It is impossible for a thing to be and not to be at the same time and in the same respect. – Aristotle.
The great Greek philosopher Aristotle formulated the principle of non-contradiction over two millennia ago. His formulation of this self-evident principle is one of the foundations of logic.
But modern philosophers attacked this foundational principle of logic, twisting themselves in tangled knots trying to explain it away. Their denial of the principle of non-contradiction has percolated into the thought of the general public – and manifests itself in modern society and politics.
The denial of the principle of non-contradiction can be seen most clearly in the philosophy of modern moral relativism, which can be pithily summed up by the phrase “what is good or true for you is not necessarily good or true for me.” This now ever-present philosophy leads to Orwellian use of language in political discourse, to the point where war really can become peace and slavery truly can become freedom.
Abortion is perhaps the clearest example of philosophical schizophrenia in modern society. So-called “fetal homicide” laws make the murder of a pregnant mother the equivalent of a double homicide – yet abortion is legal in all 50 states. In the modern world, a fetus is human only when it is convenient for society to define him or her as human.
But abortion is not the only place where self-evident contradiction is present in modern society. Politicians consistently put out a stream of deliberately self-contradictory assertions.
There are countless examples of this behavior, but the examples of our three most recent presidents illustrate this behavior perfectly.
President Clinton, when asked whether he had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, famously replied: “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”
President Bush famously claimed that he was pushing for a “compassionate conservatism,” while at the same time he aggressively pursued war in Iraq and adopted massive spending programs antithetical to conservatism.
President Obama launched airstrikes on Libya, yet somehow maintained that the United States of America was not at war with Libya.
The Alice in Wonderland methods of logic practiced by these Presidents are illustrative of society’s embrace of moral relativism, where truth is essentially arbitrary. A society which has declared war on the principle of non-contradiction should not be surprised when its leaders deliberately use sophistry to mislead the general public.