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Author Topic:   The use of logic in establishing truths
Jaderis
Member (Idle past 1502 days)
Posts: 622
From: NY,NY
Joined: 06-16-2006


Message 1 of 171 (438339)
12-04-2007 6:12 AM


I had been reading the "Logic used to establish ID as a sciencs" thread with much interest, but I kept myself from butting in in the hopes of Dawn getting the point.

"The point" meaning that logic alone (aka. all by itself with no outside proofs or tests) cannot establish truth.

Dawn Bertot seemed to be under the impression that just because something is "accepted" as true means that it is true, absolutely and always.

Dawn Bertot's definition of "axiom" seemed to mean "someting that is true no matter what." But his defense of the definition included things which would have (or still do) needed independent confirmation in order to establish their validity (i.e. gravity).

The problem is that, even with gravity, something can come along and invalidate "scientific axioms." It is an accepted possibility, although not in the fore-front of most minds.

With an "Intelligent Designer" or an interventionist "God" logic cannot help anymore than an "atheistic naturalistic worldview" can. In either case logic flies out the door when real life evidence shows up to dispute the "axiomatic" premises.

For example, DB's "dead men tell no tales" axiom. It is accepted as true because corpses do not speak (through their vocal cords, like DB insists). However, it can be falsified. It hasn't been, yet, but it can be and it is accepted as true because of the constant validity.

However, DB's claim of an "intelligent designer" is part of a conclusion. Not an axiomatic premise (that is kind of redundant because axioms are premises).

Unless, of course, DB really meant to propose an ID as the only conclusion (which is absurd, because according to his own logic we had at least two others)

That would mean that the premises had to support an ID, but they don't. He didn't spend any time clarifying or defining his position.

DB spent so much time trying to redefine logic and science that he forgot (?) to define ID as a "science."

His "axiomatic" conclusion was nothing but bluster designed to distract from his lack of knowledge of science and logic.

I would like to continue this thread with the specific purpose in mind of defining logic (although i know it was done on the previous thread) and showing how logic can and cannot establish "truth."

I'll go first.

All women have XX chromosones
I have XX chromosones
Therefore I an a woman.

DB, can you tell me that the first premise is "axiomatic?"
Can you think of a possible case when the first statement might not be true?

Can't you possibly see when "dead men tell no tales" might be in dispute? Can you say for 100% certainty that "dead men tell no tales?" You "accept it as true" because you have to. So do I, but it is not ""incontravertably" true just because I say it is. It is not TRUE.

Premises (axioms) are not true by themselves. They are accepted as true to see where the argument goes. The truth of the axioms depends on the observations and the validated conclusions.

Or else I can say that:

Gravity (your unqualified axiom) says what goes up must come down;
An airplane goes up;
Therefore it must come down

Or:

Humans can communicate better than chimpanzees; (that's an axiom...accepted as true for the sake of argument)
Jane is a human;
Melissa is a chimpanzee;
Therefore, Jane can communicate better than Melissa.

Is that true?

Or are there qualifiers? What are the qualifiers? (How are we to know the answers if the answer is always "Goddidit?)

Does logic solve this or does science (empirical) solve this?

The science will always tell us "how God did it." Or it will tell us how it happened. It is the same thing.

The logic is valid, but it is not sound. The "axiom/premise" needs to be validated in order to make the conclusion "true."

I can probably "prove" anything by logic, but that doesn't make it "true."

So, in the spirit of continuing the thread you established, here is my contribution.


"You are metaphysicians. You can prove anything by metaphysics; and having done so, every metaphysician can prove every other metaphysician wrong--to his own satisfaction. You are anarchists in the realm of thought. And you are mad cosmos-makers. Each of you dwells in a cosmos of his own making, created out of his own fancies and desires. You do not know the real world in which you live, and your thinking has no place in the real world except in so far as it is phenomena of mental aberration." -The Iron Heel by Jack London

"Hazards exist that are not marked" - some bar in Chelsea


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 Message 6 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-05-2007 10:14 AM Jaderis has responded
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Message 2 of 171 (438534)
12-05-2007 8:56 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Phat
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Posts: 12161
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
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Message 3 of 171 (438536)
12-05-2007 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jaderis
12-04-2007 6:12 AM


The T The Whole T and nothing but the T
Jaderis writes:

I would like to continue this thread with the specific purpose in mind of defining logic (although i know it was done on the previous thread) and showing how logic can and cannot establish "truth."

What is truth? (by definition)


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14749
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 4 of 171 (438542)
12-05-2007 9:37 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jaderis
12-04-2007 6:12 AM


You might want to look at this post
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PurpleYouko
Member
Posts: 713
From: Columbia Missouri
Joined: 11-11-2004


Message 5 of 171 (438545)
12-05-2007 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
12-05-2007 9:09 AM


Re: The T The Whole T and nothing but the T
What is truth? (by definition)

Good question.
This, or something close to it, has derailed a number of discussions in the past so it's probably a good idea to get this out of the way.

