Gordon Clark on Logic and Morality

What do this law and the rest of logic have to do with morality? Simply this: When the Bible says, You shall not covet, each word has a specific meaning. Attacking logic means attacking morality. If logic is disdained, then the distinctions between right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust, merciful and ruthless also disappear. Without logic, God’s words, “You shall do no murder,” really mean: “You shall murder daily” or “Stalin was Prince of Wales.”

The rejection of logic means the end of morality, for morality and ethics depend on understanding. Without understanding, there can be no morality. One must understand the Ten Commandments before one can obey them. If logic is irrelevant or irreligious, moral behavior is impossible, and the “practical” religion of those who belittle logic cannot be be practiced at all.  Something even worse, if anything could be worse, follows from rejecting logic.

If logic does not govern all thought and expression, then one cannot tell true from false. If one rejects logic, then when the Bible says that Jesus suffered Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, and rose again the third day, these words actually mean that Jesus did not suffer, was not crucified, did not die, was not buried, and did not rise again, as well as that Attila the Hun loved chocolate cake and played golf. The distinction between true and false, right and wrong, all disappear, for there can be no distinctions made apart from using the law of contradiction.

Gordon Clark, Logic, 2nd edn. (The Trinity Foundation: 1988) ix.


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