[first draft section taken from my Systematic Theology book.]
Logic is what makes math works. Like math, logic is knowing and applying the principles learned. One does not need to know the history of math or logic to understand how to apply the principle of addition or subtraction. The same is for philosophy. Knowing and applying the principles is the important part, knowing the history, not so much. I am always baffled why there is so much time spent on the history of philosophy and so little time on applying the principles of logic and ultimate questions. Seeing how great people are today in applying good logic and thinking skills, it appears this emphasis on history over principles in our school systems paid off.
Most philosophy books and teachers I have read and encountered are able to give me many names, dates and quoted debates, but when I ask them to apply logic and ultimate questions, or that is, when I ask them to add 10 + 12, they look at it and say, “oh shi@#.”
With that being said, a very basic understanding of the important principles of logic and philosophy (good or bad) that are still affluent in society today (or at the presuppositional level, which contradicts the bible), could help some to organize their thoughts on these ideas and terms.
Socrates: Socratic method. Empiricism.
He partially understood the importance of critical thinking, but decided to make a magical leap from induction and empiricism to formulate “universal premises,” to then deduce from; however, this is to make all applications on reality unsound. The scientific method and publication has similarity to Socrates’ method; however, all empiricist based thinking uses a similar irrational maneuver at some point. They attempt to hide the fact they have no rational grounds for knowledge by taking their category of an irrational starting point and structure and metamorph it into the new category of being “rational.” They need a magical leap from induction to universal or truths to deduce from. We will see this play out in others later.
There are some sections in the deductive section of Peter Kreeft’s book “Socratic Logic,” that is helpful and well said; however, remember it is from the perspective of an empiricist and inductionist and so these types of thoughts get injected in random and odd places. Yet, it is for this reason I am quoting him on the Socratic Method because he is well studied on this and loves it. Kreeft can break down the long hand questioning aspect of Socrates’ and does a good general summery and structure of his method. Many focus too much on the question part, but Kreeft is better at summing up the whole process.
“Section 6. Combining induction and deduction: Socratic method (P) Socrates was the first person who seemed to know exactly what he was doing in using both inductive and deductive reasoning together. His typical method of arguing combined the two as follows:
(1) First, a question arises: e.g. Is it true that political justice is simply whatever is in the interest of the stronger, as Thrasymachus the Sophist maintains in Book I of the Republic?
(2) We begin by making relevant sense observations of examples of justice. A just doctor heals and improves the weaker man, the patient who is sick; a just teacher of horse handling teaches and improves the weaker man, the man who does not know how to handle horses; and so with other cases.
(3) We then make an inductive generalization on the basis of these examples (and this is inductive reasoning): it seems that justice is in the interest of the weaker rather than the stronger.
(4) The fourth step is understanding the necessity of this universal which we have arrived at, by understanding the reason for it: justice is always in the interest of the weaker because of what justice essentially is, by its own nature. In step three we know the fact; in step four we understand the reason for it.
(5) We can then proceed to the application of the universal to the particular by deduction. We apply our general principle to the specific example under discussion, political justice, by deductive reasoning: Since justice is in the interest of the weaker, not the stronger; and since political justice is a form of justice; therefore political justice too must be in the interest of the weaker, not the stronger.
Step 4 is crucial because inductive reasoning alone cannot prove its general conclusion with certainty. So if the general principle that has been arrived at by induction is not known with any more certainty than the inductive argument gives it (in step 3), then when we use it as the premise of a deductive argument (in step 5), that premise will still only be probably true, and the conclusion of the deductive argument will also be only probably true, even though its connection with its premises is certain. It is certain that if all swans are white and this is a swan, this is white; but if it is not certain that all swans are white, then it is not certain that this swan is white. The step in Socratic method between the inductive reasoning and the deductive reasoning is not a step of reasoning but understanding; a first-act-of-the mind insight into the universal that has been discovered by inductive reasoning. And only when this insight understands the necessity of this universal principle can that principle be known with certainty and not only with probability, which is all that induction gives. Only then can that principle yield certainty in the conclusion that follows from it by deductive reasoning.”
