight of the self-evident principle that cannot be rationally denied that consciousness observes reality."

How does Berkeley's idealism, for instance, do this?

Godismyjudge said...

How would Berkeley handle the first 4 days of creation, when there were no sense perceivers around? Would he end up denying or sceptical of God's creation?

God be with you,
Dan

steve said...

Godismyjudge said...

"How would Berkeley handle the first 4 days of creation, when there were no sense perceivers around? Would he end up denying or sceptical of God's creation?"

If you want to know how he'd handle it, why don't you read how he handles it? (In Three Dialogues Between Hylas And Philonous).

You're jumping into things without any adequate preparation.

Paul Manata said...

"How would Berkeley handle the first 4 days of creation, when there were no sense perceivers around? Would he end up denying or sceptical of God's creation?"

Berkeley:

There was a young man who said "God
Must find it exceedingly odd
To think that the tree
Should continue to be
When there's no one about in the quad."

"Dear Sir: Your astonishment's odd;
I am always about in the quad.
And that's why the tree
Will continue to be
Since observed by, Yours faithfully, God."

Godismyjudge said...

Paul,

That's the mistake
I thought Berkeley would make
But I fear God would send me to hell
Were I to say that He doth smell

God be with you,
Dan

Paul Manata said...

That's the mistake
I thought Berkeley would make


So you admit you made a false dilemma wrt what Berkeley would have to hold re: the first 4 days of creation.

Other than that, don't really understand your response.

Paul Manata said...

Dan,

Good to see you back down from your initial charge of incoherence to one of mere disagreement. But it's uninteresting to note that you disagree with Berkeley. I'm sure he disagrees with you.

Anywho, Berkeely doesn't believe material eyeballs and noses exist. Ideas exist. Perceptions are mental. One perceives an idea. A mind perceives. Surely this closes the "gap" you think exists between human and divine perceptions.

For Berkeley, God causes our perceptions. He wills them. But there are no blind volitions, ideas are behind them. So god has ideas of trees and such. These are mental and can exist in the divine mind. "With it in place, we have a guarantee that anything willed by God, e.g. that finite perceivers in appropriate circumstances should have elm tree ideas, also has a divine idea associated with it."

As Steve said, "You're jumping into things without any adequate preparation."

Paul Manata said...

Dan Said: "In the process they loose sight of the self-evident principle that cannot be rationally denied that consciousness observes reality."

Later, Dan said: "I don't think God is a sense perceiver, as was implicit in my question. But Berkeley said God observes - in a sense relivant to preserving his theory of human observation."

Godismyjudge said...

Paul,

Pick your poison: either Berkely's special perception based idealism lapses into plain old idealism or God smells things to learn about them.

God be with you,
Dan

Paul Manata said...

Dan,

Study your subject. At this point I'll leave my side of the discussion as is since I've fully defanged your original objection. Not "getting it" isn't a defeater. I might be inclined to help you understand the position you're critiquing, but you're a know-it-all.

Odeliya said...

Paul,

I , for one, never seen Dan being as described, he is very humble.
to be honest i am not getting it either.It sounds as if he is trying to hold two positions at once.
But thanks for the quote. I will need to read some more.

Godismyjudge said...

Paul,

Thanks for your thoughts on the subject. I saw Inception this evening and couldn't help but think of our conversation.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

Odeliya,

Thanks for the kind words. I am assuming your talking about this:

Dan Said: "In the process they loose sight of the self-evident principle that cannot be rationally denied that consciousness observes reality."

Later, Dan said: "I don't think God is a sense perceiver, as was implicit in my question. But Berkeley said God observes - in a sense relivant to preserving his theory of human observation."


To be honest, Paul raises a good point. The easy part is that I don't think God has senses like we do. More to the point, God doesn't learn He already knows everything. Futher, God's consciousness and ours is different in some ways. He has knowledge and awareness without sense perception. The hard part (for me anyways) is that's its difficult to think of consciousness without sense perception. But it's not like God observes something other than reality, He simply is conscious (having knowledge and awarness) but He doesn't observe.

God be with you,
Dan