Existence, Logic, Evidence, Truth, Knowledge & Bigotry

posted by Nima

September 16, 2010 · Posted in Philosophy 

Existence

Matter is everything that has a detectable mass. It consists of elementary particles. Some particles form electrons and protons. Those in turn are the basis for atoms. Multiple atoms can form molecules. Matter is what forms the different objects that we can observe around us.

There are also some other particles which do not constitute matter, but are rather considered force carriers, such as a photon which is a carrier for light.

In any case, the existence of an object is broadly defined as its consisting of one or several connected particle(s).

Human Observation

A human being, too, is an object that consists of matter. He can observe and confirm the existence of other objects via his senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch, if need be aided by certain devices, which are all means to trigger chemical reflexes in his neural system and his brain. Man’s consciousness, the sequence of all such reflexes, is an effect of the existence of his brain.

Consciousness allows man to formulate propositions, that is statements about (1) the physical observable properties of an object and (2) its actual movements relative to other objects. It also allows him to group objects with similar observable properties into the same conceptual categories and thus to speak of objects in the form of concepts.

Logic & Validity

Logic is the examination of a proposition’s compliance with 3 axioms: the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, and the law of the excluded middle. These laws are derived directly and objectively from the consistency of reality.

The law of identity says that the statement A = A (at the same time and place) is always true. For example, the statement “that rock on the ground is that rock on the ground” is always true. The statement “I am myself” is also always true in that same regard. The proposition “The law of identity is invalid” implies that A = A is false. This would mean that A = non-A is true. This would imply that the statement “The law of identity is invalid” is identical to saying “The law of identity is valid”. Thus anybody who tries to oppose the validity of the law of identity affirms the law of identity in the very process, making it an irrefutable axiom.

The law of non-contradiction says that claiming A AND non-A (at the same time and place) is always false. No proposition can be true and false at the same time. The statement “I am sitting at my desk and I am also not sitting at my desk at the same time” is always invalid. The proposition “The law of non-contradiction is invalid” validates the law of non-contradiction. For if it was invalid, then the proposition “The law of non-contradiction is invalid and valid at the same time” would be correct. But then the person advancing the proposition would always have to affirm as valid the statement “The law of non-contradiction is valid” as well. Thus the law of non-contradiction, too, is an irrefutable axiom.

The law of the excluded middle says that either A OR non-A is always true. This means that, for example, the statement “I am either sitting at my desk or I am not sitting at my desk” is always true, there is nothing in-between. The proposition “The law of the excluded middle is invalid” validates the law of the excluded middle. For if it was invalid, then the statement “The law of the excluded middle is either valid or invalid” would be false. But that would mean that “The law of the excluded middle is invalid AND valid at the same time” would have to be true. But in that case the party advancing that proposition would always have to affirm as valid the statement “The law of the excluded middle is valid”.

The logical examination of a proposition is very helpful because it can save you a lot of time. If a proposition fails the test of logic, there is no need to move on and look for evidence. If I say that there are cookies in the jar and these very same cookies are also on the moon, then you don’t need to open up the cookie jar, fly out to the moon, search the whole planet for cookies, etc. Since reality is consistent, and logic is just a derivative of reality’s consistency, any proposition that fails the logic test is by definition false.

A proposition that passes the logic test is valid. In order for it to be considered true, however, it still needs to pass the test of evidence.

Evidence & Accuracy

Evidence is the sensual, sufficient, and direct observation of objects in reality with the objective of testing the accuracy of a certain proposition. If the observed properties and/or movements of existing objects match those advanced in the proposition then it can be said that evidence exists to corroborate that proposition.

Any proposition that cannot be confirmed by evidence is inaccurate and thus its truth, if any, cannot be confirmed until proven accurate.

Any proposition that is confirmed by evidence can be considered accurate. The more evidence exists to corroborate a proposition the higher its degree of accuracy.