This is just a Moron going under the name Philosophy, or thinker or teacher. Socrates knows induction is invalid and stupid, but magically makes this goes away with “understanding,” whatever that even means. How do you understand an irrationally made conclusion to be necessary? By irrational understanding? If so, does irrational understanding lead to a necessary conclusion in induction? If by a rational understanding, then you would understand induction’s conclusion is never necessary. Obviously this understanding cannot be rational. He either means use more induction reasoning or by intuition/common sense. See Vincent Cheung and Professional Morons for more on so-called “common sense.” Common sense is just another smoke screen to say you have no rational way to show that you have knowledge. Whether it is Socrates “understanding or intuition, or common sense,” they are all referring to the basic same thing. There is an unbridgeable gap between the fallacies of empiricism, observation (and scientific experimentation) and knowledge of subjects and predicates. The human starting point invalidates any rational way to get to knowledge. So these terms of “common sense, understanding and intuition,” are preferred over terms like “magic or pink unicorns,” for expressing how a human starting point gets to knowledge.
Remember induction is a non-sequitur conclusion; that is, the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. However Socrates wants us to think/meditate about a conclusion that does not necessarily follow from the premises, until it becomes a necessary truth claim about reality? LOL!!!
Thus, use non-rational means to think about a conclusion produced by induction, which is a non-sequitur, until you somehow intuitively know it is logically necessary? This is very careless of him. Wait? What? Is this all non-Christians have to offer? Yes!
This is not the Socratic Method, it is the Moron’s Method. Sadly, whether it is Aristotle, St. Thomas, modern scientific method, or compromised churches who combine empiricism with Scripture in a dual epistemology, this moronic method has dominated the western world for thousands of years. Endless scholastic cattle have followed this for millennium, even in the church world.
As for our example above the Scientific method is very similar to this, with the exception that #4 is experimentation (Affirming the Consequent) and general universal principle and deduction is stated as a Modus Ponens. The scientific experimentation is used to magically transform triple fallacies of sensation, induction and affirming the consequent into a necessary conclusion to formulate a knowledge/truth. As strange as it sounds, their way to find truth is to use an onslaught of fallacies that somehow make a valid knowledge claim. LOL!
Plato: Rationalism. Honest about his own failure
Plato is an interesting secular philosopher in that he was half-way honest about his inability to find the truth. We have already briefly stated some of this. The focus here is about the broad idea of rationalism.
“Plato had based his system on so-called three original, independent principles: the World of Ideas, the Demiurge (god like figure), and chaotic space. Although the three were equally eternal and independent of each other, the Demiurge fashioned chaotic space into this visible world by using the World of Ideas as the model. Thus, the World of Ideas is not only independent of but also even in a sense superior to the maker of heaven and earth. The Demiurge is morally obligated, and in fact willingly submits to the Ideas of justice, man, equality, and number.”
Thus, Plato’s true first principle of knowledge was the world of ideas, that is; the logic and categories that the physical world, and even gods follow. For this reason, Plato is historically known as the first Rationalist. By Rationalist we are referring to naming someone’s worldview by their true presupposition, or starting point for knowledge. Even though Plato has a pseudo triple epistemology, the most fundamental was logic. This is what rationalism historically and technically means. If your starting point for knowledge starts with logic, you are a rationalist. There are hybrids of course, but we will keep this simple. This is obviously different from Socrates whose starting point was empiricism and observation.
St. Augustine: St Augustine was interesting in that he had a hybrid epistemology of the Scripture and Rationalism. In the context of history this is important because history, in the western world, takes 1 of 3 main roads. The (1) road of Socrates/Aristotle (Empiricism(starting point)/induction/ and publishing these as deductions), (2) the road of Plato (having at least rationalism as part of your starting point), or (3) the road to simply stop thinking and embrace irrationalism.
It is important to note that Augustine’s mistake, from all the mistakes you can make at the presuppositional level is the least problematic, as compared to the other 2. The reason for this is simple Logical laws are only that, they are only about structure of thoughts. Logic is not the content (premises) of thinking. The bible shows the laws of logic are true. Thus Augustine is not wrong about them being reliable or necessarily true. If a rationalist is consistent to their rationalism standard, then there is no subjects or predicates to extract from their rationalism, because again logic is not content, but only structure of thought.
Thus even if one makes a hybrid epistemology with scripture, the laws of logic add no definitions to reality, causality, God, man, salvation or ethics. The bible gives its own doctrine about logic, and so it is sinful and stupid to make logic a hybrid with Scripture as if it comes from an outside biblical doctrine. This is what Plato did by having the gods adhere to such things as logic and numbers that were outside of them. But this mistake does not add any more content itself.
Augustine would even mention that logic is not invented by man but is only discovered by man, and then give scriptural support (in his book Doctrine). However, in the Manifesto, it sounds like he makes logic a dual epistemology with scripture. Gordon Clark says there are 5 or 6 ways to make hybrid epistemologies and he goes into detail which one Augustine makes. See Clark for more about this.
