Posts Tagged ‘preconditions of intelligibility’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 9: Preconditions of Intelligibility]

Grettings Soldier,

To further elaborate on how the God of the Bible has made Himself known to all people, I’d like to point out to you another means by which He has done so–via the preconditions of intelligibility. Now, while that sounds like quite a mouthful, preconditions of intelligibility are simply those concepts that are necessarily required to make sense of everything else and which must be taken for granted in order to do so. This includes (but is not limited to) things like truth, knowledge, laws of logic, morality, and the reliability of one’s own senses and reasoning. Each of these must first be assumed in order for someone to begin to understand or reach any valid conclusion about the world around them. Take the laws of logic for instance; as the universal standard of correct thinking and reasoning, they must be assumed from the get go in order to begin to reason correctly about anything at all–including the laws of logic themselves–or to even formulate any logical proof. Also, consider the concept of knowledge; the possibility of knowing things to be true must be taken for granted at the outset before someone could ever know that it is possible for them to know things to be true (this would include knowing that the senses and reasoning they use to observe and form conclusions about the world around them are reliable and are providing them with valid feedback to begin with). These assumptions are inescapable and unavoidable when making any argument, conclusion, or observation whatsoever.

While everyone must assume these things, it has probably never occurred to you to think about the unbeliever’s justification for doing so in light of what they profess to believe about the non-existence of God and the unreliability of the Bible as His Divine Revelation. When you understand that the aforementioned preconditions of intelligibility being assumed by the unbeliever are by their very nature absolute, immaterial, universal concepts—or in simpler terminology, they are unchanging, not made of matter, and apply everywhere and at all times, then a devastating problem arises for the unbeliever’s position, as the question now becomes: how can an allegedly random chance, constantly changing, materialistic universe bring forth immaterial laws and concepts that are completely inconsistent with the very nature of that same universe?  The obvious answer is: IT CAN’T (and the very idea or assumption that it can is, itself, a glaring contradiction which is, therefore, both irrational and false by definition). Now, contrast that position with the Christian one which assumes the existence of an unchanging, immaterial, sovereign God who is omnipotent and omniscient, and it becomes immediately clear how absolute, immaterial, universal laws and truths can be made sense of and reconciled within the Christian worldview as a reflection of those aspects of God’s character and nature. I’ll let this sink in before moving forward. Feel free to ask any additional questions that you’d like about what we’ve covered so far. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’


(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 18]:

Greetings Soldier,

Regarding your last correspondence; I assure you that you’re doing fine. No need to be concerned about the empty allegation that you are engaging in a double standard or being ‘unfair’ in your requests for the unbelievers to provide their worldview’s objective, consistent basis for the existence of preconditions of intelligibility (which must be appealed to and utilized in order to even begin to hold a rational discussion). Besides, as should be crystal clear by now, the unbeliever has no way of justifying such an allegation to begin with, since there can exist no objective standard of logical ‘fairness’ in a worldview without God. Not only that, it should also be pointed out that you have already provided the justification for how abstract, universal, invariants are justified in the Christian worldview, from the get go (as they are a reflection of the abstract, universal, invariant nature of the God of the Bible). Perhaps it would be helpful to remind those making the allegations of how discussions work: you provide your logically defensible argument, they provide theirs, and THEN they are compared and contrasted via internal critique to see whose is true.

Of course, because the unbeliever has no rationally defensible argument or justification to support their belief in abstract, universal, invariants (logic, truth, knowledge, etc.) there can really be no discussion at all, since they must borrow these concepts from the Christian worldview in order to even begin to levy any argument against the Christian worldview. Needless to say, in doing so, they are assuming the truth of the very thing they are trying to refute and, subsequently, destroying their own position. This only further substantiates the undeniable reality that Christianity is true by the impossibility of the contrary (since the contrary position cannot be rationally defended and always ends in some form of absurdity). Don’t ever be shy about exposing this for the unbeliever’s own benefit. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’