Logic Leads You Astray

“What did you just say?”

The Bible is not always logical and logic very often leads us astray… Many things in the Christian faith are based on FAITH – with no observable fact. That is why logic falls seriously short in interpreting the Bible. Logic is always flawed.

This self-defeating argument in favor of blind faith was given to me in response to my statement that Christians are told to submit their useless intelligence to what everyone else says that the Bible says that God says. Don’t reach for your own logical conclusions, I said with sarcasm. Don’t question what you’ve been taught. Don’t challenge 2,000 years of church history…if a lot of people believe something for long enough, apparently it becomes true.

This is one quote I was commenting on: “If it were a matter to be determined by personal sympathies, tastes, or feelings, I should be as ready as any man to condemn the institution of slavery, for all my prejudices of education, habit, and social position stand entirely opposed to it. But as a Christian, I am solemnly warned not to be “wise in my own conceit,” and not to “lean to my own understanding.” As a Christian, I am compelled to submit my weak and erring intellect to the authority of the Almighty. For then only can I be safe in my conclusions, when I know that they in accordance with the will of Him, before whose tribunal I must render a strict account in the last great day.” -John Henry Hopkins

Notice how Christians have always argued against logic in order to support what they want to believe, no matter how wrong it feels to them. Abolition of slavery, women’s right to vote, mixed-race marriages, same-sex marriage, all of these have been fought against by Christians using the exact same arguments. Feelings and logic are, as they say, deceitful. It might be objectionable to a Christian to bully LGBT kids, but as long as they can believe they’re right, and convince themselves that the logical conclusion is untrue, they can allow themselves to do horrible things in the name of their religion.

Sadly, this aversion to logic is widespread. As I understand, it has one purpose: to gloss over contradictions and the less appealing aspects of your beliefs, and your incompetence in defending them. When faced with an illogical book, normally you would consider it flawed. But when 2,000 years of tradition tells you that the book is absolutely perfect, what can you do but conclude that logic itself is flawed, and thus anyone who values logic is being led astray?

I’m sorry, but if your book really was perfect, it would be perfectly logical. Logic is the fundamental thing that makes anything perfect; perfection is impossible without logic. This should be obvious–logic is, by definition, the use of valid reasoning. Perfection is the state of having no flaws, of being correct in every way; logic is the process of reaching correct conclusions by way of correct arguments. To say that the Bible is illogical is to say that it draws invalid conclusions. While an invalid conclusion can still possibly be true, it is not a perfect conclusion because it is not shown to be true by the arguments that lead to it. Thus, the entire argument is flawed.

Consider the quote at the beginning of the article. Many Christian beliefs are based on faith. Therefore logic falls short in interpreting the Bible. This is an invalid conclusion, because the former statement does not have any bearing on the truth of the latter. I suppose if they wanted to support the idea that all logic is flawed by using flawed logic, they succeeded in illogically doing so. You must use logic to construct an argument that all logic is flawed, and in doing so you will only prove your own argument wrong.

How ironic. This is what happens when you reason against reason. It’s like trying to use the fact that you crashed while texting and driving to prove that texting and driving is perfectly safe. This is the type of reasoning you say is in the Bible when you call it illogical.

Well, on that at least I can agree.

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