## Start here...First Principles (B)

Written by Terry Dashner

Start here…first principles (B)

Terry Dashner………Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013

Here are some concepts in logic that are fundamental to establishing truth. When we assign words (symbols) to correspond to certain aspects of reality (referents), we are using another law of logic called law of identity. This law simply states that something is what we say it is: A is A. A correlative principle, law of excluded middle, asserts that it is either A or non-A (but not both). All valid thinking rests on these principles: they are absolute, and without them thinking would not be possible. [Norman Geisler and Peter Bocchino, Unshakable Foundations (Bethany House: Minneapolis, Minnesota) p. 24]

Alexander Pope correctly observed that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! This cliché could be true in our case if we fail to point out principal limitation of logic. When we use logic as focal point of our intellectual lens, we must be very careful to recognize that its effectiveness is limited to finding error alone. Logic’s function is to correct faulty thinking, or groundless reasoning, and is therefore a negative test for truth. This is a very important characteristic: logic by itself will not help us find truth but will only help us detect error. What is true must be logical, but what is logical is not necessarily true. [Ibid, p. 28]

For example, statement “two plus two equals four” is logical. Similarly, statement “two leprechauns plus two leprechauns equals four leprechauns” is also logical. Both statements are logical; however, second statement does not mean that leprechauns actually exist. You would have to test and see if there is any evidence to support claim that leprechauns are real. Consequently, what is real or true must be logical, but what is logical is not necessarily real or true. [Ibid, p. 28] The law of noncontradiction, law of identity, and law of excluded middle all relate to field of study called, logic.

## Start here...First Principles (A)

Written by Terry Dashner

Start here…first principles (A)

Terry Dashner……..Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013

Mortimer J. Adler said, “The fundamentals of logic should be as transcultural as mathematics with which principles of logic are associated. The principles of logic are neither Western nor Eastern, but universal.” That’s interesting.

Aristotle was keen on “first principles.” He said that every science begins with certain obvious truths, and these truths form foundations upon which all knowledge rests. [Norman Geisler and Peter Bocchino, Unshakable Foundations, (Bethany House: Minneapolis, Minnesota) p.19]

These days most Christians are too quick to respond to an opposing worldview by critiquing it at conclusion of an argument. Mortimer Adler rightly points out that most of time errors exist in beginning. This means we must focus on these “points of departure” used by philosophers, professors, authors and skeptics to see if any errors exist in their foundations (most basic assumptions). [Ibid, p.21]

Now most everyone has a worldview. And worldviews are varied to say least. Why? Because everyone looks at world through lens of various colors. If one’s glasses are blue lens, then his worldview will be blue. The question I raise is this. Is it possible for everyone to see through same colored lens? Maybe. It depends on whether or not everyman with a worldview wants to paint color of his lens with “first principles.” If everyman shapes his worldview with logic, everyman is going to come to logical conclusions. Right? Let me explain myself, please.

Everyone uses logic to think about life. All people have at one time or another given thought to fact that they exist; existence and human reason are two most fundamental assumptions that all people have in common. These two assumptions are unavoidable; in order to deny existence and reason, one would have to use reason to think about denial. Further, one would have to exist in order to be engaged in reasoning process. Therefore, existence and reason must be place to start an honest and impartial search for truth. [Ibid, pp. 22-23]

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