As much as it pains me to say this, presuppositionalists do have a point here—kind of
First your point about absurdity. This is based on the assumption that worldviews containing fallacies must be invalid. In argumentation terms, "invalid" does not mean "not true." Remember that just because something is fallacious, does not mean it is not true. For example, "Apples are good for us because they are all natural." The premise that "apples are good for us" is true, although the fallacious reasoning that follows does not make it true. Likewise, the fact that one might justify their worldview with circularity does not require the worldview to be false—just their justification of it
A trick of the presuppositionalists is to hold others to impossible standards while using special pleading to excuse themselves from such justification. One cannot use reason to justify reason (that would be a form of circularity), but that is what the presuppositionalists demands. Words such as "justification," "account for," and "explain" all are part of the reasoning process. So when the presuppositionalist asserts
that "God" is foundation for everything (including reason), they are using "reason" to make this assertion, thus circular.
To escape this circularity, we don't justify—we accept
. We accept certain self-evident truths provisionally
until we have good reasons not to. We accept the fact that we exist, yet by playing word games we can make it impossible for someone to prove their own existence by using impossible standards. These word games cause people to cast doubt on what we rationally accept as self-evident. In a way, we "presuppose" reason, and the presuppositionalist presupposes "God." The difference is, the concept of "God" contains dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of presuppositions such as: God is a being, God is intelligent, God is good, God is eternal, God exists outside of space and time, God has a son name Jesus who died for our sins, God does not want us to eat shellfish, etc. Some even "presuppose" that God wrote/inspired every word in the Bible so that everything in the Bible is "presupposed" to be true, as well. This is sort of like presupposing that "everything is true." This one presupposition contains every
presupposition (including "everything is false"), and this leads to absurdity.
The critical thinker accepts as little as possible as "self-evident." The presuppositionalist fails to delineate between that which he must accept, and that which he wants to believe.
My advice, don't bother arguing circularity with the presuppositionalist. In fact, don't bother arguing with the presuppositionalist at all, since they already presuppose that they are right, and they can't possibly be wrong. Update: Monday, Mar 18, 2019 08:17 AM
I think you've presented a hasty generalization yourself. Your premise supposes that all presuppositionalists presuppose all of those. Rather, if we presuppose an intelligent designer, many find the most consistency in some of the topics you label as presuppositions.
My premise is that presuppositionalists who presuppose a god include many (dozens to thousands depending on belief) of attributes. Again, the critical thinker accepts as little as possible as "self-evident." Presupposing "an intelligent designer" is presupposing a host of attributes that are unnecessary and completely unwarranted. We don't presuppose it because it fills the gaps where we have tough questions (see God of the Gaps fallacy). If that were the case, we can all just presuppose "magic" and every question can be answered by inserting "magic" (i.e. apparent consistency). Further, as atheists have demonstrated for millennia, for every question a god "answers," it results in several more that the theist often address by "you just need to have faith," "God's ways are not our ways," "God is a mystery," "Our minds can not possibly understand the greatness of God," "All of our questions will be answered when we meet God." No, one cannot reasonably presuppose an intelligent designer any more than one can simply presuppose magic. If one does, they are not practicing critical thinking.
Bo Bennett, PhD
Social Scientist, Business Consultant
Consulting > https://scroops.com/Lm5XFu
About My Businesses > http://www.archieboy.com
About Me > http://www.bobennett.com
Books I’ve Written > https://tinyurl.com/bosbooks
Courses I Teach > https://tinyurl.com/boscourses
Podcasts I Host > https://tinyurl.com/bospodcasts