God and Logic

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JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by webmaster
Where did I disagree? If you're talking about knowledge of an object then it is the same for us in the same sense. If your talking about knowing as then it's not in the same sense since God knows as Creator and I know as creature. So, a bit of precision would help, otherwise we end up talking past each other

Okay, very good. I agree. We both understand the nature of an object, on our sense, the same way.

How, then, do you distinguish your Aristotle / Frege distinction? Trying to be clear: If God knows what I know about the apple, but I disagree with Frege, does God disagree with Frege?

Or maybe another way of saying it, is logic (order in communication, i.e. God is a god of order even in communication) involved in knowing at any level?

By the way, I always enjoy your ranting.

Or even more simply, do Aristotle and Frege contradict each other? Then there is a higher system by which we these two "systems". We're not judging systems of logic, but rather Aristotle's thinking vs. Frege's thinking. Whether the one or the other or neither is logical is another matter.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Logical arguments are used throughout the scriptures. Are these Aristotle's form or Frege's or neither or both?

These arguments at least define what logic is an attribute of God.

[Edited on 6-17-2005 by Jeff_Bartel]
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by JohnV
Originally posted by Paul manata
Jeff,

I think everyone agrees with saying it is okay to say that God is logic. The point is in how you define it and what you eman by it.

I don't agree with it.

Care to elaborate?
Nope! But I likely will.

The accepted and confessed attributes of God we find in the Confessions. Though the Belgic Confession is more limited in the terms used to list them, yet is more complete in that it begins with, "...only one God, who is a simple and spiritual Being; He is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of good. (sorry, I carried on right to the end of the article. )

I would rather say that man is not logical, and leave it at that, rather than to seem anthropomorphic and say that God is logic. I would agree that God is very truth itself, and that logic is based on God. But to say that God is logic is, after all, saying nothing. All it does is remove us from knowledge of what logic then is, since we are a fallen race. When I look at the stringent demands of pure logic, then I know what a fool I am, and get a glimpse of how excellent in wisdom God is.

I didn't mean to jump in, Jeff, because I don't have the time to get deeply into the discussion. But I'm reading along somewhat, with interest.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Logical arguments are used throughout the scriptures. Are these Aristotle's form or Frege's or neither or both?

These arguments at least define what logic is an attribute of God.

[Edited on 6-17-2005 by Jeff_Bartel]

It would be better to ask whether Aristotle's or Frege's logic are logical, or Biblical. Logic is a way of handling truth, and truth is an attribute of God. I think I misled you when I quoted the whole article from the BC. I meant to point out that God is a simple Being, in which, for Him, it is not one thing to be one and another to be another (referring to the attributes. ) Thus to say that God is logical is to make logic a basic, which it is not. For it is the relationship between truth for those who struggle with that. God does not struggle with that. He sets the relationships, He does not discover them with His thinking. Truth is basic, and logic springs from that. So to say that God is truth is right, but to say that God is logic is not.

It is not possible for God not to be logical, but that is because whatever He says is true, and therefore logic conforms to that.

Or, you could put it this way: logic is a tool of thought. We need that tool, but God does not. Does this mean that God is not logical? Not at all. God could not be otherwise. But that is because logic is subservient to Him, while we must be subservient to logic.

Still, the point is that God is a simple Being. Therefore I would not agree with the statement that God is logic.

[Edited on 6-17-2005 by JohnV]
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by webmaster
Where did I disagree? If you're talking about knowledge of an object then it is the same for us in the same sense. If your talking about knowing as then it's not in the same sense since God knows as Creator and I know as creature. So, a bit of precision would help, otherwise we end up talking past each other

Okay, very good. I agree. We both understand the nature of an object, on our sense, the same way.

How, then, do you distinguish your Aristotle / Frege distinction? Trying to be clear: If God knows what I know about the apple, but I disagree with Frege, does God disagree with Frege?

Or maybe another way of saying it, is logic (order in communication, i.e. God is a god of order even in communication) involved in knowing at any level?

By the way, I always enjoy your ranting.

Not to be a pain, Matt, but I asked you questions....

I know you did.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by webmaster
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by webmaster
Where did I disagree? If you're talking about knowledge of an object then it is the same for us in the same sense. If your talking about knowing as then it's not in the same sense since God knows as Creator and I know as creature. So, a bit of precision would help, otherwise we end up talking past each other

Okay, very good. I agree. We both understand the nature of an object, on our sense, the same way.

How, then, do you distinguish your Aristotle / Frege distinction? Trying to be clear: If God knows what I know about the apple, but I disagree with Frege, does God disagree with Frege?

Or maybe another way of saying it, is logic (order in communication, i.e. God is a god of order even in communication) involved in knowing at any level?

By the way, I always enjoy your ranting.

Not to be a pain, Matt, but I asked you questions....

