Category Archives: Logic

War is Coming.

Wow, did The Scribbler just make a prophecy? Am I a prophetess? Nah.  War is always coming, and further, there is always war currently waging, we in the U.S. are unfortunately short sighted when it comes to killing and conflict. It is happening every single day in countries that may seem distant to us, but because it is our fellow humans, it isn’t distant at all.  Don’t believe me that there are wars ongoing?  Use your search engine of choice and check it out; search for current wars.

There are those in the U.S. who don’t seem to realize that war is inevitable.  They don’t know the news, except for what is fed to us by the mainstream U.S. media.  They don’t see what is going on with Russia, the Ukraine, in the Mideast, etc… War, esp. World War, belongs only in the history book to their way of thinking, or on the Silver Screen.  We have become a nation that doesn’t contemplate the inevitable and that is dangerous and sad.

Proverbs 24:5 A wise man is strong, And a man of knowledge increases power. For by wise guidance you will wage war, And in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Wisdom, knowledge, and wise counselors can only be had if we admit that there is a need to be strong, powerful, and have the ability to wage war and come out victorious.  We need strong and wise military minds and that takes top-notch military schooling and training.  It also takes us, as a culture, saying that being a Godly warrior can be a calling.  The Lord willing may they never see battle, but they are a need.  There is a time for war, and a time for righteous anger.

One last point; if you are a current service man or woman, or have served this country in the past, OR are family to a service man or woman; Thank You for your service.  For the rest of us, we need to be aware of the changes to the military in this country, the lack of funding, and the lack of respect from certain segments of our own government.  When looking for ways to teach our kids charity, make sure to consider those highly ranked charities that aid our men and women in uniform.


Filed under Christianity, Logic, Musings, Religion and Politics

Ayn Rand; Brilliant? Fool? Both? pt. 1

As a philosophy instructor I’ve of course learned and taught about Ayn Rand, but only recently have I really looked at her, as a person, instead of “just” the philosophy she adopted as her own and presented to the public.  Ayn had a lot of interesting philosophies, and many of those philosophies have a place in our current society, and could even be embraced by Christians; however, Ayn also had many personal and psychological issues that get in the way of her own philosophy.

Contrary to Ayn’s own apparent belief, her philosophy had been around for thousands of years before she was born; her objectivism wasn’t so much a new philosophy, as it was a mix of philosophies that could be found in the annals of philosophy that came before her.  She also lacked a logical basis for her philosophy, though that idea would insult her very much.

First, a run down of what “objectivism” is, according to Ayn. Objectivism is espoused to be an answer to subjectivism.  Objectivists like Ayn believe that our senses actually and accurately inform us about reality.  Human logic stands in for God (which is an illogical position that I’ll address later); meaning Ayn believed that human reason alone could result in absolutes.  For example, we can rationally conceive of a morality totally defined via human reason and have it be absolute.

One of the hallmarks of Ayn’s morality was the idea of selfishness; that selfishness is morally right.  She was fond of bashing (and misunderstanding) altruism, as well as Christianity. And, the one big thing we’ve heard recently because of the state of our economy and country; she pushed for laissez-faire capitalism with extraordinarily limited gov’t interference in the business world.

Ayn’s philosophies never caught on in any academic sphere.  One reason; she disliked academics, so there was her strike against the liberals.  She disliked religion and denied there was a God, so there was her strike against the conservatives.  She effectively cut off both routes to respect and implementation of her philosophies (this is important because one reason she wrote what she did when she did was to try to change the directions of the U.S.).  While her philosophies are popular amongst college/high school students, it is her stories that are popular amongst the “common folk” whom she often complained did not understand the deeper implications of her work.

Surprisingly enough, Ayn was anti-feminist and anti-homosexual, finding both positions to be immoral and disgusting.  She had odd ideas about sex and sexuality that are apparent just by reading her fiction stories.  To be a “good” objectivist was to believe that it was the man’s place to be worshiped, and a woman’s place to be submissive and to be owned.  Authors tend to write themselves into certain characters and by reading Ayn’s descriptions of her female characters, we can see a common thread that is both sad and disturbing.  I intend to take a look at this in my next blog post as well as discussing her take on altruism and morality.

