Can something illogical "exist"?

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Can something illogical "exist"?

Postby DukeTwicep » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:55 pm

I'm surprised this fundamental argument hasn't been brought up yet. To me it's the most important question when talking to a religious person. I just haven't been able to formulate the idea until now.

Why does everything have to be logical? Couldn't there be something outside our universe, or inside it, that defies logic? We humans are so biased to this as our brains abide by logic, almost everything we see can be explained logically. The God question is basically based on the subconscious concept that there can be things that defy logic, and these things interact with our universe (or not, if deistic). I'm so puzzled by this question, and if a theist asked me, I wouldn't know what to say, I simply have no idea why things have to be logically bound. It would be strange if someone said there are illogical things, but not stranger than when I heard about dark matter/energy and how it pops in and out of existence (that still sounds very strange to me, which probably is because I haven't studied it long enough).

I don't want to hear anything like: logic is just a concept. That's just bs. That's like saying the universe only exists because we exist. Logic will still exist even if all humans die. It's universal to the universe, and any species will eventually write down the same laws of logic that we have.
I saw someone write that aliens won't understand what I + I = II means if they come here. That's just bullshit. They may not use the same symbols, but the meaning is the same.

So to summarize. Can something be illogical? And if not, why not?
If the answer is yes, then god can very well have every attribute anyone puts on him. But I don't think that's so, so I would say there is nothing illogical, but I don't have anything to back it up.
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Postby bijane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:55 pm

Well, things can be referred to as 'illogical', to be sure, but that doesn't imply 'illogic', more 'logical to them, not us'. And that's essentially all I can say.

In essence, it is because, partly, logic is just a concept: that is, for us, logic is an idea, is a thought. For us, 1+1=2: but imagine some utterly alien (extra-universal?) civilization in which 1+1=5768934. Is that illogical? To our way of thinking, yes, but to them it's pristine logic, and our measly 1+1=2 would be just as illogical.
Something may exist outside our own, personal laws of logic, but then we'd exist outside their laws of logic, so which of us would be the logical, and which would be the illogical? There is simply no way to tell, until we involve a third party who may be just as illogical as one/both of us.
Something has to conform to logic: albeit maybe not our logic.

To tie it to religion: God. I can see three main possibilities:

    1. God would conform to some laws of logic, though presumably if he/she/it was omnipotent, then they'd also be able to change/ignore those laws: however, if our laws of logic were thus created from illogic (illogic being God's ability to ignore the laws of logic), then there must be a reason for these specific laws, reason presumably being that God designed these laws as God adheres to them.
    2. If these laws already existed, then God would have to adhere to them in any case as God would have been constrained by them when creating the universe.
    3. Finally, if we take on a (humanly) illogical proposition, that God adhered to laws of logic which stated, logically, God would have to create a universe with utterly alien logic and was constrained by those laws, then (ignoring elements which may seem illogical as laws of logic have been thrown out the window, sucked into a black hole and spat out into a pulsar. No idea), assuming those laws of logic allowed God the ability to create new laws but not escape the old laws, then Occam's Razor has been well and truly stuffed, then it's possible illogic (to our standards) could exist.


To say however, that something may be 'illogical' is showing human bias again, in assuming that our view of logic is the only such one.
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Postby DukeTwicep » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:16 pm

Hm, I don't know if you're following my reasoning.

To science, there are laws of nature. These laws are the same everywhere, and every scientist would say that they can be measured everywhere, perhaps not at all times. Carl Sagan said that aliens out there would also measure and come up with the same laws, albeit use a different language, but translated into our language they would mean the same. The concept of 1 would have to be the same to everyone, but perhaps others would have a different symbol, but the meaning and purpose of the symbol is the same. This is logic. Logic that can be found everywhere. Aliens will also argue with each other and they will probably use the same logic, maybe not all our logic, maybe less or more. Nature is bound to logic, an event follows after another, not the opposite. If some aliens saw that some things go backwards in time and completely defies logic, then that thing would be illogical. Perhaps they would never find a logical solution for this thing, perhaps no one could get their heads around it. If it's intrinsically illogic, then no one will ever find a logical reason for it, but they wouldn't know that it's definitely illogical, they would say that we will some day find the answer. An intrinsically logic object, almost impossibly hard to figure out, would also be considered as an unsolved question. So to the observer, both these things would seem the same.

