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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Again with the Van Til

Why am I still chewing on Van Til? I'm not sure myself; it's not like I want to argue with the existence of God or the truth of Christianity, but something about the way he argues in favor of these things gets under my skin. Maybe if I post a little more about him I'll get it out of my system.
This article insists that Van Til's circular logic isn't question-begging because, to paraphrase, relying on a priori knowledge isn't question-begging. It is implied, though perhaps not directly stated, that the Existence of God is a priori knowledge. In that article by Van Til to which I linked previously he essentially argued (as I read it) that if you don't believe that the Existence of God is a priori then you're either confused by your sin-sick state or in denial.

I wonder how many people have really been converted by this line of argument. I maintain that this is question-begging, and the a priori thing is obfuscating rationalization. I'm out of my depth with arguments about a priori anything, but Van Til's insistence that without God all is chaos is hardly a priori; it's clearly rooted in a theological belief that God and the logic, structure etc. of life are inextricably linked, and that's just not a priori. I'm the last person to deny that it may be true, but it's still not something we can take for granted. Van Til himself more or less acknowledges at the end of that essay that no one's likely to drink the Kool-Aid on this if they weren't ready to from the start. Maybe what's bugging me about Van Til is the way everything I've read (okay, skimmed) by his followers never acknowledges that the guy more or less admitted that his arguments weren't likely to persuade the unpersuaded. Maybe that's why I've never heard of him before; his fan base seems to consist entirely of people who were already Christians before they discovered the guy. Most Van Til-centered writing and discussion I've come across seems to be a theological alternative to talking about baseball statistics, and I suppose this post is no exception.

Okay, that should be the last about that. I'm planning to audition for a musical Saturday! I haven't sung in any serious perfomance situation since my college years, but the director and I go to church together (I may as well point out that I'm a Unitarian) and says he thinks he can fit me in one way or another. I'm also slated to play a teensy role in a film a friend is directing. Some fun!

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