Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Logic and Truth: Internal Understanding vs. Proper Rhetoric

I once debated a woman who argued that people were not logical. My argument was that most people may have conflicting presuppositions, but that everyone operated according a logic.

When you study logic, you learn that philosophers have tied logic to rhetoric and semantics. When framing logical arguments, it is necessary to use precise language. Otherwise, analysis by others is left to presumption. For example, I heard the apologetical argument a few days ago I've heard so often before: "Just look at the the world. How can anyone say there's not a Creator?" Rhetorically speaking, this is not a logical argument. An atheist will attempt to frame the intent of the speaker in such a way as to make the statement sound idiotic and they could do so easily.

However, wisdom is not contingent on the study of formal logic. The basis most people have for making the "just look at all this and tell me there's not a God" statement is the self-evident observation that order does not arise out of chaos. I studied chaos theory when it was popular. My observation is that the intricate patterns that arise out of simple formulas did not arise out of chaos. I programmed enough fractals to know that the bivalent logic as well as the contrived formulas are anything but chaotic. It's mathematical charlatanism to purport otherwise. You don't have to study philosophy, logic, advanced mathematics or physics to understand this. If you have studied these things it makes it easier to be articulate enough to frame proper logical arguments. It's disingenuous to intentionally fail to realize the import of such wisdom despite the lack of erudition.

When Paul writes "love believes all" he's not making a loophole for subjective truth. Rather, when we hear poor rhetoric attempting to frame legitimate arguments, it is out of love that we give the speaker the benefit of the doubt and out of a desire to see absolute truth embodied in someone even if they can't vocalize it well.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Lionel Woods said...

Jim:

I programmed enough fractals to know that the bivalent logic as well as the contrived formulas are anything but chaotic.

Dictionary plese? LOL. Ahh the beauty of philosophy can be sometimes very challenging but your summation to point back to Christ through Paul is simply amazing!

Sat Mar 15, 11:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...

Thanks, Lionel! Sometimes my verbiage gets ahead of me. The temptation is to hold everyone else to my level of understanding. It took a lot of foolishness on my part before I started getting a grip on what it means to show intellectual grace. That doesn't mean I won't face down intellectual bullies on rare occasions. I just have this thing about the One who called Himself Truth...

Mon Mar 17, 11:10:00 PM GMT-5  

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