Reasoning with Faith, Religion, and Atheism…Inductive Reasoning (Part 6)

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Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning is a form of inference argumentation that uses analogies, examples, observations, and experiences to form conclusive propositions.  It is used mostly to explain properties and relations to objects or types based on previous observations.  In fact Analogical Reasoning is a subset of Inductive Reasoning.

Inductive logic uses experiences to formulate general statements based on limited observations of recurring patterns and examples to conclude a possible logical solution.  It is the process of observing details and extrapolating generalizations from those observations (specific, smaller pieces of information used to shape general, larger conclusions).

Inductive reasoning contrast strongly with deductive reasoning in that, even in the best, or strongest, cases of inductive reasoning, the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion. Instead, the conclusion of an inductive argument follows with some degree of probability and plausibility.  Inductive reasoning is not designed to be a BE ALL to END ALL critical thinking tool, it’s simply an approach of using experiences, samples, known and unknown observation to find a reasonable & probable conclusion.  Inductive reasoning is what led people originally to believe the earth was flat, and that the earth was the center of the universe, and that all other celestial bodies in the universe orbited around us.

One of the most common forms of inductive reasoning & logic, is something called the Inductive Bible Study.  It’s a common technique many bible studying Christians use when going through the scriptures.  In fact, my first experience with an inductive bible study was in College; -there was a campus ministry called Intervarsity that had Several Inductive Bible Studies throughout the week.  It was actually my favorite bible study of all the ones I attended.  I found it to be the most informative and most diligent at taking the scriptures and interpreting them without any presuppustional doctrinal stances.  The Inductive Bible Study is broken down into three key components when reading and interpreting scripture.

Inductive Bible Study Key Components: 1)Observation, 2)Interpretation, 3)Application

A short video explaining what an inductive bible is:

The Inductive Bible Study is a process whereby the participants examine and evaluate details – facts, feelings, prior knowledge and impressions – of Biblical passages as the basis for gaining “insight” into general Biblical truths.  Now not everybody is sold on doing an inductive bible study(The Problem with Inductive Bible Study), because to some degree it deals too much with the relative and not enough with the absolutes.   That it leaves too much up to possibility, personal and public opinion.  I disagree with that, because in a good inductive bible study, with a good group of people, you talk about the scriptures and Let Iron sharpen Iron.  Actually in my experience, the issue of people putting their own opinion and interpretation in the scriptures is when they refuse to get dialogue going and become close-minded.

The topic of Induction and God; per Atheist George Smith vs. Apologist Greg Bahsen.  In my opinion, even though inductive reasoning is slightly perceived in a lesser light it is still a useful and practical guide especially in situations when dealing with subjective questions.  

About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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7 Responses to Reasoning with Faith, Religion, and Atheism…Inductive Reasoning (Part 6)

  1. exrelayman says:

    Here is a very good read that I think pertains to what you have been talking about:

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      Generally speaking the reason for the series of post, is because during this jounrney of deconversion. I had to learn to reason. I thought I knew how to fully functionally reason, which I did, but only from the perspective of christianity. So I had to learn how reason is used objectively and with the atheist.

      *I actually finished this post series about two months, it is only now do fully understand and comprehend the different types of reasoning and argumentation.

  2. D'Ma says:

    Yes, I remember quite well going through Kay Arthur’s inductive Bible studies. I still have all the colored pencils. Oh, and lots of underlining in different colors in my Bible. “When you see this word or phrase underline in green. When you see that word or phrase underline in yellow.” Still have all the workbooks.

  3. I heard Kay Arthur speak and teach about her inductive approach when the ISB was first being published. She was quite the speaker…as a side note she made a bizarre statement that none in our group could figure out. In the midst of a passionate appeal for the Gospel and God’s love she talked about how God loved an adulterer like her. Not that it matters a whole lot, but none of us could figure out if she was talking about cheating on her husband or in a spiritual sense of idol worship

  4. M. Rodriguez says:

    this was actually the first time I heard of her

  5. las artes says:

    The inductive Bible study method is based on a review of the context surrounding each passage of scripture. Investigation of each statement is crucial in understanding the meaning of the Bible. Kay Arthur, the author of more than 100 books and Bible studies, also teaches and hosts a radio and television program, which teaches this method of Bible study to more than 94 million people worldwide.

  6. Pingback: Reasoning with Faith, Religion, and Atheism…Introduction to Reasoning (Part 1) | The BitterSweet End

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