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In the beginning section covering Aristotelian logic, Geisler tried to hastily cover in about 40 pages, what other textbooks took over a 100 pages to explain. Geisler just dumped out multitudes of terms and concepts that left me frustratingly confused. I had to turn elsewhere to actually learn it all. Even after getting a grasp of deduction from other introductory text, I still found, in returning to Geisler, his writing to be convoluted. Over all this is a simply terrible introduction to logic. But my word, the worst thing about the book is that Geisler used it as a platform for his pet evangelical dogmas to frolic about. Ironically (considering the topic of the book), he often, quite embarrassingly so, engaged in fallacious reasoning in so doing. Ill mention a few examples I read that got me furiously scribbling in the margins of the book. THE SLIPPERY SLOP FALLACYAfter sharing about this fallacy, Geisler mentions “one notable argument that avoids this fallacy is “if you cant trust someone (or some book) that claims to be infallible in everything it says, then you cant trust it in anything””Geisler continues to assert that since the bible claims to be inerrent and infallible, that if it is mistaken in a single historical or scientific fact, we cant trust any of it and might as well toss the whole thing in the trash. First oft, there is just so much wrong with his confident assertion that the bible claims itself completely inerrent and infallible. The verses he listed explicitly say no such thing and are themselves subject to different interpretations. Moreover, the original authors cant be said to even be referring to the whole new testament for parts didnt even exist yet. And finally, the bible contains many independent books, even if one book claimed inerrancy, the claim doesnt hold true for the other books within the canon which made no such claim. But yeah, even if it was the case that every book of the bible did claim inerrency, Geislers point that none of it could be trusted if it contained a single error, doesnt follow! The only thing that would be falsified is the claim of infallibility and inerrency, everything else would either stand or fall based upon the evidence. Suppose there is some factual error in the old testament, does that mean the bible cannot serve as one of our sources concerning ancient Israel? Can we not trust that Israel was conquered by Babylonians? Must we conclude that Jesus didnt exist and wasnt crucified? Must we disregard the gospels as a source concerning the life and sayings of Jesus? Must we conclude that some of the moral concepts and truths within its pages must be discounted even when they ring true and are congruent with reality? This all or nothing thinking--that either the bible is completely True or it is completely False, creates a dangerous bubble. Geislers bubble is made of steal, no amount of evidence could penetrate and convince him otherwise. But other evangelicals influenced by Geislers bad reasoning, may will eventually find an error in the bible (they are not too hard to find) and it will unnecessarily be the utter ruin of their faith. Geisler offers a bad hypothesis, one that completely contradicts reality and then sets up a false dilemma that sets people up for a fall. THE FALLACY OF CONFUSING VARIOUS KINDS OF CAUSESAfter writing about the different kinds of causes (Effectual,Final,Formal,Material,Exemplar and instrumental), he gave an example of where someone commits the fallacy confusing causes, when they say If God determined all events, he must be responsible for all of the evil in the world Geisler claims that thinking God is responsible for the evil he determined, is the result of confusing primary and secondary causes.Geisler insisted early in the book that “We still experience our choices as free even though God both knew what we would decide and chose that we would decide it long before we did.” and later that “God is the primary cause of all things, and, as sovereign, he is the primary cause of all events by knowing them and willing that they be so” And finally, he states Being in control, he knows all that will happen and gives his consent to them, but the direct and immediate causes of them are the secondary causes that are employed. So Geisler has thrown in here a number of categorical universal statements that state ALL THINGS and evil is among these things. Therefore, according to Geisler, God first chooses the evil that we must freely decide to do ourselves. God wills all evil and God gives his full consent to all the evil that happens in the world and finally, God is truly the primary cause to all evil. Every rape, every child molestation and every murder was first determined, chosen and willed by God. Genocide, ethnic cleansing and all sadistic brutality all is part of Gods will that cannot be thwarted. And yet, from from some tortured illogical twist of insanity, Geisler thinks that if God accomplishes all his evil plans (which I am sure hed say are for some higher good) through secondary means that He isnt responsible for evil!!! So now, lets say I had a daughter who is an evil little brat; and for the good of humanity, I know she needs to die. But I know if I kill her with my own hands, Id be responsible for murder (even though I was doing it for the higher good) and I cant have that! What might I do? Well, no worries, for I read Norman Geisler, and know that if I have her murdered through secondary means, I will be completely innocent of her death. Of course, the killer has to freely choose to murder my daughter from his own freewill. So, Ill just condition my son so that he hates her and from his own heart, freely wants to murder his sister. I will also fully consist and allow him to stab her to death, though I could have easily prevented it. My son will think he is