What is the law of non-contradiction?


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In college classes across the world, young people are taught that there is “no truth.” Ironically, this statement itself makes a claim as to what is true. And if it is true that there is no truth then the statement is false. Understanding this basic chain of reasoning is the starting point of understanding logic and logic is how the discerning mind comes to know what is true.

This is important because we all have a worldview. We all have ideas of what is true and what is not true. What is possible and what is not possible. The problem is that only one worldview can be correct and that is… the correct worldview. See, this is necessarily true because the incorrect worldview cannot be the correct worldview. A thing cannot be both correct and incorrect at the same time. Similarly, a car cannot be blue and not blue at the same time. A man cannot be running and not running at the same time. These are contradictions. Contradictions are two opposing statements which means that they are opposites, they oppose one another. As we apply this to reality a person cannot be both alive and dead at the same time and in the same sense. It is one thing to say a man is both “alive” physically and “dead” spiritually at the same time but this is not in the same sense. One sense refers to the physical and the other to the spiritual. So we see by this simple example that contradictions cannot exist in reality and therefore contradictions that we come across in reality must be identified in order to pursue the correct worldview. Therefore, when we come across a contradiction we have only 3 options- either one statement is true or the other is true but not both or both statements are false. This again exemplifies the law of non-contradiction.Thinkers as early as Aristotle were able to recognize this truth but long before Aristotle, men knew this to be true from even the moment Adam was created. He could not both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same sense.

The law of non contradiction is one of four basic principles of logic and it is so valuable to discovering truth that the great Enemy of God (whatever you may call him) has made sure that people ignore it and live in contradiction and argue from contradictory standpoints and see nothing wrong with it. At times I will engage people who will make brazenly contradictory statements and when approached with their contradictions they will say, “I don’t see it.” I imagine a man standing on the train tracks of logic. A train is coming his way ready to destroy his position as I plead with him logically to move out of the way but he says to me…

“I don’t see it.”

Truth is no exception. Truth comes hurling at us like a train yet we cannot see it because our worldview is incorrect. We have developed a worldview that allows us to accept contradictions and think nothing of it. Rather than questions our own position we dig in our heels and question the position of others. We allow ourselves to hold onto contradictions but the moment someone else’s position contradicts ours we become deeply offended by their ignorance.  Interesting.

A thing cannot be both true and not true at the same time so what we as thinking adults have the challenge to do is discover what is true and what is not true in order for us to develop the correct worldview. This does not mean that all we have to do is discover good arguments for what is true and what is not true. No. The debate on God’s existence or whether abortion is good or bad has great minds on both sides- both forming arguments as to its rightness or wrongness; its correctness or incorrectness.  Unfortunately today more then ever our leaders know so much about the world but we as a population know very little about logic. As a result, we believe in falsehoods and we love every minute of it because we would rather live in contradiction (which is at worst to say we live in a lie or at best to say we live illogically) then to admit that we are wrong.

Most people will not point out your contradictions because they have become so imbecile they don’t recognize them. I am not one of those people. Instead, my goal is to examine your argument and look for contradictions because when I find them I know that I have identified a point that could not possibly be true. It is at this juncture where you must decide whether you are the imbecile or the Aristotle. Will you recognize your contradiction in wisdom and contemplate your position or will you dig in your heels and commit to your folly and self-deception? You can’t do both- that would be a contradiction.

For more info on contradiction please view the following links:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-noncontradiction/#1

http://carm.org/dictionary-law-of-non-contradiction

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/lawofcon.htm

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