Re: Logic

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 18:40:24 BST

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    Subject: Re: Logic
    Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 10:40:24 -0700
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    Philip Jonkers wrote:

    > Do you mean to imply that humans are intrinsically logical?
    > Well, what about the superstitious beliefs still infecting
    > countless minds even today as Pascal noted (take horoscopes
    > and religions/cults for instance).

    Logic is only as good as its assumptions. If we assume that famine and
    sickness are caused by "black magic" and, further, that a headless chicken
    will invariably point to the individual responsible for this curse, then the
    story Pacal describes is perfectly logical. Of course, the evidence won't
    always support the assumptions. If the headless chicken fails to expose the
    guilty individual, or if the famine continues even after such exposure, then
    the villagers must abandon their assumption. Their failure to do so is
    explained according to a meme.

    Pascal noted that the "logic meme" has been promoted by "cartesian, western
    thought." This is indeed not logic itself but a meme posing as logic, which
    seeks to justify the proclamations of mechanistic science by labeling them

    Ironically, within the context of mechanistic philosophy, Creationism is
    more logical than neo-Darwinism. If organisms are actually machines, as
    Descartes proposed, then it follows that the species were designed and built
    by a mechanic. The mechanic, of course, is God. Evolutionary theory is the
    recognition that the species are not the products of external forces but are
    in some sense spontaneous self-creations. The logical effect of this
    recognition should have been the abandonment of the notion that an organism
    is a kind of machine. But logic gave way to the persistence of mechanistic
    thinking. Neo-Darwinian theory is the attempt to keep the machine while
    ditching the mechanic. That this inherently illogical approach has survived
    for 150 years now is testimony to the power of memes.

    Ted Dace

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