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Transcendental Argument

It is impossible, this argument claims, for any authoritative rationality (including an atheist's) to emerge from inchoate matter -- the existence of God must be assumed, therefore, in order to deny God's existence.  In addition to the articles below, see also related Debates, Reviews, and Links. To purchase related reading, go to the Secular Web Book Store.

Butler's Defense of TAG and Critique of TANG (1996) by Michael Martin

"In a recent paper . . . Michael Butler has attempted to defend the Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG) and refute the Transcendental Argument for the NonExistence of God (TANG). In this paper, Martin concludes that the only thing Butler has added to the discussion is that "it is impossible to go from factual claims to ethical claims-- in other words, that 'is' does not imply 'ought.' . . . The upshot of Butler's defense is that he has failed to defend TAG and refute TANG with respect to ethics."

The Great Debate Gets Personal (1996) (Off Site) by Michael Butler

Butler's article (published in the August 1996 issue of Penpoint, newsletter of the Southern California Center for Christian Studies), to which Martin responds, above.  Among other assertions, Butler contends that "only the Christian worldview provides the necessary preconditions for the intelligibility of human experience."

Reply to Butler, Ventrella, and Fields (1996) by Michael Martin

Martin's rebuttal to the claims made by Butler in "The Great Debate Gets Personal" (above). 

Follow-Up (On Michael Martin) (1996) (Off Site) by Michael Butler

Butler argues that Martin's TANG is not even a transcendental argument, "but merely an internal critique of the Christian worldview-and a completely abortive one at that."

Butler's Reply (1997) by Michael Martin

Martin argues that TANG meets Butler's conditions for a transcendental argument. Moreover, even if it did not, Martin points out that Butler failed to show that TANG is an abortive attempt at an internal critique of the Christian worldview. 

Does Induction Presume The Existence Of The Christian God? (1997) by Michael Martin

Michael Martin describes and refutes the inductional form of the Transcendental Argument for God's existence. 

Zens' Defense of TAG (2000) by Michael Martin

Martin responds to presuppositionalist Adam Spurgeon Zens.

Zens' New Defense of TAG (2001) by Michael Martin

Martin responds to presuppositionalist Adam Spurgeon Zens' discussion of Reichenbach.

Does Logic Presuppose the Existence of the Christian God? (2000) by Michael Martin

Martin argues that there are no good reasons to believe logic presupposes the Christian god.

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