I would say 'truth' is probably another axiom. It may seem to have a self evident definition but it really has to be agreed upon to mean a certain thing before it can be used in any argument.

My own personal usage of the word could be described as follows.

that which represents the actual state of reality in the universe, whether we are aware of it or not.

'FACT' means pretty much the same thing to me.


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Dawn Bertot
Member (Idle past 349 days)
Posts: 3571
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 6 of 171 (438557)
12-05-2007 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jaderis
12-04-2007 6:12 AM


Jaderis writes
Can't you possibly see when "dead men tell no tales" might be in dispute? Can you say for 100% certainty that "dead men tell no tales?" You "accept it as true" because you have to. So do I, but it is not ""incontravertably" true just because I say it is. It is not TRUE.

Premises (axioms) are not true by themselves. They are accepted as true to see where the argument goes. The truth of the axioms depends on the observations and the validated conclusions.

I will give you guys one thing, you stuborness to see a point is matched only by your inability to see your own inconsistent statement and premises. Take the above for example. First you say, they cannot verbalize words anymore with their vocal cords, then ask a silly question like, "Can you see how it might be indispute'? This demonstrates the complete inability to know when you are licked and the inability to see or admit truth when it is right in front of your face, ie that things really do exist or that a fact is really a fact, without anyones consenses or approval. No. I cannot see how what I said can be in DISPUTE. Can You? I dont accept it as true because I have ot it. It is a fact that is indisputable. Please wake up and smell the coffee. D Bertot


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Stile
Member
Posts: 3392
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 7 of 171 (438559)
12-05-2007 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
12-05-2007 9:09 AM


Re: The T The Whole T and nothing but the T
Phat writes:

What is truth? (by definition)

I agree with PurpleYouko that this is an important definition for this thread. I also agree with the definition provided:

PurpleYouko writes:

that which represents the actual state of reality in the universe, whether we are aware of it or not.

Another important point must be made, though.

The only way we can know The Truth, is by having multiple people test "the actual state of reality" and agree upon what it is. That is, we must be able to show reality to others in order to verify that it is The Truth. The important part here is "able to show", not "others".


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PurpleYouko
Member
Posts: 713
From: Columbia Missouri
Joined: 11-11-2004


Message 8 of 171 (438561)
12-05-2007 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Dawn Bertot
12-05-2007 10:14 AM


a case of refinement
The first problem is that the premise "Dead men don't tell tales" is poorly defined.

What precisely do you mean by "dead men"? Are you limiting it to men or do women count too? (a small and rather useless question but it illustrates the point)
What precisely do you mean by "don't tell tales"?

If it is taken to include non verbal communications then dead men tell a whole bunch of tales. They can tell you their age, usually what killed them, the kind of food they ate and many other things. As an analytical chemist I sometimes have to deal with forensic analysis so I can certainly vouch for this.

Then again what about resurrections? Jesus performed them did he not? Were those people able to tell tales?

The phrase, as it is written is very ambiguous so it is most certainly not axiomatic.

If you refine it a little to say something such as "Dead men or women, who are still currently in a state of non-life, do not tell tales by means of standing up and verbally talking, of their own volition" then you are getting closer to something which you could argue to be true.

Oh wait a minute... Jesus did that too didn't he?
he was certainly not in a normal living state when he spoke to Thomas. He had a very large spear hole in his side that would be fatal to any living man. Thomas put his hand in it.

Millions of people believe this is literally true (I don't know if you happen to be one of them) so it really puts the final nail in the coffin of the phrase "dead men tell no tales" as being an axiomatic statement.

It quite obviously is NOT self evidently true because if it was then everybody would be forced to believe it. If even one person does not believe it, then it just plainly isn't an Axiom in the sense that you have been defining it.

Quite frankly I would challenge you to come up with any one single statement across all of time and space that is self evidently true about the real universe.
To be self evident, anybody who looks at it has to (by definition) see its obvious truth. If they don't then your 'axiom' is invalidated.

The concept of a real-world axiom is not logically defendable. It can only be used as a premise on which all parties (in the discussion) agree. If even one participant does not agree then the axiom is invalidated for the 'truth' of the axiom is no longer accepted.

I really don't understand why you don't just use the accepted meaning of the word axiom instead of insisting on using your interpretation of the narrow meaning that you got from one dictionary among hundreds.


