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Thread: Faith vs. Logic

  1. #31
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    As far as I can tell, faith is inseparable from logic and vice versa. I've always felt that faith is just the confidence people put in something being true.
    In that case, you may have a different definition from some of the scientific-leaning posters in this thread. I would say that the source of the confidence is where faith comes in, or doesn't. When dealing with a reliable, scientific (scrutinized) theory, the source of the confidence is observation, repeatability, and deduction (the process). When dealing with things that cannot be proven, because of the way they are constructed ("you can't see god") or because of a dearth of data (string theory?), the source of one's confidence is intuition/hope/feelings/superstition, none of which can be assessed for reliability. The former is called "proof;" the latter is called "faith."

    People have to have some confidence in something in this world being true or they would go insane. People have to put faith in logic, which is simply the ability to reason from perceptions. But since people's perceptions can be wrong, people's logic can be wrong.
    I think the amount of "faith" you need in logic depends on what you think logic really is. (I'm using my definition of faith here, not yours.) If you understand logic as a system by which patterns in our observations repeat and stay constant, the confidence comes from observation, not from superstition or "faith."

    While it's true that people's perceptions can be inaccurate, logic only claims to work within these perception, flawed or not. You can make an analogy to lock picking. (Bear with me.) If someone screws around with your lock (perceptions), you adjust the lock pick. No one would claim that their lock pick will open all future/other locks, they would just claim that this pick works for this lock. If you fix your lock, you adjust the pick. In the same way, one doesn't need faith in logic because logic isn't intended to work with all future perceptions, just the perceptions we currently have.

    As an aside, I find it amusing that you use logic to cast doubt on logic.

    Thankfully science and other systems of methodology correct for a lot of the error in human perceptions, but it is still possible to derive incorrect knowledge. Therefore people accept the knowledge derived from science and logic, on faith.
    Seems like this would still be a problem, since science is based on logic. I still disagree for the reasons set forth, though.

    Faith on the other hand, is derived from logic. People reasoned at one point there is a God, and since no one has been able to prove it isn't true, people can continue to accept that original logic on faith. To me, they just seem like two sides to the same coin.
    To me, this is really a perversion of logic, not a derivation. I think by "original logic" you mean "original argument" based on logic. Either way, people who believe things because they can't be DISproven are in fact rejecting logic, not embracing it. To fully embrace the principle (and logic) that that which cannot be proven can/must exist would lead one to believe in all unfalsifiable theories like fairies and leprechauns.

  2. #32
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    There is no dicotomy between logic and faith. Furthermore while one can apply faith without logic, one cannot apply logic without faith.

    This is because logic is a process. It is a method of concluding B given A. Without an A one will never be able to reach conclusion B. Where does A come from? Well it can come from other logical conclusions, but ultimately one must have a starting place before logic is applied. One must believe in A without having concluded it logically. Therefore faith is not in opposition to logic, but rather is a necessary ally.

    Philosphers are among the most rigorously logical (much more rigorous in their logic than even scientists), and yet each one comes to very different conclusions than the one before him. This is because each uses different initial assumptions. Each has a different faith to start from. And furthermore one must start from a point of faith to reach any conclusion. To not have faith in anything is to not know anything.
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  3. #33
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    There is a dichotomy between logic and faith.

    The faith you speak of is the faith a human has to put in his ability to create a logical progression.

    Logic is infallible. People are not.

    The opinion that faith is required to accept logic is usually held by those who can't follow a logical progression.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    This thread makes the logician in me weep.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  5. #35
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    To not have faith in anything is to not know anything.
    Knowledge and logic are not connected to one another either.

    Those who don't abuse logic know it's to be based on assumptions, without necessarily accepting them as true, only using them to fit an end. If the end fits the progression and the empirical data, then you have a fact.

    Facts, are held in faith. Logic is not.
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  6. #36
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    This thread makes the logician in me weep.
    Then please correct us.
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  7. #37
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I guess a lot of it really does come down to definitions.

    Logic accepts that the only source of knowledge available is what is derived from our experience, namely our perceptions. So the knowledge derived from logic can only be as good as the perceptions it is based upon. That means logic is simply a faith in consistency. For faith is what we believe must be true, and logic holds that what is repeatedly observed must be true.

    Held separately, neither logic nor faith makes sense since you need to believe in your observations in order reason from them, while you also need logic to provide some systematic explanation of faith.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
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  8. #38
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    This thread makes the logician in me weep.
    I sympathize.

    Knowledge and logic are not connected to one another either.
    Logic is a tool that people use to increase their knowledge. That seems like a pretty strong connection to me. :rolli:
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  9. #39
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    But they're not actually the same thing. Roll your eyes all you want. Just because you used logic to find a fact, doesn't mean that you use logic to hold the knowledge.

    Faith takes care of that, if you must extort the meaning out of the word.
    we fukin won boys

  10. #40
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    Perhaps logic is articulated reasoning, while faith is inarticulate reasoning.

    It's the difference between classical physics, and quantum and chaos theories. The first holds the idea that everything is known and its patterns can be deduced. The second hold the idea that there will be unknown constants, and while the main patterns can be deduced, the rest will remain uncertain.

    Are we splitting hairs here? Because in the end: what is the ultimate purpose of faith and logic?

    If the means of arrival differ, but the destination is the same, dare I say then that the means do not matter as long as the method works?

    food for thought.
    You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    They called me the hyacinth girl.
    Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    --T.S Eliot, The Wasteland

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