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Thread: Faith vs. Logic

  1. #41
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by elfinchilde View Post
    Are we splitting hairs here? Because in the end: what is the ultimate purpose of faith and logic?
    Splitting hairs yes. What's the foundation that logic is based on? A set of rules. What is the basis of that set of rules? Postulates... Not provable, so why do we accept them? Two methods of decision making that originates from the same stand point.

    Purpose of faith and logic... my guess would be ways of making decisions based on incomplete sets of information. It's how life works... we're never given all the data. So we make do with what we have. Faith, a system of values, is nothing more than an empirically derived set of rules that are passed down over generations which seems to work for most scenarios. Where as logic, a system of steps and procedures also established in the past, is deemed efficient in drawing conclusions by evaluating a limited set of information.

    The two have more similarities than one imagines...

    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?
    If you're interested in the conclusion, then no it does not matter. However, if you're interested in the process... then it does.

    A side thought: What is the purpose of philosophy? If you agree with the first statement, then can you say philosophy is of no value to you?

  2. #42
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Probable is a dilemma of perspective. Possibility is the physical execution of the probable - in this, both are linked.

    Faith is unavoidably blind - to entertain a system of belief without empirical proof is to believe without falsifiable premise.

    Yet, to summarily dismiss because we lack empiricism is to miss the point of scientific enquiry altogether.

    Thus, faith is not a question of logic; faith is fundamentally alogical.
    Well, what about people who know this about faith, and don't reject it as a possibility, but feel uncomfortable living according to something that's blind and alogical?

  3. #43
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    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.
    I wonder if our senses aren't the start of every logical conclusion we come to. I wonder how much faith goes into our senses. Most humans are born with the same senses, excluding the deaf, the blind, the colorblind, etc. It is what has been given to us to observe and perceive our universe. I could argue that little faith goes into trusting our senses, because we have logical reasons to do so.

    One reason is that consistently, people perceive stimuli almost exactly the same way. The world over, people agree that the sky is blue, the grass is green, a ball is round, etc. We have evidence to support our senses being accurate: consistency from person to person. Another reason is that few things are perceived by one sense at a time; in that way, each sense sort of verifies what the others are perceiving. If we are perhaps deaf, other senses may point to the same perception; for example, when a deaf person sees a person wince at a person drawing their nails down a chalkboard, they can deduce from that that an unpleasant sound is being produced.

    Sure, you could argue that basically everything could be a figment of our imaginations; we could be imagining everyone in the world and what they perceive; we could be imagining everything we perceive. We could. I almost hesitate to call it faith, because I have logical reason to believe that everything is not just a big cataclysmic explosion of my imagination (though that would be a huge ego boost). I DO have logical reasons to support my faith in my five senses. I just don't feel like pondering what all of those reasons are at the moment. I'm pretty sure my trust in my five senses, and my belief that everything isn't just a product of my imagination, isn't based entirely, if at all, on faith.

    Shit, I'm confusing myself. I suppose my point is: just because something can't be proven undividedly doesn't mean one didn't arrive at that conclusion using logic.

    I'm also trying to figure out what my logical reasons are for believing in logic. One, it's done right by me so far, by allowing me to predict the most probable outcome of things and generally be correct, according to my five senses. What are my reasons for believing that everything isn't a big product of my imagination? Well, I really doubt my imagination could be this consistent for this long, considering dreams I've had where I could fly and all. Still, I suppose it comes down to this: going back to Nemo's 4=5 post, anything can be logically true depending on your perceptions.

    I can't prove nothing is a figment of my imagination, but I can logically deduce that my perceptions are reliable and consistent with others' perceptions. I can't prove that 2 absolutely equals two, but I can logically support that theory. Night's kind of faith still doesn't exist, in my perception, because every conclusion I arrive at is arrived at logically.

    I think there's a common misconception (but not necessarily overwhelmingly common) that feelers use less logic than thinkers. Based on my definition of logic, this is pretty much impossible. What I think is true is that feelers more naturally consider the impact of their actions on other people. In contrast, thinkers are more concerned with efficiency and results. Neither definition correlates with logic or lack thereof.
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  4. #44
    ~dangerous curves ahead~
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    Nov 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    I always feel a certain pang of sympathy for those who try to logically justify / disprove matters of faith.

    It makes me wonder if they've an honest consideration of either.
    Interesting question re: proving and intangibility.

    I've always seen them as segues in a system of being; and one cannot exist without the other, simply.

    To explain, at the start of faith, most of us require markers. Be they prayers, articles of worship, stories, etc. Most of us would not accept anything without some form of proof, simply.

    The Angkor City was built on that understanding. At the lower walls, are stories of daily life and living. Ways of being. In the inner courtyard, the walls are etched with the myths and legends, and histories of the people, a mix of Buddhist and Hindu ethos. But in the innermost space, are four reflecting pools, devoid of carvings and stories. At that stage of enlightenment, one is supposed to grasp the essence of faith, and need no markers for clarity. Absoluteness.

