Muslims are Stuck in a Vicious Circular Argument
By Mike Robinson
A pettio principii is the logical fallacy of arguing in a circle: the conclusion of your argument also rests in your premise. The claim strictly ends at the place it began. Christian theism avoids this fallacy inasmuch as it rests on transcendental necessities of God and His revelation.1 But most Muslims argue that Allah is true because the Koran says so, and the Koran is true because Allah says so. They also try to prove the Koran by positing Muhammad and proving Muhammad by positing the Koran. That is a vicious circular argument and these sorts of circular arguments are invalid. Islam fails to deliver the transcendental necessities to avoid an invalid epistemic foundation; thus it fails to provide a sound argument or a virtuous circular argument.
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet 1:19-21).
“The sufficiency…of the extant biblical manuscripts is not divorced from…the original manuscripts” (Greg Bahnsen).
The Christian has an infallible word in the Bible and it reveals a saving Redeemer. Many Muslims attack the Bible, despite the fact that the Koran affirms the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Koran is alleged to be a collection of revelations from Allah. Muslims propagate that the Koran was perfect in heaven. However, the Hadith (authoritative inspired commentary and information regarding Muhammad) asserts that the Koran had many divergent and conflicting readings. The manner in which the Koran evolved into a standardized manuscript was not by divine intervention, but by the choice of men. Uthman proposed the Hafsah Manuscript should be the standard text of the Koran. He had it dispensed throughout the Middle East and had the variant copies destroyed. So, unlike the Bible, there is not a reasonable system to find the original text.
The Koran Cites the Bible as God’s Word
The inability to think critically and logically or to draw a distinction becomes a casualty of our time. We will never come to the truth on serious matters of faith and belief, if we do not know how to think our way through those beliefs. Reason is essential and the God of the Bible declares “come let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:17).
The Koran testifies in numerous places that the previous revelation (the Old Testament and Gospels) is the word of God; but, nowhere does the Bible testify of the truth and inerrancy of the Koran (obviously because it came first). The Koran affirms the Bible in the following verses:
Suras: 66:6, 12; 48:29; 34:31; 35:31; 19:12; 12:111; 10:37; 9:111; 7:156-157; 6:154-157; 5:49, 113-114; 3:3, 48-53; 2:91.
The above mentioned verses formally end the debate between the authenticity of the Bible in contrast to the Koran. The Koran avouches the biblical text and the Bible disaffirms Islamic teaching. This is devastating to the particular notions of Islamic thought and doctrine. Based on its own book, Islamic theology cannot be true for it contradicts the book it cites as the word of God.
The New Testament
The New Testament is the most widely attested ancient text that humanity possesses.
There resides such a voluminous amount of copies of the New Testament ancient texts that we know we have the infallible word of God. Josh McDowell expounds and aims to establish this in his two volumes of Evidence Demands a Verdict I and II.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
God has spoken and His true revelation is in the Bible alone. No other book can furnish the rational pre-necessities to examine any document. In order to probe, examine, question, and to ponder the authenticity of any alleged holy book, one is required to utilize the laws of logic and other necessities that make intelligibility possible. Only the Bible has the conceptual scheme and a priori rational web to account for these essential laws.
The main presuppositions for biblical textual purity are:
- God has providential control over His revelation.
- God’s word supplies the necessary truth conditions for logic that are required to test, analyze, and examine any text (see my previous posts on atheism).
The New Testament names streets, sites, fields, courts, pools, places (the pool of Siloam, the Field of Blood, Solomon’s Porch, etc.) and towns, which were destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans, when they conquered and crushed Judea and its holy site, the Temple. The Gospel writers speak of these locations as still standing, and describe details that only an eyewitness would know. This is very strong evidence that the New Testament books predate 70 A.D., when the Temple and countless sites were destroyed. It takes more than great faith to believe that most of the New Testament books were written many years after the events it records (90 A.D. and after). It takes strong-willed blind faith fueled by faulty presuppositions to believe such unsubstantiated claims.
