Logical Gal and nonsense before breakfast

26 Feb

Are you a ‘swallower’  or a ‘thinker’?

Do you examine what people say? read with an eye to whether it is true or not?  If so, good for you!

People who don't think 26 Feb 2014

But even before we look at whether an assertion is true, we have to understand what it says!!

Let me give you an example.  The following quote was at the end of an English word-a-day explanation I receive by email.  I like to read the tidbits of life’s wisdom with which they terminate their posts.  But this one made NO sense, whatsoever!

“It is the final proof of God’s omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us” . -Peter De Vries, novelist (1910-1993)

Huh?

So what do we do with this?  We start with the terms.  Which ones might be ambiguous?

I spotted 4:

  • God (don’t laugh – we can’t assume everyone is referring to the same being)
  • omnipotence
  • exist
  • save

So I would begin by asking Mr. DeVries (if he were alive) just what he meant by each one of these terms.  Only then could we begin to evaluate whether or not what he was saying was true or false or just plain non-sensical.

Once we had clarified the terms, I think I would have asked a couple of questions.  To start with,

  • What do we need saving from?
  • What kinds of powers does something that doesn’t exist have? For if something doesn’t exist, that’s like saying: “something is nothing

And we know from the Law of Identity that A cannot equal non-A.

Unless this guy was a deconstructionist who maintained that ‘nothing’ is an entity that has properties.  That’s just a non-sensical redefining of  terms .

Whew!  All this ‘gray cell exercise’ made me hungry for breakfast!

Question:  What else can you see in that quote that gives you pause?  

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