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Author Topic:   Logic and Empiricism
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 16 of 55 (398780)
05-02-2007 2:56 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Zhimbo
05-02-2007 2:46 PM


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.

By scripture/God, I was simply refering to all beliefs really. Anything that's a belief cannot be substantiated in reality, and this is what I was trying to refer to. The equation probably is better if we edit it to reflect this:

belief + logic = faith, i.e., more logical beliefs

Jon

Edited by Jon, : Seplling


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Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4184 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 17 of 55 (398789)
05-02-2007 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Nuggin
05-02-2007 1:52 PM


Re: Oops
D'oh. Double post.

Edited by Zhimbo, : No reason given.


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Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4184 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 18 of 55 (398790)
05-02-2007 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Nuggin
05-02-2007 1:52 PM


Re: Oops
quote:

Here's an example from faith

X. Y.

You don't need an "if then" statement


No, you don't *need* an "if then" statement. Nor is it forbidden.

Also, logical reasoning does not require evidence. Nor is it forbidden.

You didn't refute the examples I gave, you just gave different ones.

If you accept on faith that an immaterial human soul enters the egg upon fertilization, AND you accept on faith that destroying any physical home of a human soul is murder, it is perfectly logical to conclude that abortion is murder. That is valid *reasoning*.

Furthermore, none of those statements are empirical statements, so there's no way to empirically test the validity of this statement.


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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 665 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 19 of 55 (398791)
05-02-2007 3:37 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Zhimbo
05-02-2007 3:33 PM


Re: Oops
I see what you are saying, but I think we've spun off of my oringal point with is that

"Faith + Logic = scripture" is incorrect.

Logic is not required at all for scripture


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 20 of 55 (398814)
05-02-2007 7:10 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Nuggin
05-02-2007 3:37 PM


Slight Misunderstanding
I see what you are saying, but I think we've spun off of my oringal point with is that

"Faith + Logic = scripture" is incorrect.

Logic is not required at all for scripture

I'm sorry if this confused you, or was written in a confusing manner. This is exactly what my first post was getting at. Fundamentalists have a twisted idea of how things fit together. They think it's perfectly logical for God to literally create Man then the Animals whilst also creating the Animals then Man. To them, it all seems logical, and they then branch out from there and begin applying such equally half-ass 'logic' to everything they encounter, always assuming that the end result of 'logic'—at least as they think of it—should be literal scripture.

If, instead, you start with scripture—or any set of beliefs—and apply logic to it, you can rip apart all the literal bells and whistles and get down to the bare-bone heart of it; the 'essential' faith, as it were. For example, applying 'real' logic to Genesis moves us to take away the order, the number of days, etc., and get down to the simplistics of it: God's all-powerful, yet intimate, relationship with humanity. Logic applied to scripture gives us, in essence, a more logical scripture; just as logic applied to evidence simply gives us a more logical rendering of the evidence. In this way, 'real' logic isn't meant to create new systems from old ones; instead, its purpose is to refine the systems to which it is applied.

Imagine you have 3 apples and 4 apples. Applying logic, we conclude there are 7 apples. But there were always 7 apples; logic didn't bring them into existence. They are a fundamental, yet 'hidden' property of our two groups of apples. Logic gives us the tools to see what is already there, yet may lay hidden.

So, in other words, I agree with you; logic is not required for scripture, per se; but it is required for logical scripture/beliefs.

Jon


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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12445
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 21 of 55 (398952)
05-03-2007 5:08 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Jon
05-02-2007 7:10 PM


Re: Slight Misunderstanding
Jon writes:

logic is not required for scripture, per se; but it is required for logical scripture/beliefs.

I am not convinced that God can be explained entirely by logic. If I had to go with one or the other, I would go with my unction and internal belief rather than logic. Thats why I'm irrational at times. :o
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 55 (398980)
05-03-2007 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Nuggin
05-02-2007 3:37 PM


Re: Oops
I see what you are saying, but I think we've spun off of my oringal point with is that
"Faith + Logic = scripture" is incorrect.