I know you did.

well that's not very fair, making me answer all the questions while you get to escape unscathed:lol:

And who said life was fair? :lol:

"In the world you will have tribulation."
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by JohnV
The accepted and confessed attributes of God we find in the Confessions. Though the Belgic Confession is more limited in the terms used to list them, yet is more complete in that it begins with, "...only one God, who is a simple and spiritual Being; He is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of good. (sorry, I carried on right to the end of the article. )

Would you say that God is infinitely wise? Would this include logic (i.e. knowing how his plan is to logically work to accomplish his end)? God is these terms, yes, but he is also a combination of each term (i.e. perfectly good, eternally just etc. etc.).

Also, would you say that part of the image of God in man is logic?

WCF
4:2 After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female (Gen_1:27), with reasonable and immortal souls (Gen_2:7; Ecc_12:7; Mat_10:28; Luk_23:43), endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image(Gen_1:26; Eph_4:24; Col_3:10);

Originally posted by JohnV
I would rather say that man is not logical, and leave it at that, rather than to seem anthropomorphic and say that God is logic. I would agree that God is very truth itself, and that logic is based on God. But to say that God is logic is, after all, saying nothing. All it does is remove us from knowledge of what logic then is, since we are a fallen race. When I look at the stringent demands of pure logic, then I know what a fool I am, and get a glimpse of how excellent in wisdom God is.

I'm not sure that I understand this paragraph. First, it seems that you belittle logic in God by saying it seems "anthropomorphic." But how is it so? We wouldn't say because man is wise and God is wise that to call God wisdom would be anthropomorphic would we? As stated in the WCF, it seems to speak of logic as a part of the imago dei.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by JohnV
It would be better to ask whether Aristotle's or Frege's logic are logical, or Biblical. Logic is a way of handling truth, and truth is an attribute of God. I think I misled you when I quoted the whole article from the BC. I meant to point out that God is a simple Being, in which, for Him, it is not one thing to be one and another to be another (referring to the attributes. ) Thus to say that God is logical is to make logic a basic, which it is not. For it is the relationship between truth for those who struggle with that. God does not struggle with that. He sets the relationships, He does not discover them with His thinking. Truth is basic, and logic springs from that. So to say that God is truth is right, but to say that God is logic is not.

Only propositions can be true or false, yes? Is logic a proposition? It surely can be made into a proposition, for example:

If P, then Q
P
therefore Q.

This argument is true. This form of logic flows from truth. But can we say that God is not properly called logic because it is not as you say "basic"?

God is love. Is love a "basic" attribute of God? It is certainly an anthropopathism, yet God is defined by it.

Originally posted by JohnV
It is not possible for God not to be logical, but that is because whatever He says is true, and therefore logic conforms to that.

Are you suggesting that logic is simply an effect of God thinking true propositions? In what order does he think them? Does truth (taken by itself) have order to it?

Originally posted by JohnV
Or, you could put it this way: logic is a tool of thought. We need that tool, but God does not. Does this mean that God is not logical? Not at all. God could not be otherwise. But that is because logic is subservient to Him, while we must be subservient to logic.

God needs nothing outside himself. I do not understand how God could not be otherwise (than logical) and yet this logic does not properly define God (as much as "God is love").
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Jeff:

Let me take these one at a time.

Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by JohnV
The accepted and confessed attributes of God we find in the Confessions. Though the Belgic Confession is more limited in the terms used to list them, yet is more complete in that it begins with, "...only one God, who is a simple and spiritual Being; He is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of good. (sorry, I carried on right to the end of the article. )

Would you say that God is infinitely wise? Would this include logic (i.e. knowing how his plan is to logically work to accomplish his end)? God is these terms, yes, but he is also a combination of each term (i.e. perfectly good, eternally just etc. etc.).

Also, would you say that part of the image of God in man is logic?

I think it is irreverent to put logic behind God, so to speak, as if God needed to conform to something. Everything that God does it true, good, righteous, and with full knowledge. To combine them is an anthropomorphism, for in God it is not one thing to be true, and another to be righteous, as if he could be good without being righteous; for God it is not one thing to be righteous, and another to be full of all knowledge, as if He could be righteous without being full of all knowledge. And you could put them in any order you like: it is not one thing for God to be the one, and not the other, as if He could be one without the other. That is what we mean by "a simple and spiritual Being." So the distinction I am making is that God is behind logic; and that I am unwilling to state in terms that would seem to put logic behind God. Whatever is behind is greater; whatever is last is God.

WCF
4:2 After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female (Gen_1:27), with reasonable and immortal souls (Gen_2:7; Ecc_12:7; Mat_10:28; Luk_23:43), endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image(Gen_1:26; Eph_4:24; Col_3:10);

Originally posted by JohnV
I would rather say that man is not logical, and leave it at that, rather than to seem anthropomorphic and say that God is logic. I would agree that God is very truth itself, and that logic is based on God. But to say that God is logic is, after all, saying nothing. All it does is remove us from knowledge of what logic then is, since we are a fallen race. When I look at the stringent demands of pure logic, then I know what a fool I am, and get a glimpse of how excellent in wisdom God is.

I'm not sure that I understand this paragraph. First, it seems that you belittle logic in God by saying it seems "anthropomorphic." But how is it so? We wouldn't say because man is wise and God is wise that to call God wisdom would be anthropomorphic would we? As stated in the WCF, it seems to speak of logic as a part of the imago dei.

