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Author Topic:   Thoughts on the Creator Conclusion
Darth Daggett
Junior Member (Idle past 2831 days)
Posts: 8
From: Kansas, United States
Joined: 02-24-2011


Message 181 of 187 (607368)
03-03-2011 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 180 by Taq
03-03-2011 2:26 AM


Taq writes:


In my view of things, what you are leaving out is reality.

When I brush my teeth in the morning I don't worry about such questions as "Is this toothbrush real, or is my visual model of the toothbrush a simulacrum of an external reality that is unreachable by my sense." Guess what? I just brush my fucking teeth. It seems to work.

I don't want to make light of interesting philosophical questions or ideas because they are interesting and do tell us a lot about ourselves. However, at some point we all take a pragmatic position with regard to reality. Yes, there could be the evil demon in our head that tells us that 2+2 = 4 even though it really equals 5. Who fucking cares? 2+2 = 4 seems to work out when we interact with what seems to be the real world so why not use it?

I don't think you're seeing my point. Firstly, I'm doing the very opposite of omitting reality: I'm untangling it from our ideas and language. Secondly, I'm not arguing that we should be painstakingly analytical in our everyday, mundane activities. What I'm doing is trying to discover what is true. And when we try to discover what is true, we can't always indulge in a pragmatic view of things. If people can think that Matt Slick's Transcendental Argument for the existence of God ("TAG") is persuasive, then we're in trouble if we don't adequately address the issue of what exactly logic and the "laws of logic" are. Goldrush asked about logic as it relates to our minds and evolution. I am responding to that and am attempting to be as thorough as I can, to the extent that I think his (?) question warrants. The topic of logic is something that theists tend to get supremely confused over (and this discussion with goldrush seems to be an instance of this confusion), so I'm striving for accuracy.

The real world seems to work in a logical and rational manner from everything we experience. Dogs bark and cats meow. Water boils, and rocks are hard. These things act this way in a consistent and predictable manner. I see no reason why that they act this way simply because we are around.

From this I'm convinced my points weren't clear, because your last sentence has nothing to do with what I was saying. I am talking about the discipline -- about the study of something -- not the something itself. And actually, logic is more about language than anything else. Science uses logic, and math, as tools to study reality. But the closest we can get to grasping reality seems to be modeling it imperfectly, and it's important, conceptually and analytically, to separate the model from that which is being modeled.

Wikipedia writes:


Logic (from the Greek λογική logikē )[1] is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning.[2] Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science. Logic examines general forms which arguments may take, which forms are valid, and which are fallacies. It is one kind of critical thinking. In philosophy, the study of logic figures in most major areas: epistemology, ethics, metaphysics. In mathematics, it is the study of valid inferences within some formal language.[3]

...

Philosophical logic
Main article: Philosophical logic

Philosophical logic deals with formal descriptions of natural language. Most philosophers assume that the bulk of "normal" proper reasoning can be captured by logic, if one can find the right method for translating ordinary language into that logic. Philosophical logic is essentially a continuation of the traditional discipline that was called "Logic" before the invention of mathematical logic. Philosophical logic has a much greater concern with the connection between natural language and logic. As a result, philosophical logicians have contributed a great deal to the development of non-standard logics (e.g., free logics, tense logics) as well as various extensions of classical logic (e.g., modal logics), and non-standard semantics for such logics (e.g., Kripke's technique of supervaluations in the semantics of logic).

Logic and the philosophy of language are closely related. Philosophy of language has to do with the study of how our language engages and interacts with our thinking. Logic has an immediate impact on other areas of study. Studying logic and the relationship between logic and ordinary speech can help a person better structure his own arguments and critique the arguments of others. Many popular arguments are filled with errors because so many people are untrained in logic and unaware of how to formulate an argument correctly.

Also check out the "Controversies" section of the article.

Therefore, reason and logic are things that exist outside of ourselves. It is how the real world acts, with or without our existence.

