Questioning Logic?

We discuss logics all around, including contradiction logics if one so wishes.

Moderator: Aetixintro

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 204 times
Been thanked: 116 times

Questioning Logic?

Post #1

Post by Purple Knight »

I routinely question many of the so-called rules of logic. I don't believe a negative is inherently logically superior to a positive, even in a void. I can give you an example of me doing this.
Purple Knight wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:15 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:20 pmI won't go as far as saying that Trump would've found enough fraud to overturn the election had he been successful with getting both manual recounts with added oversight, but the main point is had there been fraud, then it would've likely been caught under those conditions (recounts w/ added oversight). But as it stands, that wasn't done, and therefore I can't claim that this election had no fraud nor errors, and without knowing that, I can't claim that elections are "fair".
This is a perfect example of why I tend to reject the atheist mantra that negative claims are automatically superior to positive ones.

"The election was fair." Well, that certainly seems like a positive claim, ne?

"There was some sort of fraud or cheating." Oh. Well. This seems like a positive claim, too.

Yet these are logically contradictory premises. One must be true and the other must be false.

Which claim is positive and which claim is negative is often a matter of phraseology and there's not a clear, logical answer.
So yes, I question this supposed rule that a negative is automatically better than a positive.

I also question whether ad hominem is a fallacy. I lean toward it's not one.

Why don't more people do this? If we treat logic like a religion aren't we as bad as the other guys? Not just as bad, but worse, because I don't think religious people are getting a fair shake here, and this is the bit that bothers me.

Too many religious people have simply accepted that logic-philes (logophiles actually means you like words) get to set up the board and determine how the pieces move, and who gets the first one. We say, oh, black gets the first move, and then we always give ourselves black.

Now see here: We have rigged the game. We have rigged the game by forcing them to play on our board when we're just as religious as they are if not more. If this was not the case, more people would be questioning these rules.

I still don't believe in God and I still do believe in logic but this is why I want a bloody fair fight, for crying out loud!!!

The religiosos ought to have kicked over this board long ago, but they were tricked into thinking the board was fair. It wasn't. So here; I'll do it for you: You can bloody well question these supposed rules. Any of them. Especially anything informal. Question it. All of it. You're allowed. Encouraged.

*kick*

User avatar
Miles
Guru
Posts: 1948
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:19 pm
Has thanked: 75 times
Been thanked: 259 times

Re: Questioning Logic?

Post #2

Post by Miles »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:30 pm
This is a perfect example of why I tend to reject the atheist mantra that negative claims are automatically superior to positive ones.
This is a new one on me. Can you point to a single instance where an atheist has said "negative claims are automatically superior to positive ones"?
"The election was fair." Well, that certainly seems like a positive claim, ne?

"There was some sort of fraud or cheating." Oh. Well. This seems like a positive claim, too.

Yet these are logically contradictory premises. One must be true and the other must be false.

Which claim is positive and which claim is negative is often a matter of phraseology and there's not a clear, logical answer.
Both are positive, Just because two statements are contradictory doesn't mean one has to be negative. A positive statement is simply one that asserts X, or Y, or Z, or whatever is true. A negative statement is one that asserts X, or Y, or Z, or whatever is false. That one of two statements is false is not dependent on either one being negative. The positiveness or negativeness of a statement depends on its form. Does it assert that X is, or that it is not? In your example above one can say the first statement asserts that X is true, while the second statement asserts that Y is true. And this alone makes them both positive statements. There is no question as to "which claim is positive and which claim is negative."

I also question whether ad hominem is a fallacy. I lean toward it's not one.
An ad hominem fallacy is one of many so-called informal fallacies that people use when changing from addressing the logic of an argument to making a reasoning error.
Attacking a proponent, which is the purpose of an ad hominem argument, does nothing to help make a case for one's position, because the validity of argument doesn't depend on the kind of person making a statement but what the statement itself says.

Why don't more people do this? If we treat logic like a religion aren't we as bad as the other guys? Not just as bad, but worse, because I don't think religious people are getting a fair shake here, and this is the bit that bothers me.
So who's treating logic like a religion? Logic, like mathematics, is simply the "systematic study of valid rules of inference, i.e. the relations that lead to the acceptance of one proposition (the conclusion) on the basis of a set of other propositions (premises). More broadly, logic is the analysis and appraisal of arguments." And like mathematics, it's governed by strict rules of operation, like addition and subtraction, and way in which these operations are to be made, such as always multiply or divide before adding or subtracting.