1+1=2 is the same everywhere and to anyone, it can't be 1456. Why? Because all sentient beings would eventually have to come up with the concept of ONE and SEVERAL. Without those concepts they would not be able to go far, they would not be able to do maths, or physics, or... anything really. It wouldn't surprise me if even most animals have a concept of ONE and SEVERAL.
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Postby bijane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:34 pm

DukeTwicep wrote:Hm, I don't know if you're following my reasoning.

To science, there are laws of nature. These laws are the same everywhere, and every scientist would say that they can be measured everywhere, perhaps not at all times.

Everywhere: to our knowledge. Places beyond our universe, should they exist, possibly singularities: the laws of nature and science as we know them essentially fail there. Put it like this: why would they be the same everywhere? Personal incredulity or 'because they would be' aren't answers, for obvious reasons.

Carl Sagan said that aliens out there would also measure and come up with the same laws, albeit use a different language, but translated into our language they would mean the same. The concept of 1 would have to be the same to everyone, but perhaps others would have a different symbol, but the meaning and purpose of the symbol is the same. This is logic. Logic that can be found everywhere. Aliens will also argue with each other and they will probably use the same logic, maybe not all our logic, maybe less or more. Nature is bound to logic, an event follows after another, not the opposite.

When it's possible for even a tiny shift in logic, then it's possible for utter illogic: if one law changes between two civilizations, presumably another would change if you move a civilization further away...
As for cause/effect, not always: sometimes the idea of a possible result can change how a person acts, which is in essence effect affecting the cause. For example, poke yourself in the eye: you won't? Why? the effect would be pain, and that's influenced the cause. Subtle to be sure, and maybe it doesn't technically count, but it's a small example within our laws of logic alone.

If some aliens saw that some things go backwards in time and completely defies logic, then that thing would be illogical. Perhaps they would never find a logical solution for this thing, perhaps no one could get their heads around it. If it's intrinsically illogic, then no one will ever find a logical reason for it, but they wouldn't know that it's definitely illogical, they would say that we will some day find the answer.

It would be illogical to them, but evidently would not be perceived as illogical to whatever the backwards-in-time object is. We'd be the illogical ones to that.

An intrinsically logic object, almost impossibly hard to figure out, would also be considered as an unsolved question. So to the observer, both these things would seem the same.

1+1=2 is the same everywhere and to anyone, it can't be 1456. Why? Because all sentient beings would eventually have to come up with the concept of ONE and SEVERAL. Without those concepts they would not be able to go far, they would not be able to do maths, or physics, or... anything really. It wouldn't surprise me if even most animals have a concept of ONE and SEVERAL.

1+1=0/0.
After all, 0/0 equals 2, but it also equals 73587875820791.664969 squared.
Ok, that's pretty much just mathematical semantics, but it demonstrates a point. To our current knowledge, some things are illogical: but that's only because we've yet to see a contradiction, and because we are in an area which seems to obey certain laws. Go further away; along a fifth dimension perhaps to a separate universe, and what would they say to our laws of logic? Utterly alien.
In any case, our logic isn't up to much. Put it like this: logically, nothing happens. Ever. If you take an instant of time,a complete, paused, frozen instant, what's happening in that? Absolutely nothing, it's frozen. Move an instant further, and then what? Still nothing. Further? Still, nothing's happening: but if we're moving instant-by-instant then also, nothing is happening between those points. So how does anything happen? There's a point where logic fails.
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
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Postby DukeTwicep » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:48 pm

OK, well, assuming what you say is more logical, what does that mean in a debate with someone about god being illogical and thus the bible may be true? I mean, if we say that something intrinsically illogical can exist, something that isn't even logical to itself (obviously), it's just illogical in every possible way and view. What then? Then we don't really have anything to counter with? Are we just going to say, "Well, that might be true, and it might also not be true"?
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Postby bijane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:12 pm

DukeTwicep wrote:OK, well, assuming what you say is more logical, what does that mean in a debate with someone about god being illogical and thus the bible may be true? I mean, if we say that something intrinsically illogical can exist, something that isn't even logical to itself (obviously), it's just illogical in every possible way and view. What then? Then we don't really have anything to counter with? Are we just going to say, "Well, that might be true, and it might also not be true"?