I do not belittle logic. In fact, I have elevated it. Logic expresses the attributes of knowledge, righteousness and holiness, it does not replace them. Logic is an elevation of true knowledge, true righteousness, and true holiness, for it is there to lead us to betterment in each of these. I hold these attributes themselves as being the image of God in us, and that logic is one of the faculties we use to display them.

But perhaps, Jeff, we're using the term 'logic' in different ways. Let's go on to the second reply:
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by JohnV
It would be better to ask whether Aristotle's or Frege's logic are logical, or Biblical. Logic is a way of handling truth, and truth is an attribute of God. I think I misled you when I quoted the whole article from the BC. I meant to point out that God is a simple Being, in which, for Him, it is not one thing to be one and another to be another (referring to the attributes. ) Thus to say that God is logical is to make logic a basic, which it is not. For it is the relationship between truth for those who struggle with that. God does not struggle with that. He sets the relationships, He does not discover them with His thinking. Truth is basic, and logic springs from that. So to say that God is truth is right, but to say that God is logic is not.

Only propositions can be true or false, yes? Is logic a proposition? It surely can be made into a proposition, for example:

If P, then Q
P
therefore Q.

This argument is true. This form of logic flows from truth. But can we say that God is not properly called logic because it is not as you say "basic"?

God is love. Is love a "basic" attribute of God? It is certainly an anthropopathism, yet God is defined by it.
A proposition is a statement, a sentence or phrase that says something about something, to put perhaps too simply. As such, it is either true or false. Usually (actually, all the time, if you think about it) a proposition is a result of a logical motion. It is the conclusion resulting from putting two or more propositions together in order to form the proposition under consideration. In other words, every proposistion can be reasoned backwords, if you will, to other propositions. But a proposition is not logic all by itself. It suggests it, it implies it, but is not logic itself.

Without truth, logic is a nonsense word, so truth is more basic than logic. God is more basic than logic. Logic is possible because God is inexaustible truth, which makes logic possible. It could as easily be said that logic is not necessary for God, since He is truth. Whatever He says, whatever He thinks, it is true. I would indeed be perfectly logical, but not because God conformed to logic. Truth is not more basic than God.

Originally posted by JohnV
It is not possible for God not to be logical, but that is because whatever He says is true, and therefore logic conforms to that.

Are you suggesting that logic is simply an effect of God thinking true propositions? In what order does he think them? Does truth (taken by itself) have order to it?
Order? I am not suggesting that at all. If anything, these fall into order in God speaking them. If God is the fountain of all truth and knowledge, then why would God need logic to help Him attain that? Just to think that, would be to suggest that God is required to conform to strictures which are behind Him, further back as basic.

Originally posted by JohnV
Or, you could put it this way: logic is a tool of thought. We need that tool, but God does not. Does this mean that God is not logical? Not at all. God could not be otherwise. But that is because logic is subservient to Him, while we must be subservient to logic.

God needs nothing outside himself. I do not understand how God could not be otherwise (than logical) and yet this logic does not properly define God (as much as "God is love").

Jeff, I am just not comfortable with the way things have been put, that's all. It suggests a complexity in God, or worse, that God needs to conform to a structure that is more basic than He is. I know what you mean, and I don't disagree with that. All logic has to conform to God, that I will agree with. Or, logic is prefect reason; God alone is able to reason perfectly. But the proposition, "God is logic", has difficulties with it that are broader than the present discussion. For it is as you say:
If P, then Q
P
therefore Q.
but God does not have to go through that sequence. Q will be true, not because of P, or any other reason, but because of God.

[Edited on 6-18-2005 by JohnV]
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by Bryan
Logic is neither above God nor arbitrarily decreed by God. Its ultimate basis is in God's eternal nature. God is a rational God and necessarily so. Therefore logic is necessary. Human logical systems don't always reflect God's logic perfectly. But insofar as they do, they are necessarily true.

-John Frame

I've been discussing this with some Christians recently and it seems I'm in the minority agreeing with the above statment. I don't have an issue saying that God is "bound" by logic becasue I believe it is in his nature to be logical (IE. Following the law of Identity, Non-Contradiction and Excluded Middle).

But I would like a more learned opinion then my own :D
If God wasn't "bound" by logic then He wouldn't be able to make any sense to us; we couldn't know anything about Him, right?

Bryan
SDG

I agree with the statement... I know even people that are stalwart 5-point Calvinists in their soteriology that are apt to say things like God is above logic...

If we're going to interpret Scripture with some sanctomonious aura of fuzziness because God is supposedly above logic than we open up a can of worms. Does Christ really mean what it says in John 14:6?

A logical reading of Scripture translates to sound exegesis. If "universal atonement" people would read 2 Peter 3:9 in context without hyperatomizing it, they would take notice that it's about a "promise" that mockers are doubting, and that the Lord isn't slack concerning that promise. And as the salutation to the epistle of Second Peter says, it's written to a body of believers. The scope of "all" in 2 Peter 3:9 is qualified by "to-ward us." "Beloved" is an appellation reserved God's elect. But then I run into the hysterical crowd of illogic who says God is above logic and that all means all and all without exception. Yet they qualify the extent of the atonement (to those who believe).

