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Logic Requires Faith

I'm about to say some crazy things. I don't expect any of you to like it. Some of you will fall asleep. Off to sleep!

"We've come to destroy all Truth, in the name of Reason."

The universe exists. At its most basic, the universe means the material matter and energy and the laws of physics, or the observed constants we call laws.

One of the things we observe, which is a property of our consciousness at least if not of the universe, is cause and effect within time, the perception of sequence in time. Whether or not the speed of that sequence is subjective to the beholder, the sequence itself and the following of effect from cause is an inherent part of the construct of the universe as perceived through the human mind or our mental instrument.

If we accept cause and effect in time, as a given, it implies that something - existence (matter, energy and the laws that govern their behavior) - came about, emerged, out of a previous nothing.

This is, of course, impossible to human logic, if not to the actual universe.

So we are confronted with a logical contradiction inherent in the nature of our minds and our perception of reality. I may not be using the words in their strictest philosophical or scientific sense, and I may be mixing concepts. But to express my meaning in a single sentence: A logical impossibility is required by logic. The emergence of something from nothing is logically necessary at the same time as it is logically impossible.

Note I am not saying it is not understood, but that it is logically impossible. That is not to say it did not happen, in fact it must have. Logic demands that it did. Logic demands something happened which logic insists could not have happened.

This is a bit of a problem.

The problem is that we have no basis in empirical observation or scientific knowledge for assuming our logical construct of reality actually corresponds to anything real. We can rely on the predictive power of cause and effect within observed time only so far as the limited space and time of our observation and the limited scope of our own perception, and no further. That is not very far, as the unperceived is potentially infinite.

We have strong logical grounds for doubting the efficacy of logic, as silly as that sounds. Since logic demands something happened that is logically impossible, we have a clue or hint, a residuum or artifact - a vestigial bit of evidence that logic, the frame, the hardware or software of the mind, which we use to perceive reality, is not actually giving us an accurate image, and runs into a 'bug' when we try to reason back to first principles.

The bug is the contradiction we hit like a brick wall when we ask how something could come from nothing, answer that it could not, and that it must have.

The theory of evolution also tells us that we have no right or basis to expect that the adaptive principle would inevitably or even probably lead to a mental apparatus or instrument (a nervous system with a brain and senses) that shows the whole reality, or even an accurate mirror of a part of reality. No more for Man than for Amoebae.

Our dependence on technical instruments to perceive ranges of sight or sound beyond the direct scope of our senses was the first hint that something was amiss.

The possibility that there are things outside our senses altogether, not just outside the range of our senses but other possible senses altogether. A steep descent! The feeling of falling!

Senses we did not develop and don't have because we did not need, as evolution would have it.

The discomfort increases.

The world becomes a massive swirl of possible light to which we are blind. A real darkness, of which we perceive a tiny portion through the suspect lens our senses. Senses which developed haphazardly and with great economy. senses that lie, that merely eek out a dishonest living for us in an inhospitable, disreputable corner of the infinite. Oh science, what have you done! What gave you the right!?

Then the awful possibility, then likelihood, that what we call logic is a mere makeshift, a tool, a chip of flint, shaped by chance to fit a limited and temporary environment, and means nothing more than tautology means in language. What is true is true for us, because it is the very definition and measuring rod of truth. It is true because it feels true. But it has no necessary relation to reality outside of us.

Something from nothing.

That is the ultimate conclusion of logic, when you start from the beginning, and follow the random walk to the end of the materialist story. You start with something from nothing, and come out with... there is no truth.

There is no truth.

There can be no truth.

The only backdoor out of this idea is to posit the possibility that time itself is not a real thing. How else to get around that something had to come from nothing? This apparent escape is also a false door. A little thought on the subject of time and you will see that taking away time does not take away the problem, but merely puts it into a more striking contrast.

There are a couple ways I know of to get rid of time.

The total absence of motion, down to the most subatomic level (assuming the world is in fact made of material, which we have no reason to assume, other than our lying our senses, after filtering infinite possible inputs) -- nothing moves, nothing changes. What would time actually mean in a frozen universe? Nothing moves, nothing lives to perceive time or the present. Nothing changes its state or moves at all. Whats the difference between frozen motion and frozen time in a universe entirely material?

