Everyone uses the laws of logic, and they are evidence of the nature, design, and existence of God. Christians use the laws of logic to provide substantiation to the idea that God’s word is true, just as naturalists/evolutionists use them to argue their beliefs. God gave us the tools of logic so we can think, grow, learn, and do science.
The laws of logic “are rooted in God’s own nature. Indeed, some scholars think the passage ‘In the beginning was the Word [logos]’ (Jn 1:1) is accurately translated, ‘In the beginning was Logic (a divine, rational mind).’”[i]
There are numerous laws of logic.[ii] One of them is called the law of non-contradiction, which states that it is impossible for something to both be true and false at the same time and in the same sense. For example it is contradictory, or it doesn’t make sense, to say that “a banana is a fruit and a banana is not a fruit.” The banana is either a fruit or it isn’t. Another law is called the law of identity, where something is actually the same with itself and different from another, or not something different than itself. The law of excluded middle says that there are only two choices in every proposition, either it has to be true (and its negation false) or false (and its negation true). “The Principle of Sufficient Reason is a powerful and controversial philosophical principle stipulating that everything must have a reason or cause.”[iii] “The Law of Cause and Effect states that every material effect must have an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause.”[iv]
Naturalists can’t sufficiently answer why these laws exist and will even try to ignore the laws of logic in some cases. In fact, one apologist says “perhaps the Law of Cause and Effect seems intuitive to most, but common sense is foreign to many when God is brought into the discussion.”[v] This is true when naturalists are forced to try to explain the cause of the universe without the most logical cause (the all-powerful, outside of time and space, God). The naturalistic worldview has a lot of unanswerable questions.
God did not create the laws of logic. The “laws of logic are contingent on God. They are a reflection of the way God thinks. Thus, they cannot exist without Him any more than your reflection in a mirror can exist without you.”[vi] Since God has always existed and thought, the laws of logic are also eternal. “It is impossible for God to think illogically because in the Christian worldview, logic is a description of the way God thinks. The believer has a universal standard of reasoning that makes sense within his own worldview. The atheist does not.” [vii] The atheist, who claims that the laws of logic are eternal, “fails to explain how the Laws of Logic can be eternal and uncaused and what role they play in causing all other contingent realities.”[viii]
“The Christian worldview can make sense of [the] laws of logic. The Christian believes in universal, immaterial, invariant entities because God is himself omnipresent, immaterial, and invariant…As one example…the law of non-contradiction reflects God’s internal consistency: all truth is in God (Colossians 2:3), and God cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13); therefore, all truth cannot be contradictory. The Christian worldview makes sense of the law of non-contradiction…Atheists do believe in laws of logic, but they cannot justify the existence of universal, abstract, invariant laws within their worldview.” They cannot answer “why should there be a law of non-contradiction, or for that matter, any laws of reasoning? An unjustified belief is arbitrary, which is one form of irrationality…In particular, those atheists who hold to a materialistic philosophy cannot make sense of laws of logic because laws of logic are not material.”[ix] “You can’t stub your toe on a law of logic.”[x]
Evolutionists have to borrow from fundamental Christian concepts to even be able to argue their points about evolution. “The debate over the existence of God is a bit like a debate over the existence of air. Can you imagine someone arguing that air doesn’t actually exist? He would offer seemingly excellent “proofs” against the existence of air, while simultaneously breathing air and expecting that we can hear his words as the sound is transmitted through the air. In order for us to hear and understand his claim, it would have to be wrong. Likewise, the atheist, in arguing that God does not exist must use laws of logic that only make sense if God does exist. In order for his argument to make sense, it would have to be wrong.”
The laws of logic could not develop slowly and could not be a product of evolution, but would have to exist conceptually from the beginning. As astrophysicist and apologist Dr. Jason Lisle asked, “if the brain is simply the result of mindless evolutionary processes that conveyed some sort of survival value in the past, why should we trust its conclusions?”[xi] Check out more of his explanations:
“The atheist might say, ‘Well, I can reason just fine, and I don’t believe in God.’ But this is no different than the critic of air saying, ‘Well, I can breathe just fine, and I don’t believe in air.’”
