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1 Life’s Ultimate Questions “The Law of Noncontradiction” Life’s Ultimate Questions “The Law of Noncontradiction” Christopher Ullman, Instructor Christian.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Life’s Ultimate Questions “The Law of Noncontradiction” Life’s Ultimate Questions “The Law of Noncontradiction” Christopher Ullman, Instructor Christian."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Life’s Ultimate Questions “The Law of Noncontradiction” Life’s Ultimate Questions “The Law of Noncontradiction” Christopher Ullman, Instructor Christian Life College

2 2 Passages that are Non- arguments Any passage lacking a claim that something is being proven is a NON-ARGUMENT. Any passage lacking a claim that something is being proven is a NON-ARGUMENT. ARGUMENTS contain INFERRED CLAIMS. ARGUMENTS contain INFERRED CLAIMS. NON-ARGUMENTS contain only FACTUAL CLAIMS, if that. NON-ARGUMENTS contain only FACTUAL CLAIMS, if that.Examples: oThe dog is a brown terrier with black paws. She also has a pleasant temperament. oI want a glass of water, right now. Give me yours.

3 3 Let’s Have an Argument! oWe will need three things 1. At least one PREMISE A. a statement that is offered as evidence or as a reason to believe for another statement is a premise B. the BECAUSE part of the argument C. Example o“Socrates is a man. oAll men are mortal. oTherefore, Socrates is mortal.”

4 4 Let’s Have an Argument! (continued) Let’s Have an Argument! (continued) 2. A CONCLUSION A.a statement in an argument that the premises are claiming to prove B. the THEREFORE part of the argument C. There is only one conclusion per argument D. Example o“Socrates is a man. oAll men are mortal. oTherefore, Socrates is mortal.”

5 5 Let’s Have an Argument! (concluded) Where’s the third thing? 3. An INFERENCE A. The invisible part of the argument B.The claim that the premise(s) support the conclusion C. Can be explicit (“Therefore,... “) D. Can be implicit (“A fetus is a person from conception. Elective abortions are immoral.”) E. Involves pressure to agree oIt would be irrational to disagree oGood arguments leave the hearer no choice but to agree

6 6 Examples of arguments o“The price of a gallon of gasoline has been going up lately. Therefore, it will probably cost me more to fill my tank next time I need to.” o“Jake is an unmarried male. All unmarried males are bachelors. Therefore, Jake is a bachelor.” o “If I can afford to go to Hawaii, I will ask off for vacation. I just found out the rent check bounced! And the cat is pregnant... again! Therefore, no surfing for me.”

7 7 Why an Argument Works oIt would be IMPOSSIBLE for the conclusion of a valid DEDUCTIVE argument to be false. oIt would be HIGHLY IMPROBABLE for the conclusion of a strong INDUCTIVE argument to be false. oWhy? oBecause in both cases, the OPPOSITE of the conclusion would be a CONTRADICTION

8 8 The Principle of Noncontradiction 1. Its father is the Principle of Identity o“It is what it is” o“A = A” 2. Brother to the Principle of the Excluded Middle o“It either is or it isn’t” o“This is either A or non-A, one or the other.” 3. Simply stated, the Principle of Noncontradiction declares contradiction to be nonsensical o“It is not what it isn’t.” o“A  non-A” oA thing (object, person, idea, entity, concept) cannot be itself and opposite.

9 9 Qualifying the Principle of Noncontradiction The thing in question cannot be vague or ambiguous oIf it is vague or ambiguous, then the principle can’t be enforced oYour truth claim will get the response, “Well, it all depends on what you mean by A.” We must qualify the Principle of Noncontradiction thus oA thing (object, person, idea, entity, concept) cannot be itself and its opposite at the same time in the same sense.

10 10 The Necessity of the Principle of Noncontradiction The medieval philosopher Avicenna once said, “Anyone who denies the law of non- contradiction should be beaten and burned, until he admits that being beaten is not the same as not being beaten, and being burned is not the same as not being burned.”

