Is logic a panacea?
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19-02-2013, 05:35 AM
RE: Is logic a panacea?
This question seems to be related to Plantinga's disproof of naturalism. His argument goes like this:
1. If all of the influences on the universe are natural and we are evolved species, then our cognitive capacities are tuned to survival rather than to truth. It isn't necessary that we act on factual information: Only that we act in a way that perpetuates the species.
2. Therefore, our cognitive processes cannot be trusted and are more likely to produce false ideas than true ones
3. Our cognitive capacity is reliable
4. Therefore, our cognitive capacity is created rather than evolved

Of course this argument is silly - our cognitive processes obviously are fallible and tuned to survival rather than truth. We have to work hard to overcome inherent biases. Exactly what Plantinga predicts from the naturalistic model is actually true in our population.

Logic and science are tools that allow us to overcome our biases and reason reliably about a number of topics. However, our logic and our science is limited by our capacity to conceive what is actually true. We may one day hit a fundamental cognitive limit on our ability to progress logic and science. Arguably we already have and have needed to rely on artificial reasoning machines to get where we are at in today's society.

Those cognitive biases also play into this question of the ends to which we use the tools at our disposal. They drive us to behave in ways that are suboptimal to the question of our very survival as a species as well as to broader questions of well-being and the like.

So in summary, logic and science are tools but we might hit a limit past which our species cannot progress - a limit to our ability to apply logic and science to our goals that is inherent to us the operator of these tools rather than to the tools themselves. The tools themselves may (and do) have limitations of their own. Beyond these to basic questions the ends to which we apply our tools are also limited by our human weaknesses. Operator error is a major factor in things going wrong in this area.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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19-02-2013, 06:24 AM
RE: Is logic a panacea?
(18-02-2013 09:48 AM)StorMFront Wrote:  
(18-02-2013 09:32 AM)Chas Wrote:  Except the hundreds of thousands or millions of lives that it saved.
Exactly, my morality is based on "minimizing harm" with the available evidence.

Im not saying it was an easy decision, it was one made "between a rock and a hard place". The death of the people were obviously bad, yet how many more people could have died if it continued? Would have USSR and USA, went to war with out the deterrent, probably. Basing this a lot on hindsight, but the outcome would have been worse if it didnt happen that way, in my opinion.
There is also a distinction that can be made upon who/what you are minimizing harm too. You could say it saved lives which is likely... but of who? It cost more innocent lives of ordinary families living in a city in contrast... had USSR and USA kept fighting Japan in battle, you are losing more lives, but lives of solders trained and quite aware that their service, draft or volunteer, was something that would be risking their lives for their country. Plus, the battlefield lands may of been still less secluded and foundational like a major population center.

You can argue that saving lives in situational context over others is more moral.

To the topic on saying science making the world better... I would say no... because a definite claim of better is not one that can be easily made. What would really constitute as life being better?

"Love is hot, Truth is molten!"
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19-02-2013, 07:27 AM
RE: Is logic a panacea?
["To the topic on saying science making the world better... I would say no... because a definite claim of better is not one that can be easily made. What would really constitute as life being better?"


Lets time travel to 1800s, Life expectancy was around 60 years old...here in Canada its 80.8 years old now, 1/4 infants died during birth, 1/5 children were dead or crippled by the age of 10 by disease, quality of life is better.....I can go on all day like this. Its by far better with modern science then without.

Arguing with a Christian is a lot like playing chess with a pigeon. You can be the greatest player in the world, yet the pigeon will knock over all the pieces, shit on the board and strut away triumphantly.
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19-02-2013, 07:47 AM
RE: Is logic a panacea?
(19-02-2013 07:27 AM)StorMFront Wrote:  ["To the topic on saying science making the world better... I would say no... because a definite claim of better is not one that can be easily made. What would really constitute as life being better?"


Lets time travel to 1800s, Life expectancy was around 60 years old...here in Canada its 80.8 years old now, 1/4 infants died during birth, 1/5 children were dead or crippled by the age of 10 by disease, quality of life is better.....I can go on all day like this. Its by far better with modern science then without.
Alright, so at this stage now we have better health/life expectancy. We also have more leisure time(supposedly/I think so) and those are generally seen as positive. I still don't know if we can find those comments as categorically "better" because there are also downsides to those aspects. One could be of the believe that life is a lot of suffering and believe a longer life is not necessarily better. A longer life can lead to more pain physically/emotionally, the higher birth rates have also led to more devastating war-faring with larger death tolls with other deals of great suffering.

I don't necessarily hold these ideas as legitimate, but find them worthy of questioning. I think people can be to quick to judge things as better or worse than prior. Perhaps you could equal them out saying it's better, worse, or the same while "different."

And onward I didn't see this as questioning if life now is better than life in the past due to science... It seemed to ask is science going to create a better world. I don't interpret the phrase world as just the state of human life. There are also a lot of negative concequensious of science. The fears of science also lead us to question what could go wrong, it's quite possible science could lead us to be on multiple planets/satellites in the distant future... Science and tech could also damage Earth in such a deadly way that it is left inhabitable by many life forms we know now, including humans before we discover a way to travel and survive in other places.

"Love is hot, Truth is molten!"
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19-02-2013, 08:20 AM
RE: Is logic a panacea?
(19-02-2013 07:47 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  
(19-02-2013 07:27 AM)StorMFront Wrote:  ["To the topic on saying science making the world better... I would say no... because a definite claim of better is not one that can be easily made. What would really constitute as life being better?"


Lets time travel to 1800s, Life expectancy was around 60 years old...here in Canada its 80.8 years old now, 1/4 infants died during birth, 1/5 children were dead or crippled by the age of 10 by disease, quality of life is better.....I can go on all day like this. Its by far better with modern science then without.
Alright, so at this stage now we have better health/life expectancy. We also have more leisure time(supposedly/I think so) and those are generally seen as positive. I still don't know if we can find those comments as categorically "better" because there are also downsides to those aspects. One could be of the believe that life is a lot of suffering and believe a longer life is not necessarily better. A longer life can lead to more pain physically/emotionally, the higher birth rates have also led to more devastating war-faring with larger death tolls with other deals of great suffering.

I don't necessarily hold these ideas as legitimate, but find them worthy of questioning. I think people can be to quick to judge things as better or worse than prior. Perhaps you could equal them out saying it's better, worse, or the same while "different."

And onward I didn't see this as questioning if life now is better than life in the past due to science... It seemed to ask is science going to create a better world. I don't interpret the phrase world as just the state of human life. There are also a lot of negative concequensious of science. The fears of science also lead us to question what could go wrong, it's quite possible science could lead us to be on multiple planets/satellites in the distant future... Science and tech could also damage Earth in such a deadly way that it is left inhabitable by many life forms we know now, including humans before we discover a way to travel and survive in other places.
I guess your entitled to your opinion, Id firmly say its better.

Arguing with a Christian is a lot like playing chess with a pigeon. You can be the greatest player in the world, yet the pigeon will knock over all the pieces, shit on the board and strut away triumphantly.
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