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The Symbols of Logic
"~A" means "not A"
"A·B" means "A and B"
"AvB" means "A or B"
"A⊂B" means "If A then B"
"A=B" means "If A then B, and if B then A"
"/∴" means "therefore" (having the
same meaning as a line drawn under the premises)
Application to Nebuchnezzar Hulk Mystery
Davis, p. 190f.
Conclusion: ITS LORD
-an argument consisting of two statements or premises and a conclusion based upon those premises
A valid deductive argument
-an argument such that if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true
A valid inductive argument
--an argument such that if the premises are true, then the conclusion is probably true
-a valid argument with true premises
"A⊃B; ~A; /, ~B" is invalid. p. 200
Evaluating Inductive Arguments: Criteria of Proof
Beyond a reasonable doubt: based on the preponderance of the evidence: possessing a high degree of probability: the kind of argument used in a court of law and by historians
Application of Aristotelian Logic
to Deadlock of Claims to Revealed Religion
Historical verification: Are the major events sufficiently documented so as to provide a historian's proof beyond a reasonable doubt?
Internal consistency: Is there an underlying unity of purpose and testimony of recorded events which might suggest divine inspiration on the part of the authors?
Coherence with reality: Does the view of reality presented by the religious documents, as far as the natural state of things, cohere with reality as can be readily observed in the world and human nature by any honest person?
The nature of the message: Is it conceivable that any person or group of persons could have concocted this on their own so as to deceive the world? Or is it so awesome and transcendent that (1) it would be unimaginable apart from Deity being behind it, and (2) that a defiant refusal to submit to the truth and force of it would appear blatantly irreverent and foolish?
Reliability of the witnesses of supernatural events: Do they come across as men given to perjury, exaggeration, fantasy, or psychosis; or does their character itself commend their writing? Do they display the earmarks of competent historians or reliable witnesses?
Testing in the marketplace: Has it withstood intense scrutiny and critique over time and in the public arena?
The character and impact of the founder & message (ethical, psychological & sociological): Does the founder's character substantiate his claims to Deity, transcendence, or prophecy? How does the founder's character measure up to the highest ethical standards of the major world philosophers and religious leaders? Does it even exceed those ideals? Granting the presence of false professors or hypocrites in all religion, is the character of the founder reproduced in the lives of others?, i.e., Is there evidence that the message can be lived out in the real world, and that if it were to be lived out on a grand scale, society would be remarkably better than without it? Does the particular faith or conversion experience result in what people of sound mind would regard as healthy personality and responsible behavior in the everyday relationships of life?
Corroboration by other sources (friends & critics; religious & secular): Are there other religious or secular sources that would serve to validate the historicity of purported events or personages?
Scientific aspect: Do relevant fields of science, such as archeology, generally tend to validate the reliability of the religious documents?
Eternal value: Does the message offer men a reliable hope, not for this life only, but for the world to come?
What is its worth in terms of its highest good? How does that compare with other religious options?
Universal relevance: Is the message equally applicable to all ages, both sexes, and all ethnic groups?
Philosophical aspects: Is it philosophically sound? Does the message, if true, resolve, ignore, or complicate the universal philosophical problems with which man has struggled through the centuries?, e.g., the nature of Being, the one and the many, the problem of evil, the origin of the universe, and the end or purpose for everything.
Bottom line: Is it more reasonable to believe the particular testimony to divine revelation than not to believe?