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PurpleYouko
Member
Posts: 713
From: Columbia Missouri
Joined: 11-11-2004


Message 9 of 171 (438563)
12-05-2007 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Stile
12-05-2007 10:27 AM


Re: The T The Whole T and nothing but the T
The only way we can know The Truth, is by having multiple people test "the actual state of reality" and agree upon what it is. That is, we must be able to show reality to others in order to verify that it is The Truth. The important part here is "able to show", not "others".

Even then can we really know the truth?
What we are doing in reality is increasing our confidence in that what we think that we know is actually true.
It is like an exponential error curve that never quite reaches the Y axis of absolute certainty ;)

Other than that little quibble, right on :)


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JB1740
Member (Idle past 4021 days)
Posts: 132
From: Washington, DC, US
Joined: 11-20-2007


Message 10 of 171 (438569)
12-05-2007 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Dawn Bertot
12-05-2007 10:14 AM


For example, DB's "dead men tell no tales" axiom. It is accepted as true because corpses do not speak (through their vocal cords, like DB insists). However, it can be falsified. It hasn't been, yet, but it can be and it is accepted as true because of the constant validity.

Dawn, the above statement is correct. As far as we know, no one has ever seen a corpse (=here dead person) communicate information by talking. But the hypothesis that dead people cannot talk can be falsified. All it requires is a dead person actually talking. You can assert that it is impossible, and you can believe that it's impossible to the core of your being, but you cannot prove that it is. Just because every person who has ever died has failed to talk after death does not prove that it is impossible. What it does is allow us to predict with such certainty that it won't happen that we all come to agree that it's impossible. But all of those occurrences of people not talking after death (the data) do not themselves ensure that no corpse will ever talk. The data themselves do not have any power to affect the next dead person.


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RAZD
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Posts: 19756
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Message 11 of 171 (438570)
12-05-2007 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by PurpleYouko
12-05-2007 10:45 AM


tentative truth
Even then can we really know the truth?
What we are doing in reality is increasing our confidence in that what we think that we know is actually true.

By eliminating concepts that are invalid we narrow down the realm of possibilities, but we can never rule out some other unguessed possibility.

There are no self-evident truths that don't involve assumptions, and thus the best a sound conclusion can be is tentative ... as long as the premises remain as true as was originally assumed.

This is why science is tentative, and why theories are never proven.

Enjoy.


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sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 171 (438571)
12-05-2007 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Dawn Bertot
12-05-2007 10:14 AM


Dawn Bertot

This demonstrates the complete inability to know when you are licked and the inability to see or admit truth when it is right in front of your face, ie that things really do exist or that a fact is really a fact, without anyones consenses or approval.

No it not an inability to see the point you are trying to establish. What you miss is that the statement "dead men tell no tales" is true only in the context of that which is agreed upon by the people discussing the validity of the statement.
Now, when speaking about the body of the corpse, we can say that the dead tell no tales only in the context of the body function of speech which is an arbitrary parameter we employ for the purpose of our arguement.

In the hands of a skilled forensic pathologist dead men tell volumes writ in their body after death. In this instance we can deny the statement dead men tell no tales because we have now supplied a new context which uses language to establish a new definition to the phrase by showing a new way of looking at the idea through metaphor.

In this instance the phrase is now not valid.The reason is because the agreed upon axiom has changed.


"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

Albert Einstein


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Stile
Member
Posts: 3392
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 13 of 171 (438574)
12-05-2007 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by PurpleYouko
12-05-2007 10:45 AM


Re: The T The Whole T and nothing but the T
PurpleYouko writes:

Even then can we really know the truth?

Yeah, I started to think about that right after I posted and didn't want to edit the post.

My point may be more clearly made by something like this:

(00-05%) Least Confident - One personal observation
(00-10%) Hardly Better - One observation from multiple people
(10-60%) Better - Multiple personal observations
(10-80%) Better Still - Multiple observations from multiple people
(80-90%) Very Confident - Hundreds of thousands of observation from thousands of different people under many different circumstances
(90-95%) Most Confident - Ongoing observations from increasing numbers of people
(95%-??) The Truth - ?

The numbers in brackets are just for fun :)


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PurpleYouko
Member
Posts: 713
From: Columbia Missouri
Joined: 11-11-2004


Message 14 of 171 (438579)
12-05-2007 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Stile
12-05-2007 11:11 AM


Re: The T The Whole T and nothing but the T
Sounds good to me.
I was pretty sure you would only have made such a mistake by complete accident (or typo).
95%+ confidence would seem to be a fair starting point for defining what we believe to be 'TRUE'
I can live with that as an arbitrary definition for the discussion.
Anything below that is just 'pretty sure' ;)
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jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 15 of 171 (438580)
12-05-2007 11:24 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Stile
12-05-2007 11:11 AM


Re: The T The Whole T and nothing but the T
Or maybe

False True


Immigration has been a problem Since 1607!
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