Too many religious people have simply accepted that logic-philes (logophiles actually means you like words) get to set up the board and determine how the pieces move, and who gets the first one. We say, oh, black gets the first move, and then we always give ourselves black.
Aside from the fact that "logic-philesI means you like words) get to set up the board and determine how the pieces move" is silly beyond belief, such religious people would be stupid beyond belief.

I still don't believe in God and I still do believe in logic but this is why I want a bloody fair fight, for crying out loud!!!

The religiosos ought to have kicked over this board long ago, but they were tricked into thinking the board was fair. It wasn't. So here; I'll do it for you: You can bloody well question these supposed rules. Any of them. Especially anything informal. Question it. All of it. You're allowed. Encouraged.

*kick*
IMO this is a pretty senseless rant, but I'm glad you got it off your chest. O:)


.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 204 times
Been thanked: 116 times

Re: Questioning Logic?

Post #3

Post by Purple Knight »

Miles wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:39 pmThis is a new one on me. Can you point to a single instance where an atheist has said "negative claims are automatically superior to positive ones"?
The belief that something doesn't exist (negative) is treated as the default. I question that.
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:39 pmBoth are positive, Just because two statements are contradictory doesn't mean one has to be negative. A positive statement is simply one that asserts X, or Y, or Z, or whatever is true. A negative statement is one that asserts X, or Y, or Z, or whatever is false.
Then let's pick one. You admit both are positive so let's pick "there was cheating" which means "the election was fair" is false. Now "there was cheating" is a negative statement, asserting that there was not fairness.

Contradictory statements are thus: Each asserts that the other statement is false. So we have two statements that are both negative and positive at the same time.
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:39 pmAn ad hominem fallacy is one of many so-called informal fallacies that people use when changing from addressing the logic of an argument to making a reasoning error.
Attacking a proponent, which is the purpose of an ad hominem argument, does nothing to help make a case for one's position, because the validity of argument doesn't depend on the kind of person making a statement but what the statement itself says.
I disagree. If the proponent's intelligence or ability to understand is attacked, I see it as quite valid. Attacking someone who believes in God based on, for example, their weight, would probably be irrelevant. But a relevant attack, I don't believe, should be thrown out simply because it is a personal attack. Another example of a relevant attack would be against a multiple-convicted animal abuser who argues that a certain thing does not hurt the animal and shouldn't be considered abuse. Such a person can and should be dismissed out of hand. Weight would be relevant if someone says they've figured out the ultimate diet. If they weigh 700lbs, or if they had bariatric surgery, they need not be entertained.

Now, this does mean that anyone could make such an attack regardless of whether it was true, but then the question becomes whether it is true. If someone genuinely lacks the ability to understand when they've been thoroughly refuted, what can you say except that this is the case?
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:39 pmSo who's treating logic like a religion? Logic, like mathematics, is simply the "systematic study of valid rules of inference-"
And who gets to make those rules and why can't we question them?

I admit I have no reason to question formal logic; I can't see how it possibly could be questioned. If it doesn't work there is no way to know anything.

But a rule that your counter-argument can't contain a personal attack or that "X is false" is default and "X is true" has the burden of proof? I question those.

User avatar
Miles
Guru
Posts: 1948
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:19 pm
Has thanked: 75 times
Been thanked: 259 times

Re: Questioning Logic?

Post #4

Post by Miles »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:59 pm
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:39 pmThis is a new one on me. Can you point to a single instance where an atheist has said "negative claims are automatically superior to positive ones"?
The belief that something doesn't exist (negative) is treated as the default. I question that.
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:39 pmBoth are positive, Just because two statements are contradictory doesn't mean one has to be negative. A positive statement is simply one that asserts X, or Y, or Z, or whatever is true. A negative statement is one that asserts X, or Y, or Z, or whatever is false.
Then let's pick one. You admit both are positive so let's pick "there was cheating" which means "the election was fair" is false. Now "there was cheating" is a negative statement, asserting that there was not fairness.

Contradictory statements are thus: Each asserts that the other statement is false. So we have two statements that are both negative and positive at the same time.
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:39 pmAn ad hominem fallacy is one of many so-called informal fallacies that people use when changing from addressing the logic of an argument to making a reasoning error.
Attacking a proponent, which is the purpose of an ad hominem argument, does nothing to help make a case for one's position, because the validity of argument doesn't depend on the kind of person making a statement but what the statement itself says.
I disagree. If the proponent's intelligence or ability to understand is attacked, I see it as quite valid. Attacking someone who believes in God based on, for example, their weight, would probably be irrelevant. But a relevant attack, I don't believe, should be thrown out simply because it is a personal attack. Another example of a relevant attack would be against a multiple-convicted animal abuser who argues that a certain thing does not hurt the animal and shouldn't be considered abuse. Such a person can and should be dismissed out of hand. Weight would be relevant if someone says they've figured out the ultimate diet. If they weigh 700lbs, or if they had bariatric surgery, they need not be entertained.

