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1st Principles
By: Peter Bocchino - President, Legacy of Truth Ministries

 

WHAT ARE FIRST PRINCIPLES?

Aristotle showed how every science begins with certain obvious metaphysical truths he referred to as first principles. Aristotle explained how these first principles form the foundations upon which all knowledge rests. First principles are the fundamental truths from which inferences are made and conclusions are based. They are considered to be self-evident truths and can be thought of as both the underlying and the governing principles of a worldview.

WHAT IS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF LOGIC?

The first principle of all knowledge is the law of noncontradiction. This foundational first principle of logic states that opposite claims cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense.

LAW OF NONCONTRADICTION—Biblical References: Matthew 21:25 – Some questions only have a yes or no answer (either from heaven or from men). 2 Corinthians 1:18 – A valid statement (message) must be either “yes” or “no” and not “yes” and “no.”

WHAT IS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF TRUTH?

The first principle of truth is a knowable, transcendent and unchanging reality (fixed point or referent). In this respect, we have demonstrated that the truth about reality can be known or discovered.

THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF TRUTH—Biblical References: There are only two sides with respect to statements about reality, the side of error and the side of truth. John 18:37 – “For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” By definition, truth is a statement or idea that corresponds to reality (God). The Spirit of God is the fixed point of reality (1 John 5:6 “The Spirit is the truth) and God’s Word is truth because it matches reality (In John 17:17 Jesus said, “your word is truth.”). Jesus is the truth because he perfectly corresponds to God (In John 14:16 Jesus said, “I am the truth.” In Hebrews 1:3 we read, “The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being.”

WHAT IS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION SCIENCE?

The first principle of operation science (investigations of observable and repeatable present events or effects) is a philosophical assumption known as the principle of causality. The entire discipline of science rests upon this principle, which states that every event, effect or finite thing, must have an adequate cause. This principle is firmly coupled to searching for explanations.

THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION SCIENCE—Biblical References: The principle of causality with respect to God as the First Cause of the universe and life is found in Genesis 1:1; 1:3 and 1:27, respectively: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

WHAT IS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF ORIGIN SCIENCE?

It is essential to understand that operation and origin science are connected by a philosophical principle called uniformity (or analogy). With respect to origin science, the uniformity principle states that the present is the key to understanding the past. If present observations indicate that it always takes a certain kind of cause to produce a certain kind of effect, the principle of uniformity tells us that the same kind of event in the past must have had the same kind of cause as observed in the present.

THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF ORIGIN SCIENCE—Biblical References: This principle is implied throughout God’s Word with respect to linking present cause and effect to past similar cause and effect. A few examples are as follows:

  1. Luke 17:26 – “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.”
  2. 2 Peter 3:4 – “Everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation” (there is
    uniformity in the world because there is design in the universe).
  3. The past cause (God) of all life and the moral law can be observed through present effects. Romans 1:20 – For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

WHAT IS THE FOREMOST LAW OF SCIENCE?

The second law of thermodynamics. This law states that the amount of usable energy in a closed isolated system runs down. (A closed isolated system is a finite system that has no interference from the outside).

THE FOREMOST LAW OF SCIENCE—Biblical References: This law is clearly seen throughout the Bible. As we move away from the source of all energy and life, God, we experience degeneration.The universe is also subjected to this law. A few biblical references are as follows:

  1. The “fall of humanity” resulted in the uncontrolled increase of disorder, a movement towards to chaos. In Genesis 3:17-19 we read, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Humanity, on its own, will always struggle against the second law until God recreates a new heaven and earth under the fullness of His order (Revelation 21:1).
  2. When the king (Adam) fell, the kingdom (creation) fell with him. In Romans 8:19-22 we read, “ The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration [the uncontrolled second law], not by its own choice [because nature is impersonal] , but by the will of the one who subjected it [God cause it as a consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve], in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay [second law].”

WHAT IS THE FOREMOST LAW OF BIOLOGY?

The word “biology” literally means the science or study of life. When we study biology, it doesn’t take long to encounter the word species. The choice of this term, as opposed to some other, is based on the law of specificity. It is the reciprocal function of the second law of thermodynamics. This law is analogous to turning back the hand of time and getting a system back into its original highly ordered state.

THE FOREMOST LAW OF BIOLOGY—Biblical References: The law of specified complexity requires an intelligent cause. Language has an intelligent cause. Yet, we cannot have language unless logic/intelligence has a basis. This law is implied throughout God’s Word. We read it in Genesis 1 when we read that God crated humanity in His image. That is, His intellectual, moral, volitional and spiritual image. The intellectual image refers to logic and eventually language. The clearest statement of this “logos” or eternal reason is found in John 1:1-2. “In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word [logos] was God.” Keep this description of Jesus in mind with respect to him being the intelligent cause behind the effect with respect to the DNA code.

WHAT IS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF LAW?

Classical natural law is based upon the universal and inherent understanding that certain behaviors are immoral and, therefore, ought to be illegal. If this is true, it only makes sense that natural law is a necessary prerequisite for positive law. In this sense, natural law provides the basis for a standard of morality. This standard, or moral law, can be thought of as a first principle of jurisprudence upon which all law ought to be based and upon which true civilization depends.

The classical understanding of “natural law, then, is the human participation in eternal law by way of reason. In brief, natural law is the ‘natural light of reason, by which we discern what is right and what is wrong.’ . . . All rational creatures share in natural law. It is the law written on their hearts (Romans 2:15) . . . It can be said that human reason is the basis for natural law only insofar as it participates in the Eternal Reason.”

Hence, human nature was endowed with certain God given qualities that gave humans intrinsic value based upon the eternal nature and moral character of God. As the apostle Paul said, “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the [Mosaic] law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the [Mosaic] law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, the consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them” (Romans 2:14-15).

 


This document has been printed from the Legacy of Truth Ministries Web site.
Original URL: www.legacyoftruth.org/read.asp?document=8

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