Press of the BeComingOne Church

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[Taken from the God Papers  by Walter R. Dolen
 Copyright © 1977-2003 by Walter R. Dolen and/or BeComingOne Church]

Two Basic Laws

Law of Contradiction and Law of Knowledge

gp11» There are two basic laws of reasoning and knowledge. These laws are so elementary that most people know them only intuitively. Only a few such as Aristotle and the stoic writer Chrysippus have attempted to put these laws into words. By amplifying these two laws we project the real reason why the all-powerful Power, the Real God, has "allowed" evil to exist in his creation, or in His own words why He, "created evil" (Isa 45:7).

  • One law, the Law of Contradiction, shows us the only sure way of ascertaining the truth from known facts.
  • The other law, the Law of Knowledge, shows us why God has allowed evil to exist.

We will explain the Law of Contradiction now; in GP 7 of the God Papers we will explain the Law of Knowledge and why the Power has allowed evil. Also see Law of Knowledge here.

God Does Not Lie

gp12» Along with these two laws of reasoning and knowledge must go the important fact that the true God does not lie. God cannot go back on his word (Isa 46:11). In fact, it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:17-18; 1John 5:18; etc.). With these three things we will be able to understand who or what God was/is/will-be and understand why God has created the way He has created. If we do not believe in the two basic laws, we will not understand. (A point of fact here: if these laws do not exist, we do not and cannot understand anything.) If we do not believe ALL of God's words are truthful, it is futile to look for the truth, for how would we ascertain his true words from his false words?

Law Of Contradiction

What is the Law of Contradiction?

gp13» There is no greater principle in thinking than the Law of Contradiction. You cannot know anything, I repeat, you cannot know anything if the Law is not true. What is the Law?:

  • "Now the best established of all principles may be stated as follows: The same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject in the same respect ... This I repeat, is the most certain of all principles...." [Aristotle in Metaphysics]
  • "There is a principle in existing things about which we cannot make a mistake; of which, on the contrary, we must always realize the truth -- that the same thing cannot at one and the same time be and not be, nor admit of any other similar pair of opposites...." [Aristotle in Metaphysics]
  • "The most certain principle of all is that regarding which it is impossible to be mistaken; for such a principle must be both the best known ... and non-hypothetical. For a principle which every one must have who understands anything that is, is not a hypothesis; and that which every one must know who knows anything ... Evidently then such a principle is the most certain of all ... It is, that the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject and in the same respect." [Aristotle in Metaphysics]

Aristotle is reported to have written this in his Metaphysics. Aristotle further said that "everyone in argument relies upon this ultimate law, on which all others rest." He said this principle or law of logic "must be known if one is to know anything at all." He also said, "if everything is and at the same time is not, all opinions must be true."

If everything is and at the same time is not ...

gp14» Aristotle was right. There is no greater principle in thinking than the Law of Contradiction. Something cannot be all black and at the same time be all white. But a wall can be all white at noon time, and be all black at one hour past noon, because it was painted black shortly after noon time. Or for that matter, something cannot appear to be all white to a certain individual, and at the same time appear to the same certain individual as any other color. Either the object at that time was all white or it was not. But for those who ignore the Law, they say without blinking their eyes:

  • the wall is black at the same time it is white, or the wall is simultaneously black and white.

You protest. You say, no fool would say that a wall can be simultaneously black and white? Do read on.

At the same time ...

gp15» A man cannot be legally married and not be legally married at the same time. But a man named Joseph can be married at noon time on Tuesday, and not be married at two minutes past noon time because his wife died at one minute past noon. But this Joseph was not: married and not married at the same time. Although you can say that on Tuesday Joseph was single, he was married, and he was widowered; Joseph was not single, married, or widowered at the same time even though on the same day he was all three.

Good and Evil at the same time or ...

gp16» A man cannot be good (in the truest sense of the word) and yet at the same time commit murder. But John could have killed Joseph last year, yet today be good because he has changed from his former behavior. He is a reformed murderer. In the English language, you can still call this John a killer because in the past he killed Joseph, and you at the same time could call John, "good," because he has reformed. But you cannot say that John was good when he murdered Joseph. Time has an important part to play in the Law of Contradiction. Your general behavior cannot be good and evil at the same time, but your general behavior could have been bad in the past, and yet you have now changed your general behavior to that which may be called good.

