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Basic Logic: are we behind where we were 2,000 years ago?

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Three days ago, I put up a couple of comments that I think are worth headlining on what was a commonplace, common-sense understanding of Logic 101, all of 2,000 years ago.

First, a tie-in from core distinct identity to the principle of induction:

>>I feel inclined to start with this . . . to illustrate the principle of induction and its connexion to the law of identity:

Matt 5:13 “You are the [d]salt of the earth; but if the salt has [e]lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery].

14 “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;

Matt 7: 16 By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. [AMP]

Here, we see in ever so familiar commonplace cases, that a thing with a distinct identity has core characteristics and properties leading to observable behaviours that flow from that identity, that nature.

We may then inspect the manifestations and credibly, reasonably, responsibly infer the nature of what we see. Yes, there are limitations of provisionality, but the logic at work is clear.

And yes, we speak here to the core of science and dare to use a much despised and spoken against book as a point of reference.

Are you willing to acknowledge the principle of inductive reasoning?

To acknowledge that this makes sense, however carefully we must manage our investigations, inferences, testing etc and with whatever inherent limitations of induction we may see?

If you cannot, it matters not what you may claim to be, you show yourself to have your own characteristics, properties and behaviours manifesting that nature or distinct identity.

It is high time that the irrationality of a sad, perverse day was exposed for what it is.>>

Second, on the deductive side of the street:

A plumbline

>>I think we can go to a voice even more despised to speak to the other half of the matter:

1 Cor 14: 7 Yet even lifeless things, whether flute or harp, when producing a sound, if they do not produce distinct [musical] tones, how will anyone [listening] know what is piped or played? 8 And if the [war] bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? [AMP]

People understood this 2,000 years ago, understood it well.

Just what is it that is wrong with us?

Distinct identity is the start point for rational thought and communication, so we must recognise this to be self-evident, on pain of reducing ourselves to absurdly irrational chaos.

Why is it that we struggle with distinct identity and what comes from it in this day and age?

We have absorbed a radical fallibilism that is designed to make us doubt that we can know anything with certainty — one supposes, inclduing itself. that is, it is self-referentially incoherent.

But when that is pointed out, it is disregarded and we are denounced for pointing this out.

No, if you make a crooked yardstick your standard of what is straight, level and upright or accurate, then what is really so will never pass your test.

So, the crooked yardstick is the nuke weapon of the manipulator and agit prop operator.

How do you break such cultic indoctrination?

By bringing out a plumbline which is naturally upright, straight and so what is crooked will be exposed for those willing to learn.

However, there are some who will cling to absurdity even in the face of a plumbline test.>>