“The atheist might respond, ‘Laws of logic are conventions made up by man’…So, in some cultures it might be perfectly fine to contradict yourself. In some societies truth could be self-contradictory. Clearly that wouldn’t do. If laws of logic are just conventions, then they are not universal laws. Rational debate would be impossible if laws of logic were conventional, because the two opponents could simply pick different standards for reasoning. Each would be right according to his own arbitrary standard.”
“The atheist might respond, ‘Laws of logic are material—they are made of electro-chemical connections in the brain.’ But then the laws of logic are not universal…In fact, if the laws of logic are just electro-chemical connections in the brain, then they would differ somewhat from person to person because everyone has different connections in their brain,” and thus they would be an arbitrary (and conflicting) standard, not universal.
“Sometimes an atheist will attempt to answer with a more pragmatic response: ‘We use the laws of logic because they work.’ Unfortunately for him, that isn’t the question. We all agree the laws of logic work; they work because they’re true. The question is why do they exist in the first place? How can the atheist account for absolute standards of reasoning like the laws of logic? How can non-material things like laws exist if the universe is material only?”
“As a last resort, the atheist may give up a strictly materialistic view and agree that there are immaterial, universal laws. This is a huge concession; after all, if a person is willing to concede that immaterial, universal, unchanging entities can exist, then he must consider the possibility that God exists. But this concession does not save the atheist’s position. He must still justify the laws of logic. Why do they exist? And what is the point of contact between the material physical world and the immaterial world of logic? In other words, why does the material universe feel compelled to obey immaterial laws? The atheist cannot answer these questions. His worldview cannot be justified; it is arbitrary and thus irrational.”[xii]
Critics of the Bible often claim that one is illogical in believing that the miracles happened as described within the Bible. They “might argue that such things cannot happen based on known natural laws. With this we [creationists] agree. But who said that natural laws are the limit of what is possible? The biblical God is not bound by natural laws.”[xiii] With this and the evidence above, a belief in God is a very logical and consistent worldview.
“When the critic simply dismisses those claims of the Bible that do not appeal to his personal, unargued sense of what is possible, he is being irrational. He is committing the logical fallacy known as ‘begging the question.’ Namely, he has decided in advance that such things as miracles are impossible, thereby tacitly assuming that the Bible is not true because it contains miracles. But this is the very assumption with which he began his reasoning. The critic is reasoning in a vicious circle. He has decided in advance that there is not an all-powerful God who is capable of doing the things recorded in Scripture, and then argues on this basis against the biblical God.”[xiv]
Many “claim that the biblical doctrine of the Trinity is self-contradictory, it is not. The oneness and threeness of God refer to different aspects. The three eternal and co-equal Persons of the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—are the same in essence but distinct in role—three Persons (or three centres of consciousness) and one Being.”[xv]
Many supposed contradictions within the historical texts of the Bible have been reconciled and ultimately are very minor or unrelated to the doctrinal claims and the internal and external consistency of the Bible.[xvi] “An important aspect of contradiction is self-refutation. Many statements by anti-Christians might appear reasonable on the surface, but when the statement is turned on itself, it refutes itself. Some common examples are:
- ‘There is no truth’—this would mean that this sentence itself is not true.
- ‘We can never know anything for certain’—so how could we know that for certain?
- ‘A statement is only meaningful if it is either a necessary truth of logic or can be tested empirically’ (the once popular verification criterion for meaning of the ‘Logical Positivists’)—this statement itself is neither a necessary truth of logic nor can it be tested empirically, so it is meaningless by its own criteria.
- ‘There are no moral absolutes, so we ought to be tolerant of other people’s morals’—but ‘ought’ implies a moral absolute that toleration is good.”[xvii]
“By embracing materialism, the atheist has destroyed the possibility of knowledge, as well as science and technology…Only the God of the Bible can be the foundation for knowledge (Proverbs 1:7; Colossians 2:3)…Since God has revealed Himself to man, we are able to know and use logic.”[xviii] The laws of logic are a tool that God has given us to use to help others see the evidence for God and to believe on Him. In Titus 1:9 (NIV), the apostle Paul instructs that a believer “must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who opposite it.”
