A Couple More Interviews on Apologetics

May has been the month of interviews, mainly because I put them all off until the end of the spring semester! Here are a couple more, for your viewing pleasure:

While you’re at it, check out the channels of the two hosts:

The Gospel Truth (Marlon Wilson)

The Christian Worldview Project (Jordan Ravanes)

5 Responses to A Couple More Interviews on Apologetics

  1. Love the meteor example because as I tried to explain in the Jump dialogue, I think it can be easier for some to comprehend the necessity of propositional truth (in all possible worlds) by imagining the elimination of all human minds in this actual world (as opposed to contemplating a possible world without human minds and asking one to consider whether there’s truth within such a world). Then we can ask whether after the meteor destroys all human minds in this actual world, are the red cliffs of Aquinnah (which I’ll see next week, God willing!) no longer red? If they are still red, then God. If they’re no longer red, then in what sense were they truly red when human minds existed?

    Question. I’m very comfortable with God as the necessary precondition for the possibility of knowledge. I don’t think we can successfully argue the Christian worldview as that precondition unless we limit ourselves to this actual world or other worlds that contemplate creation, fall, redemption and consummation. In other words, not all possible worlds are redemptive or resurrection centric, which obviously is at the heart of the Christian worldview. So, I’m good with arguing by the impossibility of the contrary for God’s existence but not for the Christian worldview. Thoughts?

    Closely related and as a matter of philosophical taxonomy or convention, does a necessary precondition for x have to be true in all possible worlds, or can it be true only in this world (even at this moment)? In other words, how strong is the modal claim of necessary precondition as a matter of taxonomy?

    I’d like sometime for you to expand upon your expectation that God would reveal himself in revelatory words. Of course I think that’s a rational expectation and that’s what he has done, but as we know that expectation isn’t authoritative. I think it’s a legitimate tool in the apologetical tool box but by itself might it suggest that our confidence is in what we might conjure up as a reasonable expectation? I think it has great abductive let’s-reason-together value, but might we be more forthright in asserting along side that expectation that our confidence is based upon self-attestation and the Spirit’s persuasion? I’m not recommending dogmatism, but I also wouldn’t want to be misunderstood as making expectation a criterion for faith. See my question?

  2. “Closely related and as a matter of philosophical taxonomy or convention, does a necessary precondition for x have to be true in all possible worlds, or can it be true only in this world (even at this moment)? In other words, how strong is the modal claim of necessary precondition as a matter of taxonomy?”

    James,

    Feel free to address in contrast to a necessary precondition for the *possibility* of x. Thx, Ron

    • Ron,

      By definition (at least in the context of TA discussions) a precondition is a condition of possibility. Thus, if X is a necessary precondition of Y, then X is necessary for the possibility of Y. In the context of TAG, we’re talking about preconditions of human knowledge (or even more broadly, creaturely knowledge). So the relevant transcendental claim isn’t merely If there is human knowledge then God exists but If there can be human knowledge then God exists.

  3. That’s been my understanding. It also confirms that many somewhat programmatically over promise on the Christian worldview but not on God’s existence. Thx

  4. James,

    I’ll take one more swipe at resolving our difference.

    SCOTUS: If a man with x talent and attracted to men loses a job to a woman with identical x talent and attracted to men, the variable is not x talent or attraction to men. Both those variables are the same for each person. Therefore, SCOTUS reasons (badly) that the variable is sex, implying sex discrimination. That’s SCOTUS’ position.

    Your point is that sex discrimination is not the discriminating variable but rather SSA. I agree. To make that point, you argue that if the man with SSA was instead a woman with SSA, the woman with SSA would be discriminated against no differently than a man with SSA. You reason that since SSA for men and women is essentially the same trait, the only discriminating variable left is SSA.

    (I agree that SSA for men and women are essentially the same trait. There’s no relevant distinction. AND, it would be incumbent for SCOTUS to show otherwise, lest they appear arbitrary. However, I think it’s also incumbent upon us to show how the relative trait must be SSA as opposed to sex, as obvious as that might appear to us without argumentation.)

    Please consider, SCOTUS would argue back that both the woman with SSA and the man with SSA would be discriminated against based upon sex: The woman with SSA (i.e. attraction to women) would be discriminated against *relative to* a man with the exact same attraction to women. In such a case, the talent would be the same and the attraction to women would be the same. The discriminating factor would be sex. Likewise, the man with SSA (i.e. attraction to men) would be discriminated against relative to a woman with the exact same attraction to men. In such a case, the talent would be the same and the attraction to men would be the same. The discriminating factor would again be sex. By flipping the man with SSA to a woman with SSA we haven’t put the matter to rest.

    You and SCOTUS are at an impasse, perhaps both calling the other position’s variable arbitrary.

    Obviously your instincts are correct and SCOTUS’ are incorrect. One way to show that is by taking sex off the table(!) and making the *only* variable SSA. We do that by comparing a man attracted to men to another man of equal talent who is not attracted to men. The former man loses the job based upon his attraction to men. The *only* variable is SSA. We’ve left SCOTUS without an appeal to sex discrimination. Sex is no longer a variable given two men with one discriminated against. (We can apply the same reasoning to two women, only one with SSA.)

    The point is, as long as we continue to argue man vs woman (both with same talent and same attraction to men), we will be at an impasse with SCOTUS. They’ll attribute the variable to sex whereas we understand it correctly to be SSA.

    Like other disagreements we’ve had, I also chalk this one up not to a different instinct or different conclusion but rather to the way in which we might arrive at that conclusion by refuting the opponent in a way that leaves no imaginable rejoinder.

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