Are we that backward in our thinking? Where will we end? What can we do? END

I would venture to say that as far as basic logic goes, we are exactly where the people of 2000 years ago were. Some of us follow logic, and some of us rationalize and call it logic. EvilSnack
CR Cross-purposes. A conflation of ontology with epistemology on your part, again. The necessity of the principles in question is tied to distinct identity, which is always at work once a distinct world exists. They are also instantly seen to be self evident once one notices the world or reality partition imposed by distinct identity: A vs ~A so that: W = {A|~A} LoI, LNC, LEM are corollaries of this structure. As such, and since these principles are tied to thinking and communication, they will be recognised as common sense, though they may not be integrated into elaborate intellectual frameworks. In addition, we will normally recognise that things having a given identity have core characteristics and strongly tend to manifest behaviours or may have observable attributes that are often good enough to guide us in dealing with them. Apples have a characteristic smell and taste. Beach apples from the manchineel look somewhat similar and taste sweet at the first but are caustic. These can be elaborated into bodies of accredited knowledge under the rubric, logic. With deductive and inductive forms. But what is sadly unique to our time is that we have so cultivated doctrines that undermine acceptance of basic core logic that there is now widespread artificial ignorance, there is suspicion, there is even resistance. And, incoherence in thought, even among the educated, is commonplace. Indeed, we often see clinging to the absurdity of setting up crooked yardsticks as standards of what is straight and accurate, multiplied by resistance to plumbline tests that expose the error. 2,000 years ago, it was commonplace for people to acknowledge these self-evident first principles. Today, there is inculcated suspicion towards such first principles and to necessary truths -- and, especially to self-evident truths. Somehow there are myths of unjustified totalitarian imposition. Quantum theory (poorly understood in this respect) and Relativity (ditto) are trotted out, even by Physicists. Some have talked of pulling a world out of nothing, then instantly have revealed failure to understand that ontologically this must denote non-being. When corrected, there is resistance. All of this reflects irrational and incoherent ideologies that have become entrenched. Consequently we must distinguish the ontological realities from undrestanding, acknowledgement and incoherence. We cannot but use distinct identity just to communicate using distinct symbols and glyphs, as your comments illustrate. Speech and music -- in view in 1 Cor 14 -- are the same. What is different is our unwillingness to acknowledge such and its force. Similarly, today as well as 2,000 years ago, we reap grapes from a certain vine and observe that shrubs or vines etc that have thorns do not yield grapes. We actually have taxonomical studies that document distinctive characteristics of life-forms as a good slice of the life-sciences. But, there is often deep resistance to the linked logic of identity and characteristics giving observable patterns that (however imperfectly) may be used to infer from observation to underlying characteristics or laws etc. So, the depth of understanding or degree of willingness to accept and acknowledge core principles of logic may and do wax and wane. That has little to do with the actual ontological structure, which -- if we are willing -- is readily recognised. So the issue is not improved understanding but willingness to acknowledge self-evident ontological realities. And in our time that is in many parts lacking. I suspect [with deep concern] that in the future, after a horrific crash at the bottom of the cliff and a long struggle to recover, posterity will have a restored understanding. Along with recognising that our generation was deeply stained with suicidally ruinous folly including that of resisting basic common-sense logic. They will, for cause, disdain us and mark us as a bitter lesson never to be forgotten. KF kairosfocus
@KF, No you haven't. Let me rephrase, as perhaps I'm making an assumption you don't agree with. Specifically, was there there was improvement in our understanding of "basic logic" in the past? If so, then what prevents further improvement in our understanding of "basic logic" in the future? Or are you suggesting there never was an improvement in our understanding of "basic logic", in that it has always somehow "obvious" to everyone, including me, and I'm just being intellectually dishonest with myself and everyone else? critical rationalist
CR, I have pointed to first principles of right reason and how sadly backward we are today. I put it to you that I have answered your point very specifically at 18 above, and I will not play the you haven't answered my questions game with you. If you have specific objections to my answer, give them and when I have time I will further respond. KF kairosfocus
@KF Yes, KF. You’ve already said you think a folk understanding of logic is correct. We already know this, at it is in the OP. However, you still haven’t answered my question. If there could be improvement across one time frame in the past, then why can there be no improvement across some future timeframe? critical rationalist
