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What are the Logical Absolutes?

Orangatang
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9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.

I would like to know what these logical absolute are (physical, conceptual, neither, both or something else). I think they are both and I will explain why shortly. First here is a rough outline of the argument and the conflict (this is the basic argument resulting from a discussion of Matt Slick's TAG argument for the existence of God):

There is a distinction between the logical absolutes and the application of logic used by humans. The logic that we humans use stem from these logical absolutes. Logic can only be used if there are brains that exist to use them. However logical absolutes are not contingent on brains existing. This is true because in a universe with no brains, a rock is still a rock and it is not not a rock. Since logical absolutes are not contingent on brains then they cannot be conceptual. If logical absolutes are not conceptual then they must be physical. However, it does not seem like they are physical because logical absolutes cannot be measured, timed, frozen, heated up, or dug up in your backyard. Hence the conflict. In the video sourced, Matt Dillahunty thinks that they are neither conceptual nor physical (perhaps abstract) and in no way show evidence for a God while Matt Slick claims that they are created by God yet he admits that God must be subject to them.

These series of videos is the source of my curiosity (:Youtube Link: ). Matt pretty much destroys the argument and points out more than 10 flaws in Matt's TAG argument (use your conceptual logic to figure out which is which).

My take on the argument is as follows:
I think the only thing that is known to exist is the physical. Therefore even conceptual things must be physical as concepts are products of brains, and we have never observed any such concept (or mind) existing without a brain. Therefore logical absolutes must be physical. Although they cannot be measured, frozen, etc. they still must apply to the essence of every physical thing. Notice that these laws apply to the essence of physical things and they are consistent with our observations of physical things, physical things do not seem to conform or follow these laws per se. These laws seem to be true on the macro-level of our physical reality, the quantum realm can get iffy (wave-particle duality, quantum fluctuations). Nonetheless, there is mounds of evidence that logical absolutes are true and no evidence that they are anything other than physical (as there is no non-physical evidence at all). What are your thoughts on the conflict, what are the logical absolutes? And while we are on the subject I might as well add - are natural laws in the same category? For example, is the law of gravity (is it a theory or a law?) physical or non-physical? Many thanks in advance for relevant and insightful comments.
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Orangatang
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9/19/2013 4:08:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Just found another video showing Matt Dillahunty correcting the false dichotomies between conceptual and physical after his first debate with Matt Slick (:YoutubeLink: ).
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ClassicRobert
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9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

Screw you, Aristotle.
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AlbinoBunny
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9/20/2013 10:05:54 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

Screw you, Aristotle.

And how well do we truly understand quantum mechanics?
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ClassicRobert
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9/20/2013 10:10:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 10:05:54 AM, AlbinoBunny wrote:
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

Screw you, Aristotle.

And how well do we truly understand quantum mechanics?

Pretty well (though we, of course, have more to learn). Quantum Electrodynamics has provided some of the best predictions of nature that we have ever seen.
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zmikecuber
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9/20/2013 12:59:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

Screw you, Aristotle.

Then can't the statement "'The cat is alive' is both true and false" be both true and false? And that statement be both true and false, etc. etc. ad infinitum?

Kindof undermines any sort of human reason, doesn't it? Oh wait, it both undermines and doesn't undermine human reason at the same time.
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Wocambs
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9/20/2013 3:15:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

Screw you, Aristotle.

1. There is no assumption. A = A is contained within 'A'. If 'A' is not 'A', then what are you talking about?

2. Referring to particles and waves? Here's a suggestion: instead of suggesting that contradictions can meaningfully exist in the Universe, how about we consider that we don't fully understand what these particlewaves really are? If we use faulty definitions we can come up with all sorts of faulty conclusions.

