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Duck999
2014-02-13, 07:52 PM
I find myself to be a logical person. Except when joking, I often use logic (on people?). I personally like logic, because, you know, it is logical. To me it makes sense. I enjoy logic, and if I need to prove a point, I often use logic.
I can see why some people don't like logic, as it can be used to prove them wrong, but that seems not to be the only reason. Some people I know seem to just not like it for other reasons, not sure what.
Do you like/dislikie logic? Do you know other reasons people like/dislike logic? I would like answers to that second question. :smallbiggrin:
Also, feel free to discuss LOGIC!:smallcool:

blunk
2014-02-13, 08:04 PM
Often, people who have a correct answer but lack the ability to express it in logical terms get outmaneuvered by others who have greater ability and use it irresponsibly. Those people then learn to distrust logic, since, in their experience, its main use is to persuade, regardless of the validity of the argument and the conclusions reached.

There are various subtle ways to draw attention away from logic one knows to be faulty. Even skilled people have to watch closely and be willing to ruthlessly pin the deceiver down. Less-skilled people don't have a chance.

Razanir
2014-02-13, 08:14 PM
Something confusing I realized from my discrete math class (which began with propositional calculus)

Suppose you have some function P(x) that always evaluates to false. Now suppose your universe of discourse is the empty set.

∀xP(x) is true.

Mr.Silver
2014-02-13, 08:16 PM
I like Logic. This includes Formal Logic, the abstract process behind deductive reasoning and arguments. As to why people don't like that, it's because to an untrained eye it looks a lot like algebra, only for arguments - which a lot of people seem to get put off by. Also because it's not always the most intuitive subject at first glance.

Most usages of 'logic' during internet arguments aren't referring to that though. A reason why logic in that sense tends to get disliked is likely a result of people shouting out various logical fallacies* because they think it'll let them 'win' the argument. Also doesn't help that lot of people will try to claim that they're being 'the logical one' in arguments, regardless of how accurate their position actually is.

*most of which aren't formal fallacies to begin with.

erikun
2014-02-13, 08:16 PM
I like logic. It helps me frame my thoughts more solidly. It helps to highlight the problems with my thoughts, and correct them. It gives reasons for particular thoughts, rather than gut reactions which may be different for various people.

The big problem with logic, though, is that important context can be lost. It is very easy to come up with a sound logical concept that is valid in isolation, but becomes invalid with seemingly extraneous factors in the real world. This is especially a problem when "It's logic!" is used as justification for ignoring the context properly and automatically assuming the logical concept is automatically correct.

Proper logic takes a serious look at counterarguments and considers how they might invalidate a concept.

Duck999
2014-02-13, 08:21 PM
Often, people who have a correct answer but lack the ability to express it in logical terms get outmaneuvered by others who have greater ability and use it irresponsibly. Those people then learn to distrust logic, since, in their experience, its main use is to persuade, regardless of the validity of the argument and the conclusions reached.

There are various subtle ways to draw attention away from logic one knows to be faulty. Even skilled people have to watch closely and be willing to ruthlessly pin the deceiver down. Less-skilled people don't have a chance.

These people who dislike logic, tend to dislike it when I use it to prove something false that truely is false. They don't have the right answer, and refuse to listen to logic and possibly be proved wrong.

Yay! A community of people who like logic, just like me. I find that it helps me keep some things sane.

blunk
2014-02-13, 08:28 PM
These people who dislike logic, tend to dislike it when I use it to prove something false that truely is false. They don't have the right answer, and refuse to listen to logic and possibly be proved wrong."Intuition is what tells you you're right, whether you are or not", and sure, those people won't like logic, either. But if you're logically skilled and use your logic responsibly, you (personally) are going to be exposed to the self-convinced wrongies, not the outmaneuverable righties (who you would agree with rather than deceive).

Grinner
2014-02-13, 08:31 PM
These people who dislike logic, tend to dislike it when I use it to prove something false that truely is false. They don't have the right answer, and refuse to listen to logic and possibly be proved wrong.

Yay! A community of people who like logic, just like me. I find that it helps me keep some things sane.

Are you familiar with the term "sophistry"? Logic is frequently expressed with language, as that is the medium most relevant to humans and their abstract concepts like law or love. Language, unfortunately, is also easy to twist. You don't need to be correct to persuade someone, you just need to sound correct.

Logic is a tool, not an ideal. It's like when people scream "SCIENCE!" at you and expect you to agree.

Weimann
2014-02-13, 08:32 PM
I like logic. I don't like the sometimes held conception that "logical" equates to "true" or "good". Using false premises makes the most logical of reasonings demonstrably false.

Duck999
2014-02-13, 08:32 PM
"Intuition is what tells you you're right, whether you are or not", and sure, those people won't like logic, either. But if you're logically skilled and use your logic responsibly, you (personally) are going to be exposed to the self-convinced wrongies, not the outmaneuverable righties (who you would agree with rather than deceive).

True, "With great power comes great responsibility." Logic can be utilized as great power. Personally, I use my Logic as responsibly as I can, as in only when I believe there is sufficient evidence for an assumption to be made using Logic.
I like how Logic seems to have become a proper noun that you can now use. :smallbiggrin:

blunk
2014-02-13, 08:38 PM
I use my Logic as responsibly as I can, as in only when I believe there is sufficient evidence for an assumption to be made using Logic.And if you're not sure, but have some Humility, you can use Collaboration to reach a point where you're comfortable using Logic. :smallsmile:

Grinner
2014-02-13, 08:39 PM
Logic is a tool, not an ideal.

Forgive me. After thinking on it further, this statement is patently false. Logic isn't even a tool; it's really a cognitive process. Everyone employs logic. At it's most basic form, that process is what enables us to interact with...well, everything. Some have even constructed formalized systems of logic to deal with more abstract problems.

Duck999
2014-02-13, 08:45 PM
Forgive me. After thinking on it further, this statement is patently false. Logic isn't even a tool; it's really a cognitive process. Everyone employs logic. At it's most basic form, that process is what enables us to interact with...well, everything. Some have even constructed formalized systems of logic to deal with more abstract problems.

Systems of Logic can be very useful. They can even make situations even more logical than they already were. Yes, Logic is a cognitive process utilized by many people.

Now I won't get out of the habit of capitalizing Logic... but I don't capitalize other forms of it like logical. :smallconfused:

Grinner
2014-02-13, 08:47 PM
Systems of Logic can be very useful. They can even make situations even more logical than they already were. Yes, Logic is a cognitive process utilized by many people.

Now I won't get out of the habit of capitalizing Logic... but I don't capitalize other forms of it like logical. :smallconfused:

Yeah, kinda like how people capitalize God...

Duck999
2014-02-13, 09:11 PM
The Logic behind capitalization of Logic... IT IS ILLOGICAL!:smalltongue:

TuggyNE
2014-02-13, 09:23 PM
Yeah, kinda like how people capitalize God...

That's an unsettling comparison that should probably not be taken any further.

Grinner
2014-02-13, 09:37 PM
People tend to informally deify things important to them. Like physics to physicists.

I'm inclined to believe it's an extension of personification. This is not to say that people necessarily believe these things have divine power*, but that the human mode of thought abstracts these complex things into self-contained ideas, relatable to the human experience. Those ideas then memetically diffuse into the general populace, giving rise to things like Logic.

Where they go from there depends upon the person in question.

*But maybe they do. You never know.

SiuiS
2014-02-14, 08:48 AM
Logic is the math of words. Like algebra, correct procedure with numbers does not mean you get THE correct answer, just A correct answer. It's on the person plugging data into the variables to make sure the data is correct, relevant and complete. A logical progression which is missing a detail can come out very differently than it should have. A logical progression with correct details which don't matter will give a result that doesn't matter.

You must account for human interfacing. Humans will, after following a strong of logic, agree with the logic (because it is correct and logical) but then they will infer relevance. A case made for a tangent will be assumed important to the main topic. Interacting at all with faulty logic will give that logic credence by acknowledgement.

I have a love/hate relationship with logic. It is a wonderful tool in the hands of the proficient. But it gives the impression of rectitude, binary existence and antagonism.

I've actually had an argument which made valid rational sense (however inapplicable I myself find it to be) about why a character I was using was a bad fit for the game. This didn't address how the new houserule worked at all, though. I still don't know how that house rule works...

Finlam
2014-02-14, 10:02 AM
I like logic because it allows me to logically prove my points in a logical manner. There's nothing circular about that, and there certainly exists no fallacy in valuing logic as a way of proving itself correct.

Logic
2014-02-14, 10:05 AM
I'm disliked? :smallfrown:

Finlam
2014-02-14, 10:08 AM
I'm disliked? :smallfrown:

Not by this guy:
https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQkcjGooO9_hBuxLof1yXYIYUggYzvVo 786JU6ZQg5zEamkJ2B71g

Frozen_Feet
2014-02-14, 10:22 AM
Well, two primary reasons for disliking logic are:

1) it's hard. Analytical thought processes are slow and effort-consuming. When faced with a complex argument, just determining whether it is logical at all is a task in itself before we get to the second problem:

2) it suffers from "**** in, **** out". An argument can be perfect in its logical form and still have nothing relevant to say about the real world. This is why people dislike those who nit-pick logical errors - even correcting the error doesn't necessarily change the core of the argument. This is also why various forms of the generosity principle exists - in actual discussion, it's polite of the listener to fill in obvious logical flaws in order to get to the spirit of the argument, instead of just arguing of its form.

2014-02-14, 10:28 AM
Humans are not very good at logic, but once mastered, it together with empiricism brings us:
http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/148/7/c/Dr__Insano_by_Teben_the_Every.jpg

And that is worth losing your mind over.

SiuiS
2014-02-14, 11:15 AM
I'm disliked? :smallfrown:

Sure. But everyone has their faults, right? Brush them off.

2) it suffers from "**** in, **** out". An argument can be perfect in its logical form and still have nothing relevant to say about the real world. This is why people dislike those who nit-pick logical errors - even correcting the error doesn't necessarily change the core of the argument. This is also why various forms of the generosity principle exists - in actual discussion, it's polite of the listener to fill in obvious logical flaws in order to get to the spirit of the argument, instead of just arguing of its form.

Generosity principle, aha. I knew that would have to be an actual concept with a name.

Humans are not very good at logic, but once mastered, it together with empiricism brings us:
http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/148/7/c/Dr__Insano_by_Teben_the_Every.jpg

And that is worth losing your mind over.

So science is an ultimate evolution?

Kalmageddon
2014-02-14, 11:21 AM
Well, two primary reasons for disliking logic are:

1) it's hard. Analytical thought processes are slow and effort-consuming. When faced with a complex argument, just determining whether it is logical at all is a task in itself before we get to the second problem:

2) it suffers from "**** in, **** out". An argument can be perfect in its logical form and still have nothing relevant to say about the real world. This is why people dislike those who nit-pick logical errors - even correcting the error doesn't necessarily change the core of the argument. This is also why various forms of the generosity principle exists - in actual discussion, it's polite of the listener to fill in obvious logical flaws in order to get to the spirit of the argument, instead of just arguing of its form.

Pretty much this.

Aliquid
2014-02-14, 07:20 PM
I love logic... but I am careful about it too. Before you get too high on logic...

Logic can successfully justify things that most of us would consider immoral.

Sociopaths are better at logical tests and logical reasoning than regular people.

Pay too much attention to your mind, and you neglect your heart and soul.

blunk
2014-02-14, 07:39 PM
Logic can successfully justify things that most of us would consider immoral.I like the question to Utilitarians: "so would you torture one person to cure a million people of dry eye?"

But if you ponder those questions using your emotions as a sanity-check, you'll answer them well. You might even be able to justify your answer with logic... and then you're *really* on to something.

Hiro Protagonest
2014-02-14, 08:26 PM
I'm disliked? :smallfrown:

I was gonna weigh in on the capitolization thing by saying that obviously, whenever it's capitolized without an obvious reason they're referring to you. :smalltongue:

Zrak
2014-02-14, 09:01 PM
Basically, I dislike logic as it's often invoked because I feel it is often used as a normative standard where it should not be and without any real justification for its merits as said standard. Logic works best for discrete problems considered in the abstract and tends to fall apart when language is involved. As such, it tends to have very little place in most of the arguments in which it is brought forward as a normative standard. It basically cannot withstand any amount of syntactical ambiguity or a great deal of context and cannot justify itself as a standard without violating its own standards with circular reasoning.

In things like math proofs, in which discrete problems are considered abstractly and syntactical ambiguity is not a factor, logic is fine. Even in logic problems, though, I think syntactical ambiguities in the problem's framing often interfere; in the classic "Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever," consider the debate over the validity of "exploding head" solutions like Uzquiano's.

Mr.Silver
2014-02-15, 12:58 AM
2) it suffers from "**** in, **** out". An argument can be perfect in its logical form and still have nothing relevant to say about the real world.
Very true. It's also important to remember that just because an argument is valid in it's form, doesn't mean it's correct. Logic is a way to reason from a premise to a conclusion; if the premises are nonsense then the conclusion probably won't be much better, regardless of how valid the reasoning used actually is.

But if you ponder those questions using your emotions as a sanity-check, you'll answer them well. You might even be able to justify your answer with logic... and then you're *really* on to something.
I'm curious where you draw the line between that behaviour and rationalisation. Because as it's currently written there doesn't seem to be much of a difference.
The problem with emotional intuition is that eventually you'll hit a disagreement where "I feel that [X]" comes up against "Well I feel that [not X]" at which point you have nowhere further you can go. This is fine when the issue is trivial, such as 'what is the best Queen song?', but when dealing with topics that have actual impact in the real world (e.g. "How should we allocate this medical research funding?") it can be a bit of a problem.

Sociopaths are better at logical tests and logical reasoning than regular people.
And depressed people are better at making realistic appraisals than non-depressed people.

It basically cannot withstand any amount of syntactical ambiguity
That logic struggles when arguments are ambiguously phrased isn't a problem with logic, it's a problem with the phrasing. If you're actually trying to have a discussion then you want to avoid as much ambiguity as possible so as to make sure people understand what you're saying.

T-O-E
2014-02-15, 01:36 AM
I find myself to be a biased person. Except when joking, I often use bias (on people?). I personally like bias, because, you know, it is biased. To me it makes sense. I enjoy bias, and if I need to prove a point, I often use bias.
I can see why some people don't like bias, as it can be used to prove them wrong, but that seems not to be the only reason. Some people I know seem to just not like it for other reasons, not sure what.
Do you like/dislikie biases? Do you know other reasons people like/dislike biases? I would like answers to that second question.
Also, feel free to discuss BIAS!

I like logic because it allows me to logically prove my points in a logical manner. There's nothing circular about that, and there certainly exists no fallacy in valuing logic as a way of proving itself correct.

I logically read your post using logic and I have (logically) logiced you into logic. Logic.

logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic
logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic logic

SiuiS
2014-02-15, 07:01 AM
I find myself to be a biased person. Except when joking, I often use bias (on people?). I personally like bias, because, you know, it is biased. To me it makes sense. I enjoy bias, and if I need to prove a point, I often use bias.
I can see why some people don't like bias, as it can be used to prove them wrong, but that seems not to be the only reason. Some people I know seem to just not like it for other reasons, not sure what.
Do you like/dislikie biases? Do you know other reasons people like/dislike biases? I would like answers to that second question.
Also, feel free to discuss BIAS!

It depends on the bias in question, really.

2014-02-15, 07:04 AM
I like the question to Utilitarians: "so would you torture one person to cure a million people of dry eye?"

But if you ponder those questions using your emotions as a sanity-check, you'll answer them well. You might even be able to justify your answer with logic... and then you're *really* on to something.

