What is the worst argument someone has used to defend their faith?

The worst argument used to defend a particular faith is also actually the best.

Faith defenders use two types of arguments: arguments that end in probabilities, and arguments that start with presuppositions.

Probabilistic arguments use evidence and logic to show that a certain faith is justified. The conclusion is: “See, it’s not unreasonable to believe what I do. My argument shows that my beliefs are probably true.”

The problem with this conclusion is someone could hear the argument, see the logic, accept that it’s reasonable, and yet still not believe.

If the faith is only likely true, then sincere unbelief must be acceptable or at least forgivable.

Presuppositional arguments are a beautiful attempt to show why a faith must be true for sure (instead of just probable) by tying logic and reason itself to the very tenets of the faith in question.

Since those tenets can account for experience, reason, induction, etc. presuppositionalists say, “See, you can’t make sense of the world or anything else without borrowing from my worldview.”

The problem with this conclusion is that those tenets are all they can use to try and make their faith the only possible accounting.

Try bringing up anything else that could account for experience, reason, etc. and the conversation quickly devolves to a shouting match where they simply refer to their tenets as revelation and pronounce their faith as certain.

Into to Philosophy classes are fun because you really get a sense of just how little we can actually know for sure.

Yes, there must be a reality (regardless of what we can know about it); and we have to presuppose certain things about reality if we’re to even begin making any sense of it at all.

But to presuppose a worldview (a faith, a collection of tenets, an interpretation, an accounting…) is unnecessary, and so misapplies philosophical presupposition.

Could I not just as confidently presuppose that experience is really a computer simulation or dream (or whatever else could account for it)?

In the wake of both types of arguments, you might get the chance to actually push through to what really brought the person to their faith in the first place. No, I guarantee it wasn’t some probable end or presupposed beginning.

Rather, they heard or read something that reflected and connected to their experience, and that then also interpreted it a certain way.

Since that’s why people believe, that’s the best argument for their belief.

But it’s also an argument that need not ever be challenged.

Just repeat back, “OK, so your experience was _______ and you believe _______ about it because _______ says _______. Cool. Hey, I love how it makes you a better person. And I hope if it’s true I can believe it too.”


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