Same time in the same respect

gp17» Because of the Law of Contradiction, you cannot be physically present on First Street in San Jose, California at 1:30 PM on April 20 and at the same time be physically present on First Street in New York, New York. Of course those who play word games could say that at the same time you were mentally in San Jose, you were physically in New York. Notice the change in the sense of being in a place. For those who play word games, Aristotle qualified his statement: "the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject in the same respect." His qualification, "in the same respect," means that you cannot be, in the same sense, in San Jose and New York at the same time.

"If everything is and at the same time is not, all opinions must be true"

gp18» If the Law of Contradiction is not correct, you could say that John murdered Joseph at 1:30 PM, or just as truthfully say that the same John did not murder the same Joseph at 1:30 PM on the same day. Both of these contrary statements can be truthful at the same time, if the Law of Contradiction is not true. Again, if the Law of Contradiction is not valid, you could say and be 'correct': "I am alive physically, yet in the same sense and at the same time that I am alive -- I am also dead." But you protest again. No one you say in their right mind would say he is alive and dead at the same time in the same respect. Do read on.

Word Games or Lies

gp19» The Law of Contradiction is so obviously valid that few say it isn't true, yet there are many who act as if the Law of Contradiction is not true by their belief in contrary theories. In fact, impossible contradictions are taught as truth each day in the fields of religion, politics, law, and "science." If contradictions are taught by "respected" people, they are accepted by some, even though at some level of thought they see the contradiction. Authority and tradition are strong -- so strong that real contradictions are taught as the absolute truth. Many dogmas use obviously false statements such as claiming:

  • "The simultaneity of Jesus's death and immortality" (Hugh Ross,

gp20» How can Jesus be immortal and simultaneously experience death? There is a way to move beyond the paradox of Jesus being God, yet Jesus dying, without tossing out the Law of Contradiction. In order to know anything we must hold on to the Law of Contradiction. The theologians are making a mistake in their beliefs that force them to ignore and degrade the Law of Contradiction. Of course, by degrading the Law of Contradiction, they are making their biggest mistake, and this is why they will never find the truth. You cannot find the Truth without using the Law of Contradiction.

Do words have meaning?

gp21» Please, please, please. Look again at the statement from the astronomer Hugh Ross, a person with a Ph.D in a astronomy:

  • "The simultaneity of Jesus's death and immortality" (Hugh Ross, Beyond the Cosmos, p. 108).

Ross is not stupid. But because Ross and others believe that Jesus is God, and that God is not mutable or changeable, (2) then in order for Jesus to die on the cross, he must have been dead and alive at the same time. Instead of examining their immutable theory they insist on saying that God was alive and dead at the same time.

Footnote 2. See "Unchangeableness of God" in this part of the God Papers for more information

gp22» Do words have meaning? Apparently not for some theologians. Berkhof wrote:

  • "In view of all this [scripture] it may be said that, according to Scripture, physical death is a termination of physical life by the separation of body and soul. It is never an annihilation... Death is not a cessation of existence, but a severance of the natural relations of life. Life and death are not opposed to each other as existence and non-existence, but are opposites only as different modes of existence. It is quite impossible to say exactly what death is. We speak of it as the cessation of physical life, but then the question immediately arises, Just what is life? And we have no answer." [Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 668].

I do not believe that Berkhof does not understand what death is. He merely doesn't want to believe it because of some view he holds. In order for some to believe in certain theories they must either change the normal meaning of words (death is not death) or diffuse its meaning. How can death be a different mode of existence as Berkhof maintains? He completely negates the meaning of death by asserting this. This is a ploy used by those who do not wish to look the truth in the eye. When their theory on the nature of God cannot hold up, they merely change the meaning of words, or make preposterous statements that claim and maintain:

  • "The simultaneity of Jesus's death and immortality" (Hugh Ross,

Knowledge cannot exist outside the Law of Contradiction

gp23» The Law of Contradiction is true. Once explained and understood it is the most obvious law. It is the basis on which we judge what is true and what is not true. It is the basis on which courts judge whether a person committed a crime or not. Either the murderer was at the crime scene at the same time as the crime or he was not. He could not, be there and not be there, at the same time in the same respect.

Summarize the Law of Contradiction

gp24» The Law of Contradiction is the basis from which we reason:

  • something or some specific action cannot at the same time be and not be.

But there are some, as Aristotle noted, that foolishly argue against this law. But I ask, how can anyone not believe in this law? If someone does not believe in this law, he cannot prove or disprove anything (at any one time something could be or could not be true); he cannot believe in anything (for what he believes in could just as well not be true).

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