That would depend on your emotions, right? I wouldn't ask a raging homophobe what to do about gay marriage. He's likely to answer using his emotions and believe me I won't agree.

SiuiS
2014-02-15, 08:51 AM
That would depend on your emotions, right? I wouldn't ask a raging homophobe what to do about gay marriage. He's likely to answer using his emotions and believe me I won't agree.

Well, logically, you would apply individuals as fits the situation :smallwink:

Mauve Shirt
2014-02-15, 08:57 AM
I'm definitely the Bones in a group of Spocks here. Logic is well and good and I like it, but it is not the be all and end all of decision making.
It's also not cool to misuse "logical fallacies" to shout down a person in an argument. I think that's where the dislike of "logic" comes in. Fun trick: Take a 2 word pair, stick it in front of the word "fallacy" and claim it refutes an argument. Instantly win against an easily-flustered opponent.

SiuiS
2014-02-15, 09:04 AM
I'm definitely the Bones in a group of Spocks here. Logic is well and good and I like it, but it is not the be all and end all of decision making.
It's also not cool to misuse "logical fallacies" to shout down a person in an argument. I think that's where the dislike of "logic" comes in. Fun trick: Take a 2 word pair, stick it in front of the word "fallacy" and claim it refutes an argument. Instantly win against an easily-flustered opponent.

Bones is the one who doesn't understand that Jersey Shore is an entertainment show and not a cultural documentary because, logically, reality television would be real. I don't think Bones is the example of someone who isn't hindered by logic, hon. XD

I've never met the "shout fallacy and win" thing, though. The only time I've ever worried about it, I threw someone's linked fallacy dictionary back at them.

WarKitty
2014-02-15, 09:04 AM
Unfortunately ambiguity is a lot more common, and harder to avoid, than people think. As someone who does a lot of this stuff in grad school, my observation has been that it's a trade-off between precision and power. The languages where it's easy to get from P to Q are the ones that obscure the most structure, and thus have the most limits on what moves you can make - with the most basic logics (which are the only ones with full decision procedures that always deliver an answer) being unable to handle very common forms of reasoning.

Logical ("informal") fallacies are also often much more difficult than people think. Try giving me an exact definition of "ad populum" that both allows for all legitimate appeals to popularity and rules out all illegitimate ones, for example.

Mauve Shirt
2014-02-15, 09:11 AM
Bones is the one who doesn't understand that Jersey Shore is an entertainment show and not a cultural documentary because, logically, reality television would be real. I don't think Bones is the example of someone who isn't hindered by logic, hon. XD

I've never met the "shout fallacy and win" thing, though. The only time I've ever worried about it, I threw someone's linked fallacy dictionary back at them.

"Shout logical fallacy and win" is common among terrible people.

Are we talking about the same Bones here? Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, famous for arguing with Spock about whether reason or emotion should guide actions? :smallconfused:

SiuiS
2014-02-15, 10:48 AM
"Shout logical fallacy and win" is common among terrible people.

Are we talking about the same Bones here? Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, famous for arguing with Spock about whether reason or emotion should guide actions? :smallconfused:

Nnnnope! I was thinking DR. Temperance Brennan from the show bones. Yours makes waaay more sense! Sorry.

Eulalios
2014-02-15, 10:57 AM
That would depend on your emotions, right? I wouldn't ask a raging homophobe what to do about gay marriage. He's likely to answer using his emotions and believe me I won't agree.

Actually, he (or she, let's be equal-opportunity with our hypothetical bigots) would respond logically based on h/her own premises. With which you disagree. And which you would label as "biases." Apparently not considering that the homophobe may well perceive you as a "raging homophile" acting on your own biases / premises.

This is why people really dislike logic - it is not suited to address premises. That is the realm of rhetoric, which most people don't understand. for what do we need poets?

ETA: Using the rhetorical device of "analogy," the typical internet argument devolves into abusing the hammers of logic to twist the screw of emotion.

blunk
2014-02-15, 11:47 AM
I'm curious where you draw the line between that behaviour and rationalisation. Because as it's currently written there doesn't seem to be much of a difference.

The problem with emotional intuition is that eventually you'll hit a disagreement where "I feel that [X]" comes up against "Well I feel that [not X]" at which point you have nowhere further you can go. This is fine when the issue is trivial, such as 'what is the best Queen song?', but when dealing with topics that have actual impact in the real world (e.g. "How should we allocate this medical research funding?") it can be a bit of a problem.I would consider rationalization as finding a set of premises which would give you a conclusion that matches a belief you already have, which in turn makes you feel good. "Emotionalization" is starting from premises that you find sensible, then evaluating how the conclusion makes you feel. If it doesn't pass the emotion test, try to find out why; do you need to work on your own outlook so as to bring your emotions in line? Or, perhaps less likely, do you have to reinspect your premises or logic? (This latter is veering toward rationalization and should be used with caution. I'm not sure I've ever done it, myself.)

Also: if you mean by "I feel X" and "I feel Y",

* "I hold premise X" and "I hold incompatible premise Y", or even
* "I prioritize X over Y when they conflict" and "I prioritize Y over X"

... this is to be expected. Conflicts like this get arbitrated in one way or another.

That would depend on your emotions, right? I wouldn't ask a raging homophobe what to do about gay marriage. He's likely to answer using his emotions and believe me I won't agree.Has he built his views on valid premises, and avoided fallacies? I haven't met a homophobe (ugh, and how "-phobe" begs the question here) who has, but I can't say it's impossible. I'd sure enjoy picking such a person's brain.

Granted, if you... have emotional responses that are far outside the norm, you could form valid arguments that say "do immoral things" and your emotions would respond, "well okay!" And your community, which defines "immoral", would curtail your ability to do so.

Perhaps emotion is the bridge between the individual and his community... and that's why I like to invoke it.

Anyway, this is more musing than answers. I'm not formally trained in any of these relevant fields, so I have only heuristics, not rigor.

SiuiS
2014-02-15, 11:48 AM
ETA: Using the rhetorical device of "analogy," the typical internet argument devolves into abusing the hammers of logic to twist the screw of emotion.

That is fantastic, thank you severed head!

WarKitty
2014-02-15, 11:51 AM
Good arguments usually work by going back to shared premises, and then try to work from there. That would be how you'd work out a debate over homosexuality - try to go back to reasons that are prior to what either side believes, supplement with outside evidence as needed, and work from there. Starting from disputed premises never works, and tends to produce shouting matches.

blunk
2014-02-15, 12:04 PM
Good arguments usually work by going back to shared premises, and then try to work from there. That would be how you'd work out a debate over homosexuality - try to go back to reasons that are prior to what either side believes, supplement with outside evidence as needed, and work from there. Starting from disputed premises never works, and tends to produce shouting matches.Going back to shared premises is an interesting approach, but isn't it inefficient? There are an arbitrary number of premises (shared or not) that have no relevance to the incompatible conclusions. Whereas if you work backward from the incompatible conclusions, that is, try to discern *why* the other party believes they way they do, the incompatible (or differently-weighed) premises, which are inherent in the disagreement, will present themselves readily.

Of course, it's a rare debate which is honest and civil (and patient) enough to reach this point.

ETA: "good argument" is fuzzy. Maybe your approach takes more lateral thinking but is more likely to reach a conclusion, whereas my approach is more direct but is more likely to explode.

WarKitty
2014-02-15, 12:10 PM
Going back to shared premises is an interesting approach, but isn't it inefficient? There are an arbitrary number of premises (shared or not) that have no relevance to the incompatible conclusions. Whereas if you work backward from the incompatible conclusions, that is, try to discern *why* the other party believes they way they do, the incompatible (or differently-weighed) premises, which are inherent in the disagreement, will present themselves readily.

Of course, it's a rare debate which is honest and civil (and patient) enough to reach this point.

I think we're saying the same thing in different terms.

T-Mick
2014-02-15, 01:14 PM
Logic drives people insane, or perhaps insane people are inherently logical. Poe was morbid because he was analytical. Kurt Gödel was one of the greatest logicians ever born, but he was mad when he died. Nietzsche... well, we all know what happened to him.

Maniacs are too logical. You can't argue with them, because, more often than not, their logic is flawless. It's just the initial premise. Suppose a man says he is Christ. Go ahead, try to convince him he's not. That's what they did to Jesus, after all, and the fact that you are doing it to him will only reinforce his sentiments. Or maybe he says that there is a conspiracy against him. If you deny it, well, of course you do. That's what conspirators do when questioned!

And so ordinary people, who rely on common sense for the most part, are naturally distrustful of logic. It's like the mind-shattering black magic of thought. Much more effective than the widely accepted alternative, but highly dangerous.

Duck999
2014-02-15, 01:19 PM
Maniacs may be insanely logical, but can they use that? They may have flawless logic in their minds, but use horrible logic when it comes put. Some people have horrible logic proving things that are true, and some have great logic proving false facts.:smallfrown:

Zrak
2014-02-15, 02:43 PM
That logic struggles when arguments are ambiguously phrased isn't a problem with logic, it's a problem with the phrasing. If you're actually trying to have a discussion then you want to avoid as much ambiguity as possible so as to make sure people understand what you're saying.

I agree that one should eliminate as much ambiguity as possible, but I don't think one can eliminate enough ambiguity to make logic particularly viable in most discussions. Even if you spent the pages and pages defining all your terms with sufficient precision to avoid the problem, including defining all the terms used in those definitions and the terms used in those definitions and so on, all you have really shown is that if you define the terms such that your argument is true, your argument is true; sure, your conclusion logically follows from your premises, but anyone who disagrees with your definitions will reject your premises and thus reject your conclusion, however sound the logic between them may be.

Also, the quote about sociopaths you have attributed to me is from someone else's post.

Hiro Protagonest
2014-02-15, 03:54 PM
Nnnnope! I was thinking DR. Temperance Brennan from the show bones. Yours makes waaay more sense! Sorry.

I thought she meant that Bones too. Now I've never seen Star Trek, but I've always seen the guy referred to as McCoy.

blunk
2014-02-15, 04:10 PM
anyone who disagrees with your definitions will reject your premises and thus reject your conclusionI consider reaching a point where you can look at each other's arguments and each say, "your argument is valid but we disagree on these irreducible premises (or weight them differently)" to be a total and utter success.

Bonus points if you can relate that difference in premises to differences in personality and/or upbringing.

SiuiS
2014-02-15, 04:34 PM
I thought she meant that Bones too. Now I've never seen Star Trek, but I've always seen the guy referred to as McCoy.

Aye, but it might be regional, or is might not be as much of a fan or the right type of fan. Bones is his nickname, so I can't be surprised.

I consider reaching a point where you can look at each other's arguments and each say, "your argument is valid but we disagree on these irreducible premises (or weight them differently)" to be a total and utter success.

I'm so glad! I'm not alone~!

The key to all discussion is the ability to say "I understand but do not agree", and the number of issues that arise because the other guy never gives me the impression they even understand, and I just keep rephrasing the basic premise so they can go "okay I understand" so we can move forward... While they think I'm making arguments to try and refute... Ugh.

blunk
2014-02-15, 05:06 PM
I'm so glad! I'm not alone~!

The key to all discussion is the ability to say "I understand but do not agree", and the number of issues that arise because the other guy never gives me the impression they even understand, and I just keep rephrasing the basic premise so they can go "okay I understand" so we can move forward... While they think I'm making arguments to try and refute... Ugh.Hey, glad I could manifest in your universe, then!

I never considered it to be a rare trait; it seems like the obvious way to squeeze some truths out of disagreements, rather than "win" them... but then again, it would explain a lot if it were. Hmm.

There's a book somewhere on one of my reading lists written by a guy who claimed that all political argument could be reduced to a single-digit number of conflicting premises. I'm not sure if he enumerated said premises (one would hope), or if I'd agree with his analysis, but it appears that there are at least three of us! :smallwink:

Mr.Silver
2014-02-15, 05:55 PM
I agree that one should eliminate as much ambiguity as possible, but I don't think one can eliminate enough ambiguity to make logic particularly viable in most discussions. Even if you spent the pages and pages defining all your terms with sufficient precision to avoid the problem, including defining all the terms used in those definitions and the terms used in those definitions and so on, all you have really shown is that if you define the terms such that your argument is true, your argument is true; sure, your conclusion logically follows from your premises, but anyone who disagrees with your definitions will reject your premises and thus reject your conclusion, however sound the logic between them may be.

Attacking the premises is usually how one goes about countering a logically valid argument, though*. To be honest, being clear in your meanings doesn't seem to require pages of definitions, maybe a paragraph or too in total. A lot of it has to do with getting used to adjusting your arguments for an audience who aren't familiar with technical terminology.
Granted, this all hinges on whoever you're arguing against actually caring about what you mean. Also on whether they're the sort of person who substitutes their own, highly atypical definitions for terms without telling you about it, in which case your own attempts at clarity are the least of discussions problems.

*within reason. Pulling back to posing existential questions on the nature of knowledge/reality is usually going to far (unless the discussion is already about those topics).

Also, the quote about sociopaths you have attributed to me is from someone else's post.
Sorry about that, must have screwed-up with the multi-quote function. It's fixed now.

SiuiS
2014-02-15, 07:07 PM
Sorry about that, must have screwed-up with the multi-quote function. It's fixed now.

It happens sometimes. It's even more fun when te citation goes to the wrong point too. I had one somehow cite the person directly above the actual quote... But it got their text right so I didn't just quote the wrong one.

Zrak
2014-02-15, 11:53 PM
Attacking the premises is usually how one goes about countering a logically valid argument, though*. To be honest, being clear in your meanings doesn't seem to require pages of definitions, maybe a paragraph or too in total. A lot of it has to do with getting used to adjusting your arguments for an audience who aren't familiar with technical terminology.

I think we're operating on different ideas of what constitutes a sufficiently specific definition; when I said any amount of ambiguity, I meant any amount; when I referred to a hypothetical possibility of sufficiently defining a term, I was speaking purely hypothetically. I don't believe there has ever been or will ever be a definition written that's detailed enough that a significant number of readers will not misunderstand it. For one, defining terms devolves into a sort of Tristram Shandy problem where every definition creates more terms which need to be defined with equal clarity and rigor, those definitions in turn creating more terms which need to be defined with equal clarity and rigor, and so on ad infinitum until you end up having written something around the length of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire without having yet defined all of your terms. Secondly, even this comically oversized procession of definitions will not actually succeed in preventing misunderstandings.

Finally, even putting aside all the problems of definition, logic is still superfluous to discourse. Anyone who accepts the definition accepts the conclusion because, essentially, the definition is created assuming the conclusion. Anyone who rejects the definition rejects the conclusion. As such, the actual argument is basically just padding. The logic doesn't need to be remotely sound, since all that matters is whether your interlocutor agrees with the conclusion on which your premise is based going into the argument.

tl;dr: No one is ever convinced of anything they don't already believe and truly accurate communication is impossible; we are all as ghosts haunting a world we can never truly touch. "On est seul aussi chez les hommes."

Sorry about that, must have screwed-up with the multi-quote function. It's fixed now.
No worries, it happens to me all the time when I try and multi-quote from my phone. I just figured I should point it out so that the person who actually said that didn't miss your reply.

Wardog
2014-02-27, 05:31 PM
Very true. It's also important to remember that just because an argument is valid in it's form, doesn't mean it's correct. Logic is a way to reason from a premise to a conclusion; if the premises are nonsense then the conclusion probably won't be much better, regardless of how valid the reasoning used actually is.

Conversely, just because an argument is logically flawed, doesn't mean the conclusion is wrong.

For example, "Slippery slope" arguments are often logically flawed in as much that doing X will not inherently lead to Y, but despite that, experience often shows that it does.

Duck999
2014-02-28, 10:45 PM
That is probability. The easiest way to fix that is saying that this will probably lead to that. Logic dictates that you cannot say that in every condition it will happen, but it can be logically stated that doing thing a is very likely going to lead to doing thing b.

