Category Archives: Logic

What is rationality? (Part 2)

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What is rationality? The truth is, it’s something that most of us don’t actually have.

But we sure like to kid ourselves.

Here’s a quote I saw on Facebook from someone called Deidra Mae Ryan.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately that a lot of homosexuals and their supporters consistently state that God made them this way and that it isn’t a biblical or church issue its a human rights issue.

I keep coming back to the fact that if God had intended homosexuality to be natural then he would’ve made it possible for us to procreate without the need of the opposite sex AND then why did God only create 1 woman and 1 man in the beginning. Then there is the fact that God destroyed 2 major cities in part due to homosexuality, Sodom and Gomorrah. If God had intended for homosexuality to be part of our natural being then why destroy those cities?

Personally I believe people get so steeped in their sin that they have blinders on and refuse to see the truth. I see it over and over, not just with sexual sins. They don’t want to see and admit that they are wrong. What’s more, is that it’s our human nature to justify all our wrong choices, even if that means we make up our own truth…case in point – Homosexuals and their supporters coming up with every excuse in the book to justify the choice of homosexuality.

We all do it with our own individual sins.

Please note that this is not a judgement on homosexuals and homosexuality. I’m also not convinced that Ryan’s logic is sound. I post this for her conclusion, “I believe people get so steeped in their sin that they have blinders on and refuse to see the truth …” This is so very true.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (KJV)

It’s also very true that people get so steeped in their own particular worldview and its presuppositions that they have blinders on and refuse to see the truth.

For a long time, I accepted the tenets of atheistic materialism. They seemed obviously true. And I rejected the tenets of Christianity. They seemed obviously false. And I had plenty of arguments with which to ably defend my worldview. But then I thought about what I was doing. Doing exactly that. Using rational argument to defend a worldview I already had. As opposed to putting all my presuppositions aside and taking all the arguments, both for and against theism, together and on their own merits, to see where they would lead (if, in fact, they lead anywhere).

[People] don’t want to see and admit that they are wrong. What’s more, is that it’s our human nature to justify all our wrong choices, even if that means we make up our own truth.

Man is not the rational animal. He’s the rationalising animal.

I acknowledge that I am generalising from my own intellectual habits to those of others, but I think that it’s legit to do so. I figure that other people have corrupt minds like mine.

I suggest that for the most part we all believe our own bullshit. Unashamedly.

I strive for intellectual honesty. I’ve recently reviewed many of the arguments for and against God’s existence, and tried to leave my ideological baggage at the door. I used to find the Design Argument unsatisfying inconclusive. Now I find it disconcertingly suggestive! I used to have serious doubts about God’s existence. Now I have serious doubts about his non-existence!

My Humean scepticism has stood me in good stead. I realise that man can truly know nothing based on reasoning from his limited sense data alone, unless he posits the existence of a guarantor, e.g., God. This was Descartes’ way out of radical scepticism. God’s existence is taken to be axiomatic. Yes, it’s a bootstrapping method of escape. But so are all the others, e.g., positing a uniform and self-sufficient Nature, which is one of the methodological axioms of science and a metaphysical axiom of scientism.

From the perspective of an atheistic materialistic worldview, the tenets of the atheistic materialistic worldview make sense. But from the perspective of a Christian worldview, the tenets of the Christian worldview make even more sense. But not, perhaps, until one has adopted that very perspective.

How’s that for a rationalisation of my religious conversion? 😉


See also What is rationality (Part 1)

A libertarian dilemma

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Here are two libertarian axioms.

1. The non-aggression non-initiation of force (NIOF) principle.
2. Private property rights.

The two libertarian axioms CONTRADICT each other. (As I recently explained here and here.)

You have four choices.

1. Deny the contradiction. (Objectivist libertarianism)
2. Maintain the contradiction.
3. Reject the non-aggression non-initiation of force (NIOF) principle. (Christian libertarianism)
4. Reject private property rights. (Anarcho-pacificism)

The choice is up to you.

Arguments from arrogance

The following are arguments from arrogance:

Your beliefs are absurd and should be considered as falsehoods unless they can be proven true.

My beliefs are reasonable and should be accepted as truths unless they can be proven false.

To say the burden of proof is yours is to argue from arrogance.

I am Jesus

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Phew! It’s hard work trying to be *like* Jesus. Even harder work trying to actually *be* Jesus.

But at last! I’ve joined the exclusive Messiah Complex Club. My Christ delusion is complete.

I’m the latest in a long list of poor deluded fools to join the ranks.

But this time is different.

I’m the first person who thinks he’s Jesus who has logical proof to back the claim!

Here’s my argument.

(P1) I am the light of the world. – John 8:12

(P2) You are the light of the world. – Matthew 5:14

Therefore, (C) I am you and you are me.

So there you have it. Deductive proof that I am Jesus and Jesus is me. It’s a valid argument, which is to say, the conclusion follows from the premises. The premises cannot both be true and the conclusion false. And it’s sound. The premises are true. Take my Word for it.

It’s a Rock solid argument against which even the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

as ever: what is to be done?

