Sunday, March 26, 2006

Women and Logic, Men and Emotions



I heard a woman say once that women don't think logically; her implication was that men wanting to communicate with women have to learn how to understand emotions, because women aren't capable of understanding logic.

I propose a counter-statement: men need to understand emotions because that is the way many women prefer to think. Women need to understand logic because that is the way many men prefer to think.

I think in today's world, often it is the feminine (note I carefully did not say feminist) viewpoint that is considered to be the correct one. The feminine viewpoint might think that considering the gap between the sexes, it is the man who should make most of the effort in crossing the gap. A woman, I have been told, likes to feel that her man understands her emotions even without her telling them, rather like Daniel interpreting dreams without being told what they were. And if a man can read the situation and correctly guess what she's thinking, all well and good. I'm happy for both of them. I do not think there is a biblical mandate for this, however. If a woman expects this all the time from her man, that places something of a heavy burden on him which he may or may not be able to fill. How is that being a helpmeet?

It seems to me that the really important aspect here is communication. Communication is much easier if both sides work towards the middle.

The Bible, I think, has loads more to say about logic than it does about emotions. I'm not saying the man's way of thinking is better or worse than the woman's. I am saying I don't think ultimately that logic is a masculine discipline, any more than I think emotions are solely feminine. Read how both David and Jesus wept!

In the end, since emotions are part of us, and men seem to have more trouble thinking about them, they should endeavor to improve their abilities in this area. However, emotions are highly untrustworthy when it comes to beliefs. All sorts of errors propagate out there because someone took a thought they were really excited about and forgot to compare it with all of Scripture. Therefore, I strongly believe that women should learn logic. They should know when a thing is proved and when it isn't. And if someone proves something from the Scriptures, using proper exegesis and correct reasoning, they should be prepared not only to believe it, but to change their way of life accordingly. Question the logic if you must, go over it with a fine-toothed comb, etc. But in the end, if it is correct, believe it.

I'll just do one very simple example to show you. All Christians, if they take the Bible seriously as the inerrant, infallible Word of God, must believe that if there is no resurrection of the dead, then preaching is in vain, and faith is useless. I absolutely positively guarantee that you will not find that exact statement in the Bible anywhere. But the proof of it is quite simple, using plain reason. So I ask you: will you believe it?

In Christ.


 
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21 Comments:

At 3/26/2006 07:36:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

*sobs*

You're calling us women mindless ninnies who are overly emotional!!!! It's not true! You just don't understand us! You're an insensitive man who won't take the time to learn our emotional structure!

*stomps off in indignation to rant to Females Dear*

*returns to finish post*

I would claim that the emotions of women are far more logical than you realize: We cry when we're sad, laugh when we're happy, remain silent when we're mad (this of course varies for each female ;)). Therefore we have the following instances of modus ponens:

cry --> sad
laugh --> happy
silent --> mad

See, logic! When we express emotions and expect men to interpret us, we are merely playing on your logical side, since men enjoy applying cause and effect relationships.

In addition, we purposely don't disclose all of those cause and effect relationships, for that would be stifling parts of a man's logical side. Logic is closely related to puzzles, mysteries, etc; what better way for men to use their logical side than to first figure women out, and then apply what they've learned? We like to leave plenty of exercises for the reader ;).

 
At 3/30/2006 11:11:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

O, you are funny. ;-)

Though, I hate to break it to you, but the three things you mentioned about emotions are none of them modus ponens. They are merely implications, which is only one ingredient of a modus ponens. A true modus ponens goes like this:

A
If A then B
---
Therefore, B.

The second line there is not by itself modus ponens. You need the entire structure.

Ja, I know those three implications. That last one I know due to a certain female Lane and I both know, but I will keep her identity secret.

I never said logic could not apply to emotions. I do think that an emotional way of thinking sans logic can sometimes lead to illogical results. Interestingly, I recently talked with a very dear friend of mine, an elderly lady, and she said that the intellect (mind) controls the will, which controls the emotions. I would claim that the virtue of self-control applies to emotions as well as every other aspect of human existence. We can control our emotions, and such control most emphatically does not imply that those controlled emotions are any less strong than uncontrolled ones.

So who said that men are the ones who have to figure out the emotions of women? I think it's true, but sometimes men need a little help. Should women have to figure out logic so as to understand men? ;-)

In Christ.

