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Better Thinking and Reasoning (BJU Press Heritage Studies) [Paperback]

By Ron Tagliapietra (Author)
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Item Number 128159  
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Item description for Better Thinking and Reasoning (BJU Press Heritage Studies) by Ron Tagliapietra...

This biblical approach to the principles of logic offers practical applications for the development of thinking skills. Each chapter contains a memory verse, specific examples from the Bible, and applications of logic to various areas of study

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Item Specifications...

Studio: BJU Press
Pages   233
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.47" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.62"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 1996
Publisher   Bob Jones University Press
Grade Level  High School  
Series  BJU Press Heritage Studies  
ISBN  0890848319  
ISBN13  9780890848319  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ron Tagliapietra

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Tagliapietra enjoys travel, holds a doctorate in education from Bob Jones University, and is preparing for missionary service.

Ron Tagliapietra was born in 1956.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > General
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Logic & Language

Christian Product Categories
Books > Education (K-12) > Humanities > Bible Curriculum

Reviews - What do customers think about Better Thinking and Reasoning?

This is an illogical book on logic!  Jul 27, 2004
I wish the previous reviewer had included the following blurb from the back cover of the Tagliapietra's book: "What I like most about the material is that it is centered around the Word of God. Your emphasis on the Word of God requiring us to use words carefully is something we all need." In point of fact, what "we all need" is a good high school text on the teaching of logic. What we don't need is an evangelical Christian writing a book telling us what is logical and what isn't.

Tagliapietra never provides a good logical argument telling his reader why someone should BELIEVE the way he does. We do, however, get examples of his "logic": In the Introduction he states, "God has declared His Word clearly in Jesus....God has given you examples to follow in Jesus....God's character reflects orderly reasonable thinking, His Word commands it....May the Lord strengthen you through your study." I'm not sure if Tagliapietra fully understands what propaganda is, but he definitely knows how to use it.

In Chapter 1 "Purposes of Definition" he continues, "[Paul and Peter] were infallibly guided so that the Scriptures have exactly the right wording...These Scriptures prove that the Biblical statement 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God' refers to God's act, not to human creativity." Tagliapietra offers "Questions" at the end of Chapter 1. Here is a representative example: "Choose the name of a Christian denomination (Baptist, Presbyterian, etc.) [and] Write convincing definitions as might be written by (1) an angry atheist and (2) a divisive Christian in another denomination." This is supposed to be an exercise on how to teach good logic?

In Chapter 2 "Methods of Definition" Tagliapietra's real objective is succinctly stated: "Understanding the words of the Bible takes careful study." It doesn't take a teacher of logic to figure out what he means here. Remember, this is supposed to be a book on logic. Further, he errs when he states that "the [KJV] Bible is a translation of an ancient book." The Judeo-Christian bible is a disjointed collection of numerous books, containing scores of mutually exclusive concepts and diverse stories and poems. In other words the collection lacks coherence. It doesn't take a logician to see this, only an attentive reader. But, the main point is this, Can't someone learn logic WITHOUT using the Bible?

In Chapters 3 through 7 Tagliapietra covers "Truth Values" and "Induction". On page 26 he tells readers how to write a newspaper article rebutting a "humanist," but to his credit, he does say to abide by "the golden rule" when attacking the humanist position. How does Tagliaprietra back up his "instruction"? You got it! He uses quotes from Revelation and John, and on the next page, he quotes 1 Corinthians, Acts, Romans, and John, again.

In Chapters 8 through 11 Tagliapietra tells about "Evidence," "Reasoning," and "Fallacies." He hits his peak with the following: "Since the Bible is the only absolutely reliable source of truth, it is really the only source with which a theory must be in complete harmony." In other words, from the beginning of his book to the very end, Tagliaprietra WANTS the reader to BELIEVE the way he does. Logic and the instruction thereof is secondary to his overall objective. His argument goes like this: Everything that is in harmony with the Bible is logical and anything that is not is illogical. If it doesn't fit, make it fit. On page 101, he says, "The Bible accurately explains wrong views held by others (such as Satan)." Tagliapietra finally worked Satan into his book on "logic". In the conclusion of Chapter 8, the writer states, "Seven characteristics are required of a good theory: harmony with Scripture, coherency, adequacy, consistency, simplicity, accuracy, and fruitfulness." One more time: If you want to be logical, according to Tagliapietra, you have to make sure whatever theory you come up with, IT MUST BE IN HARMONY WITH SCRIPTURE. Of the fallacies the writer covers, one sticks out like a sore thumb. It is the fallacy of "Accident". Here is the example given in the book:
All men are sinners.
Jesus is a man.
Therefore, Jesus is a sinner.
Tagliapietra tells why the above is a fallacy: "This argument is a simple modus ponens; the problem here is that the universal (all men) is intended to mean 'all simple humans' or all humans that are not also God.' The intended meaning of the premise is misapplied to an exceptional case. Thus again, the premises are improperly related." Wow! Tagliapietra fails to explain the logic of "all humans that are not also God". Apparently, the author doesn't understand the fallacy of "contradiction". But that was demonstrated long ago when he referred to the Bible as "the word of God".

Chapter 12 is entitled "Tools for Reasoning". The writer uses Venn diagrams and the Bible as examples of "tools".

If you are wondering if the writer gives a "Scripture Index" in his book on "logic," wonder no more. It is found on pages 221-224.

References. Tagliapietra lists only four books in his "references" section on page 186.
Of those only one is about logic. Two of the others are a perfect "fit" for any Creationist who believes the Bible is inerrant. For example, check the credentials of D. A. Carson and John G. Read. The other "reference" is a fifty -year-old book on statistics.

Tagliapietra has managed to write 233 pages of mostly nonsense under the guise of "thinking and reasoning" logically. If you are looking for a work that praises the "Word of God," this is the book for you. If you are looking for a good book explaining how to instruct high school students in the discipline of logic, look elsewhere. Oh, if you are looking for a used copy, mine is for sale. I'll take a buck and a half.
A well structured text introducing logic and reasoning.  Mar 9, 1999
This book is a well designed tool for educators. It contains the rudiments of logic with pertinent questions to aid the learner. One weakness of the book is that some questions demand a fairly broad knowledge (although with a little outside research the homework is managable). However, no need for despair - the answers for all questions are provided at the end of the book. The structure of the book is very helpful. Each chapter has a brief review of previous information, an overview for the current chapter, well outlined content, examples, and a good summary of the lesson. Questions are designed to engage the learner at the various levels of learning. The author also suggests help for the teacher. At the beginning, he includes a few lists of selected chapters showing teachers how they can use the book to meet different needs. Logic is the tool for pursuing truth! This book can help the high school age student attain the skills needed. Those planning on attending college should certainly master it. Over all Dr.Tagliapietra's book is a very good introduction to a subject sorely needed.

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