To begin with, this is primarily a thread for theists – that said I am sure to attract the attention of atheists …. This has two parts. The first is a brief overview of the philosophy of applying logic to theology and the second is a short analysis of the two most common logical fallacies one is likely to encounter from atheists PART ONE – The limits of applying logic to theology As far as coming to the point of understanding God, that will never happen by logic alone – but – if logical misconceptions are cleared about God it may enable a person to hear about the subject clearly, and that can awaken curiosity, or scientific enquiry. We have no responsibility to prove something to a person who refuses to participate in scientific enquiry (although we may give them a prasadam sweet ball). Logic is useful when dealing with a person who has a scientific mind and is willing to investigate and participate. To use logic with a person who is fundamentally irrational is useless. There is so much testimony from great philosophers and scientists about a category (God) that explains all other categories, and if a person is not interested it seems to indicate that a person is non-philosophical – in other words if the category gets too big that it makes me small – well- that’s enough philosophy, that’s enough science, that’s enough investigation – they lose their nerve – their philosophical enquiry gets blunted by envy. It’s just like buying a car – if you refuse to go for a test drive yet insist that the salesman logically prove to you that the car runs nicely he will say “Sorry we don’t do business that way”. In other words, can a person expect to stand outside the process of knowing God and perceive God? No. PART TWO – Defeating varieties of atheistic arguments To begin with you first have to uncover an argument. This can sometimes be quite a laborious process because people tend to use language cheaply (eg – “God is illogical” …er .. why?). To get the premises (hence referred to as P1, P2) for a conclusion (C) you may have to wade through pages of opinions and even insults . Basically atheistic arguments come in two varieties - Logic that isn’t true - Truth that isn’t logical (and in cases of mammoth foolishness, arguments that are both untruthful and illogical) TESTING THE TRUTH OF AN ARGUMENT (P1) All turtles have wings (P2) All horses are turtles (C) All horses have wings The sad fact is that this is a logical argument. Of course it is not true but it contains no logical fallacies. Defeating this type of argument requires an analysis of the premises. For example here is the common “Religion causes war” argument. (P1) War is regrettable (P2) Religion causes war (C) Therefore religion is regrettable One can defeat this argument by examining the premise of P2 and establishing that violence is in fact caused by many things, the most likely being human nature. TESTING THE LOGIC OF AN ARGUMENT (P1) Today is Tuesday (P2) The grass is green (C) I’m tired These statements are all true but the arguments are totally illogical – what is not true, however , is that the premises establish the conclusion. Often you encounter this in the form of arguments that are merely tentative suggestions ( in other words the plausibility can often be easily swung to prove the opposite). (P1) Scientists examine matter (P2) Study of matter has not revealed god (C) Scientists have no interest in religion One can defeat this by showing evidence of scientists that have been interested in god So the general technique is 1- assist the atheist to form a coherent argument 2 – examine the truth of the premises 3 – examine the logic of the conclusion From here I guess the thread is open for additions, corrections or clarifications, and –lol – I guess insults …..