Eloel
2014-03-03, 03:08 AM
We have the chore that whenever we have an argument with my girlfriend - and I use a series of logical deductions to prove myself right (worth noting: I don't have to be right, just smarter :smallsmile:), she hits me (she's half my size, so doesn't really hurt). I take it as a cue that she surrenders the argument, so it works out for me.

Also, most of my friends have learned to agree to whatever I'm saying - since arguing eventually gets them proven wrong (again, they don't have to be wrong). That also makes people who tend to like being center of attention with needless blabbering hate me - but so be it.

Elder Tsofu
2014-03-03, 05:10 AM
We have the chore that whenever we have an argument with my girlfriend - and I use a series of logical deductions to prove myself right (worth noting: I don't have to be right, just smarter :smallsmile:), she hits me (she's half my size, so doesn't really hurt). I take it as a cue that she surrenders the argument, so it works out for me.

Also, most of my friends have learned to agree to whatever I'm saying - since arguing eventually gets them proven wrong (again, they don't have to be wrong). That also makes people who tend to like being center of attention with needless blabbering hate me - but so be it.

Perhaps they just stop to escape your, perceived, self-centred nagging? :smallsmile:
Sometimes it is just not worth it to argue with someone who you feel never backs down on any issue, regardless how wrong that person is. A bit similar to the racist granddad on family gatherings whom none engages in conversation on said issue to preserve some peace of mind.

Duck999
2014-03-03, 07:11 AM
That is where it gets to the point that you out logic them when you shouldn't. If you truthfully think you are correct, go ahead. But if there is a sliver of doubt, then tell them you are not absolutely sure, but <insert argument here>. That way, you are telling them that it is only your answer, and not necessarily the correct one.

Killer Angel
2014-03-03, 07:26 AM
Logic is good, but if it's not controlled by moral principles, it can create horrible results.

Eloel
2014-03-03, 07:47 AM
That is where it gets to the point that you out logic them when you shouldn't. If you truthfully think you are correct, go ahead. But if there is a sliver of doubt, then tell them you are not absolutely sure, but <insert argument here>. That way, you are telling them that it is only your answer, and not necessarily the correct one.

My argument usually goes, "I think X because Y, which is because Z, which follows from T. If you'd like to disagree with X, please point me to the point where I'm wrong."
Most people can't - even if there's a glaring error in logic.

Perhaps they just stop to escape your, perceived, self-centred nagging? :smallsmile:
Sometimes it is just not worth it to argue with someone who you feel never backs down on any issue, regardless how wrong that person is. A bit similar to the racist granddad on family gatherings whom none engages in conversation on said issue to preserve some peace of mind.

I see, you are scared of logical arguments. Happens.

Elder Tsofu
2014-03-03, 09:13 AM
I see, you are scared of logical arguments. Happens.

Not really, I just pass on information regarding how people can perceive someone differently than the person in question perceive themself - and as a by-product provided an alternate explanation of the events described.

Zrak
2014-03-03, 01:25 PM
My argument usually goes, "I think X because Y, which is because Z, which follows from T. If you'd like to disagree with X, please point me to the point where I'm wrong."
Most people can't - even if there's a glaring error in logic.

So, basically, you are bragging to us about how your interlocutors are poor debaters?

Killer Angel
2014-03-03, 02:05 PM
I'll try to explain better my opinion on the matter.

Why i like logic.
It's elegant, it's intelligent, it serves to lead us to the truth. Aristotelian logic is amazing.
So, any debate with logic involved, is to me fascinating.

Why i dislike it.
Cold logic is inhuman. If it's not supported by empathy and moral principles, logic leads to aberrations.
I'll leave aside real life and historical examples (there's plenty of them), and I'll limit myself to fictional ones, just to give a mild idea.
When Spock says that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, it's logical. The possible implications are clear.
If you want to reach an objective, applying only cold and rationale logic to eliminate what's slowing down you, well, you have HAL 9000.
And this speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62kxPyNZF3Q), shows clearly what happens, when the logic of the profit is involved.

And you know that some applications of "cold logic" in real life are far worse.

SiuiS
2014-03-03, 02:12 PM
We have the chore that whenever we have an argument with my girlfriend - and I use a series of logical deductions to prove myself right (worth noting: I don't have to be right, just smarter :smallsmile:), she hits me (she's half my size, so doesn't really hurt). I take it as a cue that she surrenders the argument, so it works out for me.

Also, most of my friends have learned to agree to whatever I'm saying - since arguing eventually gets them proven wrong (again, they don't have to be wrong). That also makes people who tend to like being center of attention with needless blabbering hate me - but so be it.

So you are willing to lie and use deliberate obfuscation to hide it until people learn that trying to have a discussion isn't worth their time? That's immoral. Why would you purposefully do this? Logically, divining the truth of a situation is superior in most if not all aspects, compared to being Right and Winning. The sum total of this method is lower than if everyone worked toward a greater understanding.

Eloel
2014-03-03, 03:01 PM
So, basically, you are bragging to us about how your interlocutors are poor debaters?
Basically, yes. And I like to think that my interlocutors are at worst selected randomly from the whole population, thus, the state of the world.

So you are willing to lie and use deliberate obfuscation to hide it until people learn that trying to have a discussion isn't worth their time? That's immoral. Why would you purposefully do this? Logically, divining the truth of a situation is superior in most if not all aspects, compared to being Right and Winning. The sum total of this method is lower than if everyone worked toward a greater understanding.

No, I'm willing to lie till people either improve themselves enough to understand logic, or accept themselves as inferior.
I'm not concerned with sum total, why would I be?

ufo
2014-03-03, 05:23 PM
No, I'm willing to lie till people either improve themselves enough to understand logic, or accept themselves as inferior.
I'm not concerned with sum total, why would I be?

So when you mention your friends, that's hypothetically speaking?

Talya
2014-03-03, 08:26 PM
Logic is, by definition, the only form of rational thought, as "logical" is a synonym of "rational." Therefore, rational thought is also logical thought.

As such, any conclusion that is illogical, is also irrational. Anyone who disputes the validity or usefulness of logic in a general sense basically has issues with reason and rationality and intellect. Any irrational means of evaluating information is, at best, erroneous, and at worst, delusional or even insane.

With that said, logic cannot provide value or weight to the various end results that it can envision. As humans, there is nothing logical in the slightest about our subjective preferences, and so two people with equal skill at using logic can come to completely different conclusions in many situations, due to differing subjective preferences or different basic premises.

warty goblin
2014-03-03, 08:54 PM
Logic, at least in the mathematically pure way I tend to encounter it, is simply a calculus of sets and/or givens based on some simple axioms and definitions. Under these, logic simply produces results that must be true given some true conditions.

For almost any sort of application, a person must needs use a broader set of definitions and assumptions than is available in basic logic. These assumptions are not themselves produced by logic directly, although much of the time they are informed by how the logical calculus will process them. But they themselves are simply assumed true, and not subject to logical verification in the same way the conclusions drawn from them are. Axiomatic geometry is an excellent example of this; you can logically derive both Euclidean and hyperbolic geometry by changing a single axiom; this does not tell you anything about whether Euclidean or hyperbolic geometry is true however.

Which is why I think it a fundamental misunderstanding of what logic is to hold that it cannot say anything about ethics or morality or human subjectivity. If you start with a set of assumptions grounded in ethics, logic will produce a logical result from those assumptions. You can use logic to reason logically from your own subjective views.

I suspect the reason for this confusion is that, as Talya pointed out, logic and rationality are taken to be synonymous*. Rationality is, in modern society, often associated with a certain set of beliefs about an individual's penchant for placing the increase of their own welfare above anything else. This leads to actions often considered immoral, and, under the givens of that belief system, logical. This says nothing about the morality or immorality of logic however, as it may just as well be turned towards compassion and empathy as greed and callousness. The hammer can be used to break a man's fingers in the torture chamber, or build a newborn a crib. The first is not a universal condemnation of hammers any more than the second is a unanimous praise of them. The hammer is the tool, by its use can you know the character of the user.

*A point I would contest. Logic is a tool of rationality, just as a hammer is a tool of a carpenter. It's foolish to say a hammer and a carpenter are the same thing however. And just as many things can be made with a hammer, many rational results can be derived using logic.

Mr.Silver
2014-03-03, 09:06 PM
Which is why I think it a fundamental misunderstanding of what logic is to hold that it cannot say anything about ethics or morality or human subjectivity. If you start with a set of assumptions grounded in ethics, logic will produce a logical result from those assumptions. You can use logic to reason logically from your own subjective views.

Pretty much all self-respecting schools of ethical though have to be logical. Killer Angel's implication that the only logical system is some warped form of act-consequentialism would be a slap in the face to any proponent of a deontological or virtue-based system of ethics.

Eloel
2014-03-04, 06:26 AM
So when you mention your friends, that's hypothetically speaking?

Would you prefer minions?

Killer Angel
2014-03-04, 06:59 AM
Pretty much all self-respecting schools of ethical though have to be logical. Killer Angel's implication that the only logical system is some warped form of act-consequentialism would be a slap in the face to any proponent of a deontological or virtue-based system of ethics.

Not exactly. I'm not saying that ethical processes and reasonings are not logical (they are), and I'm not saying that the only logical thoughts are the ones that leads to personal gain (or to a vision of the world self-centered on your own advantage).
I'm saying that, if your personal convinctions don't have ethical bases, the application of logic, will lead to inhuman results.

(so, i should say that, in truth, I'm not scared by logic itself, but by the lack of moral principles. Sadly, the consequences of moral lacking, are justified with the use of logic)

Talya
2014-03-04, 09:11 AM
*A point I would contest. Logic is a tool of rationality, just as a hammer is a tool of a carpenter.

I disagree, as there are no other tools of rationality. A carpenter has many tools, and a hammer is only one of them. There is no other rational way that one can evaluate and analyze the information that is presented to them other than logic. Logic does not suffice when it comes to decision-making, because logic merely analyzes the data. The ultimate goals or purpose of the decisions that logic informs are outside the realm of rationality.

Ethics, morality, personal taste - rationality has no bearing on those things. A genocidal monster is not necessarily any more or less rational than a humanitarian philanthropist. Both can be equally informed by logic. Logic is a filter used to treat the data we receive through our other senses, by which one can be informed to make an "informed decision." What we do with that logic is a matter of subjective opinion, and logic and rationality cannot inform us of what we like best.

Ravens_cry
2014-03-04, 09:36 AM
Logic is only as good as the assumptions it is based on, and all logic is based on assumptions that quite possibly can not proven in and of themselves. Garbage in garbage out, and even if you follow things quite rationally by the rules of logic, you can still get to misleading results based on said assumptions.
Still, t's a very useful tool though within its limits.

Talya
2014-03-04, 09:49 AM
Logic is only as good as the assumptions it is based on, and all logic is based on assumptions that quite possibly can not proven in and of themselves. Garbage in garbage out, and even if you follow things quite rationally by the rules of logic, you can still get to misleading results based on said assumptions.
Still, t's a very useful tool though within its limits.

Agreed.

Although I'd add that, while some assumptions are required even to function, half of the problems with human society through all of recorded history have been with completely unfounded assumptions being accepted as fact, and then making logical decisions based on those assumptions.

The less we can assume, the better. The only assumptions we truly need to begin rational thought are "What we can perceive around us is real - we do not live a soliptic existence as a brain in a jar," and "The physical laws of the universe seem to be consistent." (And even the latter needs to be taken with a grain of salt.) A few basic assumptions about the necessity of a functional and organized human social structure might be good, too, but lots of people will disagree on those.

warty goblin
2014-03-04, 09:57 AM
I disagree, as there are no other tools of rationality. A carpenter has many tools, and a hammer is only one of them. There is no other rational way that one can evaluate and analyze the information that is presented to them other than logic. Logic does not suffice when it comes to decision-making, because logic merely analyzes the data. The ultimate goals or purpose of the decisions that logic informs are outside the realm of rationality.

Rationality has plenty of other tools. Today for instance I'm going to code a Metropolis-Hasting step within my overall Gibbs sampler. This is an entirely rational decision; it can be justified by appeal to general practice and the fact I have no idea how else to sample from a couple of these conditionals. It is not however logical, to the best of my knowledge no proof exists that this will result in a Markov chain that converges at all, let alone to the right distribution.

Reasoning from past experience is rational, but unless you know the situation is exactly the same it cannot hope to be logical. Reasoning by analogy is a form of rational thought, but is not particularly logical.

Ethics, morality, personal taste - rationality has no bearing on those things. A genocidal monster is not necessarily any more or less rational than a humanitarian philanthropist. Both can be equally informed by logic. Logic is a filter used to treat the data we receive through our other senses, by which one can be informed to make an "informed decision." What we do with that logic is a matter of subjective opinion, and logic and rationality cannot inform us of what we like best.

Again I differ. I liked the first three seasons of Game of Thrones a lot. It is entirely rational to expect that I'll like season 4 a lot as well. It's not logical; I certainly can produce no proof about the matter, but I doubt many people would say my anticipation is irrational.

Talya
2014-03-04, 10:08 AM
Rationality has plenty of other tools. Today for instance I'm going to code a Metropolis-Hasting step within my overall Gibbs sampler. This is an entirely rational decision; it can be justified by appeal to general practice and the fact I have no idea how else to sample from a couple of these conditionals. It is not however logical, to the best of my knowledge no proof exists that this will result in a Markov chain that converges at all, let alone to the right distribution.

Reasoning from past experience is rational, but unless you know the situation is exactly the same it cannot hope to be logical. Reasoning by analogy is a form of rational thought, but is not particularly logical.

Again I differ. I liked the first three seasons of Game of Thrones a lot. It is entirely rational to expect that I'll like season 4 a lot as well. It's not logical; I certainly can produce no proof about the matter, but I doubt many people would say my anticipation is irrational.

Both of your examples are examples of logical thought, though. Oh, the appeal of GoT in itself is not founded in logic (it's founded in OMFG this is awesome!), but the inference that because you liked seasons 1-3, there is some degree of probability that you will like season 4 is logical. It's a probability equation. Similarly, your coding decision is founded on logic as well - whether consciously or not. It's a cost-benefit analysis of familiarity, functionality, and simplicity, vs. the odds that learning to do it differently might improve the process. Logic is the tool you use to inform yourself of the facts you know, and the probabilities involved to fill in the blanks you don't know, before you make a choice.

Finlam
2014-03-04, 10:12 AM
Ethics, morality, personal taste - rationality has no bearing on those things.

Ethics is a system fundamentally based in logic. Unless rationality suddenly has no bearing on logic, then your statement is both overly emotional and patently false.

If by 'Ethics' you meant the emotional attachment to 'right' and 'wrong' that most people use as their personal ethics, then yes, there is no room for logic because it is never applied within that ethos.

In actual ethics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics), however, an entirely actionable system of morality is derived from the logical implications of a few basic assumptions about reality. Individuals who think about or practice non-emotion based ethics will accept and reject the basic assumptions of a specific ethical system.

Ethics is rigorous in both its application and reliance on logic, however, and most people find it much easier to go with their 'gut instinct' or make choices based off of emotion i.e. they have never given serious thought to ethics and would much rather wing it. Saying that rationality has no bearing on ethics is like saying that rationality has no bearing on mathematics just because most people are terrible at it. That statement could not be more wrong, and that is not a matter of opinion.

Ravens_cry
2014-03-04, 10:14 AM
Agreed.

Although I'd add that, while some assumptions are required even to function, half of the problems with human society through all of recorded history have been with completely unfounded assumptions being accepted as fact, and then making logical decisions based on those assumptions.

