sunnmama: I have forwarded your posts to Bnonn, and will pass along his replies when he gets around to writing them (hopefully tomorrow). In the meantime I'll answer as best I can, although of course he knows his book better than I do.
|I don't understand what he means by propositions in this passage??
He's talking about unity and plurality in this passage, so 'propositions' is a fairly broad term which could mean 'matter' or 'concepts' or, more accurately, both--stuff which exists in the universe. One could call anything from 'blue' to 'canary' to 'love' a proposition in this context.
|Why is it illogical that no religion knows the true nature of God? (Esp when there are many other reasons to question the Christian idea of God?)
Not 100% sure what you're asking--do you mean, why is it necessary that any one religion has to know the true nature of God (as opposed to God being entirely unknowable to the whole human race)? I'm not sure how that relates to the passage you quoted, but maybe I'm misunderstanding your question--help?
|I have read this logic before, and I simply don't understand. Why does a universal mental law require an other-than human mind? Why can it not simply be universal to the human mind? I just don't understand this leap that universal mental law = God???
Well, take for example the law of non-contradiction. Supposing all the human minds in the world (and there's no such thing as 'The Human Mind', really, in this context, just lots of human minds) became permanently brain-damaged through the consumption of non-organic beetroot, so that they were unable to recognise or assert the law of non-contradiction (which is one of logic's most fundamental laws). Would this mean that the law of non-contradiction ceased to exist? Or if humanity was wiped out from the earth by a massive avalanche of disposable diapers--again, would this mean that the law of non-contradiction ceased to exist?
Of course not. Which means that the law of non-contradiction is not dependent on humans minds--hence the term universal
. If no humans existed at all, A could still
not be both A and not-A at the same time and in the same relationship. Because that would be nonsensical. Make sense?
So if logic (I used the law of non-contradiction as an example, but obviously you could substitute any of the logical laws) exists independently of human minds, it cannot have originated from them. The question then becomes, from whom or what did it originate? As logic is a series of mental laws, by definition, a mind must have created them. While this mind does not necessarily correlate with the Christian God--ie, you can't say 'Logic exists, therefore the Bible exists'--calling the 'universal, necessary mental mind' God
of some description is not a leap. Does this make sense? Bnonn will no doubt explain it better than I can, especially as it's late, but I hope that makes the argument... vaguely clearer.
|And one more issue I have, that is not directly refuting anything....just something I wonder about since I am clearly not a philosopher. I know at least 2 people who are extremely educated in religion and logic who are not Christian. Why would that be, if it is so clearly logical? One is a university professor who holds a doctorate in Religion and Philosophy, and another is UU minister who holds a Master's of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. Are they assumed to be prejudiced? Or simply dense?
The Biblical answer to that is that nobody can come to faith without the Holy Spirit. Logical arguments do not convert anyone--the Spirit converts, although it may certainly use
logical arguments (as in the case of my husband). In fact, the Bible would claim that the unregenerate are both prejudiced (enemies of God) and 'dense' (darkened hearts and understanding), and that these conditions are permanent and irrevocable without the power of the Holy Spirit. On a more practical level, few courses even in religion teach presuppositional theology, so Christianity is not necessarily studied at all from a philosophical/logical perspective. Even when it is, the presuppositionalist method of argumentation is deemed difficult or offputting by a large number of people, who simply don't like to think 'that way' or prefer classical apologetics.