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Logic and Reason

Logic and First Principles of right reason

L&FP 48e: Plato’s anticipation of and exposure of radical relativism (and linked evolutionary materialism) c 360 BC in The Laws, Bk X

Now that the six blind men and the elephant paradigm is broken, we may look at Plato with fresh eyes. Here, 92 in LF&P 48a: >>Plato . . . is highly relevant to our own mutiny on the good ship civilisation. For, the lessons of sound history were bought with blood and tears; those who neglect, forget, dismiss or disdain those lessons doom themselves to pay in the same coin over and over again. Let’s therefore listen to Plato, as he lays out how ancient evolutionary materialism on the part of the sophists and others of the avant garde of c 430 BC led to radical relativism, amorality, nihilistic factionalism and chaos — and we will also trace the like Read More ›

L&FP, 48d: The failed six blind men of India paradigm for relativising thought, truth and knowledge

Again, let’s go out of chronological order in 48a (Plato comes later as there is a dismissive attitude) and speak to a paradigm story used to radically relativise our thinking from elementary school days on. Here, 143: >>In a world in which abstract processes such as logical inference and explicit argument are increasingly “other” and subject to hyperskeptical side-stepping . . . a world where logic is fast joining morality in the zone of disappeared seemingly discredited “fake” knowledge (oh, the folly of neglecting and dismissing things that were so hard-bought) . . . we have to take up a narrative fight. Take, then, certain blind men B1 to B6 in India — irony — and a narrator N1, with Read More ›

L&FP 48c: Supplement, addressing the disappearance of core knowledge of first principles of right reason (aka Logic)

In the course of speaking to disappearance/restoration of moral knowledge, I realised that there was need to stop the rot on core right reason also. Accordingly, I commented at 153 in LF&P 48a, and as it is obviously logically prior, I now headline out of rough chronological order: The issue of self-referential incoherence, regrettably, does not seem to move objectors anymore. That is strongly suggesting to me that we are seeing a SECOND “loss” of knowledge: logic in the historic sense, of first principles and practices of right reason. In short, relativism spreads. First, it attacks morality thus justice: [ NB: Plato, The Laws, Bk X, c 360 BC, in the voice of Athenian Stranger: “[Thus, the Sophists and other Read More ›

L&FP, 48b: Dallas Willard and the disappearance/ restoration of [authority of] moral knowledge

Knowledge, of course, is best understood as warranted, credibly true [and so, reliable] belief. Where truth is, similarly, accurate description of actual entities, states of affairs etc. Willard, in the closing decades of his life, spoke to the disappearance of moral knowledge (and was writing a book which was completed posthumously in 2018, five years after his passing), as was picked up at 43 in the discussion thread for LF&P 48a: [DW, in “Where Is Moral Knowledge?,” 2007:] when I speak of the disappearance of moral knowledge, I am not saying that it does not exist, or that it is unattainable. Those are views sometimes maintained in academic circles and by cultural icons who presume to be “in the know” Read More ›

L&FP, 48a: Is the denial of objective moral truth an implicit truth claim about duty to right conduct etc? (Thus, subject to Reductio?)

Over the past month or so, there has been an exchange of comments regarding my OP L&FP 48, where I note how New Atheist Stefan Molyneaux, in his “Universally Preferable Behavior” (2007), stumbled across the Ciceronian first duties of reason. As a part of that, sometime objector VL raised the claim: Obviously, for one to say that it is objectively true that there are no moral truths is absurd. But that is not what those who are arguing against the idea of objective truths are saying . . . I responded in comment 1110, and think it worth the while to headline that response, with slight adjustments: >>Saying and pretty directly implying are of course two distinct things. Relativists typically Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: How can the universe have arisen from nothing?

Louise runs through a number of ideas that sound popular in the lunchroom but don’t stand the test of careful thought. Just for example, “one day science will answer the question of why the universe exists.” But that’s not what science does. Generally speaking, science answers “how” questions, not “why” questions. Read More ›

L&FP, 48: [Former?] New Atheist Stefan Molyneaux and his “Universally Preferable Behavior” (2007) illustrate inescapably binding, intelligible and identifiable first duties of reason

I ran across this work, and find an interesting discussion, starting with a fairly roundabout way to show what a first, undeniable principle or truth — branch on which we all must sit stuff — is like:: Given that every human action – including making philosophical statements – is chosen in preference to every other possible action, arguing that preferences do not exist requires a preference for arguing that preferences do not exist, which is a self-contradictory statement. [p. 33] So, next, we have another roundabout way of summarising duties/oughts as universally prefer-ABLE behaviour: The proposition before us is thus: can some preferences be objective, i.e. universal? When I say that some preferences may be objective, I do not mean Read More ›