DS, that might be useful for another time. I could give as quick + dirty list of topics: first principles of right reason and anchor in distinct identity [this is a minimal core]. As more would be needed in an actual curriculum, Agrippa/Munchhausen trilemma and roots of argument. The appeals to pathos, ethos, logos and soundness or cogency. Induction as observability of core identity/process and limitations. Warrant coming in degrees and a definition of knowledge. Entailment, implication, proof. Top ten lists of formal and informal fallacies and where to go for more. Knowledge in Maths, Science, History. Self-evidence and plumb-line truth tests. Moral certainty vs utter certainty. Uncertainty, risk, probability, prudence. The value and limitations of models, statistics, computer simulations. Basic source evaluation and credibility with an eye to the web and media. How to read a newspaper. How to watch TV news. Major worldview options and the concept of comparative difficulties. Basic logic of being and weak form principle of [inquiry into] sufficient reason, thus cause, contingency and necessary being. Basic principles of aesthetic judgement. The IS-OUGHT issue, moral government and responsible, rational freedom. Categorical Imperative, Golden rule and neighbourliness. Implications for governance and government, reflecting the US DoI and context. Challenges and outlook. KF kairosfocus
KF, A suggestion: Write up a short quiz covering a small subset of "basic logic" that a secondary school student should be able to pass. Then post it here and we can see how we fare. daveS
DS, from what I see, I don't think so. I think the skepticism, relativism, postmodernism and cultural marxism/ critical theory etc have undermined our ability to think straight on this. In short, I think there is a big problem with crooked yardsticks made into standards for straightness and accuracy. When that happens there will be resistance towards what is actually so, as the sound will not "pass" the "test" of conformity with the unsound. KF kairosfocus
DS, see how bad things are in our day? I dunno, maybe we can write some of this into basics of digital things as part of digital literacy. KF
Not wrt to what we're calling "basic logic" here. I think we all have a reasonable grasp of the three classical laws of thought, and of the meaning of the bible verses having to do with flutes and grapes. daveS
PPS: Let's clip Lewontin, to illustrate by key example the real locus of the " . . . ‘have a conclusion, let’s find the evidence to varify’, methodolgy" [sic]:
. . . to put a correct view of the universe into people's heads [==> as in, "we" have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making "our" "consensus" the yardstick of truth . . . ] we must first get an incorrect view out [--> as in, if you disagree with "us" of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,
[ --> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying "our" elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to "fix" the widespread mental disease]
and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth
[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]
. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [--> "we" are the dominant elites], it is self-evident
[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]
that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [--> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [--> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is "quote-mined" I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]
And again, the US National Science Teachers' Association Board in 2000 will further underscore the problem:
The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts [--> ideological imposition of a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism, aka natural-ISM; this is of course self-falsifying at the outset] . . . . [S]cience, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific [--> loaded word that cannot be properly backed up due to failure of demarcation arguments] methods, explanations [--> declaration of intent to censor instructional content], generalizations and products [--> declaration of intent to ideologically censor education materials] . . . . Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work [--> undermined by the question-begging ideological imposition and associated censorship] . . . . Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations [--> ideological imposition of a loaded definition] and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements [--> question-begging false dichotomy, the proper contrast for empirical investigations is the natural (chance and/or necessity) vs the ART-ificial, through design . . . cf UD's weak argument correctives 17 - 19, here] in the production of scientific knowledge.
As a third witness, let's cite the 2008 version of the US National Association of Science pamphlet on Evolution:
In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena [--> accurate and reliable, confirmed observation, description and sound analysis]. Natural [--> reliably empirically observed] causes [--> add: meet Newton's vera causa, actually observed cause test and so] are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others. If explanations are based on purported forces that are outside of nature,
[--> the false choice, natural vs supernatural, when the real and readily empirically testable choice since Plato in the Laws Bk X c 360 BC has been natural ( = blind chance and/or mechanical necessity) vs the ART-ificial working by intelligently directed configuration, aka design. This is a case of irresponsible red herring distraction from the real issue to a convenient strawman creationism target set up to be soaked with the ad hominems of anti-scientific motivation and underlying between the lines insinuations of right wing theocratic "christofascist" impositions, etc]
scientists have no way of either confirming or disproving those explanations. Any scientific explanation has to be testable — there must be possible observational consequences that could support the idea but also ones that could refute it.
[--> observe a case of configuration-based specific functionality beyond 500 - 1,000 bits of complex organisation emerging by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity and the design inference principle would collapse. the strawman tactic is used in a context where it is easy to see that on a trillion observation base, such FSCO/I is an empirically reliable sign of intelligently directed configuration, AKA design, as key causal factor]
