DiaBlogue: Does secularism = relativism = nihilism?

One of the more provocative Christian blogs I follow is called “Dignan’s 75-year plan“, which had an interesting analysis of relativism vs. presuppositionalism (see [Read More]). While I don’t know enough about presuppositional apologetics to say how much I agree with it, I do think it presents an interesting critique of ‘ethical atheism’ that I hope Alan and I can discuss at some future point (which is why I’m tracking it here).


When critics of relativism say “Relativists believe in nothing”, they are either referring to a radical?and fringe?form of relativism, or, more importantly, they are indicating the futility of reason that is relative to the independent powers of the human spirit. In principle, relativism leads to nihilism, in practice, relativists claim to have all kinds of knowledge. These claims are challenged?strongly, I think?by the presuppositionalist branch of Christian apologetics (the rational defense of the faith). Presuppositionalists argue that a denial of the revealed Christian God leads, in principle, to the impossibility of knowledge. How is it, then, that atheists know anything? They have knowledge because they presuppose the existence of the Christian God, but they suppress God’s truth in their unrighteousness. In other words, there are no authentic atheists. There are only self-deceived individuals whose rejection of their Creator has resulted in a culpable ignorance of the Truth.