As I've seen it stated elsewhere, this is confusing the map for the geography. [Edit: What? I don't know what I was thinking. That analogy doesn't apply here. However, my point is that we are referring to two different things with the same word.] Without conscious beings, there is no reason or reasoning. Without conscious beings, there is no logic. There are two things at play here, and it is important to separate them: There is the way things are, and there is the way we think things are or might be. Logic and reasoning deal with the latter in an attempt to grasp the former for our lives' benefit.

I only say this to help you understand where I am coming from. I know that later in your post you state that you will not be discussing this thread much farther, so I don't expect a reply. I just hope that this post helps you understand where I am coming from.

I might see where you're coming from, but I think a pragmatic view of something as important and complex as the topic of logic is simply -- and no offense intended -- too shallow for the question that has been posed by goldrush.

I say I "might" see where you're coming from because you seem to not at all be seeing where I'm coming from. From what you've said about logic and reason, it could similarly be concluded that the word "dog" is a dog, instead of a word that refers to a real object. [Edit: Scratch that. That analogy was of the same sort as "confusing the map with the geography", which didn't apply. Again, the trouble is that we are using the same words to refer to different things.]

I don't wish to continue with the conversation in the manner I began with, because it is much too confusing (I'm not the best at making my points clear, so maybe it would only be me causing myself confusion ), but I have no problem with continuing in the manner of this post, nor with continuing to discuss those topics relevant to the thread and goldrush's questions, in general.

Edited by Darth Daggett, : No reason given.

Edited by Darth Daggett, : Bad analogies


This message is a reply to:
 Message 180 by Taq, posted 03-03-2011 2:26 AM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 183 by Taq, posted 03-04-2011 11:52 AM Darth Daggett has responded

  
Darth Daggett
Junior Member (Idle past 2831 days)
Posts: 8
From: Kansas, United States
Joined: 02-24-2011


Message 182 of 187 (607370)
03-03-2011 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 171 by goldrush
03-01-2011 9:23 PM


goldrush writes:

Since we agree that logic holds true beyond us and evolution, on what basis does logic hold true? What governs logic? Does logic create? BTW, to say that logic is true b/c it works ("is logical") is circular reasoning which is a logical fallacy.

I believe I have answered these now, but I'll respond more pointedly in this post.

What does it mean for logic to "hold true"? And what does your first question even mean? I agree that each kind of entity acts the same way under the same conditions. That is simply part of the nature of things. If that is what you're speaking of, then I don't think anyone has problems admitting as much.

However, given what logic actually is, it makes little sense to separate it from "us and evolution". There are different varieties of logic we have created, and some work better than others in modeling our language and thought processes, depending on the domain of discourse. With this understanding, I suppose a logic "holds true" if it correctly models how we think and speak under specified conditions.

The way we think and speak is what "governs" logic. It is what gave rise to it and what sustains it as a useful tool. Reality -- including, but not limited to, evolution -- can change how we think and speak, so logic(s) are an indirect and partial product of observed reality external to humanity and human consciousness.

Edited by Darth Daggett, : No reason given.

Edited by Darth Daggett, : No reason given.

Edited by Darth Daggett, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by goldrush, posted 03-01-2011 9:23 PM goldrush has not yet responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 7672
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 183 of 187 (607524)
03-04-2011 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 181 by Darth Daggett
03-03-2011 10:54 AM


I don't think you're seeing my point. Firstly, I'm doing the very opposite of omitting reality: I'm untangling it from our ideas and language.

I am trying to untangle logic and reason from our ideas and language. In my view, there is a rational universe out there that does follow what we would consider to be logic and reason. How perfectly or imperfectly we communicate this logic and reason has nothing to do with the existence of that rational universe that follows logic and reason.

And when we try to discover what is true, we can't always indulge in a pragmatic view of things.

I see no other way to find truth. If we can't even get past Descartian Dilemma (i.e. are we dreaming or not) then there is no way we can discover truth. At some point we have to take a pragmatic view that what we observe is real and rational. If we get bogged down in the philosophical quicksand of how to define truth we will never spend time actually looking for it.

