One can't prove logic is a reliable guide to truth
Voting Style:  Open  Point System:  7 Point  
Started:  12/4/2013  Category:  Philosophy  
Updated:  3 years ago  Status:  Post Voting Period  
Viewed:  868 times  Debate No:  41641 
My position is simple, any argument that attempts to prove that logic is a reliable guide to truth necessarily uses logic in a way that is circular.
This isn't a claim that logic fails as a reliable guide to truth, rather it affirms that we simply must take logic as a selfevident given, which doesn't require proof, just like the reality of the external worlds, morals and other minds, etc..
When it comes to the inadequate moral position that I believe religion posses, I feel that logical conclusions can be the only moral guide for human beings, most of which can be proven in a logical foundation against religion for the greater good. I don't feel there can be any other alternative to base morality and free inquiry. And only logical free thinking is capable of doing so something religion cannot possess. 

Con's Irrelevencies Note the resolution, "One can't prove logic is a reliable guide to truth" ... also note my central claim, that "any argument that attempts to prove that logic is a reliable guide to truth necessarily uses logic in a way that is circular." Now I made it explicit what I'm NOT arguing or defending, I'm NOT saying "that logic fails as a reliable guide to truth." Instead, "we simply must take logic as a selfevident given, which doesn't require proof, just like the reality of the external worlds, morals and other minds, etc.." Con therefore mistakes the debate and brings up irrelevencies like how to intellectually navigate the waters of religion by way of logic. This isn’t what the debate is about, recall that I’m not arguing that logic isn’t useful here. Rather I’m arguing that Con cannot prove logic is a reliable guide to truth since that would be using logic itself, a circular endeavor. His only other alternative is personal opinion, which is invalid for a debate context, hence he faces a dilemma.
Con’s Dilemma Logic is not an instrument for finding truth; on the contrary, truth is necessarily an instrument for using logic—for using it for the discovery of further truth and for the profit of humanity. You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it. Simply, you can never prove your first statement or it would not be your first. Now any argument Con gives will either be using logic, or some opinion. But opinions aren’t valid for our debate, and logic can’t be used to prove logic, otherwise it would be circular reasoning, so Con is stuck in a dilemma here. It’s circular to use logic to prove logic because to find within a body of logic a proof that logic is consistent is impossible, since to accept the validity of such a proof is to concede to a part of logic a special privilege which is clearly not justified if the coherence of logic as a whole is in doubt! It’s blatant circular reasoning. Everything that logic can give us is ultimately founded on something other than logic, call it faith, or common sense, or intuition, or insight, or primary intellectual conviction. Simple logical relationships are, in fact, insights. It’s only because they seem so selfevident and because the contrary defies our imagination that they are not recognized as insights.
Theist Samuel Johnson says, "Nothing can be proved but by supposing something intuitively known, and evident without proof." Bryan Magee writes that "No argument can establish the truth of its premises, since if it tried to do so it would be circular; and therefore no argument can establish the truth of its conclusions." In summary, in order for Con to win the debate, he must first actually engage the resolution with relevent statements, then he must show how one can prove that logic is a reliable guide to truth without using logic (because that would be circular) and without personal opinion (because that is invalid for a debate context). Given this dilemma however, Con is forced to admit defeat, and claim that the cannons of logic are taken on pure insight, selfevidence and faith or whatever.
FACTS The original argument comes from proving logic can justify the immoral preaching of religion and that theists can't be free thinkers, the opponent is changing the subject, to try and avoid a religious debate which is what the forum post clearly indicates. All my original postings and his can be viewed on the forum Atheists/Agnostics Unite! where the source of this debate begins to prove this. He clearly stated that Logic can't be proof that theist cannot be truly free thinkers, so in tern attempts to use JUNK science in an attempt to justify this. However he has failed to validated how his argument makes theists any more justified in their position of faith based clams. Pros text found on Atheists/Agnostics Unite! "Closeminded village atheism. First, you're assuming the theist doesn't have a proof for theism that you just do see or get yet". ISSUES Has failed to give any coherent reasoning in how theists have proof of their claims and how others "just don't see it or get yet". logic only exists when there's a basis to do so, however there is no base or physical data in theists or religious claims to begin with and only exist on a personal level. I submit that the opponent can't use this debate in any way to move forward scientifically or morally any of the theists claims in any real sense and so hes arguments will be nothing but credulity. 

