Tag Archives: Materialism

Underpinnings of logical thought

4 May

Here’s an argument:

The biblical worldview is the optimal worldview to support logic because it best explains why we can declare a premise to be either TRUE or FALSE.

True or false

Let me explain what I mean.  To use the tools of logic, we must assume several conditions about the building blocks of an argument.  At its most basic analysis, there are 3 component parts to an argument:

-terms (individual words or phrases that represent a concept like: chocolate ice cream or dogs)

-premises (statements that provide a judgment about a concept like: red hair is thick or cats are quirky)

-syllogisms (the ensemble of at least 2 premises and the conclusion that follows like:  PREMISE 1 – All boys are strong  PREMISE 2 – Joe is a boy  CONCLUSION – Joe is strong)

When evaluating terms, premises and syllogisms, logicians use this measurement:

  • terms are either clear or ambiguous (to the degree that they unequivocally and explicitly describe a concept)
  • premises are either true or false (to the degree they accurately match reality)
  • syllogisms are either valid or invalid (to the degree they follow the ‘rules’ of logic)

So why do I make the claim that the biblical worldview should be adopted in order to use logic?  If I understand Darwinian naturalism or materialism correctly, truth is not something that is necessary.  The species survives and continues by adapting. So what is ‘good’ for a population is what ensures its ongoing viability.  That MIGHT intersect with truth, but it does not depend on truth.

When a materialist or naturalist argues for his point of view, he borrows the concept of truth to advance a point of view. And in conversation with said materialist, if we avoid pointing out the inconsistency between her beliefs and practices we are being gracious. But there might be an occasion gently to point out this ‘inconvenient truth’.  I grow more confident when I write out my thoughts regarding this assumption about logic.

You might be thinking, what is the linkage between a biblical worldview and truth?  Good question!  Christians believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired account of God’s creation and rescue of a people He loves.  The very character and nature of God is grounded on personal attributes such as His:

  • truthfulness
  • immutability
  • eternality
  • goodness
  • wisdom
  • infinite power and knowledge

Christians believe in absolute truth because of who God is, an immaterial being who defines and models perfect truth. The evidence we have that God is true and speaks truth is that the Bible corresponds to reality.  Vast numbers of written records document both the historical and the archeological reliability of most of the Bible including the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Therefore, without going into that kind of detail, I argue that the use of logic rests on the presupposition that truth exists.  And the only worldview that supports THAT belief is the biblical one.

 

Logical Gal and a simple syllogism as one evidence of God

2 Apr

meaning of life

There are many evidences that point to the existence of a transcendent God who created the universe.

I was reading some arguments that weakened the case for materialism.  This ISM maintains that all there is in the universe is that which is verifiable empirically.  Simply put, if you can touch it, or hear it, or measure it in someway, then it exists.  Without getting very complicated, all the non-measurable stuff like love, or courage or memories have a physical explanation only, (neurons firing that give the illusion of meaning).  No doubt I have OVER-simplified the argument, so please forgive me.  I am not claiming to do justice to the case for naturalism/materialism.

The point the author was making is that even if one were to grant as true that  the material is all there is, that kind of reductionism makes life difficult to live.

empiricism

On to the argument proposed by the author.  He used the simple syllogism that is the building block of all  reasoning.

Premise 1:  If God does not exist, then life has no ultimate purpose or meaning

Premise 2: Life has ultimate meaning and purpose

Conclusion:  There must be a God

 

Purpose in life

It seems that materialists tend to pull meaning out of thin air (nothing to ground it).  If they are honest in their philosophical materialism, then all that is is what can be measured.  Ergo there IS no ultimate meaning.  But as the realistic existentialists reasoned and wrote mid 20th century, the only logical conclusion to THAT assessment  of life is suicide.  Fortunately few materialists are willing to to that far.  In their hearts they might believe: “Life is absurd, without any meaning,” but they ALSO make this decision, “….so we are just going to assert that it is meaningful.”

Question:  What other syllogisms can you form as an evidence for the transcendant God?