To be frank, when it comes to finding truth philosophy has helped very little. I tend to agree with Steven Weinberg who stated in his book "Dreams of a Final Theory" that (paraphrasing) the only positive thing that philosophy has done is point out bad philosophies. When it comes to figuring out how the world around us works philosophy has had little to do with new discoveries. What has worked is a pragmatic acceptance of a rational universe, leaving epistemologies to be argued over by guys who smoke pipes and wear sport coats instead of lab coats (just a little interdisciplinary ribbing, don't take it personal).

As I've seen it stated elsewhere, this is confusing the map for the geography.

False. All that is being said is that there is a geography that is conducive to mapping even if maps or cartographers do not exist. I think it is absurd to suggest that geography only exists because we make maps.

I say I "might" see where you're coming from because you seem to not at all be seeing where I'm coming from. From what you've said about logic and reason, it could similarly be concluded that the word "dog" is a dog, instead of a word that refers to a real object.

It is this sort of pedantry that makes philosophy nearly irrelevant to discovering the truth. While philosophers discuss the meaning of "dog" there are people in the real world figuring out what makes a dog work and how it relates to the rest of biology.

I don't wish to continue with the conversation in the manner I began with, because it is much too confusing (I'm not the best at making my points clear, so maybe it would only be me causing myself confusion ), but I have no problem with continuing in the manner of this post, nor with continuing to discuss those topics relevant to the thread and goldrush's questions, in general.

I have enjoyed our discussion so far. If you think I am wrong about something please let me know, and why you think so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 181 by Darth Daggett, posted 03-03-2011 10:54 AM Darth Daggett has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 184 by Darth Daggett, posted 03-04-2011 6:38 PM Taq has responded

  
Darth Daggett
Junior Member (Idle past 2831 days)
Posts: 8
From: Kansas, United States
Joined: 02-24-2011


Message 184 of 187 (607583)
03-04-2011 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by Taq
03-04-2011 11:52 AM


Bloated post is bloated
Warning: Excessively long post ahead. I provided a ton of quotes from people (primarily one person, whom I just discovered) with seemingly similar views, for illustration. I don't intend to keep making gigantic posts like this -- especially similar to this one, since I hate filling space with quotations.

Taq writes:


I am trying to untangle logic and reason from our ideas and language. In my view, there is a rational universe out there that does follow what we would consider to be logic and reason. How perfectly or imperfectly we communicate this logic and reason has nothing to do with the existence of that rational universe that follows logic and reason.

I don't know what "rational universe" means, unless it means something akin to "a universe the nature of which can be approximated by models constructed via the thought processes of reasoning beings (e.g. us humans)". Somewhat verbose, I know. If that is essentially what you meant, I would prefer to use a more pointed, albeit lengthier, term, such as "reason-describable universe" or "reason-discoverable universe", just so as to be clear we understand each other. The point I'm driving at here is that reality is simply what it is, and each class of entity (e.g. a proton) does exactly the same thing when placed in exactly the same circumstances (I know you're not disputing this part). The thought processes and statements we use to describe the universe come later. We then use our consistent observations as bases for artificially constructed systems, such as some varieties of logic.

Our discussion started when I took issue with your affirmation of goldrush's idea that logic is something "out there", causally independent from reasoning beings. The fact is that it's not, because, as I said above, "logic" refers to something entirely different. For a clearer explanation of this, I will refer you to the following blog post, written by a PhD software engineer at Google, in which he talks about some basic ideas of logic: http://scienceblogs.com/...ics_logic_aka_its_illogical_1.php (sorry, I need to look at the page(s) describing how to embed links). I really must emphasize the importance of reading that blog post. It clearly details much, though not all, of what I've been trying to convey.