 
At 3/30/2006 07:19:00 PM , Blogger Mr. Baggins said...

I think that it is often lost in the discussion that men have emotions that women need to know about and care about as well. For instance, husbands need to feel admired, especially with regard to those things wherein they excel. They have a very fragile ego, and women need to keep this in mind.

But the fact with regard to emotions is that men all too often do not take the time to try to understand the language of women's emotions or even their own emotions (maybe even especially their own emotions). The problem is exacerbated when one considers that since women are not the heads of husbands, it is more crucial that they be understood, lest they feel tyrannized.

That being said, I do agree that oftentimes women demand that their husbands understand them, but they don't take the time to understand their husbands. If women want their husbands to be kind and understanding, then one of the best ways to do that is to understand the husband and what he needs. Men don't always need to be the one who builds the bridge.

 
At 3/30/2006 09:50:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Hehe, well, Mother Dear must take credit for the idea of the fake rant. She thought it would fit in nicely. . .

Adrian, something tells me you didn't really "hate to break it" to me that my statements were not modus ponens ;). Why do I even try to use my small reservoir of knowledge regarding symbolic logic? *sigh* Ah well. Yes, yes, I see what you mean there. Perhaps I should have just said "cause and effect" relationship, or cleaned up my wording. I was trying awfully hard to draw an analogy between women's often-illogical emotions and men's logical side. . .

I agree that a good balance between emotions and logic is ideal. I've tried both extremes, and neither is a good idea. I think God created each sex with a particular bent that they may help to round out the opposite sex.

I personally think it is terribly unfair for women to be insulted when men don't know exactly what they are thinking, and I say this realizing I have myself been guilty of doing this. Guessing games are only funny for so long, methinks.

Very good points about a man's fragile ego, Lane, as well as women feeling tyrannized if they are not understood.

My pastor's wife was recently teaching a women's Bible study during a week we were talking about submission from the I Peter passage on the subject. One thing she talked about that really stuck with me was about insulting husbands in public. She asked a retorical question, "Do you insult your husband in public? Do you tear him down, even in jest? Your husband really does notice."

She explained how important it is to publicly honor one's husband, not falsely praising him, but also not painting him with a black brush stroke. It made me cringe from guilt as I considered how I have torn down my dad and brother in public, and how those sorts of behaviors tend to reappear in marriage. *gulp*

I think most (if not all) male-female issues are very cyclical. "She's overly-emotional." "He doesn't care." She is so illogical!" "He is an insensitive clod." Et cetera. Pointing fingers never solves problems, does it? So why do we humans always do that as if someday it will be the magical solution? I guess we all have illogical tendencies, male and females alike, eh?

 
At 3/31/2006 06:18:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

There. Now are you happy? My home state is really and truly going to switch to daily savings time. It'll give you one less thing to hold against Indiana.

 
At 4/11/2006 06:51:00 PM , Anonymous logical female said...

You cannot make general statements about women being emotional. I recently took the Myers-Briggs personality test and scored very high on the thinking category. What I am trying to say that I am not an emotional female. I look at things very logically and objetively. I rarely cry or have emotional outbursts. This does not make me any less feminine than those who are more emotional. This stereotype of females annoys me to no end!

 
At 4/12/2006 12:49:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Logical Female.

I respectfully submit to you that the existence of a counterexample in no way "disproves" a generalization. This isn't math; I'm not claiming that "for all women without exception..." I am making my claim for "many women."

The fact is, generalizations, if fairly accurate, can be helpful, though I wouldn't want to paint someone into a box.

The real, historical existence of women like Marie Curie, Lise Meitner, and especially Emmy Noether, would immediately disprove any comment to the effect of, "All women without exception think only emotionally and not logically." Which is why I didn't say that. Incidentally, I know for a fact that one or two of the above-mentioned women did have strong emotions. I never said that was a bad thing.

If you want to argue against a generalization such as mine, you cannot do it with a single counterexample. You need to provide evidence that shows that most women do not think and behave the way I claim they do. I think such evidence is lacking.