I can do nothing without myself. I don’t know what you think you can do. (Just kidding. I read your mind. And your email.) But here are some ideas.

(1) Humour me. (Please don’t point out that I don’t have enough hair to be Jesus. That’s just cruel.)

(2) Medicate me. (Just send me the drugs. Contact me privately and I’ll give you the address.)

(3) Appeal to the last vestiges of reason in my poor deluded fool mind. (I’m probably still more rational than you’ve ever been.)

The last one’s your best shot IMOO.

What is rationality? (Part 1)

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It’s been a while, but tomorrow night The New Inklings meet again! The time is 7 pm. The place is the Downtown House Bar and Cafe at the Downtown Backpackers, corner of Bunny Street and Waterloo Quay, Wellington.

We discuss philosophy (mainly) and theology. You’re welcome to join us, provided that you are (1) irenic, and (2) rational. If you don’t know what it means to be irenic, Google is your friend. If you don’t know what it means to be rational, well … tomorrow night’s discussion topic is for you!

the nature of rationality and what a commitment to Reason entails

So I thought I’d jot down a few recent thoughts … and start a series of posts … on this fundamentally important to everything topic.

Here’s my all-time favourite Ayn Rand quote.

To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.

I used to love to brandish this one at Ayn Rand’s hypocritical followers. I say ‘used to’ because it’s just dawned on me that Rand got it completely wrong! (Yet again! Wotta surprise!)

To arrive at a contradiction is NOT to confess an error in one’s thinking. To arrive at a contradiction is the strongest confirmation possible that there is NO error in one’s thinking!

And to maintain a contradiction is NOT to abdicate one’s mind nor to evict oneself from the realm of reality. At least, not in the short-term, probably not in the medium-term and possibly not even in the long-term! NOT to maintain a contradiction, in the short-term at least, would be irrational in the utmost extreme!

I really don’t know why I didn’t see this sooner … perhaps you don’t see it yet, so I’ll explain.

The simplest example of a contradiction is a proposition and its negation. P and not-P. Two propositions are contradictory, or inconsistent, if they cannot both be true. Three propositions are mutually contradictory, or form an inconsistent triad, if they cannot all be true. Four propositions that cannot all be true form an inconsistent tetrad. And so on and so forth.

None but the completely insane ever believes P and not-P. But believing A, B and C, where A, B and C cannot all be true? This is a commonplace. But most people who believe A, B and C don’t notice the inconsistency. A and B don’t contradict. B and C don’t contradict. C and A don’t contradict. It’s the mutual inconsistency that gives rise to the contradiction. To arrive at the contradiction you actually have to have some logical nous. You have to be able to recognise that

(P1) A
(P2) B
Therefore, (C) not-C

is a deductively valid argument. So to arrive at a contradiction is actually to confirm that you have at least a basic grasp of logic! Which most people don’t.

So you’ve arrived at a contradiction. You believe A, B and C and you are cognizant of the contradiction. You know your beliefs can’t all be true. You know that (at least) one of them has to go. But which one? You’d better sit down and try to figure that one out. But you don’t want to reject the wrong belief. So, in the meanwhile, you’ll maintain the contradiction. Take your time. It’s the rational thing to do.

He that hath seen me

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For an entertaining exercise, name the third person of the Unholy Trinity.

Who is it? Mini-Me? Fat Bastard? Frau Farbissina? Or … ?

Brian Leftow on “One Person Christology” is Glenn Peoples’ latest blog post.

How can a Chalcedonian Christology avoid ending up with Christ being two people? If the divine logos (the second person of the Trinity) combined with a fully functioning human body and soul (which some people take to be the ingredients of a human being), that is surely two people and not one, right?

Commenter Nathan thinks it would be an entertaining exercise “to try and define Logos and Human as classes, and then try and bring them together to get incarnate Jesus.” He adds, “but ultimately it won’t work.”

Class, superclass, subclass, interface, implementation, instantiation, inheritance—these are all concepts in object-oriented programming (OOP). Object-oriented programming is a programming paradigm that represents things in the real world as objects with attributes (“properties”) and abilities (“methods”). In software development, object-oriented programming is the one true way. But in theology?

The theology question of the day is not

How can God be three persons?

but the closely related

How can the Incarnate Christ be only one?

By implementing the Human interface, that’s how! Not sure if serious or trolling? I’m serious. I think everything is software.

(Incoming! Genetic fallacy! “When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” you say. “You’re a progr(h)ammer, Richard, so *of course* everything looks like software to you!” Nice try but no chocolate fish. Thales was not a tap.)

I’ll try to elaborate. But there’s a problem. Whereas the procedural paradigm is intuitive, the object-oriented paradigm is counter-intuitive. I started out in the procedural paradigm. Next stop, bitter experience. That’s when I made the paradigm shift. But it wasn’t easy explaining the object-oriented paradigm to myself then, and it won’t be easy explaining it to you now. That’s the problem. But I’ll try to elaborate.

