Tuesday 12 July 2011

Presuppositional apoplectics

If you read Paul Baird's blog, Patient and Persistent, you'll know that our recording of Skepticule Extra 009 last night didn't go as planned. About half way through Paul B took a Skype call from Eric Hovind (while letting him know we were recording), and a little further on in the conversation we were joined by Sye Ten Bruggencate. What followed was a demonstration of Presuppositional Apologetics in action, and the main thing I took away from it — regardless of the validity or invalidity of its arguments — is that it clearly doesn't work as an apologetic method. The more I hear of it the less convincing it sounds. In particular Sye's schtick (amply evident in the recorded conversation) doesn't change. Because PA is essentially circular it can't expand and offer anything else, and when you've heard the same unconvincing argument several times it inevitably becomes less convincing each subsequent time you encounter it.

As far as I'm aware, Christianity isn't overflowing with converts who became believers as a result of hearing this argument, and when the subject was discussed in the Premier Community the most vocal opponents of PA were not atheists but other Christians.
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results."
(attr: Albert Einstein)

Eric and Sye have agreed to the unedited recording being aired on Skepticule Extra, so listen out for a special episode in the next few days.