That was covered in my first post; three main possibilities: but nothing can exist that's illogical even to itself, unless that illogic is covered by other laws of logic. It might be illogical to us, but not to itself.
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
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Postby DukeTwicep » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:48 pm

OK, so the answer should be, as taken from that post, the last sentence, "You're biased, you think that your view of logic is the only one". That.. doesn't make much sense to me. If you're saying that there could be other views of logic, meaning that illogic could be logic (?), then I'm basically saying that their god is logical, and he's adhering to logic in the entire bible, but it may not be our logic. If I said something like that I would put myself into a mental hospital I think. There has to be a better concise answer to refute their claim, otherwise all our evidence against the Christian god can be thrown out the window. And that would be... very bad. I would only have the "You can't know so why believe?" argument against Christians then, and that's pretty weak. Basically they would be able to justify anything using "alien" logic. Naa.. something smells wrong here. That's just wrong. You're basically saying that thee could be other forms of logic that we don't know that could justify anything. If someone believes that this form of logic exists, then they can do just that, even though they would have no reason to believe it, and no evidence.
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Postby bijane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:57 pm

I'm essentially saying there's more than just our view of logic, that much is as good as certain.
On the matter of God though, there were three alternatives, and if God is omnipotent, (or 'almighty' as the Bible puts it), then only one is valid, and that one says that God adheres to our laws of logic.
If God is victim to laws of logic, then he must adhere to them: the ones which exist currently, ours.
If God is able to ignore and create logic, and chose to create ours, then by our logic (the only possible one in this circumstance), the laws he obeys would be ours, else why create ours?
However, the most bizarre and utterly unfounded alternative, possible yet unlikely, is that God is subject to some laws of logic, yet able to create ours, and those laws of logic have a continuation that God must create with a different set of logic. However, that would mean God is not omnipotent as he does not overpower the laws of logic that restrain him, if that makes sense.

So, with the specifically Christian God, omnipotent, it must obey our laws of logic (alternative 2). With the concept of a God in general though (such as the Deist version), it cannot be proven or disproven.
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
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Postby DukeTwicep » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:27 pm

...If God is victim to laws of logic, then he must adhere to them: the ones which exist currently, ours.
If God is able to ignore and create logic, and chose to create ours, then by our logic (the only possible one in this circumstance), the laws he obeys would be ours, else why create ours?...

Ah, yes, this is the core of the matter. If you forgive me though, I still am not quite clear at how you can come to these conclusions.

So I'll try to number my questions.
1. In your post on the 3 possibilities you say that god created our laws because he adheres to them.a) But if he adheres to them, then they already exist and then he would have not have to create them.b) Plus, if he is adhering to our logic, then he is not illogical any more as his logic is our logic.c) Plus, is he really omnipotent if he is subject to any laws of logic?
2. Why else would he create our laws? Well maybe he had other reasons, maybe he was experimenting with different laws on different universes.
3. "If God is able to ignore and create logic...", but he's not able to change his own laws? Maybe that's perfectly fine by some alien logic to change your own laws, I don't know, I always thought there were only one logic, but by saying there may be any logic, aren't you saying that anything is possible then? And why would there then have to be only 3 possibilities, maybe there would be an unlimited number of possibilities, only understandable by other beings?

So, by our logic we can say there Might be other systems of logic, and they Might not be the same. But if someone have laws of logic governing them, they can't change them? Isn't that a biased assumption based on our understanding of our logic? Maybe they can change theirs, and it's totally OK with their system of logic. If logic can change, then wouldn't it be possible for something or someone to not have any laws of logic at all?

I'm not trying to counter your every argument like a crazed fanatic, I just don't understand it yet.
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Postby bijane » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:47 pm

DukeTwicep wrote:1. In your post on the 3 possibilities you say that god created our laws because he adheres to them.a) But if he adheres to them, then they already exist and then he would have not have to create them.b) Plus, if he is adhering to our logic, then he is not illogical any more as his logic is our logic.c) Plus, is he really omnipotent if he is subject to any laws of logic?

That was the point of the first: he would not have created the laws, and he would not be omnipotent. So why would he be the God people so often talk about?
2. Why else would he create our laws? Well maybe he had other reasons, maybe he was experimenting with different laws on different universes.