From another angle, time disappears if we eliminate the perceiver of time.

If no one is watching time go by at a certain pace, and experiencing a present moment, what would time be?

Every event along the time spectrum could be compressed to a point, or extended infinitely, by a difference of perception. Like rewinding or fast-forwarding a film. Without an observer, it is all one instant as much as it is a period of duration. Or an endless circle, which is just a ring without experience of duration.

Without a perceiver, the sequence of events called time could be a single object without past or future, just like the whole film is contained on a single film strip, an object with space but not time. The medium holds the entire sequence of information that is the film, in a physical object. The object is outside of and not subject to the time the film takes to run from beginning to end. The speed is entirely subjective, and the entirety is held outside of that time.

So we don't even know if time is real, although we depend entirely on it for cause and effect to be an inherent part of reality. The mind requires time, yet we have to give it up too, to appease the demands of empirical observation and inscrutable logic.

This does not save us, however, but only digs us deeper. Even in the absence of time, the whole compressed point of all existence, matter, and the laws of physics is still a thing. It may not have followed from nothing in a linear sequence in time, but it still exists, and the logical structure of the human mind demands that its properties have an origin.

That is not to say it must have an origin, only that our logic demands it.

All these roads lead to the same conclusion, that the logic we are equipped with is not in fact an objective picture of the reality.

It contains contradictions and can only be presumed to be an instrument, like that of the hummingbird or a dragonfly, adapted to perceiving a limited environment and surviving within it. Beyond that efficacy, nothing is either guaranteed or even assumed about our mental equipment according to the dominant theory of its development, organic evolution by the adaptive accumulation of randomly generated genetic traits, in succession of generations going back to the first emergence of life, Once, by accident.

I am not trying to cast doubt per se on the theory or even on materialism itself. Only to point out that the whole logical enterprise, including science, and even including math and logical tautologies, does depend foremost, and first, on faith. On faith in their reality. An improbable faith, a faith contradicted by the evidence and by the object of the faith itself. The belief that the logic of our minds is true in fact rather than merely true to us -- that is faith.

We all recognize that faith in our senses is in fact faith. It is less recognized that faith in logic is faith. That logic itself breaks on the rocks of logic when followed back to the first things it posits - the origin of existence and physical laws, of time and the perception of material reality in time, and the emergence of anything in time out of nothing. Logic breaks on its own wheel. In coming full circle, its back snaps.

To believe, contrary to the evidence, that logic is a true grasp on the real structure of the universe, is faith.

It is a faith that would make more sense if there was God, a creator motivated to create a being that could see the truth he sees and the truth he created. A "good and loving God," creating beings in his image. This is almost demanded by the faith in logic.

Who could guess the motive of such a thing, which by definition is unknown. The definition of God is - Unknown, and nothing more. Only to be guessed and speculated at with the tool of human logic, and other tools some claim and others disparage and deny exist. Spiritual tools.

How else assume the mind of man would be true to reality? I am not saying there is such a God, only that faith in logic would presume such a thing as a likely premise, or else presume an accident. Of course, the failure of logic to explain, or even allow for possible explanation, of the beginning - of existence - would argue against both the loving god and the happy accident. But neither against one more than the other.

There is no basis or reason to assume, either logically or empirically, that logic itself would be a sound tool or accurate reflection of the real world it perceives. Neither the theory of the emergence and development of life according to natural laws, nor the bedrock a priori reason of the mind, indicates any reason for logic to be correct. Both argue against it, persuasively.

To still believe in logic, despite all this, requires faith, and therefore Faith is prior to Logic. Logic cannot even get off the ground without a leap of faith. It cannot even disparage faith until it gets off the ground.

The faith in logic creeps back to God, even while denying him.


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Merleau-Ponty and the Fundamental Faith

The French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty understood faith, not as religious faith, but as perceptual faith to be fundamental in our being-in-the-world, that is, in our way of being. This perceptual faith he also called 'a fundamental faith' as everything is based on it. This fundamental faith, or perceptual faith, is that "there is something" (his book The Visible and the Invisible, p. 105) or "there is always something confronting [us]" (his book Phenomenology of Perception, p. 328).