- And yet the validity of logical sequences is not a thing devised by men, but is observed and noted by them that they may be able to learn and teach it; for it exists eternally in the reason of things, and has its origin with God. For as the man who narrates the order of events does not himself create that order; and as he who describes the situations of places, or the natures of animals, or roots, or minerals, does not describe arrangements of man; and as he who points out the stars and their movements does not point out anything that he himself or any other man has ordained;—in the same way, he who says, “When the consequent is false, the antecedent must also be false,” says what is most true; but he does not himself make it so, he only points out that it is so. And it is upon this rule that the reasoning I have quoted from the Apostle Paul proceeds. For the antecedent is, “There is no resurrection of the dead,”—the position taken up by those whose error the apostle wished to overthrow. Next, from this antecedent, the assertion, namely that, there is no resurrection of the dead, the necessary consequence is, “Then Christ is not risen.” But this consequence is false, for Christ has risen; therefore the antecedent is also false. But the antecedent is, that there is no resurrection of the dead. We conclude, therefore, that there is a resurrection of the dead. Now all this is briefly expressed thus: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; but Christ is risen, therefore there is a resurrection of the dead. This rule, then, that when the consequent is removed, the antecedent must also be removed, is not made by man, but only pointed out by him. And this rule has reference to the validity of the reasoning, not to the truth of the statements.” – St. Augustine Christian Doctrine. ch.32
Augustine historically is very influential to the western world (as far as we can tell.) despite his mistake with rationalism as a dual epistemology, he was correct in using the bible with deduction. As we have discussed before, logic and deduction is only meant to be used if you have truth. Augustine knew the scripture was revealed truth from God and so used logic and deduction with it. You can see how schools in the early western world taught deduction because they understood Christians have the truth and so it is a perfect fit. Even in the left-over Trivium or classical education, which was influenced by a Christian western world, teaches logic early on to children. Even the famous Reformer Martin Luther was a specialist in classical logic because it went hand-to-hand with reading the bible.
It is not important to mention other historical rationalist and hybrid rationalist, because the basic principle about this is so easy to understand that a 7 year can apply in perfection. Thus, when a rationalist says, “I think therefore I am,” the issue is not so much the logical validity, but where do the subjects and predicates (and premises) come from. Without truth, logical conclusions will always be unsound and lead to skepticism, (which isn’t’ very rational now is it). Where does the “I” and “think” and “am” come from? This is the true epistemology. Where does the logic come from to even think this? Logic itself does not tell us where it comes from, and thus you need a more fundamental starting point to get this information, which is God’s revelation.
Thus, rationalists relating to importance of history and principles for worldview thinking are unimportant and irrelevant.
Irrationalism: Irrationalism has a long and complicated history, with long complicated arguments with many historical philosophers, but the main gist is simple. This long-complicated history and endless arguments is part of the strategy of irrationalism to hide the simplicity of its failure. If one’s foundation is irrational and skepticism, then you cannot truly win a debate, and in the eyes of skepticism if they are consistent to their own foundation, no one can completely win against them. Thus, the endless debates and hours of wasted time.
There are different aspects of irrationalism. Some take a formal pseudo-epistemology declaration that, “no belief can truly be justified,” whether this is aimed at Plato or later to Christians. But again, then their own statement is not justified. This is to be dismissed and mocked. Their only strategy is to keep screaming and debating to keep their relevance.
Some have more of a “fall into skepticism” position. They don’t believe the bible and then some don’t even believe their current god of science is able to produce truth. And so, they begin to think there is no way to find truth. This is usually as far as they get in their thinking.
But as shown before you cannot deny the law of contradiction without using it, but if you are using it, then you just used the thing you denied. Also, there is the metaphysical or ontological aspect of this. You cannot think or draw a square circle. You cannot deny your own existence without using it. You cannot, in reality, think of an infinite regress of the same proposition denying and then affirming itself, because it would take an infinite amount of time. The burden of proof lies with the irrationalist to show they can do the above and so demonstrate their position. Contradictions do not exist. The skeptic must prove they do.
The skeptic schools in Greece who were debating Plato and Aristotle, still had a remnant in Augustine’s time. But when Christianity took over Europe, the skeptics slowly died out to the onslaught of logic produced by biblical doctrine. The reason why it was such a thorough victory was that Christianity had the unstoppable combo of deduction and truth.
The sad reality is that the irrationalist must bow down and prostrate themselves to the law of contradiction to say there is no truth, or no belief can be justified, or we know that we don’t know. It is like bowing down and prostrating before the ancient King of Persia, in his throne room, and saying “I don’t think there is a king of Persia before me.”
