Laws of Logic – Naturalistic/Evolutionary Perspective

Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Marianis from the Front, The Biggest Challenges to Evolution | 0 comments

 

Introduction:

What is logic and how does it work? We use logic everyday, even when we don’t think about it. “A simple definition of logic is ‘the study of right reason.’”[i] The laws of logic appear to be standardized, set rules for how to think. The laws of logic are important because without them science, and thinking in general, would not even be possible and humans would not able to develop any sort of advancements. Without the laws of logic, one would not even be able to debate or argue, such as we are doing now.

Many believe that humans have evolved and developed and are now able to understand (the development and use) those laws. Yet some believe that God created humans fully developed, intelligent, and with the primary tools of logic from our very creation. What are some of the laws of logic? How did the laws of logic come about? Did their origin come about from an intelligent being like God or could they have come about naturally?

 

Naturalistic/Evolutionary Answer:

Everyone uses the laws of logic to prove their points when teaching, or in arguments and debates. There is no scientific understanding of how they originated. They are philosophical concepts and thus science cannot explain or prove them. Some believe that the laws of logic have existed before the universe and some say that at the beginning of the Universe, at the beginning of time, space, and matter, the laws of logic just happened – just like how the earth just happened to develop where it has – naturally. A world in which the laws of logic do not exist “makes no sense.”[ii]

Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze  bust of Aristotle by Lysippus, c. 330 BCE.  The alabaster mantle is modern. - photo from Wikipedia commons.

Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze
bust of Aristotle by Lysippus, c. 330 BCE.
The alabaster mantle is modern. – photo from Wikipedia commons.

Some say that “the categories of logic did not drop from the clouds. These forms have taken shape in the course of the socio-historical development of humankind. They are elementary generalizations of reality, reflected in the minds of men and women.”[iii] The laws of logic are developed and created by man to be able to communicate reasonably with each other. “You don’t need a mind for time to exist, but you do for “September” or “ten o’clock.” And you don’t need a mind for logic to exist, but you do for the laws of logic.[iv] The laws of logic exist in the human mind because of human intelligence. “The universe isn’t subject to any laws of logic. The universe merely exists.”[v] Some also suggest that the laws of logic have developed (or merely exist) due to the sophisticated chemical make-up of the evolved human brain. Those with higher levels and abilities of logic and reasoning may even be more evolved.

A law of logic is “not a physical thing. But it is not a non-physical thing either. It is not an entity of any sort. It is a rule that can be expressed in the form of a hypothetical imperative: “If you have ‘if p, then q,’ and you have ‘p,’ then conclude q.” There is nothing at all mysterious, transcendent, or otherworldly about such a rule. It is just an instruction, an effective procedure for getting a valid inference from the given premises.” Materialistic atheists are not “illicitly reifying the rules of inference, turning them into transcendent entities.”[vi]

“The law of non-contradiction states that for any proposition p, ~(p & ~p), that is, it is not the case that both p and not-p. Do we need a transcendent ground or supernatural basis to justify or validate this rule? No, all we need is to recognize the futility of rejecting it…The law of non-contradiction is not an abstract, ideal entity. It is simply a rule we have to follow if we are to communicate anything at all.”[vii]

“Even odder is [the] claim that rational reasoning would be impossible without the biblical God. Couldn’t Allah be the eternal ground of logic? Why not Platonic ideas? Why not the Flying Spaghetti Monster?”[viii]

Some say that “the laws of logic actually require no explanation. Have you ever asked a Christian to explain why God exists? You probably received an answer that God’s existence requires no external explanation. God exists necessarily…Things that exist contingently require an explanation of their existence. Things that exist necessarily do not…The laws of logic are uncreated and exist necessarily. They could not have been otherwise. Therefore, the argument goes as follows:

  1. The laws of logic are necessary.
  2. Things that exist necessarily do not require an explanation of their existence.
  3. Therefore, any worldview that recognizes this adequately accounts for the laws of logic.”[ix]