I see no other way to find truth. If we can't even get past Descartian Dilemma (i.e. are we dreaming or not) then there is no way we can discover truth. At some point we have to take a pragmatic view that what we observe is real and rational. If we get bogged down in the philosophical quicksand of how to define truth we will never spend time actually looking for it.

I'd rather not get into the philosophy surrounding truth, for the very reasons you mention. But I don't think our discussion warrants that kind of depth. If I saw a squirrel that appeared to be grey, I would be perfectly happy, for the sake of this discussion, to consider the statement "I saw a grey squirrel" to be true.

Our quibble here seems to be mostly semantic. The following descriptions are my observations:

"Logic", your usage: Facts of the world, reflected in our language.

"Logic", my usage: Inferential systems modeling our thoughts; thoughts modeling reality are codified in certain, but not all, such inferential systems.

Based on my background in math, philosophy, and science, I have come to use the term "logic" in the second manner. I don't see the first of the two descriptions to be worthy of use. Under such usage, the answer to the question "is logic external to us and evolution" would be an extremely obvious and emphatic "yes" -- so obvious that no one would even think to ask the question. Theists wouldn't make such a big deal about logic if all the word referred to was the facts of the world.

False. All that is being said is that there is a geography that is conducive to mapping even if maps or cartographers do not exist. I think it is absurd to suggest that geography only exists because we make maps.

We are in agreement on the first statement.

The second statement, again, is completely at odds with what I was and am saying. Please refer to the above portions of this post for explanation.

Again, I am not espousing a position like "if no one's there to sense it, it isn't real". I'm no solipsist. If you still think I'm affirming such a position after this post, then we're really talking past each other, because the referents for our terms differ, causing our conversation to be fatally muddied.

Take a look at the following conversation and posts. Again, sorry for the glut -- it's not my usual practice.

Akusai writes:

I, personally, think its a mistake to even use the phrase "logical absolutes" in describing facts about reality, because there is nothing logical about them. A rock not being not a rock is simply the way the universe operates. That observable fact doesn't become logical anything until it is described and codified in a system of logic.

I think we agree fundamentally, but you're phrasing it in a way I believe to be ill-advised and not entirely accurate as it plays into the equivocating hands of the creationists.

Martin writes:

It is true that a logical absolute like the law of identity is independent of the mind.

I do not think this is true, at least not the way you phrased it. The law of identity does not exist independent of a mind. The law itself is exactly what it takes a mind to formulate. That a rock is a rock and not not a rock is, in the absence of people describing it, simply a plain fact about reality. The law of identity is contingent on this observable fact. It describes it. In the absence of anyone to come by and observe and describe it, all we have is a rock that is what it is; not a law, not a logical absolute, just a fact.

PhillyChief writes:

Indeed labeling a fact about the universe requires a mind, but the fact doesn't require a mind; therefore, a logical absolute doesn't require a mind to exist, but to be labeled a "logical absolute" does.

Akusai writes:

I agree, I just think it is improper and inaccurate to refer to inherent facts about reality as "logical absolutes." First of, as I said, they're not logical in any sense of the word. They're just bare physical facts. Secondly, it can only help apologist equivocation to put the word "logic" in your description of such facts. I think it makes the most sense to try to remove specific definitions from this type of discussion as often as possible.

...

I really just don't want to feed their equivocation complex. They abuse logic enough without our help.

Source: http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/...ental-argument.html

The Barefoot Bum writes:

Slick goes awry from the very first statement. Logic is a process for manipulating statements, and need not -- as countless mathematicians have demonstrated -- be about the world. We have discovered empirically that transforming our statements about the world according to certain rules yields accurate predictions and concise explanations. This empirical discovery, however, confers no special status on logic as transcendent. If we were to empirically discover that logic did not yield accurate predictions and concise explanations, it would be logic that must give way, not the world.

Akusai writes:

One thing I (and others) attempted to explain at great length to one of the new brand of transcendental logic apologists is that there are well-known, well-documented facts about the world that do not "follow" the laws of logic (as an aside, reality doesn't follow laws at all; it is what it is and our laws describe what it does, which is something else the apologists refused to grasp).