Again though, that's more the God of Arthur C Clarke's Rama than it is of any real religion. However, if he's omniscient, experimentation would be unnecessary: and that's the Christian God. I can't argue against an arbitrary God as they generally have too few characteristics.
Why would God create a random set of rules when God is constrained by none? It would have to be a conscious choice, and when such rules were created, even though he wouldn't inherently be subject to them, there would have to be a reason for those laws: making them 'perfect' enough for them to be incorporated into the divine 'design' and thus must be obeyed by God. If it was possible to exist without any such laws of logic, why were we given some? It follows by our laws of logic, and as those were the ones created, those are the only ones relevant.

3. "If God is able to ignore and create logic...", but he's not able to change his own laws? Maybe that's perfectly fine by some alien logic to change your own laws, I don't know, I always thought there were only one logic, but by saying there may be any logic, aren't you saying that anything is possible then? And why would there then have to be only 3 possibilities, maybe there would be an unlimited number of possibilities, only understandable by other beings?

Celestial teapot. Anything's possible, doesn't mean it's likely or that it is at all. And maybe there are other possibilities, but that's why I've made 3 so vague: any other possible system of logic, which allows God to create a specific new system yet not ignore the laws of 3. If the system is too free, it essentially becomes model 2, if it's limiting, it becomes 1, if it's utterly alien to our logic, position 3.
So, by our logic we can say there Might be other systems of logic, and they Might not be the same. But if someone have laws of logic governing them, they can't change them? Isn't that a biased assumption based on our understanding of our logic? Maybe they can change theirs, and it's totally OK with their system of logic. If logic can change, then wouldn't it be possible for something or someone to not have any laws of logic at all?

I'm not trying to counter your every argument like a crazed fanatic, I just don't understand it yet.

Maybe that would be their logic, and if they destroy their laws, then all they have done is changed the paradigm. Laws of logic still exist, they're just more free. And if someone had no laws, by our definition, then the logic would be: anything could happen. There's no freedom from a law when freedom is a law in itself.
Don't worry about it, I have an utterly bizarre (perhaps illogical) way of thinking, I'll try to explain better.
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
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Postby DukeTwicep » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:19 am

Hmm. Well that's.. a lot of going in circles of thought for me. I think I would need something more easily explained. Like.. "Our laws are the only ones that matter", if I present the Christian with the idea that there may be other logics I have definitely dug a big hole for myself. But, I mean, this is the core of any discussion with any religious person. You have to agree on a common ground and then work from there. If you can't agree on what set of rules of logic to use then you can't continue.
So perhaps I say: Wait, wait, wait. Let's find a solid foundation to stand on as we are clearly in disagreement on lower levels. a) Will you abide by the laws of logic? b) And will you never let any of your arguments violate our set of rules of logic? c) Date is 2011-09-12 12:54 when we agreed on this.

So. I'm a little uneasy to start conversations because I fear I can't answer this one. Let's try to counter the Christian's arguments on point a and b.

Christian may say on a:
1. a) Yes b) Of course c) Why not
2. a) What, are there any other rules? b) Maybe
3. a) What is logic and why do we have to agree on that?
2. a) No b) Not those of science c) Your rules? No, God has his own rules.


I have to go to bed now, but I will come back tomorrow and try to elaborate. Thanks for your patience.
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Postby bijane » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:26 am

The idea that there may be other logics is possible, but the point is that there's a) no evidence and b) it's unlikely. It's the same as, say, the Deist God: maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
If the God they're talking about however is 'almighty', as the Bible puts it, then he would not be constrained by other forms of logic: and so, if logic is immutable (questionable, but if you accept the premise for a moment), then God must obey those laws: but, keyly, if God truly is almighty and thus can ignore the laws of logic, then ours are the ones he obeyed: explained below.

God would exist in utter void, initially, where no logic could really apply, save that which he created. There are two basic alternatives at this point: he exists without logic, or exists with logic. As we're talking about a perfect figure, his situation must be perfection: and as he's an all-loving God, (as well as arguably having designed Man in his image thus with possibly similar requirements, though I'm not certain on that), he'd want his creations to have a good life, as far as he can. If he fine-tuned the universe, made the Earth in a decent Goldilocks Zone, it follows that he'd also want to give us good laws to abide by: what better laws are there, than perfection? Our logic is his logic; unless of course, God isn't all-loving.

