## Metaphysics of Reason/Logic

• 1.9k
I'm just talking about regular old normal, impure reason. The kind you and I are involved in here.

Sounds reasonable. But how can it be used to find out about the reason for existence?
• 9.1k
Sounds reasonable. But how can it be used to find out about the reason for existence?

I have answered that question to my own satisfaction, although probably not yours. There is no reason for existence. There is never an answer to the question "Why?" Only "How?"
• 1.9k
I have answered that question to my own satisfaction, although probably not yours. There is no reason for existence. There is never an answer to the question "Why?" Only "How?"

In the light of gods, reason can be given. Science merely describes creation while informing us about eternal heaven and the eternal life in it.
• 67
What do you consider reason? Its a broad word that is often interpreted differently by different people
In this case, the idea of “reason” I had in mind were things like modus ponens, avoiding what are defined as local fallacies, drawing conclusions from new or existing information, etc. But it is a sort of fuzzy concept IMO.

In particular, I would argue that certain logical fallacies are not necessarily self-evident, and we even see some of these being deconstructed under postmodern influence. Things like the genetic fallacy, as hominem, etc are regularly employed in “arguments” nowadays.

Reason, as it is discussed in the opening post, is a process for finding the truth
This is where it seems like we have to make a circular argument. We say reason is the process of finding truth, because we believe that we can arrive at truth using reason. Now, perhaps reason was developed because it described our conception of reality. However, to claim that we have arrived at truth because we used reason is a metaphysical claim about the world saying that truth follows due to our use of reason (probably pretty justified, it seems to do better than other methods, etc).

Reason is a tricky subject-people hundreds of years ago thought the sun revolved around the earth (makes sense-we seem to be stationary but the sun seems to move). This conclusion would be an application of reason from the premises. But now, we know this is not the case.
• 1.9k
Reason is a tricky subject-people hundreds of years ago thought the sun revolved around the earth (

Relativity made it possible again to view it both ways. The Earth rotates around the Sun, but the Sun can just as well be seen rotating the Earth (as well as the entire universe when the Earth rotates around itaxis).
• 9.1k
In the light of gods, reason can be given. Science merely describes creation while informing us about eternal heaven and the eternal life in it.

I'm not a follower of any religion. I don't see things the way you do. For me, the reason for existence is a human question that only has human answers.
• 9.1k
This is where it seems like we have to make a circular argument. We say reason is the process of finding truth, because we believe that we can arrive at truth using reason. Now, perhaps reason was developed because it described our conception of reality. However, to claim that we have arrived at truth because we used reason is a metaphysical claim about the world saying that truth follows due to our use of reason (probably pretty justified, it seems to do better than other methods, etc).

It's not a circular argument at all. Reason is a process for finding the truth. That's a definition. That's what reason is intended for. Now, perhaps it's a bad or ineffective process, but that's another question.
• 1.9k
I'm not a follower of any religion. I don't see things the way you do. For me, the reason for existence is a human question that only has human answers.

Of course, we can invent a multitude of reasons and purposes for human existence. You can, like Richard Dawkins does, say that the reason of all life is to propagate genes or memes (in the case of people). Which can be turned into the opposite as well. We could say love is the reason, or making art. Doing science, or sport or dance. Etcetera. But these don't offer a reason why existence exists in the first place. No science can't answer that. It's easy to live without such reason and just accept existence as a fact without a reason. That's what you do. But I like to know why the universe is there. And science can't offer a reason. The so-called hard problem of consciousness melts away in the light of gods.
• 9.1k
a reason why existence exists in the first place.

why the universe is there

Because it does. That's enough for me. Clearly not for you.
• 1.9k
Because it does.

The universe exists because it exists?
• 9.1k
The universe exists because it exists?

Yes. It just does. Again - that's enough for me.
• 1.9k
Yes. It just does. Again - that's enough for me.

Are you not curious for the why?
• 12.2k
In the light of gods, reason can be given.

Yes, but it can never be definitive, since it always relies on subjective faith. Note, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with having faith, we all do it, just that such beliefs can never be demonstrated to be true in any "objective" sense. In fact, I think there is precious little than can be so demonstrated, and even that is always dependent on context and auxilliary hypotheses or assumptions, which are themselves not demonstrable.
• 15.8k
Reason is a tricky subject-people hundreds of years ago thought the sun revolved around the earth (makes sense-we seem to be stationary but the sun seems to move). This conclusion would be an application of reason from the premises. But now, we know this is not the case.

Something which Copernicus et al deduced from the application of reason to the evidence, to overturn the apparently-obvious conclusion that the Earth is stationary at the centre of the Universe.
• 9.1k
Are you not curious for the why?

People have reasons, not the universe.
• 1.9k
In fact, I think there is precious little than can be so demonstrated, and even that is always dependent on context and auxilliary hypotheses or assumptions, which are themselves not demonstrable

There you go! All reasons are told in stories. All stories are human. So different stories have different ibjective reasons. Science has physical non-intelligent material causes as reason, religion has intelligent reason for the material basics of the universe. Both are equally true and objective stories. The creation stories of science can be checked but don't provide a reason, theist stories provide a reason, but can be checked more difficultly, if at all.
• 1.9k
People have reasons, not the universe.

I mean, why the universe exists?
• 12.2k
Both are equally true and objective stories.

I don't think any of the stories necessarily are, or can be shown to be, objectively true, if by "objective" is mean 'true regardless of belief or opinion'.
• 1.9k
I don't think any of the stories necessarily are, or can be shown to be, objectively true, if by "objective" is mean 'true regardless of belief or opinion'.

Not necessarily. But we want them to.
• 12.2k
But we want them to.

