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What Logic Requires

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A conservative website out of Boston reprints an Faulkner University (Alabama) Law Professor’s opening speech to his introductory students.  It is full of brilliance – here’s one example:

Second, you have been taught to resort to two moral values above all others, diversity and equality. These are important values if properly understood. But the way most of you have been taught to understand them makes you irrational, unreasoning. For you have been taught that we must have as much diversity as possible and that equality means that everyone must be made equal. But equal simply means the same. To say that 2+2 equals 4 is to say that 2+2 is numerically the same as four. And diversity simply means difference. So when you say that we should have diversity and equality you are saying we should have difference and sameness. That is incoherent, by itself. Two things cannot be different and the same at the same time in the same way.

But there is one paragraph far more insightful than any other:

Reasoning requires you to understand the difference between true and false. And reasoning requires coherence and logic. Most of you have been taught to embrace incoherence and illogic. You have learned to associate truth with your subjective feelings, which are neither true nor false but only yours, and which are constantly changeful.

Reason requires some level of selflessness.  Reason lies in the objective, the opposite of the subjective to which the prof refers.  When letting go of self is understood as necessary for reason, one comes to understand just how very, very reasonable Christianity actually is.

We are constantly assaulted about how irrational and unreasonable Christianity is and yet if selflessness is necessary for reason then Christianity, which holds forth such selflessness as the ideal, provides the basis for reason.

Consider, Christianity is based on the selfless sacrifice of God, in the form of Christ.  I often quote Philippians 2 wherein Paul holds out selflessness as the most basic of Christian characteristics.  The prophet Isaiah declares God’s ways higher than our ways – defining that there is an objective viewpoint apart from our personal and subjective one.

Contrary to the prevailing view, moving towards Christianity builds objectivity and as our law professor friend points out movement away from Christianity moves towards subjectivity.

It should also be pointed out that Christianity is unique as a religion in this fashion.  Polytheism is highly subjective given that one must choose the god of the moment.  Judaism, sharing the same moral structure, calls its adherents to sacrifice to receive justification as opposed to sacrifice in following God’s example.  In other words the sacrifice taught by Judaism is sacrifice for personal gain rather than sacrifice for its own sake.  What sacrifice there is in Islam is all about personal glory.  Only Christianity teaches one must set oneself aside wholly for its own sake.

There is a reason that the age of reason arose in the Christian West.  That reason is Christianity.


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