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Passions in Poetry

Logic and Illogic and Truth

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Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea

0 posted 02-14-2003 09:44 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Brad, with all due respect, that makes no sense at all.  Facts are logical. Second, having his words depend on secret knowledge and integrity does not make them illogical at all. If he has the secret knowledge, and it is safe to assume he does unless you think that the government makes public all information they have, then his statements can be perfectly logical. You not being able to arrive at the same conclusions because you do not have the same information still doesn't make it illogical - it only means you are not completely informed. Integrity makes no difference to logic at all. If a pathological liar holds up a piece of bread and says it is a piece of bread, it is....regardless of his character. If the facts Powell state are true, they ARE...regardless of his integrity - which, by the way, I'm sure the majority would concede is exemplary. To flatly state that his words are not logical because they depend on secret info is in itself not a logical statement.

I agree with most of this. I thought that's what I was saying. However, I wanted to avoid the term 'illogical' because that is too often seen as a synonym for nonsense. What I was trying to get across was that the truth of a statement is not dependent on logical form.  To put truth in a logical form is to prove to anyone who accepts the premises that it is true. This is why Godel's theorum caused such headaches for people who probably wanted it refuted.  

You can always say, "I don't buy it" but if you do, you have to show logically why it doesn't work (either through faulty logic or false premises).

If you can't do that, you can still disagree with it (people do this all the time), you could still even be right, there may be a false premise somewhere that you or anybody else has noticed yet, but you drop out of any logical discussion.

Political discussion is a different cat altogether.  If everything could be based on logic, if we could get everybody to accept the premises and to live with the results, politics would disappear. It is impossible to do any of that because logic is not all-powerful. It can only work under certain conditions and with certain people. People can always say, "I don't buy it," and they do.

Thus, we have politics. But when we confuse the three:  politics, logic, and truth, it becomes very difficult to understand, to even try to understand why people disagree with you, it becomes very difficult to play politics.

And that's what we should be doing at this time.


Another thing I think is interesting to the difference between logical and reasonable. For example:

I stand in front of you.
My hand is clenched into a fist.
My face is red.
My eyes are glaring at you.
You have just done something to hurt me.

Is it logical to know beyond a doubt I'm going to hit you? Nope. Perhaps I'm doing all of that to get my anger controlled. Is it REASONABLE to think I'm going to hit you? Oh, yes...and would it be reasonable for you to hit me first to protect yourself? Yes again. So are Colin Powell's explanations of conclusions drawn reasonable? I say yes. Are we justified in taking action against what we consider will reasonably happen should we not act? I say yes again...So to me it's logical that by acting reasonably we do the logical thing!

Heh, you seem to understand what I'm saying. Just don't confuse 'reasonable' with 'logical'.  Reasonable has a broader application than logical for it can also mean calm and deliberate thought:

"Calm down. Be reasonable."

I realize some might see the two terms as interchangable (the Spock complex?), but if we do that it seems that we muddy up the distinction between attitude and logical form.

Now, I think people do just that, they muddy up the distinction, for a reason   .

For when you do that, you combine the power of logical form with any particular statement you agree with. But that's not logical, that's political.    

Here was my first response:

Facts don't have to be logical, they just have to be true in order to be facts. It is not factual to say that you are going to hit me, but it's a good inductive guess. We wouldn't have quantum physics if facts had to be logical.

Induction is not logical. Hume taught us that.

I don't have time to go after everything here but when I was on jury duty in the States one of the first things the lawyer pointed out was the difference between beyond a reasonable doubt and beyond a doubt.

I thought that made a lot of sense.

I have never served on a jury, always been excused.

There is a distinction between jury duty and being on a jury, between logic and facts, between reason and certainty.

Is there a distinction between marriage and family? Judge Judy seems to think so.

I know what I'm doing here but I'm not sure anyone else is going to understand this.


I'll try to explain the latter part of this comment later, but it really only ammounts to why distinctions are important and why they are used and misused politically.

[This message has been edited by Brad (02-15-2003 06:16 AM).]

Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002

1 posted 02-15-2003 05:48 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I think I do have a grasp of where you are coming from, Brad, regarding the distinctions between logic, reasoning, truth, etc., mainly through my helping my sister do research for one of her philosophy classes last year and through my Bible studies.

I think we can strongly believe something, and it may very well be true, to the point that we would stake our lives on it. But proving it (even if only to ourselves)in a logical way, methodically outlining the basic premises and arriving at a conclusion, is a different matter entirely.  The validity of the conclusion is wholly dependent on the validity of each premise involved in the equation.

Your stating that a belief arrived at via an illogical method is not the same thing as stating that it is not true, or could not be true. You are merely pointing out the distinction between logical reasoning and illogical (political?) reasoning.

Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA

2 posted 02-15-2003 04:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

As one of the great thinkers of our generation has stated - "It all depends what your definition of "is" is.."
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002

3 posted 02-15-2003 06:10 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

ROTFL Semantics can provide so many delightful hours of entertainment, can't they?!
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