The same thing happens today with such things as denying male and female, or mixing up these categories to a point that you cannot define them, and after they are undefinable you use these undefinable definitions to morally condemn others with definitions you cannot define? The issue here is that what little understanding can be understood from such irrational positions is made possible by these people prostrating themselves to the law of contradiction and identity, otherwise their position means the Bible is true and they are false. The hypocrisy is that they use the law of contradiction and identity to intellectually make their statements, while demanding you deny the law of contradiction and identity to categories they do not like, such as male and female in this particular case. Such arguments are to be dismissed and mocked.
Unfortunately as Christianity has eroded from the Western world over the last few hundred years, the Christian emphasis on logic, reason and deduction has likewise faded from society and worldview thinking. The current result is that irrationalism has overtaken the system-of-thinking for much of the Western World. We will continue this explanation when we are finished with Aristotle.
Aristotle: For non-christians, on the narrow topic of logic, Plato was brilliant, and Aristotle was a perfect student. Plato, like with discovering how to use math, discovered how to use deductive logic without being taught, and so on this narrow point he was a genius. However, Plato had a long-winded way to teach these concepts. Aristotle, took what Plato taught and systematized, made it concise and expanded on it. We are merely talking about the logical aspects of philosophy not the “gods” or other things they taught.
Thus, Aristotle understood the basics of logic well. He out debated the skeptics. He put together a basic understanding on category and propositional syllogisms. Yet, despite all this, because he did not have truth, he still ended up putting empiricism and induction back into his system-of-thinking.
Because of this reliance on empiricism, induction and science (his understanding of science is much simpler than it is today) led him to define terms on the starting point of knowledge and “sound” arguments as pre-built with empiricism and science. Thus, to Aristotle “epistemology” (starting point for knowledge) was a pseudo-science pseudo-intuitive experience knowing. Frankly it is hard to define it because Aristotle was not clear on this himself. His definition of epistemology included some degree of experience, intuitive knowing from observations and science put together. The whole thing is irrational. In fact if you look at his definition of science, (the knowledge of “necessary causes”) it is circular.
“1. Whatever is scientifically known must be demonstrated.
2. The premises of a demonstration must be scientifically known.”
Additionally his definition of “demonstration” refers to a “sound argument,” which refers to both logical validity and truth premises. However, he defined “true premises” as those only coming from science knowledge. Thus, he never considered a worldview that did not include empiricism, induction and science as the only producer of knowledge. He obviously saw his worldview as true and so defined such terms pre-baked with his view of truth.
Today demonstration or a sound argument refers to the combination of (1)“true premises” (and rather assuming it only comes from science it is understood that ones worldview will determine where truth comes from) and (2) logical validity.
The first premise (major premise, or major truth claim) for Aristotle’s syllogism, is from this circular science knowledge. He tries avoiding the circular reasoning by saying there is some pseudo-intuitive experience knowledge. It has some similarities to Socrates “understanding.” Both struggle to take what they know is irrational from empiricism and induction and science and make the irrational produce necessary truths. Thus, they end up with unclear and undefined miracles that transform the irrational into necessary truths, causes and universals. The second premise of his syllogism (minor term) is also from empiricism and experience. He rejected Plato’s innate knowledge and categories and so he says we are born with blank minds. Thus you must use empiricism, induction and experience to know yourself. Yet, how does a blank mind learn the laws of logic, or think? If you don’t’ think with the law of contradiction and identity, how do you think anything? How can you discover the law of contradiction if you do not already have it?
Thus, we use empiricism and observation/induction and combine this with pseudo-intuitive experience to find “knowledge of necessary causes.” We then call this knowledge and use it to deduce from.
Aristotle agreed with Plato in that the “forms” existed but disagreed with how. They both were trying to explain how reality conformed to certain universals and laws.
Thus, despite the complexity of Aristotle’s explanations he never escapes the Socratic Method. It is more detailed and more steps but the same overall method. That is, despite his agreements with aspects of Plato and long debates with him, his overall principles or method to find knowledge ended up more like the Socratic Method.
At the end of the day Aristotle was a hard-core empiricist for epistemology, with a hybrid pseudo rationalism and intuition. He knew induction was not valid but used it heavily with trying to formulate a starting point for knowledge. This might be the greatest non-Christian philosophical blunder for the entire world.
