Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Is the law of non-contradiction a source of intolerance?

 Christians assert certain things. That is what being a Christian means. They assert that God exist, that Jesus rose from the dead, that God gave the Ten Commandments, etc. That means they are, by definition, also maintaing that the claim that God does not exist, the claim that Jesus did not rise form the dead, and the claim that God did not give the ten commandments, are false. If you affirm one claim,you deny its contradictory. That is what it means to say something. It is not tolerant, but incoherent, to maintain both that Jesus rose from the dead, and that Jesus did not rose from the dead. The same is going to be true if you, for example, believe that evolution is true, or that tthe 2020 election was not stolen, or if you believe that vaccines are an effective response to COVID-19 that people ought to receive if they can. If you believe these things, then you believe that it is false to say that evolution is false, it is false to say that the 2020 election was stolen, and it is false to say that vaccines are an effective response to COVID-19 that people ought to receive if they can. 

The law of noncontradiction is not intolerance. it is simple logic.

Now, what do we think of people who hold false positions? Are Christians harsher to people who disagree with them that non-Christians? I wonder what the evidence is for that kind of a claim? It is true that for lots of people,including Christians, the truth matters. 


Starhopper said...

I do not think that Christians have a monopoly on intolerance. The atheistic Soviets were pretty intolerant of anyone who stepped out of the party line. I'd say that Muslims who insist that people who convert to another religion ought to be killed are pretty intolerant. The anticlerical French Revolutionaries with their guillotines didn't seem very tolerant. The Hindus in India who persecute Muslims are hardly poster boys for tolerance. Contemporary secular "woke" college students who refuse to allow speakers on campus who disagree with them display a disturbing lack of tolerance. Parents who ban books from school libraries or reading lists are intolerant. People who condemn Critical Race Theory without even knowing what it is are the Platonic Ideal of intolerance. The New Atheists are fairly intolerant of religion in general.

One Brow said...


While I agree with all of your examples, I don't think they address the central question of whether the Law of Non-contradiction contributes to intolerance.

bmiller said...

If you claim you are "non-binary" are you violating the law of non-contradiction?

Or just continuing a fight that has been going on since the beginning?

One Brow said...

Inaccurate classifications are not an issue for non-contradiction.