Wednesday, February 25, 2009

freelunch is an emptyheaded troll

freelunch said:
There are no laws of logic.

Needless to say, I won't be wasting my time talking to freelunch anymore.

14 comments:

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

I don't know about giving up on him, Rho. After all, on the grounds of his own admission (that there is no such thing as contradiction, or excluded middle), I would say that he just admitted to repenting of his sins and naturalistic thinking, and turning to faith in Jesus Christ. I wouldn't give up spending time on him, because he'll probably need discipleship... ;-)

freelunch said...

Matt, Rho left out the context of the discussion. Logic is a tool invented by humans in the same way mathematics were invented. Logic is not something that exists naturally as his argument had implied.

Contradiction or excluded middle are logical errors, but there is no law that stops them from occurring. People make such errors all the time.

Biggs said...

Freelunch, people may make such errors, but do those errors actually occur? Someone could write "1 + 1 = 3". That would be an error - an error in description of an actual relationship. Math and Logic may just be descriptions, but even so, they do actually describe something! And I would suggest that you cannot dismiss whatever is being described them as material.

Robin said...

I find this very funny. Are we really asking to have a logical argument on things theological while trying to argue that there are no laws of logic? Or have I missed something here?

Matt said...

Freelunch, If there is no law of contradiction, then I am justified in saying that you did not say what you said. Thus, I'm justified in saying that you said that you indeed hold to the laws of logic and have forsaken your naturalism for belief in God. The question is not whether people can make logically-invalid inferences, but rather whether such inferences are justified. In order to argue for the non-existence of the laws of logic, one must make use of them in one's argumentation, which make such statements logically self-defeating.

freelunch said...

Biggs,

Math and logic may be applied to things that are real, but they can also be applied to fantasies or false statements or nothing at all.

The concept of 1+1=2 can be a useful concept to apply to items, to reality, but there aren't a lot of folks who use i (the square root of minus 1) in that sense. Math and logic are tools. We make of them what we want and what we can. We invent more as we need it.

People can make mistakes when they apply the principles of mathematics or logic, but those are mistakes, nothing else. The problem for those using mathematics or logic is that the entire problem can be solved accurately, yet the user can still arrive at a wrong conclusion. Programmers had the simplest name for it GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. Math and logic cannot tell you how to set up your problem properly or what is valid data.

freelunch said...

Robin and Matt,

I made my comment in response to a post that asserted, among other things, that "the laws of logic are universals, invariant, abstract, eternal truths."

I pointed out that logic is an invention of people, that logical relationships and analysis were not laws in the sense that Rho implied.

Matt, you are free to do any number of illogical things if you choose. Nothing can stop you. Furthermore, you can make perfectly logical statements that are known to be false if you start with a false premise. Nothing in logic will stop this.

Matt said...

Freelunch

Matt, you are free to do any number of illogical things if you choose. Nothing can stop you. Furthermore, you can make perfectly logical statements that are known to be false if you start with a false premise. Nothing in logic will stop this.

This is all fine and good. How about actually addressing the issue that I raised, which is how you can deny the law of contradiction without implicitly asserting it?

freelunch said...

... how you can deny the law of contradiction without implicitly asserting it?

My flip answer is that trinitarianism requires it.

My more serious answer is that I don't deny that such logical propositions are logically consistent or could be observationally valid. As logical propositions, there's no problem. As "universals, invariant, abstract, eternal truths" there's no evidence to back it up.

Mathematics and logic are tools that we use to help us manipulate symbols. Some of those symbols are mapped to nature, but that does not make the symbols real.

Biggs said...

freelunch, do you treat thoughts and language the same way you treat logic and mathematics? Are they human constructions that may be mapped to nature, but are not necessarily real?

So, how do you know that logic, etc. is mapped to nature at all? How do you know anything about reality?

Matt said...

Freelunch,

So, if logic is defined by humans, and not universal, then what is to prevent me from defining a logic that says that (p AND not p) is true, where p is "You said X (what you wrote)" and thus not p is "You did not say X (but rather said Y instead)"? By this defined logic, I assert that you said that you now accept the universality, invariance, abstractness, and eternality of the laws of logic.

If you say that this is illogical (or a logical mistake), on what grounds? On the grounds that this violates the law of contradiction? But if the law of contradiction isn't universal or invariant, then who are you to say that my logic isn't valid? If you say that my choice of logic is invalid, on what grounds? To say that one logic should be used in this or that case is to appeal to a standard that is both abstract and wide enough in scope to have an authoritative applicability to both you and me - but how is this possible if the laws of logic are not abstract or universal?

To be able to argue against my formulation and use of such a logic upon your last statement, you have to assert the laws of logic and their characteristics (universality, invariance, etc.) to do so. And this goes back to the principle that you can't deny the laws of logic without implicitly appealing to them - indeed, if you expect me to understand and accept your statement as what you actually said, and not something else that is contradictory, your expectation entails some notion of the abstraction, invariance, and universality of the laws of logic - things without which such expectations would be meaningless.

freelunch said...

Logic, mathematics, and language are systems that were invented by humans. Different ones have been invented for different needs or cultures. Sure, workable, useful ones have common features, but there is nothing that mandates it.

If you want to invent a new logical system, that's your choice, but unless you have an application for it, there are few who would accept it.

Anonymous said...

the universality, invariance, abstractness, and eternality of the laws of logic

Without committing myself to a position, Matt, I'd be very interested to know on what basis you make this statement.