I was curious. Does the Bible have to be inerrant for TAG and presuppositionalism to work? And related to this question: My ESV or NIV or whatever is not inerrant. Neither is my Greek Nestle/Aland Greek text or my Hebrew Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia text. How does this affect the TAGers argument?
10/28/2006 5:18 PM
Daniel Morgan said:
So far as I can tell, the TAG has little to do with inerrancy. Ralph Walker wrote a pretty solid formulation of the transcendental argument against physicalism in Objections to Physicalism, Robinson 1993, pp. 61-80.
You could use the TAG, for example, and be a Deist or Muslim or etc., so far as I can tell. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Furthermore, PS is an apologetic method that is 99.9% Christian, but I see no reason that Muslims and other worldviews couldn't advocate it as well -- claim that their own worldview "accounts for" everything, and nothing else does, and that by impossibility of the contrary, their own worldview is true, etc., etc.I suppose PS doesn't even have to be a religious method. It could just be a general defense of any worldview/philosophical system, I would think.
Of course, I think it's a poor method, but nonetheless...
In response to anonymous:
1. The doctrine of inerrancy, for one, is limited in scope. The original autographa are inerrant, not particular translations. These translations are the inerrant Word of God as far as they represent the autographa.
2. In answer to your question, yes and no. TAG is primarily an epistemological argument for the existence of God. Often the question of inerrancy doesn't even enter the discussion.
But any Christian "presuppositionalist" would argue that, because biblical Christian theism is the only coherent worldview, the TAG is not effective to argue for any worldview that denies infallible and inerrant revelation from God.
Also, epistemology is moral in nature. True and false do not merely represent naked facts, but moral claims. You should believe the truth. You shouldn't believe a lie. The truth is the right belief. But how do we know what is right and wrong? The TAG tells us that universal moral absolutes are impossible apart from the existence of God. But how do those universal moral absolute come in contact with us so that we know what is right and what is wrong? Well, they come by some form of revelation. Because the unbeliever knows God but suppresses this knowledge, he has a general idea of right and wrong. This idea is enforced by general revelation. But apart from infallible special revelation, we have no absolute distinction between what is objectively right and what is objectively wrong. So morality, or at least our application of morality, depends upon infallible revelation.
In response to Daniel:
You, also, are correct in one sense and yet incorrect in another sense.
1. The TAG is not some end-all argument for Christian theism. It isn't some magic argument that justifies the entire Christian worldview in one step. "Just add T+A+G and out comes Christianity!" No Christian "presuppositionalist," or at least no modest one, would claim that the TAG is such an argument.
Rather, Christian apologetics is a collective effort. A process of elimination. We eliminate atheism with the TAG. And we have entire traditions of apologetics in response to non-biblical religions.
2. But, in a sense, you're incorrect. In a sense, transcendental argumentation eliminates all other worldviews. The TAG doesn't just argue for any God. It demands a certain type of God: a sovereign, trinitarian, immutable, absolute personality who relates with his creatures as Creator (namely, the Christian God). No other can truly account for logic or morality. No other is internally coherent.