Facts & Faulty Reasoning

Posted in Logic, Thinking Critically on  | 2 minutes | No Comments →

It has been said that ignorance of the law is no excuse, and even that which we are unaware of or indifferent to is still applicable to us. We were all subject to gravity prior to its discovery. While going out to eat one night, I observed a situation that perfectly illustrates this principle. The following occurred at a restaurant where placing orders at the counter and seating yourself was the norm.

There is a sign at the door explaining all this. As we were placing our orders, a man came up to the clerk and, rather rudely, voiced his dissatisfaction that he had sat waiting for someone to come and take his order. The clerk politely explained the order of things and even mentioned that there was a sign in the door of the restaurant explaining them. Nonetheless, the man still refused to acknowledge his own error and further declared that because he didn’t see the sign, it didn’t exist. His exact words to the clerk regarding the sign were, “If I can’t see it then it’s not there.”

Although the existence of God is not something we can apprehend empirically such as a sign, later I arrived at the conclusion that many people’s belief or disbelief in God hinges on the same principle of perception. See, in the situation at the restaurant, there was an objective and absolute reality that was in fact perceivable, and that was the presence of an informative sign at the door. It was there, regardless of whether anyone saw the evidence or not. The entire time the man spent in frustration was all in vain and also completely avoidable, and the whole time he sat there thinking to himself, ‘There’s no order or consistency in this place,’ there was. The point is that man’s failure to acknowledge a fact does not negate the objective and absolute truth of the fact’s existence, or it's potentiality to illuminate.

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