You write that "We all recognize that faith in our senses is in fact faith." But I would say following Merleau-Ponty that actually our senses as the perceptual organs of the living body are themselves already in a constant state of faith. Our faith on them is secondary faith on the fundamental/perceptual faith which is always primordial faith that 'there is something' or 'there is the world'.

But the question concerning if "logic requires faith" is question of definitions in a sense that there are different kinds of logics. The logic in a traditional manner definitely requires faith, but in a more original manner it could be said that logos as logic can be understood also as the primordial gathering of the world (Martin Heidegger has written much about it) which is the presupposition of what we normally call logic. In this more primordial manner of understanding logic as the primordial logos we could call it following Merleau-Ponty a "perceptual logos" or a "nascent logos" which would mean that this primordial logos is the logos of perception, that is, the logos of fundamental faith. This primordial perceptual logos Merleau-Ponty calls also, for example, with a Stoic term "logos endiathetos". (The Visible and the Invisible, p. 170)

So what is the so called primordial logic of fundamental/perceptual faith? Are the perceptual logos and the perceptual faith synonymous?

Merleau-Ponty: The Visible and the Invisible

"Air is the very substance of our freedom, the substance of superhuman joy....aerial joy is freedom."--Gaston Bachelard--

Correct me if I'm wrong but I

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think what your trying to say is that
any logical system breaks down at some point.

For example if we accept that (A): 1+1=2 then it follows that
(B): 2-1=1.
That is, A implies B. (this is assuming that we agree on what +,-,= mean)

Are you trying to say that you must have faith that A is true for B to be true? That is, a logical system is only internally consistent.

And by extension, you need to have faith in the axioms of a logical system. Or put another way, if the axioms of a logical system are proved incorrect then any proof that logical system has produced is no longer a proof.

Is this the point your making? Or are you using this to prove something else?

I don't really see how this results in the line
"The faith in logic creeps back to God, even while denying him."

Are you trying to say that if you have a faith in logic, it is inconsistent to not have a faith in god?

Because that doesn't make sense. With logic (which you have used to support you claim), faith in X does not imply faith in z. If that were so you could argue that:
A faith in (x) logic implies a faith in God (z), but likewise,
A faith in (x) God implies a faith in logic (z), likewise,
A faith in (x) logic implies a faith in an argument counter to you own (z), likewise
A faith in (x) God implies a faith in an argument counter to you own (z), likewise
A faith in (x) an argument counter to you own implies a faith in God and Logic (z)
A faith in (x) that you are 100% correct implies a faith in (z) that you are 100% wrong.

Your argument is truly interesting but hard to follow.

belief that what the mind

belief that what the mind shows us is actually objectively true, outside the mind, is not justified by pure reason, not required by logic, not demonstrated empirically (beyond very narrow and subjective limits), and not even likely according to the predominant theory of the origin of that mind.

we have every reason to doubt its accuracy. to believe, despite this, that we ascertain a fundamental truth through our minds - true for all perspectives, true for all times and places, true for all possible intelligences, and complete, is a faith that would fit better with a species elevated by design and purpose, rather than merely adapted by a very economical nature for utility, and therefore limited and imperfect.

objective truth can hardly be assumed to have been a factor in the evolution of the human intellect, outside of the limited usefulness of being able to use purposeful action toward specific kinds of ends, make limited predictions of cause and effect, cutting every possible corner to produce a quick conception and reaction of "whats happenings out there." we have every reason to expect major flaws and limits in that mind in areas where no evolutionary demands existed. we should fully expect logic break down and be faulty at extremities far removed from survival.

this would be the honest atheist position, which too few atheists adopt. it is the more or less neitzschean position, of the pre-eminence of perspective in defining 'truth,' and the inability to rest securely on any objectiveness of truth filtered through the subjective human mind.

the other view is that the human mind is something which, while inferior to god, is created by him in his image and might therefore reasonably be expected to show reality in more objective, eternal, universally true way. it would make the belief that what is true is true in itself and not merely true for us more plausible, whereas the former view almost rules it out.

