I have a question about “Atheism: An Irrational Worldview” by Dr. Lisle, which seems a quite strange article and not up to the usual quality of your website—but maybe that's just me.
Dr. Lisle posits that the laws of logic are created by God, thus disbelief in God is irrational. He didn’t provide a rationale for his belief, and he obviously confuses atheism, materialism and naturalism in his article, but that’s another story.
My question just is: If God created the laws of logics as Dr. Lisle believes, did He behave illogical before he created them?
—J.L., Germany

I have a question about “Atheism: An Irrational Worldview” by Dr. Lisle, which seems a quite strange article and not up to the usual quality of your website—but maybe that's just me.

People often take biblical truths for granted (like laws of logic). We are not used to thinking through these kinds of issues: why are there laws of logic, and what worldview can account for the laws of logic? The article may have seemed unusual to you because it deals with these foundational questions.

Dr. Lisle posits that the laws of logic are created by God,

This isn’t quite correct. The article doesn’t state that laws of logic were created by God, as though they were independent entities that came into existence at some point in time. Rather, the article teaches that laws of logic are contingent on God. They are a reflection of the way God thinks. Thus, they cannot exist without Him any more than your reflection in a mirror can exist without you. Since God is a thinking being and since He has always existed, laws of logic have always reflected His thinking.

thus disbelief in God is irrational.

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I’m not sure you’ve quite grasped the argument. Laws of logic cannot exist in a materialistic, atheistic universe because laws of logic are not material. The laws of logic are a universal standard for reasoning, but how can an atheist have a (non-arbitrary) universal standard for anything? Atheists do believe in laws of logic, but they cannot justify the existence of universal, abstract, invariant laws within their worldview. An unjustified belief is arbitrary, which is one form of irrationality.

He didn't provide a rationale for his belief,

The rationale is there though perhaps you didn’t see it. I’m happy to elaborate: first, the Christian worldview can make sense of laws of logic. The Christian believes in universal, immaterial, invariant entities because God is himself omnipresent, immaterial, and invariant. Moreover God has thoughts, and these thoughts are reflected in the way God upholds the universe. As one example, we saw how the law of non-contradiction reflects God’s internal consistency: all truth is in God (Colossians 2:3), and God cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13); therefore, all truth cannot be contradictory. The Christian worldview makes sense of the law of non-contradiction.

Second, the atheist cannot make sense of the laws of logic because there is no rational justification for universal, immaterial, invariant entities in an atheistic universe. In particular, those atheists who hold to a materialistic philosophy cannot make sense of laws of logic because laws of logic are not material.

and he obviously confuses atheism, materialism and naturalism in his article, but that's another story.

Actually the usage of these terms is quite correct and consistent with the way they are used in philosophy.

My question just is: If God created the laws of logics as Dr. Lisle believes,

This is a straw-man argument; our position has been misrepresented (perhaps unintentionally), since I did not state that laws of logic were created by God. Laws of logic reflect God’s thinking; God has always existed (and has always had thoughts); therefore, laws of logic have always existed. They are eternal, but nonetheless contingent upon God. (I.e., if God did not exist, there would be no thoughts to reflect.)

did He behave illogical before he created them?

Since laws of logic were not “created” by God, the question isn’t meaningful. But perhaps I can help clarify anyway. God could never behave illogically because He doesn’t think illogically. It is impossible for God to think illogically because in the Christian worldview, logic is a description of the way God thinks. The believer has a universal standard of reasoning that makes sense within his own worldview. The atheist does not.

I hope this helps.

Jason Lisle, PhD

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