How "The Transcendental Argument" Begs the Question
I posted a refutation of The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG) on a few internet forums, and have generally gotten positive feedback. However, some people seem to have trouble understanding precisely why I believe TAG begs the question. For that reason, I have decided to break things down systematically, in hopes that my analysis becomes clear and inescapable.
1. TAG intends to prove the existence of god. Because god’s existence is the argument’s conclusion, god’s existence may not be presupposed in the argument’s premises. If god is presupposed, the argument begs the question.
2. TAG, in short, says that rationality, logic, induction, communication and other such things are only possible if god exists. Because humans employ rationality, logic and all the rest, god exists. Indeed, says the presuppositionalist, in order to deny god, the atheist must utilize god’s gift of reasoning.
3. Indisputably, this argument depends upon god having a particular nature that suits it to be the “foundation” of rationality, reasoning and logic. The argument is not called The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of Rutabagas or The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of Sea Monkeys. TAG inescapably implies that god possesses a particular nature and set of characteristics, which suit the deity to be the “foundation.”
4. Therefore, because this argument depends upon god having a particular nature that suits it to be the “foundation,” anybody proposing the argument holds certain things about god’s nature to be true.
5. We must wonder: Where did these proponents get information about god’s nature? The answer, for Christians, is the Bible.
6. The Christian Bible offers descriptors for god and dispenses information about the deity’s nature. Through reading the Bible, Christians come to know that god is infinite, solely god, eternal as god and other such tidbits. In short, TAG’s presuppositions about god’s nature come from the Bible.
7. Anybody seriously proposing TAG obviously hopes to prove god exists. Therefore, such a proponent accepts the argument’s premises as true. [If a serious person rejected the premises, he would abandon the argument.] Because god’s nature has been shown to be part of the argument’s premises, one can conclude that proponents of the argument accept the truth of god’s nature.
8. However, to accept the truth of god’s nature is to imply the Bible is truthful. If god’s nature is revealed in the Bible, and god’s nature is accepted as true, the clear implication is that the Bible is truthful.
9. The Bible is rife with stories about god doing and saying things. The deity fills the pages of the Bible, acting as a very real and present character. Therefore, if the Bible is presumed truthful, the god contained therein is presumed truthful. That is to say, god is presumed to exist.
10. TAG begs the question because it presumes god existent (because it presumes the Bible truthful, which cannot be denied because it presumes god’s nature truthful, which cannot be disputed because god’s nature is central to the premises).