Truth

A proposition that is both valid and accurate can be considered to have been proven to be true. But as humans are fallible in their observations and thinking, they may, at times, make mistakes that lead them to ascribe truth to propositions that are actually false. Thus, there is always room for correction in the pursuit of knowledge. This of course does not mean that reality or truth are in any way relative.

Knowledge vs. Bigotry

One’s knowledge is the set of those propositions that one subscribes to that have been proven to be true via logic and evidence. Any activity that involves the discovery of true propositions may be referred to as the pursuit of knowledge.

Bigoted beliefs are the false propositions one subscribes to in spite of missing or even contrary evidence. Any activity that involves the defense of false propositions in the face of missing or even contrary logic and evidence may be referred to as bigotry.

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Comments

15 Responses to “Existence, Logic, Evidence, Truth, Knowledge & Bigotry”

  1. Jonathan Gardner on September 16th, 2010 3:37 pm

    Sorry, your “existence” part is terribly naive. What about the other family of particles, particles such as photons? What about measurements such as entropy, that are physical and real, yet are not composed of matter?

    Truth exists independent of reality. That is important to understand, because a statement may be true without any evidence. It may also be false. We can’t identify whether it is true or false, however, but we cannot say that the observation creates or destroys truth.

    Also, and as well, as a physicist, I have learned that not all observations are equal. It is quite possible to observe something that is impossible because the observation was in error. Simply having an observation that contradicts some statement doesn’t make the statement false. In fact, there is an entire field of physics devoted to sorting out how contradictory observations are actually in agreement—it’s called the Theory of Relativity.

    To take it a step further, those who have certain beliefs you regard as incorrect may be wrong, or you may be wrong. Unless you have both had the same set of observations to work from, you can never come to an agreement about which ones are correct or false.

    It is also entirely possible to propose statements of fact that can be verified true with the same body of evidence as we have in front of us. This is a problem in science and is the reason why no theory can ever be proven correct. For any theory, there are an infinite number of differing theories that give the same predictions. Try, for starters, “Because God said so”. This theory will explain all phenomena at all times every where. Every observation will always verify it.

    Finally, you’re playing a game here where you get to redefine words as you like. Having done so, those words do not mean what they used to mean, unless you are trying to confuse people into thinking one word means what it does not.

    Bigots are not just people who refuse to accept different beliefs than their own. Were it so, everyone would be a bigot who has ever accepted a belief, because in the accepting they have discarded beliefs contrary to it.

    Bigots are not even defined as people who refuse to disbelieve beliefs that are demonstrably false. There is a different word for these people, but bigot is not it.

    The key ingredient of bigotry is intolerance towards others with different beliefs.

    For instance, you probably have a different belief than I do on many things. However, I am tolerant of your beliefs and I do not treat you unjustly or unfairly because of your different beliefs, so I am not a bigot.

  2. Nima on September 17th, 2010 2:24 am

    @Jonathan: Thanks very much for your great comment. Please find my (hopefully not bigoted :)) thoughts below:

    “Sorry, your “existence” part is terribly naive. What about the other family of particles, particles such as photons? What about measurements such as entropy, that are physical and real, yet are not composed of matter?”

    I would have absolutely no problem adding photons to the particles I mentioned when it comes to defining existence. I will revise the definition accordingly after having done some more research. I remember from my own physics studies that the photon had dual qualities (wave AND particle) and I didn’t think it would be that important in terms of existence because waves, in order to occur, require other matter anyway in the first place, which would again be observable via measurements. But I may be wrong on that. In any case, I appreciate the correction and I may easily find myself utterly schooled by you on this question.

    Measurements, as you called it, or properties, as I would call it, such as entropy do not exist. They are concepts DERIVED from existing matter. I can’t detect a piece or a particle of entropy. I can’t open a helium balloon and point to or detect a unit of entropy somewhere in the corner. That is very important when it comes to distinguishing existence from concepts!!

    “Truth exists independent of reality. That is important to understand, because a statement may be true without any evidence. It may also be false. We can’t identify whether it is true or false, however, but we cannot say that the observation creates or destroys truth.”

