<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Note that pragmatism works for survival. It can be clever. It can do science. It can’t reason to truth. It can only have opinions. It can only react in conditioned response like Pavlov’s dogs. It can only handle the present and the material realm. You can find a more detailed listing, with refutations, in the book Real Faith & Reason Volume Three.
When skeptics, have finally admitted the ungodly thinking trilemma keeps them from knowing anything at all, they usually want to project this problem onto those of us who follow Christ. To project, they may claim that we aren’t experiencing Christ as we say we are. When they make that claim, they’re committing at least two fallacies. First, they’re gaslighting. Second, they’re claiming to know the inner spiritual experience of every person who has ever existed. They’re claiming to be all-knowing.
Sandy Sandbuilder: “You talk about experiencing divine revelation, but it’s all in your head. You have to understand. You can’t mention divine revelation when talking to someone who doesn’t believe. We go by facts and evidence, not by feelings or hearing voices. Nothing you’re saying is appealing to my logic.”
Rocky Rockbuilder: “Your claim is interesting since sound logic requires a true premise. How do you know a premise is true without divine revelation?”
Sandy: “I follow the evidence.” [This so-called evidence is phantom evidence, not proof.]
Rocky: “Does evidence mean absolute proof of truth, or does evidence mean made-up stuff?”
Sandy: “Evidence is proof I can tangibly see and manipulate and discover.”
Rocky: “Is your proof derived by making up stuff?”
Rocky: “How do you prove your proof then? Do you use some other proof you can’t prove? Are you familiar with infinite regression?”
Sandy: “I’m familiar with it, but I’m familiar with it regarding religion.”
Rocky: “So you know about an infinite regression of unproven proofs. Then are you familiar with the Münchausen trilemma?”
Sandy: “Yes, I’ve heard of it, but the argument pretty much is saying we can’t know anything is real. These two arguments hurt both of our positions.”
Rocky: “While it affects Christians and non-Christians alike, it only affects those who try to reason without divine revelation. Christians can use a true premise based on revelation. Are you sure you understand why this trilemma is so devastating? If you truly understood it, you wouldn’t bother reasoning.”
Sandy: “I can include divine revelation in the trilemma. How do you know that it’s divine? What truth do you use to determine that it’s divine revelation?”
Rocky: “When God speaks and I acknowledge Him, He authors His faith in my mind, and I know. Faith is substance as opposed to made-up stuff, and it’s absolute proof since Jesus Christ, the only Source of all truth, knowledge, and wisdom, is the Author of faith. Faith is the only way anyone can know anything. On the other hand, your claim of including divine revelation in the trilemma is an axiomatic thinking fallacy, so it fails on that horn of the trilemma. You can’t even prove it to yourself. In your theory, what prevents God from revealing reality miraculously to humans? What prevents God from revealing the difference between human thought and His revelation?”
Sandy: “Why isn’t God included in the trilemma?” [Rocky just answered this question, but we’re dealing with Sandy’s worldview filter that won’t allow him to understand.]
Rocky: “I can’t imagine a way anyone could rationally think the ungodly trilemma demolishes divine revelation in the way it demolishes ungodly thinking. I would have to know how you try to fit God’s divine revelation into the trilemma to answer your question. I don’t see how you can do it. But you may have a presupposition that makes you think divine revelation fits into the trilemma. I can’t answer your presupposition unless I know what it is.”
Sandy: “I guess it’s the lack of presupposition that is my problem. I don’t assume a god, and I don’t assume divinity. So I think it’s perfectly okay to question the validity of both knowledge of divinity and reality of God.”
Rocky: “You didn’t answer the question. Walk me through your logic step by step. Show me how you think you know that when God speaks to me, it constitutes one of the three fallacies of the trilemma. When I say, “walk me through your logic,” I mean without any bare claims. You must base your claims on absolute proof. To clarify, when you say you have no presuppositions, you’re claiming to have absolute proof. You’re claiming that your proof doesn’t depend on any assumptions, stories, conceptual frameworks, ideas, or other forms of made-up stuff. Since you think you can include revelation in this ungodly thinking trilemma, you ought to be able to explain exactly what makes you think so. And you ought to be able to tell me how I can check it out for myself without assuming anything. I gave you a way to check out Jesus Christ without making assumptions when I explained how I know that God reveals truth and how you can also know, simply by getting to know Christ, that God reveals truth.”