    With logic, it requires understanding as well. We test it before we accept it. I doubt anyone could fully understand a system of being - as it is a living system, subject to evolution simply. With what do you take the parts you do not understand on then, if not faith. Or what if the old theories cannot hold in an unknown future. Do you reject the whole because you do not understand parts of it? And what are the markers of logic? Theories, proofs, hypotheses. Are these not symbols of logic, vs logic itself?

    So, I'd stick my neck out here and say logic is as intangible as faith, simply. One defines the other, and they will not exist without each other. A person without logic, is a person with an incomplete faith. And vice versa.

    We're human beings. At the end of it, faith or logic, they're merely systems for being. The need for something to hold on to runs deep in all of us. If that is not the basis for faith and/or logic. What is? The existence of one is the proof of the other, simply.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Snowey1210's Avatar
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    Jan 2008


    Great Post!

    I agree faith and logic are not mutually exclusive. Ironically science requires faith in order for it to be deemed logical by the scientist. I'd also argue that many faith's are scientific to followers as they become logical to whomever follows them. I have no gripes with anyone on either side of that coin.

    However when faith and/or logic becomes infallible, I begin to question it's validity as time and experience has shown us that we will invariably be wrong from time to time, and it isn't possible to explain absolutely everything (I'm not sure I'd want to either). My system of being is a fluid one, learning and chasing meaning are paramount to me. The catch is I'll never believe in something unquestionably, but in the end I feel I'll be a better person for it.
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  6. #46
    Highly Hollow Wandering's Avatar
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    Dec 2007


    If I:

    1- perceive the possible existence of "God"

    2- decide to experiment on the basis that my perception might be true

    3- repeatedly obtain the same result to the same experiment

    4- conclude that there must be something to my perception of "God"

    Which one am I using? Faith or logic?

  7. #47
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    Jan 2008


    ^ logic. it's scientific hypothesis. the only trouble is: science has never been able to prove or disprove the presence of God.

    Agree with aelan. Faith and logic are two halves of a continuum. In that sense, they are complementary, not opposing, as is commonly believed. Which was why i meant by saying that the ends are the same, just that the means differ.

    Nightning! Ni. Processes matter more, eh?
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  8. #48
    Highly Hollow Wandering's Avatar
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    Dec 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by elfinchilde View Post
    the only trouble is: science has never been able to prove or disprove the presence of God.
    Neither can I prove it to anyone else.

    And so far I haven't been able to find an alternative explanation for the systematic results to my experiments. Except for one: I'm absolutely crazy, delusional and hallucinating, far beyond any hope of ever distinguishing reality from illusion. That's a possibility, of course, but one that won't get me far, so both logic and faith dictate that I dismiss this avenue, at least for the time being

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowey1210 View Post
    Ironically science requires faith in order for it to be deemed logical by the scientist.
    Scientists never accept anything without supporting evidence. Faith is completely excluded from the scientific process at every point. They don't accept evidence because they have faith that it's correct. They accept the evidence because it is demonstrable, repeatable and consistent. If a scientist ever does take something on faith then he isn't doing science.

    If you want to get all solipsistic then there's not much to be said.

    I think the issue should be Faith vs Empiricism, with logic being a tool in the service of empiricism.

  10. #50
    Senior Member nemo's Avatar
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    Jan 2008


    I can't follow this discussion because it seems there's multiple definitions of logic, faith, and science floating around.

    Logic != science.

    And to me, an important property of logic is that it must be non-contradictory and demonstrable to anyone else if you give them the rules and definitions of logic. Faith doesn't have to be this way. It can be based off personal revelation, etc.

    Also: science is not about truth. It's about the most reasonable, statistically viable explanation given the current set of data. And that's the thing: statistics is really just the art of knowing you're uncertain, but also knowing *exactly* how uncertain you are.

    If science has any inherent "faith", it's only the radical assumption that reality exists and is coherent. The rest is entirely logic, and everything from that is completely non-contradictory.

    Really, I don't think that's so radical, myself. Some people may point out the problem of induction, the problem of where the axioms come from, etc. but unless you're willing to accept total and irrecoverable nihilism, you have to start somewhere. And if anyone wants to attempt to transcend my "faith" in the laws of gravity right off the top of a building, be my guest.

    But I'm guessing no one will, and I do think that's indicative of some implicit and intuitive knowledge we have that reality is, you know, real.

    At least with science, if everyone follows the logic through, they come up with the same conclusions independently. The same cannot be said for faith.

    And what no one seems to be mentioning is that science freakin' works. Even with bizarre things we definitely don't understand well -- for instance, quantum mechanics predicts phenomena so accurately that it is literally on the scale as if one accurately measured the distance across the United States to within the width of one human hair.

    That's pretty cool, if you ask me.
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