The less we can assume, the better. The only assumptions we truly need to begin rational thought are "What we can perceive around us is real - we do not live a soliptic existence as a brain in a jar," and "The physical laws of the universe seem to be consistent." (And even the latter needs to be taken with a grain of salt.) A few basic assumptions about the necessity of a functional and organized human social structure might be good, too, but lots of people will disagree on those.
The latter isn't helped by the fact we really don't know what the laws of physics, so much as we have made up lies that fit the found facts so far. As the found facts change, so do the lies. I've mentioned it before, but I think Feynman's chess analogy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1dgrvlWML4) for science is about perfect. We are observing part of a great game, and we are trying to grok the rules of the whole by watching play.
It is a humbling yet also reassuring thought.

Talya
2014-03-04, 10:19 AM
In actual ethics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics), however, an entirely actionable system of morality is derived from the logical implications of a few basic assumptions about reality. Individuals who think about or practice non-emotion based ethics will accept and reject the basic assumptions of a specific ethical system.

This is the problem. Those "few basic assumptions" themselves are not founded in logic. That doesn't mean we don't need them for society to function, but there's nothing logical or rational about those assumptions. They are ultimately based on, at there core, primal urges and biological imperatives. Again, there's nothing wrong with that, but they are not rational.

Furthermore, I take exception to the stated "logical derivation" of certain common ethical standards. Ethics is not a science, it's a philosophy, no more logical than any of them. Oh, it uses logic, but it is not rooted in logic. The vast majority of ethics is utter hogwash with no logical basis even on those basic assumptions. Ultimately, "Ethics" is just dressed up "morality" - they're blanked assumptions of right and wrong. What people don't understand is those assumptions are entirely personal - even at the most basic level of the philosophy. There is nothing empirical about them - they don't exist except in the human mind, and they exist differently for each and every person in the world. Ethics/Morality and every possible judgement of "right" and "wrong" are nothing more than an individual human opinion construct that is partially shared socially. That's not to say there aren't quite valid reasons for many of the more common opinions - in fact, there are quite sensible evolutionary reasons for many of them. Those reasons are not the same as the reasons people think of when they're trying to figure out why they look at something as "right" or "wrong," however.

2014-03-04, 10:39 AM
There are those who agree with you, and there are those who disagree. I recommend Sam Harris's the Moral Landscape.

Talya
2014-03-04, 11:01 AM
There are those who agree with you, and there are those who disagree. I recommend Sam Harris's the Moral Landscape.

Interesting book. I'm having trouble getting through the introduction, when it is filled with factually inaccurate and loaded sentences like this:

In fact, all the research indicates that corporal punishment is a disastrous practice, leading to more violence and social pathology—and, perversely, to greater support for corporal punishment.
While there are competing studies on these issues, even the negative ones make assumptions that are are problematic. "Spanking makes children more aggressive!" Why is this bad? Why are we trying to build a culture of meek and peaceful hippies anyway? What if we liked the world when responding to an insult with one's fists was both legal and socially accepted - when a fistfight in school made you stay in for recess, instead of having you suspended due to "zero tolerance policies." The great irony is that in our more "primitive" social structures of previous decades, kids weren't shooting up schools with guns. The liberal peacenik love & harmony bias doesn't do us any favors.

Earlier in the same introduction he refers to the evolutionary view of morality in a dismissive way, referring to it as "apish urges." This dismisses life and evolution as somehow less than it is. We are apes. There is no wide gulf separating humans from other primates. There is no huge, substantive difference between us and the rest of nature. We have a tiny bit more reasoning ability, which has resulted in all the differences in tool use that separate us. This is not in any way an attempt on my part to denigrate humanity as "mere animals." I find the entire phrase "mere animals" insulting. There's nothing "mere" about nature. We are overly dismissive of the rest of the fauna on this planet and our origins. When I seem to suggest that we are "only" animals, I am not suggesting that we are not so lofty creatures as we assume. I'm suggesting that so are they.

Still, Sam Harris is generally on the same side of most Youtube debates that I would be, so I will try to continue reading beyond the introduction.

Finlam
2014-03-04, 11:12 AM
This is the problem. Those "few basic assumptions" themselves are not founded in logic.

Logic is only as good as the assumptions it is based on, and all logic is based on assumptions that quite possibly can not proven in and of themselves. Garbage in garbage out, and even if you follow things quite rationally by the rules of logic, you can still get to misleading results based on said assumptions.
Still, t's a very useful tool though within its limits.

Agreed.
I'm not sure you understand your point.

That doesn't mean we don't need them for society to function, but there's nothing logical or rational about those assumptions. They are ultimately based on, at there core, primal urges and biological imperatives. Again, there's nothing wrong with that, but they are not rational.

This couldn't be more false. Your statement holds true only for emotion based personal ethics, not for any meaningful use of the word 'Ethics'.

Furthermore, I take exception to the stated "logical derivation" of certain common ethical standards.

I think this is both the root and sum of our disagreement. What you call 'ethics' is no more than feel good morality. I've never once mentioned that any rational system of ethics was a 'standard' or that it was 'common', rather just the opposite. Individuals that actually practice ethics are few and far between.

Ethics is not personal, it is not individual, it is a rigorous discipline that most people simply do not have the patience or desire to learn.

If you group every single ethical statement and incomplete ethical philosophy together, then yes the vast majority are hogwash. This is because you are lumping things that are not ethics in with things that are ethics. Equating moral platitudes that rarely get past "drugs are bad m'kay?" to Ethics is like equating my stove to the sun because they are both hot.

If you meant to say that personal morality is bad because it's based on instinct and emotion, then I am in full agreement with you. However, ethics as a discipline is a system of logic.

warty goblin
2014-03-04, 11:14 AM
Both of your examples are examples of logical thought, though. Oh, the appeal of GoT in itself is not founded in logic (it's founded in OMFG this is awesome!), but the inference that because you liked seasons 1-3, there is some degree of probability that you will like season 4 is logical. It's a probability equation. Similarly, your coding decision is founded on logic as well - whether consciously or not. It's a cost-benefit analysis of familiarity, functionality, and simplicity, vs. the odds that learning to do it differently might improve the process. Logic is the tool you use to inform yourself of the facts you know, and the probabilities involved to fill in the blanks you don't know, before you make a choice.
Logic is a calculus of truth and falsehood. It does not do probability - I know, I study probability theory, which at the end of the day is about entirely deterministic mathematical constructs. You can build a system of booleans and equations on top of probabilities to be sure.
e.g.

(If I liked the previous season of GoT, the probability of me liking the next season is .9)
(If the probability of me liking something is greater than .85, I should buy it).
(I liked the previous season of GoT)
(Therefore I should buy the next one).

The conclusion of buy Season 4 next year follows logically, but the if - then statements that justify the result are themselves assumed without proof. Moreover the only support I can offer for them is the standard that it's worked in the past, which is entirely reasonable, but a far cry from true logic.

Cost-benefit analysis is also not logical as such. Logic has no notion of cost. You can create such a thing certainly, and logic will tell you how it must behave, but there's no logical justification for such. Again, I've done this sort of math, the cost/benefit function is explicitly arbitrary and its choice cannot be logically proven optimal. It can be reasonably justified - I can believe it's better to underestimate a variance component than overestimate, and so choose an asymmetric loss function, but the impetus to favor underestimation is not logically provable.

This is the problem. Those "few basic assumptions" themselves are not founded in logic. That doesn't mean we don't need them for society to function, but there's nothing logical or rational about those assumptions. They are ultimately based on, at there core, primal urges and biological imperatives. Again, there's nothing wrong with that, but they are not rational.

The basic assumptions of any system to which logic is applied are not themselves logical. This includes, by the way, the basic assumptions of logic itself. For instance the assumption that contradictions cannot exist is something that has to be assumed and cannot be justified by logic. This is, fascinatingly enough, a provable result. The uniqueness of parallel lines must also be assumed and cannot be proven; a statement which again has been proven.

Furthermore, I take exception to the stated "logical derivation" of certain common ethical standards. Ethics is not a science, it's a philosophy, no more logical than any of them. Oh, it uses logic, but it is not rooted in logic. The vast majority of ethics is utter hogwash with no logical basis even on those basic assumptions. Ultimately, "Ethics" is just dressed up "morality" - they're blanked assumptions of right and wrong. What people don't understand is those assumptions are entirely personal - even at the most basic level of the philosophy. There is nothing empirical about them - they don't exist except in the human mind, and they exist differently for each and every person in the world. Ethics/Morality and every possible judgement of "right" and "wrong" are nothing more than an individual human opinion construct that is partially shared socially. That's not to say there aren't quite valid reasons for many of the more common opinions - in fact, there are quite sensible evolutionary reasons for many of them. Those reasons are not the same as the reasons people think of when they're trying to figure out why they look at something as "right" or "wrong," however.
You're arguing a double standard. There's nothing particularly empirical about my liking Game of Thrones, yet you claim the choice to buy the next season is logical. There's nothing particularly empirical about thinking cannibalism is wrong, yet the same reasoning would suggest it must therefore be logical to state that one should not grill up the neighbors with a nice BBQ sauce.

Actually I think there's a good bit more empirical about stating cannibalism is wrong, since it can be empirically verified as a common (not universal) human belief. I think it also is entirely logical to state that if cannibalism is wrong, BBQing Mr. and Ms. Nextdoor is wrong, since that would, in fact, be an act of cannibalism.

2014-03-04, 11:19 AM
If you meant to say that personal morality is bad because it's based on instinct and emotion, then I am in full agreement with you. However, ethics as a discipline is a system of logic.

Even if it is, you must still get your premises from somewhere. You can get them from an analysis of human nature, from a book, from a philosophy or from somewhere else entirely, but you can't get it from logic.

For instance, Sam Harris takes it as his starting point that morality is about the suffering and well-being of conscious creatures. And he claims to those who disagree are simply wrong on linguistic grounds - they have not understood what the word means. Now, this may or may not be true (I think it's a rather weak argument), but it can certainly be questioned. It is not self-evident, except apparently to Sam Harris. And while you can justify some premises all of the time, and all of the premises some of the time, you can't justify all of them all of the time (because this leads to an infinite regression).

Talya
2014-03-04, 11:26 AM
If you meant to say that personal morality is bad because it's based on instinct and emotion, then I am in full agreement with you.

I am not in agreement with this. Oh, i agree that personal morality is based on instinct and emotion. Nowhere have I stated that instinct and emotion are "bad." Instinct and emotion are a major part of of what has gotten us to where we are today at the top of Earth's evolutionary ladder.

There's this assumption that anything not derived from logic or rationality is inferior. There are a good many instinctual/emotional responses that are essential to our survival that have no basis in logic or rationality at all.

I also believe, however, that "ethical philosophy" is just a complex house of cards built, partially through logic, yes, but on a foundation that is still entirely subjective and irrational. It's a pseudo-discipline that has no more validity as a guide to human behavior than any other means at our disposal.

2014-03-04, 11:30 AM
By what standard do you measure validity? What do you mean by it?

Talya
2014-03-04, 11:42 AM
By what standard do you measure validity? What do you mean by it?

I believe by "no more validity" I mean to say that it is no more and no less empirically "right" or "wrong". It cannot be tested, it cannot be falsified. We don't even have an empirical means by which to evaluate the results, even if we could know them precisely. It's simply another human construct of behavior.

Logic is a calculus of truth and falsehood. It does not do probability - I know, I study probability theory, which at the end of the day is about entirely deterministic mathematical constructs. You can build a system of booleans and equations on top of probabilities to be sure.
e.g.

(If I liked the previous season of GoT, the probability of me liking the next season is .9)
(If the probability of me liking something is greater than .85, I should buy it).
(I liked the previous season of GoT)
(Therefore I should buy the next one).

The conclusion of buy Season 4 next year follows logically, but the if - then statements that justify the result are themselves assumed without proof. Moreover the only support I can offer for them is the standard that it's worked in the past, which is entirely reasonable, but a far cry from true logic.

Cost-benefit analysis is also not logical as such. Logic has no notion of cost. You can create such a thing certainly, and logic will tell you how it must behave, but there's no logical justification for such. Again, I've done this sort of math, the cost/benefit function is explicitly arbitrary and its choice cannot be logically proven optimal. It can be reasonably justified - I can believe it's better to underestimate a variance component than overestimate, and so choose an asymmetric loss function, but the impetus to favor underestimation is not logically provable.

Those things are entirely logical. Mathematics is entirely logical -- mathematics is the language of logic. Quantum Physics, for example, is entirely logical (albeit counterintuitive to us macro-beings in many cases), and almost entirely based on probabilities. Logic most certainly has a notion of cost. This can be as simple as calculating the cost in energy to counter the momentum of a moving object.

The basic assumptions of any system to which logic is applied are not themselves logical. This includes, by the way, the basic assumptions of logic itself. For instance the assumption that contradictions cannot exist is something that has to be assumed and cannot be justified by logic. This is, fascinatingly enough, a provable result. The uniqueness of parallel lines must also be assumed and cannot be proven; a statement which again has been proven.

These are mathematics problems, and are therefore by definition logical. It is entirely logical to make an assumption that can be tested, and repeatedly found to hold true. We cannot prove that assumption, but it is logical to hold it as fact until such time as it is contradicted.

Also, the assumption that contradictions cannot coexist has already been disproven (quantum physics.) However, thus far, we've failed to find evidence of such contradictions at the macro level.

You're arguing a double standard. There's nothing particularly empirical about my liking Game of Thrones, yet you claim the choice to buy the next season is logical.

Watching something you like is logical. There is no empirical logic that dictates what you will like, but choosing to watch something you enjoy (a benefit) is entirely logical, while watching something you do not enjoy and gain nothing from is not logical. What is logical is determining a probability that you will like season 4 based on the fact that you liked seasons 1-3. Like all probabilities, you can end up on the outlier (season 4 may suck!), but the decision to watch it is logical.

There's nothing particularly empirical about thinking cannibalism is wrong, yet the same reasoning would suggest it must therefore be logical to state that one should not grill up the neighbors with a nice BBQ sauce.

There is nothing logical about the underlying assumption that cannibalism is wrong. (Or, there may be logic behind that assumption, but ultimately that logic leads back to assumptions with bases that are not logical.) However, there are several other logical reasons behind the decision not to grill up the neighbors with bbq sauce. (EG. "I like the neighbors. If I eat them, they will be dead and I can no longer enjoy their neighborliness." "I like my freedom. I do not wish to go to prison, so I will refrain from murdering.") As I have already stated, EVERY decision has, if you go far enough down the chain, a basis that is not rooted in logic. We simply cannot make decisions based on rationality or logic alone. Even the decision to eat food relies on the desire to not be hungry/continue living, which has no logical/rational basis.

Actually I think there's a good bit more empirical about stating cannibalism is wrong, since it can be empirically verified as a common (not universal) human belief. I think it also is entirely logical to state that if cannibalism is wrong, BBQing Mr. and Ms. Nextdoor is wrong, since that would, in fact, be an act of cannibalism.

Technically, eating them would be the act of cannibalism. Cooking them is something else. Again, commonality of belief has nothing to do with rationality or empirical evidence. It simply indicates some evolutionary reason for us to be endowed with such a sentiment.

There's not even anything empirically wrong with murder. We have laws against it, we have personal morality that keeps us from doing it, but it's not a universal truth that can be evaluated and stated as fact. All our rules - both in the form of societal law and personal morality - are ultimately built from the pressure of evolutionary instincts and natural selection.

2014-03-04, 11:50 AM
I believe by "no more validity" I mean to say that it is no more and no less empirically "right" or "wrong". It cannot be tested, it cannot be falsified. We don't even have an empirical means by which to evaluate the results, even if we could know them precisely. It's simply another human construct of behavior.