Here's an example of a helpful generalization: I live in Blacksburg, Virginia, home of the Virginia Tech Hokies. They're quite a good football team. On game days, it's quite fair to say that the whole town comes out to watch. Does every single person in the town, without exception, come out to watch? No. But I'll tell you this: without knowing this generalization, the police would have their hands full, and be entirely understaffed, as would the bus system. Without taking this generalization into account, the town would be complete and utter chaos for the space of probably nine hours on game days. As it is, the town is only mostly chaotic for two hours before and after the game.

If you don't fit into my generalization, that's totally fine by me. That just means that what I said doesn't apply to you. But there's no need to get all angry about it. I think it's a pretty fair generalization, as do many other people I know. Moreover, it's not a demeaning generalization. Women being what they are, and men being what they are is a consequence of two things: God made them a certain way, and then we rebelled against it.

I, too, have taken the Myers-Briggs. I think it's kind of fun to take, and it may have some value. However, I'm not a fan of modern psychology. Most of it assumes that human beings are basically good. The Bible says otherwise. Therefore, whatever is built on that false foundation of the assumption of the goodness of man is inherently flawed. I wouldn't want to paint myself into a box with the Myers-Briggs.

I hope I have explained myself clearly enough. At the very least, I hope to convince you that I meant no offence, and yet I do stand by what I have said.

In Christ.

 
At 4/12/2006 01:05:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Lane.

I think you have written some very wise words there, bro. Balance is good, and communication is always a two-way thing.

Reply to Susan.

The rant was hilarious.

Actually, I did sort of "hate to break it." I don't rejoice in thinking that is not as precise as it could have been. I rejoice in the truth, wherever it shows its lovely face. Logic and truth are so closely intertwined, that I can't help being concerned about logic.

Don't despair about using logic! Use what you know, and try to learn more.

I knew what you were saying, even if you didn't say it perfectly. ;-) And you're absolutely right. Logic and emotions are far from contradictory. I firmly believe that logic plays a role in emotions, and vice versa. I agree that God made men and women to complement each other. And I spelled "complement" exactly the way I wanted.

I haven't been in the situation of being insulted or even criticized in public by my wife, for obvious reasons, but I don't think it would be the most pleasant thing in the world. I'd rather my wife brag about me. *grins* And as usual, I agree, no false praise. Honoring your head in public doesn't mean you pretend he has no faults. You just don't discuss them with people who have no business knowing. Even with those people who might have such business (pastors, elders, etc.), it's wise to be circumspect.

I think the reason people point fingers is that not doing so makes us more vulnerable in our eyes. In a marriage, for example, the husband might think that if he doesn't stick up for his "rights," no one will. Therefore, he always thinks he has to duke it out with his wife. Moreover, admitting he was wrong may not result in his wife admitting she was wrong, which he probably thinks is true. And it might be. So if he apologizes and she doesn't, he thinks that means she won. But spiritually, he won.

Ok, fair point for Indiana. I guess I have no particular reason now either to adore that state, or detest it. I suppose I have no issue admiring at least one of its products. ;-)

In Christ.

 
At 4/17/2006 05:15:00 PM , Blogger sarah said...

Well, hm. I think it may be true that women tend to think with their emotions first, and men with reason. I don't know if it would be fair to say that reason is inherently more logical, however. Sometimes a situation logically demands grief, both in itself and because crying physically releases the body's tension. Women may be better at releasing the grief. In that situation their response is the more logical one. At another time, it might be better to shove the emotions aside. A man's response might be more logical there.

The word "logical," after all, comes from the Greek word "LOGOS," which can mean both a spoken word and the Word, Jesus Christ. Something that is logical "makes sense" to us both linguistically and through its truth. The formal discipline of Logic is another thing entirely; as has been demonstrated here, anyone can use Logic, the workings of reason, without inherently being logical.

So this is my hypothesis: Emotions by definition cannot be rational, but either a predominantly emotional or rational response may be logical, depending on the situation.

 
At 4/17/2006 06:22:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Sarah.

Interesting comments there. I'm not quite sure I understand your definitions, though. Could you please define the following terms for me?

Reason:

Logic:

Logical:

Rational:

Here are some definitions with which I'm comfortable; this is not an exhaustive list. These are mostly from the Webster's Tenth Collegiate.

