[b-greek] Re: The Logic of Acts 2:38

From: Harry W. Jones (hjbluebird@aol.com)
Date: Sun May 27 2001 - 23:37:55 EDT

> >From: "Harry W. Jones" <hjbluebird@aol.com>
> >Date: Sun, 27 May 2001 12:38:49 -0400
> >
> >Dear Paul,
> >
> >You posted:
> >
> >> The logic of Acts 2:38 can be expressed simply as:
> >>
> >> If A and B, then C and D (if you repent and get baptized, then you will
> >> have your sins forgiven and you will receive the Holy Spirit).
> >>
> >> This is all it says. It does not say, nor does it imply the following:
> >>
> >> If not (A and B), then not (C and D).
> >>
> >> A conditional does not imply its negation. The negation may or may not
> >> be true, but it can not be inferred from the conditional. We know it is
> >> true only if it is affirmed to be so.
> >>
> >> The parallel in Mk 16:16 is illustrative: he who believes and is
> >> baptized shall be saved.
> >>
> >> The significant difference between Acts 2:38 and Mk 16:16 is simply that
> >> Mk 16:16b affirms the negation of belief (he who believes not is
> >> condemned already). It does not, however, affirm the negation of
> >> baptism.
> >>
> >> Conclusion: Acts 2:38 affirms simply that on the condition of repentance
> >> and baptism, then forgiveness of sins and reception of the Holy Spirit
> >> are assured. It does not say, nor can we conclude that if both
> >> repentance and baptism do not occur, then neither will forgiveness and
> >> reception of the Holy Spirit occur. From Mk 16:16, however, we can
> >> conclude that if and only if a man believes, then he will be saved. But,
> [snip]
> >> it is also true that if a man believes and is baptized, then he will be
> >> saved.
> >>
> >> Paul Dixon
> >
> >I found you post very interesting.But I think you have missed the real
> >question. The real question is, if(A but not B) then not(C or D)?
> >Or maybe stated this way, if(A but not B) then (C but not D)?
> >
> >You see Paul, these are the real questions we are interested in.
> >Do you think you might be able to help us?
> >
> >Sincerely,
> >Harry W. Jones
> >hjbluebird@aol.com
> Harry, I think Paul's same logic applies to the "real questions": a
> conditional
> does not imply its negation in *any of its parts* -- that is [if (A and B)
> then (C and D)] does not imply [if not(A and B) then not(C and D)] -- but
> since [not(A and B)] is satisfied by [not A or not B], which in turn is
> satisfied by
> [A but not B], [not A but B], or [not A and not B], it follows that it is
> also true that [if (A and B) then (C and D)] does *not* imply [if (A but not
> B) then not(C or D)].
> In other words, both repentance and baptism are sufficient cause for the
> remission of sins, but that does not mean they are not *both* necessary
> causes.
> But the difficulty in this analysis is that Acts 2:38 is not written in a
> logical syllogism, but rather in ordinary language, which one would expect
> to operate according to principles of communication theory. Specifically,
> in the field of linguistic pragmatics, one of Grice's Maxim's is is the
> Maxim of Economy: that is, in order to intepret a message, a listener
> presumes that his interlocutor will give him all of the information
> necessary and *only* the information necessary. So the question becomes, if
> baptism is not a *necessary* condition for the remission of sins, why did
> Peter bother to mention it, especially since the question prompting that
> answer seems a rather urgent plea: "Men, brethren, what shall we do?"
> Yours in the search,
> glenn blank,
> Pensacola, FL

Well Glenn, I had hoped that logic could shed some light on this
passage but I guess it cann't. It's a real mystery why Peter chose
EIS. If he had ment "because of " why didn't he choose "DIA"?

Harry W. Jones

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