Good. Now, I admit that the choice of values does not depend on empirical facts, but different systems may not be equally efficient at promoting a given value. For instance, if we put "health" as a value then a system from the 18th century will probably not be as useful in promoting health as a system from 2010. So the choice between them is not entirely arbitrary - do you agree?

Talya
2014-03-04, 11:53 AM
Good. Now, I admit that the choice of values does not depend on empirical facts, but different systems may not be equally efficient at promoting a given value. For instance, if we put "health" as a value then a system from the 18th century will probably not be as useful in promoting health as a system from 2010. So the choice between them is not entirely arbitrary - do you agree?

Agreed. Again, there is logic used from the foundational assumptions up, even if the basic assumption does not have that logical basis. However, there are plenty of other assumptions that go into logical system that promotes health, because our understanding of human biology improves constantly. As such, the same value will result in different conclusions as we change the assumptions used to fill in the blanks of our imperfect knowledge.

2014-03-04, 11:55 AM
Good. I'm building this slowly, by the way, because I'm also building this argument for myself. I'm not always this pedantic. :smallsmile:

Synovia
2014-03-04, 12:23 PM
I'm saying that, if your personal convinctions don't have ethical bases, the application of logic, will lead to inhuman results.

If your personal convictions don't have ethical bases, it will lead to inhuman results, whether or not logic is involved.

Serial Killers are often very logical beings with warped premises. Religious terrorists are often supremely illogical beings with warped premises. Therefore logic has no effect.

As an american, I see a wide distrust of education in our society, and I think this leads to much of the distrust of logic. We seem to be a society that takes pride in some ignorance.

Karoht
2014-03-04, 01:04 PM
I find myself to be a logical person. Except when joking, I often use logic (on people?). I personally like logic, because, you know, it is logical. To me it makes sense. I enjoy logic, and if I need to prove a point, I often use logic.
I can see why some people don't like logic, as it can be used to prove them wrong, but that seems not to be the only reason. Some people I know seem to just not like it for other reasons, not sure what.
Do you like/dislikie logic? Do you know other reasons people like/dislike logic? I would like answers to that second question. :smallbiggrin:
Also, feel free to discuss LOGIC!:smallcool:I enjoy objective discussions as opposed to subjective ones or speculation. Often I will attempt to bring an objective element or viewpoint to subjective/speculative discussions and topics.

People are really really defensive about their opinions and dislike having them scrutinized or challenged in any way. Yes, sometimes it's nice to hold an opinion and not have people pick on you for it. I myself still believe in Santa Claus, and I'm aware that people will bug me about it. That's life, opinions are quite often meaningless, and typically contrived based on poor understanding of facts rather than someone seeking the bigger picture. Informed opinions are meaningful, often insightful. Somehow uninformed opinions seem to carry some of the most weight, and drown out the informed ones.

I greatly am annoyed at the number of people who have smart phones and patently REFUSE to google anything. And if you google something and say "no, that's not true, read this" then the other person tries to make you look like the jerksauce even though the stubborn person refusing to fact check is in fact a jerksauce. The closed minded twits of the world honestly boggle my mind most days.
I will avoid specific examples as I'm certain the conversation would deteriorate towards rules violations, so I'll leave it at that.

http://lmgtfy.com/
The number of people I send to this website, who somehow still miss the point, astounds me. And frightens me.

Talya
2014-03-04, 01:07 PM
Earlier in the same introduction he refers to the evolutionary view of morality in a dismissive way, referring to it as "apish urges." This dismisses life and evolution as somehow less than it is. We are apes. There is no wide gulf separating humans from other primates. There is no huge, substantive difference between us and the rest of nature. We have a tiny bit more reasoning ability, which has resulted in all the differences in tool use that separate us. This is not in any way an attempt on my part to denigrate humanity as "mere animals." I find the entire phrase "mere animals" insulting. There's nothing "mere" about nature. We are overly dismissive of the rest of the fauna on this planet and our origins. When I seem to suggest that we are "only" animals, I am not suggesting that we are not so lofty creatures as we assume. I'm suggesting that so are they.
I got thinking about what I said earlier, and I think I can clarify this further.

Logic is the primary thing that differentiates us from other animals. Oh, various higher animals are able to make rudimentary application of logic in their decision-making, but we take it further than others.

As humans, we are ruled by the same types of instincts, impulses, and gut reactions implanted in us by millions of years of evolution, the same as all other creatures. These reactions have helped us, and all species that currently exist, to survive the aeons of changes and harsh conditions that constantly challenge life to continue surviving. However, survival is much like a chess game. The difference between a grandmaster chess player and a novice is the ability to think so far ahead, the ability to see the countless possibilities for how the chess board will look in so many moves based on the decisions you make now.

A leopard thinks ahead, by instinct. It kills its prey...it could try to eat it as quickly as possible like a cheetah or hyena, but a bigger predator (or more numerous group of predators) will come along eventually and drive them off, depriving them of the reward of their hunt. So the leopard pulls its prey up into a tree, where fewer predators can access it.

Animals do use logic to inform their decisions, but humans are the grandmaster chess players of nature (so far, anyway). No species thinks further ahead than we do.

Couple that with our unmatched capability to communicate complex ideas to other humans, and you have basically isolated everything that makes us different from animals.

Now, not all of our chess decisions are conscious ... and some of it comes from the pseudo-groupthink of human society, so that no one human really understands its origin, but ultimately, our morality/"ethics" - those are all logic informing us how to meet our animal instincts in the ways that produce the most acceptable results to us - both as individuals, and as societies.

What I see as problematic is when people attempt to influence those decisions with false data - with falsehoods and artificial "facts" that have no empirical basis, to circumvent the animalistic goals.

2014-03-04, 01:38 PM
What I see as problematic is when people attempt to influence those decisions with false data - with falsehoods and artificial "facts" that have no empirical basis, to circumvent the animalistic goals.

"I wish to propose for the reader’s favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true."

Bertrand Russel (1928)

Talya
2014-03-04, 01:44 PM
"I wish to propose for the reader’s favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true."

Bertrand Russel (1928)

I love it.

Killer Angel
2014-03-04, 02:08 PM
If your personal convictions don't have ethical bases, it will lead to inhuman results, whether or not logic is involved.

Well, yes. As I've said, I'm more scared by the lack of ethics.
Logic is a tool, an instrument to analyze the world. It's not good per se.

2014-03-04, 02:14 PM
That said, logic and science can still be powerful forces for ethics, since you can point out conflicts between a person's professed beliefs and their actions. People don't always care, of course, but surprisingly often they do. Being inconsistent, and being called out on it, is unpleasant. This can create an atmosphere in which reform is possible and maybe even unavoidable.

Synovia
2014-03-04, 02:49 PM
Being inconsistent, and being called out on it, is unpleasant. This can create an atmosphere in which reform is possible and maybe even unavoidable.

I agree with you on the first half of your statement, but don't agree with the conclusion.

My experience in life has been that it really depends on what the basis of the argument is. If the basis of the argument is logical, and you show the person a hole in the logic and posit a competing theory with better evidence, they'll often go "hrm, you might be right" and look into it themselves.

If the basis of the person's belief is emotional, spiritual, etc, pointing out inconsistencies will not cause them to turn their eye to their beliefs, they'll turn it towards you, and get angry, often doubling down and using the emotion as a tool to strengthen their belief.

People don't generally use facts to form their opinions; they gather facts to reaffirm their worldview. To quote Leon Festinger:
""Humans are not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one"

2014-03-04, 02:52 PM
People don't generally use facts to form their opinions; they gather facts to reaffirm their worldview. To quote Leon Festinger:
""Humans are not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one"

Well that's true, but only to a certain extent. After all, people do actually change their beliefs, and they do change their worldview. How much evidence is needed depends on the person, but it can happen. It does happen.

Talya
2014-03-04, 02:56 PM
That said, logic and science can still be powerful forces for ethics, since you can point out conflicts between a person's professed beliefs and their actions. People don't always care, of course, but surprisingly often they do. Being inconsistent, and being called out on it, is unpleasant. This can create an atmosphere in which reform is possible and maybe even unavoidable.

Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. The test for logical consistency is applicable in so many cases where logic itself had very little-to-no part in the initial idea.

Synovia
2014-03-04, 03:09 PM
Well that's true, but only to a certain extent. After all, people do actually change their beliefs, and they do change their worldview. How much evidence is needed depends on the person, but it can happen. It does happen.

Of course they change their beliefs and worldviews, but very rarely is it caused by being called out, or having inconsistency pointed out.

Joe Homophobe isn't going to see the error of his ways if you start pointing out inconsistencies in his emotional views, hes going to get angry. You can make a perfectly reasoned logical argument to him, and its not going to make a difference.

The evidence that you present isn't strong enough to overcome the cognitive dissonance that your argument creates, because its 'just words'. Either you're wrong, or his beliefs are wrong, and you're gonna lose that comparison. You have him live with a bunch of LGBT people and he sees that they're just normal people, and not demons, and maybe he starts questioning his beliefs.

Its a bit of a socratic thing, in that they really need to get there on their own. The best we can do with a logical argument is maybe plant some seeds of doubt and maybe start that process.

Karoht
2014-03-04, 03:24 PM
As hard as it sometimes is, I often try to figure out what someone was thinking when they did something I personally deem to be illogical, inefficient, or something I would be so offensive to call stupid. I've found that empathy goes a long way into deciphering such behavior, but only to a point. It's not really logical thought that often applies, but it sort of is.

Still not sure why people can't google things though.

Talya
2014-03-04, 03:28 PM
As hard as it sometimes is, I often try to figure out what someone was thinking when they did something I personally deem to be illogical, inefficient, or something I would be so offensive to call stupid. I've found that empathy goes a long way into deciphering such behavior, but only to a point. It's not really logical thought that often applies, but it sort of is.

Still not sure why people can't google things though.

Welcome to my life!

2014-03-04, 03:34 PM
The evidence that you present isn't strong enough to overcome the cognitive dissonance that your argument creates, because its 'just words'. Either you're wrong, or his beliefs are wrong, and you're gonna lose that comparison. You have him live with a bunch of LGBT people and he sees that they're just normal people, and not demons, and maybe he starts questioning his beliefs.

But why doesn't he just rationalize that? Call it "reason and evidence" then, rather than logic and science. The point is, reason and evidence can't tell us what to value but they are powerful tools when it comes to convincing people.

Its a bit of a socratic thing, in that they really need to get there on their own. The best we can do with a logical argument is maybe plant some seeds of doubt and maybe start that process.

Socrates still reasoned with people, and confronted them with the flaws of their own thinking. And he was dangerous enough to be sentenced to death.

I'll take what I can get, and if all I can get in a conversation is sowing the seeds I'm happy with that.

Synovia
2014-03-04, 03:35 PM
Yeah, its very often helpful to try to step into someone's frame of reference and try to understand why they act the way they do.

The google thing drives me nuts too. Every time someone forwards something to me on facebook, or whatever, that's incendiary, and demonstrably false, I see flames.

SiuiS
2014-03-04, 04:44 PM
Logic, at least in the mathematically pure way I tend to encounter it, is simply a calculus of sets and/or givens based on some simple axioms and definitions. Under these, logic simply produces results that must be true given some true conditions.

For almost any sort of application, a person must needs use a broader set of definitions and assumptions than is available in basic logic. These assumptions are not themselves produced by logic directly, although much of the time they are informed by how the logical calculus will process them. But they themselves are simply assumed true, and not subject to logical verification in the same way the conclusions drawn from them are. Axiomatic geometry is an excellent example of this; you can logically derive both Euclidean and hyperbolic geometry by changing a single axiom; this does not tell you anything about whether Euclidean or hyperbolic geometry is true however.

Which is why I think it a fundamental misunderstanding of what logic is to hold that it cannot say anything about ethics or morality or human subjectivity. If you start with a set of assumptions grounded in ethics, logic will produce a logical result from those assumptions. You can use logic to reason logically from your own subjective views.

I suspect the reason for this confusion is that, as Talya pointed out, logic and rationality are taken to be synonymous*. Rationality is, in modern society, often associated with a certain set of beliefs about an individual's penchant for placing the increase of their own welfare above anything else. This leads to actions often considered immoral, and, under the givens of that belief system, logical. This says nothing about the morality or immorality of logic however, as it may just as well be turned towards compassion and empathy as greed and callousness. The hammer can be used to break a man's fingers in the torture chamber, or build a newborn a crib. The first is not a universal condemnation of hammers any more than the second is a unanimous praise of them. The hammer is the tool, by its use can you know the character of the user.

*A point I would contest. Logic is a tool of rationality, just as a hammer is a tool of a carpenter. It's foolish to say a hammer and a carpenter are the same thing however. And just as many things can be made with a hammer, many rational results can be derived using logic.

all of this.

It's worth noting that a person can behave irrationally, but still behave logically. There is nuance between the two, and while the words rational and logical can be synonymous, they are not always so.

Talya
2014-03-04, 05:35 PM
I think, ultimately, that betrays a view of logic that is much too narrow.

Logic means, quite literally, "Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity." (OED). It has, as an additional (and supplementary) meaning "The quality of being justifiable by reason."

Logic is not some nebulous philosophy or man-made concept. In fact, logic in its purest form exists without humans at all. Mathematics, without the linguistic form of symbols we give it, exists as a set of objective rules throughout the universe. The physical laws of the universe are basically a complex array of "IF...THEN" statements built into the very structure of the universe. Logic has many forms - all are ultimately compatible, and given the same parameters will give the same results.

When we speak of logic here, we are not taking about formal logic, informal logic, symbolic logic or mathematical logic. Or perhaps ... we are. Just not one to the exclusion of any other kind of logic. We aren't limiting ourselves to inductive, abductive, or deductive reasoning. All of them qualify as logic.

Without logic, we are ruled purely on the immediate impulse. We simply act, on primal urges, and do not ponder the results. Logic is required for all reasoning -- and in fact, proper application of logic (consciously or not) is the only way one can expect to reliably get accurate results even from our most basic of thoughts.

Duck999
2014-03-04, 05:59 PM
Some people still act on first impulse. They can use logic to foresee results, but not everyone does. Just because we can use logic, doesn't me we do. Especially not all the time.

SiuiS
2014-03-04, 06:14 PM
As an american, I see a wide distrust of education in our society, and I think this leads to much of the distrust of logic. We seem to be a society that takes pride in some ignorance.

That's partly because our educational system is terrible and many successful people have to actively fight against what they were 'taught' in order to get anywhere.

I myself still believe in Santa Claus,

Respect.

Well that's true, but only to a certain extent. After all, people do actually change their beliefs, and they do change their worldview. How much evidence is needed depends on the person, but it can happen. It does happen.

Yes. A good atmosphere helps; here changing your opinion is just good praxis. Elsewhere it brands you and you'll never be taken at your word again. The first step towards allowing logic to take precedence in discussion is to let egotistical emotion step back.

Of course they change their beliefs and worldviews, but very rarely is it caused by being called out, or having inconsistency pointed out.

Joe Homophobe isn't going to see the error of his ways if you start pointing out inconsistencies in his emotional views, hes going to get angry. You can make a perfectly reasoned logical argument to him, and its not going to make a difference.

A topic near and dear.

Your mistake is thinking that there is only value if Joe Homophobe changes now, visibly, in front of you and witnesses so that credit can be had. Joe homophobe will get mad, and leave, and dwell on it. He will pick himself apart. And in the quiet darkness of his own heart there will (or won't, as the case may be) be a change. And that's good.

If the goal is spreading that change, regardless of personal benefit, the. You'll get much farther. Sure, Joe homophobe may still hate me as that jackass who wouldn't get off his case, but I don't care. I don't want him to like me, I want him to not be homophobic.[/QUOTE]

As hard as it sometimes is, I often try to figure out what someone was thinking when they did something I personally deem to be illogical, inefficient, or something I would be so offensive to call stupid. I've found that empathy goes a long way into deciphering such behavior, but only to a point. It's not really logical thought that often applies, but it sort of is.

