This is the third part of refutation of a video posted by KnownNoMore in response to the transcendental argument for God. In this section, we will examine KnownNoMore’s response to the argument that the laws of logic cannot be justified in the atheist’s worldview. You can view the full video from KnowNoMore here:
The argument starts with listing the properties of the laws of logic. The laws of logic are immaterial, invariant and universal. God is immaterial, invariant, and universal, so the properties of the laws of logic make sense in the Christian worldview. However, in the atheist worldview, how can anything that is immaterial exist in a world made of only molecules in motion. How can things be eternal in a finite universe? How can the atheist justify something that is universal, that exists all places at all times?
KnownNoMore gets around this difficulty by disagreeing on what the laws of logic are. KnownNoMore states that the laws of logics are statements. For example, the law of identity is just a sentence in the english language and can change. He says the law of identity is not a necessary fact, but a description of a necessary fact. Because of this KnownNoMore claims the transcendental argument commits the fallacy of reification. He claims that the argument is treating the law as if it is an actual thing. He states that logic is not a entity, but a concept. This is a similar technique used in an article sent to me via Twitter by an atheist on Katholon.com, titled A Critique of Sye Ten Bruggencate’s proofthatGodexists.org., The article claims that the laws of logic are merely concepts.
So the question then becomes, what are the laws of logic? An article by James N. Anderson and Greg Welty propose that the Laws of Logic are something different altogether. The full article can be found here: http://www.proginosko.com/docs/The_Lord_of_Non-Contradiction.pdf
Anderson and Welty argue the following points. They contend that the laws of logic are truths. They are things that are true. They exhibit the quality of being true. I don’t see any argument that the laws of logic are truths.
But what is a truth? Typically, we use the term proposition as primary bearers of truth. So we can, for labeling purposes call the laws of logic propositions. Also, propositions are language independent. They are only language dependent in the weak sense that language is required in order to articulate and communicate propositions.
We have demonstrated that the laws of logic are truths, but what is the subject matter of these laws? Take the law of non-contradiciton. It is a truth about truths. It is the truth that no truth whatsoever can be a falsehood. The law of non-contradiction is a truth about propositions and propositions are primary bearers of truth-value.They are propositions about propositions, truths about truths.
Furthermore, the laws of logic are necessary. They are necessary truths, not contingent truths and their necessity is self-evident.
The laws of logic really do exist. We speak about them as though they really exist, we take it as truth that only things that actually exist can impact our world, and we have determined that the laws of logic have truth properties. Thus, something can only bear a property if it actually exists. Also, if they do exist, and are also necessary, then they necessarily exist. They are true in all possible worlds as well as ours.
The laws of logic are immaterial, they don’t exist physically. Since physical entities are contingent entities, and the laws are logic are necessary entities, they cannot be physical entities.
So the laws of logic are real entities, but are not physical. So what category do they fall under? To answer this question, we’d argue that the laws of logic exhibit intentionality. Since the laws of logic are propositions about propositions, truths about truths, they exhibit directness and intentionality. We’d also propose they exhibit aspectual shape. The two statements, The water is in the glass and The H2O is in the glass, both are directed to the same thing, water, but exhibit different aspectual shapes. They also convey the truth about what is in the glass.
This leads us to the next point. Since they exhibit both directness and aspectual shape, they are intrinsically intentional. What other thing exhibits intrinsic intentionality? Thoughts.
But whose thoughts are they? Are they our thoughts? No. We are contingent beings and the laws of logic exist necessarily. If the laws of logic are necessarily existent thoughts, then they must come from a necessarily existent mind, a mind from a necessity existent person. This person would have to be God. Thus, we argue that the laws of logic are actually the thoughts of God.
This argument provides proof of God’s existence from logic. It is an alternative to the claims of KnownNoMore and those provided on Kathalon.com. Interestingly, I was in a recent discussion with an atheist in a Google Plus community who posed the challenge: “Prove that God cannot exist without God.” I used this argument to show that without God, logic could not exist. This argument also avoids the criticism of committing the fallacy of reification. While the claim that the transcendental argument commits this fallacy is not a strong claim, this argument can be used to move the conversation forward with the atheist if needed.
KnownNoMore has a few more videos about the transcendental argument. However, we’ve been able to show the holes in his arguments thus far. I’m going to switch gears and cover some more popular topics that brought up on the Google Plus communities for a greater variety of topics.