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# Common Misconceptions about Logic

 Posts: 678 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/12/2013 6:31:55 PMPosted: 7 years agoThere are a couple of pet peeves of mine when it comes to logic and reason. More specifically about what it can and can't do, and what it does and does not attempt to do. So I was wondering if anybody else has some. Or if they disagree with mine and think I'm promoting misconceptions of my own.1. Logic is about facts.Logic is principally concerned with deduction and contradiction. What can be deduced from what? What contradicts what? Many logics have tautologies which have the semblance of fact or at least truth but the traditional approach is that these are true by virtue of having no useful meaning and therefore do not provide any insight. That a particular logical system proves a particular tautology is a fact, but this is achieved through reason about the axioms of the metalogic, not the logic itself.2. Logic is indisputableThis makes sense to some degree, if I have followed the rules of the logic that I am using then you can't tell me I'm wrong, but seeing has how nobody has come up with any good reasons to presume that any particular logic is the one true logic then this does not mean that my logic is beyond reproach. I can always challenge your logic on the grounds of its usefulness or its applicability to the problem at hand. Even in mathematics, one of the most precise and thus least ambiguous studies of man, there is still disagreement over the utility of different logics.Logic is a tool, use it right and it strengthens your argument considerably since we have a reasonable understanding of the consequences of its use.Thoughts anyone?
 Posts: 253 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/15/2013 4:05:25 PMPosted: 7 years agoI'd really like to see this conversation go somewhere with academic logicians but it's not so I'll chime in.Logic is an axiomatic system by which principles are injected to obtain a conclusion based solely upon the principles which are called axioms. It is a linear line of thought which can be deductive or inductive in nature. like mathematics, it does not matter which order you start from. just that A=B or B=A are true and that the one side equally reflects the other.The limitations of the axiomatic system is that the conclusion of the linear problem only has the integrity of the axioms used. Axioms integrity=conclusion integrity. Naturally, axioms are considered proper when they are irrefutable facts; as irrefutable axiom = irrefutable conclusion. Because axiomatic systems are linear they are therefore finite. In order to achieve maximum integrity you need maximum information. If maximum information is all information then (All Information = maximum integrity) or (All Information=Truth)The mission has then become a pursuit to craft a loop within the axiomatic system that covers all reasonable ground and therefore offers a reasonable foundation for a reasonable conclusion. This is still an assumption! It is as reasonable as we can make it though.The result is 2+2=4 can be inferred to mean that you have four oranges. That A+B= it is reasonable to believe you have no other oranges. Therefore a loop is created between finite lines of logic. This is very good but ultimately it is still not maximum integrity. you still need all of the information it achieve maximum integrity and therefore have truth.So I disagree. It's only prefect in its own context. We do not know that 1=1 because we do not fully understand the universe. We can only say that 1=1 is reasonable. At any point we may find information that invalidates the foundation. Perhaps 1=1 isn't the same one but distinct and therefore 1=1=false.I realize that sounds strange but here is something simple. 1=1 but if 1Apple=1Apple and an apples mass varies then 1=1 is false by the introduction of new language.
 Posts: 587 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/15/2013 4:41:06 PMPosted: 7 years agoI would agree with your critique, croftmeister, of those particular vulgar conceptions which float around. I myself am inclined to quarrel with the even more egregious misuse of the term "logic" to mean: "any line of thinking whatsoever".General reasoning (usually a mixture of induction, evidential abduction, argument by example, personal anecdote, rhetoric, deduction, and the occasional fallacy, with no explicit transition between these) is obviously not the same as logic (that is, formal logic), but in common non-technical discourse people will often mix and match these tactics into a kind of "folk method" of argumentation, and then call it "logic".I just find myself personally annoyed at this usage. Of course, general reasoning seems to be the preferred platform from which to debate most topics of public interest; I would just prefer that the transitions between different approaches be acknowledged as they are undertaken so that the type of argument being presented is properly recognized."The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
 Posts: 587 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/15/2013 4:51:12 PMPosted: 7 years agollamainmypocket,When you talk about the "integrity" of certain axioms, you seem to hinge this qualification on the factual or empirical accuracy of those axioms. Why do this? How can a set of axioms have an "integrity" by any other measure than their mutual consistency and, possibly, how rich or aesthetically pleasing their consequent structure is?The axioms of Euclidean geometry are not empirically "true", but that is beside the point. They are still a perfectly acceptable and robust mathematical system whose theorems are not "endangered" by the fact that they fail to capture the nature of the physical universe."The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
 Posts: 678 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/15/2013 9:01:53 PMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/15/2013 4:41:06 PM, Poetaster wrote:I would agree with your critique, croftmeister, of those particular vulgar conceptions which float around. I myself am inclined to quarrel with the even more egregious misuse of the term "logic" to mean: "any line of thinking whatsoever".General reasoning (usually a mixture of induction, evidential abduction, argument by example, personal anecdote, rhetoric, deduction, and the occasional fallacy, with no explicit transition between these) is obviously not the same as logic (that is, formal logic), but in common non-technical discourse people will often mix and match these tactics into a kind of "folk method" of argumentation, and then call it "logic".I just find myself personally annoyed at this usage. Of course, general reasoning seems to be the preferred platform from which to debate most topics of public interest; I would just prefer that the transitions between different approaches be acknowledged as they are undertaken so that the type of argument being presented is properly recognized.Agreed, I've often wondered whether a separate philosophically constructed language (like Lojban or something) would be useful to indicate the transition between reason and appeal (this is how I like to characterise the two persuasive techniques). I don't like Lojban much myself but its the closest to the objective I've seen. This would make for interesting discussions. Also, I've come to the conclusion that such a language would have to be taught later in life (high school at least) or it would lose the precision it once had through all the standard processes of language drift.Its a pity that not more people are interested in this topic, but never mind, I guess most people don't care too much, their normal reasoning does the job for them.
