God D o e s Importance of Logic T H E And Reason Do Reason and Religion Mix?
Why do people believe what they believe? Sociological Psychological Religious • Culture • Friends • Parents • Society • Comfort • Hope • Identity/Meaning • Peace of Mind • Church • Guru • Holy Book • Pastor “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive” – Blaise Pascal
Sigmund Freud on why people believe religious ideas • They were believed by our primal ancestors • We possess proofs handed down from primeval times • Forbidden to raise questions of their authentication “They are illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest, and most urgent wishes of mankind. We call belief an illusion when a wish-fulfillment is a prominent factor in its motivation, and in doing so we disregard its relation to reality, just as the illusion itself sets no store by verification” - Sigmund Freud
How do people know things? • The Senses – seeing, feeling, etc. • The Memory – remembering what you have accepted as truth • The Conscience (morality) – instinctive compass of right/wrong • The Logical Thought Process – reason and rational thinking
How does one form a belief? • A belief begins by understanding that a particular idea is plausible • A plausibility structure – “favorable conditions” – form in the mind so that a belief can be entertained • Anything not viewed as plausible will be rejected • Real belief must rest on content (not sincerity and fervency of desire)
Why should people believe what they believe? Philosophical Approach – To ascertain facts or truth and the causes of things. • Something is worth believing if it is… • Rational • Supported by evidence • The best reason for explaining the gathered data “True religion and true philosophy must arrive at the same principle” - S. S. Smith
There is both good and bad philosophy “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends oh human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ [who is the truth]” - Paul, Colossians 2:8 “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered” - C. S. Lewis
How most approach knowledge in religion Mind Heart ObjectiveProof Facts VerifiableScience OpinionFaith Feeling SubjectiveReligion
How most should approach knowledge in religion • Objective • Verifiable • Proof • Facts • Faith “Facts have nothing to do with religion” – Immanuel Kant, Prussian Agnostic
How can “faith” be objective? “Faith means not wanting to know what is true.” – Frederick Nietzsche, Atheist Many people believe that faith is something you have in the absence of truth and evidence.“Faith” does not mean believing in something that just makes you feel good.The Greek word is “pistos”, which literally means “trust” – something/one in whom confidence can be placed; reliability; that which evokes trust; state of believing on the basis of the reliability of the one trusted; pertaining to being worthy of belief or trust; conviction of the truth; the character of one who can be relied on. There is a difference between Faith That and Faith In.
Three tests for any belief system: • Logical Consistency: Are the claims being made consistent with each other or are there clear contradictions? • Empirical Adequacy: Is there evidence to back up the assertions being made by the belief system? • Experiential Relevance: Do the claims stack up with reality and are they meaningful for my life? “Christ wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head” – C. S. Lewis
What is Logic? Logic is the study of right reason or valid inferences and the attending fallacies, formal and informal. It helps obtain correct conclusions about a matter and avoid mistakes people often make in thinking. “It is the function of the wise man to know order” - Aristotle “Come let us reason together…” – Isaiah 1:18 “You shall love the Lord your God with all … your mind” – Matt. 22:37
Logic is built upon four foundational laws: • Law of non-contradiction – something cannot be “A” and “non-A” at the same time and in the same sense. • Law of the excluded middle – something is either “A” or “non-A”. • Law of identity – “A” is really “A”. • Law of rational inference – e.g. All men are mortal, John is a man, therefore John is mortal.
Law of non-contradiction Something cannot be “A” and “non-A” at the same time and in the same sense. “God exists!” – Christian “God does not exist!” – Atheist “You’re both right!” – Unitarian Universalist (Pluralism) “If we believe by faith that God has spoken, since what God says is true, all that contradicts the word of God can, and must, be at once excluded as false.” – Etienne Gilson
Law of non-contradiction Surest way to get a person to admit they believe in the law of non-contradiction: “Let him who disbelieves be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten and burned is not the same thing as to not be beaten and burned.”
Law of excluded middle Something is either “A” or “non-A”. “Everything came to be from a personal eternality!” – Christian “Everything came to be from an impersonal eternality” – Atheist No third option …notice how this underscores truth’s attributes of being ‘narrow’ and ‘excludes’
Law of Identity “A” is really “A”. “Jesus Christ is God!” – Christian “Jesus Christ is not God!” – Muslim He is or He isn’t
Law of Rational Inference Deductive logic – reasoning from true premises to a correct conclusion. Everything that has a beginning has a cause. The universe had a beginning. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
Recognizing Logical Fallacies Significance – context means everything “Jesus is the Son of God” – Christian “Jesus is the Son of God” – Jehovah’s Witness/Mormon Law of Identity
Recognizing Logical Fallacies Faulty Dilemma “Are you a person of science/facts or a person of religion/faith?” Premises of deductive premise not true
Recognizing Logical Fallacies Category Mistake “Who made God?”
Recognizing Logical Fallacies Faulty Analogy “Believing in God is like believing in Santa Claus.”
Recognizing Logical Fallacies Consensus Gentium (majority opinion) “The vast majority of scientists believe in evolution”
Recognizing Logical Fallacies Appeal to the future “One day the missing link between man and his ancestors will be found”
How does logic/reason relate to true belief? • Is belief just a matter of … • Thinking logically? • Examining the evidence? • Recognizing reality? …unfortunately not.
How does logic/reason relate to true belief? Real belief involves more than just information transfer and the external recognition of a truth. People act contrary to evidence all the time. “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins…” – Hebrews 10:26 …notice the logic used in the above statement?
How does logic/reason relate to true belief? Real belief involves the Will. “If one were to prove this God of the Christians to us, we should be even less able to believe in him.” – Nietzsche “It is our preference that rules against Christianity, not arguments.” – Nietzsche
How does logic/reason relate to true belief? Real belief involves the Will. “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?” – Jesus in Mark 2:8 “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken” – Jesus in Luke 24:25 “When we lack the will to see things as they really are, there is nothing so mysterious as the obvious.” – Irving Kristol, Professor of Social Thought
End Result of Agreeing that Logic/Reason and Religion Mix • A true philosophical foundation is best for believing something • The fact/value dichotomy must be recognized and torn down – truth in religion is possible • Adherence to First Principles is mandatory in life and religion • Logical fallacies must be recognized and overcome • Pluralism and Panentheism as belief systems are ruled out • Real belief still involves more than an understanding of a logical position "So skilled is error at imitating truth, that the two are constantly being mistaken for each another. It takes a sharp eye these days to know which brother is Cain and which Abel."- A.W. Tozer
God D o e s Importance of Logic T H E And Reason Reason and Real Religion Stand Together