[Edited on 6-19-2005 by Puritanhead]
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by JohnV
Jeff:

Let me take these one at a time.

Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by JohnV
The accepted and confessed attributes of God we find in the Confessions. Though the Belgic Confession is more limited in the terms used to list them, yet is more complete in that it begins with, "...only one God, who is a simple and spiritual Being; He is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of good. (sorry, I carried on right to the end of the article. )

Would you say that God is infinitely wise? Would this include logic (i.e. knowing how his plan is to logically work to accomplish his end)? God is these terms, yes, but he is also a combination of each term (i.e. perfectly good, eternally just etc. etc.).

Also, would you say that part of the image of God in man is logic?

I think it is irreverent to put logic behind God, so to speak, as if God needed to conform to something. Everything that God does it true, good, righteous, and with full knowledge. To combine them is an anthropomorphism, for in God it is not one thing to be true, and another to be righteous, as if he could be good without being righteous; for God it is not one thing to be righteous, and another to be full of all knowledge, as if He could be righteous without being full of all knowledge. And you could put them in any order you like: it is not one thing for God to be the one, and not the other, as if He could be one without the other. That is what we mean by "a simple and spiritual Being." So the distinction I am making is that God is behind logic; and that I am unwilling to state in terms that would seem to put logic behind God. Whatever is behind is greater; whatever is last is God.

I too think it irreverent to put logic BEHIND God, as if he needs to conform to some external standard. This, however, is much different from saying that God IS logic, as he IS righteous. We determine righteousness from God, as we should logic (In my humble opinion).

I also disagree that God is behind logic, and yes I do think we may be defining logic differently. I have posted Noah Webster's definition earlier, but a more basic definition may be in order. The most basic definition of logic I can think of is again using the syllogism example.

If p, then q.
P
Therefore q.

In logic, we say that the conclusion FOLLOWS FROM the premises. How does it FOLLOW? logically! Define how it follows. It's hard to do! It is of necessity that if the premises are true, so must the conclusion. This is logic, and it is distinct from just "truth." (at least I think so)

Originally posted by JohnV
WCF
4:2 After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female (Gen_1:27), with reasonable and immortal souls (Gen_2:7; Ecc_12:7; Mat_10:28; Luk_23:43), endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image(Gen_1:26; Eph_4:24; Col_3:10);

Originally posted by JohnV
I would rather say that man is not logical, and leave it at that, rather than to seem anthropomorphic and say that God is logic. I would agree that God is very truth itself, and that logic is based on God. But to say that God is logic is, after all, saying nothing. All it does is remove us from knowledge of what logic then is, since we are a fallen race. When I look at the stringent demands of pure logic, then I know what a fool I am, and get a glimpse of how excellent in wisdom God is.

I'm not sure that I understand this paragraph. First, it seems that you belittle logic in God by saying it seems "anthropomorphic." But how is it so? We wouldn't say because man is wise and God is wise that to call God wisdom would be anthropomorphic would we? As stated in the WCF, it seems to speak of logic as a part of the imago dei.

I do not belittle logic. In fact, I have elevated it. Logic expresses the attributes of knowledge, righteousness and holiness, it does not replace them. Logic is an elevation of true knowledge, true righteousness, and true holiness, for it is there to lead us to betterment in each of these. I hold these attributes themselves as being the image of God in us, and that logic is one of the faculties we use to display them.

But perhaps, Jeff, we're using the term 'logic' in different ways. Let's go on to the second reply:

My point in this section was to say that man is logical because God is logical, and attempted to use WCF to prove my point. In other words, anthropomorphisms display God in human terms, but with logic, man is displayed using Godly terms, hence part of God's communicable attributes, and contributing to the image of God that all men display.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by JohnV
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Originally posted by JohnV
It would be better to ask whether Aristotle's or Frege's logic are logical, or Biblical. Logic is a way of handling truth, and truth is an attribute of God. I think I misled you when I quoted the whole article from the BC. I meant to point out that God is a simple Being, in which, for Him, it is not one thing to be one and another to be another (referring to the attributes. ) Thus to say that God is logical is to make logic a basic, which it is not. For it is the relationship between truth for those who struggle with that. God does not struggle with that. He sets the relationships, He does not discover them with His thinking. Truth is basic, and logic springs from that. So to say that God is truth is right, but to say that God is logic is not.

Only propositions can be true or false, yes? Is logic a proposition? It surely can be made into a proposition, for example:

If P, then Q
P
therefore Q.

This argument is true. This form of logic flows from truth. But can we say that God is not properly called logic because it is not as you say "basic"?

God is love. Is love a "basic" attribute of God? It is certainly an anthropopathism, yet God is defined by it.
A proposition is a statement, a sentence or phrase that says something about something, to put perhaps too simply. As such, it is either true or false. Usually (actually, all the time, if you think about it) a proposition is a result of a logical motion. It is the conclusion resulting from putting two or more propositions together in order to form the proposition under consideration. In other words, every proposistion can be reasoned backwords, if you will, to other propositions. But a proposition is not logic all by itself. It suggests it, it implies it, but is not logic itself.

