III. An Appraisal of Traditional Systems of Logic from the Perspective of Unification Thought

Formal Logic

Concerning formal logic itself, Unification logic finds nothing to criticize, and so Unification logic is in agreement with the laws and forms of thought dealt with in formal logic just as they are. Nevertheless, human thinking has not only the aspect of form, but also the aspect of content. Also, thinking has purpose, direction, and relations with other fields. Therefore, thinking is not to be done just for the sake of thinking itself, but rather for the sake of cognition and practice (dominion), and for the sake of actualizing the purpose of creation. That is, the laws of thought are merely conditions wherein thinking can take place.

Hegel’s Logic

Hegel’s logic tried to interpret philosophically the way God had created the
universe. Hegel understood God as Logos, or Idea, and considered Idea to be the starting point of the creation of the universe. Hegel first explained the development of Being, Nothing, and Becoming in the world of Idea. Since Being as it is contains no development, he thought of Nothing as something to be opposed to Being. Then, according to him, as the unity of the opposition between Being and Nothing, Becoming comes into being. There is a problem in this view, however. For Hegel, Nothing originally is merely an interpretation of Being, and Being and Nothing are not separated. However, Hegel separated Being and Nothing, and explained it as if Being and Nothing were opposed to each other.

Another problem is that he held that Idea develops by itself. From the perspective of Unification Thought, idea belongs to the Inner Hyungsang in the structure of the Original Image, and develops as follows: As the functions of intellect, emotion, and will―particularly reason within the function of intellect―act upon the idea centering on purpose, the Logos (conception or plan) is formed, which becomes a new idea. Accordingly, Logos, or Idea, is something formed within the mind of God, and there can never be the case that Idea develops by itself. Criticizing the “self-development of the Idea” advocated by Hegel, Max von Rumelin, of Tubingen University, said:

The amount of effort we have made to understand the meaning that Hegel’s so-called speculative method had for its founder, Hegel, is beyond description. Every person thinking of other people and shaking his head, would ask, “Do you understand? Without your doing anything, will the Idea move by itself within your mind?” We were told that those who answer yes are people with a speculative brain. We, who were different from them, merely stood at the stage of thinking in the category of limited understanding …. In our minds, the reason we had failed fully to understand that method was the dullness of our own talents; we did not have enough courage to consider that the reason lay in the very lack of clarity and in the defects of the method itself.

Further, Hegel held nature to be the self-alienation, or the form of otherness, of Idea. As was pointed out in the Theory of the Original Image, this view regards nature as the expression of God, and is a view that can lead to pantheism, making no distinction between nature and God. Thus, it has the potential to easily turn into materialism.

In Hegel’s dialectic, nature was merely an intermediate step in the process leading to the appearance of humankind. Nature is like the scaffolding of a building under construction. Once the building is completed, the scaffolding, which was used as a means of constructing the building, is taken away. Likewise, once humankind came into being, nature in itself became meaningless from the philosophical point of view.

He also said that the human being is manipulated by reason in the development of history. Consequently, the human being actually is a being to be manipulated like a puppet by the Absolute Spirit. From the perspective of Unification Thought, however, God is not unilaterally moving history. History is made through the combination of the human being’s portion of responsibility and God’s portion of responsibility.

Furthermore, Hegel’s dialectic has a cyclical, returning, and completing nature. According to Hegel, Prussia was supposed to become the rational state that had emerged at the end of history. In actuality, however, Prussia disappeared from history without becoming the rational state. Therefore, it follows that Hegel’s philosophy came to an end with the end of Prussia. Problems such as these are abundant in Hegel’s philosophy. We must say that the cause of these mistakes can be found in his logic. Let us examine this point further.

Hegel grasped the development of Idea as the dialectical development of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. The Idea alienates itself and becomes nature; and later, by becoming spirit through humankind, it recovers itself. According to Hans Leisegang, this way of thinking is unique to Hegel, and is based on his study of the Bible. Specifically, Hegel’s philosophy of opposition, which is transcended by a higher synthesis, is said to be based on the theme of certain passages from the Gospel according to John, such as “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24), and “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). From this position, Hegel conceived of God as Logos, or Idea, and held that God manifests Himself in the external world just as the life of a seed sown on the earth manifests itself on the outside. Here lies the fundamental cause of Hegel’s errors.

From the perspective of Unification Thought, God is a God of Heart (love), and having established the purpose of creation motivated by Heart―an emotional impulse to be joyful by loving an object―He created the universe with Logos. Logos was the plan for creation in God’s mind, and was not God Himself. In Hegel’s idealistic dialectic, however, God’s Heart (love) or His purpose of creation are not mentioned. In Hegel, God is not explained as God the Creator, but rather as a kind of life that germinates and grows.

At this point, let us compare Hegel’s logic and Unification Thought logic. There are similarities between them, though the meanings are different. What Hegel calls Logos corresponds, in Unification Thought, to God’s conception of, or plan for, creation. Hegel’s process described as the dialectic of Logos corresponds in Unification Thought, to give and receive action in the Original Image. Hegel’s thesis, antithesis, and synthesis correspond to the Origin, Division, and Union Action in Unification Thought. Hegel’s dialectic, which has a returning and completing nature, can be understood, according to Unification Thought, as the spiral developmental movement in nature through give and receive action centered on the purpose of creation, and in history, as the history of re-creation and restoration. Hegel tried to find the Idea through nature, but Unification Thought holds that one can perceive the Original Image (Divine Image and Divine Character) through all things symbolically. Therefore, the problem of Hegel’s pantheistic nature can be solved by the Unification Thought Theory of Pan-Divine Image, the view that the Divine Image is manifested in all created beings.