Reason: the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking, especially in orderly ways: intelligence; proper exercise of the mind; the sum of the intellectual powers

Logic: a science that deals with the principles and criteria of validity of inference and demonstration: the science of the formal principles of reasoning

Logical: of, relating to, involving, or being in accordance with logic; skilled in logic; formally true or valid; analytic, deductive; capable or reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion

Rational: having reason or understanding; relating to, based on, or agreeable to reason; reasonable.

With these definitions, I wonder how you would comment. They all seem to be saying more or less the same thing to me.

In Christ.

 
At 4/17/2006 11:13:00 PM , Blogger sarah said...

Well, I am primarily a writer, but math comes far more easily to me than I deserve. So I tend to think with both my gut and my mind at once. My gut tells me that a "logical" argument is one that "makes sense." That is what most people mean when they use the word. My mind then gets involved by analyzing why anything makes sense - because God put meaning into the world, the same way we communicate meaning through spoken words. The whole world's order is God's language. The same word, LOGOS, stands for all the world's meaning - Jesus, who holds all things together at all points in time - and for the words we use. We image God that way. So when we are being "logical," we are communicating order and truth.

That was complicated. The others are easier.

Reason = the power of thinking, especially in an orderly way. Good enough.

Logic = the science of thinking. Good enough, especially when you understand that the Latin word scientia just means "knowledge." Logic is the knowledge of how to think well. It is not something we have created, but something we have discovered existing in the universe. It is part of the LOGOS, the truth, the connecting power that holds everything in order.

Emotions - now those are more complicated yet. What are they? I think we err when we categorize them apart from thinking. God gave us every part of ourselves for a reason. It is an Enlightenment thought that says the only useful part of thinking is the rational part. Especially in human situations, it is neither necessary nor possible to divorce emotions and reason. I think emotions are an essential part of the individual soul. If you render a thought down into its most basic elements, I can reproduce it rationally for myself. However, I can never reproduce the associated emotions. You cannot even communicate them. Only God understands that language and speaks it to each individual in return.

Conclusion: The LOGOS is the universe's truth and order. A logical statement is therefore truthful and orderly. We can use our rational faculties to illuminate the order, the logic, inherent in the statement. We understand the truth, however, on a gut level prior to reason. Why should we believe truth exists anywhere, at all? That is where "emotion," something other than reason, comes in. It is communication straight from God to every human being, "so that we have no excuse." You can give the most rational argument possible for God's existence, but you will not convince anyone until they believe God exists.

You hear a lot about the "simple faith" of women throughout history. Perhaps the thing we call "emotion" is the answer.

 
At 4/18/2006 10:01:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Sarah.

I'm not sure I can agree with the idea that a logical argument is one that makes sense. That may be what most people mean, but I don't think it's correct. In logic, there are basically three kinds of arguments: invalid, valid, and sound. Now I have no idea how much logic you've studied, so please don't be offended if I explain these terms.

An invalid argument is one in which the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. Example:

All cats are mammals.
Some mammals are dogs.
---
Therefore all cats are dogs.

This argument commits the fallacy of the undistributed middle.

Then there are valid arguments, a category which includes all sound arguments, and a few others beside. A valid argument is one in which it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false. Here is a valid argument that is not sound:

All cats are mammals.
All mammals are dogs.
---
Therefore all cats are dogs.

This is a perfectly valid argument, but I hope it doesn't convince anyone.

Finally, there are the sound arguments, which are those valid arguments in which the premises are true. Example:

All cats are felines.
All felines are mammals.
---
Therefore all cats are mammals.

The virtue of a sound argument, of course, is that it ought to convince anyone of its conclusion. We are interested in sound arguments for two reasons. One is that sound arguments allow us to deduce truths from other truths. The other is that the study of sound arguments allows us to detect unsound arguments, and is thus a guard against improper reasoning.

When I hear the term "logical argument" I usually think "valid argument." For example, if some says, "Suppose for the sake of argument that... (premises + reasons), therefore (conclusion)," and then the listener says, "I suppose that's logical," I don't think the listener is necessarily agreeing with the conclusion. He's merely saying that, given the premises, you have to accept the conclusion.

Now, back to topic: logic is not nearly so concerned about truth as it is about form. I don't believe logic is nearly adequate to lead us into all truth, and it doesn't look as though you do, either.

The way I like to think about it is in terms of modus ponens:

A
If A then B.
---
Therefore, B.