I don’t always determine the meaning of a word by looking at its etymology, but when I do I look at the etymology of the word ‘logic’. The word ‘logic’ derives from the Greek λόγος or Logos, which has no exact translation but means, roughly, “reason, idea, word”. But Logos is the second person of the Trinity. Christ is Logos.

God is the author of the logic of the world, and his son is the expression of this logic.

So says philospher Nicholas F. Gier. Now, what is software but an expression of logic? Think about it.

In the beginning was the Code, and the Code was with God, and the Code was God.

Controversial? Heretical? Or just plain bat-shit crazy? No more so than the Logos Christology of the Gospel of John is any of those things.

A brain (and the body housing it) and a mind (the software running on it) are what constitutes a human person. Christ Incarnate was a human person. He was simultaneously the second person of the Trinity. How come he was not two persons, but just one? Simple. He was running different software. You and I instantiate the class DomesticatedPrimate. Christ Incarnate instantiated the class Logos. Christ is the class Logos. He instantiated himself.

An interface is an abstract class that defines a set of abstract methods. The Human interface is an abstract class that defines what it is to be human in terms of distinctively human attributes and distinctively human abilities. The classes DomesticatedPrimate and Logos have this in common. They both implement the Human interface.

That’s my destructive heresy for today. I’m not teaching it, mind. Just putting it out there.

OOP or Oops!? Be sure to let me know in the comments.

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Jefferson’s God. The Rock upon which Liberty is founded. (God save us from Atheism!)

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“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!”

~ Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Q.XVIII (1782)

From one of the very best political/Christian Libertarian/ historical pages on Facebook ‘The Founders,Religion and Government’ Here:

Sir Bob Jones needs to take a good long hard look at himself, and admit that when he scoffs at Christianity, that he (and all Sowers of Atheism) work not as they claim for the betterment of society, but for the destruction of Freedom and morality… Read about that Here:

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Fanatical Antichrist Ayn Rand. Megalomaniac.

This quote from Jefferson also exposes the gross delusions of Ayn Rand and her fantical worshippers… their capacity to ignore Reality…

“America was created by men who broke with all political traditions and who originated a system unprecedented in history, relying on nothing but the “unaided” power of their own intellect.” | Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

^^^That is Patently false. Ayn Rand attempts to rob American Libertarianism of it’s Christian foundations, and enthrone Godless ‘Reason’.
She too is a wolf in sheep’s clothing… claiming to be a champion of liberty and rights, while attacking the very foundations of those Ideals.

The Late Great Christian Libertarian Francis Schaeffer explains just how absurd and dishonest Objectivism is here:
Materialism renders Man Nought. Meaning-less, Value-less, Right-less

In his candid biography ‘My life with Ayn Rand’, Her greatest disciple Nathaniel Branden (whom she dubbed ‘John Galt’) admitted she became completely divorced from reality. She was Tyrannical… demanding absolute submission to her dictates.
No room for freedom of thought.
You had the right to follow your own conscience…as long as it was 100% in alignment with their great leaders teachings.
And this is still be the defining trait of Objectivists today.
They have conformed themselves into little imitations… little graven images of their Atheist Deity.

Nathaniel Branden would eventually be caste out and demonized because he wanted to end his sexual/ adulterous relationship with Rand.
Incapible of tollerating such an honest evaluation of their Goddess. The most Rabid Rand worshippers have judged the Brandens as being Diablocal, and say that Ayn Rand was not an all-powerful Cult Leader, but a ‘pure of heart’ victem of the Brandens Cunning…

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Intolerant Objectivism is busy strangulating Liberatrain movements around the globe…

Read about the Failure of Objectivist Libertarianism Here:

Read how classical Libertarianism used to care… Here:

Objectivism causes brain damage

Here are a couple of Randroid memes seen recently on Facebook. (Here and here.)

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Can you spot the obvious absurdity of these statements? Well, as one Facebook commenter explains

Quoting Ayn Rand is pretty absurd for starters, but “reality” and the consequences of ignoring reality are all part of the same set (reality) so it is making a distinction that doesn’t exist… so it really is saying nothing…

In other words, the consequences (of avoiding reality) are themselves part of reality. Therefore, Ayn Rand is saying that you can avoid reality and that you cannot avoid reality. She has arrived at a contradiction!

Ayn Rand’s work is littered with contradictions. They blend in with their context, so that her followers find them hard to spot. Which is why I bother to point them out. It’s a labour of love.

Ayn Rand was not much of a philosopher, but there’s no denying she had a wicked turn of phrase. This one’s my all-time favourite Rand sound-bite.

To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking. To maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.

Rand has arrived at a contradiction. But we all make errors in our thinking from time to time. So how do I back my claim that Objectivism causes brain damage? Well, to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind … i.e., brain damage. And that’s what Objectivists do. They maintain Rand’s contradiction! You see, Rand never said

You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

And she never said

You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

These memes are contradiction maintenance by paraphrase! Here’s what Rand actually said.

[Man] is free to evade reality, he is free to unfocus his mind and stumble blindly down any road he pleases, but not free to avoid the abyss [that] he refuses to see.