Faulty Accounts for Laws of Logic

“An evolutionist might respond by saying, “Well, I can reason just fine, and I don’t believe in the Bible.” But this isn’t a rational response. The ultimate proof is that logical reasoning (and the other things required for knowledge) requires the biblical God, not a profession of belief in Him. Yes, of course the evolutionist can reason; it’s because God has created the human mind and given mankind access to the laws of logic – and that’s the point. Logical reasoning is possible because biblical creation is true. The evolutionist can reason, but within his own worldview he cannot account for his ability to reason.

Another possible response would be this: “Laws of logic do not require biblical creation. They are simply conventions made up by human beings.” However, this response will not suffice. Conventions are (by definition) conventional. That is, we all agree to them and so they work – like driving on the right side of the road. But if the laws of logic were conventional, then different cultures could adopt different laws of logic (like driving on the left side of the road). So in some cultures it might be perfectly fine to contradict yourself. In some societies truth could be self-contradictory. Clearly, that wouldn’t do. If laws of logic are just conventions, then they are not universal laws. Rational debate would be impossible if laws of logic are were conventional, because the two opponents could simply pick different standards for reasoning. Each would be “right according to his own arbitrary standard.

Some evolutionists might response, “Laws of logic are chemical reactions in the brain that have been preserved because they have survival value.” There are several problems with this response. First, survival value does not equate to truth. My left arm has survival value, but we wouldn’t say that it is “true” or “false”; it simply is. So we would have no reason to think that the law of non-contradiction (or many laws of logic) is true, if it is simply a chemical reaction. Second, if laws of logic are chemical reactions, then they are not laws and they are not universal; they would not extend beyond my brain. In other words, we couldn’t argue that contradictions cannot occur on Mars, since no one’s brain is on Mars. In fact, if the laws of logic are just electro-chemical reactions in the brain, then they would differ somewhat from person to person, because everyone has different reactions in his or her brain.

Perhaps someone would argue, “Laws of logic are a description of how the physical universe behaves.” This response also fails for a number of reasons. First, the laws of logic are conceptual in nature. They do not really describe aspects of the universe. Rather, they describe the correct chain of reasoning from premises to conclusions. Second, if laws of logic were descriptions of the physical universe, then we might expect different regions of the universe to have different laws of logic, since different regions of the universe are described differently; but laws of logic apply everywhere. Third, we would have no way of knowing (and therefore no reason to expect) that laws of logic apply in the future as they have in the past, since no one has experienced the universe’s future. After all, conditions in the universe are constantly changing. If laws of logic were descriptions of such conditions, then they would have to change as well.

Some have said that “laws of logic are descriptions of how the brain thinks.” But if this were true, then why would we need laws of logic to correct the way the brain thinks? If laws of logic simply describe how people think, then no one could ever violate a law of logic, since people necessarily think the way they think. As with other responses, laws of logic would lose their law-like prescriptive power if they were mere descriptions of thought processes.

Sometimes the evolutionist may simply take a pragmatic position: “I use laws of logic because they work.” Unfortunately for the evolutionist, that isn’t the question. We all agree that laws of logic work; they work because they’re true. The question is why do they exist in the first place? How can the evolutionist account for absolute standards of reasoning like the laws of logic? In an accidental evolutionary universe, why would there be universal, unchanging standards?”

(Lisle, Ultimate Proof of Creation, 52-54)


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