The Laws of Logic
by Daniel Carrington
This is obviously not a question, but I felt that it would be an important topic to cover as we continue to look at various questions about God, His people, His Word, His Son, etc. Particularly for when we start delving into some of the more philosophical questions that I have on my list.
The Laws of Logic are a set of axioms which we know to be true typically because if they were not, we would not have the ability to do or to know pretty much anything. If the Laws of Logic were not true, there could be no knowledge, no society, no safety, etc.
There are quite a number of logical laws, but I would like to lay a brief foundation here by focusing on the three main laws that I will reference most often whenever I post certain ideas and concepts here.
The first is the Law of Identity. This law states, essentially, that a thing is what it is and it is not what it is not.
I know. That sounds so intuitively obvious that it almost seems insulting to have to articulate it. However, it is a vitally important law to keep at the forefront of one’s mind when evaluating arguments, claims, statements, propositions, conclusions, etc. The reason I bring it up here is because, like the other two laws I will cover here, it can actually get mixed up pretty easily with clever rhetoric, double-talk and misdirection.
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Another fairly obvious one, to a certain degree, is the Law of Non-Contradiction. In it’s formulaic form this law states that “A cannot equal Not-A at the same time and in the same way.” Unlike the Law if Identity, this one can more easily be misunderstood or misapplied…mostly because of those last two caveats, “at the same time” and “in the same way.” Often, people will argue that something is a contradiction when it is actually not. The way they do this is to attempt to show that a particular conclusion is based on the idea that “A is equal to Not-A” but they fail to adhere to one of these last two very important aspects of this law.
As an example, if I were to say something like “I do not have a car” and then a few minutes later, I mention something about my Toyota Camry, someone might say that I have just contradicted myself. Either I don’t have a car or I do have a car, but they can’t both be true. Right? But, what if my statement “I do not have a car” was referring to the fact that my Camry was at the shop getting a new set of brakes, so I did not have access to my car. Now, you can see that this no longer violates the Law of Non-Contradiction because the “way” in which I “do not have a car” and the “way” in which I have a car are different…
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