Debate:Why Reason?

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What is Logic and Philosophy that we should depend on it? Science cannot really prove anything; what about mathematics, or Reason? What is the good of it if it's only as strong as the mortal minds who concieve it? These very sentences have been reasoned by a human mind. How can anyone trust their life to anything but an absolute truth. For instance, without the Bible, you rely on reason. You reason a moral system where every person as rights and no one can infringe anyone else's rights. But how can you know whats right and wrong if you don't have a standard? What's so special about Logic that makes it infalliable? Would even the best logic work every time? If you throw a penny in the air 100 times and it falls to the ground 100 times whos to say it will fall to the ground on the 101 first throw?

Only the Bible is Infallible

Which one? O.K. heres the thing. I can throw a penny in the air 101, 1001, or 100,000 times. It will fall to the ground. This can be measured, and proven. Give me one piece of evidence that the bible was written by anyone other than men. And don't tell me I have to take it on faith--that is the difference between fact and fantasy--I can prove facts.

Actually, if you throw the penny really far, what you liberals call "gravity" will cease to pull it back down to our flat Earth. As your metaphor has been proven false by me, it follows that your whole point of view is wrong. --Cranky Joe 06:51, 3 January 2008
What you wrote suggests that "liberals" don't realize "their gravity" weakens further away from Earth. It turns out they do. --Quantumdot 17:26, 6 April 2008 (EDT)
In fact, it also turns out that it doesn't matter if there are exceptions like what Cranky Joe brings up. The point is that there are scientific, reasonable laws that are accepted by most people. RaymondZ 11:31, 28 December 2012 (EST)
If you can throw a penny out of Earth's gravitational field with just your own arm, I will call you God. SEdwin 22:51, 20 June 2011 (EDT)

you are being very foolish cranky Joe he is talking about using human strength to throw the penny it is physically impossible for a human to through a penny into space and the earth is not flat if it were then there would be a spot that if you sailed to you would just fall off the map which has never happened and if you go into space you go into space and view the earth its a sphere not a flat piece of matter just siting there

Actually, unless the penny was thrown at 23,000 miles per hour it would fall back to Earth. It may take a substantially longer amount of time but it would happen. Thats why there are no satillites from the 1950's in orbit anymore, gravity pulled them back down to Earth. And as for the penny that WAS thrown at 23,000 MPH. What we liberals call gravity would eventually pull it onto the moon or into the sun by gravity--BenBr 17:55, 21 October 2009 (EDT)

What liberals call gravity? What do you call it? --Lordofthemarsh 23:14, 1 June 2008 (EDT)

Any decent scientist would not say God does not exist. God cannot be measured and tested. He is like everything else that is outside the field of science.
Scientists simply do not have a professional opinion about it. CMacloud 19:17, 21 February 2008 (EST)

Sure, maybe God does exist. Maybe he doesn't. But we don't know. I would agree that reason and logic isn't infallible. But so far it our best way of interpreting the universe. Keep in mind also that the Bible only applies to Christians. Logic can apply to everyone. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by R136a1 (talk)

One God listed in the Bible is believed by a majority of the world population. Where-as the logic that comes from believing in no god just isn't popular among educated people, known as illogical in most circles.--Jpatt 20:21, 20 June 2012 (EDT)

Okay, question, are you implying that you would only believe the Bible as being infallable if it was written by God Himself rather than man? The argument fails in this respect. If you question the reliability of man then why do you put so much stock in yourself? Does this mean you criticize your teachers of science, logic and reason because the subjects were written by men? You give all credance to others as authorities yet you choose to not believe the Bible because it was written by men. Sounds like a double standard. valenciathegr8

Any decent scientist would conclude that god "probably" does not exist. No good scientist would say it with certainty, because nothing in science is certain. However, it's more likely that there is no god, given the evidence (or lack thereof).
Also, to rebut Cranky Joe's argument, if you throw a penny out of the atmosphere, it will land somewhere eventually. In fact, if you launch two pennies at the same velocity within a second of each other, they will land close to each other, wherever that may be. You still have not shown that gravity fails in this case. SEdwin 21:09, 30 July 2011 (EDT)

One thing I would say is that if atheism is true, then it really doesn't matter if we reason or not. No matter how much knowledge we gain, it will all be for nothing because we are going towards nothing. But if the Biblical world view is true and we have a creator who loves us, then reason is very important in order to serve our creator and learn about His creation.