freely choosing to murder his sister, but really he is only doing what I already chose for him. So now, only my son who actually shed the innocent blood is guilty and I am not responsible or any wrong, Right? wrong!After saying God willed, determined, consented and chose all things (including all evil) and how God is the primary cause of all evil but no responsible because he does it through secondary means. Giesler then muddies the water by using terms that completely contradict everything he had been saying, he wrote “When God created beings with free will, he knew that there was a possibility for evil, but it was necessary to allow that in order to have creatures that were truly free. Even when God allows someone to do evil, she is still morally responsible for the evil that she does. A secondary cause acts on its own, not simply as a mechanism of the primary cause. Responsibility for evil must be given to the secondary cause that chooses to act in an evil way, not the primary cause that allows the freedom of creation” Possibility? Truly free? Acts on its own? Not simply a mechanism of the primary cause? Geisler you wrote earlier “God both knew what we would decide and chose that we would decide it long before we did” Trying to slip these terms in, in order to try to get the Primary cause off the hook for causing all evil through secondary means, doesnt get you off the hook! You mentioned early in the book that freewill is only a feeling, this sense we are making our own decisions when in reality we are only doing what God pre-determined would do! Speaking of which...THE FAULTY DILEMMAS FALLACYOne example he gave of a faulty dilemma is that everything happens either by free will or by divine determinism. His solution is to offer a 3rd path the he confidently thinks avoids the dilemma by state both are true and compatible. He thinks God pre-determining everything (meaning it could only happen one way) is compatible with “free will”. But he only pulls this off by committing the equivocation fallacy. For all who present the dilemma, who actually believe in freewill, understanding free-will to mean that in certain cases, when one did Y, one could have truly done X instead. If we could rewind and do things over, we could and might chose X instead of Y. To solve the so called false dilemma, Geiser wrote “freedom isnt hindered by determinism, because the person doesnt know his choices is determined and feels that the choice is his” So we are all marionettes controlled by the divine Puppet master, but because God placed us under the illusion that we are free and deluded us with a feeling of freedom, we are somehow responsible for the evil God made us do?! Common Geisler! You total redefine “free will” to mean nothing but a delusion and a feeling and cannot see that you have therefore totally selected determinism! The true dilemma is between either determinism and indeterminism. If determinism, then man is not responsible for his actions, even if he is deluded to think he had a choice, this wasnt the case, he couldnt have done otherwise. To use an extreme example, consider the choices Hitler made, Geisler is confident God before the foundation of the world predetermined everything Hitler did, he couldnt have done otherwise, God is in absolute control. But Geisler thinks since God also determined Hitler to be under the illusion that he freely choice wickedly, that Hitler is therefore responsible, though God made him do it. Common Geisler, can you not see how absolutely convoluted this is? Indeterminism means that, if we could go back in time, re-roll the dice, so to say, Hitler might have made different choices, things might play out differently. Geisler would reject this, and say if we rewound, and history replayed a million times, it would always play out the same,way according to Gods pre-written script. If man couldnt not have done other wise, if the rapist had to rape the woman, because, God determined him to do so, it is simply disgusting to think that man is responsible and God is off the hook because that man was under the illusion that he has a choice! THE FAULTY ANALOGY FALLACYOne example Geisler gave is “If man changes, when he changes his mind, than God changes when God changes his mind” But embraces the Greek philosophical understanding of God and thus cannot believe God ever changes, so for him this has to be a faulty analogy. But now ,In order to convince us the statement about God changing his mind implying change in the Godhead is a faulty analogy, Geisler wrote how God changing his mind is merely a metaphor like when the bible says God has hands or wings. This is a category mistake though. Consider when the bible says God has wings, it is a metaphor and thus actually represents something. When we say “He covers us with the shadow of his wings” we are referring to actual protection in a poetic way. But God changing his mind is a totally different category. ” Geisler trying to turn this statement “God changes his mind” into a metaphor doesnt work. For if God cannot change, what does it mean when the bible says God changes? what do these supposedly metaphorical statements actually represent? Geisler wouldnt have an answer, he pretty much is just saying these are meaningless statements or that they mean the opposite of what they state. When the bible says God changes, it really means He doesnt change. When the bible claims there is a before for God, it really means there is no before for God. Welcome to the logical world of Geisler! Id suspect that that there is NO way that even the ALL powerful God to convince Geisler otherwise. Heck, God tried, he stated it again and again how he changed his mind, he even pointed to how it was one of His praiseworthy attributes, but God is merely wasting his breath, for Geisler in this regard is immutable

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