Not to mention, as a quick final note, if they persist in saying God obeys different laws of logic, how can they be expected to argue for him? Maybe all evidence for their 'God' is Hades etc arguing for their own existence with unknown logic. If they're dismissing any arguments against God, then there can be no arguments also for God: even 'faith' fails as it could be Loki playing a joke.
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
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not the author of confusion

Postby dobbie » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:22 pm

On whether God's logic is the same as ours, I presume that the twist and turns of the arguments has to do with the Bible God.

Yet the NT claims that God is not the author of confusion, or disorder in the sense of lack of guidance.

God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints
— 1 Corinthians 14:33

It's hard to make the God's alleged properties get in line with the Bible itself.

Now what?
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Postby DukeTwicep » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:40 pm

Aaah, I see it now. The middle paragraph was a good explanation. So if we if we put it in some sort of table it'd be (I hate programming, but this is the only way to do it proper in my mind :p also I don't really know how arguments are set up other than premises so I'll call the other Cases):


<Argument: Must God abide to logic? And if so, by what logic?>

<Premises>
1. God first lived in a void with no logic, but he could create his own.
2. We (Humans) have a set of logic.
</Premises>
<Additional premises A>
a. God is perfect (He creates a logic in which he is perfect)
b. God is all-loving (He adds to the logic to include this...)
c. God is almighty (...and this)
d. God created humans
</Additional premises>
<Additional premises B>
a. God creates no logic
b. bla bla bla
c. blahabla bla
etc.
</Additional premises>

<Case A: Premises + Additional premises A>

a) As God is All Loving and Perfect he would create the perfect laws of logic for man, otherwise he would not be All Loving to man. ->
-> b) Thus, God gave us a perfect laws of logic. ->
-> c) God gave us his own laws ->
-> d) Our laws of logic == God's laws of logic

<Conclusion>
Yes. God must abide by Our laws of logic.
</Conclusion>
</Case>



<Case B: Premises + Additional premises B>
a) As God creates no logic he can have no properties?
<Conclusion>
?
</Conclusion>
</Case>
<Final Conclusion>
?
</Final Conclusion>
</Argument>

OK so I think I understand the first part where he creates these properties that the Bible says he has, if you mean that by giving himself these properties he is starting to create a logic that will finally be ours?
The other part, where he lives without logic, I assume that is the one you didn't write about. So, how would that be? Can he add properties to himself and create us and create our laws of logic without first creating any logic for himself?
Or perhaps I misinterpreted you and you meant that what you wrote accounts for both cases. If he lives without logic, then he creates us, he gives us a perfect logic, and that perfect logic would be his, thus he cannot have lived without logic when he created us? And this means that if he first lived in a void, he must then have created logic for himself before creating our logic. That makes sense too.

I'm thinking that we could put this on the Wiki when we're done with it, I don't think there is anything about this there.
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Postby bijane » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:49 pm

DukeTwicep wrote:OK so I think I understand the first part where he creates these properties that the Bible says he has, if you mean that by giving himself these properties he is starting to create a logic that will finally be ours?
The other part, where he lives without logic, I assume that is the one you didn't write about. So, how would that be? Can he add properties to himself and create us and create our laws of logic without first creating any logic for himself?
Or perhaps I misinterpreted you and you meant that what you wrote accounts for both cases. If he lives without logic, then he creates us, he gives us a perfect logic, and that perfect logic would be his, thus he cannot have lived without logic when he created us? And this means that if he first lived in a void, he must then have created logic for himself before creating our logic. That makes sense too.

Essentially, it's the latter; the points of the initial statement (perfect logic created for God, loves humanity, so gives them perfect logic...) still stand. if God lives without logic, why would humans be created with logic?
In standard form:

R1: God is omnipotent
R2: God existed before all else.
R3: God is able to create logic, or a lack thereof (linked to R1)
IC1: God created the initial logic by which God runs. (From R1, R3 and R2)
R4: God is perfect
IC2: The logic created is the perfect logic (from IC1 and R4)
R5: God loves humanity
R6: God created everything to do with humanity
IC3: God created humanity with a good system of logic (from R5 and R6)
R7: Perfection is very good.
C: God has given humanity God's own laws of logic (or lack thereof) (from IC3 and R7).
Disproving the Bible in a signature:
Revelations 22:18 ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
Revelations 23:1 And God said 'hi'.
(I'm still fine)
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