Do all things occur according to logic?

  • #26
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Imparcticle said:
So it is not neccesary to know precisely what the cause (say a force) is. Its effects let us know there is a force acting. Scientists (more specifically engineers) have obviously been able to accomplish many things without the knowledge of exactly what a force is in contrast to its effects. Therefore it is, as you say, uneccesary to know this. Is my understanding of this pragmatic?
Pragmatism refers to the doctrine of thought that we must attend to the consequences of a hypothesis. In other words, a hypothesis should describe two states of a system: one where the hypothesis is true, one where the hypothesis is false. If both states are indistinguishable, then our hypothesis is simply not worth investigating. So yes, I would characterise your comments as pragmatic. I don't think it's logically necessary, but I do regard it as an important principle from a scientific and methodological point of view. Verificationism is a stronger position, instead of saying "We don't care about hypothesis we can't test", they say "Entities we can not empirically verify do not exist". The problem is that the argument which purports to move from the epistemological statement to the ontological is a psychological argument, it's an appeal to our human desire for simplicity and elegance.

I haven't come up with a good comment on randomness... My "instincts" tell me that what it is truly random does not have a cause, for if it did then there would be an element of determinism which conflicts with what we want to mean by randomness. I also don't trust dictionary definitions.
 
  • #27
honestrosewater
Gold Member
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Imparcticle said:
Do all things occur according to logic?
I think this is asking two different questions.

1a) Are all physical phenomena predictable?
1b) Am I a physical phenomenon?

Logic alone cannot answer this question.

2) If I make decisions logically, am I depriving myself of freewill?

Yes. If freewill is the ability to make random decisions, random, unpredictable choices, then yes. And that's the whole point of using logic and reason to make decisions. If you want to achieve some goal, logic can help you figure out how to achieve that goal. And, in this sense, logic makes your decisions for you; as when you say, "I can't go out, I have to study because I want to ace my exam tomorrow." Of course, the truth of your premises still comes into play, as others have said.
However, logic cannot provide the initial want, the initial desire to achieve some goal. Perhaps this is what you mean by freewill. If so, logic alone cannot answer the question.
Happy thoughts
Rachel
P.S. If there is some logical reason to be happy rather than sad, or alive rather than dead, I'd sure like to hear it :)
P.P.S. If someone already gave this answer, sorry. I glanced through the other posts and didn't see it.
 
  • #28
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2) If I make decisions logically, am I depriving myself of freewill?
I refer to what causes you to pick something over another. I am more likely to take a science class than a P.E. class (which I am being forced to do by my mother.hmph.) over the summer. Why? Because I enjoy studying science, because someting in my past influenced the passion....So it is somewhat predictable; it is mostly a certain method of predicting the probablity of a choice. The probablity is based on a logical assessement of neural chemical behavior (sorry, I am afraid I am inexperienced in the field of neurology, so correct me if I have made an error) under certain conditons, and of course this coolates to psychology.

If you want to achieve some goal, logic can help you figure out how to achieve that goal. And, in this sense, logic makes your decisions for you; as when you say, "I can't go out, I have to study because I want to ace my exam tomorrow."
this is an example of a social role based decision. Logic does not make decisions. It is a set of laws, that are applied to certain situations. In this case, the logical thing to do in western society is most likely attempt to ace your exam tomorrow in the hope that you will feel good about yourself, and earn a good grade for the class, which in the end will make you feel good about yourself.
 
  • #29
honestrosewater
Gold Member
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Imparcticle said:
I refer to what causes you to pick something over another. I am more likely to take a science class than a P.E. class (which I am being forced to do by my mother.hmph.) over the summer. Why? Because I enjoy studying science, because someting in my past influenced the passion....So it is somewhat predictable; it is mostly a certain method of predicting the probablity of a choice. The probablity is based on a logical assessement of neural chemical behavior (sorry, I am afraid I am inexperienced in the field of neurology, so correct me if I have made an error) under certain conditons, and of course this coolates to psychology.
You will choose to take the class that you want to take.
You will want to take the class that you would most enjoy.
You would enjoy taking the science class more than you would enjoy taking the P.E. class.

If someone assumes the above is true, then your choice is not "somewhat predictable", it is completely predictable. (unless I have left something out, which is entirely possible, or shouldn't have said "will", etc. but you get the point :) You will choose to take the science class. Logic will dictate your choice, and it is in this sense that I mean logic makes your choice for you.
Physical sciences do not enter into the picture.