This Plato and Aristotle divide are two streams in the Western world, in regards to principles of thinking, that divided many. As Christians the whole things should have been burned and forgotten, but unfortunately stupidity was allowed to live on. The divide “ultimately,” although there is more too it, is about ones’ starting point for knowledge. The classic philosophers are taught in history classes as being more focused on metaphysics, but this is misleading. It is true to some degree, in regard to some of the focus of their books, but as you can see from the Socratic Method, (the broad principles of ultimate questions) they were still focused on how to get knowledge. Also, as Christians we know they are morons, and so we are not concerned what they thought was more important or focused on; rather, we are more concerned with how their overall ultimate questions and principles do or do not borrow from the Christian worldview.
Those who aligned more with Plato tended to be classified more as “rationalist.” However, since there is no knowledge in the laws of logic, a rationalist cannot even use knowledge to say they are a rationalist; they cannot use subjects and predicates to state they are rationalist because those involve content. That is, no one can be a pure rationalist; it usually is a hybrid starting point of logic and another axiom. Because the bible heavily uses logic, you will find famous Christian figures such as St. Augustine making this hybrid of rationalism and the Bible. And as said before, this mistake is bad, but because logic gives no knowledge, it is not a fatal mistake.
Also the bible does talk of innate knowledge, but contradicts Plato’s weak attempt as the origin of it.
Those who aligned with Aristotle tend to make a pure empiricism starting point, or they make a hybrid starting point of empiricism and another presupposition. The famous Catholic philosopher St. Thomas is one such person. This mistake, as said before, is not only bad, but fatal because sensation and observation produces a large knowledge/content. This content has a high chance to contradict your other epistemology’s content. (For example, the Bible says I am healed by Jesus’ atonement, but I still see my sickness. Which one will you pick, if both are an equal starting point for knowledge?)
St. Thomas after whoring himself with Aristotle, officially accepted empiricism as a dual epistemology with Scripture and then made this a formal doctrine in the schools and churches. Those who followed this are scholastic cattle, soldiers for Satan.
The Catholic church therefore has a Triple epistemology, the Pope (men), empiricism and bible.
The reformation fought to fix this. Their attempt was only partially successful. There was some good intentions and some good results from this reformation. Some of their isolated statements on scripture and such are ok, but the result was compromised. Today the reformed refer to their heroes and creeds (men) (despite the WCF saying all creeds have erred) as a hybrid or even superior to the Scripture as a starting point. In this they have become the Catholics, which they so much tried to pull away from. They were better, at least in the beginning, to remove empiricism as an epistemology, but even here it was not total. If you read Martin Luther, some of his arguments against the strange Catholic practices uses pseudo-empiricist arguments. You see this full blown today when reformed members make purely empiricist arguments against spiritual gifts, faith and healing. They will say, “why don’t we see them?” After debating and showing this is an appeal to catholic empiricism not scripture, they appeal to the creeds. This has happened many times in my own experiences. These in essence do not have a triple epistemology, but only a dual one of empiricism and men.
This dual epistemology eventually was catastrophic and fatal. For a few centuries, the Western world endured this strange Bible and Empiricism hybrid, but after time it slowly began to choose empiricism more and the Bible less. This continued until it completely abandoned the bible for empiricism as their presupposition for thinking.
Locke and Descartes had empiricism as an epistemology but made attempts to make hybrids with aspects of rationalism. “I think therefore I am.” The details are not important, other than such attempts were failures and always will be. Rationalism gives no content for thinking. Empiricism has no existence as a starting point for knowledge. Thus, the details are long winded fables with little benefit to squeeze out.
David Hume. Hume is important because he tried to give a true and honest argument for a purely empiricism epistemology. He was against the Christian worldview. In a rear moment for non-Christians, Hume went to the presuppositional level to provide an argument for his atheistic worldview. However, in this attempt he found that a starting point of empiricism does not provide a rational basis for knowledge. In another rear moment for a non-Christian he admitted using the senses for knowledge led to skepticism. Some sensations are not reliable. To use the senses and observation is inductive, and inductive is anti-logic and invalid. This leads to skepticism. By senses and observations and induction we cannot validly establish cause and effect.
Hume then tried to fix this by saying through experience and habit we come to magically (and non-rationally) know things as they are. Again, this oddly sound like Socrates “understanding” part of his Method.
If I see a mountain, then the picture in my mind is a copy, and it is mental, and it is propositional. These are 3 different categories compared to the actual mountain. It is like saying apples are round and the sun is round therefore I can eat the sun. It is a category error. But let us do it 3 times. Apples are round and the sun is round thus I can eat the sun. The sun is yellow and the numbers on my house are yellow, thus, 7 is yellow. Yellow is my favorite color, and predicates is my favorite, therefore predicates is a color. Therefore, Apples mean predicates are my favorite color.