Without truth, logic is a nonsense word, so truth is more basic than logic. God is more basic than logic. Logic is possible because God is inexaustible truth, which makes logic possible. It could as easily be said that logic is not necessary for God, since He is truth. Whatever He says, whatever He thinks, it is true. I would indeed be perfectly logical, but not because God conformed to logic. Truth is not more basic than God.

Is this true using the above definition of logic (as provided by me)? Can truth account for the conclusion of an argument FOLLOWING FROM the premises? Sure to say that the logically arguement is true or false can be applied, as truth or falsehood can be applied to any proposition (which was my point in saying that a logical argument can be displayed in propositional form).

To say that logic is not a basic fundamental to God's attributes makes me wonder if God could then plan, predistine, formulate anything in relationship to each other, because certainly that would require logic.

I.E.
X will work for my glory, y will not.
I will predestine x, not y.
I will be glorified.

This is not to say that God must go through this "process" like we do to figure stuff out, but that it reflects the mind of God.

It would also be interesting (and related) to consider what it means to be a thinking God. What defines thought? Does it merely mean thinking true propositions? If so, it seems that they could be totally unrelated and random without the use of logic.

Originally posted by JohnV
Originally posted by JohnV
It is not possible for God not to be logical, but that is because whatever He says is true, and therefore logic conforms to that.

Are you suggesting that logic is simply an effect of God thinking true propositions? In what order does he think them? Does truth (taken by itself) have order to it?
Order? I am not suggesting that at all. If anything, these fall into order in God speaking them. If God is the fountain of all truth and knowledge, then why would God need logic to help Him attain that? Just to think that, would be to suggest that God is required to conform to strictures which are behind Him, further back as basic.

Originally posted by JohnV
Or, you could put it this way: logic is a tool of thought. We need that tool, but God does not. Does this mean that God is not logical? Not at all. God could not be otherwise. But that is because logic is subservient to Him, while we must be subservient to logic.

God needs nothing outside himself. I do not understand how God could not be otherwise (than logical) and yet this logic does not properly define God (as much as "God is love").

Jeff, I am just not comfortable with the way things have been put, that's all. It suggests a complexity in God, or worse, that God needs to conform to a structure that is more basic than He is. I know what you mean, and I don't disagree with that. All logic has to conform to God, that I will agree with. Or, logic is prefect reason; God alone is able to reason perfectly. But the proposition, "God is logic", has difficulties with it that are broader than the present discussion. For it is as you say:
If P, then Q
P
therefore Q.
but God does not have to go through that sequence. Q will be true, not because of P, or any other reason, but because of God.

Again, see above in that God does not have to figure the logical syllogism out, as we do, but certainly there is that present within the thinking mind that God is. With that, I will attempt to make a logical syllogism expressing my thoughts on calling God "logic":

Logic is an attribute of God.
God can be called any of his attributes.
God can be called logic.

Final qualification. Just as with "God is love", we can not say that all "Love is God", so it is with the above syllogism. Saying God is love is not saying God=love so it can be reversed to love=God. That borders on pantheism.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
Is this true using the above definition of logic (as provided by me)? Can truth account for the conclusion of an argument FOLLOWING FROM the premises? Sure to say that the logically arguement is true or false can be applied, as truth or falsehood can be applied to any proposition (which was my point in saying that a logical argument can be displayed in propositional form).

To say that logic is not a basic fundamental to God's attributes makes me wonder if God could then plan, predistine, formulate anything in relationship to each other, because certainly that would require logic.
What about truth that does not follow from a premise, as would be the case for God?

I.E.
X will work for my glory, y will not.
I will predestine x, not y.
I will be glorified.

This is not to say that God must go through this "process" like we do to figure stuff out, but that it reflects the mind of God.
If y will not work to God's glory, then God did not think it. God is perfect.

It would also be interesting (and related) to consider what it means to be a thinking God. What defines thought? Does it merely mean thinking true propositions? If so, it seems that they could be totally unrelated and random without the use of logic.

Again, this seems to put logic in behind God, as if God needed to conform to something more basic than He. I know what you are saying Jeff, but it is not a good way of saying it.

Everything that God does is good, right and true, and displays that He is full of all knowledge. What we call logic is the ability to put two propositions together to discover the unity of truth. The laws of thought, or the rules of logic (same thing) are expressions of that unity of truth, which is founded in God. There can be no contradiction, there can be no mitigating third proposition, and thing is what it is. So logic is basic because truth is one. God is truth, so logic is necessary. That is the right way to say it.
If P, then Q
P
therefore Q.
but God does not have to go through that sequence. Q will be true, not because of P, or any other reason, but because of God.

Again, see above in that God does not have to figure the logical syllogism out, as we do, but certainly there is that present within the thinking mind that God is. With that, I will attempt to make a logical syllogism expressing my thoughts on calling God "logic":

Logic is an attribute of God.
God can be called any of his attributes.
God can be called logic.
I know you didn't mean to break this up with what follows, but I need to know the Biblical qualification for asserting that logic is an attribute of God. That is, I need good and necessary inference if you do not have direct Biblical warrant. Again, I know what you mean; you're just not being careful about God's holiness.

