f The Wittenberg Door: Avicenna and the Law of Non-Contradiction

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Avicenna and the Law of Non-Contradiction

Many Postmodern thinkers have taken to denying the law of non-contradiction. This law of thought states that A cannot be non-A at the same time and in the same sense.

Despite their protestations, Postmodern-types violate this law when they claim that truth cannot be known. Since they mean for this claim to be taken as true (despite their verbal smoke and mirrors), they are saying that it’s the case that truth can be known and it’s the case that truth cannot be known.

Folly Revealed

With all the ills Islam has brought to humanity, I’ve found something commendable. Muslim philosopher Avicenna (Ibn Sina) deftly shows the folly of denying the law of non-contradiction.

Anyone who denies the Law of Non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as to not be burned.

Avicenna (980-1037)

I recommend setting this to memory for use next time you encounter someone denying the law of non-contradiction—or for use next time you want to recite flowery, Islamic prose.



Blogger Unknown said...

An excellent quote and consideration. Thanks.


6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You show a fundamental misunderstanding of the post-modern position, and of logical argument.

Most all of the popular post-modernists have nothing much to say about the physical world. They don't tend to argue against the LNC in the physical world, but they do argue against it in the meta-physical world.

Avicenna's "argument" only "works" in the physical world. Applied metaphysically, it loses all potency. Imagine with me:

"Anyone who denies the LNC in it's abstracted form should be abstractly beaten and metaphysically burned until they admit... etc."

His assertion won't work on the post-modernists you debate with.

Also, there are plenty of self-immolators and self-flagellators; I doubt Avicenna's tactic would have much effect on them either.

I've been blabbing so I'll sum up in one sentence: You're misguided and Avicenna's "argument" is impotent.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

I heard Greg Koukl from Stand to Reason use this quote on his radio show this past Sunday and absolutely love it. I got a good chuckle when I heard it because I get tired of all the non-sense from postmoderns and this is to the point.

I have been doing some thinking since Greg mentioned this and I realized how foundational this law is to any meaningful dialog. So I was going to make a blog entry discussing the law of non contradiction and wanted to use this quote. So a little searching turns up your blog. And then to get insight into your theological leanings I checked out the sites you have linked, some of my favorites, and there was Stand to Reason. And then all the pieces came together. It's so wonderful to be part of the family. I'll be linking your blog to mine and checking in on yours regularly.
Keep up the good work.

In His service, for His glory

10:31 PM  
Blogger The Catechizer and The Deacon said...

Happy to be of service, Collin. Thanks.


Greetings, Anonymous. I must admit that I’m lost in the labyrinth of your words. What is a “meta-physical world”? You seem to be setting meta-physical in juxtaposition to physical, as if the former means “non-physical.”

The laws of logic are abstract, not concrete, so your “imagine with me” statement makes no sense. As a matter of fact, none of your comments make sense—which, unfortunately, is par for the course with Post-Moderns.

One last thing: asserting that I’m misguided and that the argument is impotent doesn’t prove that either of these are so; but if you want to prove your assertions, simply volunteer to be beaten and burned. That should settle everything.


Greetings, Robert. I heard that broadcast too. Funny thing, I think (but am not sure) I first heard the quote from Ken Samples when he was on Greg’s show a few years ago.

I’ve been a listener of Greg since his show was called The Areopogus; I met him a few times while he was still an assistant pastor at Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach (my cousin and his wife used to attend that church). Actually, Greg was instrumental in me leaving Word-Faith Pentecostalism.

It’s good to know that there are other like-minded Christians out there. Thanks for stopping by.

10:53 AM  

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