    Truth does not exist. You can’t detect it with a microscope or an oscillator. You can’t hug it. You can’t touch it. You can’t take it out to dinner or throw it in the air. I’m sorry, but in my humble opinion you would need to be more precise when you post such a comment on a post where I myself strenuously try to define every single term as good as I can. A statement may indeed accidentally describe reality in a logical and accurate manner. But it cannot possibly be considered true without evidence. THAT, indeed, is very important to understand. If anything, to consider an unproven statement true would be far less reasonable than to consider it false until proven!

    “Also, and as well, as a physicist, I have learned that not all observations are equal. It is quite possible to observe something that is impossible because the observation was in error.”

    Yes, in that case, the proposition derived from that error would be proven false in due time.

    “Simply having an observation that contradicts some statement doesn’t make the statement false. In fact, there is an entire field of physics devoted to sorting out how contradictory observations are actually in agreement—it’s called the Theory of Relativity.”

    I can’t say anything but: No. This is not what the Theory of Relativity is about. Simply … a big fat NO. :) But please, go ahead and let me know how in your view contradictory observations are, ceteris paribus, in agreement. Give me an example. Maybe that would clear things up. Contradiction is always and everywhere invalid. There is no contradiction in the world. As Ayn Rand said: Where you encounter contradiction, check your premises.

    “To take it a step further, those who have certain beliefs you regard as incorrect may be wrong, or you may be wrong. Unless you have both had the same set of observations to work from, you can never come to an agreement about which ones are correct or false.”

    Yes, I agree. And the good news is: I never said anything to the contrary anywhere :)

    “It is also entirely possible to propose statements of fact that can be verified true with the same body of evidence as we have in front of us. This is a problem in science and is the reason why no theory can ever be proven correct.”

    The statement above self-detonates. You say “it is entirely possible to propose statements of fact that can be verified true”, meaning you can propose theories that can be proven to be correct. Then in the next sentence you say “no theory can ever be proven correct”. C’mon man … this is pretty basic stuff in the realm of self detonating arguments :)

    ” For any theory, there are an infinite number of differing theories that give the same predictions. Try, for starters, “Because God said so”. This theory will explain all phenomena at all times every where. Every observation will always verify it.”

    If you explain to me what you mean by “God”, then maybe your statement would actually make some sense. But I gotta tell ya, right now, unfortunately, this “theory” actually does not explain a single phenomenon anywhere at anytime, and since the term is undefined, there is actually no observation that can varify it at all. You might as well say “Because Bob said so”. In fact … that would make a lot more sense :)

    “Finally, you’re playing a game here where you get to redefine words as you like. Having done so, those words do not mean what they used to mean, unless you are trying to confuse people into thinking one word means what it does not.”

    Please, forget about the words I am using. They are a mere tool to explain reality. Refute my propositions about reality … have at it. But please … PLEASE … don’t get hung up on words.

    “Bigots are not just people who refuse to accept different beliefs than their own. Were it so, everyone would be a bigot who has ever accepted a belief, because in the accepting they have discarded beliefs contrary to it.”

    Hm … this is strange how you are putting words in my mouth. Did I say anywhere that bigots are people who refuse to accept different beliefs than their own?

    But in any case, it is actually a good and valid point you are making: almost everyone, myself included, is or has been a bigot in certain respects at some point in his life. The idea is to minimize the extent to which you are a bigot and work towards fighting your own bigotry every step of the way in your life, if you are interested in pursuing knowledge.

    “Bigots are not even defined as people who refuse to disbelieve beliefs that are demonstrably false. There is a different word for these people, but bigot is not it.”

    OK, then what is YOUR word please? And again, could you do me a favor and not get hung up on words. Right now the one who is actually redefining the terms I used in this analysis is you, not me … If there is something wrong with the observations of reality and the abstractions into concepts … be my guest … school me, prove me wrong.

