This talk covers some of the basic concepts of truth, logic and persuasion which are helpful when we are 'defending and communicating the faith'. The notes below highlight a few of the issues covered.
Truth – what corresponds with reality
Laws of logic
Law of non-contradiction – something cannot be so and not so at the same time in the same way
Law of the excluded middle – either-or
Discovering the truth by reason, deduction, testing – coming to a tentative conclusion
Absolute 'proof' exists only in mathematics
Scientific 'proof' – looks at the apparent weight of evidence – science moves on
Areas for doubt caused by
– sensory confusion, memory failure, etc.
– our limited understanding
– our limited knowledge
– limits from being a part of the universe
– our limited view of the past
Two books of truth – book of Nature and book of Scripture
In Scripture, God spoke through individuals – not dictate Scripture
Nature – Experiments
Scripture – Interpretation or Hermeneutics
Argument – how we tease out truth logically, by reasoning and deduction
Asking "What is the evidence for that?"
Probability – is something more likely than it’s negation.
Knowledge – warranted true belief.
Some beliefs cannot be demonstrated to be true – properly basic beliefs: our own physical existence, other minds are real, reality of the past and validity of memory, etc.
Propositional truth: assertions that something is true: God exists; God appeared in history in Jesus; God will judge the world.
Biblical approach of apostles: persuasion is needed, not just proclamation. Includes refuting falsehoods.
Are our beliefs well grounded?
© 2013 Peter May