Imparcticle said:
this is an example of a social role based decision. Logic does not make decisions. It is a set of laws, that are applied to certain situations. In this case, the logical thing to do in western society is most likely attempt to ace your exam tomorrow in the hope that you will feel good about yourself, and earn a good grade for the class, which in the end will make you feel good about yourself.
"I can't go out, I have to study because I want to ace my exam tomorrow.", is an example of a personal, logical decision. Why they want to ace their exam is irrelevant. They reasoned that they must study in order to ace their exam, and they can't both study and go out. Since they want to ace their exam, or at least think they want to- another question, they must study and not go out.

I am certainly no expert, and even experts can make mistakes, but I still think what I said is correct. Though apparently I could have said it better :)
Happy thoughts
Rachel
 
  • #30
567
3
If someone assumes the above is true, then your choice is not "somewhat predictable", it is completely predictable.
It is still somewhat predictable. Because I'm not choosing to take that evil class, but I am doing it anyway because my mom says so (and there is no arguing with her). So I am not choosing to take the class. I am not. I am instead choosing to to obey my mom and take it. It is not by my own freewill. I choose to obey my mom, not take the evil class. But if I choose to obey, then I must take the class. It is a must, not a freewill. (If freewill has nothing to do with our discussion, I apologize. I just posted a few posts in the freedom thread down in metaphysics.)

You will choose to take the science class. Logic will dictate your choice, and it is in this sense that I mean logic makes your choice for you.
Physical sciences do not enter into the picture.
Logic is not a conscious being. It cannot, therefore, choose for you. Anyway if it did, there would be no freewill because it would be choosen for you. I know that doesn't neccesarily mean that you didn't agree with the choice "logic made for you", but there is a definite chance that you eventually will.
Physical science always is in the picture. Psychology is an important aspect of freewill.

"I can't go out, I have to study because I want to ace my exam tomorrow.", is an example of a personal, logical decision.
Ah, logical decision. A logical decision is what?(<-rhetorical) A decision made by applying the laws of logic. Therefore, logic does not make the decision for you. You use it when you wish (not all decisions are neccesarily logical).

Why they want to ace their exam is irrelevant. They reasoned that they must study in order to ace their exam, and they can't both study and go out. Since they want to ace their exam, or at least think they want to- another question, they must study and not go out.
The reason why is supremely relavant. Let's go step by step:
why do they want to study for the test?
To ace the exam.
why do they want to ace the exam?
Because it will make themselves feel good.
why will it make them feel good?
Because it is good to ace the exam.
why is it good to ace the exam?
western/~eastern reason (i.e., industrialized community):Because they will be successful. It is important to get to good schools, and earn good grades to be able to go into industry and make a good living. This of course, is the logical course to take if one wants a legally devised educational/industrial life.
agricultural community reason: it is not neccesarily good to be good in acedemics. it is not needed. What is needed though, is someone who is a good physical worker. Supposing this test is one of P.E., a physical test, then it is prominent to our society to have a student do well in such a field.

I am certainly no expert,
Niether I.
 
  • #31
honestrosewater
Gold Member
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Imparcticle said:
It is still somewhat predictable. Because I'm not choosing to take that evil class, but I am doing it anyway because my mom says so (and there is no arguing with her). So I am not choosing to take the class. I am not. I am instead choosing to to obey my mom and take it. It is not by my own freewill. I choose to obey my mom, not take the evil class. But if I choose to obey, then I must take the class. It is a must, not a freewill. (If freewill has nothing to do with our discussion, I apologize. I just posted a few posts in the freedom thread down in metaphysics.)
Okay, I think we can get through this together, even though we are admittedly not experts :) I wrote a VERY long post, but, after reading it, I think it’s best that we take this one step at a time.

“So I am not choosing to take the class. I am not. I am instead choosing to obey my mom and take it.”
You have contradicted yourself.
“I am not choosing to take the class... I am instead choosing to... take it[the class].”
See? Resolving this will take some work as there are many things that need to be clarified. If you do not think so, I hope the following will convince and motivate you.

1) I do not want to take the PE class.

is 1) true? Are each of the following true?

