Greg Bahnsen vs. George Smith

Click above to listen to Greg Bahnsen debate an atheist named George Smith on the existence of God.

This is one of the more interesting debates to listen to involving Bahnsen. It is held over a radio station, therefore it doesn’t follow the normal patterns of debate (ie. moderated, opening and closing arguments, rejoinders, etc.) and at times gets a little heated. Especially so when the second caller, an atheist, called and ended up hanging up yelling “George, get him to define God!”

Take note that Smith does not answer Bahnsen’s key question: “in an atheistic worldview, how does one account for the very laws of logic being used in the debate.” Which of course, anyone who presupposes the non-existence of the Christian God cannot account for.

Bahnsen’s respect for Smith is quite apparent, and his desire to communicate clearly the Christian worldview. It’s great to see him react to the second caller who got a little heated, easily putting him in his place philosophically.

Over and over again, when I read or listen to non-Christian thinkers try to tear down Christianity, the worldviews that they propose do not go far enough in their defense. Consistently they fail to give a rational justification of things that the are taken for granted. This is why the laws of logic prove to be such a stumbling block to all non-Christian worldviews. Either the laws of logic are conventions determined arbitrarily by men and therefore subject to change, or they are a result of the natural faculties of the mind in which ethics are completely derailed. Only the Sovereign God who is unchanging can account for the laws of logic as they exist outside of the mind and function as universal absolutes.

Really, this is a good debate. Of the ones that I have listened to, I think that George Smith has been the most informed and posed the best challenge. I’m sure that I’ll listen to it a few more times!

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1 Comment

Filed under apologetics, audio, debate, greg bahnsen, presuppositionalism

One response to “Greg Bahnsen vs. George Smith

  1. Bahnsen Burner

    I have a few comments on this.

    “Take note that Smith does not answer Bahnsen’s key question: ‘in an atheistic worldview, how does one account for the very laws of logic being used in the debate’.”

    Do you suppose Smith should have responded to this question by saying “Duh, I donno! Must be God did it!”?

    “Which of course, anyone who presupposes the non-existence of the Christian God cannot account for.”

    Blarkians tell me that anyone who presupposes the non-existence of Blarko similarly cannot “account for” logic as well. That’s what they believe, and no matter what “account” I present, they try to malign it somehow. I have the impression they really aren’t interested in what “accounts for” logic; they just use this as a debating ploy.

    “Over and over again, when I read or listen to non-Christian thinkers try to tear down Christianity, the worldviews that they propose do not go far enough in their defense.”

    Yeah, there’s nothing like the invisible magic being defense that Christians have on their side. It allows the believer to claim whatever he wants.

    “Consistently they fail to give a rational justification of things that the are taken for granted.”

    I really have no idea what a believer in invisible magic beings would regard as a “rational justification” for anything.

    “Either the laws of logic are conventions determined arbitrarily by men and therefore subject to change, or they are a result of the natural faculties of the mind in which ethics are completely derailed.”

    What in the world makes you think these are the only two options available to those who don’t believe in invisible magic beings? You must be limiting your reading list to just Christian propaganda.

    “Only the Sovereign God who is unchanging can account for the laws of logic as they exist outside of the mind and function as universal absolutes.”

    If the laws of logic “exist outside of the mind” then what warrants your appeal to “God” which is said to be a “divine mind”? If it’s the case that the laws of logic “exist outside of the mind,” then even the Christian god is irrelevant.

    In actuality, the laws of logic are conceptual in nature, and to understand logic fully, you need a theory of concepts. But the bible doesn’t teach a theory of concepts. So the result is that Christians need to borrow from a non-Christian worldview which does have a theory of concepts, even to raise the issue in the first place. For without concepts, there’s no content to inform logic.

    Regards,
    Dawson Bethrick

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