i respect both positions, and although i have leaned more toward the former for the most part, i do respect the latter and consider it a marked possibility. the evolutionary view and the moral-religious view both offer explanations for human nature and for the limitations of the human mind we observe.

both seem to me to provide an adequate reason why the human mind (speaking only for myself) feels it to be a logical paradox for a universe of laws and material, as it appears to us, to be either eternal or caused by anything that was itself not caused. others can claim this makes sense to them, let them explain it and produce a consensus of agreement if they can. present an explanation, at least plausible, if not true, that does not violate the basic logical demands of the average, typical person.

i don't suggest god offers a way out of any of these problems, as people keep claiming i do who don't bother to read before sounding off their opinions. i stated clearly god means nothing to me other than x, unknown.

i am also not saying there cannot be an answer for this problem. i would say the opposite, there has to be one. but i don't expect it to be an explanation palatable to the typical logical person. there may be one or a dozen potentially plausible mathematical models, that can never be proven or demonstrated, that would 'allow' for X to happen, assuming y, z, and q (which cannot be proven) are true.

people can tell those kinds of stories all day. i am not saying they're true or not true, and i don't expect they will produce a consensus since they can't be experimentally shown or falsified. then we're in the realm of string theory and multiple endless universes and this kind of vain masturbatory nonsense.

the point being that any explanation, for me, that says the laws and material of the universe either emerged from nothing or exist in an eternal causeless loop is not going to satisfy me as logically comprehensible. i do not contend that it didn't happen, only that our minds are not developed to cope with these problems, having been developed (or designed) for other purposes.

that being the case, it is reasonable to expect the mind to be very limited, and everything it shows us then necessarily becomes suspect on a certain level. we can depend on it for practical purposes and trust what we can repeat, but beyond that we can't say anything is certain. we can say it is true for us while not knowing if it is objectively true.

my point and my criticism is that most of those who outwardly reject god, reject design and supposedly accept a purely subjective human perspective, evolved not to see truth but to survive effectively, sneak through the back door as it were, claims that are not justified by reason or science and would seem to imply, if not require, a designer or a purpose for the human mind to be more than the mere subjective tool of an animal.

i find it is either cowardice before the true implications of this uncertainty, which was rather embraced by truly deep and courageous thinkers like nietzsche, who were willing to accept every implication and sacrifice demanded by the "death of god." the loss of all certainty and sureness of footing in any objective truth or viewpoint.

or it is just the intellectual vulgarity of simpletons who consume the popular scientific dispensation through television, and have no more doubt or skepticism about it than their grandparents had before the preacher in the pulpit, and no more understanding of what they publicly affect to believe than their grandfathers had of the trinity. they merely adorn themselves with a false sophistication and conceit in being 'scientific,' there is a total absence of gravity before the unknown that is disgusting, and a pretense that there are no mysteries that is shocking in its audacity.

all the gullibility of their ancestors, with none of the humility or grace.


You begin with the premise that existence came about from a previous nothing, and this leads you to conclude that "there is no truth" and that "logic requires faith".


1. Your original premise is just made up out of the blue.

2. You used logic when you began with your original premise, analyzed it, and concluded that logic requires faith.

faith, by its very nature, does not require any proof

So I am not sure why BILL3 is trying to prove faith. I think he is trying to prove that God exists, which is the realm of Christian apologetics, which aim to provide a rational basis for faith. Perhaps BILL3's faith is not strong enough to stand on its own, leading me to believe there is hope for him yet.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

your argument has some problems

This seems to me a variation of the apologetic Islamic kalam cosmological argument, which is an attempt to prove the existence of God through reason, by "proving" there must be a first cause. This argument has a few logical holes in it which have been addressed before. And then you talk about faith. So which is it, apologetics or faith? The two are really kinda opposites.

Anyway, just some quick random comments on this.

1. You assume that starting with the observations of cause and effect, and the passage of time, we reach the conclusion that every event has a clear cause. But the world is full of counterexamples, such as radioactive decay or the Casimir effect.

2. You assume that eventually you have to reach a primal cause, which itself has no cause. But just as there is no largest number, there could be no first cause. We could have an infinitely old universe or a converging infinite series of time intervals towards some starting point.

