|Oh, and your example above is actually interesting because, of course, Jesus was a man, and Jesus was not exactly mortal. What am I missing there?
That's simply a case of disagreeing with Premise 1, 'All men are mortal'. Remember, I said if
you agree with the premises...
|What about it you believe that God, "personally", revealed to you otherwise. Are allowances made, within the apologetic approach, for person communication with, and revelation from, God? What if it is illogical?
That would depend on the theological system. Within (some) Christian circles, personal revelation which reveals additional information about God is said to have ceased (cf the warning about 'adding to this book' in Revelation). So God could tell someone something which was new to them, or which caused them to understand something in the Bible in a different way; but He could not reveal anything that would contradict the Bible (say, that God was really a tomato), or
anything that was illogical, as God cannot be illogical. Logic stems from His nature, and He can no more deny it than He could deny His own holiness or love or wrath.
So I have absolutely no problem with your mother praying for clarity, as long as she examined her conclusions in the light of Scripture and logic. Which it sounds like she did, given that she kept a concordance on hand and listened to sermons and so on. Bible study with prayer is a very different thing from saying 'The Lord came to me this morning as I was shaving and told me that from now on, we should eat nothing but tomatoes'. Does that make sense?
|An example of how qm appears to contradict logic is the well-proven fact that light sometimes acts like a particle and sometimes like a wave, depending on the experiment.
That doesn't necessarily violate the law of non-contradiction, which only says a thing cannot be A and not-A at the same time and in the same sense. Again I stress that I'm not familiar with Qm, but the way you phrased this doesn't seem to indicate a logical contradiction. (I just did a quick Google and it seems at least like many scientists don't think it violates the law of non-contradiction, incidentally).
Ultimately the logic vs empiricism debate comes down to the fact that empiricism rests on logic. If you state that logic is not applicable to the quantum level, ie. that the quantum level has the potential to be absurd, why bother studying it? You cannot make rules about it or infer principles from it; light could be a wave one moment, a particle the next and a turkey sandwich 10 seconds later. (I got sick of the tomato metaphor). Scientists ultimately are trying to make sense
of Qm, because they recognise that the system must fit together. A scientist who believed that the whole thing was illogical would give up in despair. It makes no more sense for something to be actually absurd on the quantum level than any other. Furthermore, if you believe logic is not universal, how do you decide where to draw the line?
|I think -- although I'm not sure about this as I know much less about logic than I do qm -- that ultimately logic is probably as grounded in our perceptions as everything else is. It makes perfect sense to us that a person cannot be a tomato because we look around us and see that people and tomatos are distinct entities. Thus we derive a logical rule that says that a thing cannot be another thing at the same time.
So do you believe that the law of, say, non-contradiction did not exist until it was thought of, or that if nobody in the world believed it any more it would cease to exist? That a turkey sandwich could be both a turkey sandwich and a not-turkey sandwich at the same time and in the same sense? Humans formulating or expressing an idea is not the same thing as humans creating a concept. If the human race had never existed, logic would still be logic (just as, I suppose, maths would still be maths).
However, you are correct in that the existence of mental laws implies a mind--that's part of the theological argument from reason.
|But, if "simple" qm (simple relative to the god issue) presents realities that, on the surface, appear to be logically impossible.....why couldn't theologies that appear to be logically impossible also be true? What if we just have no idea how it works? What if we are missing something very significant?
Qm is a very young and uncertain field compared to linguistics. Theologies are based not on science but on words, and there are well-understood, generally-accepted meanings of nearly all words. So if a proposition appears illogical, all we have to do is examine the words (definition) and their relationships to each other (meaning) in order to determine whether or not they make sense.
Ultimately unless you have good cause to believe we are
missing something, the question is simply special pleading. It is, quite literally, nonsensical to believe that something we are missing could turn logic into absurdity, unless you believe there is some mental principle (not scientific, as that's based on mental principles) more fundamental than logic, which can overturn it and at the same time be communicable, replicable and well... logical. Don't you see? Logic has
to be axiomatic. If it were not, communication would be impossible--I could read your words on the page and think 'I'm missing something, maybe what she really typed was 'tomato tomato tomato'. Maybe she IS a tomato! Maybe we're the same tomato! Maybe nothing exists except a single tomato seed floating in the void! Maybe logic is a tomato!'... and that wouldn't be very productive, now would it? (For the record, no, I've never done drugs).
You utilize logic even to consider whether logic or not is valid; if you tried to convince someone logic didn't exist, you would have to use logic and therefore invalidate your claim. (Unless of course you could convince someone by saying 'Logic doesn't exist because tomato tomato tomato', which would be more consistent but not terribly compelling).
|I wanted to come back to this point. I think the reality is that most people won't stick around to find out if it is right or wrong, because it is so unappealing. Also, ime, it is not very convincingly right or wrong with just a cursory examination....the first batch of answers just lead to a whole lot more questions, kwim? But, while the journey is intellectually stimulating, it isn't spiritually uplifting....so the conversation is appealing to all the wrong people (people interested in examining faith at arm's length, for academic interest), and unappealing to all the right people (people interested in deeping their own understanding of their faith, and applying it to their lives).
Can I hazard a guess you're neurotypical?
DH and I are Aspie and in fact find the intellectual rigor of Christian apologetics very
'spiritually uplifting', if you will. But I take your point--Christian apologetics should, in the real world, be combined with songs of praise to God, applications of Christian love and charity and fellowship, and all the nice fuzzy-wuzzy stuff.
But religious forums online aren't the real world--they're kinda necessarily divorced from it, and I don't think focussing on one aspect of Christianity is necessarily a bad thing. It doesn't appeal to everyone, but there are a surprising number of people who find it interesting. My husband was the type you mentioned--interested in examining the arguments of Christianity simply to trash it. He's now a Christian. So it depends on the person.
|This is a very intriguing statement. (I've never considered there to be any need for a religion to be grounded in logic at all.) Would you mind doing a Logic of Christianity for Dummies explanation?
Okay, that's a little like saying 'Can you teach me Greek for Dummies?'.
It's a wide topic. But sure, I can have a stab at it. Are you familiar with any of the Christian apologetic arguments--for instance, the cosmological, teleological or transcendental arguments, or the argument from reason? The latter is the one I know best. Can I cheat and point you to books/websites, or do you want to keep this in-thread?