The Law of Non-Contradiction

In classical logic, the law of non-contradiction (LNC) (or the law of contradiction (PM) or the principle of non-contradiction (PNC), or the principle of contradiction) is the second of the three classic laws of thought. It states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive. (Wikipedia)

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Let him who disbelieves [in the law of non-contradiction] be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten and burned is not the same thing as to not be beaten and burned.”
– Avicenna (980-1037) [Source:  Apologetics 315]

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This guy Avicenna certainly knows how to make a point.

4 Replies to “The Law of Non-Contradiction”

  1. What a timely quote for me today, Mike.

    Whenever I struggle with finding out which of two contradictory statements is the right one, I find myself being captured by one side for a certain time and it seems to me that I discovered ‘the truth’. But wait a moment, the other side appears to be reasonable in some points as well, and that’s why I suddenly observe my mind having changed sides. A few moments later, doubts arise on the surface whether or not I actually chose the right or the wrong side. And then I swing back to the former point of view.
    This process can last for hours, days, weeks, or even years with regard to a specific issue. Of course, there will be interruptions of the process if years are concerned. However, as long as the procedure is not finished yet, quiet times for my mind are like peace in spite of not knowing the truth – it’s the art of compromise. 😉 Compared with a tennis match, one might say, “Deuce”.
    Time and again, I realize those unanswered questions reappear by pressing their claims forcefully. I really hate watching my mind and reason bouncing forth and back like a tennis ball, hearing a voice hollering (like) “Advantage A” – “Deuce” – “Advantage B” – “Deuce,” a loud but unheard noise pollution and confusion inside of me – endlessly fooling my mind…

    Although I know that God’s intention is simply to ‘go a bit further to take us to the next level’, that is, He enables us to contemplate the whole matter from a new and higher observer’s perspective, it sometimes drives me nuts.

    Only just this morning, after another more or less sleepless night, awaking with the same contradicting thoughts which had even popped up in my dreams, I felt incapable of praying another thing than, “Please, Lord, help me – I must know the truth RIGHT NOW!!”
    However, since I have been praying this for many times during the last weeks, and I couldn’t feel His peace as long as I was concerned with that question, I decided to give up on it and prayed instead, “Lord, do what you wish, but please give me Your peace again.”
    A few minutes later, my mind was calming down automatically and I sensed the voice of my heart saying, “Susanne, where are you looking at? You can’t see the truth as long as you are fishing in muddy waters on our own. I am the light.”
    Ouch, that hit home. What a hopeless nerd I am in quest of truth. Do you see? 🙂

  2. Words needed like blessings from heaven’s gate. 🙂 Indeed, these psalms can adjust the eyes of the heart.
    And Jesus is the light burning bright in the night…

  3. This comment is, as it were, the sequel of my tennis match of contradicting thoughts. 🙂

    As time goes by I just realize when there’s no hope for me in sight, looking at Him who is my only guiding light always helps…

    It has become so important for me to be led by His Spirit, that is, to listen much more to His voice than to various voices of others – even to my own that speaks much too much. 😉
    Our human voices have different sources they usually draw upon. Aware of it or not, when we think, speak or write, sometimes we use human reasoning, sometimes God’s divine light comes shining through, yet sometimes it can be the devil who causes us to serve him unknowingly (cf. Jesus and Peter, Mt 16:23; Mk 8:33). Or in other words, as James put it,

    “And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. ” (Js 3:6)

    Can we avoid “staining the whole body”?
    John Wesley wrote in His Notes on the Bible (on Mt 6:22-23),

    “The eye is the lamp of the body – And what the eye is to the body, the intention is to the soul. We may observe with what exact propriety our Lord places purity of intention between worldly desires and worldly cares, either of which directly tend to destroy. If thine eye be single – Singly fixed on God and heaven, thy whole soul will be full of holiness and happiness. If thine eye be evil – Not single, aiming at any thing else.”

    I think this is the lesson God taught me recently.
    Whenever I thought I had to do this or that, even what others wanted me to do, and I attempted to meet with their wishes without asking the Lord before, I became restless, nervous, and confused. Finally, as soon as I was sick and tired of my own both aimless thinking and senseless doing and its negative consequences for my emotional life, I decided to give in to the Lord’s drawing, and to withdraw for my part from any action that did not give me His peace of mind. Although my mind was leaping for two days like a crazed monkey, saying, “Susanne, you should help him/her because he/she needs you.” The Lord didn’t stop drawing me away from any such actions. And obeying Him in this regard, His peace, love, and joy were increasing all the more.

    Today my lesson learned is simply, “He just wants to take the stress away from us!”

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