    “The key ingredient of bigotry is intolerance towards others with different beliefs.”

    OK, above you just said “Bigots are not just people who refuse to accept different beliefs than their own” (apparently in opposition to something I never said). Now, 4 sentences later you say “bigotry is intolerance towards others with different beliefs”. I gotta tell ya … you should check your writings for internal consistency!

    “For instance, you probably have a different belief than I do on many things. However, I am tolerant of your beliefs and I do not treat you unjustly or unfairly because of your different beliefs, so I am not a bigot.”

    OK, but I did not define bigotry as intolerance toward other beliefs. If someone tells me that all white people should be locked up and gassed then I would have absolutely no tolerance for his beliefs. He might tolerate my intolerance. Does that make me a bigot? Does it make him a knowledge seeker ?? I don’t think so.

  3. Robert on September 18th, 2010 8:30 pm

    Ok, this makes me giggle like a school girl.

    On one hand we have someone trying to prove the existence of God by saying all things are relative (or there is no absolutes). Are you absolutely certain there is no absolutes?

    Then, on the other hand you have someone trying to state that without empirically observed proof of something it cannot be truth. Can you empirically observe a truth claim? No all truth claims are abstract.

    The laws of logic you stand on are based on God and the Bible.

    You are like a person in a debate on the existence of air. You are trying to refute the existence of air while breathing air. You are using air to create an argument against air.

    Likewise you are using Biblical Presuppositions to argue against the Bible, so your argument is self refuting.

    What defines right and wrong? If you don’t believe in God then you believe in relative morality. If you believe that moral code is electrical impulses in the brain, then you also believe in relative morality. Do you care if one person kills another, does it affect you? If this was just two electrical impulses why would you care. Matter of fact, if watching someone get murdered bothers you at all, then I can prove that God is within you. Yet you deny Him?

    By the way, God created the law of non contraction, He stated He will not contradict himself. I know you don’t like Bible Verses, so I will not point those out to you, but would be more than happy to share if you are interested.

    Keep up your good work on the economics front.

  4. Nima on September 19th, 2010 2:13 pm

    “Ok, this makes me giggle like a school girl.”

    It’s always healthy to have a good laugh. I can’t wait to stand corrected in the face of crushing logic and evidence.

    “On one hand we have someone trying to prove the existence of God by saying all things are relative (or there is no absolutes). Are you absolutely certain there is no absolutes?”

    You are referring to the comment by Jonathan, right? Because obviously I said nowhere that there are no absolutes.

    “Then, on the other hand you have someone trying to state that without empirically observed proof of something it cannot be truth. Can you empirically observe a truth claim? No all truth claims are abstract.”

    Yes, absolutely, You and I and everyone else can empirically observe the abstract content of a truth claim in someone’s mind by measuring it against reality. In fact you are doing it yourself right now, You just confirmed to yourself that your computer exists, that the internet works, that other people understand the English language, etc. …

    “The laws of logic you stand on are based on God and the Bible.”

    Now that’s a fascinating statement indeed. To say that the laws of logic are based on an entity that fundamentally contradicts every single one of the 3 laws of logic … wow … just WOW :)

    You could have made it a bit easier on yourself by just saying God and leaving the Bible out, like the last poster did, thus leaving me with the question what he means by the word “God”. But, my friend, by bringing up in particular the Christian flavor of superstition you have just implicitly defined the term very very clearly.

    God is omnipotent and omniscient. He possesses consciousness without matter. He lives, yet has never been born, and will never die. These propositions blow up sky high without any effort on my part. They are completely self-detonating.

    And, no, the laws of logic are not based on the Bible. Believe it or not, they applied all those millennia before the bible was written just as much as they apply now.

    “You are like a person in a debate on the existence of air. You are trying to refute the existence of air while breathing air. You are using air to create an argument against air.”

    No, I am not trying to refute the existence of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

    “Likewise you are using Biblical Presuppositions to argue against the Bible, so your argument is self refuting.”

