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Author Topic:   Logic and Empiricism
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 55 (398665)
05-02-2007 3:21 AM


In Evangelical Support Group :: 21, Phat writes:

I am saying that logic, by definition (of the critics) is not ever arrived at any other way than through experiments and the scientific method.

I found this interesting, because it seemed to be an insight into what I have thought of as a common Religious misconception on the nature of logic and how it relates to empirical understanding. I think that 'Religious-ites' reject using logic partly—if not entirely—because they believe empiricism a part of logic. Because they know that their God cannot/does not exist in the empirical world—or, at least not in an empirical sense—, they find that logic, to be logical, must reject God also as an inherent part of itself. For this reason, they reject logic.

Let's talk about this, however, because it is my belief that logic does not require empiricism. Instead, I—and I'm assuming many others—see logic as a method of evaluation based on progressive, fundamentally simplistic processes in thought and reason. In this sense, logic can be applied to anything without having any fundamental affect on the precise nature of that thing. I believe 'Religious-ites' see logic & God (scripture) to exist something like this:

empiricism + reasoning = logic
faith + reasoning = scripture

... where empiricism is built in to the definition of logic; you can't arrive at logic without it. In reality—at least as I believe—, however, logic/God (scripture) exists something such as this:

reality + logic = empiricism
scripture + logic = faith

In this sense, both empiricism and faith can use logic to come to conclusions that are, well, logical.

I would like to open this up to see what the Religious-ites on the board think of this—in accepting logic do you feel you would also have to reject God and embrace empiricism? Also, what do the non- Religious-ites on the board think of this—does it seem to accurately explain the Religious-ite rejection of logic as a means for arriving at conclusions?

Jon

Edited by Jon, : Fixed link


In considering the Origin of Species, it is quite conceivable that a naturalist... might come to the conclusion that each species had not been independently created, but had descended, like varieties, from other species. - Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species
_ ____________________________ _

En el mundo hay multitud de idiomas, y cada uno tiene su propio significado. - I Corintios 14:10


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AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1949
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 55 (398670)
05-02-2007 3:43 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3611 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 3 of 55 (398676)
05-02-2007 3:54 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
05-02-2007 3:21 AM


Jon,

Logic = Consistency (according to my big bumper book of logic).

As such you can make a perfectly logical argument based on scripture, & perfectly logical ones based on empiricism. The split occurswhen you take a step back & try to determine the truth of the world around us & factor in all of the evidence. Scripture is more often than not guilty of being supported by no evidence at all (meaning no-one is compelled to accept), or contradicted by evidence (meaning no-one [i]should accept).

It is this latter logical fallacy that the religious are most guilty of.


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't

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Doddy
Member (Idle past 4326 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 4 of 55 (398680)
05-02-2007 5:54 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
05-02-2007 3:21 AM


Jon writes:

in accepting logic do you feel you would also have to reject God and embrace empiricism?


Logic is a method of using premises to derive conclusions. Even using prefect deductive logic, the conclusions are only as true as the premises are. Inductive logic is less conclusive, but will still probably be incorrect if your premises are. 'Garbage in, garbage out.'

It is possible to use logic on faith and get conclusions. The problem is that conclusions based upon made-up premises are often contradictory. Not very many of the religious will use logic to that depth in analysing their beliefs, but there is always the danger that logic could expose any flaws in your faith.

Also, it seems to me that the religious are often fond of fallacies. Now, this prevents even more danger of hurting one's own beliefs, because not only are you resting your logic on shaky premises, but the logic itself isn't straight. It may be even more of a possibility that the logic will pose a danger to faith if used incorrectly, though this doesn't appear often for some reason.


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Phat
Member
Posts: 13699
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 5 of 55 (398726)
05-02-2007 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
05-02-2007 3:21 AM


Definition Of Terms
We need to define these terms. Could you elaborate?

What is empiricism?

What is logic?


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 909 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 6 of 55 (398727)
05-02-2007 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
05-02-2007 3:21 AM


Oops
This you've made a mistake

faith + reasoning = scripture

Faith + writing = scripture. There is no room for "faith" and "reasoning" in the same equation, as faith is "belief without evidence" and reasoning is dependant on examining the evidence.

If you had proof of God, you would not need faith in God.


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 55 (398730)
05-02-2007 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Nuggin
05-02-2007 11:25 AM


Re: Oops
There is no room for "faith" and "reasoning" in the same equation

Not neccessarily, but usually.

If someone had faith in two mutually exclusive things, they could use reasoning to realize that they must be mistaken somewhere.

as faith is "belief without evidence" and reasoning is dependant on examining the evidence.

Do you mean strictly objective evidence? I don't think evidence has the same meaning in both parts of your statement.

I agree that faith is belief without objective evidence but I don't think reasoning is dependent on only objective evidense. You can reason through hypothetical situations n'such. I'm thinking philosophy here... Lacking objective evidence doesn't mean you can't reason about something.

Also, people have reasons for their beliefs. Thier reasons are their evidence, it just that the evidence is not objective. So some might not consider it evidence at all. If that is the case, then reasoning is not dependent on "evidence" as in objective only evidence.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 55 (398731)
05-02-2007 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by New Cat's Eye
05-02-2007 11:37 AM


Re: Oops
If someone had faith in two mutually exclusive things, they could use reasoning to realize that they must be mistaken somewhere.

