What is Logic?

All philosophical conversation, scientific hypotheses, mathematics, and conclusions based on the historical method entail the reality of logical laws. It would be impossible to engage in any of these disciplines if there weren’t logical absolutes providing parameters to help us reach conclusions that follow from given premises. Here are three fundamental Laws of Logic that are always required in rational interaction:

The Law of Identity:
 Something is what it is. ‘A’ is ‘A’. Things that exist have specific properties that identify them

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

The Law of Excluded Middle:
 A statement is either true or false. There is no middle position. For example, the claim that “A statement is either true or false” is either true or false.

You may have never heard of the laws of logic before; however, you use them every day whether you realize it or not. These laws are just as necessary to keep us grounded in rationality as the law of gravity is necessary to keep us grounded on the earth. Logical laws apply to everyone no matter when or where one lives. That is to say, the laws of logic transcend humanity and are objectively true if life in the universe exists or not. Logical laws are not material substances. We don’t discover them by digging them up or viewing them under a microscope. We cannot employ the scientific method to discover the laws of logic; rather, a scientist must assume the laws of logic before engaging in the scientific method. These laws are the bedrock of reason and rationality.

Christian theism makes this point stronger. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Logos.” The Greek word “logos” is used synonymously with Jesus in the text. What’s interesting is that logos in Greek means “the principle of reason.”[1] This is where we get the term “logic.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is God and suggests that he is the ground of logic itself. This would make perfect sense as to why the immaterial laws of logic impose themselves on the material world. God created the material world according to the logical laws he had in mind or that are grounded in his essence and nature. This seems to be the best explanation of why these abstract laws of logic imposes itself on the material world

Just as computers function correctly when programmed to work according to the laws of logic, humans behave correctly (in an objective sense) when approximating to “The Logos.” When humans freely choose to think and behave logically, we simultaneously think and behave in a godly manner. Isaiah seems to agree: “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord…” (Isaiah 1:18) The Apostle Paul makes this point even stronger in the New Testament: “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone… (Philippians 4:5).

 

[1] The ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version, 2008, Crossway Bibles, Good News Publishers (Commentary on John 1:1)

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7 comments

  1. Pingback: Logic Is Bedrock

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