Posted by Pastoral Musings on May 9th, 2012
It seems that we are descending into irrationality.
Professing Christians, the very people who should be guarding rationality as something to treasure, are often the guilty ones in this area.
Here are a few examples for you:
1. These days we are told that there is such a thing as non-factual truth. Somehow this is supposed to mean that Scripture is not inerrant, and should not be taken literally. The real question is, “What is truth, if not factual?” To embrace non-factual truth is to embrace a contradiction.
2. We often here the refrain, “Truth is not abstract, objective, propositional truth statements.” What is the problem with that statement? Well, the person making that statement is making an abstract, objective, propositional truth statement while denying the very existence of said truth statements.
When I pointed out the fallacious nature of the comment, the statement was made that I was accusing the commenter of being hypocritical. The reality is not that I was calling the commenter hypocritical; but that the commenter violated the law of non-contradiction. When that was pointed out, the response was to ignore the logical fallacy and to commit another logical fallacy. (I’m neither linking to the comments, nor naming the person, because this is not about personalities; it is about truth, logic, and reason.) That logical fallacy was the ad hominem fallacy.
In one online conversation I’ve recently been asked to refrain from calling a fallacy a fallacy. Yet, clear speech and clear reasoning make for good communications. Somehow it is seen as un-irenic to mention to a person that he has committed a logical fallacy and thus has no standing for a particular statement that he has made.
What is the reason for this? I am convinced it is because we have forgotten the source of truth. We have forgotten that truth is unchanging. We have forgotten that our true God is unchanging, and so truth is not malleable.
You see, Scripture itself is quite logical. It tells us that no lie is true (1John 2:21). That is an affirmation of the law of non-contradiction.
Oh. You don’t want to bring God into the discussion of logic and knowledge? You mean that you don’t wish to discuss Scripture as truth? Therein lies the problem. To reject God and His Word is to begin the descent into irrationality. There is no knowledge or truth apart from God. Apart from God there is no rationality, nor is there any standard of truth. And apart from God’s Word there is no standard of religious truth.
To deny these things and to deny logical discourse is to speak incoherently and irrationally.