Final qualification. Just as with "God is love", we can not say that all "Love is God", so it is with the above syllogism. Saying God is love is not saying God=love so it can be reversed to love=God. That borders on pantheism.
I agree. In fact I was going to post the same thing, only I assumed that we were in agreement on that.

I would be more comfortable with saying that God cannot be illogical. That would be the same thing as saying that God is always true. But, that would mean that we would have to transcend our own limitations of logic, because we also hold that God is one, yet also is three persons. We have no logic for that, other than that God transcends the created world, and numerical limitations are of the created world. Only God can feed a crowd of five thousand from a few loaves and fishes. For us that is not logical, but I know that it is true, and is therefore indubitably logical as well.

When we say that God is logical, we have so many problems to face up to, and one is the dilemma that either God was not logical in His miracles, or our logic does not account for all of truth. Because we often face the former in the form of objections to true religion; and do not often confess the latter ourselves. We also have a great deal of difficulty separating the movement of logic from the end of logic. Which of the two are we talking about? God does not require the movement of logic, since that suggests subjection to time. But the end of logic is true propositions. And propositions are about the truth of God, of the created world, and of us, all true because of God. It is not the other way around: truth is not only about propositions.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Paul manata
I know you didn't mean to break this up with what follows, but I need to know the Biblical qualification for asserting that logic is an attribute of God. That is, I need good and necessary inference if you do not have direct Biblical warrant.

What about "it is impossible for Him to lie." Tied in with this is the law of contradiction and consistancy.

What about, logic is :universal, immaterial, absolute, unchanging, and conceptual in nature (residing in a mind). If this is a seperate entity then two things have existed from all eternity since logic would always have to exist in all possible worlds.

Or, were the laws of logic created? This would make them contingent. They are not contingent, hence they were not created.

The only conclusion to draw, that I see, is that it is an attribute of His.
But that isn't necessary inference. All these things would still be true without logic being an attribute of God. These things would still be true if logic were an attribute of truth.

It is God who would have to exist in all possible worlds, and He never lies. So wherever God speaks or acts, there is truth; wherever there is truth, there is unity in true things, wherever there is unity in true things, there would have to be ability to do logic.

But it would still be very true that for us Q would be true because P; but for God, Q would be true because of God, for He would not need P to determine that Q was true as we would. The fact that they are related is due to God, in that in Him is the the unity of truth, making logic possible.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Paul manata
okay, fine, so you have the entity God and the entity logic having existed from all eternity.

Also, give me an argument of a possible world without logic.

But these are the very things I'm arguing against.

I am holding to God being a simple Being, and logic being an attribute of truth. How does that make logic co-eternal with God? And how does that allow for a possible world without logic?

In Matthew 14 Jesus feeds five thousand from five loaves and two fish, and they take up twelves baskets of leftovers. I believe this is logical, but not by the limited standards of logic that we recognize. I believe it, because God does everything truly and consistent with Himself. Therefore, since there is no contradiction, since the law of identity is upheld, and since there is no third mitigating proposition (God acting directly), it is logical. Can five loaves and two fish equal five thousand fed well, with twelve baskets left over? Not by our limited standards. He can transcend logic as we know it, and still not be illogical. But He Himself transcends all logic, since He Himself is the fountain of all good and truth.

I think we are not understanding each other.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Does what exist, Paul? If it did not exist, you could not ask if it existed.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
As long as there was time, logic existed. "The LORD created me at the beginning of His work, the first of His acts of old." Prov. 8:20
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Paul manata
first, you conflate wisdom with logic. The two are not the same.
No, I'm not.
Second, so "before" there was time then logic didn't exist?
If the answer to the next question is "yes", then the answer to this question must also be "yes".
Third, so logic is contingent then?
Yes.


These three belong together, so these questions are well thought. Wisdom is the understanding of knowledge, to put it rather simply (to know is one thing, but to understand that knowledge is a life-long struggle); and part of that is the logic of inference, or the relationship of propostions. But wisdom is more than just syllogistic logic. For example, to obey is better than reason, as in following orders when under command. We may not know the reasons, so it is better to follow the orders of those who do know the reasons. So, though we may not know the reasons for God's commands of certain things, such as "turn the other cheek", or "do not resist evil", and though it may seem to us a weakness, or a lack of will, yet to follow command is better than to follow our reason.

But it is not as though to follow commands is less reasonable. It is precisely because it is more reasonable to follow commands when we do not know the reasons that it is better to follow commands. It is a faith in, a belief that, God's will is right and true, and without doubt the reasonable thing to do. It may not seem reasonable to us to love those who hate us, but when we take into account God's love for us when we were enemies, still sinners and without hope, and then transcend our own wills, feelings, and thoughts, and believe that God is working His righteousness through us, then we can also see that there is yet a higher reason than where our own logic takes us.

So logic is but a part of wisdom, but it is a part of it. When wisdom was the first of God's works, it had to include logic. So I did not confuse the two.