But if your reason for it being incorrect was wrong, wouldn't that suggest that it might not be incorrect?

I think that it is correct. You have some things that are of faith, that when you apply reasoning/logic to them, you get a set of beliefs, or 'scripture'.

I think that upthread jon was saying that 'scripture' means belief or that's what he meant, at least.

Now, I agree that you don't need the logic, but that doesn't make the statement incorrect.

Look at it this way:

liquid + heat = gas

Your argument is that heat is not required to go from liquid to gas (which is true because you could lower pressure) so the statement is incorrect. But you're wrong. The statement is correct, it just isn't the be-all end-all.

Make sense?

So can you admit that it is not incorrect now?

You should know that faith and reasoning can go hand in hand, and that they don't have to exclude each other.


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ikabod
Member (Idle past 2666 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 23 of 55 (398985)
05-03-2007 10:36 AM


is logic the right tool when dealing with faith ? and by extension god and religion

logical how beautiful is a sunrise over a tropical island , or a medow of wild flowers , or the person you love ,or the feeeling you have when you connect to the universe ? ? what are the empiric units of beauty , love , empathy ?

why would the divine limit itself by something as meaningless as logical method ?


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Grizz
Member (Idle past 3644 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 24 of 55 (404872)
06-10-2007 10:37 AM


Empericism in philosophy is an Epistemology that holds our knowledge and understanding of reality is arrived at through our experience of the world rather than a priori ideas in the Kantian sense. The extension of this idea is that what cannot be directly experienced or measured cannot be known to exist.

This notion is in opposition to philosophers such as Kant who hold that perception and experience have it's limits in our understanding of reality.

In the "Critique of Pure Reason" Kant argued that what can be known cannot be said to be limited to our a posteri experiences and observations of the world. The only way that we directly experience reality is through our senses. He argues it does not neccesarily follow that our senses are suffieicient for capturing all of reality. Why should it be assumed that that there is no reality that goes beyond our direct experience, one that simply cannot be sensed and observed?

The term Logic is often used in an amibguous and generic fashion. There are numerous 'systems' such as informal, formal, symbolic, deductive, inductive, and so on. In so many words the goal of a logician is to create a formal and rigourous system containing rational elements whose end result is the ability to arrive at a valid inference. In this sense a field such as mathematics is a logical system. It is based on an axiomatic system of deductive reasoning to arrive at valid conclusions. Likewise, we would likely say a conclusion is by defintion illogical if it does not conform to the elements of such a system of reasoning - if a conclusion cannot follow from a premise for instance.

In common usage the word logic is often used as a synonym for sensibility or the lack thereof- Someone might make the statement 'Faith is illogical' or 'Evolution is illogical'. It is never stated how that conclusion was reached or what system was used to arrive at the conclusion. Logic is a term that is often abused.

If any members wish to further this discussion I would like to propose the following question:

Regarding my comments on Kant and Empricism above -

Science is limited to the study of the phenomenological world. Within the context of the scientific method if it cannot be measured or observed it cannot be known. If there are phenomenon that are firmly outside of our possibility to measure or observe is it possible to deduce their existence using reason alone? Since one could not falsify the existence of such phenomeon emprically would one ever be able to give such phenomeon the status of fact?

This ties heavily into the disucssion and ongoing debates taking place within the context of Evolution and Creationism. Please no polemic and be very precise and specific when it comes to terminonology and definitions. Just don't state something - present a rational and consistent argument for all to discuss.

Edited by Grizz, : Proposal

Edited by Grizz, : No reason given.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 25 of 55 (404888)
06-10-2007 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Grizz
06-10-2007 10:37 AM


Why should it be assumed that that there is no reality that goes beyond our direct experience, one that simply cannot be sensed and observed?