Who says you can't have faith in two mutually exclusive things? If, using faith, you can arrive at conclusions that aren't supportable by evidence, who says you can't use faith to arrive at conclusions that aren't supportable by logic, either?


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 55 (398745)
05-02-2007 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by crashfrog
05-02-2007 11:42 AM


Re: Oops
Who says you can't have faith in two mutually exclusive things?

No, I guess you could. Technically, you could have faith in anything.

I wasn't trying to say that you couldn't.

It was counter to the claim:

Nuggin writes:

There is no room for "faith" and "reasoning" in the same equation

I was trying to come up with an example of how someone could use reasoning on faith, not make a claim about what people can have faith in. I prolly shouldn't have used the word "must".


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Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4428 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 10 of 55 (398749)
05-02-2007 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Nuggin
05-02-2007 11:25 AM


Re: Oops
quote:
"reasoning is dependant on examining the evidence."

Nope.

If X then Y.
X.
Therefore, Y. (Valid)

If X then Y.
Y.
Therefore, X. (Invalid)

I know the first syllogism is valid and the second is invalid through reasoning alone. No evidence required.

In faith, you assume your premises are true; in empiricism you test your premises. Either way, logical reasoning is possible.


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 909 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 11 of 55 (398769)
05-02-2007 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Zhimbo
05-02-2007 1:04 PM


Re: Oops
In faith, you assume your premises are true; in empiricism you test your premises. Either way, logical reasoning is possible.

I disagree.

Here's an example from empiricism

If X then Y.
X.
Therefore Y.
Wait, there is no Y.
Crap, someone go back and check "If X then Y."

Here's an example from faith

X. Y.

You don't need an "if then" statement. You simple accept all the variables as being equally true and unrefutable. Reasoning doesn't play a role.

Could you attempt to apply reasoning to it? Yes.
Could you attempt to apply paint to the wind? Yes.
In neither case you would be very successful.


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 55 (398773)
05-02-2007 2:29 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Nuggin
05-02-2007 1:52 PM


Re: Oops
Nuggin writes:

If X then Y.
X.
Therefore Y.
Wait, there is no Y.
Crap, someone go back and check "If X then Y."

This has happened before. It often leads to people looking for—and often finding—Y. Consider evolutionary study:

If Human and Monkey,
Then common ancestor existed

Human and Monkey; therefore, common ancestor existed.

Now, five hundred years ago no one would've had access to this common ancestor, but I do believe we've dug parts of the fella up, no? If not, would you still say the best thing would be to go back and re-evaluate the relationship between humans and monkeys to see if they really did have a common ancestor? Or would the more 'progressive' thing be to actually try to find that common ancestor?

You don't need an "if then" statement. You simple accept all the variables as being equally true and unrefutable. Reasoning doesn't play a role.

From dictionary.com:

quote:
rea·son·ing /ˈrizənɪŋ, ˈriznɪŋ/ [ree-zuh-ning, reez-ning] –noun
...
2. the process of forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences from facts or premises.

According to this, reasoning can be applied to either facts or premises. Premises don't necessarily have to be true/real/empirical. Fundies see reasoning/logic to be as you seem to think they are, and so find them completely contradictory to their faith (like my first 'equation' represented). In that sense, then, they steer far and clear from attempting any to add any bit of reasoning to their faith, because it would lead from their fundimentalism. Generally, a fundie who does attempt to use reasoning to evaluate their beliefs either quickly stops doing so, or quickly becomes a non-fundie. Your problem seems to come in the confusion of faith with being the same as fundamentalism.

Reasoning and fundamentalism are at odds, not reasoning and faith/religion.

Jon

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.

Edited by Jon, : No reason given.

Edited by Jon, : There we go


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Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4428 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 13 of 55 (398775)
05-02-2007 2:46 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Jon
05-02-2007 3:21 AM


quote:
Also, what do the non- Religious-ites on the board think of this—does it seem to accurately explain the Religious-ite rejection of logic as a means for arriving at conclusions?

Seems pretty dead on to me.

Well, what's the fun in simply agreeing, so let's quibble:

While "reality + logic = empiricism" seems fine to me, I wouldn't say that "scripture + logic = faith". It's the "=" sign; I do not think that logic is part of the definition of faith, although it's compatible with faith.

For that matter "scripture" isn't part of the definition of faith, either.

Still, as a 6-word, 4 symbol philosophical essay,

reality + logic = empiricism
scripture + logic = faith

is pretty good.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 14 of 55 (398778)
05-02-2007 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
05-02-2007 11:18 AM


Re: Definition Of Terms
What is empiricism?

What is logic?

Logic:

Given the premises "all Xs have property Y", and "this object is an X", the logical deduction is that this object has property Y, and logic dictates that we must accept this conclusion or reject at least one of the premises.

Empiricism:

Given the fact that every X we have observed has property Y, then the empirical induction is that all Xs have property Y, and empiricism dictates that we must accept this as a valid theory unless and until we find evidence to the contrary.


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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 55 (398779)
05-02-2007 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Nuggin
05-02-2007 1:52 PM


Re: Oops
You obviously don't know what faith is...

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