Second, if wisdom was the first of the works of God's hands, then it stands to reason that logic was the direct result of that work. Remembering that God is a simple Being, and that all truth has its source in Him, it cannot be that God conformed to logic, but that logic conforms to God. Therefore logic is created, if wisdom is named as created.

Third, logic is at the very least contingent upon God's character. But it is also contingent upon truth as an attribute of God. Since we say that God is truth and the fountain of all truth, we are compelled to submit to truth in our thinking, in our propositionalizing. Therefore we say that logic is contingent.

If we see logic as more basic than truth, then it would be better to say that God is logic than it would be to say that God is truth. The question to ask is which of the two the Bible regards as more basic. There are three basics that the Bible relates to us: the way, the truth, and the life. Are we saying that logic relates more to "the way", that it is another way of saying that? Or are we maintaining that logic is a way of getting at the truth of things? I hold that "the way" relates to righteousness and goodness, "the truth" to complete consistency and eternal integrity of character, and "the life" to the source of light, life, and all being. These overlap, because God is a simple being, for whom to be reasonable is not different than to love, and for whom to be reasonable and love is not different than to give life; yet we as limited and created beings separate them categorically because of our sinful state, attempting at righteousness; and that wisdom on our part is to put them together again in the right order.

Therefore I hold that logic is a part of truth. Wisdom is the understanding of truth; therefore logic is part of wisdom. I also hold that it is logical to disobey our reasoning if in doing that we are being sure to follow God's commands. Thus logic can transcend reason for us, though it does not really transcend reason. But in saying it this way we would seem to be confusing logic as a category of thought with truth as a category of thought. That is why I would submit logic to truth instead of truth to logic: to follow God's commands is to follow truth, though we may not see the logic.

That is why we have the extreme limitation on logical inference in doctrinal issues, but we have no such limitation on truth.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Then God would have to bow down to the necessity of A not being ~A. That is also a theologically absurd position.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The propostion A would have to be a proposition about God, since we are confining this to pre-creation. Before creation there was only God. Since God is perfect in His eternity and immutability, there is therefore no possibility of ~A: ~A would have to be about something other than God, which does not yet exist, since we are talking about pre-creation.

If we make distinctions about the Godhead, in saying that the Father is not the Son, therefore A is not ~A, we are making an error. Not that the Father is not the Son, or the Son not the Spirit, or the Spirit not the Father, but rather that we are confounding the unity of the Trinity ("...we are forbidden to speak of three Gods or Lords", Athanasian Creed, art. 20. ) It is not that the Father is deprived of the Son or of the Spirit, for they are one substance. I understand the Athanasian Creed to uphold the unity, perfection, eternity, immutability and simplicity of God in its formulation of the Trinity. It is very difficult to understand, and I am not the one to take that on. But I do confess that this creed states the formulation so as not to transgress the attributes of God. ~A would, then, have to be a privation of A, and that is not possible before the creation. To go beyond this is to trifle with this doctrine, I believe.

So I am not holding to an absurd doctrine, but rather trying to be careful about the doctrine I do believe. I will therefore maintain that ~A is not a possibility before creation, since God is the fullness of all good. If A is a good found in God, then ~A is not possible. If A is a characteristic of God, then ~A is not possible. If A is an attribute of God, then ~A is not possible. ~A would suggest a creation.

I think it was Augustine who opens up this concept in The City of God. He concludes, as I recall, that the first thing that needed to be created was light; not just visibility, but wisdom as a creature of sorts. We see it in cartoons as a light bulb; well its the same kind of concept: the lights coming on, so to speak. He remarks, if I remember, that to think of perfection as overcoming all imperfection is incorrect; it has to be perfection obviating all imperfection, or leaving no want of perfection. Overcoming imperfection is post-creation. There is no privation of perfection, for that would suggest something other than God. So perfection has to be the fullness of things, lacking nothing. But all things are one in God, since He is a simple Being. (I'm not sure, but its around Book VIII, I think. )

So, getting back to logic, the lack of logic is not possible. Indeed, it would not be necessary as yet, since nothing is in want with God; He is the fullness of all things, and all things are one in Him. It can be no otherwise. But then He created outside of Himself, and therefore God said "Let there be...." The creation is not the fullness of all things, but finds its fulfillment in Him. Therefore, it seems to me, logic is not an attribute of God, but and attribute of truth suggesting to us the necessity of God's creating the world we live in.

I am trying to be very careful about this because it does happen that we are sometimes called to believe beyond logical credibility, just because God commands it (as in miracles to demonstrate His omnipotence and revelation of Himself. ) In the end, of course, it is quite logical, but we won't see that unless we obey first. There is more to living in God's presence than logic, for there is love, submission, service, and faith. I am not suggesting that any of these are illogical, but rather that we need to be very careful not to elevate logic to the point where we negate any of these.

So I would hold that truth existed in God, and that non-truth was not possible without the creation, without the Fall. So there would need to be no distinction between A and ~A until the creation.