Another way to say this is the Christian’s “stopping point [‘God did it.’ or ‘God just exists.’] is based on nothing. It has no evidence to support it. Contrast that with the naturalists’ logical and mathematical axioms. Unlike God, these aren’t taken on faith. They’re tested continually. Why would we want to ground the one that is strongly confirmed with evidence (logic) with the one that isn’t (God)? Why demand something solid to hold up the fundamental axioms but then use faith to hold up God?”[x]

“I’ll admit that “that’s just the way it is” isn’t completely satisfying, but “God did it” resolves nothing. The apologist won’t tell us why or how God exists; he just exists. This informs us as much as “fairies did it.” But if the Christian can have a fundamental assumption about reality (God), so can the naturalist (natural axioms)…But “God did it” is simply a repackaging of “I don’t know.” It tells us nothing new. I’m no smarter after hearing “God did it” than before. How did God do it? Why did God do it?”[xi]

Creationists claim that it is logical to think that things are so intricate that they necessitate a designer. “When falling sand in an hourglass forms a cone, does that require a supernatural cone maker? When a river changes course as it meanders over a flat valley, does that demand a river designer? When there is an earthquake, must the timing and placement of that be supernaturally ordained? No, there natural explanations for all these things.”[xii]

The Christian worldview is illogical in that Christians, with no evidence, have blind faith in a fairy-tale being, different in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, who performs miracles outside of the known laws of science. Many of the miracles may have actually been real scientific phenomena that these ancient people didn’t understand and therefore resorted to a god-figure or rather a Trinitarian god-figure, which also breaks the law of non-contradiction. How can God be three yet also be only one? All of these things, not to mention all of the contradictions within the Bible, clearly show that Christianity is illogical.

If God created the laws of logic, then he would have had to act illogically before he created them or possibly God is bound to the laws of logic and thus God is limited by these concepts. Can God violate the laws of logic? Whether yes or no, in this case, as well, either God is illogical or is limited. These are reasons why the idea of God does not make sense. The claim that “God did it” is simply asserted as truth without any evidence to back it up. “God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance.”[xiii]

 

by Brian Mariani and others

 

Is the above correct? Do you evolutionists agree with this position? I have tried to write it as you believe it. Do you have any disagreements or concerns or additions?

 

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[i] Bill Pratt, Is God Subject to Logic?, September 13, 2010, Tough Questions Answered, http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/2010/09/13/is-god-subject-to-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[ii] Michael Martin, Does Logic Presuppose the Existence of the Christian God?, 2000, The Secular Web, http://infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/logic.html, accessed July 24, 2014.

[iii] Spacebuddha, Formal Logic and Dialectics, July 26, 2006, The Rational Response Squad, http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/philosophy_and_psychology_with_chaoslord_and_todangst/9293, http://www.marxist.com/science-old/logicanddialectics.html, accessed July 24, 2014.

[iv] Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (2 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-2-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[v] The Laws of Classical Logic, October 6, 2012, http://editthis.info/logic/The_Laws_of_Classical_Logic, accessed July 24, 2014.

[vi] Keith Parsons, God and the “Laws of Logic”, November 13, 2007, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2007/11/13/god-and-the-laws-of-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[vii] Keith Parsons, God and the “Laws of Logic”, November 13, 2007, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2007/11/13/god-and-the-laws-of-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[viii] Keith Parsons, God and the “Laws of Logic”, November 13, 2007, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2007/11/13/god-and-the-laws-of-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[ix] Mike, Explaining Logic, September 30, 2011, Foxhole Atheism, http://foxholeatheism.com/explaining-logic/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[x] Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (2 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-2-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xi] Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (2 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-2-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (3 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-3-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xii] Bob Seidensticker, A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God (3 of 3), December 4, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god-3-of-3/, accessed July 24, 2014.

[xiii] Bob Seidensticker, Do Atheists Borrow From the Christian Worldview?, April 22, 2013, Pantheos, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/04/do-atheists-borrow-from-the-christian-worldview/, accessed July 24, 2014.

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