Source: http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/...g-youre-not-it.html

Akusai writes:

And, by the way, the "laws of logic" you wankers love to throw about like they're some kind of magical, objective truth of supernaturalism or Platonism, are not some magical abstract entity. There are multiple systems of logic, each with its own axioms and its own laws. There is no magical "logic" that exists outside our mind and is 100% unimpeachable in its ability to prove "Truth."

Laws of mathematics work in the same way, so don't bring them up, either.

Axiomatic systems, by their nature, cannot be 100% internally consistent; they must rely on other axiomatic systems to prove all of their propositions. General philosophical logic is an axiomatic system; this means it is only as good as its assumptions and it can never be proven using only its own rules. That is the basic idea of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem.

What this means is that there are no magical "laws of logic." There are the laws of the various types of logic that come necessarily out of the assumptions behind those logics. There is, in short, no metaphysical import to the laws of logic. There is dialectical import.

Akusai writes:

Some systems of logic are valuable because they apply closely to reality. Euclidian geometry, for example, is an internally consistent axiomatic mathematical system that is quite useful because of its close ties to physical reality; it accurately describes reality in three dimensions. This does not mean it is a Platonic ideal that existed before we formulated it.

Think about the inverse-square law that governs gravitation between two point masses. This law is a description of a well-observed and cataloged natural phenomenon. The law and the gravitation it describes are not, however, the same thing. Gravity existed before we really noticed it; the inverse-square law describing the motions of bodies tied by gravity did not.

Likewise the law of non-contradiction is a description of something we observe: that something cannot be not itself at the same time as it is itself (note that it has never and probably can never actually be proven; it's really an assumed axiom of standard philosophical logic). The law describes reality. Long before Aristotle, an apple could not be both wholly an apple and wholly a peach, and yet the law did not exist. The law is a formulation made by humans that has no external reality of its own, though it applies to reality. Other systems of logic do not; the one we generally use tends to, which is probably why we use it, but "accords with reality" is hardly a necessary condition for a logical system.

Interestingly enough, there are even systems of internally-consistent logic that attempt to deny the law of non-contradiction. So while I was not denying that it accords with reality (it does; it just does not have any magical metaphysical significance), some people seem to be trying to do just that.

Akusai writes:

Nick writes:

I'll be amused to see you denying the Law of Noncontradiction.

As you saw, I do not deny the fact described by the law, but other people, probably far smarter than I, do. I do, however, deny that the formulation of an accurate description of reality is the same thing as the reality that is described. That a red shirt cannot be a blue shirt at the same time as it is red is a fact about reality. That A cannot be ~A at the same time as it is A is a description of that clearly observable fact.

Remember, "laws" are only there because we made them. The language that describes the principle as a "law" doesn't give it some type of intrinsic value. If we had historically referred to it as the "Idea of non-contradiction," I highly doubt that you'd be tossing it about as if it had some type of metaphysical authority.

Akusai writes:

Everything you say implies a commitment to the assumption of top-down design: the idea that laws existed before humans posited them (as opposed to the facts about reality that the laws describe), for example. Reality doesn't obey anything. Reality does what it does. We formulate laws to describe this. The laws are not the thing, full stop. Again you are using linguistic convention (the idea that nature "obeys" the laws we use to describe it) in an attempt to give your argument force it otherwise lacks.

Again, the law of non-contradiction is an idea formulated by a guy to describe an obvious, observable fact about nature. "Pigs cannot be dogs and still be pigs" is a fact. "A cannot be ~A" is the symbolic logic formulation describing that fact. It has no metaphysical significance and does not exist outside of our conception of it. Before mankind, rocks could not also be trees, but there was no law. There was only a fact about the universe. What you are doing is metaphysical wankery, it is assuming some form of top-down design while attempting to prove it, it is confusing an object with its description, it is equivocation, complete misunderstanding, and it is getting tedious and tiresome.