There are more than 3 category errors when going from sensation to premise in the mind, but from the above, in only using 3, it is obvious the nonsense is incomprehensible. Yet, this is the logical and intellectual foundation of empiricism. Yet, somehow the critics say the bible is a myth, because they rely on empiricism to conclude this. Their foundation is incomprehensible and anti-logic, and yet they pride themselves as intelligent. They are morons.
Hume was honest about the skepticism, and not so much about the true nonsense of skepticism. Skepticism denies the law of contradiction. Yet, a contradiction has no existence. Try denying your own existence without using it. A contradiction is an infinite regress of affirming and denying x and not-x. To prove a contradiction exists one would need to show they can affirm x and not-x in an unreachable regress; they would need to show they can deny the LoC without using it. Contradictions have no reality. Thus empiricism has no existence as a starting point for knowledge. It is nothing.
Modern Day: Professional Morons.
To sum up the present day, it is important to know the direction of the Christian worldview took, since it dominated the West. After Hume’s demonstration of the skepticism of the senses, some in the church who were blinded by the dual empiricism and bible epistemology, woke of to the problem and tried to fix it. Sadly, the attempts were a non-biblical attempts and so these attempts proved to be fatal.
The first was Kant. Kant tried, as others before him— (you will see men without the bible making the same mistakes over and over. This is why the history of philosophy is so boring and annoying to read.)– to make a hybrid of empiricism and rationalism. Unlike others before him, Kant is trying to hybrid empiricism, when it is publicly known to lead to skepticism, because of Hume. Aristotle and Socrates knew this, but most ignored it or made it magically go way with “understanding,” or “habit” and “intuition.” However, in Kant’s timeline, because of Hume, the public noticed the issue and wanted to fix it.
The big idea with Kant is he did not answer how logic gives subjects and predicates. He admits empiricism does lead to skepticism and thus denies the law of contradiction. However, he does not justify how this hybrid makes this two-fold problem disappear. For example, “there is no such thing as the law of contradiction”, is one of my dual epistemologies, and the other is “scripture.” To say this does not make the scripture prove I can deny the LoC; rather, if I say the scripture supports this hybrid, I am dis-proving and dis-crediting the scripture by saying it supports an irrational dual epistemology.
Thus, Kant’s hybrid, although more complex, did not reduce the issues of Rationalism or Empiricism as epistemologies; rather, all he did was compound the problems by combining them. It is like category logic and the rule that says you cannot have two negatives and then conclude with a positive. Having two epistemologies that produce “0” knowledge does not make it so that together they now produce knowledge. If you add 0 + 0, then the conclusion is still 0.
After Kant came Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard, was honest about Kant’s hybrid and realized if empiricism is part of the hybrid, then you are still left with (at least some) anti-logic affirmations. Induction is irrational. Sensation and observation are irrational. To conclude from them we have knowledge is to contradict that these came by irrational ways.
Europe was leaving Christianity. David Hume showed empiricism leads to skepticism. Kant’s hybrid did not get rid of the inherent irrationalism out of his Christian philosophy, because he still used empiricism. Thus both the secular Western world and Christian world were both embracing irrationalism, because both used empiricism.
Kierkegaard simply took the next step forward in this environment. He made Christianity affirm outright irrationalism. Faith is contrary to reason. Because he was popular, his embrace of irrationalism became formal Christian doctrine.
The bible teaches the opposite. “Faith is simply a religious word for logic or reason.” (see Vincent Cheung, Logic and Resurrection.) God is logic and God appeals to logic and uses logic in the Scripture.
I remember reading an article from “World Magazine” where the authors were happy that over half of America was now skeptical of Christianity, but were surprised over half were also skeptical of evolution. However, in a world that has embraced empiricism, even many churches, it is no surprised skepticism is running rampant.
I remember reading Gordon Clark quoting a 1945 General Harvard Committee report, where they were applauding themselves for removing Christianity from higher education, but lamenting the fact there was not another philosophy that can umbrella all the subjects in their school together like Christianity. Even if we assume empiricism can give some knowledge, it cannot give knowledge with such obvious things as math, ethics or logic. Thus, in a anti-Christian education system, there is now skepticism and irrationalism, because there no epistemology to umbrella all the ultimate questions together.
