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The Limits Of Logic

  1. profile image0
    Sooner28posted 4 years ago


    I am presupposing readers have taken introductory logic courses, and are familiar with the terms like validity, and what logic actually is.

    Let's assume we begin with an axiom.  Take any axiom you wish; the content really isn't relevant.

    Now, you build a "system" based on this axiom.  It is entirely consistent.  What exactly have you done?

    For those who understand that the deductive validity or inductive strength of an argument are not equivalent to truth, you may guess where I am going next.

    So, since the axiom is "an axiom," and accepted without argument, let's assume the axiom is false, and every other proposition in the system is false (not likely, since usually some people stumble upon the truth by accident, but still possible).  An entire philosophical belief system has been devised base on nothing but falsehoods, yet it is logically airtight.  The axiom was first assumed (which MANY people do when reasoning), and the logical implications were then drawn out. 

    Since this is possible, what does this tell us about logic's reliability in forming our belief systems?  If people simply plug in false premises (which are supported by valid arguments themselves, which use false premises), an argument can stilll be valid. 

    Intro books often sum this up when they describe logic as "content neutral." 

    Let's even posit that every premise of every argument in the system has three separate,valid arguments to support it.  Everything links to everything else.

    But, none of the premises, nor is the axiom, true.  So, logic has helped us none in arriving at the truth of reality.

    This leads me to conclude that logic, while useful, is limited in helping us form true beliefs.  There must be another way to defend beliefs besides providing valid arguments piled upon valid arguments.  At some point, since a system of purely valid arguments can produce a web of falsity, an actual truth evaluation of premises must come into play.

    What do you think the best way to do that is?  Am I off in my analysis?

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      GIGO.  That's exactly what logical arguments "supporting" a belief system are.  GIGO.

      After all, consider that if a belief system had supporting evidence it wouldn't be a belief, it would be knowledge or at a minimum "theory" as used in the scientific sense.

      1. profile image0
        Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I think that's a good way of putting it.

        1. kess profile image61
          kessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          This post proves the Point  that  "Desire determines your logic".

          As you see here, Since there is a specific outcome intended (desire).

          The logic used here ignores that all must work within a system of beliefs (  A way of operating that works  for the individual and his community).

          This is established by their "facts" ( a logical layering of  knowledge ) without actually having all knowledge.
          So they  can only promote the "facts" ( knowledge which they have established unto themselves as the Truth) that works for their belief.

          1. profile image0
            Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            That's the problem.  We all have to start by assuming SOMETHING.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              That is correct.  You start with the premise that your 5 senses are not deceiving you TOO badly.  A little testing of that is nice, but there comes a point when those sense are assumed to be reporting the data correctly.

              Then, and only then, can you begin to build your logic trail, using what your senses have told you is true.

            2. kess profile image61
              kessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Yes that is the beginning of the problem but, it can be alleviated, or nullified.

              It all about taking a genuine interest in others, so that you may understand their position.
              In doing  this, you are actually streamlining your mind that increases your awareness.
              With you acute perception your understanding becomes enlightened,  and rather than seeing  things  as if in opposition, you see them as complimenting.

              And though you have seen something "new", it is not new really for it is the same familiar reorganised to form a whole....

              Now the wholeness of sight gives you the confidence to walk the road, even if you must walk it alone...While still understanding those who definitely oppose you....

      2. profile image0
        riddle666posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Validity is not soundness of logic and validity is within the system of logic only, just like 6+4 is 10 only in a decimal system. Nothing to do with "beliefs".

      3. kess profile image61
        kessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        What you observe is the misuse of logic...
        (logic trying to determine truth)

        Logic can only work unto a specific desired outcome.
        So logic is at the beck and call of desires.

        Thus, it is impossible for logics to determine Truth.

        For Truth reigns Supreme as the ultimate, when it comes to desires.
        And your  Logics ( and every other logic for that matter) can only work towards it.