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Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Sketched Argument for God's Control

Introductory remarks

Here we offer, in accordance with our title, an argument for the doctrine that God controls the choices of all agents, which I regard as the key underlying principle of Calvinism. So, by the term "God" we have in mind the creator-deity Yahweh from Judeo-Christian tradition. The argument is deductive, with seven premises, each intended to cause comparatively less controversy than the conclusion. Defenses of the premises are not given in this document. However, we do present an initial set of six points, along with a rhetorical appeal for each, intended to elucidate the reasoning behind the argument. These points do not themselves make up any deductive argument; rather, each one, save the last, will serve as an aid to rhetorical defenses for subsequent points, and suggest strategies for defending the premises of the final argument.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Laws of Thought in Formal Calculi

In philosophical discussions with laypersons I often encounter references to three so-called "laws of logic." Although they may take any of a wide range of different expressions which convey an arguably greater diversity of meaning, I shall adopt for the purposes of this document a simple and specific set of formulations, given thusly:

The law of identity: Every entity is the same as itself.

The law of noncontradiction: No proposition is both true and false.

The law of excluded middle: Every proposition is either true or false.