Trivium Pursuit

Logic is neither Greek nor Hebrew

I am new to visiting your site and I read with great interest your article on the Sabbath in the correspondence section for your web site. At the end of the article you invited comments detecting flaws in your logic. My question to you is this: How sure are you that Jesus, who was a Hebrew, would have used the Greek system of logic? In my understanding of the Hebraic mindset, it is far different from the Greek mindset. Wouldn’t it be more productive when examining the Hebrew scriptures (both old and new testaments) to look at it from a Hebraic mindset? Thank you for your time, Gail

Logic is neither “Greek” nor “Hebrew.” Polylogism [many logics] is an underlying presupposition of multiculturalism, which teaches that different cultures have different logics, and that all of these different logics are equally valid, which simply means that none of them are actually valid, which ultimately reduces to the assertion that there is no absolute truth, only relative cultural truth.

1+1=2 — and this formula is neither peculiarly Hebrew nor peculiarly Greek.
If A > B and B > C, then A > C — and this formula is neither peculiarly Hebrew nor peculiarly Greek.

“Syllogism” is simply a word which describes a logical process which God has inscribed into everyone’s mind — Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Chinese, Zulu. Nobody invented the syllogism. Syllogisms have always been used and have always been observed. Many persons have described that logical process, and one of those persons happened to have assigned the name “syllogism” to it, and that name has happened to have “stuck.” That is a Greek name, but there is nothing about the logical process which is peculiarly Greek. The Scriptures are filled with syllogisms.

Another formulation of logic is called Propositional logic (a.k.a. Symbolic Logic).

If A is true then B is true.
A is true.
Therefore B is true.

Scripture is filled with this form also. Leibniz did not invent it, he merely described what has always been around.

The real difference is not some kind of culturally specific logic (Hebrew logic, Greek logic, etc.), but culturally specific presuppositions — you call it “mindset.” Greek culture, Hebrew culture, Latin culture, Chinese culture, Zulu culture, American culture, Presbyterian culture, Baptist culture, Buddhist culture, Hindu culture, Feminist culture, Republican Party culture, Homeschool culture, Classical music culture — each has some culturally specific propositions which they simply presume to be true, but which may actually be false. But the propositions of Scripture are true, and each culture — including Hebrew and Greek culture — must be brought into conformity to Scripture. One step in this process is to show each culture its cultural sin by pointing out the logical contradiction within its own presuppositions. Another step is to point it to the only source of true propositions, which is God speaking through the Scriptures. Of course, no individual from that culture will listen unless he has a heart to seek the truth, which is the venue of logic.

It wouldn’t be fair to simply dismiss an argument by saying that syllogistic reasoning is false. (Can you prove it’s false?) If you deny syllogisms, I believe it can be demonstrated (probably syllogistically) that you will actually end up denying the ability to communicate on a meaningful level. You end up with nonsense like,

Syllogistic reasoning is not true.
You are using syllogistic reasoning.
Therefore your reasoning is not true.

This reasoning is syllogistically valid, and if the premises are true, then the conclusion is true. But if the conclusion is true, then the conclusion must be false because the argument uses syllogistic reasoning! The conclusion is both true and not true at the same time and in the same respect, which is absurd nonsense.

If you would disagree with a syllogistic conclusion, then you must show that either the premises are not true (one or all of the propositions inadequately represent what Scripture says), or else that the reasoning process is false (the premises are arranged into illogical relations or at least into relations unwarranted by Scripture).


One Response to “Logic is neither Greek nor Hebrew”

  1. Anna Says:

    This post exercised my mind today. Thank you, Harvey!