It doesn't, but neither does it follow that just because there may be aspects of reality that can never be observed by our senses, there are such aspects; and neither does it follow that just because there may be such aspects we can just make up what those aspects are and call them "God" or "the supernatural" or what-have-you.

Kantian doubt really offers nothing for the believer to stand on. The Kantian undetectables, by definition, cannot ever affect us (or else our senses could detect them) therefore they're non-existent for all practical purpose. Certainly for all reasonable purposes.


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Grizz
Member (Idle past 3644 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 26 of 55 (404890)
06-10-2007 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by crashfrog
06-10-2007 11:40 AM


I aggree in principal; However, Is it possible using reason alone to deduce phenomenon that are beyond our ability to emperically detect? How far can we go in giving these phenomenon the status of fact?

I added a postscript question to my post above. My goal is simply to get people to discuss how we come to know truths and what priority reason and empricism have in our search for truth.

Edited by Grizz, : No reason given.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 27 of 55 (404892)
06-10-2007 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Grizz
06-10-2007 11:57 AM


However, Is it possible using reason alone to deduce phenomenon that are beyond our ability to emperically detect?

Anything at all can be made-up. That's the power of human imagination.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 28 of 55 (404896)
06-10-2007 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by ikabod
05-03-2007 10:36 AM


is logic the right tool when dealing with faith ? and by extension god and religion

It depends what we seek to answer.
What other reliable methods do we have of determining what is real and what is not? What is fact and what is fantasy?

Faith, feelings etc. are so totally subjective and can be so totally sucsceptible to personal delusion that they cannot be treated as evidence for anything other than the conviction of the individual in question.

The only reliable methods we have of evaluating an objecive reality are empirical and all the empirical evidence points to a naturalistic basis for life, the universe and all of it's workings including those same feelings of faith that cause some to believe that there must be more to it all than forces, matter and energy.

Logical conclusions can be made from any premise, whether faith based or empirical, but when dealing with reality the conclusions made will only be as accurate as the premise is true.
For that reason conclusions based on, and backed up by, empirical evidence will always be superior to those based in faith.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 29 of 55 (404897)
06-10-2007 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Grizz
06-10-2007 11:57 AM


Predictions
Is it possible using reason alone to deduce phenomenon that are beyond our ability to emperically detect?

When we use reason to deduce conclusions that have not yet been empirically detected we call these predictions.
However without the ability to then empirically test these predictions against nature I don't see how we can possibly establish them as facts.
This is, in my opinion, the key difference between true science and all the various forms of pseudo science that exist out there including creationism in it's various guises.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


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Grizz
Member (Idle past 3644 days)
Posts: 318
Joined: 06-08-2007


Message 30 of 55 (404900)
06-10-2007 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by crashfrog
06-10-2007 12:10 PM


Anything at all can be made-up. That's the power of human imagination.

Imagination is good. It often leads to novel ideas and discovery. :)

As an example of what I am referring to let us consider the current state of String Theory. The proposed mathematical formalism depends upon the existence of compact dimensions - 'branes'. This has led to the further speculation that the mathematics requires or implies that our universe is just one of many with it's own constants and laws. Since these dimensions and universes are forever beyond our ability to measure emperically they are forever removed from our ability to experience yet they are a critical component of the theory. The existence of such dimensions has been arrived at through mathematical reasoning not observation.

If String Theory were validated through experimentation would it follow that the dimensions and worlds actually exist or are simply a neccesary mathemtical tool to represent a process that exists in our universe? How could we ever verify this? Is the reasoning alone sufficient to give their existence the status of fact?

This goes to the very heart of my question. It is a very important question because the answer determines how we arrive at our view of reality. It is important to the scientist as well as the philosopher.

Anyways, I am stuck at home recovering from reconstructive ACL surgery and trying to keep occupied. I am looking forward to getting back to work this week as sitting around gets old real quick.


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