The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Western Logic is arbitrary and useless, and cannot lead to true knowledge

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/17/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,364 times Debate No: 17941
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




The Western concept of logic is useless and cannot lead to true knowledge.

(Please note: I may or may not agree with this position, but will attempt to argue it anyways)

The idea of logic is arbitrary and not based on any objectively knowable truth.

All "logic" is really just a system that appears to adequately describe the operation of reality as we percieve it. We have no reason to believe that this percieved reality actually exists or not, and hence we have no reason to believe that this "logic" has any correspondence to any form of real truth. We also have reason to believe that nothing exists, which rules out logic corresponding to any actual reality.

Nothing exists.

Any item in reality can be described as a collection of smaller items that compose it. None of those items, taken on their own, can be said to be the item in question. This idea can furthermore be applied to all those remaining smaller items, and in fact everything else. Thus, it is definitively proven that nothing exists.

Logic is Useless.

Since the only use of logic is as system that appears to describe reality as we percieve it, and reality as we percieve it does not exist, logic is useless.

Logic cannot lead to true knowledge.

Since logic can only be based on a series of what are in the end arbitrary assumptions(of reality, causality, consistency, existence, etc), it has no fundamental basis in true knowledge, and cannot lead to true knowledge. True knowledge can only be acquired by some method other than the arrogant, arbitrary, and childish ways of Western Logic.



I'd like to thank my opponent for his excellent opening statement. The burden of proof is on my opponent to show three things:
1) Western logic is arbitrary
2) Western logic is useless
3) Western logic cannot lead to true knowledge

Unless my opponent proves all three, he should not win the debate. First I will offer my contentions, then attack my opponent's.

Pro Argument 1: Western logic is not arbitrary
Western logic is based on a system of reasoning, support and rationality. A quick check of the dictionary ( reveals that arbitrary means "subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion." Logic is not, however, contingent upon my discretion. It is contingent on a system of rules (as my opponent appears to admit), without any regard for my individual will or judgement. Therefore it does not fit the definition of arbitrary.

Pro Argument 2: Western logic is useful at explaining our world
To be useless, western logic must not have any use or application. The fact of the matter is that millions of people use western logic every day to help explain past and present phenomena, as well as predict the future. Logic, like math, is therefore a useful abstraction to help people make sense of the world. As such, it has a use. Some examples of important professions that use logic all the time include mathematicians, scientists, programmers, lawyers, and philosophers (

Pro Argument 3: It is possible that western logic leads to the truth
It is possible that the truth can be perceived by us, be that truth that nothing exists or any other ridiculous assertion. It is also possible that we perceive something that we can perceive. It is therefore possible that what we perceive is the truth is in fact true. Since my opponent believes western logic is based on perception, he must agree that western logic could possibly lead to true knowledge.

Con Argument 1: Logic describes perception, which may not be real
Oh my god, you've just found the silver bullet that will destroy all my arguments. All you need to prove now is why perception is definitely false, as opposed to why it might be false. I agree that it is possible western logic might not lead to the truth, but you are yet to show why western logic cannot possibly lead to the truth.

Con Argument 2: No reduced part makes whole, thus nothing exists
Congratulations, you've proven my point. You used western logic to perceive what you're convinced is the truth - that nothing exists. This proves three things. First it shows that logic is not arbitrary, because a process was used to arrive at your conclusion. Second it shows that logic is not useless, because the insight that nothing exists has profound metaphysical implications. Third it proves western logic can lead to true knowledge, since you are so sure this is true.

Con Argument 3: Logic is based on assumptions which might not be true
While it is true that the assumptions might not be true, it is wrong to assume they are false. Western logic's assumptions might be true, and it might not be. I don't know. Now you need to show why uncertainty regarding the validity of the assumptions means an abstraction can never work. I submit that it will work provided that our assumptions are correct - which you can neither prove nor disprove.

My opponent has not met his burden of proof. I'm proud to negate.
Debate Round No. 1


modustrollen forfeited this round.


Win by forfeit?
Debate Round No. 2


modustrollen forfeited this round.


This debate is lame. Vote con.
Debate Round No. 3


modustrollen forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


modustrollen forfeited this round.


No surprises there.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by larztheloser 5 years ago
"by losing the debate he'd prove his prove his point" - disagree. Just because western logic is not self-refuting (as my opponent seems to claim) does not mean it's wrong.
Posted by athene 5 years ago
i suppose the metaphysical nature of this debate will extend to the results if the instigator's use of western logic continues. by losing the debate he'd prove his prove his point, solidifying this as one of the lamest nihilistic victories i've ever come across.
Posted by waylon.fairbanks 5 years ago
A debate against the use of western logic using entirely western logic to prove how useless it is!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Modustrollen forfeited most of the debate, leaving larzetheloser's arguments unaddressed. Good job to Con (in addition) for showing that a) western logic is not arbitrary, since the very nature of logic is not contingent on personal whim b) western logic is applicable c) Pro himself uses western logic to discredit it (despite a few good notions in his OA) and so on.