I know I'm leaving a lot out, Paul, but this post would be too long if I were to explain in more detail. Sorry for the clumsiness.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by JohnV
The propostion A would have to be a proposition about God, since we are confining this to pre-creation. Before creation there was only God. Since God is perfect in His eternity and immutability, there is therefore no possibility of ~A: ~A would have to be about something other than God, which does not yet exist, since we are talking about pre-creation.

The blunder I see in your reasoning is that ~A does not need to exist in order for the logic of A =/ ~A to exist. It is acceptated amongst us reformed folk that the decrees of God were present in the mind of God before creation, and from eternity past. Therefore, while ~A (or creation) had not been made ex nihilo, God did have in his mind a relationship between himself, and his decrees. He thought about them. He knew about them. He knew his relationship to them.

The "reality" of a subject does not need to be present in order for logic to be present. An argument is just as valid (although not sound) with false premises as with true.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
As soon as you have an expression of A, you have something other than God, unless A is God. I don't think you understood what I said. A would be like a full container, not something that can be comparmentalized. Therefore ~A is not a possible consideration.

Augustine explains it better. I should look it up. I'm am trying to be careful not to transgress the limitations put upon us by the Confessions when talking about God. I am very hesitant to say that God was subject to logic, or that logic was a norm with God. Certainly I agree that it is impossible for God not to be logical, but I would hasten to add that illogic would then not be a possibility, since all there would be is God, Who is all things in unity and perfection.

So if A is a possibility before creation, then it would have to be God; and therefore there would be no ~A or B to consider. Therefore it is not logic as much as it is being.

It is this that makes the Athanasian Creed so important to the confessional standard. It confesses the Trinity, not just in harmony, but in unity, as one; being very careful not to nullify or negate any of the attributes of God.

I am not being absurd, just careful. The Bible gives us "God is truth", but does not give us "God is logic" in the same way. Instead, as I have referenced, it makes it as the first of God's works. For we would not say that wisdom did not exist before anything was created, would we? Would we say that God was not wise until He created wisdom? Of course not; and yet the Bible clearly tells us that wisdom is the first of God's acts of old. I would hold that logic is a part of that wisdom that was created. I would rather do that, and confess the fullness of God, than to say that God is logic. Because "God is logic" would seem to open to door to the possibility of something other than God to be logical about, namely, "He is this, and not that." The declare that "He is this" is truth; to add "He is not that" is logic. And the latter is not a possibility to do, because God's attributes are not a lack of anything, but a fulness of everything ('everything' relating to God alone. )
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel

The blunder I see in your reasoning is that ~A does not need to exist in order for the logic of A =/ ~A to exist. It is acceptated amongst us reformed folk that the decrees of God were present in the mind of God before creation, and from eternity past. Therefore, while ~A (or creation) had not been made ex nihilo, God did have in his mind a relationship between himself, and his decrees. He thought about them. He knew about them. He knew his relationship to them.

The "reality" of a subject does not need to be present in order for logic to be present. An argument is just as valid (although not sound) with false premises as with true.

I understand your trepidation about this, Jeff. This seems almost an attack on logic, and I don't mean to do that. I see equating God with logic as almost an attack on God, since God is a fulness, not a privation of anything; and God is not subject to time. Logic is a motion, from A to B, and neither the motion nor ~A would be a possibility where only God is present and no time exists as yet.

What you refer to as what was"in the mind of God" concerning creation and redemption would have to fall under the time when God said, "Let there be light." because we're considering change from one state to another. But God is unchangeable. I know that Augustine allegorized more than we are comfortable with, but I think that here we have to, in order to protect the holiness of God in our confessions. "Light" would, then, also be an allegorical reference to wisdom, as opposed to non-wisdom, which would not be a possibility until then.

Can you see why I would have difficulty with this? As much as I hold to logic, I do not want to make rash statements about the Trinity. I would rather take the Ecclesiastical "fifth amendment", so to speak, than say God is logic. Just because it opens to door to wrong notions about God. Logic differentiates, and there was nothing to differentiate before the creation. Yes, we maintain the distinction between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but we also have maintain the unity of the Godhead, so as not to make three Gods, or three Lords. It transcends our limitations to understand that, but it is the true faith that we have to hold to.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by Paul manata
John, do you think God thought about other things before he created them?

Exactly. God's decrees were in his mind from eternity. They were a logical PLAN. They weren't random. But, to say that His decrees were not illogical, but not logical either is to assert that they WERE random.

God's plan was a logical one (as a good plan always is).
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I agree with Paul, we are at in impasse. I will not go beyond what I have said, because it is strongly warned against by the Church fathers. I also agree with Jeff, that God's plan was not random. But I have to uphold the doctrine of the attributes of God, as historically understood, and as explained by Augustine and Calvin.

I think we've gone as far as we can with this. We'll just be going round and round with this. I thank you for your interaction with me, helping me to sharpen my thoughts and belief, my faith.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Just a correction:

The citations for the attributes of God are found in Agustine's City of God and Confessions, as well as in Aquinas' Summa Theologica. In summary: It is one thing to say that man is a reasonable individual; it is another to say that God is incapable of being unreasonable; we could not say that God is a reasonable individual in the same sense that we say man is a reasonable individual.
 
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