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 How to Jack-Up A Relativist

I have been studying "presuppositional apologetics" for the purpose of open air preaching on Universities and it has helped a great deal.

The approach is one of being on the offensive, to show that the wisdom of the world is complete foolishness. You do this by answering a fool according to his folly. Step into his shoes and look out from his eyes, from his ultimate presupposition or world-view, and point out the internal inconsistencies. Reductio Ad Absurdum - Reduce to absurity or "tweak with their epistomology" as I like to say it.

You then explain how only the Christian presupposition "in the beginning God" is self-attesting. It's the only world-view that is internally consistent. Without "in the beginning God" we have no reasonable reason to believe in reason, no logical basis to believe in logic. As Augastine said, "We believe in order to know". Or as the proverb says, "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom". So you prove the Christian world-view because of the impossibility of the contrary.

Offensively show how all other ground is sinking sand except for the solid rock of Jesus Christ. This biblical approach rips the carpet out from under their feet. It shows them how they have firmly planted their feet in thin air and that they are sawing off the branch they are sitting on.

So I came up with a question for a relativist using the internal critique method:

"if truth is relative, then could this truth, that you say is true, that all truth is relative be relative itself and thereby not always be true?"


I recommend that every Christian read "Always Ready" by Greg Bahnsen

 2006/4/1 3:30

Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re: How to Jack-Up A Relativist

Hi Lazarus, how are you?

So I came up with a question for a relativist using the internal critique method: "if truth is relative, then could this truth, that you say is true, that all truth is relative be relative itself and thereby not always be true?"

Definitely makes sense to me.

Another way I have heard this explained is that the person who makes the claim that all truth is relative is making a truth-claim themselves.

In doing so it becomes a self-refuting statement, something akin to shooting yourself in the foot?

I have found this to be effective in reasoning with people who think this way also; that is with those who don't seem to have thought much about it however.

Occasionaly I have run into people who are alot more well prepared than the average person. They are much more difficult to deal with in terms of reasoning(in my experience). Some of these people's thinking is sooo twisted they wil tie you up in knots if you follow them in thier thoughts. They will use alot of 'big words' and talk about so many things that it becomes hard to pin down all the details in a regular coversation .That brings me to another point, about this passage in proverbs

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

The first time I heard this passage really explained was in a talk by Ken Ham(it's probably still available at Answersingenesis under a name similar to 'answering fools' or something like that).

Anyway, he explained that the first part of this passage is admonishing us to [i][b]avoid[/b][/i] using the same line of reasoning(or starting assumptions) as the foolish person. With the conclusion being that if we do, we will become like them.

The second part was admonishing us to nevertheless give them an answer, or respond to thier foolishness, but with the truth of God's Word. The conclusion was if we do not, they will be wise in their own eyes.

I certainly haven't found many with an answer to thier conscience. There are many with answers for everything else, it reminds me of this passage from Ecclesiastes

And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Anyway, may God continue to bless your labors and give you abundant wisdom in Jesus name.

Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2006/4/1 10:06Profile

Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619

 Re: How to Jack-Up A Relativist

I put forth the proposition to a group of athiest one time the following:

If God is not the origin and Source of all things, and if this life is all there is, there is absolutly no basis for any morality. There is no basis for anyone to do anything except what they want to do, when they want to do it. And even this is absured.

You cannot come up with any basis for civilization, for restraint of any kind, for doing any good (if you don't want to).

Why? Because in the end, nothing matters. Whether mankind survives doesn't matter. If there is something, it does not matter. If there is nothing, it does not matter. Nothing matters at all.

If you lived and enjoyable life, it does not matter. If you lived a difficult and hard life, it does not matter. If you did good, It does not matter. If you did evil, it does not matter. In the end everyone dies and nothing matters to them any longer anyway, why not just put people out of their misery?

Pleasure, pain, good, evil, morality, immorality, helping others, being selfish, giving, stealing, nothing matters at all. If there is no "grand scheme of things" then nothing at all matters at all.

But of course this is met with many objections. Appeals to the good of all mankind, our happyness, others' welfare, our 'legacy" ect are all brought to bare. But if taken to it's logical conclusion, an athiest can come up with absolutely no basis for anything. Not at all.


 2006/4/1 15:40Profile

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