What the Bible Says: Gen 6:5, Ps 14:1, Prov 1:7, Is 1:18, Is 55:8-9, Rom 9:19-21, Rom 12:1-2, 1 Cor 2:16, 2 Cor 10:4-5, Col 2:3, 2 Tim 2:13, Titus 1:9, Heb 1:3, Heb 13:8, James 1:17, 1 Pet 3:15, 2 Pet 3:8.
by Brian Mariani and others
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[i] J.P. Moreland, What Are the Three Laws of Logic, April 20, 2011, Christian Apologetics, http://christian-apologetics.org/2011/what-are-the-three-laws-of-logic/, The Apologetics Study Bible,
[ii] Laws of logic, About.com, http://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/general/bldef_lawsoflogic.htm, accessed July 24, 2014.
[iii] Yitzhak Melamed and Martin Lin, Principle of Sufficient Reason, September 14, 2010, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sufficient-reason/, accessed July 24, 2014.
[iv] Jeff Miller, God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality, 2011, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716, accessed July 24, 2014.
[v] Jeff Miller, God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality, 2011, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716, accessed July 24, 2014.
[vi] Jason Lisle, Did God Create Logic?, December 7, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/did-god-create-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.
[vii] Jason Lisle, Did God Create Logic?, December 7, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/did-god-create-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.
[viii] J. Warner Wallace, Is God Real? Examining Atheistic Explanations for the Laws of Logic as “Brute Realities,” March 20, 2014, A Disciple’s Study, Cold Case Christianity, http://llamapacker.wordpress.com/2014/03/page/13/, accessed July 24, 2014.
[ix] Jason Lisle, Did God Create Logic?, December 7, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/did-god-create-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.
Can You Have Logic Without Laws?, 2012, Your Origins Matter: Conversations, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.youroriginsmatter.com/conversations/view/can-you-have-logic-without-laws/31, accessed July 24, 2014.
[x] Jason Lisle, Atheism: An Irrational Worldview, October 10, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/atheism/atheism-an-irrational-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.
[xi] Darius Viet and Karin Viet, Are the Laws of Logic Really Laws?, November 11, 2011, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/are-the-laws-of-logic-really-laws/, accessed July 24, 2014.
Jason Lisle, Atheism: An Irrational Worldview, October 10, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/atheism/atheism-an-irrational-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.
[xii] Jason Lisle, Atheism: An Irrational Worldview, October 10, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/atheism/atheism-an-irrational-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.
[xiii] Jason Lisle, The New Answers Book 3, Chapter 13: Is the Christian Worldview Logical?, May 5, 2014, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/is-the-christian-worldview-logical/, accessed July 24, 2014.
[xiv] Jason Lisle, The New Answers Book 3, Chapter 13: Is the Christian Worldview Logical?, May 5, 2014, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/logic/is-the-christian-worldview-logical/, accessed July 24, 2014.
[xv] Jonathan D. Sarfati, Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation, August 1998, Journal of Creation 12(2): 142-151, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation, accessed July 24, 2014.
[xvi]Jay Smith, Alex Chowdhry, Toby Jepson, James Schaeffer, 101 Cleared-up Contradictions in the Bible, http://www.debate.org.uk/debate-topics/apologetic/contrads/, accessed February 28, 2014.
Supposed Bible Contradictions: Scripture Index, Answers in Genesis, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/contradictions-scripture-index, accessed February 28, 2014.
Eric Lyons, M. Min., The Myth of “Factual Bible Contradictions, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=40, accessed February 28, 2014.
[xvii] Jonathan D. Sarfati, Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation, August 1998, Journal of Creation 12(2): 142-151, Creation Ministries International, http://creation.com/loving-god-with-all-your-mind-logic-and-creation, accessed July 24, 2014.
[xviii] Jason Lisle, Atheism: An Irrational Worldview, October 10, 2007, Answers in Genesis, https://answersingenesis.org/world-religions/atheism/atheism-an-irrational-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.