This leaves us to the present. The philosophy of the Western world is irrationalism and pretending. Vincent Cheung does a great job showing this with a current teacher of logic and argumentation. Let us see how the current worldview thinks about logic and how to argue.
“We will use David Zarefsky as an example. Among his numerous credentials and achievements, Zarefsky is Professor of Argumentation and Debate and Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. Therefore, as with Sinnott-Armstrong, let no one say that I have deliberately chosen an inferior specimen as an example of non-Christian foolishness.
In his syllabus for a course on argumentation, he refers to deduction and induction, and he expresses his view on logical validity in these terms, so it would be helpful to define them and review their differences.
Deduction is the process of reasoning by which the conclusion is inferred from the premises by logical necessity. On the other hand, induction is the process of reasoning by which the conclusion is not inferred from the premises by logical necessity. In deduction, the conclusion includes only information that is already contained in and necessarily implied by the premises. But in induction, the conclusion includes new information that is not already contained in and necessarily implied by the premises.
An inductive argument yields a conclusion that is supposedly but not necessarily implied by the premises. For this reason, induction is always a formal fallacy; that is, the conclusion is never certain, and never rationally established. In fact, since the conclusion is not necessarily implied by the premises, there is no way to logically show that there is any necessary relationship between the conclusion and the premises.
With the above in mind, Zarefsky writes, “Formal reasoning is not seen as the prototype of argumentation in recent scholarship.” By “formal reasoning,” he is referring to deduction, when “one actually reason[s] in syllogistic form.” In his view, “Most argumentation is not represented by a form in which the conclusion contains no new information.” But he does not conclude, as I would, “Therefore, most argumentation is fallacious.” Instead, he says that argumentation “involves enabling an audience to move from what is already known and believed to some new position,” and “This movement involves a leap of faith that the arguer seeks to justify.”
He goes on to say, “Judgment is needed because absolute proof is not possible, yet decisions must be made.” Subjectivity is introduced into the process because of pragmatic concerns, that is, because “decisions must be made.” He continues, “Judgment is sought by giving sufficient reason that a critical listener would feel justified in accepting the claim.” Instead of objectively and logically demonstrated, the claim is “accepted” if the listener “feel” that it is justified. Thus for Zarefsky, “Adherence of the critical listener becomes the substitute for absolute proof.”
In other words, non-Christian philosophers realize that deduction is unrealistic and impossible for them, and so they have chosen to abandon deduction or deductive arguments, and instead they have decided to depend on subjective judgments based on induction or inductive arguments.
And this means that their arguments are logically invalid. Zarefsky admits, “Applying the concept of validity beyond formal logic is tricky.” Why? “Because the claim does not follow from the evidence with certainty, we cannot say that if the evidence is true, the claim must be true.” We may ask, “If it does not follow with certainty, then does it follow at all?” In any case, what does he do? Does he write, “Therefore, we must concede that our arguments are invalid, and we must be honest and admit that our conclusions are mere subjective, non-rational, or even irrational opinions and speculations”?
No way! Instead of admitting that all their everyday arguments are invalid he says, in effect, “Let us redefine validity! Let us agree that even our leaps of faith are logically valid!” You might say, “But we still must have a ‘check on the process of reasoning,’ don’t we?” “Of course,” Zarefsky replies, “This function is achieved by focusing on experience rather than form.” That is, rather than thinking of validity as a matter of necessary inference, he proposes that “A general tendency develops over time for certain reasoning patterns to produce good or bad results.” Like Sinnott-Armstrong, he makes reasoning a pragmatic endeavor instead of a logical or rational one. It is also suggestive that his course is entitled, “Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning,” whereas if I were to teach a course on argumentation, I would instead entitle it, “Argumentation: The Study of Necessary Inference.”
Non-Christians have abandoned rationality, because they cannot live up to the demands of logic or reason. Still, they want to go through the motions of reasoning, and they want to consider themselves rational. So they have redefined rationality as a matter of agreement rather than logical necessity. They cannot get from “here” to “there,” but they still want to get “there,” so they decide to take a leap of faith. If this sounds irrational and invalid, then they will just agree to define it as rational and valid.
Their strategy is that, “If you cannot get from here to there, then cheat. And if everybody cheats, then we will all look fine to one another. Although our conclusions are reached by leaps of faith, we would still like to think of ourselves as rational, so let us just agree that we are rational no matter what.” It is “rationality” by agreement and by pure fantasy, and not by logical necessity or necessary inference.
