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True relativists are a dying breed—literally. You cannot live very long thinking that red lights can mean either stop or go, or that rat poison tastes like chocolate. There are grave natural consequences for embracing relativism on any level, and there are spiritual consequences for being a spiritual relativist as well. The law of contradiction, if true, challenges all types of dangerous relativism.
1. To sense the dangers of relativism.
2. To understand the existence of certain self-evident properties or assumptions about logic.
3. To understand that natural relativism and supernatural relativism are equally invalidated by the law of contradiction.
QUOTATIONS AND THOUGHTS
What are the two types of arguments? The two types of arguments are deductive and inductive. A deductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide complete support for the conclusion.
An inductive argument is an argument such that the premises provide (or appear to provide) some degree of support for the conclusion.
Deductive arguments prove validity; inductive arguments establish likelihood.
I. What changes have occurred in our society since the mid-sixties?
a) Assumptions about truth have changed. This led to the book The Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom. He showed that 95% of high school graduates enter college with a relativistic mind-set.
b) Bloom said: "Then what happens in the following four years is that those assumptions that they come to college with out of high school are now set in concrete because the academic community in modern America has a mind that is closed to objective truth. Truth is now perceived as being subjective, as a matter of preference."
c) This is bad news and good news.
II. Aristotle and Logic
a) Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) developed theories of physics, chemistry, drama, ethics and biology. As he proceeded, he developed theories of logic that we now call Aristotelian logic.
b) Logic was not a science, but the necessary tool for all scientific inquiry.
c) Illustration: Chalk is NOT chalk
d) Illustration: Salt shaker and non-salt shaker
e) Denials of ideas like the law of contradiction are forced and temporary.
III. Christian Relativism
a) Karl Barth and Emil Brunner were influenced by the philosophical speculation of Soren Kierkegaard. These men have had a profound impact, bringing relativistic, contradiction-embracing thought into theology.
b) The Scriptures teach as early as Genesis 3 that God assumed that mankind understood the law of contradiction.
c) Illustration: Adam as a student of Aristotle and Barth
d) Christians must embrace logic, the means to measure the relationship between premises and conclusions.
IV. Conclusion: God has built the human mind to be rational. The word of God is not irrational. It is addressed to creatures who have been given minds that operate from certain principles, the law of contradiction being one of them.