Some do. Others, like me, question the very idea that the idea of anything being objectively true in any absolute (context free) sense is even coherent.
• 1.9k
Some do. Others, like me, question the very idea that the idea of anything being objectively true in any absolute (context free) sense is even coherent.

Well, an absolute reality has the living being as context, paradoxically as it might sound. My absolute reality of gods is a different one from the atheist scientist. Why should there be one absolute reality? By definition? That's a silly invention made in ancient Greece, on which, sadly enough, modern science is based. I think there can be more objective realities. It depends on who you ask. Many problems arise by claiming that your objective reality should be the same for everyone.
• 12.2k
The idea of many absolute realities contradicting one another makes no sense. So, if you claim, for example that some story of Gods creating the world is absolutely true, in the sense I outlined above, and science claims that it's Big Bang account is absolutely true; they can't both be right in any absolute sense. They might be able to be coherently thought to be both true in different contextual senses, though.

Many problems arise by claiming that your objective reality should be the same for everyone.

In the sense I mean it, no one can have any absolute (context free) objective reality so the problem doesn't arise.
• 1.9k
The idea of many absolute realities contradicting one another makes no sense.

It's a paradoxical idea. I had a long discussion about this on another philosophy forum. The idea of a unique absolute reality originates in the Greek philosophers. Xenophanes created the idea in the context of the many Greek gods and changed them into one omni super god monster, which became the one and only, unimaginable God. Similar like Plato's mathematical, unknowable ultimate reality, approximately knowable. Both ideas formed the basis of western religion and science. Let the idea gi and we're left with a multitude of absolute realities, if people want them to be.

In the sense I mean it, no one can have any absolute (context free) objective reality so the problem doesn't arise.

Maybe they can't but they want to have their worldview absolute existence. The particle physicist wants his preons to be true, the theist his gods, the astrologist his system of prediction, or the Aboriginal his dreamtime.
• 12.2k
It's a paradoxical idea. I had a long discussion about this on another philosophy forum. The idea of a unique absolute reality originates in the Greek philosophers.

I see the idea of a unique absolute reality as following logically from the idea of an absolute reality. And there can be no real contradictions in reality of any kind. much less in an absolute reality, it seems to me.

Maybe they can't but they want to have their worldview absolute existence. The particle physicist wants his preons to be true, the theist his gods, the astrologist his system of prediction, or the Aboriginal his dreamtime.

I agree that people do imagine the stories they believe to be absolutely true. But they can't all be, so...most of them must be wrong if one of them is right; or else they are all wrong inasmuch as they are imagined to be absolutely true if there is an absolute reality which isn't any of the stories, and even if there isn't then imagining any story to be an absolute reality is wrong in any case.
• 1.9k
But they can't all be

That's the idea our brains are short-wired with. It's the Greco-Roman idea tought at our schools from young age. Modern thinking is based on that silly idea some cooked up. Why is it so difficult to accept there can be more of them? Because then it isn't one anymore?
• 67
Reason is a process for finding the truth. That's a definition. That's what reason is intended for.
I don't think so. The definitions of reason in the google dictionary are
1) a cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event.
2) the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.
Note that this has nothing to do with truth necessarily. For instance, mathematics is often described as an application of pure reason. But unless you're a mathematical platonist, mathematical truths aren't tied to some ultimate reality.
If we define "truth" as "that in accordance with fact or reality," then we have to make the metaphysical claim that fact and reality an be ascertained with logic and reason in order to expect our application of reason and logic to provide us with truth.
Uggghh and I found the definition of "true" to be "in accordance with fact or reality."

If we take "reality" as "the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them," then science, reason, and mathematics actually don't tell us much about reality at all. They do tell us idealistic, notational ideas of reality, which are incredibly useful and perhaps "good enough" in most cases.
• 9.1k
I don't think so. The definitions of reason in the google dictionary are
1) a cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event.
2) the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.

Note that this has nothing to do with truth necessarily.

I disagree. Definition 1, as I noted in a previous post, is clearly not the sense of "reason" addressed by the original post, which did not discuss "a reason" or "reasons", but "reason". The OP said:

Obviously if we are doing philosophy, we try to use reason/rationality to make an argument and avoid contradictions.

This is consistent with your Definition 2. To say this has nothing to do with truth is not correct. We make arguments about the truth of a position. Thinking and understanding are the tools we use to make judgements about truth.

If we take "reality" as "the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them," then science, reason, and mathematics actually don't tell us much about reality at all. They do tell us idealistic, notational ideas of reality, which are incredibly useful and perhaps "good enough" in most cases.

You're talking about some fancy schmancy subtle, nitpicky version of truth with all sorts of qualifications and conditions. Cartesian truth I guess. I'm talking about regular old everyday truth like who murdered the butler or how the war in Ukraine will affect the price of butter in Peoria.
• 8.4k
I agree. Nothing in my reference to reason alludes to (narrow) 'logico-mathematical rationality'; my conception is closer to the (broad) "sense-making" of e.g. Peirce-Dewey pragmatism.
• 4.4k
I'm not a follower of any religion. I don't see things the way you do. For me, the reason for existence is a human question that only has human answers.

:fire:
• 4.4k
agree. Nothing in my reference to reason alludes to (narrow) 'logico-mathematical rationality'; my conception is close to the (broad) "sense-making" of e.g. Peirce-Dewey pragmatism.

The area of a square is 4 cm2. What is the length of its sides?

$x^2 = 4. \therefore x = \pm\sqrt 4 = \pm 2$

$-2$ is what we call an extraneous solution. Lengths can't be negative, this "solution" is of no practical significance.
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