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How to Uncover Basic Flaws and Hidden Lies in Attacks against the Christian Faith
20. Intellectual Sins

c) Preconditions of Intelligibility

Preconditions of Intelligibility: conditions that must be accepted as true before we can know anything about nature.

Most people take these things for granted. For instance, when you are reading this you won’t argue, if I say that contradictory positions can’t both be true, like Jesus can’t be both the uncreated son of God and a created messenger of Islam. You understand this to be true and take it as correct without thought, but why? Why do you think contradictions cannot be true? Because we assume the laws of logic - as a Christian, this is part of being created in God’s image, who neither lies nor contradicts himself. But how can we prove the laws of logic? Even if we try to prove the laws of logic, we must use them while discussing them, otherwise our proofs would be nothing but incoherent mumbling. In this illustration, the laws of logic are a precondition for intelligibility in any conversation. An easy way to recognize the preconditions of intelligibility for any given topic is to ask what must be true for the statements to make sense. Let’s look at when an unbeliever argues about the existence of evil in the world. We should ask what is needed to be able to call anything “evil;” can an unbeliever make sense of what they call “evil,” or is the Christian worldview necessary to call anything good or evil? Without the Christian God as the ultimate standard of morality, and evil being that which is contrary to His nature, there is no way that anyone can identify anything as either “good” or “evil”, because there is absolutely no other objective standard by which to measure these things.

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