Nature of the Laws of Logic

A discussion from the Choosing Hats chatroom on the nature of the laws of logic:

22:28     Chris      Why would you need to account for logic?

22:28     Chris      I mean…logic is sort of…important, right?

22:28     deogloria              yes

22:29     Celsus   Do you need to “account” for how a car works to be able to drive it?

22:29     deogloria              but atheists don’t account for logic in order to use it though….

22:30     Chris      No Celsus, you don’t.

22:30     Chris      You could be a completely ignorant fool regarding a car and still drive it.

22:30     Chris      Sort of like atheists using logic.

22:30     Celsus   Right, so why do you need to “account” for logic to be able to use it?

22:31     deogloria              just to be clear

22:31     Chris      Nobody is saying you have to account for it to be able to use it.

22:31     deogloria              i’m a presupp

22:31     deogloria              just asking qeustions

22:31     Chris      Who said that?

22:31     Chris      deogloria’s question had nothing to do with that.

22:31     deogloria              just want to become bahnsen like

22:32     pat          his childhood hero!

22:32     Chris      Atheists practice that which they cannot account for in principle.

22:32     deogloria              hey Chris, in principle they can’t account for it, but what if you are dealing with someone who doesn’t hold to any specific worldview, why does he have to account for it then?

22:33     Chris      Everyone holds to a worldview.

22:33     deogloria              yeah

22:33     deogloria              haha

22:33     deogloria              true

22:33     Celsus   they haven’t? I don’t think logic is any mystery to explain. It is based on the law of identity which is one of its axioms.

22:33     deogloria              people are walking worldviews

22:33     deogloria              if you will – Bahnsen

22:34     Celsus   deogloria, that is a good question. Most people never think about it

22:34     Chris      What is the nature of the law of identity? Is it material? Is it particular? Is it true? How do we come to know it? Is it relative to individuals? Societies?

22:34     Celsus   most people are not philosophers

22:34     Chris      Why are we obligated to follow it?

22:34     Chris      Everyone is a philosopher. Not all are very good philosophers.

22:34     Celsus   it is conceptual

22:34     Chris      Are concepts material?

22:35                       *** Resequitur quit (Quit: Resequitur)

22:35     Celsus   material beings (us) are able to conceptualize. It is a function of our brains

22:35                       *** Resequitur joined #choosinghats

22:35                       +++ ChanServ has given op to Resequitur

22:35     Chris      That doesn’t answer the question.

22:36     Chris      At least not directly. Are functions of our brain material?

22:36     Celsus   yes

22:36     Chris      So the law of identity is material?

22:36     Celsus   no. it is conceptual

22:36     deogloria              Celsus, put it like this, you don’ tneed to account for your xbox 360 to play it , but never theless you still have to account for it even though you don’t need to do so in practice, you have to do so to make sense and be a good philosopher

22:37     Chris      You just said that concepts are functions of our brains.

22:37     Chris      And that functions are material.

22:37     Chris      Are you following your own thinking here, or just making stuff up as you go?

22:37     deogloria              that is if you want to be a good philosopher

22:37     Celsus   Is digestion material? Is running material? is drawing material? They are actions of what material things do.

22:37     Chris      It follows that concepts are material.

22:37     Chris      Yes, digestion is, running is, drawing is.

22:37     Chris      Are actions material?

22:37     deogloria              the particular instance of it is material, but your very speaking of it speaks otherwise

22:37     Chris      You’re dancing all over the place.

22:38     Chris      Because you’re a Randian.

22:38     Chris      And don’t think for yourself.

22:38     deogloria              what’s a randian Chris?

22:38     deogloria              haha

22:38     Celsus   I am not a Randian

22:38     deogloria              ayn rand

22:38     Chris      Fair enough.

22:38     deogloria              you mean?

22:38     Chris      I see no way to get around saying that concepts are material on your view.

22:38     Chris      And hence so is the law of identity.

22:39     Celsus   No. You are committing category error

22:39     deogloria              Chris, it’s good to see you man. i need help with logic, smth atheists can’t make sense of just like me not being able to make sense of my ps3 even though i use it all the time

22:39     Chris      Really?

22:39     Chris      How so?

22:39     Celsus   They are conceptual. What the mind does.

22:39     Chris      I don’t think you know what you’re saying.

22:39     Chris      Okay.