Unless a proposed explanation is framed in a way that some observational evidence could potentially count against it, that explanation cannot be subjected to scientific testing. [Science, Evolution and Creationism, 2008, p. 10. Emphases added.]
The issue of projection should be very clear. However, let us return to focus, basic commonsense principles of logic, and how backward we seem to be today relative to where people demonstrably were 2,000 years ago. And BTW, notice the ill-founded claim to self-evidence. How can we fix the rot? kairosfocus
RVB8, it is actually very reasonable to measure an object lip to lip with a string, then to go around the circumference of the actual container. For sure there was no intent to define a geometric ratio. And, if we take this, we find a result that is coherent and consistent with carpentry-capable precision. There is therefore a reasonable explanation that should prevail over one that imposes something that forces a needless contradiction. But then, you and others of like ilk are clearly reading with a hermeneutic of suspicion, looking to dismiss and ridicule. Here, by setting up and knocking over a strawman when by your admission you KNEW of a reasonable alternative. That speaks for itself. Beyond, you are continuing the attack-the-Bible baiting game, which I reply to by pointing out that there are other fora that can and do address that as a focal issue -- a responsible person would go there. I will only say that JEDP dating is fundamentally flawed and long since in need of revision. Similarly, it can be shown that the Quran is not in the same class as the Bible as a source on ancient history on simple chain of custody grounds among other things, but again the right place to deal with that is elsewhere. Here, I cited a sermon and a letter to give cases of just how commonplace the insights in the OP were. The above thread in response to a simple citation showing key insights on induction and the principle of distinct identity, shows where that hyperskeptical, sneeringly dismissive approach ends up. Indeed, it inadvertently helps to make the point by way of demonstration and testimony or example against interest. KF PS: Your further projection of a slanderous caricature of the design inference by projecting the a priori imposition mentality demonstrated by Lewontin and so many others in regards to evolutionary materialism speaks further volumes. Indeed, I should thank you for further confirming the patterns of thought that underlie the sort of deeply polarised stubborn objectionism we have noticed. In short, you are helping to show why the current phase of focus on root-issues is needed and appropriate. kairosfocus
You should like this next, it fits with ID’s, ‘have a conclusion, let’s find the evidence to varify’, methodolgy:
That is the cartoon version put forth by immoral losers. Nicely done. ET
kairos @15, yes I've heard of the, 'inner circumfrance is the right Pi, and the 4" lip should, (or should not, I forget?)be ignored.' Again, the mental gymnastics involved in making a book written in Babylon circa 6-8th century BC, conform to what we know to day is unbelievable. You should like this next, it fits with ID's, 'have a conclusion, let's find the evidence to varify', methodolgy: Yavus Ornek a Turkish 'science' professor, (lucky students), believes Noah had a cell phone, the ark was nuclear powered, and was constructed with steel framing. His evidence the Koran, and its similar but different Noah tale. Also this means Western science was beaten by Islam by several centuries. Hey, his evidence is as sound as any I've seen here. rvb8
F/N: Wiki on the Hawthorne may be illuminating:
The fruit of hawthorn, called haws, are edible raw but are commonly made into jellies, jams, and syrups, used to make wine, or to add flavour to brandy. Botanically they are pomes, but they look similar to berries. A haw is small and oblong, similar in size and shape to a small olive or grape, and red when ripe. Haws develop in groups of 2-3 along smaller branches. They are pulpy and delicate in taste.
Lesse the contrast: "Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?" KF kairosfocus
DS, see how bad things are in our day? I dunno, maybe we can write some of this into basics of digital things as part of digital literacy. KF kairosfocus
CR, the sorry performance of objectors above actually demonstrates beyond what I could simply say, just how far we have regressed because we refuse to heed self-evident first truths such as the significance of distinct identity. Yes, 2,000 years ago pretty ordinary people readily understood the significance of distinct identity far better than too many of us do today. And, in 10k or 500k years time, it will still be true that no possible world can be actualised without manifesting distinct identity: A vs ~A. So W = {A|~A}. once we have that sharp dichotomy, instantly we see A is itself (and with its core characteristics and behaviours etc) -- Law of Identity. Any x in W will be A X-OR ~A -- Law of the Excluded Middle. No x in W will be both A and ~A -- Law of Non-Contradiction. These are necessary, self-evident, framework truths for any world W. They never began and will never cease. We may recognise or refuse to recognise them, but that has nothing to do with that they must be. And BTW by direct extension the contrast brings in two-ness and thence the natural numbers; they are necessary in any possible world. KF kairosfocus
rvb8- At least those people were not stupid enough to be materialists. They weren't stupid enough to believe that humans and apes are related ET
JS, I think you need to go back to the troll master for a bit of a remedial lesson or two on this one. The strawman-scapegoat stereotypes are a bit too obvious; you were knocked off the standard programming/ indoctrination --- but then, that is step one to de-programming. Had you simply read seriously and responded to the significance of distinct identity in inferring inductively from observations and for intelligible communication and thought, you would have seen that there was something substantial here. And as I will explain to CR in a moment, this held good 4,000 years ago and will hold 10,000 years from now. KF kairosfocus