Now, this does mean that anyone could make such an attack regardless of whether it was true, but then the question becomes whether it is true. If someone genuinely lacks the ability to understand when they've been thoroughly refuted, what can you say except that this is the case?
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:39 pmSo who's treating logic like a religion? Logic, like mathematics, is simply the "systematic study of valid rules of inference-"
And who gets to make those rules and why can't we question them?

I admit I have no reason to question formal logic; I can't see how it possibly could be questioned. If it doesn't work there is no way to know anything.

But a rule that your counter-argument can't contain a personal attack or that "X is false" is default and "X is true" has the burden of proof? I question those.
Then I suggest you read

Image

or a similar introductory book to logic.

And a decent explanation of the various informal fallacies ("arguments that are fallacious for reasons other than structural ("formal") flaws,") such as THIS ONE on Wikipedia.



.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 204 times
Been thanked: 116 times

Re: Questioning Logic?

Post #5

Post by Purple Knight »

Miles wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:47 amThen I suggest you read

Image

or a similar introductory book to logic.

And a decent explanation of the various informal fallacies ("arguments that are fallacious for reasons other than structural ("formal") flaws,") such as THIS ONE on Wikipedia.



.
If you think I don't know all the rules, quiz me. If you think I don't know something that might be in that book, quiz me.

In fact, I took the test to be inducted to the logic 101 group, and I think I passed it, but I never received a reply. I don't think the user that runs it posts here anymore.

I can know what the rules are and still want to question them, especially the informal ones.

Nevermind that you just used a perfect example of a valid "ad hominem" argument yourself. I gave you my objections to ad hominem being a fallacy and your refutal (which was rock-solid by the way) was basically that I don't understand logic. I fail to see how your argument is invalid. If I really don't understand logic, it's the correct response, and a knockdown.

User avatar
Tcg
Savant
Posts: 5090
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:01 am
Location: Third Stone
Has thanked: 247 times
Been thanked: 306 times

Re: Questioning Logic?

Post #6

Post by Tcg »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:24 pm
Miles wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:47 amThen I suggest you read

Image

or a similar introductory book to logic.

And a decent explanation of the various informal fallacies ("arguments that are fallacious for reasons other than structural ("formal") flaws,") such as THIS ONE on Wikipedia.



.
If you think I don't know all the rules, quiz me. If you think I don't know something that might be in that book, quiz me.
Knowing all the rules of logic doesn't make one logical. I could memorize all the driving laws of my state, but that wouldn't make me a lawful driver. One could know it's unlawful to drive faster than the posted speed limit and yet still do so.

Same with logic. One could know it's a fallacy to rely on Ad Hominem arguments and yet still do so.


Tcg
To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

Kylie
Student
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:19 am
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Questioning Logic?

Post #7

Post by Kylie »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:30 pm I routinely question many of the so-called rules of logic. I don't believe a negative is inherently logically superior to a positive, even in a void. I can give you an example of me doing this.
Purple Knight wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:15 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:20 pmI won't go as far as saying that Trump would've found enough fraud to overturn the election had he been successful with getting both manual recounts with added oversight, but the main point is had there been fraud, then it would've likely been caught under those conditions (recounts w/ added oversight). But as it stands, that wasn't done, and therefore I can't claim that this election had no fraud nor errors, and without knowing that, I can't claim that elections are "fair".
This is a perfect example of why I tend to reject the atheist mantra that negative claims are automatically superior to positive ones.

"The election was fair." Well, that certainly seems like a positive claim, ne?

"There was some sort of fraud or cheating." Oh. Well. This seems like a positive claim, too.

Yet these are logically contradictory premises. One must be true and the other must be false.

Which claim is positive and which claim is negative is often a matter of phraseology and there's not a clear, logical answer.
So yes, I question this supposed rule that a negative is automatically better than a positive.

I also question whether ad hominem is a fallacy. I lean toward it's not one.

Why don't more people do this? If we treat logic like a religion aren't we as bad as the other guys? Not just as bad, but worse, because I don't think religious people are getting a fair shake here, and this is the bit that bothers me.

Too many religious people have simply accepted that logic-philes (logophiles actually means you like words) get to set up the board and determine how the pieces move, and who gets the first one. We say, oh, black gets the first move, and then we always give ourselves black.

Now see here: We have rigged the game. We have rigged the game by forcing them to play on our board when we're just as religious as they are if not more. If this was not the case, more people would be questioning these rules.

