Logic Is Bedrock

Tim

Stratton

(The FreeThinking Theist)

|

January 18, 2016

All philosophical conversation, scientific hypotheses, mathematics, and conclusions based on the historical method entail the reality of logical laws. It would be impossible to engage in any of these disciplines if there were not logical absolutes providing parameters to help us reach conclusions that follow from given premises. Here are three fundamental Laws of Logic that are always required in rational interaction:[1]

The Law of Identity:
 Something is what it is. ‘A’ is ‘A’. Things that exist have specific properties that identify them

The Law of Non-Contradiction: ‘A’ cannot be both ‘A’ and ‘Non-A’ at the same time, in the same way and in the same sense

The Law of Excluded Middle:
 A statement is either true or false. There is no middle position. For example, the claim that “A statement is either true or false” is either true or false.

You may have never heard of the laws of logic before; however, you use them every day whether you realize it or not. These laws are just as necessary to keep us grounded in rationality as the law of gravity is necessary to keep us grounded on the earth. Logical laws apply to everyone no matter when or where one lives. That is to say, the laws of logic transcend humanity and are objectively true.

Logical laws are not material substances. We do not discover them by digging them up or viewing them under a microscope. We cannot employ the scientific method to discover the laws of logic; rather, a scientist must assume the laws of logic before engaging in the scientific method. These laws are the bedrock of reason and rationality.

Christian theism makes this point stronger. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Logos.” The Greek word “logos” is used synonymously with Jesus in the text. What is interesting is that logos in Greek means “the principle of reason.”[2] This is where we get the term “logic.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is God and suggests that he is the ground of logic itself. This makes perfect sense as to why the immaterial laws of logic impose themselves on the material world. God created the material world according to the logical laws he had in mind or that are grounded in his essence and nature. This explains why these abstract and immaterial laws of logic impose themselves upon the material world.

Just as computers function correctly when programmed to work according to the laws of logic, humans behave correctly (in an objective sense) when approximating to “The Logos.” When humans freely choose to think and behave logically, we simultaneously think and behave in a godly manner. Isaiah seems to agree: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord…” (Isaiah 1:18). The Apostle Paul reiterates this point in the New Testament: “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone…” (Philippians 4:5 ESV).

Stay reasonable,

Tim Stratton


NOTES

[1] If these logical laws are confusing we can reformulate them strictly in terms of statements:

The Law of Identity: If a statement is true, then it is true.

The Law of Noncontradiction: If a statement is true, then it cannot be false.

The Law of the Excluded Middle: A Statement is either true or false.

[2] The ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version, 2008, Crossway Bibles, Good News Publishers (Commentary on John 1:1)

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About the Author

Tim

Stratton

(The FreeThinking Theist)

Tim pursued his undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Kearney (B.A. 1997) and after working in full-time ministry for several years went on to attain his graduate degree from Biola University (M.A. 2014). Tim is currently enrolled at North-West University pursuing his Ph.D. in systematic theology with a focus on metaphysics, history, and biblical data.

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