    Which biblical presuppositions am I using now? In fact, where did I argue against the Bible? I didn’t even bring up the issue of the Bible or religion in one paragraph. The person who did this … ladies and gents … is YOU. :)

    “What defines right and wrong?”

    Well, that’s what I explained in the post above. Did you read it thoroughly?

    “If you don’t believe in God then you believe in relative morality.”

    Why are you bringing God into the whole thing? I didn’t talk about the dude at all in the post you are commenting on. Provide arguments. Leave God alone. The poor guy must be pretty annoyed by getting pulled into every debate on the planet :)

    But fine, since you brought it up. Yes, God does not exist. Fine. Does that mean I believe in relative morality? No, not at all. I find it quite fascinating how people find it necessary to put words in my mouth in order to back a weak argument. I explained very clearly that morality is absolute here http://www.economicsjunkie.com/universally-preferable-behaviour-a-rational-proof-of-secular-ethics/ – the topic is not an easy one and it took me quite some time, effort, questioning, and reading to grasp the concepts involved.

    “If you believe that moral code is electrical impulses in the brain, then you also believe in relative morality.”

    I don’t believe that the moral code is electrical impulses in the brain. Oh … and I have good news for you: I didn’t say it anywhere either! :D

    “Do you care if one person kills another, does it affect you?”

    Yes, I do care. In fact, the theory of universally preferable behavior helps you understand how we react to killings in different situations. For example, if someone is forced to kill in the defense against a lethal attacker, then I would consider that a regrettable necessity. If, on the other hand, someone rapes a defenseless and terrified individual, and kills him/her in the process, then that is probably the worst thing one can do.

    “If this was just two electrical impulses why would you care.”

    Sigh … but I didn’t say that morality is electrical impulses in the brain. I did say that human consciousness is created by the sequence of such reflexes. Robert, this is actually not some great revelation that I am telling you about here. This is observable, detectable, and common knowledge in the realm of neuro science.

    But if you have any more biological in-depth knowledge about how humans think, about how neurological reflexes work, and if you think that it’s relevant to the questions of epistemology, logic, and evidence … PLEASE … I beg you to correct me where I’m wrong. Beause I would hate to be running around and spouting out stuff that has absolutely no evidence in reality and logic to back it up.

    “Matter of fact, if watching someone get murdered bothers you at all, then I can prove that God is within you. Yet you deny Him?”

    Unfortunately … you didn’t prove anything so far. So yes … I do deny “HIM”, if that’s how you want to put it. :)

    “By the way, God created the law of non contraction, He stated He will not contradict himself. I know you don’t like Bible Verses, so I will not point those out to you, but would be more than happy to share if you are interested.”

    You are right, I absolutely don’t care about Bible verses. But what I do care about is logic and evidence. And unfortunately hearsay from 2000 or more years ago is not evidence. At least, very few Christians seem impressed when I read to them the stories of Zeus and Hera as evidence for the (of course also silly) idea that more than one God exists.

    It seems like they only want to bring up thousands of years old hearsay when trying to back their OWN superstitions and the entire belief system that has defined their lives from childhood on … hmmmm … I wonder why that is … ? ;)

    But if you have a recording of some unborn yet alive, matter-less consciousness coming through your window, predicting that it will order a Burger at McDonalds in 5 minutes and then change its mind and exercise its amazing powers of omnipotence to go to Burger King instead … while still being omniscient … then that would be the coolest thing I would have ever seen in the whole world and I would love to see it!!

    “Keep up your good work on the economics front.”

    Will do. Thanks for the comments! But I would like to be clear on one thing: If you think that the two topics of logic and economics are somehow magically disassociated from one another, if you think you can deny the relevance of logic and evidence in one realm, while affirming it in another … then you have a serious misunderstanding of what it is that I am doing here. I write a lot about economics because it happens to be one of the least explored subsets of philosophy and I enjoy exploring un- or underexplored worlds. But I always come from a philosophical angle, I always care about the big questions like why things are the way they are, where we came from, what is truth and reality, how do we acquire knowledge, etc etc …

    You can’t separate the two worlds of religion and economics and apply completely, actually fundamentally, different standards in the process of acquiring knowledge in both, without causing some serious, detectable, and visible damage to the brain in the long run.

