Tag: Logic (home)

Logic: The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.

permalink source: Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
tags: Logic, Perception, Truth

But reason has also discerned that all previous cultures were founded by and on gods or belief in gods. Only if the new regimes are enormous successes, able to rival the creative genius and splendor of other cultures, could reason's rational foundings be equal or superior to the kinds of foundings that reason knows were made elsewhere. But such equality or superiority is highly questionable; therefore reason recognizes its own inadequacy. There must be religion, and reason cannot found religions.

permalink source: Allan Bloom, Closing of the American Mind 196
tags: Apologetics, Atheism, Logic, Philosophy, Reading

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

permalink source: Samuel Butler
tags: Logic, Philosophy, Truth, Understanding

When I come upon anything--in Logic or in any other hard subject--that entirely puzzles me, I find it a capital plan to talk it over, aloud, even when I am all alone. One can explain things so clearly to one's self! And then, you know, one is so patient with one's self: one never gets irritated at one's own stupidity!

permalink source: Lewis Carroll
tags: Logic, Reason, Truth

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.

permalink source: William James
tags: Logic, Thinking

It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Logic, Science

AMAZING BUT TRUE ... There is so much sand in Northern Africa that if it were spread out it would completely cover the Sahara Desert.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Logic

If God had intended Man to Smoke, He would have set him on Fire. If God had intended Man to Walk, He would have given him Feet.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Logic

The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Logic

I was predestined to be an Arminian. I became a Calvinist of my own free will.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Logic, Theology, Freedom

If bankers can count, how come they have eight windows and only four tellers?

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Logic, Mathematics

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Apologetics, Logic

Philosophy is a game with objectives and no rules. Mathematics is a game with rules and no objectives.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Logic, Mathematics, Philosophy

Try to understand the Trinity and you will lose your mind. Deny the Trinity and you will lose your soul.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Logic, Theology

"It's easier said than done." ... and if you don't believe it, try proving that it's easier done than said, and you'll see that "it's easier said that `it's easier done than said' than it is done", which really proves that "it's easier said than done".

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Logic

2 is not equal to 3 -- not even for large values of 2.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Logic, Mathematics

The essential amorality of all atheist doctrines is often hidden from us by an irrelevant personal argument. We see that many articulate secularists are well-meaning and law-abiding men; we see them go into righteous indignation over injustice and often devote their lives to good works. So we conclude that "he can't be wrong whose life is in the right" -- that their philosophies are just as good guides to action as Christianity. What we don't see is that they are not acting on their philosophies. They are acting, out of habit or sentiment, on an inherited Christian ethic which they still take for granted though they have rejected the creed from which it sprang. Their children will inherit some what less of it.

permalink source: Joy Davidman, Smoke on the Mountain [1955]
tags: Apologetics, Atheism, Logic, Morality

Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirit are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams.

permalink source: Mary Ellen Kelly
tags: Logic, Culture

Reasons Why The English Language Is Hard To Learn: 1) The bandage was wound around the wound. 2) The farm was used to produce produce. 3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. 4) We must polish the Polish furniture. 5) He could lead if he would get the lead out. 6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. 7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. 8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum. 9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. 10) I did not object to the object. 11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid. 12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row. 13) They were too close to the door to close it. 14) The buck does funny things when the does are present. 15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. 16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. 17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail. 18) After a number of injections my jaw got number. 19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear. 20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests. 21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Logic, Language

Have you ever imagined a world without hypothetical situations?

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Logic, Creativity

While it is right to stress the dangers of the permissive society, the argument from danger is not in itself a good argument, because it seems to imply that, if the danger could be removed, if there was no risk of a child and no peril of infection, then the objection would be removed, too. It tends to imply that the objection is to the attendant dangers and not to the thing itself. But if sexual intercourse before and outside marriage is against the teaching of Jesus, then the thing is not only dangerous, it is wrong in itself.

permalink source: William Barclay (1907-1978)
tags: Logic, Sex

"These are the prerogatives of genius: to know without having learned; to draw just conclusions from unknown premises; to discern the soul of things."

permalink source: Ambrose Bierce, American journalist and short-story writer
tags: Genius, Logic

"Euclid taught me that without assumptions there is no proof. Therefore, in any argument, examine the assumptions."

permalink source: Eric Temple Bell, Scottish-American mathematician, educator, writer
tags: Logic, Persuasion, Arguments

"He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense."

permalink source: Joseph Conrad, Polish novelist and short-story writer
tags: Logic, Persuasion, Arguments

"Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic."

permalink source: William E. Gladstone, English statesman and author
tags: Logic, Persuasion, Emotions, Arguments

The critical scholar is not committed, within the area of his research, to accepting the Church's presuppositions about Jesus, but he should not be committed to accepting naturalistic presuppositions either. If he does accept the latter, then the results of his research will in all probability contradict the beliefs of the Church, but this is because he has begged the question from the start. In examining, for instance, the evidence for the virginal conception [of Jesus], if he begins with the presupposition that such an event is impossible he will end with the same conclusion; if he begins with the presupposition that it is possible he may end with the conclusion that the evidence for it is good or that it is bad or that it is inconclusive. This is as far as scholarship can take him. The Christian will accept the virginal conception as part of the Church's faith. In the rare cases where faith appears to be contradicted by scholarship whose conclusions have not been prescribed from the start, [the critical scholar] may be cast down but will not be destroyed. For he will know how temporary and mutable the conclusions of scholarship essentially are, and he will also be conscious that he himself may not have perfectly comprehended the Church's faith.