22:39     deogloria              no chuckles ?

22:40     deogloria

22:40     Chris      And you said that concepts are functions of the brain/

22:40     Chris      Correct?

22:40     taco        deogloria: i think chris is in the middle of a conversation

22:40     Celsus   yes

22:40     Chris      And then you answered that functions are material.

22:40     taco        deogloria: might be a good time to sit back and watch

22:40     Chris      It follows then that the law of identity, which is a concept, is material.

22:40     Celsus   It is a much material as running, digesting, drawing, etc.

22:41     Chris      Yeah. Those are material.

22:41     Celsus   They are?

22:41     Chris      Unless you know how to run without legs.

22:41     Celsus   running is made of matter?

22:42     Chris      Oh I see. Well “running” is a particular expression of a non-material concept.

22:42     Celsus   Running is something that legs do. Legs are material

22:42     Chris      But that doesn’t really help anything.

22:42     Chris      Are you okay with the analogy then and will say that logic is not material?

22:42     Celsus   what don’t you understand about running?

22:42     Chris      Oh that’s funny. haha

22:42     Chris      Chris is a bloody idiot.

22:42     Chris      he doesn’t get running.

22:43     Chris      Let’s ignore that Celsus can’t give him a straight answer.

22:43     Resequitur          yes, everyone is an idiot but Celsus

22:43     Chris      Is the law of identity material Celsus?

22:43     Chris      That’s a yes or no question.

22:43     Celsus   I did answer. It is conceptual.

22:43     Chris      Because concepts would also be either material or not.

22:43     Chris      So then, are concepts material?

22:43     Chris      Yes or no?

22:43     Chris      “It’s a function”

22:43     Celsus   false dicotomy

22:43     Chris      Okay, is a function material or not?

22:43     RazorsKiss           that’s “dichotomy”

22:43     Resequitur          lol

22:43     Celsus   false dicotomy

22:43     Chris      We’ve been here already.

22:43     Celsus   thanks

22:43     deogloria              in between?

22:44     Chris      Are functions material Celsus?

22:44     Celsus   it is what material things do

22:44     Chris      Okay, we’re back at actions.

22:44     Chris      Are actions material Celsus?

22:45     Celsus   it is what material things do

22:45     Chris      Right, you have no answer.

22:45     Chris      Thanks.

22:45     Celsus   define “material”

22:45     Celsus   made of matter?

22:45     Chris      Something made of matter.

22:45                       RazorsKiss wonders what philosophical category celsus is tryingto address.

22:46     Celsus   then actions are not made of matter

22:46     Celsus   but are functions of them

22:46     Chris      Great. So non-material?

22:47     Chris      If they are not made of matter, then they are non-material.

22:47     Celsus   non-material simply tells what something is not. Not what it is

22:47     Chris      Yes thank you Celsus.

22:47     Chris      You don’t have to quote particular Objectivists for my sake.

22:47     Chris      I’ve read them.

22:48     Chris      Now it seems to follow from what you’re saying that the law of identity is non-material.

22:48     Celsus   conceptual

22:48     Chris      Yes, but concepts are not material.

22:48     Chris      Are you following the conversation?

22:48     Celsus   and?

22:48     Chris      Okay. Great.

22:49     Chris      So, how do we bring this non-material “concept” of A=A into contact with material reality?

22:49     Chris      What does non-matter have to do with matter?

22:49     deogloria              wow

22:49     deogloria              awesome

22:49     deogloria              a bonafide philosopher

22:49     Celsus   simple. We apply the law of identity from what we perceive all around us

22:50     Celsus   Chris, you don’t see the identity in material objects?

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22:50     RazorsKiss           If he did, identity would be material.

22:51     Chris      No, I see the law of identity applied to or exemplified in particular objects being the same as themselves.

22:52                       *** MrBsPapa quit (Ping timeout)

22:52     Celsus   right. When we see a ball we conceptualize the generic concept of a ball. The concept of a ball could be of any size, color, material, etc.

22:52     Celsus   the concept of a ball lacks specific measurements

22:53     deogloria              you are only proving Chris’s point

22:53     Celsus   I am?

22:53     Chris      I had to step away.

22:53     Celsus   What is his point?

22:53     Celsus   I see no point

22:54     deogloria              well all along

22:54     RazorsKiss           You never do.

