Unraveling the Concept of
The uses of the word,
"logic." "There “are four senses
(definitions) in which the word logic is used: (1) at the
theoretical and symbolic level is a comprehensive term that
refers to sets of axiomatic relationships, ‘an analysis and
evaluation of the ways of using evidence to derive correct
(true) conclusions,’ (2) in common speech at a nontechnical
level is a synonym for words such as ‘workable,’ ‘reasonable,’
and the like a logical plan may be a workable plan, an illogical
step may be a rash step; (3) (in) a formal presentation of an
argument: that is, people engage in ‘logical argument,’ whether
or not there are fallacies in the steps (that) they take; and
(4) in common speech may refer to a set of propositions or even
an outlook which may or may not be ‘logical’ in the first
sense.” (D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, Baker
Academic Books, 2nd edition, pp. 87-88,)
Ed's Comments on These
"Senses" of the Word, "Logic"
The reader should note
that #1 represents logic in its formal sense. Many people
are not familiar with this use. It entails propositions
(statements of facts) from which conclusions are drawn.
One should look at book on logic to see how these propositions
may be stated and how conclusions are drawn from them.
Certain arguments may be proven to be infallibility true, or to
the contrary, may be proved erroneous.
A better name for #3 might
be "rational" thinking, as it does not involve the formal steps
of logic, but an attempt at clearly drawing one conclusion from
other facts and statements. What is reasonable or rational
is rarely formally "logical."
#2 and #4 may include
almost any kind of reasoning in serious or casual conversations.
It is doubtful that "logic" should be used for this process at
all, as it hides the important use of formal logic.
It is most important that
readers understand that there is a discipline of formal logic
because it stands in stark contrast to all the other
definitions. Formal logic can start with true statements
(premises, axioms, presuppositions, etc.), and if the process of
logic is applied correctly, then the conclusions are also true.
For example, The Trinity
is common to all those who profess true Christianity, yet
"trinity" does not appear in the Bible. The logical steps
God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all have these attributes.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are persons.
is only one God.
Therefore, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One God and
is an arbitrary choice of a word to apply to this conclusion.
The word itself does not make its own concept true. The
concept of Trinity is a logical conclusion from the premises
which are absolutes. So, the conclusion argued logically
is as true as its premises. All the steps, as a whole, is called
may need to wrestle with this process. It cannot be done
apart from reviewing at least the first few chapters of a book
on formal logic. A failure to understand the use of formal
logic will greatly hamper one's attempts at a Biblical
"mere human logic" shows ignorance of the process of formal
logic and its power to reason to truth from true propositions.
process of formal logic, see