Linguistic Arguments

Can truth about God be known by human reason in response to observations about the world (empiricism), through a critical appraisal of the inherent logic of different religions (rationalism), through Scripture alone (Biblical authoritarianism), through personal experience (subjective), or a combination of these means? Here is a rundown of the ontological linguistic apologetic arguments.

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Concept Acquisition

1) Human S has concepts.
2) S can have concepts only if S has the innate ability to acquire ideas and does so with the linguistic help of a linguistic community.
3) Those within the linguistic community who help S acquire concepts also acquired concepts from the help of others in the linguistic community.
4) There cannot be an infinite regress of humans helping other humans acquire concepts.
5) So, there must be a non-human being with innate concepts outside the linguistic community of humans who initiates the series of humans helping other humans acquire concepts.

● J. J. C. Smart and J. J. Haldane, Atheism and Theism (Blackwell, 1996).

Linguistic Ability

1) Humans innately have very sophisticated linguistic abilities.
2) The best explanation for humans innately having very sophisticated linguistic abilities is God endows them with such.
3) So, probably, God exists.

● Jeffrey Johnson and Joyclynn Potter, “The Argument from Language and the Existence of God,” Journal of Religion 85/1 (2005), pp. 83-93.

Semantic Content

● Daniel Bonevac, “Arguments from Knowledge, Reference, and Content,” in Walls and Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God (Oxford, 2018), pp. 215-237.

Falsity of Semantic Indeterminism (Ontological Linguistic Apologetic Arguments)

1) Semantic facts are objective and mind-dependent.
2) So, the semantic facts underlying context-sensitive language are objective and mind-dependent.
3) The semantic facts underlying context-sensitive language can be objective and mind-dependent only if they’re grounded in a transcendent mind that contains all the correct language semantics.
4) So, there is a transcendent mind that contains all the correct semantics of a language.

● Alexander Pruss, “Counterfactuals, Vagueness, and God,” in Walls and Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God (Oxford, 2018), pp. 76-88.

See Also: Anthropological Arguments and Biblical Objections