rvb8, you obviously don't realise how you are highlighting what you have lost relative to what was obviously a commonplace c 30 - 60 AD; shown to one and all simply by your refusing to read and straightforwardly respond to the fairly simple and direct substance of the OP. Lesse, what do we get from a grape vine, as opposed to a thorn bush? So, what does observing thorns vs grapes allow us to infer about the nature of the plants we see? How can that help us understand how induction on observed behaviour works i/l/o the principle of identity? Likewise, how does the importance of a distinct pattern of distinct notes help us in marking the difference between tunes or military signals? What does this teach us about the significance of distinct identity in communication and thought, etc? KF PS: Just to pick one point, are you aware that, e.g. reckoning with a 4" lip instantly accounts for the difference in circumference that is so often touted by hyperskeptical objectors? (And, do you realise that people capable of making furniture would work to a much higher precision than you imply?) kairosfocus
ET, 'Clearly'? Such as? When people in your creation are problematic, wipe them out? When people are curious and looking for answers (Babel), destroy their aspirations? When people obey you but not quickly enough ("Moses, I said strike the rock ONCE for water"), rebuke them? When 'Pi', is too difficult a concept, make it a nice round 3.0? When other clans of half litterate, bronze age wanderers, interfere with your half litterate, bronze age wanderers, wipe them out? You see, what we have lost logically, morally, and spiritually we have more than made up for logically, morally, and minus the supernaturalism. You should join ISIS, you share a basic common logic, they still embrace the, 'old' logic. rvb8
Are you suggesting we have lost some basic knowledge, or insights into the world, that the, ‘ancients’ percieved more clearly than we?
Clearly ET
The impression I got from this OP is the old trope that things were better in the old days.
That's some imagination you have. Good luck actually making a case for that. But we all know all you do is spew nonsense and act as if it's meaningful.
To reduce infant mortality.
We also abort more potential infants than ever before. We are a sad, sad people to let that happen. ET
JSmith, my thoughts exactly. A kind of nostalgic, 'backward yearning', to the 1950s when all was good with the world, and kids and women knew their place. rvb8
The impression I got from this OP is the old trope that things were better in the old days. Which reminds me of the Life of Brian scene. “What have the Romans ever done for us?” Our modern logic was sufficient to put us on the moon. To extend life expectancy. To reduce infant mortality. To curtail persecuting people because of the colour of skin, the gender they are or the sex they happen to be attracted to. Frankly, this OP reminds me of the old guy in the subdivision yelling at kids to stay off his lawn. JSmith
@KF, I have read the OP. Your response does not address my question. To rephrase, are you suggesting that 10,000 years from now, nothing about "basic logic" will have improved? How about 100,000 or 500,000 years from now? If so, why do you think that would be the case? critical rationalist
Also Kairos, (and this is an honest question); Are you suggesting we have lost some basic knowledge, or insights into the world, that the, 'ancients' percieved more clearly than we? rvb8
CR, I selected a point of readily accessible record and that among a people who were not Greek. Your hobby horse is irrelevant. KF kairosfocus
DS, I am talking about first (and indeed commonsense) principles of right reason antecedent to most of what you list. Distinct identity and thus LOI, LNC, LEM, also significance in thought and communication. Also the bridge to inductive reasoning. KF PS: A uni course in the relevant sense would not be basic. kairosfocus
@KF What is the significance of logic 2,000 years ago, as opposed to 3,000 years ago or 4,000 years ago? What changed if what is self-evident is not subject to criticism? If there can be improvement from 3,000 years ago to 2,000 years ago, then why can there be no improvement between 2,000 ago to 1000 years ago, 100 years ago, or 50 years ago? IOW, you seem to suggest that some aspects of logic are immune from criticism because we exist in some special place in history. critical rationalist
KF, Things such as "truly first principles", identity, and observability are not what I connect with "basic logic" or "logic 101". Here are topics that I think of as belonging to basic logic, courtesy of Oxford University:
Tutorial One: Consistency and Validity Tutorial Two: Propositional Calculus: Language Tutorial Three: Propositional Calculus: Tableaux Tutorial Four: Predicate Calculus: Language Tutorial Five: Predicate Calculus: Tableaux Tutorial Six: Predicate Calculus with Identity Tutorial Seven: Designators Tutorial Eight: Relations
DS, I wish you were right. I frankly fear, for cause, you are not. I do not speak of logical theories and practitioners but of basic commonsense commonplace acceptance of truly first principles, and I am here also highlighting a connexion between identity, core characteristics and manifestations, logic of being and in effect observability in a RW noisy environment -- yes, info theory lurks too. All of that is bound up in the pithy peasant wisdom of that sermon. I am also struck by the musical comparison as speaking to the significance of distinct identity starting with thought and intelligible communication. KF kairosfocus
No, I think we're fine wrt basic logic. And far, far ahead when it comes to advanced logic. However, the problem of induction and questions about what truths are self-evident are much more difficult to deal with than basic logic. daveS
Basic Logic: are we behind where we were 2,000 years ago? kairosfocus

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