# Thread: Is LOGIC the ultimate authority?

1. I think the belief in ultimate authority regarding truth is wrong headed. Sometimes observation trumps logic, other times logic tells us to observe more carefully. Sometimes what is needed is imagination, at other times trust in what other people say. There are many ways to use our faculties to attempt to find out the truth. Sometimes some faculties and tools are called upon, at other times other faculties.

2. Originally Posted by ygolo
I think the belief in ultimate authority regarding truth is wrong headed. Sometimes observation trumps logic, other times logic tells us to observe more carefully. Sometimes what is needed is imagination, at other times trust in what other people say. There are many ways to use our faculties to attempt to find out the truth. Sometimes some faculties and tools are called upon, at other times other faculties.
Practical ...

3. Originally Posted by _Poki_
Practical ...
Haha. OK. Something more "philosophical" then.

Logic (at least deductive formal logic) is a system of going from assumptions (preimises) to conclusions. We can try to minimize the number of assumptions we make to start this process, but even among those could be an assumption which is false. This means, in addition to being able to deduce conclusions properly, we need to find ways to make the proper assumptions. For this, we need our other faculties and tools that enhance those faculties.

But suppose you do use logic to come to a conclusion. Can we just assume it is true? Obviously, not. We need to be able to test those conclusions against our observations. If we see a mismatch, we can believe that a number of things went wrong. Perhaps something went wrong with the observations? Perhaps something went wrong with our deduction process? Perhaps one of our initial assumptions was wrong? I have known all these things to happen in my attempts at logic.

Perhaps we could come to a more radical conclusion. That formal logic itself is "wrong". For instance, with quantum mechanics, the notion of the state of the system no longer follows the logic applied to the classical notion of states of a system. But the way we actually describe quantum mechanical phenomena is built on Mathematics, which is itself built on "classical" logic. The difference between classical and quantum mechanics is what level of mathematics we map to reality.

I personally think that we will never know if logic itself is wrong. It is hardwired into the way we think (collectively). Granted, some phenomena may not have a description in a formal system we have already devised. However, that doesn't mean we wont come up with a formal system later on that describe the phenomena correctly.

For similar reasons to why absolute certainty in truth is difficult, absolute certainty in logic is difficult. But I choose to believe in both truth and logic because the alternatives are too much work.

4. Is it ever logical to defy logic? In that case you have done nothing more then created new temporary logic that allows logic to still hold true, but allows a different path to side step the illogical.

The day we perfect logic is the day that we cant differentiate AI with our own intelligence.

5. Originally Posted by Jenaphor
Cannot resist...

Logic isn't the ultimate authority. If you view politicians in general, regardless of whether they're elected, put in by right of might or inherited, there's nothing logical about them or how they govern...For that matter, there's nothing logical about laws, although application of interpretation of laws can be logical.
+1000. In fact there is a painful absence of logic from our current system and its policies. Money writes the law. While a profit is a beautiful thing, it is illogical to put its pursuit above all else from a governing standpoint. Come to think of it, it is illogical for us to expect anything else with our revolving door between government and corporate execs and the billions they are allowed to spend in lobbying.

6. Originally Posted by Frank
+1000. In fact there is a painful absence of logic from our current system and its policies. Money writes the law. While a profit is a beautiful thing, it is illogical to put its pursuit above all else from a governing standpoint. Come to think of it, it is illogical for us to expect anything else with our revolving door between government and corporate execs and the billions they are allowed to spend in lobbying.
When did opinion enter the realm of logic? Not argueing for or against the law or government...but what was written is solely opinion. Most laws are put in place for a reason, whether the masses agree with them or not.

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