Why A Blog? Part Two
But, I digress. For many of you the information that follows is an insult to your time. You may know all of these things, but my vision for this weblog is for those who don't know or who need a refresher course. So for those of you like Krelly or Sampler, just remember not to come down on me too hard for my simplistic and boring explanations. So here we go.
Back to what I was saying about people not really processing information. Bloom's Taxonomy teaches that there are 6 levels of learning -- Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. From the last election we can learn that many never get to the Evaluation stage. People cannot evaluate whether the information that they are hearing is correct, coherent, and consistent. As I said in the previous blog I want to review for those reading the tests for a worldview (which can be applied to almost any argument). But first we must understand the three principles of logic, which are identity, contradiction, and excluded middle. To explain these concepts I am going to refer to Winfried Corduan, who writes in his book No Doubt About It:
"The principle of identity states that a thing or a statement is identical with itself. In other words, this tree is this tree. The principle of contradiction states that if something is true, its contradiction cannot also be true. If it is true that this is a tree, then it must be false that it is not a tree. The principle of excluded middle states that it must be one or the other. Either it is a tree or a non-tree; there is no middle ground between the two."
These principles are important to remember when you engage a culture that deconstructs everything to the point that even identity is no longer a valid principle. This logic is all a part of the postmodern culture in which we live today. Now the ways to assess a worldview must take into consideration these basic principles. They are (according to Robert Stewart of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary):
1) Coherence -- Is it contradictory?
2) Correlation -- Does it seem to match our reality?
3) Comprehensiveness -- How well does it account for all of life?
4) Consistency -- Can you live it?
So, these are some beginning things that I believe all people need to know in order to assess arguments and worldviews. We must have a foundation of philosophy if we are going to be able to discuss ideas, especially those which have to do with politics and theology. I noticed so many times during the course of this last election that even Ivy League-educated political candidates have a hard time keeping their ideas within the realm of logical argumentation and certainly do a poor job of noticing flaws in their opponents' rationale.
Well, that is about all for tonight. Most of you probably didn't make it all the way through, but hopefully you will use this for reference in the future. Maybe I should post some common logical fallicies as well, just in case you notice me using one. Thanks for reading,
Soli Deo Gloria,