RULES OF LOGIC TO USE
TO INTERPRET GOD'S WORD
I) LOGIC DEFINED
Logic is concerned with what is true and how we can know whether something is true. It can be defined also as valid reasoning.
II) ARGUMENT DEFINED
Argument can be described conveying information to another to support ones point of view/opinion.
III) APPLICABLE RULES OF LOGIC TO USE WHEN INTERPRETING THE BIBLE
A) If anything which is X is Y, then anything which appears to be X must appear Y.
B) If all M are P, then anything which is M, is likewise P, so that the (all or some) S which are M must also be P. If any S were not P, this would signify that some M are not P, and contradict our original assumption that all M are P.
C) Reductio ad absurdum shows that a major (A) and minor (B) premise together imply a conclusion (C), because if A were asserted together with the negation of C, they would together imply the negation of B, through an already validated process. This method, with the major premise kept constant while the rest is tested, is used to validate the second figure by reference to the first.
Thus, 'All P are M and No S is M' imply 'No S is P', for granting that all P are M, if some S were P, then some S would be M, which contradicts our original minor premise that no S is M.
D) DIRECT REDUCTION
This is more formal minded, in that one or both premises are subjected to an eductive process to reduce the syllogism to a first figure mood with the same conclusion or one implying it.
E) SIMILARITY DOES NOT PROVE IDENTITY
A conductor might tell his orchestra, for example, 'Lower the volume of the last trumpet call' referring to a particular musical piece. This would not be saying that this was the last time the trumpets would play that evening; only the last for that piece of music.
G) A is B and B is C, therefore A is C
Integration means checking all of one's knowledge with itself to make sure it's non-contradictory. This rule is partially dictated by reality, by the law of non-contradiction. It is also dictated by the nature of concepts; as we pointed out earlier, our conceptual structure is interconnected in complex ways, and we have to double-check the implications of all the interconnections. For example, if, when discussing personal psychology, you hold that people have free-will and are responsible for forming their characters, and yet when discussing political-economy you hold that people are helpless puppets of their environment, then you hold a contradiction that needs to be corrected.
Reduction means bringing a concept back to the self-evident, i.e., pointing in reality to what a concept refers to. This rule is dictated by reality because, obviously, the referents of concepts are supposed to be things out in reality. This rule is dictated by the nature of concepts because we build long chains of concepts upon concepts, and if we want our structure to be valid then the chain has to be grounded in reality. For example, if you are an Objectivist and you have a friend you value highly, you should be able to point to particular things he's done and say ``that's justice,'' ``that's honesty,'' ``that's ambition,'' ``that's pride''-``that's why I like this guy.''
J) KEEPING CONTEXT
The third principle is keeping context (the opposite of which is called ``context dropping''). LP defined context as ``sum of cognitive elements conditioning the acquisition, validity or application of any item of human knowledge.'' Keeping context means keeping in mind the full context of any concept or proposition when using it. This rule is dictated by reality because concepts are formed on the basis of distinctions (differences) that exist out in reality. A typical example of context-dropping would be arguing that since the initiation of force is bad, one must not forcibly stop a child from leaving his parents; children must be allowed to pick anyone they please as parents (don't laugh: many libertarians hold this position). This drops the context in which the concept of individual rights was formed. People are rational and must be left free to act on their own judgement; with in mind, it's obvious that children, who do not have yet the ability to be fully objective in their thinking, do not have fully the same rights as adults. As in this example, context dropping most often takes the form of a failing to reduce properly; AR called the resulting concepts, concepts cut off from their referents in reality, "floating-abstractions.'"
A more subtle form of context-dropping is going on when people claim that relativistic mechanics invalidates Newtonian mechanics. Within the range of velocities and degree of measurement attainable in everyday life-i.e., within the context of everyday life-Newtonian mechanics and relativistic mechanics are equivalent. The new mechanics doesn't invalidate the old mechanics, it extends the old mechanics into a wider context. We'll get back to this point in a second.
K) USING WORD STUDIES
A logical fallacy is committed when we attempt to transfer a word that has meaning in one context to another context where it has none.
L) THE LAW OF CONTRADICTION
Something cannot be both A and non-A. The most precise phrasing of this law is as follows: If we understand the meaning of a particular entity and a particular property and we know precisely both what it would mean for the entity to have the property and what it would mean for the entity not to have the property, then the entity cannot both have and not have the property.
M) THE LAW OF NON-CONTRADICTION
As Nathaniel Branden worded it, this law states that an entity cannot both have a specific attribute and not have that same attribute at the same time and in the same respect. As Rand phrased it, something cannot be both A and non-A. The most precise phrasing of this law is as follows: If we understand the meaning of a particular entity and a particular property and we know precisely both what it would mean for the entity to have the property and what it would mean for the entity not to have the property, then the entity cannot both have and not have the property.
N) A FORTIORI ARGUMENT
The Latin phrase argumentum a fortiori denotes "argument 'from [the] stronger [reason]'." For example, if it has been established that a person is deceased, then one can, with equal or greater certainty, argue that the person is not breathing.
When the phrase includes the Latin or English noun, it properly denotes a proof in which one demonstrates a claim by invoking as proof an already proven, stronger claim. (Example: "When one argues that if it is forbidden to ride a bicycle with an extra passenger, it is also forbidden to ride a bike with fourteen extra passengers, one makes an argument a fortiori.)