Dialectical Logic

As mentioned before, Stalin published a paper entitled “Marxism and the Problems of Linguistics,” in order to settle the controversy which arose in the academic society of the Soviet Union. He concluded in it that linguistics does not belong to the superstructure and therefore it has no class nature. As a result, the law of identity and the law of contradiction in formal logic came to be recognized.

However, in the framework of Marxism, the law of identity and the law of contradiction are considered only as laws of thinking and are not laws of development of the objective world. Hence, even if they accept the law of identity and the law of contradiction in thinking, they claim that the objective world follows the dialectical law of contradiction (the law of the unity and struggle of opposites). This, however, is not in agreement with the basic tenet of materialist dialectic that thinking is a reflection of the objective world. Such a difficulty, or an aporia, occurred.

In this way, after the publication of Stalin’s paper, the law of the objective world (the dialectical law of contradiction) and the law of thought (the law of identity) became separated. In contrast, it is the assertion of Unification Thought that changeability (developmental nature) and unchangeability are united in the objective world as well as in thinking.

Thinking (or cognition) in the stage of understanding has mainly the identity-maintaining nature, because cognition is completed for the time being by collating the sense content coming from the external world with the prototypes from within. However, thinking becomes developmental in the rational stage. Still, thinking develops step by step; therefore, thinking has an aspect of completion (that is, an identity-maintaining aspect) in each of these steps. Accordingly, the law of identity and the law of contradiction are naturally recognized in Unification Thought.

More precisely, what does it mean that the materialist dialectic has come to recognize formal logic, that is to say, that the laws of identity and of contradiction have come to be recognized by the materialist dialectic? Originally, the basic assertion by the materialist dialectic was that things should be understood as continually changing and developing. However, the fact that the materialist dialectic has recognized the laws of identity and of contradiction means that it has come to affirm the unchanging nature of things, even if only with regard to thinking. That has brought about a change in the essential nature of the materialist dialectic. This is the same as a revision, or even collapse, of the materialist dialectic. At the same time, it goes to show that the assertion of Unification Thought, which views things as the unity of identity-maintenance and development, is the correct one.

Symbolic Logic

It is important to pursue accuracy or rigor in thinking, and, from that perspective, there is no reason why we should oppose symbolic logic. No one, however, can fully grasp human thinking by mere mathematical rigor alone.

In the Original Image, Logos is formed through the give and receive action between the Inner Sungsang and the Inner Hyungsang. Since laws and mathematical principles exist within the Inner Hyungsang, it follows that laws and mathematical principles are contained in Logos; therefore, all things created through Logos manifest laws and mathematical principles. That is why scientists are able to study nature mathematically.

Human thinking has God’s Logos as its pattern. Therefore, human thinking naturally involves mathematical principles as well. In other words, it is desirable for thinking to be made with mathematical precision. Here we can recognize the significance of symbolic logic engaging in the mathematical study of thinking. We should keep in mind, however, that in the give and receive action between the Inner Sungsang and Inner Hyungsang, Heart is the center. This means that in the formation of Logos (Word), Heart stands in a position higher than reason and mathematical principles. Therefore, originally, a human being is not merely a being of logos (i.e., a rational or law-abiding being), but is more essentially a being with emotion (i.e., a being with heart, or an emotional being). Thus, even if one’s thinking does not have mathematical strictness, if love or emotion is contained in one’s thinking, the speaker’s meaning can still be conveyed sufficiently well to others.

For example, when someone sees a fire and shouts, “Fire!”, one can not know whether he meant to say, “This is a fire” or “There is a fire burning.” In an emergency, however, if enough emotion calling for help is poured into the utterance, even if there is no grammatical accuracy in the words, people instantly understand the meaning of the utterance.

The human being is originally the union of logos and emotion. Therefore, by following only logos, a human being expresses only half of his or her true value. By being only rational, a human being is not fully human; only together with his or her emotional aspect can a human being be truly human. Therefore, sometimes words that have less accuracy can be more human. That is, there is an aspect in human thinking that requires strictness, but a human being does not always have to express everything accurately and logically. If we examine Jesus’ words, we may find many illogical aspects there. And yet, why are his words great? It is because God’s love is contained in them. Thus, even if our words may not precisely follow correct logic, we can still fully convey our meaning to others if the emotional element is properly included.

Transcendental Logic

Kant asserted that knowledge is acquired by thinking about an object (sense content) through a priori forms of thought. However, from the perspective of Unification Thought, the object has not only content (sense content) but also form (forms of existence), and the subject of cognition also has not only form (forms of thought) but also content (image of content). The truthfulness of thinking can not be guaranteed only by what Kant called the a priori forms and sense content. In contradistinction to that, in Unification Thought, the necessary relationship between human beings and all things leads to the correspondence between the laws and forms of thinking and the laws and forms of the external world, and thus the truthfulness of thinking about the object can be guaranteed.

A Comparison between Unification Logic and Traditional Systems of Logic

Finally, a diagram presenting a comparative view of Unification logic, formal logic, dialectical logic, and transcendental logic is presented above (see table. 10.1).

Table. 10. 1 A Comparison between Unification Logic and Traditional Systems of Logic

Unification Logic

Formal Logic

Dialectical Logic

Transcendental Logic

Forms of Thought

Objective & Subjective




Content of Thought

Objective & Subjective



Laws of Thought

Give and Receive Law

Law of Identity & Law of Contradiction

Dialectical Method

Transcendental Method

Standard of Thought

Structure of the Original Image


Theory of Collation

Theory of Form

Theory of Reflection

Theory of Synthesis