  5. Robert on September 19th, 2010 6:15 pm

    Let’s keep this simple. How are your laws of logic absolute?

    If they are mutally agreed upon conculusions, then they aren’t absolute due to being subject to a vote.

    If they are based on human thinking, then they aren’t absolute due to the fact that humans often are contradictory.

    If they are derived from observing nature then you are confusing the the laws of physics with the laws of logic. For example, in nature we do not see something that is both itself and not itself at the same time.

    The laws of logic are conceptual realities. They only exist in the mind, and they do not describe the physical behavior of things because behavior is action, and laws of logic are not descriptions of action, but of truth. Logical absolutes are not observable and do not describe behavior or actions of things, since they reside completely in the mind.

    If logic is not absolute, then logic cannot be used to prove or disprove anything. The Christian worldview states that God is absolute and the standard of truth. Therefore, the absolute laws of logic exist because they reflect the nature of an absolute God.

    So, I know why I can use the laws of logic as absolutes, please explain to me how you can. And after you can’t, then I will explain to you how you brought God into this arguement as well as the Bible.

    Just to be clear about my intentions. Personally, don’t care if you believe or accept God. But, your arguements actually are based on a Christian Worldview, so it always interest me to understand how you can use something to argue a point that you completely deny and believe doesn’t exist.

  6. Nima on September 19th, 2010 10:08 pm

    Let’s keep this simple. How are your laws of logic absolute?
    If they are mutally agreed upon conculusions, then they aren’t absolute due to being subject to a vote.If they are based on human thinking, then they aren’t absolute due to the fact that humans often are contradictory.
    If they are derived from observing nature then you are confusing the the laws of physics with the laws of logic. For example, in nature we do not see something that is both itself and not itself at the same time.

    The laws of logic are absolute in many ways. They are based on objective reality, not on personal opinions. They are valid and observable whether you or I believe it or not. They are irrefutable axioms. The laws of physics, too, are subject to the laws of logic. And no, I am not confusing the laws of logic with the laws of physics. I listed the three laws of logic without any reference to physics. I didn’t even mention the word once. But guess who just did. It’s once again … YOU!

    The laws of logic are conceptual realities. They only exist in the mind, and they do not describe the physical behavior of things because behavior is action, and laws of logic are not descriptions of action, but of truth. Logical absolutes are not observable and do not describe behavior or actions of things, since they reside completely in the mind.

    The laws of logic of course do not exist. That is correct. You can’t detect particles of logic anywhere, or examine logic molecules. Nonetheless, they are concepts that are derived from the consistency of reality. And yes, their validity is completely observable in objective reality all the time. You are yourself affirming them right this very moment.

    If logic is not absolute, then logic cannot be used to prove or disprove anything.

    Yes, that would be true … if logic wasn’t absolute and irrefutable then it couldn’t be used to prove/disprove things. But the good news is that logic IS indeed absolute and irrefutable.

    The Christian worldview states that God is absolute and the standard of truth. Therefore, the absolute laws of logic exist because they reflect the nature of an absolute God.

    I already told you why the concept of God is invalid and self detonates, in other words is completely and utterly invalid. And so far you haven’t addressed that question. To ignore it and then use the word God again for any other purposes and inferences simply doesn’t merit any further comment.

    So, I know why I can use the laws of logic as absolutes, please explain to me how you can. And after you can’t, then I will explain to you how you brought God into this arguement as well as the Bible.

    I can use them as absolutes because they are irrefutable axioms, as I explained already.

    Just to be clear about my intentions. Personally, don’t care if you believe or accept God. But, your arguements actually are based on a Christian Worldview, so it always interest me to understand how you can use something to argue a point that you completely deny and believe doesn’t exist.