I still don't believe in God and I still do believe in logic but this is why I want a bloody fair fight, for crying out loud!!!

The religiosos ought to have kicked over this board long ago, but they were tricked into thinking the board was fair. It wasn't. So here; I'll do it for you: You can bloody well question these supposed rules. Any of them. Especially anything informal. Question it. All of it. You're allowed. Encouraged.

*kick*
Hang on. Many atheists I know would be very happy to say that you can't prove a negative. So who are these atheists who claim that a negative is better than a positive?

Kylie
Student
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:19 am
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Questioning Logic?

Post #8

Post by Kylie »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:59 pmThe belief that something doesn't exist (negative) is treated as the default. I question that.
Why?

Can you give me one good reason why we should accept that a thing exists if there is no evidence for the existence of that thing?

I think the position, "I will not accept that X exists until I am shown evidence of X," is a perfectly logical position to take.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 204 times
Been thanked: 116 times

Re: Questioning Logic?

Post #9

Post by Purple Knight »

Tcg wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 12:42 amKnowing all the rules of logic doesn't make one logical.
Then the suggestion that I should read a book containing those rules would simply amount to a pure insult, rather than an actual suggestion.

The implication was that I didn't know those rules. I do know them, I just question some of them.

Ironically he countered with an ad hominem. He didn't address ANY of my reasons for questioning why ad hominem is considered a fallacy. But here's the thing... if he can really show that I don't understand how logic works, he doesn't have to. If I don't understand how logic works, anything I say on the subject can be disregarded, and no, you don't have to explain to me why I'm wrong if I wouldn't understand anyway.

If a personal attack is irrelevant, that's one thing, but that's a subset of identifying what is relevant to the matter at hand and what is not, which one always needs to be cognizant of, thus the rule against ad hominem doesn't add anything extra when it forces us to be cognizant of relevance only when the argument presented is an attack.

If the personal attack is relevant then I'm not sure why we should disregard a good reason to discount someone's argument, simply because it happens to also be an attack (ad hominem abusive).
Kylie wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:00 am
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:59 pmThe belief that something doesn't exist (negative) is treated as the default. I question that.
Why?

Can you give me one good reason why we should accept that a thing exists if there is no evidence for the existence of that thing?

I think the position, "I will not accept that X exists until I am shown evidence of X," is a perfectly logical position to take.
I said just the opposite. The negative ("X does not exist") is treated as the default and the positive ("X does exist") is saddled with the burden of proof. I'm not sure that's a level playing field, especially since often (but not always) an apparent negative can be phrased as a positive and vice-versa.

I actually do think it's reasonable that the existence of a god or gods (specifically if these beings are said to have anything to do with morality) should have the burden of proof. But I need good reasons for that. And I believe I have them.

I furthermore don't believe there is good enough evidence to prove such a thing.

Kylie
Student
Posts: 59
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:19 am
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Questioning Logic?

Post #10

Post by Kylie »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:07 pm
Kylie wrote: Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:00 am
Purple Knight wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:59 pmThe belief that something doesn't exist (negative) is treated as the default. I question that.
Why?

Can you give me one good reason why we should accept that a thing exists if there is no evidence for the existence of that thing?

I think the position, "I will not accept that X exists until I am shown evidence of X," is a perfectly logical position to take.
I said just the opposite. The negative ("X does not exist") is treated as the default and the positive ("X does exist") is saddled with the burden of proof. I'm not sure that's a level playing field, especially since often (but not always) an apparent negative can be phrased as a positive and vice-versa.

I actually do think it's reasonable that the existence of a god or gods (specifically if these beings are said to have anything to do with morality) should have the burden of proof. But I need good reasons for that. And I believe I have them.

I furthermore don't believe there is good enough evidence to prove such a thing.
There's a big difference between "I do not believe that X exists" and "I believe that X does not exist."

For example, I can say that I do not believe that there is a cat sitting at my front door, since I do not have a pet cat and none of my neighbours have one (to my knowledge at least). However, I would not say that I believe there is no cat sitting at my front door, because there is nothing actually stopping there being a cat at my front door. And, if someone came up to me and claimed there was a cat at my front door, I could reasonably ask them to support their claim. But if someone came to me and claimed there could not possibly be a cat at my front door, then I'd also ask them to explain why it is impossible.

Likewise, I (and many other atheists) simply do not believe that God exists. That's different to believing that God does not exist.

So I'd say that the opposite of "X does exist" is actually, "There's no sufficient reason to believe that X exists." And that is not the same thing as saying that X is impossible.

Post Reply