22:54     deogloria              he has been trying to tell you that you can’t account for immaterial entities

22:54     deogloria              such as laws

22:54     deogloria              you’ve only proven by your last statement

22:54     Celsus   I can account for logic fine. Logic is not an entity

22:54     deogloria              his point

22:54     RazorsKiss           What isn’t?

22:55                       *** Resequitur quit (Quit: Resequitur)

22:55     RazorsKiss           If you define it, it’s an entity of some sort – the question is, which entity is it, and which sort are we referring to?

22:55     Chris      Really curious why you won’t identity yourself as an Objectivist Celsus.

22:55     Celsus   deogloria, basis of the laws of logic is the subject-object relationship of any consciousness capable of forming concepts, such as man’s. It is not a mystery like the presuppers pretend it to be.

22:55     Chris      That’s Objectivist philosophy 101.

22:55     Chris      But I need to be going, unfortunately.

22:55     RazorsKiss           is it an immaterial entity, or a material entity?

22:56     Celsus   It’s not an entity at all.

22:56     RazorsKiss           Define entity.

22:56     Chris      I may be back in a little while.

22:56                       *** Chris is now known as ChrisAway

22:56     RazorsKiss           We don’t deal with brute facts here.

22:57     Celsus   You are the one using the term. I think you need to define it

22:57     RazorsKiss           You defined it negatively.

22:58     Celsus   And what logic are we talking about? First-order logic, first-order predicate logic, second-order predicate logic, modal logic, fuzzy logic? Which one? Logic is not a monolithic entity, and there is no one set of ‘laws’ for all of logic. Not all logical systems even require axioms.

22:58     RazorsKiss           Therefore, what is an entity, positively? I don’t think we’re going to have the same definition, in any case, because yours seems to preclude immaterial objects a priori.

22:58     Celsus   entity n : that which is perceived or known or inferred to have its own distinct existence (living or nonliving)

22:58     RazorsKiss           For instance, an immaterial object, or entity, would be something like a thought, or a concept.

22:59     RazorsKiss           A material entity would be something occupying space, perhaps.

22:59     Celsus   OK then. So if each law of logic is an entity, the logic would be considered to be a system of many entities, right?

23:00     RazorsKiss           That’s what a system entails, typically.

23:00     Celsus   a system usually involves in perform a function

23:00     RazorsKiss           For instance, Sola Scriptura is an entity composed of entities – and is itself part of another entity.

23:00     deogloria              you could classify it all under as one entity if you wanted, because after all we are deealing with universals

23:01     RazorsKiss           It’s a concept. That concept involves other concepts, and is itself involved in greater concepts.

23:01     Celsus   ok

23:02     RazorsKiss           just as you, as Cestus, are an entity, composed of myriad entities – but you, as Cestus, are part of a greater system.

23:02     Celsus   ok. I am with you so far

23:03     RazorsKiss           but all this was to say that logic is, in our system, an entity, or object – and in a great deal of historical philosophy – although by no means all.

23:03                       *** LUbNarcissus joined #choosinghats

23:03     RazorsKiss           so a flat denial that logic is an entity is by no means warranted prima facie

23:03                       *** LUbNarcissus is now known as LUback4awhile

23:03     deogloria              wb Lub

23:04     RazorsKiss           there has to be an argument to demonstrate such a claim, no?

23:04     LUback4awhile                  ty deogloria

23:04     Celsus   it depends on how you define the term

23:04     deogloria              yw

23:04     RazorsKiss           Well, that depends on how you construct definitions, in turn

23:04     Celsus   Logic is not a monolithic entity, and there is no one set of ‘laws’ for all of logic. That was my point

23:04     RazorsKiss           Because how you define things is often indicative of your presuppositional commitments.

23:05     RazorsKiss           Well, that’s another claim in and of itself, obviously

23:06     RazorsKiss           Which is what I was trying to point out. You make a whole lot of claims off the cuff – but in here, when I make a particular claim, it’s from a very well-defined position. You, at the very least, haven’t shared with us any such well-defined position.

23:06     Celsus   But I have yet to see how presuppers can account for logic and how it is a problem for non-christians.

23:07     RazorsKiss           Whether you agree with my position or not is, forgive the pun, immaterial. It is quite well-defined, nonetheless.