2) My mom has told me to take the PE class.
3) I want to obey my mom.
4) I always want to obey my mom.
5) I will not enjoy taking the PE class.
6) I will be alive tomorrow.
7) I think I will not enjoy taking the PE class.
8) If I think I will not enjoy taking a class, then I will not want to take it.
9) If I do what my mom has told me to do, then I have obeyed her.
10) If I intend to do what my mom has told me to do, then I have obeyed her.
11) Every sentence contains words.
12) The previous sentence contains contains.
13) 1+1=10.

I’m a poet, hence the lucky 13 ;)
If you are already past all of this, sorry, but I couldn’t tell. It seems like you are either just beginning to study logic or just writing hastily. If you are just beginning to study logic, I hope this doesn’t intimidate you. Though there are several steps, every step is “easy”. And it’s best to start “at the beginning” in order to avoid stepping in sh*t.
Happy thoughts
Rachel
 
  • #32
567
3
honestrosewater said:
“So I am not choosing to take the class. I am not. I am instead choosing to obey my mom and take it.”
You have contradicted yourself.
“I am not choosing to take the class... I am instead choosing to... take it[the class].”
See? Resolving this will take some work as there are many things that need to be clarified. If you do not think so, I hope the following will convince and motivate you.
Yes, I see my error. It was a product of hastiness, and my stubborness to admit there was an error. Thank you for correcting me. :smile:

1) I do not want to take the PE class.
True.

2) My mom has told me to take the PE class.
3) I want to obey my mom.
4) I always want to obey my mom.
5) I will not enjoy taking the PE class.
All of the above are true.

6) I will be alive tomorrow.
That is not 100% true, but it is 99.99% true. There is always the chance that I will not.

7) I think I will not enjoy taking the PE class.
8) If I think I will not enjoy taking a class, then I will not want to take it.
9) If I do what my mom has told me to do, then I have obeyed her.
10) If I intend to do what my mom has told me to do, then I have obeyed her.
True to all.
11) Every sentence contains words.
According to that deduction, the mathematical sentence "7+7=14" are words. Unless, my usage of "mathematical" makes an exception?

12) The previous sentence contains contains.
That is one of my pet peeves (grammar errors). There is a grammar error here: The sentence should be "The previous sensetce contains 'contains'". A logical analysis I dare say. But don't mind me in this; I have to correct such things or I'll just go nuts. :rolleyes:
 
  • #33
honestrosewater
Gold Member
2,105
5
honestrosewater said:
1) I do not want to take the PE class.

is 1) true? Are each of the following true?

2) My mom has told me to take the PE class.
3) I want to obey my mom.
4) I always want to obey my mom.
5) I will not enjoy taking the PE class.
6) I will be alive tomorrow.
7) I think I will not enjoy taking the PE class.
8) If I think I will not enjoy taking a class, then I will not want to take it.
9) If I do what my mom has told me to do, then I have obeyed her.
10) If I intend to do what my mom has told me to do, then I have obeyed her.
11) Every sentence contains words.
12) The previous sentence contains contains.
13) 1+1=10.
99.99% is not an option. But- how can you be 100% certain that you will not enjoy taking the PE class, while being only 99.99% sure that you will be alive tomorrow?

They cannot all be true- they contradict each other.
If you want to obey your mom, and your mom has told you to take the PE class- then you want to take the PE class. You want to take it because you want to obey your mom.
But you said 1 was true.
8 and 7 lead to 1.
3 and 4 are different- the point is that you sometimes need to be specific in this regard- always, sometimes, this time only, never, etc.
9 and 10 are different- when have you obeyed your mom? When you decide to do what she says, or when you actually do it? If you die before you can do what she has said, have you disobeyed her?
if 12 is incorrect then 11 is incorrect, for the same reason. "Every sentence contains words" can be taken to mean "Every sentence contains "words"", which is clearly not true. Every sentence does not contain the word "words".
13 depends on the context, as do all of these.

Do you see where I'm going with all this? Logicians have developed lots of rules, and with good reason (hehe, nope unintended) -to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes like these. It takes a while to learn all the rules, and I was hoping this would encourage you to give it a go.
I suspect you would be especially interested in this
http://www.datanation.com/fallacies/index.htm
though you may have to backtrack on a few of them, they're quite enlightening ;) There is plenty of material online. And if you have questions, well, I don't have to tell you where to turn :)

Happy thoughts
Rachel
 

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