The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

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In Not Reformed At All, at the bottom on page 29, Robbins/Gerety breathlessly announce that I have denied the very concept of truth. They put it this way. “In 1999 Wilson published an essay titled “The Great Logic Fraud” in his book The Paideia of God. It expresses his revolt against excellence, precision, and logic. That essay belies any claim Wilson might make to be believe the system of truth in the Westminster Confession. In the essay, Wilson even denies that 2 + 2 = 4 is true. His exact words are, for those who might find my accusation incredible, “Because of our realist assumptions in mathematics, we have come to believe that 15 + 20 = 35 is true. But it is evidently not true.”

Ah, but there is more. In that essay, I went on to say (in the very next sentence) that “15 unicorns plus 20 unicorns will not get 35 unicorns, try as you may. Of course, on the other hand, 15 turnips plus 20 turnips will result in 35 turnips, and it will do so every time. The structure of the addition table is sound, and the “argument” is valid. And if unicorns existed, we would wind up with 35 of them. But this means the argument is valid, not true” [emphasis added]. I was talking about truth and validity (an elementary distinction in logic, one we teach to our 8th graders), not truth and falsity, or truth and relativism.

From this distance, it is impossible to say if the Robbins/Gerety problem is one of paradigm-induced incompetence, paradigm-induced dishonesty, ordinary incompetence, ordinary dishonesty, or some mixture of the four. And so I do not presume to say. But I can say that Robbins/Gerety are not to be trusted in representing to their reading public anything about what I have to say. Somebody is struggling with the concept of truth, all right.

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