    Nowhere in my argumentation did I rely on an entity that possesses consciousness without matter, omnipotence and omniscience, or live without birth/death. I explained how that concept self detonates. You did not respond to that argument and instead moved on to assert that I am using it in my argumentation, thus, once again putting words in my mouth. That approach actually pretty annoying and it doesn’t help support your argument one tiny bit …

  7. scott t on September 20th, 2010 1:28 am

    The laws of logic of course do not exist.

    is that a law?

  8. Nima on September 20th, 2010 2:01 am

    No, that’s a proposition …

  9. Robert on September 20th, 2010 7:40 am

    For example, in nature we do not see something that is both itself and not itself at the same time.

    Explain how this is based on objective reality. You stand on nothing that gives you absolutes for your laws of logic. So, as you stated your laws of logic don’t mean squat. This is just one of your 3 laws that I am asking you how you can measure and see. You can’t, so please explain your authority on the laws of logic being absolute. If you can’t do that your whole worldview will come crashing down around you. They are not irrefutable axioms unless they have something to stand on. You are saying it is there whether I or you like it or not, that is a funny arguement from someone you claims to be so caught up in objective reality.

  10. Nima on September 20th, 2010 11:32 am

    “For example, in nature we do not see something that is both itself and not itself at the same time.”

    Yes. Absolutely correct. And the laws of logic are based on this very fact. I will refer to this point of yours as “Robert’s revelation” (RR) in the following.

    “Explain how this is based on objective reality.”

    It is based on objective reality because nature consists of objects that consist of particles, regardless of whether you or I or anybody else exist.

    “You stand on nothing that gives you absolutes for your laws of logic.”

    That is true. I never proposed that there is such a concept as my laws of logic. I did say that the laws of logic are a valid, irrefutable, observable, self-evident concept, and I went to great lengths explaining why. You simply ignored my arguments and then state that I stand on nothing. Yay.

    “So, as you stated your laws of logic don’t mean squat.”

    If I had ever proposed such a thing as “my” laws of logic, then they probably wouldn’t mean squat. The good news is that I didn’t. The bad news is that you are putting words in my mouth. Well, it’s actually not news anymore …

    “This is just one of your 3 laws that I am asking you how you can measure and see.”

    See RR.

    “You can’t, so please explain your authority on the laws of logic being absolute.”

    But I can. And so can you. I can observe right now, for example, that you are posting on my blog and not sitting beneath my office desk at the same time. You are asking me to explain my “authority” on logic being absolute? That’s funny indeed. What in the world does my authority have to do with the concept of logic? Logic is absolute even when I’m dead, so my opinion, my person, my thinking are all completely irrelevant to logic’s absolute validity.

    “If you can’t do that your whole worldview will come crashing down around you.”

    Wow, that’s a very epic and grim scenario then. I very much understand your idea of what happens when you are proven wrong on things now. Let me give you some other, more stimulating ways, of looking at it: If my arguments don’t hold in the face of logic and evidence, then I correct the flaws in my thinking and I move on. Nothing crashes down on me. Quite the opposite: Metaphorically speaking, I am building a stronger structure to stand on. The unfortunate thing is that you have already wasted several comments without providing a single argument.

    “They are not irrefutable axioms unless they have something to stand on.”

    But they can’t stand on anything because they don’t have legs, particles, matter, energy, anything. Your words are shallow and empty. If they are not irrefutable axioms, then how about you do the easy thing and refute them. This way I can shed off my bigoted beliefs and move on a much more enlightened person.

    “You are saying it is there whether I or you like it or not, that is a funny arguement from someone you claims to be so caught up in objective reality.”

    OK, it’s possible that you find it funny. I’m not sure how it is relevant to the debate because the fact that you find something funny is not an argument against the truth content of the proposition made.