 Posts: 5,000 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/15/2013 10:13:35 PMPosted: 7 years agoLogic has no facts and is based off nothing but emotion.Nolite Timere
 Posts: 678 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 8:08:28 AMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/15/2013 10:13:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:Logic has no facts and is based off nothing but emotion.Care to back this up with some evidence?
 Posts: 11,196 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 11:44:17 AMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/12/2013 6:31:55 PM, the_croftmeister wrote:There are a couple of pet peeves of mine when it comes to logic and reason. More specifically about what it can and can't do, and what it does and does not attempt to do. So I was wondering if anybody else has some. Or if they disagree with mine and think I'm promoting misconceptions of my own.1. Logic is about facts.Logic is principally concerned with deduction and contradiction. What can be deduced from what? What contradicts what? Many logics have tautologies which have the semblance of fact or at least truth but the traditional approach is that these are true by virtue of having no useful meaning and therefore do not provide any insight. That a particular logical system proves a particular tautology is a fact, but this is achieved through reason about the axioms of the metalogic, not the logic itself.The bolded belief stems from the soundness of the logic, whereas what you are discussing is the validity of the logic. Most people focus on soundness, although I agree that validity is quite important. Most people's logic is unsound because they are unable to properly link premises to conclusions, which is an issue with validity, a subset of soundness.2. Logic is indisputableThis makes sense to some degree, if I have followed the rules of the logic that I am using then you can't tell me I'm wrong, but seeing has how nobody has come up with any good reasons to presume that any particular logic is the one true logic then this does not mean that my logic is beyond reproach. I can always challenge your logic on the grounds of its usefulness or its applicability to the problem at hand. Even in mathematics, one of the most precise and thus least ambiguous studies of man, there is still disagreement over the utility of different logics.Again, this deals with soundness vs validity.Logic is a tool, use it right and it strengthens your argument considerably since we have a reasonable understanding of the consequences of its use.Thoughts anyone?lol, it only strengthens an argument if the other side and the audience recognize valid and sound logic. From my experience on DDO this is simply not the case.At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote: If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
 Posts: 11,196 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 11:58:01 AMPosted: 7 years agoI will also add here that the vast majority of debates here SHOULD deal with validity specifically. Overall soundness is not an issue, otherwise people would be able to question round #1 assumptions all the time. I've had people questioning round #1 assumptions in debates I've instigated where the opponent somehow won, which in my mind easily demonstrated how the opposition and the voting audience in those particular debates did not have a clue how to score a debate, or to respect operating assumptions for the debate.At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote: If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
 Posts: 3,781 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 12:10:53 PMPosted: 7 years agoThe fact that a lot of logic can't even be conceived as wrong in any imagined "world" makes it a very powerful tool. It can't be claimed to be absolute with complete certainty though, but what can?bladerunner060 | bsh1 , 2014! Presidency campaign! http://www.debate.org... http://www.debate.org... - Running for president. http://www.debate.org... - Running as his vice president. May the best man win!
