Post Author: Bill Pratt
I am constantly amazed that there are people who try to deny the law of non-contradiction, which is the most basic principle of rational thought. What is the law of non-contradiction? There are at least three ways to state it:
- A thing cannot both be A and not-A at the same time and in the same sense.
- A thing cannot both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same sense.
- A statement cannot both be true and not true at the same time and in the same sense.
It is impossible to deny this law without invoking it in your denial, yet time and again I have heard people try do just that!
Why would I spend a blog post writing about this? Because a person who thinks that this law is not true will become a thoroughly confused individual whose thought life is a complete mess, full of contradictions and inconsistencies. I have met a few of these people, and they both sadden and scare me.
All of our beliefs, thoughts, and knowledge are built on top of the law of non-contradiction, so when a person tries to deny this foundation, they are bound to go way off track in their pursuit of understanding reality as it really is.
If you have any doubts about this fundamental law of rationality, try and deny it, but then write out your denial in a sentence – “The law of non-contradiction is false” – and ask whether your statement is both true and false at the same time and in the same sense.
If the law of non-contradiction is false, then your statement of denial must be both true and false. But if your denial is false, then the law of non-contradiction is true! By denying the law of non-contradiction, you have just affirmed it. The more you try to deny the law, the more you will affirm it.
Trust me. You cannot win.