When I tell people that I teach logic at a classical school, I often get a look and a recurrent phrase that goes something like “I don’t think I could ever learn that because that sounds out of my league!” While some subjects are harder than others to understand, logic has the ability to be easy to learn because we all participate in some form of logical or illogical thought patterns everyday. Often, it may seem daunting because logic uses advanced vocabulary, but once you learn the language, you realize that logic is actually quite easy to pick up. Such is with the fundamental laws of logic; these laws sound wording, but in fact once studied, makes perfect sense. The fundamental laws of logic and thought are:
1. The Law of Exclusion. This Law basically states that a statement/proposition is either true or false, there is no middle option. the statement “God is real” is either true or false, God can’t be both or some sort of Pandora’s box of being both at the same time; either God is real or he isn’t, either Christianity is true or it’s false.
2. The Law of Identity. This laws states that if a statement/proposition is true, than it’s true! I know it’s not rocket science, but living in our postmodern relativistic culture, we often here statements such as “Well, the Christian Religion may be true for you, but my truth is something else. Everyone has their own truth and no one can be wrong.” This is logically impossible, either the Christian religion is the true religion or it’s a false one, and the same goes with Postmodernism, Atheism or any form of relativism that would suggest otherwise.
3. The Law of Contradiction. This Law of thought states that a statement/proposition can’t be both true and false at the same time. I can not both be married and a bachelor, I can only be one or the other. If you were to look outside right now and it was nighttime, you can’t say that it is and isn’t nighttime, that would be crazy. Often opponents of Christianity say that the doctrine of the Trinity is guilty of committing the law of contradiction by stating that the Trinity displays itself as saying that He is one God, yet three Gods. But this is a straw man fallacy, for The Trinity is not “one God, yet three Gods, but is properly defined as One Essence, Three Persons, which is different than saying that God is one person, three persons or one essence, three essences, but is simply One Essence, Three persons. This may be hard to understand, but that doesn’t make it a contradiction, just simply mysterious.
But how can we know these laws are true? Apologist and Professor J.P. Moreland answers this brilliantly by writing,
“These fundamental laws are true principles governing reality and thought and are assumed by Scripture. Some claim they are arbitrary Western constructions, but this is false. The basic laws of logic govern all reality and thought and are known to be true for at least two reasons: (1) They are intuitively obvious and self-evident. Once one understands a basic law of logic (see below), one can see that it is true. (2) Those who deny them use these principles in their denial, demonstrating that those laws are unavoidable and that it is self-refuting to deny them.