Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Argument from Transcendence

What would you think of someone arguing that words did not exist? You’d think that they were a fool right? In order for them to argue against the existence of words they’d have to use words!

Likewise, the Bible says that “the fool has said in his heart there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1) Romans chapter 1 makes it clear that everyone knows that God exists but that unbelievers suppress the truth because they prefer their sin. According to the Bible unbelievers are fools – not because of a lack of intelligence, but because of a stubborn unwillingness to acknowledge God.

In order for someone to argue that God does not exist they have to use their minds and use logic - both of which presuppose the existence of God - as I will explain in this article.

The Argument from Transcendence, formally known as the ‘Transcendental Argument for God’ / TAG (not to be confused with the false religious practice of transcendental meditation), argues that we all know in our heart of hearts that God exists. The TAG proof is that this is true because if it were not true we could not prove anything.

The TAG says that the existence of a transcendent God – who is above and beyond the physical universe – is known to everyone by things like the basic reliability our minds, the laws of logic, absolute morality, and uniformity in nature. These things transcend the physical world and could not exist without God.

This argument for God is called the ‘Ultimate Proof’ by Dr Jason Lisle because there is no way to rationally refute this argument. It is rock solid because it is the argument that the Bible uses – presupposing the existence of God and showing that all other alternatives lead to absurdity. In recent times Sye Ten Bruggencate has mastered this argument and his opponents end up refuting themselves as the irrationality of their worldview is exposed. (See the trailer for ‘How to Answer the Fool.’)

The Bible says that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7) It also says that in Christ are “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3). We can know that this is true because the Bible says it is true, AND because if it were not true we could not know anything. This might sound absurd – but actually if you think about it you will see it’s true.

We can’t know that something is false without knowing what is true, just as we can’t know something is crooked if we don’t have something we know is straight to compare it with. If I were to say, “I know that this website has had thousands of visitors, but I’m not sure,” do I actually know that? No, I don’t.

So what is truth? And how do you know that your reasoning is valid? Do you know anything for sure? How do you know that the Matrix isn’t real and that everything isn’t just an illusion? And how do you avoid the vicious circular reasoning of using your mind to verify that your mind is reliable? You could say that you know your mind is reliable because you took a test. But how do you know that you remember correctly that you did actually take the test?! (You’re using your mind again to check your mind!)

In the biblical worldview we can know that our minds are basically reliable and that everything isn’t just an illusion because we were created in the image of a transcendent God who is totally reliable and has revealed himself.

The rest of the article is here

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