All arguments are basically modus ponens. You start with some assumptions, A. You have some link, which is the implication "If A then B," and then you have the conclusion B.

Logic only really helps you determine the "If - then" part of your argument. Logic will not help you determine your assumptions (except insofar as it might reveal their inconsistency), and it won't even help you find your conclusion! The reason for that is that often your conclusion requires many steps of modus ponens to be reached. It requires imagination to conceive of the destination.

What is the Logos? We translate it "Word". We could just as easily translate it "logic." Try John 1:1 with "logic" substituted for "word", and see how it strikes you. I agree with you that logic is part of the Logos. It is given to us by God.

I agree that the Endarkenment got it wrong when it attempted rationalism. The Romantic view, which I think is still with us, is equally wrong: emotions must be natural and uncontrolled in order to be genuine, and rational thought has no value compared with emotions.

Emotions are undoubtedly part of the way God made us, and I agree that in many ways they are inseparable from rational thought. I think they are distinct, however. Distinct but not separate. The one influences the other and vice versa. They are different ways of thinking. I'm not so sure that it is impossible to communicate emotions, or even to reproduce them. At this point, we are surely dealing with something in the actor's province. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find out that good actors can easily reproduce certain emotions. Perhaps not all of them are as easy as others.

It sounds to me as though you're saying that emotions are our assumptions; our gut reactions are our starting point. All things that are not reason don't have to be emotion. Simple propositions are not really part of logic, though logic deals with them extensively. If I claim that God exists, I have made a proposition that is manifestly unprovable through logic. Logic is insufficient. The Holy Spirit tells me that God exists, and that He has revealed His Word to me. That is the starting point for my logic. But logic has nothing to say about that starting point, except insofar as it might have something to say about its consistency (which has never been disproven). These propositions that I have just mentioned do not appear to me to be something so intimately connected with emotions. They just are, regardless of what I feel about them.

So how do logic and emotions interact? Well, emotions influence logic by providing propositions that our logic must take into account. For example, here's an emotional proposition: a husband realizes his wife is hopping mad at him. He doesn't know off-hand why, so he engages his reason to figure it out. Now, I also claim that logic should influence our emotions. This happens in my life constantly. Here's an example: I know that God cannot lose my salvation. (The question of whether I can lose my salvation is absurd.) Therefore, I can rest in God's salvation, and this brings me such comfort and joy. It makes me happy very often. Another example: I know that one fruit of the Spirit is self-control. I believe that means control of my entire person, including my emotions. Therefore, I am not to "let loose" at every opportunity like Marianne from Sense and Sensibility. I should control my emotions. This does not mean I don't have them, or that they can't be very strong. But I am to control them, especially anger and such-like.

The problem with emotions is that they are not constant. Truth is constant. Anything that leads us into all truth must therefore be constant. Therefore, emotions cannot lead us into all truth. Notice I do not say that emotions cannot lead us into some truth; I think they can. I've had enough experience with "woman's intuition," which I think is an emotion, to understand that there are extra-logical things out there, including emotions, which can lead us into truth. I think it's dangerous to rely on such things solely. Let us forever be checking all claims against the Bible (starting point) and biblically-based logic (link for arriving at other truths). All claims must pass that test in order to be considered truth by the Christian.

Well, I've been at this for quite some time, and I figure that's good for now. I think we are in general agreement over many things. Perhaps a few exist in which we disagree.

I love a debate that doesn't get heated and acrimonious, and so I beg of you to interpret everything I say in that light.

In Christ.

 
At 4/18/2006 12:17:00 PM , Blogger sarah said...

I agree with you on just about everything you said, but I don't think you understand everything I was saying. That is my fault, of course; I have studied a lot of philosophy, and I tend to have a lot of difficult pet theories that have grown out of a combination of philosophy, theology, and personal experience. Yes, I have had quite a lot of formal logic as well. :) My meaning of "logical" incorporated both components of soundness - validity and truth - although I called validity "order." You are probably right that I should not have expanded the term that way; an argument can be logical without being truthful, and vice versa.

