I need help understanding something - Presuppositional Apologetics

I consider myself a pretty intelligent person. I'm a computer engineer, I've always been at the top of my class back when I was a student (in the stone age ;) ), and I love learning overall - to this day. I am a firm believer in skepticism and the scientific method, and I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

I mention all of this because, well, I'm embarrassed to say I just don't understand the (il)logic of Presuppositional Apologetics.

I just have a monstrous problem understanding how the entire basis of someone's approach and understanding of the world can be based on something that is inherently illogical? How can you form the foundation of your analysis and understanding of - well, of anything and everything - on something that is inherently baseless, illogical, and irrational? A foundation that is utterly void of any evidence that even hints at it's validity?

I know that many of you have a background in philosophy, religious history, etc. - and therefore probably have a better understanding of this than I do. Please help me understand how anyone at all can purport to offer this as a valid argument for basically anything at all, much less Christianity.

Thanks in advance.

Tags: Apologetics, Presuppositional Apologetics, Questions, Rationality

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No one knows what was nor what happened before [the big bang].

It's worth considering that the question itself might be meaningless, since time itself originated with the big bang, and general and special relativity break down in describing the big bang.

“When people ask me if a god created the universe, I tell them that the question itself makes no sense. Time didn’t exist before the big bang, so there is no time for god to make the universe in. It’s like asking directions to the edge of the earth; The Earth is a sphere; it doesn’t have an edge; so looking for it is a futile exercise. We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is; there is no god." -Stephen Hawking

...since time itself originated with the big bang,

Your evidence, Gallup?

Your evidence, Gallup?

The observational evidence for the big bang indicates that the universe, including the laws of physics and space-time itself, had a beginning (as a singularity).

Stephen Hawking explains more eloquently:Picture "In this lecture, I would like to discuss whether time itself has a beginning [...]

"At this time, the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe, would have been on top of itself. The density would have been infinite. It would have been what is called, a singularity. At a singularity, all the laws of physics would have broken down. This means that the state of the universe, after the Big Bang, will not depend on anything that may have happened before, because the deterministic laws that govern the universe will break down in the Big Bang. The universe will evolve from the Big Bang, completely independently of what it was like before. Even the amount of matter in the universe, can be different to what it was before the Big Bang, as the Law of Conservation of Matter, will break down at the Big Bang.

"Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang. Events before the Big Bang, are simply not defined, because there's no way one could measure what happened at them. This kind of beginning to the universe, and of time itself, is very different to the beginnings that had been considered earlier. These had to be imposed on the universe by some external agency. There is no dynamical reason why the motion of bodies in the solar system can not be extrapolated back in time, far beyond four thousand and four BC, the date for the creation of the universe, according to the book of Genesis. Thus it would require the direct intervention of God, if the universe began at that date. By contrast, the Big Bang is a beginning that is required by the dynamical laws that govern the universe. It is therefore intrinsic to the universe, and is not imposed on it from outside."

Gallup, we both know that anyone can put anything into Wikipedia.

If it's esoteric enough it will remain there for a long time.

Re Hawking: so much theory, so little evidence. Not even a possibility of evidence.

Gallup, we both know that anyone can put anything into Wikipedia. If it's esoteric enough it will remain there for a long time.

The Wikipedia article is sourced. Stephen Hawking is a noted expert on cosmology. If you're claiming the evidence for the big bang is false or that another theory fits it better, it's up to you to explain how and why.

Re Hawking: so much theory, so little evidence. Not even a possibility of evidence.


You do not get to deny sourced evidence about the big bang from cosmology, astrophysics and a world-renowned expert as though it doesn't exist.


Watch this debate for a good education in how presup arguments can be used 


I may be one of few atheists that found the arguments in favor of presup arguments to be overall - Fairly internally consistent.  This isn't to say there is evidence for such a position.  I think the debater did a poor job in his overall presentation as he came off as arrogant and shall I say...dickish.  But Mr. Dillahunty has such moments as well even though I love watching him.  

There was one debater who toured with Hitchens for a while,I'm too lazy to search his name.  But I had a certain respect for his almost-presup argument.  He at least argued that proof of Jesus's resurrection exists in the bible and THEREFORE everything else in the bible is true.  He didn't just say the bible is infallible because it says so in the bible.  He showed his reasoning for Jesus being God and the rest followed.  

In the debate against Dillahunty, the best his opponent could do was to attempt to shoot holes in Dillahunty's arguments, without showing any arguments or evidence for his own presup argument.  

Using the Hubble space telescope we have seen that the Universe is expanding. We can tell this because of the “redshift” glow from distant stars and galaxies. Basically anything moving away from an observer glows red. However it is not that the galaxies are moving away from each other but that the space between them is growing (filling with dark matter?) and that is what moves them further apart. We can also observe that the speed of this movement is increasing. Therefore as it is increasing it must have had a starting point.

Time is important but only relatively so. In modern cosmology time and space are not distinct. They are relative to each other in what Einstein called SpaceTime.

Because of Entropy we know that the arrow of time only moves in one direction. A video by Brain Cox is easier than trying to work out the mechanics of quantum entanglement!

So (as I leap to a deduction!!) if the Universe is expanding at a faster speed it must have had a starting point when the rate of expansion was zero. That is, there was no “Space”. As Space and Time are the dancing partners of “Space-Time” then there must have been a Time = zero.

When both Space and Time equalled “zero” there was “Nothing”. Then the Big Bang happened (eventually) all of a sudden when some quantum particle popped into existence of Energy and gained Mass and 10~36 seconds later the early universe was born.

So before the Big Bang means before Space and Time came into existence. As Space-Time did not exist then Time on its own did not exist. That is where God exists.

Ok I am not considering String Theory or Multiverses only the Universe as we have observed it.

Ok I am not considering String Theory or Multiverses only the Universe as we have observed it.

As we have OBSERVED it?

No, Reg, but as some theorists deduced it from reversing the expansion, which they deduced from the red shift glow. Other theorists are filling the gaps with what they are deducing.

What I mean is I am only considering our Universe as it is the only which we have been able to observe. We could be part of an infinite “Bang/Crunch” cycle and then Time would have existed before this current Bang that we exist in but that is “turtles all the way down”.

Reg, key parts of BB cosmology were deduced, not observed. Among them are the singularity, the sudden expansion, the sudden appearance of space and time, inflation, dark matter, and dark energy. These too closely resemble the "goddidits" we hear from creationists.

More in my reply to Galllup below.

Reg, key parts of BB cosmology were deduced, not observed.

It doesn't matter. Observation supports deduction.

Among them are the singularity, the sudden expansion, the sudden appearance of space and time, inflation, dark matter, and dark energy.

The Big Bang theory is that the universe is expanding, was denser and hotter in the past, and that all matter in the universe began in a single point. Observation of the universe supports that deduction.

These too closely resemble the "goddidits" we hear from creationists.

I don't think so, Tom. Goddidit is based on assumption, not observation and deduction. Goddidit isn't an explanation, it's a poor excuse for not having one.

The sciences of cosmology and astrophysics don't resemble creationist claims at all, Tom. Your claims resemble the irrational denial of science we see in creationists.

Observation supports deduction.

An unobserved singularity supports deducing it?

An unobserved sudden expansion supports deducing it?

Ditto for the remaining items in my list above.

To astronomy, add metaphysics and get cosmology.

There's too much of religion in cosmology.



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