Monday, February 13, 2012

Logic, Religion, and the Premise

I've GOT to say something!  I've seen one too many posts from r/atheism about how "rational" or "logical" people don't have any theistic beliefs.  They argue that logic and science leave no room for a god; and they argue very convincingly.  I'd just like to briefly point out that they're wrong, at least in claiming that logic rules out God.

Logical arguments are always based on a premise.  This means that regardless of what may follow from logic, if the premise is incomplete or incorrect, then the whatever was built off that premise is also incomplete or incorrect.

Here's a quick example of a (possibly) false premise leading (logically and possibly ridiculously) to a (possibly) false conclusion.  Premise:  I am God.  Logic then follows that I make the rules, and that the chief rule is I need food; food that is gifted daily to me by my blog readers.

You might argue that my premise was false, and that as a result I can't command you to bring me food.  But I would argue that the premise wasn't clear enough and that our definitions of "godhood" differ.  That then means that without clarifying the definition of godhood I very well might be correct in my statements (spoiler alert!  I'm not God!).

Are you beginning to see the problem with logic?  It assumes a lot of background that may not be there.  Not only could you assume something others don't believe in, but you may also assume something unprovable.  Wait!  Scratch that!  You always assume something unprovable.  ALWAYS.  Funny thing about proving, is that with a skeptical enough audience, nothing can be completely proven.  Nothing.

TL;DR:  Next time you set out to prove someone wrong, realize your premise is most likely as poorly founded as theirs.

p.s. Sorry for that really serious post.  Would a video of bikini chicks and a diabolical stuffed t-rex make it up to you?