Glenn Hendrickson, in his essay Christianity Explains Logic, makes what I consider a shockingly bold claim. Hendrickson claims that the Christian worldview alone accounts for the laws of logic.[i] I’ll begin by directly quoting Hendrickson’s formulation of the argument:
1. All we experience is grounded in the laws of logic.
2. The Christian worldview alone adequately explains and accounts for the laws of logic.
3. Therefore, all we experience cannot be explained or accounted for outside of the Christian worldview.
I will keep this short and sweet, and even go beyond the scope of his argument. I will show that no form of theism has an advantage over atheism in explaining the laws of logic, Christianity included. The laws of logic actually require no explanation, which makes (2) false, which means we should reject the conclusion.
Have you ever asked a Christian to explain why God exists? You probably received an answer that God’s existence requires no external explanation. God exists necessarily. I want to point out that this actually is a valid response if God’s existence is in fact necessary. It would mean there was never a time when God did not exist and there is no possible world in which God does not exist.
When we say something requires an explanation, it is because it could have been otherwise. If my wife comes home early, I might ask, ‘What are you doing home early?’ The only reason this question makes sense is because it could possibly have been otherwise. Things that exist contingently require an explanation of their existence. Things that exist necessarily do not.
Now, are the laws of logic contingent or necessary? The laws of logic are uncreated and exist necessarily. They could not have been otherwise. Let’s see how this relates to the earlier argument:
4. The laws of logic are necessary.
5. Things that exist necessarily do not require an explanation of their existence.
6. Therefore, any worldview that recognizes this adequately accounts for the laws of logic.
Premise (6) renders the earlier premise (2) false. Short and sweet.
[This post is part of the series Why Christianity is False]
[i] I would actually say there are two arguments in this essay. Dismantling the first, though, will make dismantling the second unnecessary. If the atheist can account for logic just as well as the theist, then we are acting in a coherent manner in our daily lives