  11. Robert on September 20th, 2010 6:59 pm

    Actually, I restated your arguement and then stated why a few other ways you could go wouldn’t lead you to an absolute. Once again, you are not grasping the fact that since you say there are laws of logic doesn’t mean they exist. You have to have a basis for the laws of logic. Since you only believe in what can be seen or touched how can you believe in the laws of logic. To be clear, if you cannot use logic as the basis for your worldview, how do you move on unless you move towards a God view. Please let me know the next time you stub your toe on the laws of logic and then maybe you might make some sense. The only way you make sense is if you call them Nima’s Laws of Logic, because outside of your brain they are not universal. Lastly, you can say we use them because they work, but that isn’t the question, the question is how can an absolute law of reasoning exist. Unless you are willing to admit that there is such things as non-material universal laws, then your arguement doesn’t make any sense. As a student or master of economics, the last place I would try to lead you to is a place of complete emptiness.

  12. Nima on September 20th, 2010 8:54 pm

    Actually, I restated your arguement and then stated why a few other ways you could go wouldn’t lead you to an absolute. Once again, you are not grasping the fact that since you say there are laws of logic doesn’t mean they exist.

    OK, then you must have completely ignored pretty much anything I wrote here, in particular the most important pieces of it. I never said the laws of logic exist. But even that taken aside, I never said that logic is valid because I say so. I said it is even valid if I was NEVER BORN OR DROPPED DEAD RIGHT HERE AND NOW. How much more clearer can I make it?

    You have to have a basis for the laws of logic. Since you only believe in what can be seen or touched how can you believe in the laws of logic.

    But I never said I only believe in what can be seen or touched. Could you stop putting words in my mouth? I think concepts are valid as a mental tool in conceptualizing objective reality, so long as they can be derived from reality via evidence and logic. And I told you several times now what the basis for the laws of logic is. It is the consistency of objective reality, it is affirmation in the process of attempted refutation, viz. irrefutability. How many more times would you like me to repeat it?

    To be clear, if you cannot use logic as the basis for your worldview, how do you move on unless you move towards a God view.

    Well, Here’s some good news for you: I absolutely can and do use logic as a basis for my worldview until the day you stop dancing around the subject and refute them so we can all go to bed and be happy.

    If you bring up the word God one more time in another comment without addressing precisely what I posted above, namely the fact that it is an empty, self-contradictory concept for a non-existing entity, I promise you, I will end this conversation on the spot.

    Please let me know the next time you stub your toe on the laws of logic and then maybe you might make some sense.

    I will never stub my toe on the laws of logic because they don’t exist. Yet you claim that I said they did exist as tangible objects in reality. If I got a penny for everytime you put words in my mouth … oh well, I won’t get into it. I’ll make this simple by adding yet another tyrannical (wuahahaha) rule : You put words in my mouth one more time, and this conversation is over.

    The only way you make sense is if you call them Nima’s Laws of Logic, because outside of your brain they are not universal.

    And they are not universal outside of the brain because you just declared it so? This is your chain of argumentation? Really??

    Lastly, you can say we use them because they work, but that isn’t the question, the question is how can an absolute law of reasoning exist.

    OK … and I never said we use them because they work, so … oh well, whatever …

    Unless you are willing to admit that there is such things as non-material universal laws, then your arguement doesn’t make any sense.

    And did I ever say that there are no non-material universal laws? Oh wait … I think I did say there are. I think I called them … wait … it’s getting to me … ah right: I CALLED THEM THE LAWS OF LOGIC AND I CENTERED THIS ENTIRE POST AROUND THIS TOPIC!!

    As a student or master of economics, the last place I would try to lead you to is a place of complete emptiness.

    How very nice of you. Thanks! :)

  13. [...] As with any other science, the criterion for determining the truth or falsehood of a theory about Human Action, is logical validation and empirical accuracy. [...]

  14. Al on October 29th, 2010 10:19 pm

    Has Eulercircles seen this?

  15. Nima on October 30th, 2010 10:13 am

    Not that I know … :)

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