Transcendental Argument or the Origin of Logic

Psychosavant
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Transcendental Argument or the Origin of Logic

The transcendental argument for the existence of God is the best argument for God that I've personally heard from theists.

Before I get into this, I want to make it clear that the origin of logic being an unknown doesn't imply that the origin is God. This goes for everything. However, whenever we speak of origins, I like to avoid getting to the point where I have to say "Just because you don't know doesn't imply God." because this never affirms my position, it just questions both positions.

Theists would say that in order for logic to be what it is, it would have to be defined, and that definer is God. Is there any way of concluding what the origin of logic is?

My first response is that logic doesn't need an origin, and that logic does not need to be defined before it is what it is. No matter how many universes are created, a square will never be a circle, in any of them. However, I have no way of proving that without saying it's just logical, which is circular. I don't really know if logic only applies to the universe I'm in or if it's possible for a universe to exist with different sets of logic.

So, ultimately, I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on this question. Does logic require an origin? Am I wrong when I say that logic does not need to be defined for it to be what it is? Have you ever heard any theists take the transcendental argument to a convincing level?


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Psychosavant wrote:Theists

Psychosavant wrote:
Theists would say that in order for logic to be what it is, it would have to be defined, and that definer is God. Is there any way of concluding what the origin of logic is?

Yeah, us. Logic is a convention, not an entity of some kind.

Psychosavant wrote:
Does logic require an origin?

Yes. It's us. We're the origin.

Psychosavant wrote:
Am I wrong when I say that logic does not need to be defined for it to be what it is?

Kinda, yeah. There are different types of logic for that reason. We define it.

Psychosavant wrote:
Have you ever heard any theists take the transcendental argument to a convincing level?

No. It's more Neoplatonism.

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Logic is empirical, gained

Logic is empirical, gained through human knowledge.  Without a species with the ability to discern logic, there is no logic.  You should refer to Immanual Kant's Critique of Reason if you are unsure of the origin of logic.  Kant argues that there is no way to prove or disprove the existence of God.  Our empirical knowledge is limited and God's would be limitless.  He, living indefinitely, would amass all knowledge through experience.  He knows everything.  We only know the things we have empirically collected. 

 

But then again, that is assuming that there is a God, which I believe there is not. 


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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

Psychosavant wrote:
Does logic require an origin?

Yes. It's us. We're the origin.

While I cannot say if logic requires an origin, or what that origin is, I can say what I believe the origin is not. That is, I disagree with your statement. We are not the origin of logic.

Logic does not need "us" to exist. If there were no human minds in the universe, a square could still never be a circle. Logic persists, whether we exist or not.


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Psychosavant

Psychosavant wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Psychosavant wrote:
Does logic require an origin?

Yes. It's us. We're the origin.

While I cannot say if logic requires an origin, or what that origin is, I can say what I believe the origin is not. That is, I disagree with your statement. We are not the origin of logic.

Logic does not need "us" to exist. If there were no human minds in the universe, a square could still never be a circle. Logic persists, whether we exist or not.

 

While what you state is true, you present an on-going question, "If a tree falls and no one is around, does it make a sound?" 

 

Obviously, a square cannot be a circle and vice versa.  But without a species to understand shapes, who is to say that a statement like that is even logical? 

 

The laws of the universe are defined.  The universe works in a very refined (although chaotic) manner.  If God exists, he must abide by the laws of the universe.  But I believe logic presents a different debate because it is largely one's interpretation rather than a defined set of rules.  What may be logical to one may be illogical to others.  But without conflicting viewpoints, whose to say what is logic and what is not?


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It is insofar as it is a

It is insofar as it is a necessary contingency that to exist in this universe a square (or however you want to call it) cannot be a circle (or however you want to call it).

It is and it is so despite our existence or lack thereof.  Our minds are merely capable of recognizing and codifying the nature of reality.  What we practice as logic is one such codification.

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"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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I understand that our

I understand that our interpretation of the logic can only exist if we make the interpretation. However, logic is going to be what it is regardless of whether or not we percieve it.

I believe that this logic, and not its interpretation, is what the transcendental argument is pointing to. I could be wrong, and if I am, then the transcendental argument for the existence of god is far weaker an argument than I originally thought. The laws that define the way logic works, are claimed by theists, to necessarily have an origin that cannot be us, since the laws will persist outside of our influence. If this is not what the transcendental argument is referring to, then I retract my statements and pose an edited version of the intended question.

If a theist were to claim that since the laws exist that govern our universe or even the possibility of our universe's existence, that those laws must have an origin and that origin is god. And again, I'd like to point out that I'd rather kill this argument before I have to get to the point of saying "Not knowing the origin of the laws doesn't imply God."

And I would say that if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, that it still makes a sound. Sound does not require someone to hear it in order for it to be what it is. The universe, and the laws that govern it, will exist, with or without gods or men. I'm just trying to find a way to show that.


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After looking up logic in

After looking up logic in its defined sense, I've found that you are right, that logic is simply a mental reasoning, and not a presupposed law. So with that definition, yes, logic has to be originated in sentient minds. In our case, the only minds capable of such reasoning are humans.

However, I still think that TAG isn't referring to the logical reasoning of humans, but is trying to get at the origins of the laws of the universe.

