Is God Real? Examining Atheistic Explanations for the Laws of Logic as “Brute Realities”
by J Warner Wallace
All rational discussions (even those related to the existence or non-existence of God) require the prior foundation of logical absolutes. Only theism, however, can adequately account for the existence of the transcendent Laws of Logic. If God exists, He is the absolute, objective, transcendent standard of truth; the Laws of Logic are simply a reflection of His nature. God did not create these laws. They exist as an extension of His rational thinking, and for this reason, they are as eternal as God Himself. Is God real? Without God as a source for the transcendent Laws of Logic, this question (and any logical journey toward the answer) would be impossible to examine.
As an atheist, I rejected the existence of God and offered a number of objections and alternative explanations in an effort to account for the Laws of Logic. In yesterday’s post we outlined the theistic explanation for these laws. Today and tomorrow we’ll examine several naturalistic objections to see if any of them might offer a viable alternative. We’ll begin with efforts to describe the Laws of Logic as “brute realities” of the universe:
Aren’t the Laws of Logic simply the “brute” characteristics of reality? Both material and immaterial things must abide by boundaries of existence in order to exist in the first place. The “Laws of Logic” are simply a part of these boundaries. They are not transcendent laws from a Transcendent Mind; they are simply among the natural boundaries of existence.
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Both theists and atheists agree the Laws of Logic are brute somethings. Atheists might claim Logic is a brute, innate fact of existence, while theists might argue Logic is a brute, innate reflection of the nature and thinking of God. In either case, these laws would have to be eternal, uncaused and necessary. Nothing can exist without the simultaneous existence of these laws. But let’s now look at how both sides account for their existence:
The brute Laws of Logic simply exist. They are eternal and uncaused. Nothing can exist without them. That’s just the way it is.
God is eternal, uncaused, omniscient and omnipotent. He is the all-knowing and all-powerful Creator; the necessary, uncaused first cause of all matter, space and time. He has thoughts and possesses a particular character, essence and nature. Because He is all-powerful and all-knowing, these attributes are perfected (an all-powerful and all-knowing God has the power to eliminate imperfection). The Laws of Logic are simply an attribute and reflection of God’s perfect existence; God does not create these laws, they are an innate and immutable aspect of His nature. As God is necessary for all else to exist, so are the Laws of Logic. They are merely a reflection of His Being, and they permeate all of His creation…