Right Reasoning

Reasoning is right only if its premises are correct. From ancient times to the present the method of deductive reasoning has been followed by thinkers who recognized certain truths and went on to conclusions drawn from them. The Greeks followed this method in mathematical reasoning, and their conclusions are acceptable even today because they are reliable—susceptible of proof. But the philosophical deductions of the Greeks regarding life were not reliable because their premise on this point was incorrect.

Not so was the premise of Christ Jesus, who said (Matt. 5: 48), "Be ye ... perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." The Master's deduction of perfect man as the effect of perfect Father was reliable, as his compassionate works of healing showed. Paul described the practical results of such right reasoning when he wrote (I Cor. 13: 10), "When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." And he reasoned further with the Corinthians that they should put away childish things, or partial truths, and know as they were known.

January 13, 1962

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