The inspired writers of Scripture proclaim the authenticity of copies of the originals. King Josiah found a copy of the Torah and God declared that it was the pure word of God (2 Kings 22). “The book by the hand of Moses” was discovered and all the Old Testaments texts were true and pure. Bahnsen pressed Van Til’s view, “If we presuppose a sovereign God, observes Van Til, we need no longer worry whether or not the transmission of Scripture is not altogether accurate.”
The Truth is God and God is Yahweh
That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie. … This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast… (Hebrews 6:18-19).
For I am the LORD (Yahweh), I do not change (Malachi 3:6).
I maintain that Yahweh, in contrast to Allah, furnishes all a priori essentials for the necessary epistemic equipment utilized in all thoughts and achievements. Yahweh has the actual ontic attributes of omniscience, immutability, and omnipotence (He has universal reach) thus He has the ontic capacity to be the ground general principles, immutable laws, universal operational aspects of human thinking and understanding. In Christian theism God can be known (John 17:1-3). Moreover, a position that rejects Yahweh as the epistemic (knowledge) base cannot be true, thus whatever evidence one discovers, must be discerned and processed with the rational tools that arise from Christian theism and the worldview that streams from the Triune God.
The true God is the elemental requirement for knowledge, proof, evidence, and logic. He is the a priori verity condition for the intelligibility of reality. This is the case inasmuch as the immaterial, transcendent, and immutable Triune God supplies the necessary pre-environment for the use of immaterial, transcendent, universal, and immutable laws of logic utilized in all knowledge pursuits. Christian theism is the pre-essential truth condition for the grounding and understanding of knowledge. Christianity is true not only because it seems more probable than its antithesis, but because it supplies the basis for knowledge.
Muslims presuppose the rational necessities that the Christian worldview underwrites while they verbally reject it. What are the obligatory conditions that make thought possible? The Triune God furnishes those preconditions to establish the rational flooring for intelligibility. Van Til called this “method of implication into the truth of God a transcendental method. That is, we must seek to determine what presuppositions are necessary to any object of knowledge in order that it may be intelligible to us.”
“Allah is the best of deceivers” (Sura 3:54).
“Allah leads astray whomsoever He wills” (Sura 14:4).
The laws of logic presuppose and require the Triune God:
• The laws of logic are immutable and universal.
• Allah is not immutable since he ultimately lacks any real attributes including the attribute of immutability.2
• Allah is not sufficient (he lies and reveals untruths) to account for the laws of logic.
• Allah is not God.
• The Triune God is immutable and universal in position and power.
• The Triune God is sufficient to account for the laws of logic.
• Human experience presupposes the laws of logic.
• Human experience presupposes the Triune God.
Transcendental analysis of Islam demonstrates that it is, in the end, self-confounding inasmuch as it fails to give what it does not possess: immutable universals including the laws of logic and objective moral values.
1. The true God is the elemental requirement for knowledge, proof, evidence, and logic. He is the a priori verity condition for the intelligibility of reality. The immaterial, transcendent, and immutable Triune God supplies the necessary pre-environment for the operational features of human thinking and experience ( laws of logic, predication, universals, knowledge, absolutes). In principle, Allah cannot supply the necessary a priori truth conditions for the required operational feature of human experience; hence the Islamic worldview results in futility because of its internal weakness. The Islamic worldview falls into absurdity inasmuch as it is self-conflagrating and leads to conclusions that controvert its own primary assumptions.
2. Allah is described as “inscrutably arbitrary” in his decrees (Sura 5:18, 40; 4:171). Allah can do anything, including lying and changing his promises. Some significant aspects of Islamic theology postulate a capricious, unpredictable, untrustworthy being that is inconsistent, irregular, and has a mutable will. He can tell falsehoods and hoodwink men. This theology declares that this god can change for he is not bound to a nature, so he can lie and deceive. Hence, if Allah says he has forgiven the Muslim upon a non-forensic whim (justice has not been met), Allah can change his mind regarding one’s forgiveness so a Muslim could still be hell-bound, or perhaps he merely deceived the Muslim in thinking that his sins were forgiven and he still ends up in hell. Forgiveness in Islam is arbitrary and it is declared by the greatest deceiver.
“None deems himself safe from Allah’s deception except men that perish” (Sura 7:99).
For more see my Apologetics eBook Christian Philosophy and Presuppositions Refute the Islamic Concept of Allah HERE