23:07     Celsus   Christian accounts for how logic is possible is merely of this sort: Logic reflects the nature of God (how is never specified), and God is logical and rational (thereby making the account utterly question-begging).

23:07                       *** Pinkster joined #choosinghats

23:07     RazorsKiss           Well, I have yet to see how your lack of vision has much at all to do with our actual lack, or the lack of a lack thereof

23:07     RazorsKiss           Well, there’s another interesting claim. Where have any of us said what you just outlined?

23:08     RazorsKiss           Because that’s certainly not my account, or that of Van Til.

23:09                       *** whatev|AFK is now known as what_ever

23:09     RazorsKiss           So saying such and such Christian (the particularities being left unspecified) said X seems to be quite irrelevant, does it not?

23:09     Celsus   Presuppers don’t know what an account is. Your worldview can’t account for logic. Your worldview CLAIMS (without evidence to support it) that such experiences are supernatural or infernal. See the problem? Your idea of an ‘account’ is “My religions say (fill in the blank).” That’s not an account. That’s a statement of belief. Not an account.

23:09     RazorsKiss           Assertion, assertion, assertion.

23:09     RazorsKiss           Shall I enumerate them for you?

23:09     Celsus   Then offer your account for logic. I’m all ears

23:09     RazorsKiss           It’s on the site.

23:10     RazorsKiss           1) Presuppers don’t know what an account is. <– unjustified assertion #1

23:10     RazorsKiss           2) Your worldview can’t account for logic. <– unjustified assertion #2

23:10     Celsus   I explained it

23:10     RazorsKiss           3) Your worldview CLAIMS (without evidence to support it) that such experiences are supernatural or infernal. <– #3

23:10     Celsus   Presuppers only give assertions. They have no justification for their core beliefs

23:11     RazorsKiss           To whom? You just keep making assertions. Then, when I point out that they are mere assertions, you insist that they are explanations and/or arguments.

23:11     RazorsKiss           They are nothing of the sort.

23:11     ChrisAway            lol

23:11     RazorsKiss           4) Your idea of an ‘account’ is “My religions say (fill in the blank).” <– #4

23:11     RazorsKiss           Now, are any of these arguments? Do they even resemble arguments?

23:12     RazorsKiss           I submit to you that they a) are not and b) do not

23:12     Celsus   Those are all true statements about presuppositionism. That is why it is not taken seriously in academia

23:12     RazorsKiss           Now, you might be thinking of all sorts of wonderful and magical arguments concerning those

23:12     ChrisAway            In a Christian worldview logic reflects the thinking of God. God is our standard for everything including reasoning itself, and God expects us to think in particular ways that may be expressed through logic. Through appealing to logic understood within the context of the Christian worldview we demonstrate that we have answers to general questions concerning universal, invariant, abstract

23:12     ChrisAway            entities such as particular laws of logic like the law of non-contradiction.

23:12     ChrisAway            If we are to be like God in the obligatory rather than sinful sense, then we are to have the same sort of consistency and coherence in our thought that is in God’s. We are, as the popular phrase goes, to “think God’s thoughts after Him.”

23:12     RazorsKiss           Another two assertions.

23:12     ChrisAway            Logic does not serve as a sort of otherworldly, divine mediator between God and the world. Rather, human logic belongs to the created order. It may be helpful to think of logic as analogous to morality (which we will discuss later). Morality is revealed with respect to the creature. Similarly, logic is normative; it is binding with respect to creaturely human thought. We may be further

23:12     ChrisAway            helped through this analogy by considering logic as decreed in accordance with the nature of God as it is with moral law. God knows propositions truly such that consistency exists between them.

23:12     ChrisAway            Logic is created upon the whole of the sets of relationships of the aforementioned consistency. God exists apart from His creation, and there is no inconsistency within God. Hence it is a mistake to suggest as some have that God might exist and not exist at the same time and in the same respect if the law of non-contradiction is a part of the created order.

23:12     Celsus   RazorsKiss, looks like Chris agrees with me

23:13     ChrisAway            It follows from what we have said that logic, just like morality, is inherently personal in the Christian view. The non-Christian will no doubt cringe at the thought of having even her most abstract thoughts inextricably tied to the personal God. We may also now consider logic in another sense. Logic, like love, justice, righteousness, wrath, and all of the other attributes of God, is

23:13     ChrisAway            related to God as an attribute best understood through the doctrine of Divine Simplicity.

