The Instigator
Zerosmelt
Pro (for)
Winning
47 Points
The Contender
elphaba1389
Con (against)
Losing
21 Points

It is impossible to argue against logic.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/6/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,629 times Debate No: 4602
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (9)
Votes (20)

 

Zerosmelt

Pro

It is impossible to argue the claim that logic is not a viable method for discerning truth because any action or lack there of that is taken after such a claim would be logical. Thus negating the initial claim itself.

However, negating the initial claim would be illogical and that fact would actually be justifying the initial claim.

But justifying the claim through its own illogic would be logical.
elphaba1389

Con

First of all I would like to thank my opponent for posting this debate.

Logic itself is subjective; different people have different forms of logic and time itself is logical.
Even over time, things that were once logical are not longer so.

Logic is explaining an event based on knowledge that you already have and unless you know everything, logic is bound to fail from time to time

and it does.

seeing as logic fails, there is plenty of basis to argue against it. It's not a perfect source; therefore, it is arguable.
Debate Round No. 1
Zerosmelt

Pro

Hi elphaba thanks for accepting this debate.

First off. Your definition of logic as "explaining an event based on knowledge that you already have" is dead wrong

Logic is a way of organizing premises to form a conclusion. Any and every argument at least attempts to use logic correctly.

Every argument is comprised of three elements

1.The premises - which can be true or false.
2.The logical structure (i.e. logic) - which can be valid or invalid.
3.The conclusion - which can be true or false.
All three elements operate independently.
The premises fit into the logical structure (i.e. operate in a logical form) If all the premises are true and the logic is valid then the argument is sound and the conclusion must be true.

You have claimed that logic fails from time to time. I'm sorry but I don't think you understand what logic is b/c if you did you would never make this claim. Logic has never failed even once. If you could provide an example of logic failing not only would I gladly forfeit this debate but I would surely check myself into a mental asylum.

There is a very specific procedure necessary to prove that logic itself has failed. One must set up an argument with only true premises and a valid logical structure (such as modus ponens, tollens, etc…) and derive a conclusion that is not true.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Many arguments fail b/c they use bad logic. But logic itself does not fail. Its just that the argument uses an invalid form of logic (i.e. a logical fallacy)

what is most ironic is that my opponent has decided to use logic itself to argue against logic.

1)logic fails
2)something that fails has plenty of basis to be argued against –(implicit)
3)Ergo there is plenty of basis to argue against Logic

This my friends is a classic example of Modus Ponens as I stated above. It is a valid form of logic and the conclusion would certainly be true if the premises were true.

Alas, the first premise is obviously false. The most baffling question here is if she is arguing against logic itself why would she go and then use the very thing she claims does not work?
elphaba1389

Con

My opponent states that I am "dead wrong" by stating that logic is explaining an event based on knowledge you already have; however, his definition of logic is "a way of organizing premises to form a conclusion."

These two definitions are one in the same. In Fact, his definition is very vague and very well encompasses my own.

Logic is the human attempt to explain a certain phenomenon, using prior and current knowledge as well as common outcomes to draw conclusions to which answer makes the most sense under the rules that govern what we already know.

In order to make a conclusion about something, you have to have previous knowledge. Your "three-tier" system as I call it ties into both of our definitions. Here is your example:

1) logic fails
2) something that fails has plenty of basis to be argued against –(implicit)
3) Ergo there is plenty of basis to argue against Logic

For one to make a conclusion about anything requires some degree of knowledge. For you to make the assumption that logic fails, requires you to know of an event in history when logic has failed. Without that knowledge you can not make the assumption nor can you draw a conclusion. For example, in order for me to conclude that a shirt is red, I would have to know, understand, and recognize the color red. I know what the color red has looked like in the past, I know what I've been shown it looks like, and based on those two experiences, I can logically recognize the shirt is red.

Throughout history, there are countless everyday examples of when logic has failed. A member of my extended family was involved in a serious car accident about two years ago. As a result, she suffered a broken neck, and several shattered vertebrae. Based on the doctors' logical conclusions, which were rooted in years of medical school and previous experience, he concluded that she would never walk again. That member has defied logic in that she is now walking, healthy, and happy despite what physical and medical logic interpreted. Now she can walk and she jogs every morning.

