How can you be a reasonable, intelligent citizen, yet arrive at such ludicrous policy conclusions?
The classes I took in symbolic/ Formal Logic taught me something exceedingly valuable.
I learned about the nature of logic, its forms and methods, and the various conclusions you arrive at with arguments.
I discovered the difference between Truth, Validity, Cogency, Strength and Soundness.
Truth and falsity is a property of statements or premises.
Deductive arguments are Valid or Invalid, Sound or Unsound. An argument is valid such that it is impossible to have all true premises and a false conclusion. An argument is sound if it is valid, and all its premises are true.
Inductive arguments are Cogent or Un-cogent, Strong or Weak. An argument is cogent if it is valid, and all its premises are probably true. The argument is strong or weak according to the probability of its premises being true. (Probability is a function of statistics, or data point frequency given a sample set and hypothesis)
All this being said, what is important here is understanding that the premises themselves are composed of “facts” or “assumptions” or “beliefs” about the world. Facts are typically universally agreed upon, usually affirmed by the scientific method and a community of scientists that critique experiments.
But some premises such as assumptions and beliefs, derived from limited experience or here say, are not universally accepted and agreed upon. In this way you can have very complex, intelligent arguments that are valid, assuming you believe all your statements are true, but someone else may fundamentally disagree, because they don’t hold all your statements true.
As a christian you accept a belief about mankind that is radically different from most secularists: Man is a sinner, and inherently evil. And without God, or accepting jesus, you are evil, lost, and ignorant.
Secularists believe that man is inherently good, that all men strive for the same end, to survive and flourish and be happy, and that circumstance and trauma makes him “bad” and selfish, and love and community is at the heart of rehabilitation. Not god.
This fundamental difference in belief leads is drastically different approaches to prescribing fixes to society.
As long as you live according to the Bible, believe in God, and claim to be a Christian, you pretty much can justify a lot of behaviors in the name of God.
This explains the Trump phenomenon, and why is deplorable behaviors go unnoticed by his supporters, and are even praised. We’re all sinners and make mistakes, but we can be good, just so long as we ask God for forgiveness.
But in the eyes of Christians, if you’re a secularist, no matter how “good” you are, you will always be “bad” because you’re a sinner, and not pursuing the will of God.
In a very simple nutshell, this is how two groups of seemingly intelligent people arrive at such dramatically disparate and even competing prescriptions for society.