Five-Point Logic Checklist

by Kenneth Samples

checklistOne of the most important skills to master, particularly if you intend to share your faith with others, is how to form a logical argument. Though it might seem complicated, an argument in logic is really a very simple thing. To have an argument you must make a claim (called the conclusion) and provide support (called premises) for believing the claim to be true or correct. To have a good argument (sound or cogent) your premises must be (1) true; (2) relevant to your central claim; and (3) adequate to sufficiently support the conclusion.

When I give a talk or write an article that includes a logical argument, I consciously ask myself five questions. These questions serve as my “checklist” to ensure that I’m on the proper logical track. I refer to these questions as the “five Cs of logical persuasion.”

1. Clear: Is the claim that I’m defending sufficiently clear?
The claim or conclusion of my argument is what I am trying to prove or justify and, therefore, what I want people to accept. Thus, I try to be crystal clear in setting forth the important central claim.

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2. Concise: Is my argument adequately concise?
Long-winded arguments often lose both focus and force. Therefore, I prefer to keep my arguments as succinct and crisp as possible. Stating an argument in its simplest form is often quite powerful…

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