Sharpen Your Critical Thinking Skills By Understanding P → Q

This notation dates back to antiquity. Simply put, it says, “P implies Q;  P is asserted to be true, so therefore Q must be true.” It is one of the simplest expressions of symbolic logic — it’s easy to remember — and it can be helpful to clarify your  thinking and sharpen your analysis skill.

If “P” is true (your hypothesis is true) then you can infer that “Q” (your conclusion) will be true. If “P” is not true (your  data is faulty, or you are just assuming it to be true on faith), then “Q” can be either true or untrue. With a faulty hypothesis, you can draw any conclusion you  wish.

Think about this when you watch cable news or a politician’s speech.  The individual generally has a position on an issue – liberal OR conservative – and will state his/her premise or hypothesis as being true.  Then he/she will present conclusions based on those premises or hypotheses to try to draw you to the same conclusion.  That the premises/hypotheses might not be true is irrelevant.

The point is that conclusions drawn from premises/hypotheses that are not true can be anything that the politician or talking head chooses.

The same is true in religion.  The premises or hypotheses are based on “faith” – not evidence.  So whatever conclusions are drawn can be whatever the speaker/writer chooses.  Like any other discussion based on premises/hypotheses that are not tested for truth can lead to conclusions that may or not be true.

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