permalink source: E. L. Mascall, The Secularization of Christianity [1965]
tags: Logic, Scholarship, College

According to an ancient Sufi story, a blind man wandering lost in a forest tripped and fell. As the blind man rummaged about the forest floor he discovered that he had fallen over a cripple. The blind man and the cripple struck up a conversation, commiserating on their fate. The blind man said, "I have been wandering in this forest for as long as I can remember, and I cannot seem to find my way out." The cripple said, "I have been lying on the forest floor for as long as I can remember, and I cannot get up to walk out." As they sat there talking, suddenly the cripple cried out. "I've got it," he said. "You hoist me up on your shoulders and I will tell you where to walk. Together we can find our way out of the forest." According to the ancient storyteller, the blind man symbolized rationality. The cripple symbolized intuition. We will not find our way out of the forest until we learn how to integrate the two.

permalink source: Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline p 167-8
tags: Logic, Problems, Solutions, Intuition

Einstein said, "I never discovered anything with my rational mind." He once described how he discovered the principle of relativity by imagining himself traveling on a light beam. Yet, he could take brilliant intuitions and convert them into succint, rationally testable propositions.

permalink source: Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline p 169
tags: Logic, Creativity, Intuition

In a forest a fox bumps into a little rabbit, and says, "Hi, junior, what are you up to?" "I'm writing a dissertation on how rabbits eat foxes," said the rabbit. "Come now, friend rabbit, you know that's impossible!" "Well, follow me and I'll show you." They both go into the rabbit's dwelling and after a while the rabbit emerges with a satisfied expression on his face. Comes along a wolf. "Hello, what are we doing these days?" "I'm writing the second chapter of my thesis, on how rabbits devour wolves." "Are you crazy? Where is your academic honesty?" "Come with me and I'll show you." As before, the rabbit comes out with a satisfied look on his face and a diploma in his paw. Finally, the camera pans into the rabbit's cave and, as everybody should have guessed by now, we see a mean-looking, huge lion sitting next to some bloody and furry remnants of the wolf and the fox. The moral: It's not the contents of your thesis that are important -- it's your PhD advisor that really counts.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Education, Grades, Logic, Reason, College

· Teens Do Think Differently: Research revealed at a recent meeting on adolescent self destructive behavior sponsored by Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts indicates that teen brains actually function differently from adult brains. Comparing MRI's of teen brain function and adult brain function during facial recognition and word production tasks, researchers found that teen brains showed less activity in the frontal cortex, which organizes and modulates behavior, and more activity than adults in the amygdala, which associates sensory stimuli with emotions. Teens were more likely to misread facial expressions and to react strongly in certain situations. The study provides a biological explanation for what every parent of teenagers already knew, they don't think the same way as their parents. (Youth Today July/August 2000 p. 15)

permalink source: Ivy Jungle
tags: Logic, Teenagers

ARE YOU THE WEAKEST LINK? I am going to ask you three questions. And you have to answer them instantly. You can't take your time you have to answer immediately. Okay? Let's find just how clever you really are. Ready? GO!!! First Question: You are participating in a race. You overtake second place. What position do you finish? Answer: If you answer that you arrived first, then you are wrong! If you overtake the second and you take his place, you arrive second! To answer the next question don't take as much time as you took for the first question. Second Question: If you overtake the last, then you arrive...? Answer: If you answer that you arrived second to last, then you are wrong again. Tell me, how can you overtake the LAST! The question is wrong! You're not very good at this are you? ;^) Next...very tricky math! Note: This riddle *must* be done in your head only and NOT using paper and a pen. Try it. Third Question: Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Another 1000. Now add 20. Now add another 1000. Now add 10. What is the total? Did you get 5000? Well, the correct answer is actually 4100. Don't believe it? Check with your calculator! The decimal sequence confuses our brain, which always jumps to the highest decimals (100s instead of 10s). That should have you in a bad mood for the rest of the day! You are the weakest link. Goodbye!