23:13     Celsus   so you are wrong

23:13     RazorsKiss           lol…

23:13     ChrisAway            We should nevertheless take care to draw the distinction between the thoughts of God and our own thoughts. There is a Creator/creature distinction even with respect to what we as Christians mean by logic.

23:13     RazorsKiss           Wow, you read even faster than me!

23:13     ChrisAway            Now that we have given a brief account of an understanding of logic from the Christian worldview, we must turn our attention back to what was supposed to be the topic of this discussion, namely, the non-Christian understanding of and justification for logic. If what we have provided above is an understanding of logic available to the Christian, then the non-Christian will, as already

23:13     ChrisAway            mentioned, have an exceedingly different understanding of logic.

23:13     RazorsKiss           And I read pretty stinking fast.

23:13     ChrisAway            Of course we are already mistaken if we think that there will be only one different understanding of logic on the non-Christian view, for there are many different understandings of it. This point is not stated in lieu of or as constituting an argument in and of itself, but rather in order to emphasize for subsequent discussion that there is no one universally agreed upon understanding of

23:13     ChrisAway            what logic is. If the non-Christian wants to reject that she has anything like logic in her worldview, t

23:13     Celsus   RazorsKiss, let’s look at what I said again…[23:08] > Christian accounts for how logic is possible is merely of this sort: Logic reflects the nature of God (how is never specified), and God is logical and rational (thereby making the account utterly question-begging).

23:13     ChrisAway            then we might just assume that she is saying that she does. If she wants to talk about her own view of logic, then we are on to something, for then we can begin to illustrate the impossibility of the contrary through the unbelieving rejection of the Christian worldview and its resulting problems concerning logic.

23:13     ChrisAway            When we ask the non-Christian about logic then, we are not attempting to critique the non-Christian worldview through imposing our own understanding of logic upon it. We are, rather, performing an internal critique based upon the information provided by the non-Christian about this foundational feature of human reasoning and intelligibility. What is logic, and how is it justified?

23:13     ChrisAway            Shall I keep going?

23:14     RazorsKiss           I know what you said – and your reading of Chris seems to be akin to your reading of Hosea

23:14     ChrisAway            Or is all of that just nonexistent?

23:14     ChrisAway            <Celsus> But I have yet to see how presuppers can account for logic and how it is a problem for non-christians.

23:14     Celsus   RazorsKiss, and it looks like Chris enjoys cut-and-paste from the Internet as well. Are you going to kick him or just be a hypocrite?

23:14     ChrisAway            <Celsus> Presuppers don’t know what an account is. Your worldview can’t account for logic. Your worldview CLAIMS (without evidence to support it) that such experiences are supernatural or infernal. See the problem? Your idea of an ‘account’ is “My religions say (fill in the blank).” That’s not an account. That’s a statement of belief. Not an account.

23:14     RazorsKiss           There’s a difference – he’s cut and pasting HIS OWN WORK

23:15     RazorsKiss           ie: he wrote it

23:15     ChrisAway            Celsus you are either a liar or ignorant.

23:15                       *** MrBsPapa joined #choosinghats

23:15     RazorsKiss           because I recognize the post

23:15     ChrisAway            You said presuppers never provide an account of logic.

23:15     Celsus   RazorsKiss, and what he wrote agrees with what I said. So you are wrong about my statemetns

23:15     RazorsKiss           No, it doesn’t, Celsus.

23:15     ChrisAway            There’s a whole lot more I could post.

23:15     ChrisAway            Both from me and other presuppers.

23:15     Celsus   ChrisAway, you offered a vicious circular account. Sorry

23:15     RazorsKiss           You are just having a bout of reading comprehsension woes, apparently.

23:15     ChrisAway            So I’m wondering if you’re a liar or just ignorant?

23:15                       — RazorsKiss has banned *!*@pool-173-49-31-3.phlapa.fios.verizon.net

23:15     deogloria              i can’t tell if celsus is being honest or being flippant, when he tells us that we haven’t accoutned for logic?

23:16                       *** Celsus was kicked by RazorsKiss (Okay, at LEAST read the FAQ. Maybe once? Ever?)

23:16     ChrisAway            Yeah, difficult to deal with people who just come in and pop off at the mouth.

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