3. You assume that cause and effect require time and that a cause must precede the effect in time. But why can't a cause and effect occur simultaneously in time? I don't see why this is inherently illogical.

4. If you freeze time, you do not get rid of motion. You still have instantaneous velocity and instantaneous acceleration. This is calculus 101.

5. Just because we can't understand or explain something doesn't mean that God exists.

In the end, logic is like gravity. You can go on and on about disproving it, but when you take a leap of faith, it will get you in the end. :)

Faith is blindness, and I want to see.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

In your #2...

...the infinitely old universe or process is self-existent, with no answer to the question 'why does it exist?' It just does.

There has to be some kind of fundamental reality that is self-existent. Even if you had infinite chain of gods creating other gods, the chain itself just exists, with no reason or cause (it is what it is).

Any of us who make claims about what the ultimate, fundamental, self-existent reality is, ultimately are relying on faith to say what that reality is. But then logic also can also be applied to the idea of a particular fundamental reality, to see where it leads, or applied to something derivative to see if we can work back in the direction of that supposed reality.

ya well mario and luigi live

ya well mario and luigi live in a self existent reality too, and it has laws and properties. to say something is "a self existent reality" means you haven't actually explained anything. mario has the luxury of being a game and not asking troublesome questions. but if he could ask questions, and the princess showed up, looking profound, and offered that "falling off cliffs into nowhere" is just the self existent reality, she would have explained exactly as much as you just did. namely, nothing.

since your self existent reality makes no sense, either reality or the mind has to come out guilty. i would suggest the simpler answer is that the mind is guilty and not reality.


...and whatever gave rise to Miyamoto's existence is the more fundamental reality behind Mario, eh? :). But if the Princess had been correct, after all, there would have been no reason why such was correct -- it just would have been, even if it seemed odd.

At bottom, there is a reality for which there is no explanation at all -- this is inescapable. We just debate which ultimate Something this 'at bottom' reality really is. I think that the idea of a true Nothing being the Something is impossible, and that any theory which pretends to start with Nothing is really hiding away a 'Something' with a bit of 'sleight of hand'. :)

Am I understanding you right, though -- are you saying there are odd anomalies in our reality which should cause us to question our view of reality? If so, I agree: the presence of reason, mind, knowing, Love in humanity, to me, points to these things always having existed, since I can't see how non-mind gives rise to Mind, how purely deterministic or random chains of cause and effect give rise to arguing grounds from consequents to arrive at knowledge. The fact that mind exists at all gives me great confidence that Mind has been there all along--part of the self-existent reality. But greatest of all in this self-existent reality is Love. Without that, everything else is nothing. :D

if u wna hunt up some guy

if u wna hunt up some guy named kamal and argue with him i wish you godspe... err, non-god speed. i didn't make any such arguments.

i made a personal statement that in my own mind, which is all i can speak for, i can't conceive of any way of the universe making sense, with or without a god. i don't consider this a problem with reality, just with the limits of the human mind, who's structure we have no reason to assume would be an accurate rendering of "pure reality," whatever that may be in the absence of a subjective observer.

i have no opinion on god vs non god. but in the absence of god, honest atheism to me requires abandoning all ideas of universal truth, including logic and mathematics as being true universally rather than just true for us. true axiomatically to our minds regardless of whether they're real things or not.

my whole post i think was pretty clear. i get the feeling most of commenters didn't really read it and just guessed what i meant and responded with already held views to arguments they're already familiar with. which is the natural thing to do i suppose.


damn, you are up late

You should read your own post to help with that :)

"my whole post i think was pretty clear" Of course it's clear to you, you wrote it. Is it clear to others? And if not, who is at fault?

"i have no opinion on god vs. non god." Now you are talking my language! What if God's existence is intermittent? Wouldn't that be a joke being played on itself?

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

oh, and your worst oversight

oh, and your worst oversight above was when you reversed my statement that cessation of all motion would render time null in a universe composed only of material. you responded that the absence of time would not cause motion to stop, and then gave a shout out to your high school calculus teacher! bad ed! pay attention in class!

Hehe. That's why I forgive,

Hehe. That's why I forgive, err, excuse yall for not reading it!

Still not...

...understanding how you are claiming:

' The emergence of something from nothing is logically necessary at the same time as it is logically impossible.'