Still not sure why people can't google things though.

Conditioning. Google is surprisingly inaccurate or useless for some tasks because for some topics, having the right keywords is half the battle and only happensif you already know enough in the topic. For simple things like arguing whether something is or is not fact, it's fine. For deeper stuff it's easier to be led astray; I found out there are like, five Wikipedia pages for the same Buddha, one for each of his Korean, Chinese and Japanese and Indian names, and they don't re fence each other at all, for example – despite thinking I had covered those bases.

Also, I am a grown-ass woman with a smartphone, steady Internet and credit card. And it still takes me by surprise sometimes when I'm wistfully thinking about stuff I want or want to look up, that holy smokes, I can look that up and or buy it right now and no one can stop me! It's because the first two thirds of my life were being poor and not having access to any research tools at all. By the time this all clicked, I had already spent years building bad habits.

It might be a grand future investment to teach our children how to optimize research tool use, just to avoid this.

I think, ultimately, that betrays a view of logic that is much too narrow.

Logic means, quite literally, "Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity." (OED). It has, as an additional (and supplementary) meaning "The quality of being justifiable by reason."

Logic is not some nebulous philosophy or man-made concept. In fact, logic in its purest form exists without humans at all. Mathematics, without the linguistic form of symbols we give it, exists as a set of objective rules throughout the universe. The physical laws of the universe are basically a complex array of "IF...THEN" statements built into the very structure of the universe. Logic has many forms - all are ultimately compatible, and given the same parameters will give the same results.

When we speak of logic here, we are not taking about formal logic, informal logic, symbolic logic or mathematical logic. Or perhaps ... we are. Just not one to the exclusion of any other kind of logic. We aren't limiting ourselves to inductive, abductive, or deductive reasoning. All of them qualify as logic.

Without logic, we are ruled purely on the immediate impulse. We simply act, on primal urges, and do not ponder the results. Logic is required for all reasoning -- and in fact, proper application of logic (consciously or not) is the only way one can expect to reliably get accurate results even from our most basic of thoughts.

Logic is basically math: it is formulaic and forms equations. It is 100% possieto get a logical result by putting in the wrong variables or incomplete variables, or by working with faulty assumptions. You can get correct answers that don't apply. Logic just tells you whether the answer is correct, reasoning would tell you if the answer mattered. Or discernment rather than reasoning, if you would like? The difference being that logic has no room itself for an emotional component, being simply a progression of variables. Reasoning is often informed by emotion and opinion as well as just data. A holistic stance will take I to account emotional response as valid rather than as obfuscatory junk data, for example.

Boy have I dropped the ball onthat recently <__<

warty goblin
2014-03-04, 06:29 PM
Logic is not some nebulous philosophy or man-made concept. In fact, logic in its purest form exists without humans at all. Mathematics, without the linguistic form of symbols we give it, exists as a set of objective rules throughout the universe. The physical laws of the universe are basically a complex array of "IF...THEN" statements built into the very structure of the universe. Logic has many forms - all are ultimately compatible, and given the same parameters will give the same results.

The question of whether logic and math are created or discovered is extremely open, and tied into a long-running philosophical debate about scientific realism. One can believe one way or the other, but the matter's hardly cut and dried.

To wit, even the most formal boolean logic is open to disagreement. It is generally held for example that False implies anything is True. However this not writ in the fabric of the universe, and logical systems can be created that hold F -> F is itself false, or even undefined.

Talya
2014-03-05, 09:07 AM
Logic is basically math: it is formulaic and forms equations.

All math is logic. Not all logic is math. But the substance of your statement is true. The logical answer to a problem can be wrong if the data used to come to that answer is incorrect.

Karoht
2014-03-05, 11:45 AM
all of this.
It's worth noting that a person can behave irrationally, but still behave logically. There is nuance between the two, and while the words rational and logical can be synonymous, they are not always so.I was trying to say this earlier (some days I am downright terrible with words, even with simple concepts) and somehow I muddied this. When attempting to analyse behavior I tend to look for one or the other. I was going to refer to it as reasonability, but I now realize that I'm trying to decribe two things and not one thing. That helps. See below for a relevant example.

Respect.Thanks. I have a rationale for my belief in Santa Claus, though it probably isn't a logical one.
Firstly, I define Santa as an anthropomorphization of the Spirit of the Season of Christmas, or the Spirit of Giving.
Second, I have seen this 'Spirit' in other people, most notably my grandmother. Everyone called her Mrs Claus and with good reason. She fought tooth and nail to make sure that everyone had a Christmas. She lived through the Great Depression and WWII in London. Her household was never bombed out, but her other family and friends were. Now, this was also at a time of rationing. Her mother was clever and saved up ration coupons through the year (and collected them from people who didn't need them, or donated them to her in return for being housed for a night or two after bombing) and blew just about all of them at Christmas. Pulled out all the stops. Baking that went for weeks before hand. She would team up with other households to make sure everyone on the block was looked after. Everyone. Especially the unfortunate families who were bombed out. They'd bring Christmas to anyone staying in the shelters and to families that had relocated after a bombing. This, all this effort from a woman who had 5 kids and other family to look after, and worked at a munitions factory.
When my Grandmother came to Canada, she worked as a cleaning lady in an apartment complex mostly full of seniors and students studying abroad at the nearby university, and other immigrants. And while she didn't deliver on the scale of her mother, my Great Grandmother, she made sure that everyone in the complex (only about 40 apartments, give or take) she could reach got a Christmas during the season.
"Got a Christmas?" you might be asking? Yes. Santa doesn't deliver just presents, he delivers Christmas. A day where everyone is family, everyone is supposed to be happy, even for just a little while.
So yes. I believe in Santa Claus. Because of what I see in my Grandmother. that kind of Spirit in someone.
So yeah. Thats my rationale on that one. Not entirely logical, inconsistant in a few parts, with some foggy definitions and at least a few bits of embellishment, but there it is.
And it is still just my opinion, which as I said may or may not have bearing on anything.

Reasoning is often informed by emotion and opinion as well as just data. A holistic stance will take I to account emotional response as valid rather than as obfuscatory junk data, for example.Ah. Yes. Well, that just reassures me that I'm correctly using the word rational in the above portion of my post.

That's partly because our educational system is terrible and many successful people have to actively fight against what they were 'taught' in order to get anywhere.100% agree. Being wrong is a sin, the kind that gives people serious anxieties, being right gets you bullied which also gives anxieties. I forget who said it but I strongly feel this quote: "being wrong should be celebrated, because if you're right all the time you aren't learning anything new" has a meaning that we somehow haven't connected to education very well.

Conditioning. Google is surprisingly inaccurate or useless for some tasks because for some topics, having the right keywords is half the battle and only happensif you already know enough in the topic. For simple things like arguing whether something is or is not fact, it's fine. For deeper stuff it's easier to be led astray; I found out there are like, five Wikipedia pages for the same Buddha, one for each of his Korean, Chinese and Japanese and Indian names, and they don't re fence each other at all, for example – despite thinking I had covered those bases.

Also, I am a grown-ass woman with a smartphone, steady Internet and credit card. And it still takes me by surprise sometimes when I'm wistfully thinking about stuff I want or want to look up, that holy smokes, I can look that up and or buy it right now and no one can stop me! It's because the first two thirds of my life were being poor and not having access to any research tools at all. By the time this all clicked, I had already spent years building bad habits.

It might be a grand future investment to teach our children how to optimize research tool use, just to avoid this.Nifty.
When I describe people who refuse to google/wiki, I do mean refuse.
Though perhaps it has more to do with burden of proof being placed back on the person making the claim, and the person feeling put on the spot.
But I agree that the pattern/behavior has not been well established for people to take proper advantage of the resources available to them.

Then there are the people who do what I call a 'intentional fail search' to shut me up.
For example, say someone wanted to look up a spell in DnD 3.5, and rather than punch in "DnD 3.5 [spell name]" they just punch in the spell name (often spelled poorly too which does not help at all), and if the first 5 links don't have it, noting of course that often times the first 3 are sponsored links "Google doesn't have it, whatever."

Finally I get the ads defense. "I don't want to search for it because I don't like being spammed with ads."
/facepalm

Thoughts?

SiuiS
2014-03-05, 12:12 PM
Thanks. I have a rationale for my belief in Santa Claus, though it probably isn't a logical one.
Firstly, I define Santa as an anthropomorphization of the Spirit of the Season of Christmas, or the Spirit of Giving.
Second, I have seen this 'Spirit' in other people, most notably my grandmother. Everyone called her Mrs Claus and with good reason. She fought tooth and nail to make sure that everyone had a Christmas. She lived through the Great Depression and WWII in London. Her household was never bombed out, but her other family and friends were. Now, this was also at a time of rationing. Her mother was clever and saved up ration coupons through the year (and collected them from people who didn't need them, or donated them to her in return for being housed for a night or two after bombing) and blew just about all of them at Christmas. Pulled out all the stops. Baking that went for weeks before hand. She would team up with other households to make sure everyone on the block was looked after. Everyone. Especially the unfortunate families who were bombed out. They'd bring Christmas to anyone staying in the shelters and to families that had relocated after a bombing. This, all this effort from a woman who had 5 kids and other family to look after, and worked at a munitions factory.
When my Grandmother came to Canada, she worked as a cleaning lady in an apartment complex mostly full of seniors and students studying abroad at the nearby university, and other immigrants. And while she didn't deliver on the scale of her mother, my Great Grandmother, she made sure that everyone in the complex (only about 40 apartments, give or take) she could reach got a Christmas during the season.
"Got a Christmas?" you might be asking? Yes. Santa doesn't deliver just presents, he delivers Christmas. A day where everyone is family, everyone is supposed to be happy, even for just a little while.
So yes. I believe in Santa Claus. Because of what I see in my Grandmother. that kind of Spirit in someone.
So yeah. Thats my rationale on that one. Not entirely logical, inconsistant in a few parts, with some foggy definitions and at least a few bits of embellishment, but there it is.
And it is still just my opinion, which as I said may or may not have bearing on anything.

Interesting. This ironically highlights some issues I've had with talking. XD

Ah. Yes. Well, that just reassures me that I'm correctly using the word rational in the above portion of my post.

Well, it establishes precedent for a social construct, in that two people independently understood a term to have the same general thrust, but if there's anything this thread has brought up it's that we can always quibble the base assumptions. It's up to Talya or others to accept the concept enough to work with.

Nifty.
When I describe people who refuse to google/wiki, I do mean refuse.
Though perhaps it has more to do with burden of proof being placed back on the person making the claim, and the person feeling put on the spot.
But I agree that the pattern/behavior has not been well established for people to take proper advantage of the resources available to them.

Then there are the people who do what I call a 'intentional fail search' to shut me up.
For example, say someone wanted to look up a spell in DnD 3.5, and rather than punch in "DnD 3.5 [spell name]" they just punch in the spell name (often spelled poorly too which does not help at all), and if the first 5 links don't have it, noting of course that often times the first 3 are sponsored links "Google doesn't have it, whatever."

Finally I get the ads defense. "I don't want to search for it because I don't like being spammed with ads."
/facepalm

Thoughts?

At that point I'll just do it myself, honestly. Burden of proof doesn't mean burden of looking up stuff, it only decides which side you're looking up. If burden of proof is on them, you look up their side. If the burden of proof is on you, you still look it up, but look up your own side. Because honestly, the only person you can 100% trust is yourself.

Burden of proof isn't a license to be a smegger and sit there, smug, waiting for the other person to put in effort while you sip some nice alcoholic mixer on the beach.

Karoht
2014-03-05, 01:00 PM
Well, it establishes precedent for a social construct, in that two people independently understood a term to have the same general thrust, but if there's anything this thread has brought up it's that we can always quibble the base assumptions. It's up to Talya or others to accept the concept enough to work with.Fair enough. Small sample size and all that jazz.

At that point I'll just do it myself, honestly. Burden of proof doesn't mean burden of looking up stuff, it only decides which side you're looking up. If burden of proof is on them, you look up their side. If the burden of proof is on you, you still look it up, but look up your own side. Because honestly, the only person you can 100% trust is yourself.

Burden of proof isn't a license to be a smegger and sit there, smug, waiting for the other person to put in effort while you sip some nice alcoholic mixer on the beach.Right, but then if I look things up for people I'm only reinforcing the behavior aren't I? If I do the legwork, I'm effectively only arguing with myself.

I agree completely about being polite though. Hmm, tough call that. Remain polite but keep arguing one's stubborn opinions VS my facts (often more difficult that one would think it to be), or force the discussion to move forward by placing responsibility where it should lie?

Perhaps I should just let it go more often.

SiuiS
2014-03-05, 01:21 PM
Fair enough. Small sample size and all that jazz.

I'm putting on a brave face. Really, I'm stoked to have found another same individual around here. Hahah.

Right, but then if I look things up for people I'm only reinforcing the behavior aren't I? If I do the legwork, I'm effectively only arguing with myself.

Quoting myself from a different thread; "I'm a narcissist. Every minute of my time you waste is more valuable than an hour you diddle away yourself." If I'm arguing, I care. If it's in front of a group, I just need to establish seniority in eyes of the audience so that the stupidity doesn't spread. If I'm alone, I can just tell them they're set up for failure and agree to disagree. Or slap them. But if it's an argument I don't care about, I shouldn't be having it in the first place. I'm only going to try to sway you if you are important.

I agree completely about being polite though. Hmm, tough call that. Remain polite but keep arguing one's stubborn opinions VS my facts (often more difficult that one would think it to be), or force the discussion to move forward by placing responsibility where it should lie?

Perhaps I should just let it go more often.

My other signature applies. "One cannot discriminate as to whether to show compassion; only how". So telling someone look, I like you, but you're being an ignoramus, shut up is sometimes a kindness you should commit.

Karoht
2014-03-05, 02:07 PM
I'm putting on a brave face. Really, I'm stoked to have found another same individual around here. Hahah.Huzzah!

Quoting myself from a different thread; "I'm a narcissist. Every minute of my time you waste is more valuable than an hour you diddle away yourself." If I'm arguing, I care. If it's in front of a group, I just need to establish seniority in eyes of the audience so that the stupidity doesn't spread. If I'm alone, I can just tell them they're set up for failure and agree to disagree. Or slap them. But if it's an argument I don't care about, I shouldn't be having it in the first place. I'm only going to try to sway you if you are important.I completely agree that I have narcissistic tendancies. But then, who doesn't really? :smallwink:
I was placing far too much importance on my own time and energy. I've pulled away from certain friend groups in the past, mostly upon coming to similar realizations but never quite catching on to the cycle.
Now, so long as I don't come across as overly smug smartass or overly humble pretentious jerkass and manage to strike a balance, I think I might have this under control.

My other signature applies. "One cannot discriminate as to whether to show compassion; only how". So telling someone look, I like you, but you're being an ignoramus, shut up is sometimes a kindness you should commit.Spot on. I shall endevour to politely change the subject without being smug or pretentious about it.

There are some people you can't argue with.
For everyone else, there's Mastercard logic.

Zrak
2014-03-06, 02:02 PM
Even if it is, you must still get your premises from somewhere. You can get them from an analysis of human nature, from a book, from a philosophy or from somewhere else entirely, but you can't get it from logic.

As I said earlier in the thread, my own contention would be that we get our premises from our conclusions. Outside of the realms of the purely theoretical, I think logic is a series of Then->If statements we reify into the opposite to pretend we have premises rather than retroactive justifications. In other words, logic is the stitchwork that holds together the tatterdemalion simulacra of coherent individuals we erroneously believe to be our actual selves.