The main point I want to make is that emotion and reasons are complementary, and one can't do without the other. The statement "God exists" can be proved by various eminently rational arguments. Your belief that it is true, however, is something apart. You "feel" that it is true, on a far deeper level than the arguments. On the other hand, the more your reason can back up the belief, the deeper your feeling grows, until it is unshakable. Call it "intuition." Call it "faith." It is still something you feel, and you cannot give it to another person. That's what I meant about communicability of emotion. As a writer, I have to think about this. I wrap up an experience in words, but when a reader opens it, he may "get" something entirely different.

So then, back to the original point - Yes, women as a group need to strengthen their rational side. But men as a group need to strengthen their side that "feels." I think the breakdown in communication is this: Women say, "I know this is true!" And they are quite possibly right, but they can't explain why. They made a jump and left the guys behind, and they don't know they have to help them along step by step to the same point. Men, meanwhile, are inclined to deny the truth of the conclusion because it is not yet supported by a valid argument.

It's like a treehouse. The woman one day takes a flying leap and finds herself inside. She looks down at the man. "Come on!" she shouts. The man stares in dismay. "I can't!" he replies. "There's no ladder." The woman gets frustrated. "Oh, just jump," she shouts. The man gets frustrated too. "But I don't know how; I need a ladder!" he sputters. Then he decides he doesn't want to go up to the treehouse anyway. The woman tells him it's beautiful, but if he can't get up there, what's the use?

So there's the trouble - Men can't jump, and women don't have ladders. :)

 
At 4/18/2006 01:09:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Sarah.

Well, I don't think you can actually give a mathematical proof of the existence of God in the sense of starting with axioms everyone believes, and then just applying modus ponens until you get the result. There are certainly tons of arguments out there that do in fact strengthen (an already existing) belief in the existence of God, like you said.

Agreed, the treehouse exists. But that's not because men don't feel. It's because they don't know how to communicate those feelings.

In addition, sometimes the woman jumps into the wrong treehouse (falsehood), and the man is perfectly right to doubt his ability to get there. Or at least he shouldn't get there. Wouldn't you agree? Hence the complementarity I originally claimed was a good idea. The intuition is a fantastic way to jump to a treehouse, but reason is absolutely essential to make sure it's the right one.

In Christ.

 
At 4/18/2006 01:21:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Addendum to reply.

It appears to me as though we're probably agreeing on everything. However, you use terms rather differently from me. I've tended to think that the way I was trained was fairly mainstream, but naturally, I could be wrong. If you think you are not mainstream (and I should point out that the only real advantage of the mainstream terminology is clarity of communication, which admittedly is an advantage; truth-wise, of course, I suppose you could define most terms however you want), then I would humbly suggest that in order to communicate well with me, you use the mainstream terms.

My training is books like Copi and Cohen for General Logic, Barwise and Etchemendy for Symbolic Logic, and Hunter for Metalogic. Plus, of course, loads of math books too numerous (and mostly tedious and boring!?!) to mention.

In Christ.

 
At 4/18/2006 03:23:00 PM , Blogger sarah said...

Part of the terminology trouble was that I was testing out a theory as I wrote. "Building a ladder," if you will. :) Once built, the ladder rested in a slightly different spot, however, so I trotted over to the new spot and began talking from there. The only slightly odd meaning I had, I think, was for "logical." As for modus ponens or modus tollens, etc, that is terminology of formal logic alone. Even so, you can call good old modus ponens "affirming the antecedent" or the "Law of Detachment." If I shot off into modal logic, which is where many of the arguments for God's existence reside, things could get awfully complicated.

So I decided to bypass a discussion of formal logic altogether, because really, it doesn't seem to help the matter at hand very much. The matter at hand is: Is it bad to think exclusively with emotions? Well, yes... but I wanted to go further and say that it is bad to think exclusively with the rational function as well.

Obviously, women sometimes jump into the wrong treehouse. Also just as obviously, men sometimes build ladders in entirely the wrong direction. (I think I love this analogy!) Then they both have problems. The women have no ladders to get back down, and the men find they're building into empty air. (Yes, the ladder's standing on end in empty air; bear with me.) They both fall!

I think it would be awfully nice if women waited respectfully until men climbed up to meet them, and if men built ladders and lovingly helped the women down. :) After a while of that, women might trust the men enough to wait and walk up the ladders with them. What do you think?

And meanwhile, I unfortunately do not have enough time to continue the discussion. I have already spent far too long (though I have learned in the process). Thank you!