You exclaim, “What?! Are they stupid?” Yes, they are stupid, and these are the same morons who attack your faith and call you irrational. They are desperate and dishonest. They find it impossible to remain rational apart from reliance on God’s revelation, but they refuse to admit it. The pragmatic approach stems from the realization that they cannot arrive at the conclusions that they wish to prove by deduction, because given their non-Christian epistemologies, it is impossible for them to begin with self-authenticating premises from which they can deduce true conclusions by logical necessity. And even though there are still some non-Christians who try to live up to the standard of deduction, they cannot do it on the basis of their non-Christian epistemologies and first principles. Therefore, whether they try or not, we win.”
Thus, the Western World has given up on trying to be deductive altogether. They will just pretend their anti-logical and irrational system-of-thinking is true, for the sake of “ethics.” And this leads us to the last part of this section.
As said before, ethics are an “ought,” they are not a descriptive premise of reality from the senses. We already showed the multiple category errors in sensation to premises, but ethics would add another category error to this. Ethics in this way, is like math or logic, in that it is easier to show the incorporeal nature of them. They are not observed but are invisible concepts we apply to things we observe or think or dream about. I never observed an ethic. God has commanded me what to do and not do with the creation He made. Ethics are commandments given by God in revelation. In fact some commands of God are part of our innate knowledge (Romans 2:15). They are not observed but already divinely revealed into the soul by God’s power (ontology of ethics.)
Also ethics are the conclusion of ultimate questions. That is, ethics only comes into play, if there is a knowledge, reality, and man. The premises of your worldview must make knowledge, reality and man possible or there is no use for even mentioning ethics.
In a worldview of empiricism, it is a logical blunder to have descriptive premises about reality to conclude with a more information of an “ought.”
Thus, by embracing irrationalism and pretending induction produces truth for the sake of ethics, the current Western world is only left with dogmatic political ethical zealots. They are dogmatic because they want to use government to apply their ethics to all. This is what dogmatic means. It is not a private opinion, but a doctrine you believe ought to be applied to all. Everyone it a dogmatic, the issue is what doctrines you hold to. There is no such thing as a non-dogmaticist, because to deny this they would have to affirm a dogmatic position that there is no dogmaticism or optional dogmaticism.
Sadly many Christians have engaged this sinful behavior. Two things lead to this. One is as we discussed is empiricism. They watch countless commercials for medicine and often go to the doctor. This re-establishes a habitual re-working of the mind to depend on what you sense and observe and science, rather than God for help, power and definitions. Thus, they do the same with government. The other issue is rejecting the supernatural power of God’s program. In Acts 4 the church looked to God for supernatural power to combat the Government, not their own power. This is not to say we don’t vote or educate, but when prisons are shaken, and political advisors are stricken blind, there is an obvious recognition of God’s power to both the church and the wicked about God’s involvement. If Christian marches lead to God using power to cause buildings to fall on our enemies, like with Jericho, then this would be more in line with how the bible commands us to face political opposition.
Politics is essentially ethics. Yet, empiricism gives no ethics. And so, we pretend. “Man, “ought” to have some type of political structure to make life better. This is all the thinking the Western World has left.
They have no worldview. They embrace being irrational. They feel strong about ethics. And so they pretend to have ethics. Their church is now the government, and they will march like bald neutered zealots for a cause.
They cannot give you a rational defense for reality, for where or what is knowledge or man, Yet they are dogmatic zealots for ethics that don’t even work in practical life. They are skeptical of reality, knowledge, logic and man, but they are “certain” about ethics. They are zealot morons.
Summary: The broad foundation is “God.” God is the foundation of logic. Without Him, there is no point in doing logic. And God’s foundation as taught in Scripture, is that of absolute and directly sovereign over all reality, over all knowledge, over all logic and all ethics. This foundation takes away all the problems that non-Christians have with their fruitless attempt to understand the world.
 Peter Kreeft. Socratic Logic. 2014 pg. 212.
 Gordon Clark, God and Logic. Copyright © The Trinity Foundation, www.trinityfoundation.org. Post Office 68, Unicoi, Tennessee 37692 Phone: 423.743.0199 Fax: 423.743.2005
Emphasis added by author.
 Smith, Robin, “Aristotle’s Logic”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2022 Edition), Edward N. Zalta & Uri Nodelman (eds.), Winter 2022 URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2022/entries/aristotle-logic/>.
 We refer to knowledge here, the way society uses of it and not in the usually way we normally use it here as “truth.” Knowledge as used by society would be defined by the bible as human speculation.
 Vincent Cheung. Professional Morons. From the ebook, “Captive to Reason.” Chapter 27. 2009.
See source for source on quoted martials.