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The San Diego Philosophers' Roundtable Message Board › In response to Jim's 04/22/13 comments...

In response to Jim's 04/22/13 comments...

San Diego, CA
Post #: 18

I think you have to ask what the law of identity is worth. Does it hold the fabric of the universe together, or is it merely a way to assess membership in a self-complicating mental system?

Jim, that's a false dichotomy. And I don't find anything complicated about the law of identity. What is the law of identity worth? It's one of the most fundamental principles.

I don't even know why you're arguing about the law of identity when I only used it as an example.

You also have to take a stand on what truth is. Is truth only the identical, or is it something much more general, a belief, or an agreement perhaps?

In making a declaration about truth, I took a stand on what truth is. I know there are different philosophical and colloquial definitions of "truth." I'm referring to "truth" as consistency with reality, so it's not just a belief or agreement. Of course, if one believes that reality is made by man, then we run into all sorts of epistemological problems, e.g. truth is relative.

What Tim has to say is a good example of this: Max Born did not say that his was uncertain of any belief, so his particular beliefs are not self-contradictory for his opinion on truth.

I don't think that's an example. For whatever reasons I won't go into, my interpretation did not align with yours and/or Born's. Born's interpretation would be the true message. So if my interpretation does not align with Born's, my interpretation is false.

He is concerned about the philosophical fact that conviction more often than not turns to dogma, ignorance and harm.

Sure, it's a legitimate concern, but to equivocate conviction with the root of all evil is a misplacement of blame. That is anything but wise! It's no different than saying that money is the root of all evil.
San Diego, CA
Post #: 20
The idea that the purpose of logic is the elimination of evil is derived from monotheism, introduced shortly as an appendage to Aristotle by Thomas Aquinas. We all know how much harm and damage has been caused over centuries by this kind of “logic”, and current events continue to be reminded of it at an accelerating pace.

I'm not going to argue the history of philosophy because it's irrelevant. And you are making a bold claim (this "logic" has caused harm and damage) that requires supporting evidence, not to mention you commit the fallacy, ad populum.

The dismissal of logic is also self-contradictory. How can you formulate an argument without logic?

Logic is merely a codification of successful thought experiments reduced to the simplest level, a metaphysical level. The people who derived these experiments did not even have correct information on physics, they were wrong about everything. There is no guarantee that the use of good logic will deliver us from evil. It is merely another inductive tool that works consistently, not a ‘process’ or panacea which can deliver us from all of our mistakes and ignorance.

1. What does physics have anything to do with logic? This is a non sequitur.

2. Why would being wrong about physics also mean being wrong about everything? This commits the fallacy, post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

3. We all use logic, whether we're aware of it. Logic guides our reasoning and thinking. Some people are not very good at it, and commit logical fallacies one after another, so are easily manipulated by emotion. To say that logic will not deliver us from evil is like saying that breathing will not deliver us from death because the people who discovered breathing didn't understand physics.
A former member
Post #: 1
I'd like to mention that I didn't attack logic in any way by placing it in its correct historical perspective, and the interesting coincidence that Aristotle's meta-physics, meaning "after physics" happens to not only follow, but also to be named after Aristotle's poor attempt to approximate that reality in language. I agree that the metaphysics was much more successful, if not more influential, than that which preceded it.

One should ask why you are so proud of your dismissal of history, especially of the history of that which we are trying to study?

You have made quite a few bold claims yourself, that logic acts as checks and balances on belief, that applying logic incorrectly results in 'evil'. (One of your comments was almost correct. I would say that logic creates conviction, but is not "a guide to" it: You are either convinced or you are not.)
A former member
Post #: 2
I think if you believe you know what truth is because you know reality in some way is something like saying your team will win the world series because you know baseballs are round. It doesn't have any truth in it that is worth anything; it only says that your confidence is not bounded by normal reason.

Your experiencing of, "epistemological problems", seems to beg the question, why, or why not is truth relative? You seem to have "saved" yourself by thinking you know the answer, but prior to dismissing that question, we should ask, "Relative to what?"

Born's quotation, "The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world." did not contain an attack on conviction. Born was of course talking about a very specific kind of conviction. My comment did try to do that, and for that reason was in error. However, my comment did not go that far, and I merely (incorrectly) said that conviction turns to dogma, ignorance and harm more often than not. I would say confidently though, that conviction is a source of these, as well as also being a source of knowledge, praise, happiness, etc. It is free of value and merely defines a mental state, which may be right or wrong, positive or negative, impermanent or permanent.
A former member
Post #: 5
Tim, I just need to know. All these ''fallacy of argument'' terms you us to most frequently end your posts, do you have to look them up, or do you remember them from the Drill Instructor training you received while in the Military service? I'm just kidding about the drill instructor thing. I would like to see you critique the Theory instead of the Argument.
San Diego, CA
Post #: 23
Jim, I'm enjoying our discussion, but I think it's become so multi-layered that it may be better to discuss in person. Too many branches to cover, and I think that's because we've hit a point where we need to argue the beliefs and premises we're arguing from to move forward. In that sense, I think we've made good progress, haha.
San Diego, CA
Post #: 24
Tim, I just need to know. All these ''fallacy of argument'' terms you us to most frequently end your posts, do you have to look them up, or do you remember them from the Drill Instructor training you received while in the Military service? I'm just kidding about the drill instructor thing. I would like to see you critique the Theory instead of the Argument.
I actually remember them because I encounter them frequently online. I bet as a group we can come up with a Top/Worst 10 Logical Fallacies!

If you spend enough time on internet messageboards, you'll see the same fallacies ad nauseam.
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