The Mind is trustworthy

I don't know if I agree with the parameters of this debate. Logic certainly isn't infallible, or else we wouldn't have paradoxes (for example, "this is a lie"). It does however provide the most effective tools for navigating the world around us and making sense of our experiences.

The very foundation of a debate is logic, anyway. The negators will employ logic in constructing an opposing argument, and the affirmers will use logic to counter it. The very act of reading a Bible requires feats of logic (one doesn't simply gain literacy by divine inspiration, unless you're Mohammed).

I'm all for interpretations of the Bible and contextual readings, but assuming the infallibility of anything - the Bible, the Constitution, the local phone directory - is fundamentally irrational behaviour. It precludes critical thinking and evaluation, and as such, cannot be debated in any meaningful way. Underscoreb 23:52, 7 November 2007 (EST)

I would argue in response that logic is a process rather than a source of knowledge. As far as paradoxes go, most are purely linguistic in nature or are based on faulty premises (take Zeno's dichotomy paradox which is based on mathematical fallacy) which are just not readily apparent.

I happily accept your final paragraph though, however, i think the parameters attempted to include what you define as critical thinking and evaluation under the heading of logic. However, this is a fault of the page not defining clearly enough rather than your interpreatation.


One thing that seems to keep cropping up on this site is a complete lack of understanding of the scientific method. No scientist ever says something is "proven". Science is based upon the idea of falsifiability; that is, something is assumed to be the case until it is proven not to be. For example, gravity is one theory which is the best interpretation of all the evidence available. Every time a scientific study investigates gravity and it supports the theory, our confidence in the theory is increased. But the theory could be disproved with one contradictory result. You can never prove, merely disprove.

As such, something is never scientifically "proven". It is simply yet to be disproved. Dallas 07:31, 15 November 2007 (EST)

I should probably mention though that your "one contradictory result" would have to be repeatable and well-documented, but in essence, yes. :D Underscoreb 18:10, 15 November 2007 (EST)
Or else the Law of the Conservation of Mass and Energy would have been disproven by high school chemistry students long ago. --User:Capercorn Talk contribs 13:45, 19 May 2008 (EDT)

The Reliability of Logic Cannot Be Debated

As has been said, logic cannot be used to disprove its own reliability. Logic is reliable because it is supported by the facts and the truth. IE if I throw the penny in the air, and it hits every time, then it is logical to assume it will do so again. There must be an objective truth, because if there was not, the statement "there is no objective truth" would be an objective truth. If there is an objective truth, it follows that it can be logically understood. Of course, this argument relies on logic. Do you see the futility of this debate?

I am not sure that it is logical to assume anything, but that there is a progression of events to which we have become accustomed, it seems that we must make a series of assumptions about the world, i.e. that the penny will react similarly, because otherwise we would not be able to function effectively. In that sense, God might only be the mind's assumption to cope with the seemingly illogical or ineffable reality in which we believe ourselves to be. Similarly, the radically subjective position from which we likely (assumption) perceive reality would leave us with the understanding that any form of logic which we use to more easily cope with reality would be flawed at best and inconsequential to any objective perception of reality, if there could be such a thing. I would also say that if there is an Object Truth, it does not necessarily follow that it could be logically understood, but simply Objectively understood, or perhaps only perceived, just as when a camera "perceives" a tree, it simply perceives it and doesn't even observe it, let alone understand it or logically arrive at the tree. And although this argument relies on logic, it could easily have nothing to do with Objective Truth, if the Objective Truth is itself neither logical nor illogical (something that might be more...logical... given that Objective Truth would more likely exist independent of our reality, unless one thinks of God as pure logic, i.e. Objective Logic, of course.) Mentisendium 22:56, 20 July 2010 (EDT)

What else?

If not reason what are you going to use? Blind faith and believing everything? Random choices? Reason is not perfect, but it's better than pretty much everything else. See democracy. RaymondZ 11:34, 28 December 2012 (EST)