04 March 2008

Book Thieves, the Truth Project, and Bulletproof Logic

Here's a short article about people stealing books from independent bookstores in Seattle. Included is what the author calls the New York Times bestsellers list of stolen books—the books most commonly stolen and resold to other used bookstores—really gave me some ideas, but, (un)fortunately, my ethical and moral shock collar has reined me in.

Also, my place of employment is offering me a chance to participate in Focus on the Family's Truth Project, and I'm wondering whether I should or not. I am deeply suspicious of Focus on the Family, but it does seem very interesting. It's a 12 week course hoping to give you a Christian worldview. Of course, cynics might at this point begin to pander the word "brainwash," but, we all know J. Dobson would never do anything like that. I think I am going to do it, but I have a feeling that at least on some points my Christian worldview is different from others. Dobson, Dr. Del Tackitt, Ravi Zacharias, and others would probably conclude (something about some ridiculous non-contradiction "law") that it is an impossibility to have two different Christian worldviews. I imagine (notice my intentionally non-committal language here) that their argument, whether they would admit or not, could be expressed like this:

1. I am a Christian.

2. I have a worldview.

3. My worldview lines up with the Bible.

4. If something lines up with the Bible it is Christian.

5. Therefore, my worldview is the Christian worldview.

6. If others have a worldview fundamentally different than mine, it is not the Christian worldview (A does not equal B, and so forth).

Foolproof logic, no doubt, but that doesn't make all the premises true, and in this case I think its premises #3 ff. that I have a problem with. I would restate the argument thusly:

3. My worldview lines up with my interpretation of the Bible (or is it that my Bible interpretation lines up with my worldview: a real chicken before the egg conundrum that may lie at the heart of the Christian cultural war)

4. There are hundreds if not thousands of ways to interpret the Bible, mine being one of them (superior to some, inferior to many)

5. If something lines up with one of an unknown number of possible Christian interpretations of the Bible then it is Christian (the question on which this point in contigent is what constitutes a possible Christian interpretation? Is it that you vote anti-abortion and anti-gay, and read that in to every scripture?)

6. Therefore, my worldview, along with an unknown number of others, is a Christian worldview contingent upon it lining up with one of those possible Christian interpretations of the Bible.

Now, logicians, how would I express that mathematically?

1 comment:

Wolf Cub said...

the first set of logic
1. I = A
2. E dI => dI = (insert derivative limit here, which has to do with h and such)
3. dI = B
4. if x = B then x = A
5. therefor I = B (of course you say B = I the major logical fallacy)
6.finally, if x =! I then x =! B (where =! means not equal to)

now for your logic.

3. dI = B_I (where B_I denotes the value of B at location I)Your secondary thought is: "Or does B_I = dI"
4. length(B) -> infinity
5. if E B => x = B_n then x = A
6. dI = B_I => dI = A => I = A

I doubt I'd call this "mathematically." Also, there is a missing assumption that I = f(dI, B_I) a function dependent upon your worldview and your interpretation of the bible (this goes in step 3). It's assumed that I is f(dI)
There is also a second way to define "world view"
I = f(W)
if W = f(C) => I = f(f(C))
which basically says, if I am dependent upon my world view, and my worldview has a relationship with the Bible (a more appropriately defined relationship being necessary) then I am a function of the Bible (a Christian).
Note: these are not numerical values, and therefor equality is not necessarily conversely correct.