 Posts: 678 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 5:32:18 PMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/16/2013 12:10:53 PM, AlbinoBunny wrote:The fact that a lot of logic can't even be conceived as wrong in any imagined "world" makes it a very powerful tool. It can't be claimed to be absolute with complete certainty though, but what can?This is a pretty common conception of logic (though it only technically applies to logics with a modal semantics, not that we can't adopt a modal semantics for any logic we choose). But I'd say that not being able to imagine a world in which logic is wrong is a lack of imagination, not any particular feature of logic itself. You would have to put criteria on what these imagined worlds look like, which to support your conclusion would eventually wind up amounting to 'be logical'. And 'logic is right in all logical worlds', is somewhat of a tautological statement.
 Posts: 678 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 5:34:39 PMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/16/2013 11:58:01 AM, wrichcirw wrote:I will also add here that the vast majority of debates here SHOULD deal with validity specifically. Overall soundness is not an issue, otherwise people would be able to question round #1 assumptions all the time. I've had people questioning round #1 assumptions in debates I've instigated where the opponent somehow won, which in my mind easily demonstrated how the opposition and the voting audience in those particular debates did not have a clue how to score a debate, or to respect operating assumptions for the debate.Agreed, and not just for debates. You have to accept premises at some point, in which case you are arguing only validity no matter how much you want to deal with soundness.
 Posts: 11,196 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 7:40:00 PMPosted: 7 years agoOh, a sound argument would run something like "given that there are people who like eating chocolate, that chocolate in moderate quantities does not pose a health risk, and people should do what they like, then people who like chocolate should not feel guilty about eating moderate quantities of it."That's logically sound from what I can tell, and easily applicable to real life.At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote: If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
 Posts: 5,000 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 8:26:27 PMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/16/2013 8:08:28 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:At 6/15/2013 10:13:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:Logic has no facts and is based off nothing but emotion.Care to back this up with some evidence?Logic has no evidence. I am using my feelings to know what I say is true. In the same way, we know God exists.Nolite Timere
 Posts: 11,196 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 8:41:58 PMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/16/2013 8:26:27 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:08:28 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:At 6/15/2013 10:13:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:Logic has no facts and is based off nothing but emotion.Care to back this up with some evidence?Logic has no evidence. I am using my feelings to know what I say is true. In the same way, we know God exists.What if someone felt that God does not exist? Would that person be right because they were using their feelings to know what they said is true?At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote: If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
 Posts: 5,000 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 8:46:52 PMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/16/2013 8:41:58 PM, wrichcirw wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:26:27 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:08:28 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:At 6/15/2013 10:13:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:Logic has no facts and is based off nothing but emotion.Care to back this up with some evidence?Logic has no evidence. I am using my feelings to know what I say is true. In the same way, we know God exists.What if someone felt that God does not exist? Would that person be right because they were using their feelings to know what they said is true?If someone feels that God doesn't exist then their feeling are wrong therefore they aren't using logic. But my feelings are right because I feel they are right.Nolite Timere
 Posts: 678 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 9:53:39 PMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/16/2013 8:46:52 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:41:58 PM, wrichcirw wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:26:27 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:08:28 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:At 6/15/2013 10:13:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:Logic has no facts and is based off nothing but emotion.Care to back this up with some evidence?Logic has no evidence. I am using my feelings to know what I say is true. In the same way, we know God exists.What if someone felt that God does not exist? Would that person be right because they were using their feelings to know what they said is true?If someone feels that God doesn't exist then their feeling are wrong therefore they aren't using logic. But my feelings are right because I feel they are right.True, their feelings might be wrong, but they aren't likely to change their opinions based on your feelings. If you just like telling people they are wrong then fair enough. Not sure what God would have to say about that though.
 Posts: 5,000 Add as FriendChallenge to a DebateSend a Message 6/16/2013 9:57:32 PMPosted: 7 years agoAt 6/16/2013 9:53:39 PM, the_croftmeister wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:46:52 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:41:58 PM, wrichcirw wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:26:27 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:At 6/16/2013 8:08:28 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:At 6/15/2013 10:13:35 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:Logic has no facts and is based off nothing but emotion.Care to back this up with some evidence?Logic has no evidence. I am using my feelings to know what I say is true. In the same way, we know God exists.What if someone felt that God does not exist? Would that person be right because they were using their feelings to know what they said is true?If someone feels that God doesn't exist then their feeling are wrong therefore they aren't using logic. But my feelings are right because I feel they are right.True, their feelings might be wrong, but they aren't likely to change their opinions based on your feelings. If you just like telling people they are wrong then fair enough. Not sure what God would have to say about that though.Then they aren't using their logic. I am right because I feel that I am right. Logic is based on feelings. Logically I know I am right, therefore I am right.1. I feel that God exists.2. Logic is based on feelings.3. Therefore Logically, God exists.Nolite Timere