Do Reason And Religion Mix
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  • 1. God Does Importance of Logic THE And Reason Do Reason and Religion Mix?
  • 2. Does God
  • 3. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Why do we need Logic and Reason in Religion? © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 4. God Does “I am absolutely against any religion that says that one faith is superior to another. I don‟t see how that is anything different than spiritual racism. It‟s a way of saying that we are closer to God than you, and that‟s what leads to hatred” - Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
  • 5. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Why do people believe what they believe? Sociological Psychological Religious • Culture • Comfort • Church • Friends • Hope • Guru • Parents • Identity/Meaning • Holy Book • Society • Peace of Mind • Pastor “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive” – Blaise Pascal © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 6. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Sigmund Freud on why people believe religious ideas • They were believed by our primal ancestors • We possess proofs handed down from primeval times • Forbidden to raise questions of their authentication “They are illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest, and most urgent wishes of mankind. We call belief an illusion when a wish-fulfillment is a prominent factor in its motivation, and in doing so we disregard its relation to reality, just as the illusion itself sets no store by verification” - Sigmund Freud © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 7. Importance of Logic THE And Reason How do people know things? • The Senses – seeing, feeling, etc. • The Memory – remembering what you have accepted as truth • The Conscience (morality) – instinctive compass of right/wrong • The Logical Thought Process – reason and rational thinking © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 8. Importance of Logic THE And Reason How does one form a belief? • A belief begins by understanding that a particular idea is plausible • A plausibility structure – “favorable conditions” – form in the mind so that a belief can be entertained • Anything not viewed as plausible will be rejected • Real belief must rest on content (not sincerity and fervency of desire) “Beliefs are simply not to be equated with truth or reality; rather, they are to conform to truth”- Paul Copan © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 9. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Why should people believe what they believe? Philosophical Approach – To ascertain facts or truth and the causes of things. Something is worth believing if it is… • Rational • Supported by evidence • The best reason for explaining the gathered data “True religion and true philosophy must arrive at the same principle” - S. S. Smith © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 10. Importance of Logic THE And Reason There is both good and bad philosophy “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends oh human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ [who is the truth]” - Paul, Colossians 2:8 “Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. ” - C. S. Lewis © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 11. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Three tests for any belief system: 1. Logical Consistency: Are the claims being made consistent with each other or are there clear contradictions? 2. Empirical Adequacy: Is there evidence to back up the assertions being made by the belief system? 3. Experiential Relevance: Do the claims stack up with reality and are they meaningful for my life? “Christ wants a child‟s heart, but a grown-up‟s head” – C. S. Lewis © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 12. Importance of Logic THE And Reason What is Logic? Logic is the study of right reason or valid inferences and the attending fallacies, formal and informal. It helps obtain correct conclusions about a matter and avoid mistakes people often make in thinking. “It is the function of the wise man to know order” - Aristotle “Come let us reason together…” – Isaiah 1:18 “You shall love the Lord your God with all … your mind” – Matt. 22:37 © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 13. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Logic is built upon four foundational laws: 1. Law of non-contradiction – something cannot be “A” and “non-A” at the same time and in the same sense. 2. Law of the excluded middle – something is either “A” or “non-A”. 3. Law of identity – “A” is really “A”. 4. Law of rational inference – e.g. All men are mortal, John is a man, therefore John is mortal. © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 14. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Law of non-contradiction Something cannot be “A” and “non-A” at the same time and in the same sense. “God exists!” – Christian “God does not exist!” – Atheist “You‟re both right!” – Unitarian Universalist (Pluralism) © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 15. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Law of non-contradiction Surest way to get a person to admit they believe in the law of non- contradiction: “Let him who disbelieves be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten and burned is not the same thing as to not be beaten and burned.” – Avicenna © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 16. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Law of excluded middle Something is either “A” or “non-A”. “Everything came to be from a personal eternality” – Christian “Everything came to be from an impersonal eternality” – Atheist No third option …notice how this underscores truth‟s attributes of being „narrow‟ and „excludes‟ © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 17. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Law of Identity “A” is really “A”. “Jesus Christ is God!” – Christian “Jesus Christ is not God!” – Muslim He is or He isn‟t © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 18. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Law of Rational Inference Deductive logic – reasoning from true premises to a correct conclusion. Everything that has a beginning has a cause. The universe had a beginning. Therefore, the universe has a cause. © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 19. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Logic and Reason vs. Pluralism Pluralism maintains no religion is superior with respect to truth claims “It makes no difference if one invokes the highest God or Zeus or Adonai or Sabaoth or Amoun, as the Egyptians do, or Papaios, as the Scythians do.” – Celsus, 2nd century Pluralism is nothing new. It claims all religious system are equally good with respect to bringing out mankind‟s salvation © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 20. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Logic and Reason vs. Pluralism Pluralism makes an exclusivistic claim – that it alone is true “Pluralism isn‟t and hasn‟t been widely popular in the world at large; if the pluralist had been born in Madagascar, or medieval France, he probably wouldn‟t have been a pluralist. Does it follow that he shouldn‟t be a pluralist or that his pluralistic beliefs are produced in him by an unreliable belief- producing process? I doubt it.” – Alvin Plantiga © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 21. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Challenging the concept of Absolute Truth… Pluralism - “Everything is true.” A question: Is this woman both pregnant and not pregnant? Does the pluralist believe the exclusivist‟s claims are true? Question – how does the pluralist know his/her view is true? © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 22. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Recognizing Logical Fallacies Significance – context means everything “Jesus is the Son of God” – Christian “Jesus is the Son of God” – Jehovah‟s Witness/Mormon Law of Identity © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 23. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Recognizing Logical Fallacies Faulty Dilemma “Are you a person of science/facts or a person of religion/faith?” Premises of deductive premise not true © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 24. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Recognizing Logical Fallacies Category Mistake “Who made God?” © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 25. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Recognizing Logical Fallacies Faulty Analogy “Believing in God is like believing in Santa Claus.” © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 26. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Recognizing Logical Fallacies Consensus Gentium (majority opinion) “The vast majority of scientists believe in evolution” © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 27. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Recognizing Logical Fallacies Appeal to the future “One day the missing link between man and his ancestors will be found” © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 28. Importance of Logic THE And Reason Recognizing Logical Fallacies Genetic Fallacy “You‟re not a biologist – how can you say evolution is not true?” © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 29. Importance of Logic THE And Reason How does logic/reason relate to true belief? Is belief just a matter of … • Thinking logically? • Examining the evidence? • Recognizing reality? …unfortunately not. © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 30. Importance of Logic THE And Reason How does logic/reason relate to true belief? Real belief involves more than just information transfer and the external recognition of a truth. People act contrary to evidence all the time. “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins…” – Hebrews 10:26 …notice the logic used in the above statement? © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 31. Importance of Logic THE And Reason How does logic/reason relate to true belief? Real belief involves the Will. “If one were to prove this God of the Christians to us, we should be even less able to believe in him.” – Nietzsche “It is our preference that rules against Christianity, not arguments.” – Nietzsche © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 32. Importance of Logic THE And Reason How does logic/reason relate to true belief? Real belief involves the Will. “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?” – Mark 2:8 “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken” – Luke 24:25 “for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness…” - Romans 10:10 “When we lack the will to see things as they really are, there is nothing so mysterious as the obvious.” – Irving Kristol, Professor of Social Thought © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 33. Importance of Logic THE And Reason End Result of Agreeing that Logic/Reason and Religion Mix • A true philosophical foundation is best for believing something • Adherence to First Principles is mandatory in life and religion • Logical fallacies must be recognized and overcome • Pluralism as a belief system is ruled out • Rejecting pluralism does not mean that various religions are wholly false • Real belief still involves more than an understanding of a logical position quot;So skilled is error at imitating truth, that the two are constantly being mistaken for each another. It takes a sharp eye these days to know which brother is Cain and which Abel.quot; - A.W. Tozer © Confident Christians – www.confidentchristians.org
  • 34. God Does “If we believe by faith that God has spoken, since what God says is true, all that contradicts the word of God can, and must, be at once excluded as false.” – Etienne Gilson
  • 35. God Does Importance of Logic THE And Reason Reason and Real Religion Stand Together