Friday, October 9, 2009

Reason, Logic, and Good Premises - November 10, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama referred to President Abraham Lincoln in his first speech on the day he was elected President of the United States of America. He mentioned self-reliance and individual liberty.

These are President Lincoln’s wise words:
"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name - liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny.”
Aside from using the same word but not meaning the same thing, one could also hold contradictory values. But contradictions are impossible. Either one is for liberty or for tyranny.

I hope President-elect Obama is for self-reliance and individual liberty. If he is, he must check all his premises so that he will not champion contradictory policies. Based on his campaign declarations, he has many principles incompatible with self-reliance and individual liberty. I hope that as president, he will not espouse contradictions.

Logic is non-contradictory identification within the full context of one’s knowledge.

Mr. President-elect, I wish you: Reason, Logic, and Good Premises.

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