At Evolution News: C. S. Lewis and the argument for theism from reason

Jay Richards: Natural selection could conceivably select for survival-enhancing behavior. But it has no tool for selecting only the behaviors caused by true beliefs, and weeding out all the others. So if our reasoning faculties came about as most naturalists assume they have, then we have little reason to assume they are reliable in the sense of giving us true beliefs. And that applies to our belief that naturalism is true. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Jonathan Bartlett Coming to the Defense of Classical Logic

Bartlett: It seems odd that classical logic would need defending, but, in modern times, this seems to indeed be the case. Many modern scholars see the need for demoting the place of classical logic and viewing it as an aspect of western cultural imperialism. In reality, classical logic is a gift to civilization. It was created in the classical west, but its benefit is that it belongs to everyone and can be equally wielded by anyone who chooses to do so. Read More ›

Michael Egnor: Atheist Claims about logical fallacies often just mean: Shut Up!

In Egnor’s view, what atheists fear most is having to explain themselves, and the invocation of fictitious “fallacies” is one of their favorite ways to evade scrutiny. Read More ›

L&FP, 47 – i: The credibility of the concept and existence of God

I see from News, that Egnor and Dillahunty have had a debate on the reality of God. Egnor has put on the table ten arguments to God and Dillahunty has rebutted, as News reports. Some of this caught my eye and I took pause from an ongoing life crisis to comment on some things that are key. I believe these are worth headlining as addressing logic and first principles questions. First, on the general concept and credibility of God: [KF, 4] >>I see: [MD:] since I’m dealing with someone who’s a Catholic, I think we can begin with at least the qualities generally associated with the God of classical theism. We’re talking about some sort of agent that is timeless, Read More ›

L & FP, 49-i: The Reichstag Fire-panic lesson on agit prop and lawfare

Vivid recently reminded us of the painful, bloody lesson of history taught by Hitler’s seizure of power in 1933. I responded, noting: [I]sn’t it interesting that the Reichstag Fire crisis isn’t a standard part of our general education package. It almost makes one wonder why it is that the story of how the most universally acknowledged unmitigatedly evil dictator seized absolute power through agit prop and lawfare is somehow pushed to the margins of our common fund of knowledge. Not quite a conspiracy of silencing but at least a common evasion of plain duty by those who inform and educate us. Ironically, on a topic where learning this is vital to defending our civilisation, the common thought association fed by Read More ›

L&FP, 48 – i: The conscience factor in consciousness

Conscience is a major aspect of our consciousness, one of the “first facts” of our embodiment in the world, thus part of the start-point for sound thinking. Hence, Cicero’s recognition that it was consensus even in his day that “[sound] conscience is a law”: Given word games that may crop up, let us note a high quality dictionary: con·science (kŏn′shəns)n.1. a. An awareness of morality in regard to one’s behavior; a sense of right and wrong that urges one to act morally: Let your conscience be your guide.b. A source of moral or ethical judgment or pronouncement: a document that serves as the nation’s conscience.c. Conformity to one’s own sense of right conduct: a person of unflagging conscience. 2. The Read More ›

L&FP, 47: The challenge of “proof” in a world of radical doubt and hyperskepticism

“Prove it . . .” is a familiar challenge, one, often strengthened to “unless you prove it I can disregard what you claim.” However, ever since Epictetus, c. 100 AD, it has met its match: DISCOURSESCHAPTER XXV How is logic necessary? When someone in [Epictetus’] audience said, Convince me that logic is necessary, he answered: Do you wish me to demonstrate this to you?—Yes.—Well, then, must I use a demonstrative argument?—And when the questioner had agreed to that, Epictetus asked him. How, then, will you know if I impose upon you?—As the man had no answer to give, Epictetus said: Do you see how you yourself admit that all this instruction is necessary, if, without it, you cannot so much Read More ›

L&FP 46: A big questions challenge — confident objective knowledge vs grand delusion in a going-concern world

In recent weeks, we have seen again and again how the acid of hyperskepticism has reduced our civilisation’s confidence in self-awareness much less understanding of the world and its roots. Even as Evolutionary Materialistic Scientism, Officialdom and their media promoters (and censors) seek to create a dominant narrative. So, how do we attack this issue? First, let’s reduce it to a graphic: Once that is on the table, it is clear that our diverse worldviews and the extent to which any such can claim to be well warranted knowledge are at the crux of the matter. As a key aspect, as we are ourselves embedded (“apparently,” embodied with brains, senses tied to brains and self-awareness) in the going concern world, Read More ›