E.g.
1. Robert always tells the truth
2. Robert says 'Orangatang is hot, and he's cold'
Conclusion: The law of non-contradiction is false.
(Of course, Orangatang actually just has a hot body and a chilly disposition)

3. Wait, what? Isn't Schrodinger's Cat an criticism of the Copenhagen interpretation which states that particles are both in one place and another until observed?
Orangatang
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9/20/2013 7:15:08 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature

Nature in general is uniform and consistent is it not?

2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics

Quantum Mechanics is not fully understood, but I agree it does seemingly lead to crazy logical contradictions.

3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

This shows the absurdity of the Copenhagen interpretation.

Screw you, Aristotle.

I think you are missing the point, these laws apply correctly to everything on the macro-level and so it is highly that these laws are valid and true in this sense. Pre-quantum mechanics these laws are consistently true for any and all cases so Aristotle was quite right with respect to scientific knowledge in his era. Assuming these laws are true in all cases, what exactly are they - conscious, physical, non-physical, transcendent, intrinsic?
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The_Fool_on_the_hill
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9/20/2013 7:16:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 3:15:26 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

Screw you, Aristotle.

1. There is no assumption. A = A is contained within 'A'. If 'A' is not 'A', then what are you talking about?

2. Referring to particles and waves? Here's a suggestion: instead of suggesting that contradictions can meaningfully exist in the Universe, how about we consider that we don't fully understand what these particlewaves really are? If we use faulty definitions we can come up with all sorts of faulty conclusions.

E.g.
1. Robert always tells the truth
2. Robert says 'Orangatang is hot, and he's cold'
Conclusion: The law of non-contradiction is false.
(Of course, Orangatang actually just has a hot body and a chilly disposition)

3. Wait, what? Isn't Schrodinger's Cat an criticism of the Copenhagen interpretation which states that particles are both in one place and another until observed?

The Fool: Good Job..
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Sargon
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9/20/2013 8:16:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

Screw you, Aristotle.

Quantum mechanics, at least as far as the Copenhagen interpretation goes, indicates that *epistemologically* you don't know if it is dead or alive. It does not indicate that the cat is both dead and alive in reality.
ClassicRobert
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9/20/2013 8:24:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 8:16:17 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

Screw you, Aristotle.

Quantum mechanics, at least as far as the Copenhagen interpretation goes, indicates that *epistemologically* you don't know if it is dead or alive. It does not indicate that the cat is both dead and alive in reality.

I'll give you that. The cat example is flawed.
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FREEDO
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9/22/2013 12:18:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
1. The milk is poured BEFORE the cereal.
2. There was a second one but I forget it.

That's it.
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dylancatlow
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9/22/2013 12:57:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
A logical absolute is "a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it." So anything fulfilling that criteria would qualify.
Polaris
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9/22/2013 10:19:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

No it's not. The cat is either alive or dead, just like every other animal in history. Schr"dinger conceived of this thought experiment facetiously to illustrate the absurdity of applying quantum mechanics to non-quantum objects such as a cat, because they behave according to completely different sets of physics. A cat doesn't behave like a sub-atomic particle and thus cannot be in two different states simultaneously. To insist that the cat is both alive and dead, is to completely miss the point that Schr"dinger was making.
ClassicRobert
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9/22/2013 10:29:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/22/2013 10:19:18 PM, Polaris wrote:
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

No it's not. The cat is either alive or dead, just like every other animal in history. Schr"dinger conceived of this thought experiment facetiously to illustrate the absurdity of applying quantum mechanics to non-quantum objects such as a cat, because they behave according to completely different sets of physics. A cat doesn't behave like a sub-atomic particle and thus cannot be in two different states simultaneously. To insist that the cat is both alive and dead, is to completely miss the point that Schr"dinger was making.

I conceded that a couple of posts ago, the cat example was flawed.
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bossyburrito
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9/23/2013 12:30:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature

This is a bit of a stolen concept, don't you think?
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ClassicRobert
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9/23/2013 7:03:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/23/2013 12:30:20 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature

This is a bit of a stolen concept, don't you think?