 
At 4/22/2006 10:05:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Ah, you were testing out a theory, were you? It actually occurred to me that's what you might have been doing. Yes, the word logical as you were using it seemed a bit odd. Interesting that I've been studying a good bit of modal logic in my metalogic course. I have to admit that I find proof theory (syntactics) a good deal more interesting than model theory (semantics). But I'm sure they're both important, especially as some of the most important metatheorems have to do with both (consistency and completeness or incompleteness).

Perhaps formal logic isn't basic enough to deal with the matter at hand? I mean, after a certain point, if you continue to try to get down to essentials, logic will become unimportant, and you have to resolve your questions on the basis of plain assertions the Bible makes.

I like your treehouse analogy very much. It's especially amusing to picture men building ladders into nowhere, a la Frank Lloyd Wright. I get the distinct impression that's what pure mathematicians are doing constantly, especially if they are that snooty kind of pure mathematician who "rejoices in doing work that is unsullied by applications."

Your solution seems a fine one. Now if we could only do it...

Shall we TIOC? That's tie it off cordially, in case you were wondering. :-)]

In Christ.

 
At 5/13/2006 10:00:00 AM , Blogger Bethgem said...

I have a thing about women who say they "don't like logic." I think that's a cheap way out, even regardless of how it relates to men. It also bothers me when men write off women as if they're just emotional when sometimes our "intuitions" are based on a very logical but quick, minute process within our minds that we sometimes just aren't able to verbalize (though I think with practice we could just fine).

Interesting discussion with many possible facets to explore. Basically if we can love one another as brothers and sisters, and within our marriages as husbands and wives, we will WISH to give one another the dignity of thinking the best of one another and looking for the good in our differences.

Vive la difference!

 
At 9/20/2006 05:55:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'll just do one very simple example to show you. All Christians, if they take the Bible seriously as the inerrant, infallible Word of God, must believe that if there is no resurrection of the dead, then preaching is in vain, and faith is useless. I absolutely positively guarantee that you will not find that exact statement in the Bible anywhere. But the proof of it is quite simple, using plain reason. So I ask you: will you believe it? "

Are you serious!!!!!!!??? that stuff is set out very very clearly in scripture. Did you really think you had made it up yourself?

check out 1 Corinthians 15:12-17

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2015:12-17;&version=31;

 
At 9/20/2006 07:51:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Anonymous.

Yes, I am serious. What I'm saying here is that there is a statement, "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then preaching is in vain, and faith is useless," that you will not find in the Bible anywhere. What you will find, in the passage you mentioned, is the following: "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then even Christ is not raised. And if Christ is not raised, then preaching is in vain, and faith is useless." Or words very similar to that. What we have here is what in logic is called the enthymeme. This particular enthymeme goes like this: If A then B; if B then C. And that's it. The conclusion is omitted for rhetorical reasons. What is that conclusion? If A then C. It's like having three dominos in a row: flick one down, and the last one has to go down as well. But the Bible only tells us, in this case, how the first one knocks the second one down, and how the second knocks the third one down. It leaves us to conclude that therefore, if you knock the first one down, the last one is sure to go down. So what I said was true: the exact statement that I mentioned is simply not there. Paul intends for the reader to conclude that statement as a direct result of the two statements he does provide. The thrust of that whole passage is to convince his readers that not believing in the resurrection is silly, because then their whole endeavor is useless.

In answer to your question, no I didn't make it up. Of course not. Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, write it down. And I'm sure many, many Christians throughout history have understood what he meant to say.

In Christ.

 
At 9/20/2006 07:59:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Further reply to Anonymous.

It occurs to me that I might have confused you by saying the that "the proof of it is quite simple, using plain reason." What I mean by that is that, since reason is everywhere subservient and dependent on the Bible (certainly not the other way around!), then it follows that if we use logic, we are compelled to use the Bible as well. The philosophers will object to this, but it is so. We get logic from the Bible, not the other way around. As Christians, therefore, we understand that logic by itself is a contradiction. We use the Scriptures plus biblical logic to arrive at truth, the Holy Spirit illuminating every step of the way.

So in this case, we use the passage you mentioned plus biblical logic to arrive at a truth we must believe with every confidence, even though its exact statement is not in Scripture. I hope this clears up any miscommunication.

In Christ.

 

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