What do I mean by the term? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I wrote on this before, but in a thread on it today, I realized I needed to expound on this more. You see, in presuppositionalism, the thought is that only if Christianity is true can you really know anything. Christianity being true becomes the start. Anyone who argues against Christianity depends on Christianity to argue against it. Christianity is true because of the impossibility of the contrary.
Now I thoroughly reject this kind of approach to apologetics. However, I think there is a version of it that atheists do. As you can guess, I call it atheistic presuppositionalism. I want to say at the start that not all atheists are like this. There are some who will happily have what they consider an intelligent dialogue with someone of a theistic bent.
So how does it work? It starts with the atheist equating his position with the position of reason. I do think an atheist can be a man of reason, but being an atheist does not mean you are a man of reason nor does being a man of reason mean you are an atheist. Being an atheistic presuppositionalist (AP from now on) means that you think there is a necessary corollary between these two.
So then let’s follow the logic. (Or illogic rather.) If you are a man of reason and being an atheist is necessary for that to be true, then anyone else who is not an atheist must not be a man of reason. Therefore, if you are someone who is theistic, then it would follow that you are not rational, but that you are rather irrational.
Also, if you are a man of reason, then it follows your thinking is sound. Therefore, your opinions should be treated with the utmost authority and are strong positions of reason. Want to say miracles never occur? That’s got to be rational and anyone who thinks otherwise must be irrational. Therefore, if you hold to Jesus mythicism, you are rational because you are an atheist and the theist is automatically irrational and wrong. The same about any other stance.
Any dialogue is impossible and you are arguing against reason if you argue against it. If you believe in a miracle, well that proves you’re an idiot. If you think the Bible has any credibility, that further proves you’re an idiot. If you believe in anything even remotely religious, it’s just snake oil.
The sad thing is that this person is very rarely rational. They will not interact with contrary thought because that’s just stupid. Why bother reading the Christian side or the religious side because that’s just stupid. Such a person can never learn. They are caught in an echo chamber. Keep in mind, it’s definitely worse I think if a follower of Christ does this since we should be people of the mind.
I generally avoid arguing with people like this. I am thankful I have friends who are atheists that argue against people like this. If you are an atheist, please do not be like this.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)