Well that's true, but only to a certain extent. After all, people do actually change their beliefs, and they do change their worldview. How much evidence is needed depends on the person, but it can happen. It does happen.

Actually, there is evidence that being presented with evidence contrary to one's beliefs not only does not lead to one's reversal of those beliefs, but to one holding those beliefs even more strongly than before.

SiuiS
2014-03-06, 02:36 PM
As I said earlier in the thread, my own contention would be that we get our premises from our conclusions. Outside of the realms of the purely theoretical, I think logic is a series of Then->If statements we reify into the opposite to pretend we have premises rather than retroactive justifications. In other words, logic is the stitchwork that holds together the tatterdemalion simulacra of coherent individuals we erroneously believe to be our actual selves.

That makes sense, but it seems to be saying that one cannot take an active form and do real logic. People may indeed (listen to me! "May") form premises and then justify them, but they can also notice errors in those justifications.

Actually, there is evidence that being presented with evidence contrary to one's beliefs not only does not lead to one's reversal of those beliefs, but to one holding those beliefs even more strongly than before.

Oh? I would like to see that if I may. My own experience holds this to be true when people are emotionally engaged, about 80% of the time, but part of the premise of a logical – well, reasonable, rather – discussion is that you don't get emotional. At that point you're not talking about logic anymore, you're talking about who Wins and who is the Loser.

If at any point you are more interested in discrediting another, hurting them emotionally or not being hurt emotionally, it's time to reevaluate what is going on. In all relationships, not just romantic ones.

Zrak
2014-03-06, 03:08 PM
I agree that people may notice errors in the justifications, but I find it is almost always the justification, not the conclusion, that is amended.

Unfortunately, I'm a paywall away from most relevant literature, but the effect has been noticed for quite some time in studies of Confirmation Bias (where it is generally referred to as "persistence of discredited belief") and more recently and prominently in the wake of a Dartmouth poli-sci study that termed the phenomenon the much catchier "Backfire Effect." I believe Brendan Nyhan is the first author of the Dartmouth study.

Lokiare
2014-03-06, 08:03 PM
I like the question to Utilitarians: "so would you torture one person to cure a million people of dry eye?"

But if you ponder those questions using your emotions as a sanity-check, you'll answer them well. You might even be able to justify your answer with logic... and then you're *really* on to something.

The answer here is another question 'is there another way? Can we make 1000 animals really uncomfortable to cure dry eye?'. This is a false paradigm or a magician's choice. There are more options than those presented.

Of course they change their beliefs and worldviews, but very rarely is it caused by being called out, or having inconsistency pointed out.

Joe Homophobe isn't going to see the error of his ways if you start pointing out inconsistencies in his emotional views, hes going to get angry. You can make a perfectly reasoned logical argument to him, and its not going to make a difference.

The evidence that you present isn't strong enough to overcome the cognitive dissonance that your argument creates, because its 'just words'. Either you're wrong, or his beliefs are wrong, and you're gonna lose that comparison. You have him live with a bunch of LGBT people and he sees that they're just normal people, and not demons, and maybe he starts questioning his beliefs.

Its a bit of a socratic thing, in that they really need to get there on their own. The best we can do with a logical argument is maybe plant some seeds of doubt and maybe start that process.

What happens when you run into Joe dislikes homosexuals for valid logical and scientific reasons? One that counters each of your so called logical arguments with facts and studies that prove Joe correct in their assertions?

Many logical arguments aren't actually arguments about logic, they are almost entirely about the premises or the things that get put into logical arguments. Which is something that can further a discussion if you discuss the actual premises in a logical way. Something that rarely happens. I find that 99% of the time people argue not even with the facts I provide but with their emotions.

Emotions are the gas logic and facts are the steering, not the other way around as most people have it.

When people try to counter my logical fact filled arguments with emotions I call them out on it. They might have valid reasons to disagree with me, but if they don't communicate them in a detailed factual way they are meaningless to the discussion.

"I don't agree with that because I don't like it." goes a lot farther than "Your just wrong because I'm mad."

Lokiare
2014-03-06, 08:20 PM
I agree that people may notice errors in the justifications, but I find it is almost always the justification, not the conclusion, that is amended.

Unfortunately, I'm a paywall away from most relevant literature, but the effect has been noticed for quite some time in studies of Confirmation Bias (where it is generally referred to as "persistence of discredited belief") and more recently and prominently in the wake of a Dartmouth poli-sci study that termed the phenomenon the much catchier "Backfire Effect." I believe Brendan Nyhan is the first author of the Dartmouth study.

What did they use to test this? Can they be absolutely sure they weren't wrong on their conclusions and the subject of the experiment were correct? I'd have to really examine this study in detail to see if its valid.

Zrak
2014-03-06, 10:43 PM
I'm not really sure how to answer that, partly because I'm not exactly certain as to what you're asking and about which study or studies you are asking it, partly because, as I said, I don't currently have access to most of the relevant literature.

SiuiS
2014-03-09, 07:03 AM
I agree that people may notice errors in the justifications, but I find it is almost always the justification, not the conclusion, that is amended.

Unfortunately, I'm a paywall away from most relevant literature, but the effect has been noticed for quite some time in studies of Confirmation Bias (where it is generally referred to as "persistence of discredited belief") and more recently and prominently in the wake of a Dartmouth poli-sci study that termed the phenomenon the much catchier "Backfire Effect." I believe Brendan Nyhan is the first author of the Dartmouth study.

That's interesting, but I think it is of limited scope. It sounds like the kind of thing that's a valid data point but not a premise, but is also easy to mistake as as a premise.

Still, worth looking into.

What happens when you run into Joe dislikes homosexuals for valid logical and scientific reasons? One that counters each of your so called logical arguments with facts and studies that prove Joe correct in their assertions?

It's an invalid question. You cannot separate the abstract concept of "what if", from the specific of what if homosexuals etc. Because the question is already firmly answered. If someone has a completely logical series of premises for their faulty conclusion, then either they have new information that needs to be disseminated and digested before it can be considered, or he is selectively ignoring current solid, disseminated and digested evidence.

In fact, logically, asking about a specific easily debunked scenario pollutes the system, making it seem as if the person questioning – you, in this instance – is unaware that different data points have different values. It discredits the person making the what if statement.

huttj509
2014-03-09, 08:10 AM
What did they use to test this? Can they be absolutely sure they weren't wrong on their conclusions and the subject of the experiment were correct? I'd have to really examine this study in detail to see if its valid.

This article (http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/) seems decently laid out, and has a string of references to the research it mentions at the bottom.

A number of strongly charged RL issues mentioned (often regarding politics), but that's kinda unavoidable when discussing examples of this sort of thing.

SiuiS
2014-03-09, 08:23 AM
Ah. I see where things get fuzzy.

"Deeply held convictions" != "opinions or stances on subjects". It was looking like Zrak proposed people were more likely to change justifications for thinking fighters are the best/worst 3e class than adapt to facts, but the premise here is about things deeper and more central to a person's identity.

I don't think anyone has ever argued the deeper convictions were easier to sway, and I will fully admit to agreement that they are much easier to justify.

E: this here eludes me.

They repeated the experiment with other wedge issues like stem cell research and tax reform, and once again, they found corrections tended to increase the strength of the participants’ misconceptions if those corrections contradicted their ideologies. People on opposing sides of the political spectrum read the same articles and then the same corrections, and when new evidence was interpreted as threatening to their beliefs, they doubled down. The corrections backfired.

I'm missing a beat I think. This says that if I correct a fact in a way that conflicts with your ideology, you will ignore evidence and cleave more firmly to the incorrect version. But this doesn't seem to arise from the data presented at all. It looks like a jumped-to conclusion.

Maybe in just tired. This doesn't seem to be logical though. There's a disconnect between the data put in and the answer. It's like reading 1+2+3[___]=57 and knowing there's a gap but not what's in it.

E2: oh wait. That's basically what I said to the gent above, okay. It's convoluted but is coming together.

huttj509
2014-03-09, 10:05 AM
Ah. I see where things get fuzzy.

"Deeply held convictions" != "opinions or stances on subjects". It was looking like Zrak proposed people were more likely to change justifications for thinking fighters are the best/worst 3e class than adapt to facts, but the premise here is about things deeper and more central to a person's identity.

I don't think anyone has ever argued the deeper convictions were easier to sway, and I will fully admit to agreement that they are much easier to justify.

E: this here eludes me.

I'm missing a beat I think. This says that if I correct a fact in a way that conflicts with your ideology, you will ignore evidence and cleave more firmly to the incorrect version. But this doesn't seem to arise from the data presented at all. It looks like a jumped-to conclusion.

Maybe in just tired. This doesn't seem to be logical though. There's a disconnect between the data put in and the answer. It's like reading 1+2+3[___]=57 and knowing there's a gap but not what's in it.

E2: oh wait. That's basically what I said to the gent above, okay. It's convoluted but is coming together.

This (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~nyhan/nyhan-reifler.pdf) appears to be a pdf of the referenced nyhan-reifler stydy. The link at the end of the article was broken, but a quick google turned up what seems to be the study.

I found it interesting to look at.

Zrak
2014-03-09, 06:52 PM
Ah. I see where things get fuzzy.

"Deeply held convictions" != "opinions or stances on subjects".

It was looking like Zrak proposed people were more likely to change justifications for thinking fighters are the best/worst 3e class than adapt to facts, but the premise here is about things deeper and more central to a person's identity.

I don't think anyone has ever argued the deeper convictions were easier to sway, and I will fully admit to agreement that they are much easier to justify.
Ah, no, those were separate points. The theory that people simply change justifications rather than re-evaluating beliefs was in response to you saying people can notice errors in their justifications. The second paragraph was in reference to the studies I had mentioned in response to Asta Kask arguing that evidence could convince people to change their beliefs.

The point of the study isn't just that deeply-held convictions are more difficult to sway, it's that deeply-held convictions appear to influence the analysis of facts related to those convictions. In other words, if my beliefs about 3e fighters are strangely central to my identity, showing me the actual text of a rule I misread that supports my argument not only won't change my opinion about the classes, it won't even change my reading of the rule and, in fact, might make me even more certain that I read and interpreted the rule correctly. In short, facts may not shape our beliefs so much as beliefs shape our facts.

All that aside, while Nyhan's study dealt with things deeper and more central to one's identity, my personal experience has been that the same general principle holds true for even the most trivial matters about which one is capable of having a strong opinion. I would guess that repeating the basic experiment with D&D rules or Street Fighter tiers would produce similar results.

That is indeed the PDF of the study, huttj509. I don't know why I had such a hard time looking for it, unless I misspelled Nyhan's name or something. Thanks for finding it. :smallsmile:

TuggyNE
2014-03-09, 07:31 PM
The point of the study isn't just that deeply-held convictions are more difficult to sway, it's that deeply-held convictions appear to influence the analysis of facts related to those convictions. […] In short, facts may not shape our beliefs so much as beliefs shape our facts.

I gotta admit, I can't figure out how this is news to anyone. Well, except maybe people whose ideology relies on being as fact-based as possible; it would, I suppose, be rather disturbing to realize that that is more or less unachievable.

SiuiS
2014-03-09, 07:32 PM
Ah, no, those were separate points. The theory that people simply change justifications rather than re-evaluating beliefs was in response to you saying people can notice errors in their justifications. The second paragraph was in reference to the studies I had mentioned in response to Asta Kask arguing that evidence could convince people to change their beliefs.

My mistake then. Sorry.

I would argue this, because I can do it. But upon reflection, I specifically decided to cultivate that trait, I'm not an expert at it, and no one else routinely demonstrates this ever. >__<

Zrak
2014-03-09, 09:18 PM
I gotta admit, I can't figure out how this is news to anyone. Well, except maybe people whose ideology relies on being as fact-based as possible; it would, I suppose, be rather disturbing to realize that that is more or less unachievable.

Yeah, I think this is one of those things that everyone knew, but nobody studied because everyone knew it, until somebody figures, "Hey, publish or perish, right?" and then we have something to cite when referring to a trend pretty much everybody already knew about. :smalltongue:

My mistake then. Sorry.

Nah, that one's on me, I really did not make it clear that they were two separate things.

I would argue this, because I can do it. But upon reflection, I specifically decided to cultivate that trait, I'm not an expert at it, and no one else routinely demonstrates this ever. >__<

Yeah, I think it's something that's hard to avoid, even when you're fully aware of it and try and train yourself not to do it. Every time I think of all the times I did listen to evidence and change my mind about something, I realize that pretty much every other time I probably didn't.

SiuiS
2014-03-09, 09:36 PM
There's also selection bias. I change my mind on thigs all the time. The people who convince me often don't care though; I roll with it. They prove me wrong and I say, yah okay. Oops. And that's it.

The result is often that because I am not contrite, I do not openly declare my faults and recant my previous sins, that no one cares. They often don't want me to be right, they want me to feel bad and be sorry. So when I simply adopt the correct opinion (theirs), they don't notice. I don't have the proper surrender flags.

This is alien to me, most times. The purpose of an argument is to spread the correct understanding. If the other person adopts the correct understanding, I win! If I am proving wrong and adopt the correct understanding, I win! If someone reads the whole things and adopts the correct understanding, I win! I don't have to base winning off my personal sense of satisfaction, but seemingly all other people do. And they don't notice, which is frustrating.

But sometimes, sometimes someone will stop and say "hey, you're right, sorry", and the best I can manage is to tell them that's good but I'm still upset and still want to yell at them, so I should probably not talk to them for a while Even though we made up. :smallredface:

Lokiare
2014-03-10, 02:31 AM
That's interesting, but I think it is of limited scope. It sounds like the kind of thing that's a valid data point but not a premise, but is also easy to mistake as as a premise.

Still, worth looking into.

It's an invalid question. You cannot separate the abstract concept of "what if", from the specific of what if homosexuals etc. Because the question is already firmly answered. If someone has a completely logical series of premises for their faulty conclusion, then either they have new information that needs to be disseminated and digested before it can be considered, or he is selectively ignoring current solid, disseminated and digested evidence.

In fact, logically, asking about a specific easily debunked scenario pollutes the system, making it seem as if the person questioning – you, in this instance – is unaware that different data points have different values. It discredits the person making the what if statement.

PM me if you want the facts. I don't mind sharing.

http://dilbert.com/dyn/str_strip/000000000/00000000/0000000/100000/90000/7000/100/197155/197155.strip.gif

Lokiare
2014-03-10, 02:34 AM
This article (http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/the-backfire-effect/) seems decently laid out, and has a string of references to the research it mentions at the bottom.

A number of strongly charged RL issues mentioned (often regarding politics), but that's kinda unavoidable when discussing examples of this sort of thing.

If you mean that the study used RL issues strongly charged with emotion and often regarding politics, then I have to say right off that the study is invalid. You can only do a study like this with indisputable facts, not speculative debatable theories.

huttj509
2014-03-10, 03:02 AM
If you mean that the study used RL issues strongly charged with emotion and often regarding politics, then I have to say right off that the study is invalid. You can only do a study like this with indisputable facts, not speculative debatable theories.

It is regarding facts. The facts just involve American politics from the early 2000s.

Zrak
2014-03-10, 03:28 AM
The study presented people with factual evidence that corrected factual misconceptions related to emotionally-charged issues. This was explained both in the article linked in the post that you quoted and in a post I made earlier in this thread. It was, of course, also explained in the study itself, which was also linked earlier in this thread. I don't really know how you arrived at the misconception you did. Surely you wouldn't declare a study invalid without having read it thoroughly?

Frozen_Feet
2014-03-31, 08:51 AM
If your personal convictions don't have ethical bases, it will lead to inhuman results, whether or not logic is involved.

