The Limits of Logic

19 02 2007

logic.jpgLogic is a wonderful thing. It is basically the study of human reasoning and the rules of thinking that help us avoid error.

In other words, if you start with truth and reason logically from there, you are much more likely to conclude without error and thus draw true conclusions.

The problem with logic is that sometimes when it is applied to reality it just does not work out.

Consider the example of education. Common wisdom suggests that if people are adequately educated they will behave in a manner logically consistent with that education. It’s the logical mechanism that teaches one to stop touching hot stoves. It is simple and logically consistent. The problem is, it is not 100% reliable.

Take cigarette smoking. The dangers of smoking have been clearly known and taught for at least the last quarter century. Why on earth, then, are there any teenage smokers? Don’t they know it will harm them? Haven’t they been educated about the dangers of smoking? Yes… of course they have. Yet, illogically, they start and continue to smoke. The same point may be made about drug abuse and sexual promiscuity.

It’s frustrating when life doesn’t fit into neat little logic boxes.

The same thing happens when one tries to “figure out” God. People want God to stay precisely within their logic constructs. They resist any aspects of God that are not confined, predictable, understandable, and thus intellectually manageable. Yet God is an unapproachable object of ultimate analysis. He transcends the loftiest concepts. He cannot be contained within human thought. As the scripture affirms, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

If your concept of God does not exceed the limits of logic your concept is too small.

  

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One response

26 06 2007
Melibru

Hi Pastor Ken.

I just stumbled upon your blog and after surfing around for a few minutes am adding it to my favorites (*great* insights are found here).

You seem to be adept at exegeting scripture so I thought perhaps you might have something that addresses the Law of Parsimony (aka Occam’s Razor)?

Thanks!

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