Where Do Logic & Reason Come From? Here’s Some Food For Thought For The Hungry Mind!

Thinking II

Gordon H. Clark quotes

“Does Logic deal with things, or is it a science of words? And the answer one gives to these questions has such far reaching implications that it controls every detail of the resulting system of philosophy.” – Gordon H. Clark

“Suppose the word mountain meant metaphor, and dog, and Bible, and the United States. Clearly, if a word meant everything, it would mean nothing. If, now, the law of contradiction is an arbitrary convention, and if our linguistic theorists choose some other convention, I challenge them to write a book in conformity with their principles. As a matter of fact it will not be hard for them to do so. Nothing more is necessary than to write the word metaphor sixty thousand times: Metaphor metaphor metaphor metaphor…. This means the dog ran up the mountain, for the word metaphor means dog, ran, and mountain. Unfortunately, the sentence “metaphor metaphor metaphor” also means, Next Christmas is Thanksgiving, for the word metaphor has these meanings as well.” – Gordon H. Clark, God’s Hammer: The Bible and Its Critics

“May there not be some subconscious jealousy that motivates our reactions to other people? Why do we eat chocolate sundaes when we know that we should reduce? Are we free from the influence of parental training? The Scriptures say, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Parental training and all education proceed on the assumption that the will is not free, but can be trained, motivated, and directed. Finally, beyond both physiology and psychology there is God. Can we be sure that he is not directing our choices? Do we know that we are free from his grace? The Psalm says, “Blessed is the man whom you choose and cause to approach you.” Is it certain that God has not caused us to choose to approach him? Can we set a limit to God’s power? Can we tell how far it extends and just where it ends? Are we outside his control?” – Gordon H. Clark, Religion, Reason & Revelation

“A theologian’s epistemology controls his interpretation of the Bible. If his epistemology is not Christian, his exegesis will be systematically distorted. If he has no epistemology at all, his exegesis will be unsystematically distorted.” – Gordon H. Clark, The Incarnation

“If God did not arrange [the world] this way, then there must be an independent factor in the universe. And if there is such, one consequence and perhaps two follow. First, the doctrine of creation must be abandoned. A creation ex nihilo would be completely in God’s control. Independent forces cannot be created forces, and created forces cannot be independent.Then, second, if the universe is not God’s creation, his knowledge of it–past and future–cannot depend on what he intends to do, but on his observation of how it works. In such a case, how could we be sure that God’s observations are accurate? How could we be sure that these independent forces will not later show an unsuspected twist that will falsify God’s predictions?And, finally, on this view God’s knowledge would be empirical, rather than an integral part of his essence, and thus he would be a dependent knower. These objections are insurmountable. We can consistently believe in creation, omnipotence, omniscience, and the divine decree. But we cannot retain sanity and combine any one of these with free will.” – Gordon H. Clark, Religion, Reason & Revelation

“The inference is this: No one can consistently object to Christianity being based on an indemonstrable axiom. If the secularists exercise their privilege of basing their theorems on axioms, then so may Christians. If the former refuse to accept our axioms, then they can have no logical objection to our rejecting theirs. Accordingly, we reject the very basis of atheism, Logical Positivism, and, in general, empiricism. Our axiom shall be that God has spoken. More completely, God has spoken in the Bible. More precisely, what the Bible says, God has spoken.” – Gordon H. Clark

Scripturalism (all knowledge must be contained within a system and deduced from its starting principles, in the Christian case, the Bible). – Gordon H. Clark, paraphrase

“Logically the infallibility of the Bible is not a theorem to be deduced from some prior axiom. The infallibility of the Bible is the axiom from which several doctrines are themselves deduced as theorems. Every religion and every philosophy must be based on some first principle. And since a first principle is first, it cannot be “proved” or “demonstrated” on the basis of anything prior. As the catechism question, quoted above, says, “The Word of God is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify Him.” – Gordon H. Clark

“The inference is this: No one can consistently object to Christianity being based on an indemonstrable axiom. If the secularists exercise their privilege of basing their theorems on axioms, then so may Christians. If the former refuse to accept our axioms, then they can have no logical objection to our rejecting theirs. Accordingly, we reject the very basis of atheism, Logical Positivism, and, in general, empiricism. Our axiom shall be that God has spoken. More completely, God has spoken in the Bible. More precisely, what the Bible says, God has spoken.” – Gordon H. Clark

“The reader of this may expect to find a straightforward refutation of atheism. But he may be disappointed, for the situation is somewhat complicated. In the first place, one might accuse the atheist of never having proved that the physical universe is the only reality and that there are no supernatural beings. This would be satisfactory, if the term atheism means the argued denial of a Deity. But atheists, like agnostics, shift the burden of proof and say the theist is under obligation to demonstrate the truth of his view; but the atheist considers himself under no such obligation. Atheists usually wobble back and forward. Yet, Ernest Nagel, who may be called a naturalist in philosophy, seems to argue: “the occurrence of events [he means each and every event without exception]…is contingent on the organization of spatio-temporally located bodies…. That this is so is one of the best-tested conclusions of experience…. There is no place for an immaterial spirit directing the course of events, no place for the survival of personality after the corruption of the body, which exhibits it.
This is an atheistic, not an agnostic, statement. He argues that science has proved the nonexistence of God, but the argument is invalid. No scientist has ever produced any evidence that man’s intellect ceases to function at death. Since his methods have not discovered any spirit, Nagel assumes there can be none. He refuses to question his methods. Atheism is not a conclusion developed by his methods; rather it is the assumption on which his methods are based.” – Gordon H. Clark

Every philosophic or theological system must begin somewhere, for if it did not begin it could not continue. But a beginning cannot be preceded by anything else, or it would not be the beginning. Therefore every system must be based on presuppositions (Require as a precondition of possibility or coherence. Tacitly assume to be the case) or axioms (An accepted statement or proposition regarded as being self-evidently true). They may be Spinoza’s axioms; they may be Locke’s sensory starting point, or whatever. Every system must therefore be presuppositional.

The first principle cannot be demonstrated because there is nothing prior from which to deduce it. Call it presuppositionalism, call it fideism, names do not matter. But I know no better presupposition than The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the word of God written, and therefore inerrant in the autographs.
If the axioms of other secularists are not nonsense, they are nonetheless axioms. Every system must start somewhere, and it cannot have started before it starts. A naturalist might amend the Logical Positivists’ principle and make it say that all knowledge is derived from sensation. This is not nonsense, but it is still an empirically unverifiable axiom. If it is not self-contradictory, it is at least without empirical justification. Other arguments against empiricism need not be given here: The point is that no system can deduce its axioms.
The inference is this: No one can consistently object to Christianity being based on an indemonstrable axiom. If the secularists exercise their privilege of basing their theorems on axioms, then so may Christians. If the former refuse to accept our axioms, then they can have no logical objection to our rejecting theirs. Accordingly, we reject the very basis of atheism, Logical Positivism, and, in general, empiricism. Our axiom shall be that God has spoken. More completely, God has spoken in the Bible. More precisely, what the Bible says, God has spoken.” – Gordon H. Clark

God Bless,

Jack Kettler

Your freedom web hub at:

http://www.Undergroundnotes.com

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