On this blog, I will employ warm, human logic based on the Scriptures. I will employ statistics correctly done, where appropriate, including the new causal revolution. I will not attempt to arrive at truth on the basis of emotions.
In the comments:
- I expressly forbid taking the name of God in vain. Any comment doing so I will not allow through, and it will never see the light of day. Don’t waste the electrons.
- Certain fallacies, such as ad hominem and ad hominem abusive are just so tiresome I’m not going to allow them through, either. Don’t attack people on this blog, only ideas.
- I have a certain good faith assumption about readers of this blog: that you are seeking after truth (see definition below).
First of all, as always, it is important to define my terms. A term is a word or short series of words defining a single concept. Terms are either clear or unclear: they are not true or false, nor are they valid or invalid.
Truth is the set of all thoughts in the mind of God. A true statement is a statement that is one of those thoughts, and a false statement otherwise. Statements are either true or false: they are not clear or unclear, nor are they valid or invalid. Because God created the universe and everything in it, and because God is utterly logical and without contradictions, true statements will always correspond to reality; and that is the great test of truth: does the statement correspond to reality? Some define truth in terms of how it corresponds to reality, but I prefer to make that the test instead of the definition: God defines truth.
A logical argument is a set of statements, one of which (the conclusion) is claimed to follow, or be implied, by the others (the premises).
A valid argument is an argument in which the truth of the premises forces the truth of the conclusion. That is, it is impossible for a valid argument to have true premises and a false conclusion. An invalid argument, or fallacy, is an argument that is not valid: the premises could be true and the conclusion false. Arguments are not clear or unclear, nor are they true or false: they are valid or invalid.
A sound argument is a valid argument in which the terms are clear and the premises are true. By definition, sound arguments always have true conclusions.
- God the Holy Spirit convinces the believer that the Bible is true. That is, every statement in the Bible is true when understood in context. (There are nuances to this, such as original
manuscripts versus copies, and how to handle copy errors. These have all been answered many times by biblical scholars.)
- Every statement that can be soundly deduced from the Bible is also true.
- The correct method of interpretation of anyone’s words, including this blog, is to see the collection of words as a whole, in context, weighing one passage with another to get the full sense. Original authorial intent always takes precedence over the reader’s thoughts or feelings.
- There are old things worth preserving, as well as old things that need changing. It requires wisdom to know when to change something, (See Ecclesiastes 7:10.) and when to keep something the same. (See Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Jude 3, Galatians 1:8.)
- There is an ethical obligation to believe true statements, and to disbelieve false statements, and to alter one’s life as a result. What you believe and what you do are intricately entwined. (See Proverbs 23:7, Matthew 15:19.)
- We are to attack bad ideas with no quarter (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5), but we are not to attack people since Jesus said we are to love our enemies as well as our friends and family. Therefore, it is possible to do that, contra many who think if you attack an idea you automatically attack everyone who holds to that idea. So we make a sharp distinction between attacking an idea and attacking people who hold to that idea.