11 11 The Necessity of the Principle of Noncontradiction It can’t be proven, since it must be true for any proof to have any worth whatsoever. However, the following statements provide indirect and persuasive proof of its necessity If the principle is denied, then... If the principle is denied, then... A.... significant thinking is impossible. B.... significant human conduct is impossible. C.... significant communication is impossible.

12 12 The Best Support for the Principle of Noncontradiction oTitus 1:2 oHebrews 6:18 oNumbers 23:19 o2 Samuel 7:28

13 13 Today’s Attack on the Principle o“The truth is: There is no truth.” – Richard Rorty o“Nothing is certain.” o“Nobody knows anything for sure.” o“Everything ought to be doubted.” o“What is true for you may not be true for me.” o“If you think it is, then it is. If you think it isn’t, then it isn’t. It’s all in a person’s mind.” o“Perception is reality.”

14 14 Self-Referential Incoherence When a statement’s truth is applied to the statement itself, and When a statement’s truth is applied to the statement itself, and The statement cannot then be understood to be true, then The statement cannot then be understood to be true, then This is an example of self-referential incoherence This is an example of self-referential incoherence The conclusion is that the statement cannot be true without being false The conclusion is that the statement cannot be true without being false

15 15 Examples of Self-Referential Incoherence o“The truth is: There is no truth.” – Richard Rorty o“Nothing is certain.” o“Nobody knows anything for sure.” o“Everything ought to be doubted.” o“What is true for you may not be true for me.” o“If you think it is, then it is. If you think it isn’t, then it isn’t. It’s all in a person’s mind.” o“Perception is reality.”

16 16 Postmodernism 1. Pomo is ripened Existentialism, which taught that... A.... Chance replaces Destiny B.... Freedom replaces Rules C.... Experience replaces Reason D.... “Life’s a bad joke. You have to make the best of it, by making choices, and sticking to them.”

17 17 Postmodernism teaches there can be no Underlying meaning Absolutes Objective morality Objective basis for values Individual selves Why?

18 18 “... Because Truth is Constructed” oAll beliefs are formed in the context of a society of one kind or another oIt’s impossible to escape the influence of that society oSocieties create “truths” so that power can be obtained and securely held oEvery “truth claim” has an ulterior motive, so... oBe suspicious. Be very suspicious!

19 19 The Vaccination for Postmodernism is The Principle of Noncontradiction!

20 20 Some Truths About Truth 1. A statement is true if it corresponds to reality 2. A statement is false if it does not correspond to reality. 3. All truth claims are absolute, narrow and exclusive. 4. Truth is discovered, not invented. o It exists independently of anyone’s knowledge of it.

21 21 Some Truths About Truth (continued) 5. Truth is indispensable for living. oConsider the need for truth in matters relating to A. Safety B. Money C. Relationships D. Transportation E. Court proceedings 6. Beliefs cannot change a fact. 7. Truth is transcultural. 8. Being raised in a given culture doesn’t make the beliefs of that culture true.

22 22 Some Truths About Truth (concluded) 9. Truth is not affected by the attitude of the one professing it. 10. Contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible. 11. We can believe everything is true, but we cannot make everything true.

23 23... but none of this is true, if the Principle of Noncontradiction is ignored!... but none of this is true, if the Principle of Noncontradiction is ignored!

24 24 Some Truths About Logic 1. Logic makes it possible to compare truth claims. 2. Truth claims about God require logic to be supported. 3. This means our knowledge of logic is prior to our knowledge of God. 4. In one sense, God is not subject to logic. o Our statements about God ARE subject to logic. 5. In another sense, God is subject to logic, since logic represents the principles of rational thought, and God is a rational being.

25 25... but none of this is true, if the Principle of Noncontradiction is ignored!... but none of this is true, if the Principle of Noncontradiction is ignored!

26 26 Do we want to live in a world where Truth and Logic are thought to be Impossible? If so, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE! YOUR AVAILABLE OPTIONS: Rage Rage Roar Roar Run Run

27 27 Escape from the Jungle is Possible John 1 14 John 1 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 14 6 John 14 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John John “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 8 32 John 8 32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

28 28 Escape from the Jungle is Possible... if and only if the Principle of Noncontradiction is not ignored


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