Friday, May 29, 2009

Epistemology Debate Proposal

As folks have noticed, at least some of the members of Triablogue is not pleased with my take on apologetics/epistemology. Unfortunately, the unstructured format of comment box discussions has lead to a disintegration of discussions there. Accordingly, I'd like to offer a debate proposal to Mr. Manata or if he refuses to Mr. Hays. Here's the proposal:

1. Written debate (we can work out the precise details of how long the papers would be) including a significant cross-examination section (again, we can work out the details by email).

2. Topic of the debate is Epistemology/Apologetics.

3. Resolution is the first resolution with which he/they disagree(s):

i. There is no god but God, and Scriptures are the Word of God.

ii. God communicates himself to man through general revelation.

iii. God communicates himself to man through Scripture.

iv. There is no better reason to believe Scripture than that God said it.

v. Although there are reasons to believe that God authored Scripture, those reasons do not amount to deductive proof.

vi. Although negative approaches in apologetics (e.g. showing the self-contradiction of empiricism) have their place, no Scriptural apologetic is purely negative.

vii. There is no possibility that God can lie.

viii. There is no possibility that Christ did not rise from the dead.

ix. It is reasonable to say that we have a stronger testimony for anything that God says in Scripture than we have for things declared to us by other men and even by our own senses.

I would take the affirmative position on any of those resolutions. If Mr. Manata and/or Mr. Hays do not take the negative position with respect to any of items i to ix (and I am sure they agree with many of them), it is my strong intuition that the bulk of the disagreement between us is a matter of relatively small concern and probably not something worth arguing about. If they want to call my refusal to fight them on those things that I find unimportant "intellectual laziness" I will be snoozing on the porch.

They may not disagree with any of i-ix but may still think there is some important point on which we differ. If so, I exhort them to identify (preferably by email) what they think that is, so that I can either revise my own thoughts on the subject or defend the important point on which we differ.

Sure, we do differ on a number of relatively (in my opinion) unimportant points - such as what Gordon Clark actually says about "knowledge" and how epistemic certainty should be defined. I'm interested to discover whether we have any serious disagreement on things that I think are important, and I hope that this debate proposal will bring out the difference between us or confirm substantial harmony (really, I hope for the latter more than the former).



Anonymous said...

Turretinfan, don't do'll get demolished. James White is already in a panic over this whole fiasco. He might even terminate your pros apologian status. Apparently he didn't carefully review your resume...

Turretinfan said...

Dear Anonymous,

I think I know Dr. White's mental state on the matter with more accuracy than you do. Thanks for your advice, however.

Should the guys from Triablogue actually disagree with any of i-ix, I'd be more than happy to set them straight (or receive their correction, if I am in error).


Turretinfan said...


Your comments are really off topic. Yes, of course, I'd be willing to debate a Muslim who held that the Koran was the word of God.

Thankfully, Steve and Paul aren't Muslims.


GeneMBridges said...

You wacky Presbyterians ;)

Oh my, I see the word below is "desim" Hmmm, anagram for deism...Oh dear! I'm afraid the secret Clarkian agenda has been exposed! LOL ;)

Love you, brother.

interested reader said...

For what it is worth and with all due respect to Mr. Manata, I believe Mr. Hays would make a better debate opponent. Mr. Hays is the elder statesmen of the Triablogue team, evidences having read widely and deeply in epistemological and apologetic literature, and also (if memory serves me correctly) he claims to have read most of Gordon Clark’s writings.

Turretinfan said...

Manata took a leading role in criticizing, so he gets first dibs. On the other hand, I would be surprised if any of those items were objectionable to any of the folks at Triablogue.


interested reader said...

Perhaps I missed an update, but is this debate going to take place?

Turretinfan said...

I certainly hope not!

interested reader said...

Why don't you and Mr. Hays debate with regards to what the two of you specifically disagree about?

Turretinfan said...

There's little sense in debating over unimportant things.