Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Since calling anyone who decides to sign a card or make a decision to attend a particular place of "worship" a Christian is so prevalent, I believe this article will be helpful to those who are caught in the disarray of the "What does believing in Jesus Christ mean to you?" mentality. Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, and with so many people who take that for granted and deem serving mammon to be more worthy of themself, this article shows why words without definition is only considered to be effective by those who have ulterior motives. I'm thankful that John Robbins is "ready to give an answer to the hope that lies within him" (1Pet 3:15), "not take any part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them" (Eph. 5:11), and not compromise the truth so he will be thought of well among men. (John 12:43) Apparently he didn't "happen to overlook" Jesus' commandment to "speak in light what He told him in darkness and preach upon the housetops which he heard in his ear." (Matt. 10:27)
What do this law (of non-contradiction) and the rest of logic have to do with morality? Simply this: When the bible says, "You shall not covet," each word has a specific meaning. Attacking logic means attacking morality. If logic is disdained, then the distinctions between right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust, merciful and ruthless also disappear. Without logic, God's words, "You shall do no murder," really mean: "You shall murder daily" or "Stalin was Prince of Wales," or any of an infinite number of other things. That means, without logic, words are meaningless. The rejection of logic means the end of morality, for morality and ethics depend on understanding. Without understanding, there can be no morality. One must understand the Ten Commandments before one can obey them. If logic is irrelevant or irreligious, moral behavior is impossible, and the "practical" religion of those who belittle logic cannot be practiced at all.
Something even worse, if anything could be worse, follows from rejecting logic. If logic does not govern all thought and expression, then one cannot tell true from false. If one rejects logic, then when the Bible says that Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, and rose again the third day, these words actually mean that Jesus did not suffer, was not crucified, did not die, was not buried, and did not rise again, as well as that Attila the Hun loved chocolate cake and played golf. The distinctions between true and false, right and wrong, all disappear, for there can be no distinctions made apart from using the law of contradiction. meaning itself disappears.
The rejection of logic became very popular in the twentieth century. It appears that this rejection will continue into the twenty-first century. In matters of morality, one frequently hears that "There are no blacks and whites, only shades of gray." What this means is that there is neither good nor evil; all actions and alternatives are mixtures of good and evil. If one abandons logic, as many people have, then one cannot distinguish good from evil---and everything is permitted. The results of this rejection of logic---mass murder, war, government-caused famine, abortion, child abuse, destruction of families, crime of all sorts---are all around us. The rejection of logic has led---and must lead---to the abandonment of morality.
In matters of knowledge, we are told that truth is relative; that what is "true" for your might not be "true" for me. So 2 plus 2 might be 4 for you and 7.7 for me. If logic is abandoned, then that also follows. Christianity is "true" for some---Buddhism is "true" for others. One result has been a growing antipathy toward Christianity, which claims that all men, not some, are sinners; and that there is only one way to God, through belief in Christ. Absolute truth---which is really a redundant phrase---has been replaced by relative truth, which is really a contradiction in terms, like the phrase square circle. But once logic is gone, truth is also.
The use of logic is not optional. Logic is so fundamental, so basic, that those who attack it must use logic in order to attack logic. They intend the words they write, "Logic is invalid," to have specific meanings. The opponents of logic must use the law of (non)contradiction in order to denounce it. They must assume its legitimacy in order to declare it illegitimate. They must assume its truth, in order to declare it false. They must present arguments if they wish to persuade us that argumentation is invalid. Wherever they turn, they are boxed in. They cannot assault the object of their hatred without using it in the assault. They are in the position of the Roman soldier who arrested Christ, but they do not realize, as the soldier did, that their position and action are dependent upon rules that they reject. they must use the rules of logic in order to belittle logic; he had to be healed by Christ before he could proceed with the arrest.
In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, John worte, "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God." The Greek word Logos is usually translated Word, but it is better translated Wisdom or Logic. Our English word logic comes from this Greek word logos. John was calling Christ the Wisdom and Logic of God. In verse nine, referring again to Christ, he says that Christ is "the true Light" who lights every man that comes into the world. Christ, the Logic of God, lights every man. Strictly speaking, there is no "mere human logic" as contrasted with a divine logic, as some would have us believe. The Logic of God and man think the same way---not exactly the same thoughts, since man is sinful and God is holy, but both God and man think that 2 plus 2 is 4 and that A cannot be not-A. Both God and Christians think that the only substitutionary death of Christ can merit a sinner's entrance into Heaven. The laws of logic are the way God thinks. he makes no mistakes, draws no unwarranted conclusions, constructs no invalid arguments. We do, and that is one of the reasons why we are commanded by the Apostle Paul to bring all our thoughts into captivity to "Christ. We ought to think as Christ does---logically.
To return to our first question, Why study logic? Our first answer must be that we are commanded to by Scripture. Without learning how to think properly, we shall misunderstand Scripture. Peter warns against those who twist the Scriptures to their own destruction. A study of logic will help us avoid twisting the Scriptures and trying to make them imply something they do not imply. The Westminster Confession, written in England in the 1640's, says that all things necessary for our faith and life are either expressly set down i Scripture or may be deduced by good and necessary consequence from Scripture. It is only through the study of logic that we can distinguish a "good and necessary" deduction from an invalid deduction.
- John Robbins
(from the Preface to Logic by Gordon Haddon Clark)
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