Stolen concept? Uniformity of nature is not exactly a new concept; it's been passed around quite a bit.
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

Do you really believe that? Or not? If you believe it, you should man up and defend it in a debate. -RoyLatham

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ClassicRobert
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9/23/2013 10:18:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 9/20/2013 3:15:26 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 9/20/2013 7:35:53 AM, ClassicRobert wrote:
At 9/19/2013 3:48:19 PM, Orangatang wrote:
The philosophy forums seem dead lately here is some food for thought.
These are the three absolute laws of logic outlined by Aristotle:

1. The law of identity states that A is A.
Assumes uniformity of nature
2. The law of non-contradiction tells us that A cannot be both A and not A at the same time and in the same sense.
Quantum mechanics
3. The law of excluded middle says that a statement is either true or false.
With Schrodingers Cat, the statement that "the cat is alive" is simultaneously true and false.

Screw you, Aristotle.

1. There is no assumption. A = A is contained within 'A'. If 'A' is not 'A', then what are you talking about?

As long as we aren't quite sure of the uniformity of nature (though we are pretty confident), we cannot be absolutely sure that A=A. Let's take a macro example to illustrate the point. Imagine you look outside your window, and you see a tree. You look away. You then look back out of your window, and you see the tree. However, as we are not sure that the future behaves like the past (though we are highly confident), we cannot be 100% sure that the tree that we just saw is, in fact, the tree we were looking at before. His statement that A=A is always true, therefore, is not absolute, as it is possible that it is not always true.

2. Referring to particles and waves? Here's a suggestion: instead of suggesting that contradictions can meaningfully exist in the Universe, how about we consider that we don't fully understand what these particlewaves really are? If we use faulty definitions we can come up with all sorts of faulty conclusions.

By suggesting that the contradictions could exist, I have shown that Aristotle's absolute is not absolute, just remarkably consistent.
E.g.
1. Robert always tells the truth
2. Robert says 'Orangatang is hot, and he's cold'
Conclusion: The law of non-contradiction is false.
(Of course, Orangatang actually just has a hot body and a chilly disposition)

3. Wait, what? Isn't Schrodinger's Cat an criticism of the Copenhagen interpretation which states that particles are both in one place and another until observed?
Debate me: Economic decision theory should be adjusted to include higher-order preferences for non-normative purposes http://www.debate.org...

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chui
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9/24/2013 9:45:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
So we can conclude that it is impossible to arrive at any conclusion by pure rational thought alone. Epistemologically speaking knowledge must be empirically based.

Another victory for scientism I feel.

By the way, quantum entanglement of the Copenhagen interpretation nature has been shown to occur for some very large molecules now. Its not just a matter of not knowing what state a particle is in, but that the particle is not in one single state ie we have closed all the loopholes in Bell's inequality so hidden variable arguments (of the Bohm/Einstein type) are no longer feasible. Schr"dingers Cat was an attack on Copenhagen quantum physics but has been totally refuted.
Wocambs
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9/24/2013 4:34:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Let's take a macro example to illustrate the point. Imagine you look outside your window, and you see a tree. You look away. You then look back out of your window, and you see the tree. However, as we are not sure that the future behaves like the past (though we are highly confident), we cannot be 100% sure that the tree that we just saw is, in fact, the tree we were looking at before."

Okay, so we can't be sure that the tree are looking at now is the same tree we were looking at before, but I don't think that negates the fact that the tree we are currently looking at is the tree we were currently looking at, whatever that means. The law of identity is not an empirical observation.

"By suggesting that the contradictions could exist, I have shown that Aristotle's absolute is not absolute, just remarkably consistent."

I don't think that suggesting that contradictions could exist proves that they could or do exist. Doesn't the idea of real contradictions completely undermine any sense of meaning? If something can be both true and false then those words lose all meaning, as they describe what is fundamentally opposite and irreconcilable.