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Logic

That's like criticizing someone for owning and umbrella and having a shower.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Logic, Criticism

"What was the Sherlock Holmes principle? 'Once you have discounted the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.'" "I reject that entirely," said Dirk, sharply. "The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks. How often have you been presented with an apparently rational explanation of something which works in all respects other than one, which is just that it is hopelessly improbable? Your instinct is to say, 'Yes, but he or she simply wouldn't do that.'" "Well, it happened to me today, in fact," replied Kate. "Ah, yes," said Dirk, slapping the table and making the glasses jump, "your girl in the wheelchair -- a perfect example. The idea that she is somehow receiving yesterday's stock market prices apparently out of thin air is merely impossible, and therefore must be the case, because the idea that she is maintaining an immensely complex and laborious hoax of no benefit to herself is hopelessly improbable. The first idea merely supposes that there is something we don't know about, and God knows there are enough of those. The second, however, runs contrary to something fundamental and human which we do know about. We should therefore be very suspicious of it and all its specious rationality."

permalink source: Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
tags: Logic

In the batty circular logic of American Twelve Step programs, defensively denying you're an addict is rock-solid proof that you are, in fact, an addict. Insisting that you have a right to be defensive since you're defending yourself against a charge that isn't true just digs you in deeper. Denying something tat isn't true only proves you're in denial, and all addicts are denial until they admit they're addicts, at which point they're in recovery.

permalink source: Dan Savage, Skipping Towards Gomorrah 118
tags: Logic, Addiction, Denial

Always assume the burden of proof is yours because you’re the one who wants to know.

permalink source: Dallas Willard, in a lecture at Stanford 5/3/2005
tags: Logic, Reason

Becoming a faithful follower of LaRouche is like entering the Bizarro World of the Superman comic books, says Paul Kacprzak, 45, who joined LaRouche as an idealistic teenager in the 1970s and worked for him for about a decade. As long as you stay inside the movement, everything you are told makes a certain sense. But if you try to view it from the outside, he says, "it's Bizarro World."

permalink source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46883-2004Oct20_3.html “No Joke”, Washington Post, By April Witt Sunday, October 24, 2004; Page W12
tags: Logic, Cults

I have always used a few lines from Darwin as a personal mantra: "I have steadily endeavored to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved... as soon as facts are seen to be opposed to it..... I can't remember a single first formed hypothesis which had not after a time to be given up or greatly modified. This has naturally led me to distrust greatly deductive reasoning in the mixed sciences." Psychology is a young discipline, and immature fields advance more quickly by relying on inferences from observations, many unexpected, than by trying to prove deductions from a priori conceptions. [The Darwin quote is from his Notebooks, cited in H.E. Gruber, <i>Darwin on Man</i> (1974), 400.]

permalink source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 75-76
tags: Logic, Psychology, Research

<i>Obviously</i>... Not many Americans have one testicle and one ovary. <i>Surprise</i>... In fact, the <i>average</i> American has one testicle and one ovary. Statistics is a subject of enormous utility that can lead us to great insights into trends and patterns. But blind application of statistical formulas can paint a misleading picture of our world and cause us to statistically drop the ball.

permalink source: Burger and Starbird, Coincidences Chaos and All That Math Jazz, 42
tags: Gender Issues, Logic, Statistics

Knee-Jerk Skepticism Counterproductive

There are two mistakes you can make when you read a scientific paper: You can believe it (a) too much or (b) too little. The possibility of believing something too little does not occur to most professional scientists, at least if you judge them by their public statements, which are full of cautions against too much belief and literally never against too little belief. Never. If I’m wrong — if you have ever seen a scientist warn against too little belief — please let me know. Yet too little belief is just as costly as too much. It’s a stunning imbalance which I have never seen pointed out. And it’s not just quantity, it’s quality. One of the most foolish statements that intelligent people constantly make is “correlation does not imply causation.” There’s such a huge bias toward saying “don’t do that” and “that’s a bad thing to do” — I think because the people who say such things enjoy saying them — that the people who say this never realize the not-very-difficult concepts that (a) nothing unerringly implies causation, so don’t pick on correlations and (b) correlations increase the plausibility of causation. If your theory predicts Y and you observe Y, your theory gains credence. Causation predicts correlation. This tendency is so common it seems unfair to give examples. If you owned a car that could turn right but not left, you would drive off the road almost always. When I watch professional scientists react to this or that new bit of info, they constantly drive off the road: They are absurdly dismissive. The result is that, like the broken car, they fail to get anywhere: They fail to learn something they could have learned.

permalink source: Seth Roberts, "How To Be Wrong", http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2008/02/06/how-to-be-wrong/
tags: Logic, Skepticism, Epistemology


If the meanings of "true" and "false" were switched, then this sentence wouldn't be false.

permalink source: Douglas Hofstadter
tags: Logic, Language

Faith Is Thinking

Faith according to our Lord’s teaching in this paragraph, is primarily thinking; and the whole trouble with a man of little faith is that he does not think. He allows circumstances to bludgeon him. . . . We must spend more time in studying our Lord’s lessons in observation and deduction. The Bible is full of logic, and we must never think of faith as something purely mystical. We do not just sit down in an armchair and expect marvelous things to happen to us. That is not Christian faith. Christian faith is essentially thinking. Look at the birds, think about them, draw your deductions. Look at the grass, look at the lilies of the field, consider them. . . . Faith, if you like, can be defined like this: It is a man insisting upon thinking when everything seems determined to bludgeon and knock him down in an intellectual sense. The trouble with the person of little faith is that, instead of controlling his own thought, his thought is being controlled by something else, and, as we put it, he goes round and round in circles. That is the essence of worry. . . . That is not thought; that is the absence of thought, a failure to think.

permalink source: Martin Lloyd-Jones, commenting on Matthew 6:30 in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
tags: Logic, Faith