How is it necessary? No theory has a true nothing at the beginning, has it?

Any fundamental, underlying reality, whether a quantum mechanical system, a multiverse, God, Love, whatever, is not 'nothing'.

I agree...

...with what you are saying about logic being a limited tool for uncovering reality, and that the reliance on logic as valid takes a measure of faith as well. I get what you're saying there, but I keep choking on your premise that logic demands that something came from nothing. Can you help me out here? :)

I'll try!I suppose since we

I'll try!

I suppose, since we emerge from nothing prior to birth, and return to nothing after death, it is the bias of the human mind to assume nothing is the natural state of reality.

All things that exist seem to have a previous state, from which the present follows, going back into a past.

There is nothing inherently wrong with supposing "eternity," although it is beyond fathoming. But whether eternity or not, existence as a "given" without explanation is not an answer and explains nothing.

These are probably just problems of the mind wrapping around a reality is has no reason to be suited to comprehend.

Since we cannot comprehend it, it calls into question the soundness of all our beliefs.

Did our brains evolve haphazardly to allow us to survive in a limited range of the total reality? Is what we perceive necessarily representative of the whole? Do our laws of logic, perception of time, observation of natural constants have ultimate meaning beyond our own mental frame, beyond our apparatus for interpreting external inputs into information?

There's no way of knowing.

Materialism, starting from particles and forces and leading to organic life, to consciousness, would by no means inevitably lead to anything like a vehicle for the accurate rendering of external inputs, for the purpose of forming a truthful picture of reality.

Do we assume a hummingbird sees the same world we do through its senses, has the same operating software for rendering reality?

What would make us 'special'?

The inability to comprehend the whole argues against the mind being such a tool for seeing the world as it really is.

To believe, despite this, that it is such a tool, that is residual faith, a holdover from a worldview where humanity was the apple of God's eye and saw the world He created.

But when you give up god, you have to give up objective truth, as truth becomes mere perspective, for who knows what natural or subjective end.

Without God's eye, there is no objective and complete viewpoint.

And hey, there's nothing wrong with that!

Embrace the chaos or embrace God through faith. Either is available. Both have arguments in their favor. Both arguments have their silver linings and golden possibilities. Both provide solace and comfort in their own way.

Logic affords no clear basis for choice, either is plausible.

But I won't abide people who try to have their God and eat him too.

You hit the nail...

...on the head, I think, as far as the importance of God (or Mind, or whatever term you choose to use for Person being fundamental reality, or at least a component of fundamental reality) in determining whether we can truly know anything, or have any objective truth. If our brains are just collections of whatever nature has put in it through cause and effect, there is no reason to believe that the 'thoughts' going on inside them are actually a reflection of objective truth. It might just be what the molecules in my brain are forcing me to 'think' regardless of what the Truth really is. I totally get what you're saying there! (Similar to arguments I've read in CS Lewis's book 'Miracles'.)

I'm probably frustrating you to no end :) but I still can't see how logic requires that something came from nothing. Whether you take some quantum system as fundamental reality, or God, we don't emerge from nothing and return to it. We come from and return to the Word of God; or we come from and return to stardust, or whatever aspect of quantum or string theory, etc. you want to evoke as most fundamental. Whatever is the TRUE fundamental reality, it has no explanation, and cannot have an explanation for existing -- otherwise it wouldn't be fundamental reality. For example, if I believe that the Trinity is fundamental reality, there is no explanation for why it exists, why there would be three persons in one Godhead, etc. It just would be what it would be, with no reason.

The problem is that what

The problem is that what you're calling "fundamental reality" is just the absence of comprehension. You're substituting the phrase "ultimate reality" for what should be called the limit of or the absence of comprehension, and then extrapolating that human limit or absence of comprehensions to all possible states of being. You're straining at the leash.

You're saying "no matter what, there can be no possibility of comprehension." You're not willing to take the next step and say, "...for us." No possibility of comprehension, for us.

The absence of comprehension should not lead you to say there is no possibility of comprehension. Rather it should tell you, "SOMETHING IS GRAVELY WRONG." You're trapped, like all of us, inside the mind that tells you no such comprehension is possible. But why should it not be possible? Reality exists, it ought to make sense. If it does not make sense to us, that is not a flaw of reality, but a flaw of the mind. That was, after all, my whole point.

