Date: Mon Sep 21 1998 - 16:55:11 EDT
In a message dated 9/21/1998 6:30:01 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
<<I found your statement "assume the protasis false for the sake of
somewhat confusing. Was this an actual quote, or did you really mean
something like, "assume a false statement to be true for the sake of
argument"? The latter is the normal pattern when the "proof by
contradiction" approach is being used. The idea, of course, is to show
the assumption leads to a contradiction of what one knows to be true.
This, then, implies the assumption is false, and its contradiction (what
trying to prove) is necessarily true, since A and not A cannot both be
true (law of noncontradiction).
Furthermore, your statement "no inference can be made by a negative
protasis" seems contradicted by Paul's repeated usage of the proof by
contradiction argumentation in 1 Cor 15:13, 14, 16, 17, and 19, where
we have EI ... OUK, OUDE; EI ... OUK, ARA; EI ... OUK, OUDE; EI ...
OUK; etc., respectively. He surely infers conclusions based upon
negative protases here, does he not?
John can speak for himself, but I think he was speaking strictly about second
class conditionals where Dan Wallace argues that the protasis is assumed false
for the sake of argument in contrast to the first class statement where the
protasis is assumed true for the sake of argument.
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