How many times do I have to point out that some logics accord with reality (by design) and some do not, while remaining internally consistent? You choose to ignore this fact.

Your claim that logics that specifically reject the law of non-contradiction are still held in bondage to it is explicitly false. These are logics designed specifically to weaken or reject the law of non-contradiction. That means that they are not beholden to its magical, metaphysical powers. Claiming otherwise shows your complete ignorance of the subject matter at hand and your desire to believe in your ghost laws above all else.

Do these systems of logic accord well with reality? Probably not. In fact, that's a criticism of them. But they are internally consistent, and they do not contain, nor are they held in sway to, the law of non-contradiction, because the law of non-contradiction is not some magical, mystical thing that exists outside of the heads of the people thinking about it.

Source: http://rockstarramblings.blogspot.com/...hread-for-nick.html

After all that, I hope my point comes across more clearly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by Taq, posted 03-04-2011 11:52 AM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 185 by Taq, posted 03-07-2011 1:36 PM Darth Daggett has responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 7672
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 185 of 187 (607850)
03-07-2011 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 184 by Darth Daggett
03-04-2011 6:38 PM


Re: Bloated post is bloated
If that is essentially what you meant, I would prefer to use a more pointed, albeit lengthier, term, such as "reason-describable universe" or "reason-discoverable universe", just so as to be clear we understand each other.

That is what I mean by a rational universe.

Our discussion started when I took issue with your affirmation of goldrush's idea that logic is something "out there", causally independent from reasoning beings. The fact is that it's not, because, as I said above, "logic" refers to something entirely different.

I understand your argument. It just so happens that I don't see it as an important distinction. I see logic as an expectation of how things unfold. It is logical that if you stand out in the rain that you will get wet. We expect the world around us to act logically and rationally. In this way, I see logic as being "out there". It is how the universe acts. We may not understand that logic perfectly in all situations, or be able to communicate it clearly. However, it is still there.

I'd rather not get into the philosophy surrounding truth, for the very reasons you mention. But I don't think our discussion warrants that kind of depth. If I saw a squirrel that appeared to be grey, I would be perfectly happy, for the sake of this discussion, to consider the statement "I saw a grey squirrel" to be true.

In that case you are saying that our model of "grey squirrel" exists in the real world and you don't find it fruitful to argue otherwise. I agree. This is the pragmatic view that I have been talking about. We can argue over where logic resides, but at the end of the day we forge ahead with the understanding that the universe follows logical rules.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 184 by Darth Daggett, posted 03-04-2011 6:38 PM Darth Daggett has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 186 by Darth Daggett, posted 03-07-2011 6:44 PM Taq has not yet responded

  
Darth Daggett
Junior Member (Idle past 2831 days)
Posts: 8
From: Kansas, United States
Joined: 02-24-2011


Message 186 of 187 (607914)
03-07-2011 6:44 PM
Reply to: Message 185 by Taq
03-07-2011 1:36 PM


Re: Bloated post is bloated
Taq writes:


In that case you are saying that our model of "grey squirrel" exists in the real world and you don't find it fruitful to argue otherwise. I agree. This is the pragmatic view that I have been talking about. We can argue over where logic resides, but at the end of the day we forge ahead with the understanding that the universe follows logical rules.

In almost all other contexts, I wouldn't be this picky, and would not have a problem phrasing things as you have. I just think that the discussion with goldrush requires a greater degree of accuracy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 185 by Taq, posted 03-07-2011 1:36 PM Taq has not yet responded

  
Annagyijjk 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2813 days)
Posts: 2
Joined: 04-07-2011


Message 187 of 187 (611298)
04-07-2011 7:28 AM


You start by saying that the Creator is "what or who we imagine to exist before anything else." And then you can start talking about a creator who has "given the existence of humanity and all its capacity "tory burch shoes Tory Burch Shoes-Fashion Life Style

Edited by Annagyijjk, : No reason given.

Edited by Admin, : Spamify the link.


    
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