The 6 Philosophical Christian Apologetics

Thanks to Wikipedia, there is a convenient list of the 6 philosophical Christian Apologetics. Let’s see if I can tear them down in less than 10 minutes.

1. Cosmological argument – Argues that the existence of the universe demonstrates that God exists. Various primary arguments from cosmology and the nature of causation are often offered to support the cosmological argument.

Despite the modern sounding name, this is probably the oldest argument.  Plato used a version of it, and it was made famous by Thomas Aquinas, in the 13th century.  You can see two problems here.  Plato was a not a Christian and this argument predates Christianity.  The second is, even if you can somehow posit a first mover, it would be infinitely more complex than a naturalistic explanation.  In addition, the ‘newer’ Kalam version of this apologetic STILL does not have a way to link this first mover to the god of their choice.

2. Teleological argument – Argues that there is a purposeful design in the world around us, and a design requires a designer. Cicero, William Paley, and Michael Behe use this argument as well as others.

This argument was always a weak one to me.  The world does not appear to be designed, or if it is, not very well.  From what we now know about evolution by means of natural selection, and the fossil record, this argument is next to useless.

3.  Ontological argument – Argues that the very concept of God demands that there is an actual existent God.

Silliest of the arguments, because you can think of a maximally great entity, it must exist.  This argument really falls apart if you replace god with demon.  It works equally well, perhaps even better, arguing an infinitely evil entity exists.  Even when new, this argument never gained much traction.

4.  Moral Argument – Argues that there are objectively valid moral values, and therefore, there must be an absolute from which they are derived.

Simple, there are no objective moral values, and cultures in isolation can have very different values.  Morals are a result of culture and genetic predisposition and are not absolute.

5.  Transcendental Argument – Argues that all our abilities to think and reason require the existence of God.

I really don’t get this one, to be honest.  Animals can think, machines can reason.  If a machine can reason, there is a god?  It really makes no sense and have not really read a good explanation over several apologetics books I have read.

6.  Presuppositional Arguments – Argues that the basic beliefs of theists and nontheists require God as a necessary precondition.

This is the most circular argument and a subset of Transcendental Argument, which I don’t get. The argument boils down to you need to know everything, or know someone who knows everything, to know anything.  This is a stupid argument.  It is akin to saying you need to know the absolute temperatures to know any temperature.  We were able to measure temperature WAY before we knew what temperature was and what the limits are. I don’t know why you would need to know ALL of the members of a set to know ANY of the members of a set.  Another example is numbers.  They are a concept, but you do not need to know all real numbers to perform mathematics.  The last issue is, how do you know which god to choose?  Your Bible says it is true, but so does the Koran, Book of Mormon, i ching, 4 noble truths, eightfold path, Tao Te Ching, and the Egyptian Book of the Dead and many others.  In the end, the Bible is True, Because the Bible Says It’s True.

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