I’ve had the misfortune of running into videos of Sye Ten Bruggencate ,and Eric (son of Kent) Hovind, and I have to say I’m quite both impressed and unimpressed. Sye is very good at shifting the topic of the conversation around, and always trying to shift the burden of proof back onto the someone else.
For those of you who don’t know the argument, it goes something like:
“Can you be wrong about everything you know?”
If you answer, somewhat honestly, “yes”, you’re beaten because he’ll claim that you have no source for any knowledge claim (because if could be wrong do you really know it) and you’re not worth debating. If you answer “no” (which is justified), he’ll ask you “How do you know that what you know is true, actually is true?” (or something like this). “Reason and evidence”, says the rational person. “How do you know reason and evidence are valid without using reason and evidence (which would be circular)?” At this point he claims victory because his god has provided him the knowledge that reasoning and logic are valid, but as somebody who doesn’t believe in a god, you can’t know that, so everything is out the windows.
As a syllogism, well, to be honest I don’t actually know what his argument is. As best I can tell it’s the simple “you can explain it without god so nah nah.” But let’s try anyways
P1. God existsP2. Logic and reason are valid
P3. Logic and reason can only be valid if god exists
C. God exists
Well, given that one of your premises states as such, this isn’t much of an argument. In addition, Sye claims to have had a special visits from god and was told that reason and logic are valid (as well as that’s he’s real and the bible is all true). If you’re getting mysterious messages from some outside source, how do you know that source is ACTUALLY your god, and not something that mimics your god (or just a delusion)? You want me to have faith that you’ve had a real revelation, when there are crazy homeless people who are also claiming the same thing (somewhat less eloquently mind you.) Sorry Sye, but I’m going to need some good hard evidence of your claims.
Hopefully, this is the best argument the religious apologetic movement can ever muster. “I had a personal revelation that says he’s true, and if you don’t believe me you’ll burn in hell forever.”
Now I have just one thing to say to the presup’s out there: Screw off, and don’t come back until you’ve got at least a sound argument