It can lead to inhuman results, but won't necessarily. There's plenty of irrational character flaws and evil in the world that are distinctly human in nature. "Human" and "Inhuman" are not the same as "humane" and "inhumane". To mix the two is to naively believe human existence as a whole is characterized more by kindness, mercy and compassion, rather than their opposites which are just as common.

On the other hand, there are plenty of ethical systems that do feel very inhuman to those not accustomed to them. Ironically, this does include many ethical systems that are humane.

If you mean that the study used RL issues strongly charged with emotion and often regarding politics, then I have to say right off that the study is invalid. You can only do a study like this with indisputable facts, not speculative debatable theories.

You are incorrectly assuming that people's attitude towards indisputable facts can't be political or strongly charged with emotion. Pick any single claim you consider an indisputable fact, and you will find someone disputing it on emotional grounds. Some people will vouch their lives on black being white, or the moon being the sun at night.

pendell
2014-03-31, 09:43 AM
Since most of my job as a software engineer involves troubleshooting software logic, I view it as a useful tool , nothing more , nothing less.

As Frozen_Feet pointed out, a logical argument or supposition is only as good as its inputs -- the postulates and facts that the argument is built on. An incorrect input means the entire logical chain, while valid , produces increasingly inaccurate results until someone -- usually a customer -- intuitively says "that's funny", and forces us to re-examine the entire chain.

Another issue I have found with logic is that it is not very good at handling ambiguity. Very few statements in written language, especially requirements documents written by business types, can be easily reduced to a series of true/false statements. There are also value judgements, subjective opinions, which are completely outside the scope of logic.

A major challenge I face is that we receive requirements from highly illogical beings. When we apply logic to them, usually what happens is that we give something that is "correct" but is, nonetheless, not what the customer wanted. Most humans I work with are NOT skilled at expressing their needs and desires in a coherent, logical format.

So: Logic is a useful tool. It is useful for thinking, and can allow one to spot flaws in reasoning and argument. That said, we deal with a chaotic, irrational world and because of this logic is fundamentally limited, since it assumes an order to the universe which, at the quantum level, simply isn't there.

So it should be a tool in one's mental toolbox but it has severe shortcomings if one cannot view the world outside of the logical paradigm.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

2014-03-31, 08:42 PM
Everyone likes logic. Even highly illogical people value it, as given a discussion with such a person, they fall back on trying to prove their points with logic (the only way discussion can occur). The problem is that everyone believes they are perfectly logical and everyone else is an illogical, muddled thinker.

In my experience as a mathematician, I am perfectly logical, and nearly everyone else is a muddled thinker.

The reason why someone may express discontent with logic in general probably has nothing to do with logical reasoning. The reason is probably because if one is skilled enough with logical implications, one can be dishonest and sneak something into the base assumptions that has no reason to be an assumption, then use logic to prove something that isn't provable, but an opinion. This isn't always intended by people who try it, but generally the smarter you are the easier it is to approach a topic like this to someone else and pull this trick off.

Doing this in a conversation isn't always obvious and is counter productive, and everyone does it from time to time (especially with heated discussions about topics which are barred here). If it's done right, where the unstated assumption was introduced can be hard to spot, even for people who are quite logical. This is a rhetorical trick, nothing more.

If someone isn't particularly inclined to spot this kind of trickery, then this may be their experiences in general when people proudly fall back on using 'logic', and thus, express disdain for logic in general.

Someone who truly dislikes logic would develop nuanced arguments like this. "Turquoise bicycle shoe fins actualize radishes greenly!"

EmeraldRose
2014-03-31, 09:59 PM
You know, over the years I've determined that I am, at heart, a very logical person. It annoys me when I have to interact with people who are completely illogical, but I still have to try to deal with them...

Targ Collective
2014-03-31, 11:16 PM
Something that desperately needs to be considered here is that Logic is a *tool for understanding*. This is all it is and like maths (which it is closely linked with) it is very flexible while following a rigid set of rules. You can have emotional logic; biased logic; irrational logic; psychotic logic. "I killed him because the sparkling purple fairies told me to" is logical in that *a* you are suffering from a delusion that there are sparkling purple fairies (or there are really such things there that only you can see - in practice no difference) and *b* you want to do what they say, possibly because if you don't they turn your feet into watermelons. It doesn't have to be *sane* to be *logical*.

Logic is at its best when paired with Truth; at its worst when paired with insanity and delusions and deceit and so on and so forth. We have irrational numbers; imaginary numbers; maths is inherently logical and like maths logic can describe anything but like maths logic is infinite in scope (especially when recursive). Logic is very, very powerful; easy to misapply; hard to master; easy to use even for a child.

I'll give an example: A child putting shapes into holes. Common children's toy. Know how some kids wedge the wrong shapes into the wrong holes? They're trying to break the system; they're system busters. They know perfectly well that some shapes go into some holes more easily. But they don't want to be limited to a linear system; they're using *non-linear logic*. Most teaching actually limits instead of expanding by saying *this is the only right way to do this*. An advanced mathematician can reach a conclusion from almost any angle. Take the numbers games on Countdown; even the anagrams; can't do them myself but they take non-linear thinking.

I will go further! Communication relies entirely on logical states! Every word has a definition and each word can only be understood in terms of other words. Each word is a unique logical state, has a truth unique to that word. Logic is not limited to true/false, it's capable of expressing quantumly, in infinite states. The English language is indicative of this.

In programming say you have a directory tree that you can navigate - like the Windows directory. You can go anywhere on the Internet by typing an URL. Already we have maths - because it's all binary - being used to express something non-linear. Text encoding - maths to express words. Love, hate, passion, desire - maths-to-text-to-emotion. I'm typing in maths right now; this is a translation facility between machine code facility and the English language. It's *translated* maths; words given through the keyboard in the form of words translated to binary translated back into words.

Now a mind****. Illogical. I just typed the word 'illogical' and expressed it, via my computer, in terms of logic. Is it still illogical? In the English language it manifestly *is* but the text is still, in machine code, a logical mathematical construct. Unless maths can be logical and illogical at the same time. Quantum!

Zrak
2014-03-31, 11:51 PM
Everyone likes logic. Even highly illogical people value it, as given a discussion with such a person, they fall back on trying to prove their points with logic (the only way discussion can occur).

People say this a lot, and I wonder how they became so confused as to the definitions of "discussion" and "equation" as to believe the two synonymous. As I and others have noted, logic is actually of very little use in a discussion, given its difficulties with any amount of ambiguity and its utter irrelevance towards every actually convincing anyone of anything they don't already believe. In a discussion, logic isn't a tool of understanding, it is a malleable construct to which one makes rhetorical appeals.

Someone who truly dislikes logic would develop nuanced arguments like this. "Turquoise bicycle shoe fins actualize radishes greenly!"

You understand that logic isn't the same thing as meaning, right? One can dislike logic with proper syntax. For example, someone could go around telling people they aren't true Scotsmen — or that they don't don't truly dislike logic — with perfectly intelligible grammar.

You know, over the years I've determined that I am, at heart, a very logical person. It annoys me when I have to interact with people who are completely illogical, but I still have to try to deal with them...

Said everyone in the whole world. :smallwink:

Targ Collective
2014-04-01, 12:28 AM
Math's greatest limitation is that - in its most commonly taught expression at least - it is linear. You deal with a number *line*. But logic allows for multiple states simultaneously. Why not have a number that can be odd *and* even? I denote a number set *Odd/even* that can be divided by odd and even number sets simultaneously. How? Mutiple simultaneous states. An example of a number that would fit this would be threefour. A number that is *at the same time* three and four. We will need to teach and learn maths like this in order to program quantum computers.

warty goblin
2014-04-01, 09:00 AM
Math's greatest limitation is that - in its most commonly taught expression at least - it is linear. You deal with a number *line*. But logic allows for multiple states simultaneously. Why not have a number that can be odd *and* even? I denote a number set *Odd/even* that can be divided by odd and even number sets simultaneously. How? Mutiple simultaneous states. An example of a number that would fit this would be threefour. A number that is *at the same time* three and four. We will need to teach and learn maths like this in order to program quantum computers.
You can't have a number that is odd and even by the definition of odd and even. By definition, x is even if x = 2a for some a in the natural numbers. x is odd if x = 2b + 1 for some natural b. If x were even and odd, 2b + 1 = 2a, which gives that a + b = 1/2. Since the naturals are closed under addition, 1/2 is not a natural number, and a, b are natural by assumption, this is a contradiction and no such x exists.

Should you construct a mathematics that allows statement A to be true and not A to be true, you have a useless piffle since every statement is simultaneously true and false. It lacks the power to say anything, and is therefore a failure in every sense of the word. Maybe the postmodernists will like it, but the actual mathematicians will at best think its a joke.

Now as it happens I study probability theory, which is pretty well set up to handle variables taking on unknown values. The math to deal with something that might be even and might be odd already exists, and it looks absolutely nothing like what you propose.

Zrak
2014-04-01, 12:33 PM
The postmodernists would only like it because its ambiguity would finally allow them to put puns and double entendres in equation form without guys like Sokal and Dawkins throwing huge crybaby fits about them misunderstanding math.

EDIT: Plus, then only half of Lacan's most famous theories would be based on misunderstandings of mathematical principles or scientific data.

warty goblin
2014-04-01, 01:28 PM
The postmodernists would only like it because its ambiguity would finally allow them to put puns and double entendres in equation form without guys like Sokal and Dawkins throwing huge crybaby fits about them misunderstanding math.

EDIT: Plus, then only half of Lacan's most famous theories would be based on misunderstandings of mathematical principles or scientific data.

There's actually nothing ambiguous about it. Every statement can be proven true and also not true. Since the statements in question are themselves unambiguous, it simply makes the system in question meaningless by any sensible definition.

I also have no issue with people writing puns as equations. I don't think it's a particularly interesting use of mathematics, in the same way that using a hammer as a paperweight isn't a particularly interesting sort of carpentry, but it's pretty harmless. I might rise to slight tetchiness if somebody tried to tell me that making a pun with equations somehow told me something in the same way that, say, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus does, but only because people deliberately playing the stupid gadfly has that effect on me.

Zrak
2014-04-01, 02:52 PM
There's actually nothing ambiguous about it. Every statement can be proven true and also not true. Since the statements in question are themselves unambiguous, it simply makes the system in question meaningless by any sensible definition.
Yeah, "meaninglessness" would've been a better word. Really all I meant was that if nothing means anything, they could finally make joking asides about their grandma not being a number without people flipping over tables and screaming that that isn't what NaN means.

I guess that's more computer science joke but I didn't have any other off-the-cuff puns about vaguely mathematical terms.

I might rise to slight tetchiness if somebody tried to tell me that making a pun with equations somehow told me something in the same way that, say, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus does, but only because people deliberately playing the stupid gadfly has that effect on me.

Hey, I didn't edit in a Lacan burn for nothing. :smallwink:

Duck999
2014-04-01, 06:17 PM
You know, over the years I've determined that I am, at heart, a very logical person. It annoys me when I have to interact with people who are completely illogical, but I still have to try to deal with them...

Someone who knows how I feel! If somebody is completely illogical, I can never help to point it out. I have gotten better at not interrupting people mid sentence though. I sometimes can't believe that some people aren't kidding about some things. (Half the time they are kidding...)

Griffincat
2014-04-02, 05:52 AM
Logic is a tool, but it isn't a be all end all.

At a training I attended for one of my jobs (on how to increase student motivation), the author of the text used for the course wrote, on the same page, that motivation cannot be taught, but that it was something that could be taught via using the book the author was hawking. That drove me nuts and got me in the ill graces of the trainer when I asked why we were bothering with this in the first place as even the author found increasing student motivation to be futile.

However, some things just aren't logical; a case in point would be personal preferences. I have an irrational love of driving in freezing rain. My favorite weather in which to drive, actually. No idea why. My brother went through a phase of putting ketchup on pretty much everything he ate, again for no reason other than preference. No truth table is going to tell you if you prefer butter brickle to strawberry ice cream, or if you even like ice cream in the first place.

Any tool can be overused (the whole "if you're equipped with a hammer everything looks like a nail" concept). I have had occasion to witness several first dates (we were all at the same restaurant, and hey, people watching) in which extreme logic users bored their prospective partners to death or simply came across as sociopathic. I've also seen a person who was so enamored of stochastics that he brought dice to a date and used them to determine what he and the date should eat and drink (and in what order) to similar ill effect. None of these pairings seemed to last beyond the check.

I'm both a plant biologist and a musician by training. In 20th century art music, there were composers who went down a very formal serialized path (the 2nd Viennese school) and there were others who went down a purely stochastic path to composition (famously John Cage). All demanded exacting performances of the resulting works. And, to the outside listener, distinguishing which piece was composed by strict logic and which by random events is pretty much impossible.

In short, I find that logic can help in practical matters (which mobile plan is best for my circumstances, if I buy 4 pounds of grapes can my family eat them before they rot) but it doesn't work for everything.

georgie_leech
2014-04-04, 06:31 PM
There's also selection bias. I change my mind on thigs all the time. The people who convince me often don't care though; I roll with it. They prove me wrong and I say, yah okay. Oops. And that's it.

The result is often that because I am not contrite, I do not openly declare my faults and recant my previous sins, that no one cares. They often don't want me to be right, they want me to feel bad and be sorry. So when I simply adopt the correct opinion (theirs), they don't notice. I don't have the proper surrender flags.

This is alien to me, most times. The purpose of an argument is to spread the correct understanding. If the other person adopts the correct understanding, I win! If I am proving wrong and adopt the correct understanding, I win! If someone reads the whole things and adopts the correct understanding, I win! I don't have to base winning off my personal sense of satisfaction, but seemingly all other people do. And they don't notice, which is frustrating.

But sometimes, sometimes someone will stop and say "hey, you're right, sorry", and the best I can manage is to tell them that's good but I'm still upset and still want to yell at them, so I should probably not talk to them for a while Even though we made up. :smallredface:

I think this is my favourite description of why seeking understanding over victory is so awesome. Everything is so much more interesting when you're looking to spread understanding over your own viewpoint, even if it means changing your own to better suit the other persons.

On a different note entirely, to those arguing that the assumptions for the premises of logic are inherently correct, is it possible to prove that 1+1=2?

Duck999
2014-04-04, 06:45 PM
For April fool's, 2 of my friends disproved that 1+1=2, and that it instead equals pi. That is a whole other story though...

warty goblin
2014-04-04, 07:06 PM
On a different note entirely, to those arguing that the assumptions for the premises of logic are inherently correct, is it possible to prove that 1+1=2?
Yes, under some assumptions and in some systems. I've also worked in systems where it could be demonstrated that 1 + 1 = 0*. Which were also perfectly logical.

Regardless, Godel pretty much wrapped up the whole premises of logic thing eighty odd years ago now. If your logical system is complex enough to do arithmetic with, there are true results you cannot prove, one of which is the consistency/inconsistency of the system.

*Although not for very long, because groups of size 2 are boring.

For April fool's, 2 of my friends disproved that 1+1=2, and that it instead equals pi. That is a whole other story though...

If one takes pi to be the ratio of a circle's diameter and circumference* this is not terribly difficult. You just need a sufficiently curved space.

*As opposed to the usual modern definition of pi as the results of certain infinite sums that just happen to coincide with the ratio of the circumference and diameter of a circle in Euclidean space. This lets pi be a well defined mathematical constant without needing to reference a particular geometry.

Duck999
2014-04-04, 08:31 PM
They went kind of overboard with the proof. They used toothpaste. Part of it went something like this:
Draw auxiliary turtle theta. Using the constructive turtle property, we know that turtle theta coincides with the 4th dimension perpendicularly. They then went into some crazier stuff to prove 1+1=approximately pi-because of Newton's laws of gravity.

And that is where being illogical becomes a joke.:smalltongue: