A short dialogue on the Transcendental Argument for God's existence

by Matt Slick

This is the second of two dialogs I had with this gentleman. The first is located here where we had discussed the nature of true and a simulation hypothesis (that we will in an illusory world).  We continued our conversation, and I gave him a very basic form of the transcendental argument for God's existence.

Brotha: How much as humans should we make logic a big deal?  God is logical, hence we have logic
Matt: This is a set of opposites:  God and not God.
Brotha: Right
Matt: This is an antonymic pair.  Antonyms are opposites. We have the thing and the negation of the thing. There is no third option.
Brotha: Yes
Matt: If we only have two options to account for something and one of them is negated by logical necessity, the other one is validated.
Brotha: Okay
Matt: We only have two possibilities, two worldviews to work from: God and no God. Logically, if we can demonstrate that the "no God position" cannot account for the necessary preconditions for intelligibility (I'll explain that in a bit), then the God position is validated. You agree?
Brotha: I’ll say Ok.
Matt: Logic exists. But logic is based on logical principles such as the First Law [of logic], which is the Law of Identity, which says something is what it is and is not what it is not.
Matt: The Second Law of logic is called the law of non-contradiction which states that statement cannot be both true and false at the same time and in the same sense.
Matt: The Third law of logic is known as the law of excluded middle in which a statement is either true or false
Brotha: I agree with all these
Matt: The Fourth law of logic is called the law of proper inference. So, if A = B and B = C, then A equals C.
Matt: Here's a question. How does the "no God position" give a rational account for the conditions that must be in place in order for the laws of logic to be true?
Matt: The laws of logic are truth statements. Truth is a statement that agrees with actuality and/or logic.
Brotha: This is crazy. If Matt is right so far then Islam is true. I need to go buy a kufi, a head covering They say this same stuff
Matt: When we ask what are the necessary preconditions for intelligibility, what we are asking for are those conditions that must exist in order for these laws of logic to exist.
Matt: Since the laws of logic or truth statements and thereby abstractions, we can then examine them and draw some information out of this. For example . . .
Brotha: Umm
Matt: If they are truth statements, then they are abstractions. If they are abstractions, then they are related to the existence of a mind.
Matt: These logical absolutes are transcendent in that they are not dependent upon space and time for their validity.
Matt: Wherever we go in the universe, as far as we know, they are true.
Matt: Likewise, they are true whenever we are in existence anywhere. As far as we know . . .
Matt: So we can conclude that the logical truth statements known as logical absolutes are not dependent upon space and time.
Matt: Furthermore, it would not make sense to say that the logical absolutes are not dependent upon human minds because human minds are different. What one mind thinks is true, another one might not think is true.
Brotha: I personally want and do agree with you Matt. But that’s simulation for me anyways.1
Matt: This would mean that the truth value inherent in the logical absolutes is independent of human minds because human minds are different and often self-contradictory and contradict each other.
Brotha: Right
Matt: So what we do from the "no God position," we postulate ideas or possible explanations to give account, to give a rational basis from which or within which the existence of absolute transcendental truth statements upon which logic itself is based can have their existence.
Matt: The "no God position," the atheist position, cannot provide a means, a rational justification for those conditions that must exist that enable these transcendental laws of logic to exist.
Matt: Since the "no God position" cannot provide a rational explanation for the preconditions that must exist in order for the laws of logic to exist, then the "no God position" has been demonstrated to be invalid . . . At least in the context of explaining this.
Matt: Therefore, by default, the God position is validated as being true. It's called truth by the impossibility of the contrary or validation by the impossibility the contrary because we cannot negate both options of the only two that are possible as far as explaining a phenomenon goes. Since we can demonstrate and have done it in a shorthanded way here that the "no God position" is incapable of explaining and providing the necessary preconditions for intelligibility for logical absolutes, then it is invalidated. The only remaining option must be the truth. Therefore, God exists.
Brotha: The debate only starts at doctrine and truth givers add dogma. Aka read MY book. I thought we'd get to that a while ago and I've spent years in Hebrew studies so but I never got there yet.
Matt: I skipped some stuff, but I wanted to give you a representative form of what's called the transcendental argument.
Brotha: Every u said is fine because there’s no doctrine.  There is no book.
Brotha: You jump from brom being created or simulated to dogma.  And we know all the layout.

  • 1. previous discussion

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.