Leave a comment

Filed under Atheism, Logic, Of Interest, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion and Politics

Blog comments reminder

It has been awhile since I drew attention to the “Respect” tab at the top of my blog.  Please read it before you comment, it explains the idea of respect, and also the very serious responsibility I have to make sure that the truth is upheld.  This is especially important after I write a post that gets the atheist’s anger stirred up.

Christianity, as contained in the Bible, is indeed the Truth and I say that based on evidence and on a lifetime of research into both Christianity and all other major religions, blind faith is not looked on well here; proselytizing of other religions, including atheism is clearly not permitted.  If you can’t abide by the rules, don’t bother commenting.  You have your own forums and blogs for that.  Logical fallacy in the form of personal attack ad hominem doesn’t add to a conversation.

Don’t feed the trolls.

1 Comment

Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity, Logic

The Great Chick-fil-A kerfuffle of 2012…

I know I’ve been absent from my blog for a bit, but I’ll be back to writing more regularly soon. Meanwhile I just had to comment on the whole Chick-fil-A controversy. First, I beg anyone that is interested in weighing in to read the chief executive’s words before responding.

He has made it clear in the past that he is going to run his corporation in a manner that he sees as inline with Christian mainstream belief. Now everyone is suddenly shocked that he doesn’t support gay marriage. Oh my! Who woulda ever seen that coming? Sarcasm aside, he has the right to his freedom of speech. There is nothing in what he said that is hateful or bigoted. The other issue being screamed over? Which charities and organizations the corporation gives money to. Guess what; when you make the money, you get to decide who it goes to.

If you want to give money to a different cause, bully for you. I’m a Christian (duh), and would I give my money to all the same organizations as they do? No. I do a little something called work, which I get paid for. I can then decide where to give my money. It also holds true that people are free to boycott whom they choose; don’t like a company, don’t buy from them. The only problem I have in this case is that politicians, in positions of power, are trying to deny Chick-fil-A equality in a way that is unconstitutional. And, before anyone goes screaming at me about same sex marriage rights; guess what? I’m all for equality for all; the government should not get to say who can and cannot be married, everyone should have civil unions. It is God that ultimately says who is or is not married, not the state. Each church and each pastor needs to decide who they will or won’t perform ceremonies for.

People on both sides of the issue should stop, breathe, and ask themselves if they have actually been given a reason for being upset, or might it just be that politicians and manipulators on both sides of this “issue,” are manufacturing outrage with pure rhetoric?


Filed under Humor, Logic, Musings, Of Interest

Wishful Thinking…

There is an actual fallacy in formal logic usually labeled something like “wishful thinking.”  This is when someone either accepts a claim, or urges acceptance of a claim based solely on the fact that it would be great if it were true.  Now, most times this is a lot more subtle in nature than stating the phrase outright (“wouldn’t it be great if…”), and is used by some of the best public speakers.  There is a subtle manipulation of emotion involved and it is more of an appeal to that emotion than to any type of actual logic or reality.

Now, why is this a topic for the Christian Scribbler?  I actually see this in a lot of apologetics for non-scripturally backed “Christian” religion.  What I mean by this is that a true Christian that studies the scriptures, and believes them, are a lot less likely to fall pray to this particular fallacy.  As an example there are some people who profess Christ that believe that God is like a cosmic Genie who is bound to answer every request…wouldn’t that be nice?  Wouldn’t that be the way God would operate in an ideal world?

At best, this approach is a misapplication of scripture, at worst it is idolatry; forming God into an image instead of learning of God Himself, how He really is, NOT how we would “like” Him to be or “wish” Him to be.  I see this amongst most non-believers as well.  They paint pictures of God as they wish to see Him, and then reject those pictures; you see “wishful thinking” can work the other way as well….”Wouldn’t it be great if this wasn’t true!?”  So it can apply to the rejection of claims too (again, it is a lot more subtle than this, but you get the point).  This can go hand-in-hand with the straw man fallacy.

One of the other areas I see this in is the idea of Christ alone as the approach to God.  Meaning there is this undercurrent of  “wouldn’t it be great if Christ wasn’t the only way to God, and all religions actually wind up taking people to God?”  The sad thing is, is that I see this amongst people that claim to be Christian.  The fallacy is that wishing it does not make it true.  Truth is all about reality.  With God, the fallacy of wishful thinking is even more dangerous; it elevates what we think would be best over God’s plan that is absolutely the best, since it springs from a perfect mind that has perfect power, including perfect love.  We should trust what God reveals over our own opinion about what would be “best,” for the evidence abounds that He can indeed be trusted in every circumstance to work it out to His perfect plan in His perfect timing, which winds up being best for humanity.

