Is God Real? Evidence from the Laws of Logic
by J Warner Wallace
Most of us don’t think much about the physical or non-physical laws of the universe necessary for us to exist (and make sense of our existence). As an example, we usually take the law of gravity for granted; it doesn’t really matter how the law operates or what forces lie behind it. We simply accept the fact we live in a world where gravity is a reality. In a similar way, there are many conceptual laws we also take for granted. These abstract truths order our world and guide our exploration and experience. One area of conceptual truth involves a body of concepts we call the Laws of Logic. Is God real? The existence of the Laws of Logic may provide us with an answer.
All rational discussions (even those about the existence or non-existence of God) require the prior foundation of logical absolutes. You’d have a hard time making sense of any conversation if the Laws of Logic weren’t available to guide the discussion and provide rational boundaries. Here are three of the most important Laws of Logic you and I use every day:
The Law of Identity
Things “are” what they “are”. “A” is “A”. Each thing is the same with itself and different from another. By this it is meant that each thing (be it a universal or a particular) is composed of its own unique set of characteristic qualities or features.
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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. Contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time.
The Law of Excluded Middle
A statement is either true or false. For any proposition, either that proposition is true, or its negation is true. There is no middle position. For example, the claim that “A statement is either true or false” is either true or false.
These logical rules are necessary in order for us to examine truth statements. We also need them to point out when someone is reasoning illogically. We use the Laws of Logic all the time; you couldn’t even begin to read or reason through this blog post if you didn’t employ these laws. In fact, you’ve never had an intelligent, rational conversation without using these laws. They’re not a matter of subjective opinion; they are, instead, objectively true. So, here’s an important question: “From where do the transcendent, objective laws of logic come?”
As an atheist, I would have been the first to describe myself as rational. In fact, I saw myself as far more reasonable than many of the Christians I knew. But, I was basing my rationality on my ability to understand and employ the Laws of Logic. How could I account for these transcendent laws without the existence of a transcendent Law Giver?