The Opposite of True is False: A Look at The Law of Non-contradiction


by Rob Lundberg

As a way of jumping back in the game, I thought I would go back to Square 1 and say that this COVID “plandemic” has thrown many of us off schedule, myself included. With all that we see into our culture going on it is appearing more and more each that truth is dying in our streets.

People living out their own truth, vying the microphone of our culture, while pontificating their own “truth” about an historical injustice is taking place. The problem is that many are playing the proverbial blame game, pontificating their own truth on the injustices of the past.  What is that truth?  Well that depends on who you talk to for an answer to the question.  You see truth is struggling, and we must understand how to regain the conversation that truth still exists.

So what I would like to do in this post I share with you a principle, with the understanding that the definition of truth is that which corresponds to reality and in turn share with you that anything of the opposite of reality is false. That is, you and I cannot believe a statement to be both truth and false at the same time.

Here is the principle of what I am getting to:

Principle:  Since truth by its nature excludes its opposite, the law of non contradiction states that opposite ideas cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way.  Any claim or view, such as relativism or nominalism for example, that results in contradiction is always and necessarily false.

So with this stated, I am reminded of one of the most prolific books to be written in the last 30 years, is a book by the late Allan Bloom entitled, “The Closing of the American Mind.”. In the very first sentence of his “Introduction: Our Virtue” he states,

“There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction: they will be uncomprehending.” (Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, Simon and Schuster, Inc.: NY, 1987: 25.).

Why do I open with this thought?

The reason why I open with this thought is because our knowledge of reality, we discover the existence of the first principles of thought or the self-evident laws of logic. We do not think on principles like this.  We just do.  In fact, you and I cannot think without using these first principles. One of my heroes, Dr. Norman Geisler once stated, “. . .by way of sensation and abstraction the intellect apprehends that things are and something of what they are. Then by way of judgment the mind knows that being is and non-being is not. From these judgements arises the first principle of knowledge that “being is not non-being,’ which is the law of non-contradiction.”

So What is This Law of Non Contradiction?

The law of non-contradiction states that opposite ideas cannot be both true at the same time and in the same way.  Hence either God really exists or God does not exist, but the answer to this question cannot be both. 

This law of thought is one of the most important tools in your critical thinking toolbox. It will help you quickly spot false claims. Why? Because contradicting statements cannot be both true at the same time.

In order to spot contradictory claims, we first have to listen and then simply apply or turn the claim to itself. For this post, let me share with you some examples before we have some fun.  Supposed someone were to say, “There is no truth!”  Now the person making this claim believes the statement to be true, or else it is pure nonsense for the one making the claim.

So how can the statement be refuted? We do this by simply applying the claim to itself and ask, “is that true?”  If it is true (i.e., it corresponds to reality) that there is no truth, then the claim, “there is no truth” is actually false since there is at one truth. Can we agree that contradictions are always and necessarily false? If your answer is “no” then you are speaking or believing  nothing more than pure nonsense.

Let’s Have Some Fun and a Little Practice

I mentioned a moment ago that we were going to have a little fun.  Let’s see how well we can apply this concept of applying the claim on itself, demonstrating an application of the law of non-contradiction.  What will follow here are some of the claims in bold print and a possible response that can be given.  Ready to go?

“I cannot speak a word of English!” This one is rather easy. The sentence is in the English language. So whether one says it or writes it in English, a response could be, “Didn’t you just say/write that in English?

“My parents did not have any children that lived” This one is another fun one.  Reading this, are you a living child of your parents?

Remember that anyone making a claim believes that claim to be true, unless they know they are lying. But even if it is a lie, they believe the statement will be true enough to get away with it.  So with this understanding, let’s turn the claim on itself.

The following are some of the ones you may hear in a conversation, or in the classroom.

(A)  YOU CAN’T KNOW TRUTH!  You can’t know truth?  Do you believe this statement to be true?  Because if you do, your statement self implodes.

(B)  NO ONE HAS THE TRUTH! (to the person making the claim) Do you believe this statement to be truthful?  Because if you believe that no one has the truth, what makes your statement true?     

(C)   ALL TRUTH IS RELATIVE! This is probably one of the most popular claims that can be approached a couple of ways.   First, does the statement, “all truth is relative” include itself?  Then that statement is relative as well. If it does not include itself then it is false because the person is absolutely sure that there is no such thing as absolute truth.

(D)  THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES!  (to the person making the claim): “There are no absolute” is this statement an absolute claim?  Do you believe this statement absolutely?

(E)  THAT’S TRUE FOR YOU BUT NOT FOR ME! (to the person making the claim).  Is this statement true for everybody? 

(F)   THERE IS NO TRUTH IN RELIGION, ONLY SCIENCE.  Since this a statement in the realm of science, and it is a truth claim, can we use the scientific method to test this statement?  After all, if there is truth only in science, we should be able to test this claim scientifically as well. 

Conclusion.

We have looked at the law of non contradiction in light of claims that people make in culture. By turning the claim on itself, you can definitely keep yourself from believing the nonsensical claims made by those trying to say that their truth is the only real truth when it comes to race, or gender or just believing relativism to be the right philosophical starting point for today.

Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing us at realissueapologetics@yahoo.com 
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Rob is a blogger, writer and public speaker on a mission to equip the believer to think and articulate what they believe and to communicate the message of the gospel to a confused culture in a chaotic, “postmodern world.”

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