The advancement of scientific technology in itself defies logic. 100 years ago (1908), the concept of a 200 lb piece of metal flying into space was absurd and considered not possible, however in 1957 the Russians patented and launched Sputnik, the first artificial satellite in space. This defied logic because, based on previous and present knowledge, this simply was not possible.

The basic concept that the earth was round defies what was logical at the time. Based on the knowledge that was obtained at the time, the earth had an end; go too far and you fall of the face of it.

Logic changes over time because knowledge grows over time, the more we learn the more possibilities we uncover, thus the once illogical things slowly become logical and possible.

Logic is arguable, it constantly changes over time with the growth of new technology as well as more knowledge. It is rooted in our knowledge on the subject and our ability to draw a reasonable conclusion based on that knowledge. But without knowledge, there is no logic. Logic can always be questioned and argued, it simply depends on how much you know about the topic.
Debate Round No. 2
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Zerosmelt 9 years ago
Zerosmelt
I basically agree with you Donlatt. Even though a logical argument with true premises should convince people without a doubt that the conclusion is true it often does not.

however, I would be careful about saying that logic is a tool to prove one's emotional beliefs. There is an entire field of philosophy dedicated to logic and what it entails. that statment gets into very slippery ground. generally logic is seen in contrast to emotion.
Posted by Donlatt 9 years ago
Donlatt
Logic is a tool to prove that which you emotionally believe.

Logic has never changed anyone's mind. People who are set on a specific belief won't be swayed with logic. Logic only sways those who aren't sure of their beliefs on a certain subject. For example, do you think you could walk up to a hardcore communist, explain why it doesn't work, ect, and expect him to change his mind? No. That's not how it works.

Same goes for just about anything.
Posted by Zerosmelt 9 years ago
Zerosmelt
sorry my comment below should have read
if P then Q
P
therefore Q
Posted by Zerosmelt 9 years ago
Zerosmelt
the original point i made in round one was that every argument uses logic.
you cannot argue against logic b/c it would be necessary to use logic in order to argue against it.

I will admit that my wording in round 1 might be a bit hard to follow.
Posted by Zerosmelt 9 years ago
Zerosmelt
It is horrifying to me that people on a debate website would fundamentally have no understanding as to what logic is. my opponent and jtsmith have confused logic with common sense. they are very different things. "Logic is the study of necessary truths and of formal systems for deriving them."

http://www.rbjones.com...
http://www.philosophypages.com...

Logic is a system for deriving conclusions.
much of logic involves Categorical Syllogisms
such as

If P then Q
Q
Therefore P
http://www.philosophypages.com...

as opposed to logical fallacies such as
Ad Hominem
Fallacy of Division
Gambler's Fallacy
Genetic Fallacy
Irrelevant Appeals
Appeal to Antiquity
Appeal to Consequences
Red Herring Etc... http://www.logicalfallacies.info...

"The concept of a 200 lb piece of metal flying into space" is no more logical now than it was 2000 years ago b/c logic has to do with the way statements interact with each other. A single statement cannot be logical or illogical. it can be true or false. it can make sense given what you know. but that is Not logic.
Posted by JTSmith 9 years ago
JTSmith
If both people are arguing, then they are both using their logic to support their argument. If they are both using opposing logic, then their logistics are obviously in disagreement as well as their points of view. Their logistics are both different forms of logic, and they are both in opposition.
Hence...they are arguing with each other... Hence... logic is arguable.
Posted by Zerosmelt 9 years ago
Zerosmelt
debate.org in no way proves that logic can be argued. it isn't one person's logic verses another its one persons arguement verses another. logic is a way of arguing.
Posted by JTSmith 9 years ago
JTSmith
debate.org itself proves that logic can be argued.
thats what a debate is. It is one person's logic vs another persons logic.
Ther Irony of this debate is that general logic argues itself.
Logic is a paradox in that it both agrees and contradicts itself.
Posted by elphaba1389 9 years ago
elphaba1389
correction, the Russians did NOT patent sputnik. THEY DID NOT PATENT SPUTNIK. Sorry...
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