The reminder is this; don’t let sentimentality or wishful thinking blur truth, and just because we want something to be true doesn’t mean it is.  What we find in objective Truth is actually more wonderful, more “freeing” than anything we could ever come up with on our own.  One last thing, this fallacy is not the same thing as hope.  Hope is not a logical fallacy, hope accepts the truth, accepts reality,  and it also trusts, and expects good.  Hope makes us stronger, whereas the logical fallacy of wishful thinking actually weakens us, and our positions, because it is not based in truth.


Filed under Christianity, Logic

The problem of evil? Part 1…

I’ve gone over some of the arguments for the existence of God, now I’m going to turn to the one major philosophical argument against their being of God.  Please hang in there with me; I’m doing this in several parts since I’m trying to fight off a lovely illness, and I don’t feel like typing for long periods of time at the present. :)

This argument against God is often called “The problem of evil,” though even more often people just ask it as a question, such as, “If God exists why is there evil in the world?”

The philosopher Hume put it this way; “Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?”

Some other vocabulary will suffice in this introduction; the difference between natural evil and moral evil.  Natural evil is that evil that occurs because of nature, or the natural world; if I trip and fall, gravity will pull me down.  Sometimes when we trip, we break a bone, which leads to suffering…that is one example.  Also things like starving, or drowning.  Anything that is a result of a natural law, or an effect can be considered a natural evil.

Moral evil is much more “personal” to humans.  This evil springs from human will.  Anything we do to ourselves or others falls in this category; murder, torture, rape, abuse, etc…. are examples of moral evil.

So, evil is present in our world, not many people dispute that.  Most don’t dispute that it is a bad thing either…especially moral evil.  In my next few posts I’ll be looking at different responses to this idea of “the problem of evil,” including mankind’s free will, and also asking if it is even a logical argument against God.


Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Logic, Philosophy

Correlation does not equal causation…

Repeat it with me folks: “Correlation does NOT equal causation.”  I realized, whilst watching the news this morning, that this indeed a very important concept for people to really grasp.  I mean, I know it is important because I teach it in both my college Psych course and in Logic…but, I didn’t really realize how many people don’t really get the meaning of that phrase.

So, if two things are correlated, they do indeed have a relationship; for one example as one variable rises, so does the incident of another variable.  For a real world example, I’ll use this morning’s news blurb; A study has found a correlation between autism and rainy weather.

This means that kids raised in a place with more rainy weather had a greater incident of autism than those who were not.  Now…the common mistake is for someone to latch onto that and exclaim, “So, rainy weather causes autism!” No, no, no, no, no…no.

Just because something has a relationship does not speak to cause and effect.  You cannot make the claim that rainy weather causes autism, because that is not what the study found…all you can say is that rainy weather and autism rates are correlated.

This is something the news anchor didn’t seem to grasp and began to ridicule the study.  Now maybe the study was a poor one, I don’t know, but I do know that there was no claim made in the study that the rain causes autism.  Now, it is possible to study this further, which I’m sure will be done, but the point of this blog post is to hammer this fact into people’s head; just because there is a relationship between two things, it does not mean one caused the other.

The person being interviewed understood this, and gave an example of what could be happening (remember, this is just speculation); perhaps kids that live in rainy environs do not go outside nearly as much as those who live in sunny environs…that would have several possible impacts.  The rainy kids may watch much more TV, get less exercise, be vitamin D deficient, may not interact as much socially with others since they are stuck in the house, etc… OR perhaps there are chemicals in the rain, blah, blah, blah.

This mistake of thinking correlation equals causation is a very common one, especially in “scientific” research (“scientific” is in quotes because some supposedly scientific research is anything but).  Mainly it is misunderstood by people trying to interpret research, including reporting in the news media.

Here’s another example that every single one of my students knows, and loves: It is a fact that as ice cream sales rise, so does the number of deaths from drowning.  Now, the mistake would be to think that eating more ice cream causes more people to drown…what’s really going on?  Think about it.  That’s right; it’s summer time; ice cream sales and deaths from drowning are indeed correlated positively.  In summer, both variable are affected as more people buy ice cream in the summer, and more people also do water activities in the summer.

So, remember: Correlation does not equal causation.


Filed under Logic, Musings