Sandy: “OK. Here’s my logical reasoning. I presuppose no Almighty God as a starting axiom. If there is no Almighty God, then God cannot possibly impart knowledge and bypass the human inability to self-generate knowledge. If God cannot possibly impart knowledge and bypass the human inability to self-generate knowledge, then all supposed divine revelation originates as an assumption in the human mind. Therefore, all supposed divine revelation originates as an assumption in the human mind. Therefore, God can’t impart a divine substance and certainty known as faith when He speaks, and so, no one can know anything by divine revelation because of begging the question and infinite regression.” [Sandy admitted that he’s basing his thinking on made-up stuff. Amazing! Keep in mind that this is a transcript of an actual conversation.]
Rocky: “OK. So you’re basing your thinking on the axiomatic thinking fallacy. In other words, you’re starting by assuming the thing you’re trying to prove.”
Sandy: “Then I’m misunderstanding. How is your concept not starting with the thing you’re trying to prove?”
We notice the subtle change that misunderstands the circular reasoning fallacy. Rocky said, “starting by assuming the thing you’re trying to prove.” Sandy switched Rocky’s statement to “starting with the thing you’re trying to prove.”
And Sandy also committed another axiomatic thinking fallacy when he used the word “concept.” He committed this sly suggestion by innuendo, but his actual claim is, “God is just a concept in your mind.”
Rocky: “Within your presupposition of ‘no God’ you can’t have understanding. You can only make up stuff and call the made-up stuff true. Well, you can scour the Internet for other people’s made-up stuff and call this made-up stuff true. I’ll grant you that. But you have to break out of this box you’re in if you want to understand anything.”
“We either start our thinking with God Who is real and verifiable, or we start our thinking with a fake, unverifiable presupposition.”
Sandy: “With your presupposition of God, we are definitely at a stalemate!”
Again, Sandy twists Rocky’s testimony that God reveals Himself, His will, and His truth. Sandy filters that testimony through his worldview and shoehorns it into the phrase “your presupposition of God.”
Rocky: “First, I’m not trying to prove anything. God proves Himself to me. I don’t tell you about my relationship with God to prove God to you. I tell you about it as a spiritual testimony of my ongoing experience. There’s a difference between explanation and proof. Second, you’re presupposing that I’m basing my thinking on presupposition, which is another example of you making up stuff and calling the made-up stuff true. Third, you can’t define a process by which you could know anything, yet you presume to know that I’m assuming rather than experiencing God’s revelation. In other words, you’re claiming to read my mind. Fourth, you can’t define a process by which I could verify any of your claims. You ask me to believe you or some other fallen human without any proof. You ask me to believe a deceitful and desperately wicked mind, a mind that must rest every thought on fallacy and can’t possibly know anything.”
“On the other hand, I can tell you exactly how I know in simple terms. God reveals it to me. It’s that simple. Not only so, but you can check this revelation. You don’t have to take my word for it. You can seek Christ yourself since everyone who seeks Him finds Him. I invite you to do so.”
We notice that Sandy is certain of his ability to reason, and he bases his certainty on a circular reasoning fallacy. Also, Sandy is certain that his impressions and experiences are real. Not only so, but he’s also certain of his interpretations that go beyond his ability to observe or experience, saying, “I follow the evidence.” What evidence could Sandy possibly observe that would tell him about Rocky’s inner spiritual experiences with Christ?
It quickly becomes obvious that Sandy’s so-called “evidence” isn’t observation and experience, but Sandy’s evidence consists of the stories that Sandy tells himself about reality. At the same time, Sandy has such unwarranted belief in his stories and assumptions about the lack of divine revelation that he tells Rocky that Rocky isn’t experiencing what Rocky is experiencing. We can see the double standard. Also, even after Rocky invited him to know Jesus Christ (examine the evidence), Sandy refused to do it (invincible ignorance fallacy).
This conversation, which is typical of the ungodly way to deal with the ungodly thinking trilemma, illustrates that Sandy has a problem of providing proof. For example, if Sandy says that there can be no proof of anything because no absolutes exist, Sandy can’t prove this statement. Or if Sandy says God doesn’t reveal, Sandy is claiming to be all-knowing and has no proof for his claim. In fact, Sandy must base any claim he makes on made-up stuff. Sandy can’t make a rational statement because rational statements must be based on truth, and ungodly thinkers have no path to truth.
Similarly, any argument against divine revelation fails because it must rest on fallacies. The fallacies are axiomatic thinking fallacies and smokescreen fallacies. Now, we can see why all arguments against God and all arguments against the Bible fail.
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