See the parable of Mario and Luigi:

In the parable, there is also an ultimate reality which was beyond explanation. Not because it was actually so, but simply because it beyond access to the seeker. In the deeper reality, it had a perfectly valid and different explanation, which was simply beyond access.

The analogy is incomplete, because if our logic itself is severely handicapped, and is where the limit is fixed, that is a different order of magnitude and a difference of kind, not degree.

But if our logic makes explanation of the "ultimate reality" impossible, it is more likely a flaw of our minds than an inherent feature of reality.


...I would go so far as to say that not even God knows *why* He exists, if I may be so bold. He knows that He is the I AM that I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of all else. There is no answer to the question 'why does God exist?'. He is the answer to the question of why everything else exists.

I once heard speculation that the reason Lucifer may have fallen was that he convinced himself that God was lying about actually being fundamental reality, and began to think that both he and God evolved out of the same original conditions, that he could ascend to be like the Most High, etc. So whether or not one accepts God as the ultimate fundamental reality, or just a derivative of a deeper reality requires faith and trust to some extent. But if God is really omniscient, then, from His own perspective, He knows for sure that He is God -- I AM that I AM. And I will take that on faith.

i wouldn't pretend to know

i wouldn't pretend to know anything about god.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Damn straight it does

Science as well. Faith that the underlying mechanism of the world works as we perceive it to.

Logic is a model that we use to describe the world. Models never fit the world exactly.

Thanks Bill. For this, and all of your contributions here.

He's the man.

faith is not the best word, IMHO

What you describe is induction. Induction has been discussed in the philosophy of science for centuries, ever since Hume. How can we know the sun will rise tomorrow? Because it always has before. But if you like the word "faith" better, sure, why not.

Yes, logic is a model. All we have are models. The map is not the territory, as Korzybksi would say. But some maps are better than others. Logic happens to be a damn good map.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

i don't see any confusion

i don't see any confusion between faith and induction by m nys or anyone else.

there's no inductive grounds for assuming your animal mind is showing you full or accurate reality. evolution of animal life surely demands no such thing. the conditions for life could include a completely false and erroneous rendering of the inputs, as long as they're internally self consistent to certain limits and allow for rational response to stimulus with in a narrow band of the reality, simply to permit survival.

no reason to assume that apparatus would be an unvarnished picture of the truth. that would be more in accord with faith in the uniqueness of humanity, the completeness of the human mind, a purpose in it for really seeing the truth objectively, and not as a mere sliver of reality subjectively rendered to enable survival.

the space we occupy, the narrow band we are adapted to survive in, could have different properties and be unlike most of the totality. we could be seeing and experiencing 1% of the inputs. to believe the mind in rendering objectively reality would be a leap of faith beyond anything materialism justifies on the grounds of reason.

I see that as an irrelevant concern

My animal mind may not show me "full or accurate reality," but I don't require full or accurate reality. Bayesian inference is good enough for me.

So, I don't disagree with anything you say in this comment. It's just not something I worry about.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

Well you're worried enough

Well you're worried enough about it to discuss it at length in these comments, besides which no one told you to worry about it. The point is either valid or not with little regard to your level of worry.

Just because I enjoy a discussion

does not mean I am worried about it.

"The point is either valid or not with little regard to your level of worry." - Would that mean it's independent of anyone's faith?

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

We all live in the past, don't we?

Scientifically speaking?


Defeat the panda-industrial complex

I am dusk icon. anagram me.

Welcome and back at ya.

Welcome and back at ya. Honestly I wouldn't know where to unload my thoughts if we didn't have the DP. I'd probably just stop thinking, which doubtless would make many happy.

Are you saying ...

... that our ability to perceive the world, and draw conclusions about the world on those perceptions, is not valid?

"There is no truth. There can be no truth".

yes, I copied and pasted that from the above dissertation.
BILL3's words verbatim.

if such is indeed the case...

is it possible to hold "these truths to be self evident"?

BILL3 trumps the founders and the declaration of independence.
now I have seen it all.