Note: TAG also points to morality and science, but I think these are silly debates)

So, the new question is: Do the laws that govern the law that A must equal A need an origin? My first answer is no. The laws are constant and do not have to have a law giver. How can I show this to be true?


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When removing "us" to

When removing "us" to percieve and define "logic", the laws of physics take over to define the universe and to quantify it. Logic is merely mathematical progression based on these laws in the first place.

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Psychosavant

Psychosavant wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Psychosavant wrote:
Does logic require an origin?

Yes. It's us. We're the origin.

While I cannot say if logic requires an origin, or what that origin is, I can say what I believe the origin is not. That is, I disagree with your statement. We are not the origin of logic.

I think you may have misunderstood me, because I'm confused by your statement. We've formulated several types of logic to deal with a variety of problems. Are you referring to the reason logic works, and not logic itself?

Psychosavant wrote:
Logic does not need "us" to exist. If there were no human minds in the universe, a square could still never be a circle. Logic persists, whether we exist or not.

Squares and circles are maybe a bad example, because they don't have anything specifically to do with logic. Are you referring to the nature of reality (ontology)?

Logic is just a conventional format for reasoning, which is designed to reach conclusions based on premises (roughly speaking) so ... what were you talking about?

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Oops - sorry. Missed this

Oops - sorry. Missed this post where you answered my questions above.

Psychosavant wrote:
However, I still think that TAG isn't referring to the logical reasoning of humans, but is trying to get at the origins of the laws of the universe.

Okay, that's fine, but that's very difficult to answer, seeing as we don't know.

Psychosavant wrote:
So, the new question is: Do the laws that govern the law that A must equal A need an origin? My first answer is no. The laws are constant and do not have to have a law giver. How can I show this to be true?

It's difficult for it not to be true, considering you've labelled A. A equals A because you just said so. I'm not trying to be a jerk, here, I just don't know what you're aiming at.

Maybe you're talking about the nature of the universe, and how gravity acts, etc. ... ?

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If god were the creator of

If god were the creator of logic does that infer that gods nature is without logic or illogical?  If god is illogical in nature then on what grounds can they suggest it has a plan for us?

 

After reading the rest of the posts I see that this probably isn't needed anymore.

 

[Edit: Fixed some words: wow I really didn't think much during that last sentense.]

Sounds made up...
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Psychosavant wrote:After

Psychosavant wrote:

After looking up logic in its defined sense, I've found that you are right, that logic is simply a mental reasoning, and not a presupposed law. So with that definition, yes, logic has to be originated in sentient minds. In our case, the only minds capable of such reasoning are humans.

However, I still think that TAG isn't referring to the logical reasoning of humans, but is trying to get at the origins of the laws of the universe.

Note: TAG also points to morality and science, but I think these are silly debates)

So, the new question is: Do the laws that govern the law that A must equal A need an origin? My first answer is no. The laws are constant and do not have to have a law giver. How can I show this to be true?

From the internal point of view, "A", "B", etc in logic expressions are symbols we assign to arbitrary entities or even concepts, which we perceive as distinguishable from each other, therefore the fundamental "law" of logic simply reflects the idea of distinguishable, separable, perceived entities or ideas. If we could not analyse our perceptions or internal experience into separable items, we would hardly be able to think in any useful sense.

If external reality was perfectly uniform and featureless, there would only be "A", so there would be nothing to perceive. But this would not be anything like our reality, which must have structure and spatial and temporal dimensions for such structure to extend across. "Logic" reflects and describes this.

This all that is required. The argument then devolves down to the question of "does something with minimal structure and regularity - 'laws' (as of physics) - required to allow the emergence of more complex entities, such as ourselves, imply or require the prior existence of another entity". Note that such an entity, if it was a distinct thing of any sort, especially something which was not an inert lump, in turn would be something with structure, which is logically incoherent and circular. Either minimal structure simple exists or it doesn't. 'God' is still a structured entity, to be meaningfully capable of action and thought, so requires just as much justification as the rest of existence itself., so cannot form part of the ultimate 'explanation'.

This minimal structure is currently thought of as something like a 'sea' of quarks and leptons, or perhaps some even more 'fundamental' elementary stuff, whose interactions are consistently described by basic physical laws. This is all that is logically required for the emergence of a complex Universe.

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The only metaphysics

The only metaphysics required for a logic (note my grammar usage here, it's not merely incidental) is the existence of sentient brains.

 

 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
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I think you are asking

I think you are asking several questions here concerning the relationship of epistemology (how we know things, including logic) and metaphysics (the nature of reality).

A metaphysic and its epistemology are tightly integrated. The relationships of entities within the metaphysics provide the basis of the logic of the system. The epistemology formally defines the logic of the system. Ultimately, logic is a formal language that may express the relationships of entities within the metaphysics.

To me, the transcendental argument is nothing but a variation of the cosmological argument. Yes, the cosmos seems fine-tuned, but only if you assume that only this combination of cosmological constants produces a viable universe; and only if you assume those constants are free variables. One or both of these assumptions is probably wrong.

If you make the assumption that the universe is consistent and coherent, then logic is inevitable. All it takes is a mind capable of abstracting logic from the observable relationships of the system.

At least, that's my take on it.

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