Con's Irrelevancies This debate regards a disputed quote from Con, "a true [free] thinking person would never stay within the confines of a single unproven belief system" [1] ... it is this claim that I challenged him in forum and subsequent formal debate. Notice Con just assumes that theists cannot be free thinkers because their beliefs are unproven, yet when I challenge him with the argument that many things are known but not proven, such as logic, and that free thinkers use logic, and so he can't condemn theist on these grounds; Con then ignores this challenge and just reasserts his original claim that theists are not free thinkers because their beliefs are unproven! Con also conveniently fails to complete my response to him in the forums, "Closeminded village atheism. First, you're assuming the theist doesn't have a proof for theism that you just do see or get yet.. Second, the external world is unproven, logic is too, now how many free thinkers believe in the external world and logic?” [1] ... To which his response was merely pejorative, "are you intentionally trying to be stupid? Because its working." [1] Despite all of this, Con insists on the irrelevancy that "theists [must] have proof of their claims." But that's just the point, there are many things which are unproven that we know, why then would Con insist that the theist must prove his belief to be rational? If he is to remain consistent, he must demand that free thinkers prove logic in order to remain free thinkers, but no one can prove logic since it would be circular to do so! Hence Con's epistemology fails by its own standards. This is what our debate is about however, "can one prove logic using logic?" Con's answer in accepting the debate is "yes" but he hasn't even tried to defend it, rather he only brings up irrelevancies. Con's Dilemma Con just brings up science (an eclectic form of inductive logic, which cannot prove logic by definition since it is less basic and founded by more basic logic), and morality (something which has absolutely nothing to do with axiomatic logic, e.g., regard the ever persistent "isought problem"). [2] Again, the issue here is not whether science, morality, or religion is logical, true or false. What is at issue here is whether one can prove logic using logic. Con has not gone one step in answering this dilemma, and so the debate is won in favor of Pro! Sources 1. http://www.debate.org... (12/4/2013 12:08:17 AM post, emphasis added)
Yet again the opponent uses a non sequitur argument that can have no relevance to whether the original claims that theists make have any logical argument to begin with. He uses the notion of "nothing can be proven" concept, however this of course is a fallacy as the argument can't be disproved either. Opponents statements taken from Atheists/Agnostics Unite! "You can't prove anything through evidence. The only things that can be proven 100% in this world are mathematical statements. Statements about nature are only approximations of how things work under certain conditions". Here we see the perfect contradiction in the opponents thinking. He clearly states... "You can't prove anything through evidence" yet he goes on to write... "The only things that can be proven 100% in this world are mathematical. He bases his argument purely on a logical conclusion, yet he is to state that logic can't be proven. But goes on to contradict himself in the process. He clearly states that mathematics is "100% proof" so in turn also has to be 100% truth, this initself would be a 100% logical conclusion. ISSUES His argument is baseless to begin because he would have to prove that logic itself is unprovable, we see more evidence everyday based on logic of its accuracy every time, but the opponent failed to suggest where this can be disproved to begin with. He uses Petitio principii fallacy, (when a proposition which requires proof is assumed without proof) which means that the conclusion is inevitably exactly the same as the premise. He continues to use a Straw man fallacy, as my original statements have no bearing on the philosophy of logic, but rather the actual use of logic in relation to religion. 
SubterFugitive  Sleevedagger  Tied  

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"You can't prove anything through evidence. The only things that can be proven 100% in this world are mathematical statements. Statements about nature are only approximations of how things work under certain conditions"
... what's with you?