<<<How does an experience beyond the senses for reasons as simple as
distance or time, conflict with axioms which are not derived, inherently,
through observation of the senses yet through logic and introspection.>>>
"Because logic must be based on something."
Precisely. According to Objectivism, logic as a whole (as a systematic
method; see below) is based on the law of identity, and thus it is based on
the axioms. The law of identity is a direct corollary of the Objectivist
axiom "existence exists." To exist is to be something, i.e., to be itself,
i.e., to have identity. If A should exist, it must be A.
When Peter acknowledges here that "logic must be based on something," it is
hard to integrate this point with another point which he was trying to make
in regard to Objectivism, when he stated, "CertainVerdict: if you believe
logic is valid, then you are engaged in circular reasoning, for you assume
axioms are valid, and those axioms include logic.”
But where have I ever stated that my "axioms include logic"? I have not
stated this; I have maintained all along that the axioms are the *basis* of
logic. Logic is the application of the law of identity to the task of
validating subsequent knowledge. Logic itself is not one of the axioms;
rather, it is a method which is *based* on the axioms. I am not exactly sure
why Peter was thinking this, and in fact he nowhere cites me making such a
statement that logic itself is an axiom in order to give this
characterization relevance to our dialogue. So, again, there is no
In fact, in that same post, Peter later came to the conclusion that “In
other words, your axioms cannot be based on logic--logic must be based
To which I responded: "And I said precisely this. That’s why they’re
Again, I agree with what Peter stated above when he wrote "logic must be
based on something." And according to Objectivism, logic is based on the
perceptually self-evident and undeniable facts that existence exists, that
existence exists independent of consciousness, that to exist is to have
identity, and that consciousness is man's means of awareness of existence.
Existence, identity and consciousness: these three axioms are indispensible
(there is no logic without them), irreducible (they cannot be derived from
prior proofs, or explained by reference to prior concepts) and perceptually
based (they identify what we directly perceive). In sum, they are
unassailable, and they answer all of Peter's problems about logic,
knowledge, validity and knowledge hierarchy.
"Logic is not a thing."
I think a more exacting way to say what I think Peter may be trying to say
here is that logic is not an *entity*, which is true. Logic is a *method* -
a set of principles, guidelines, rules, etc. by which we operate our
conceptual form of consciousness. It's a means of organizing our concepts,
scaling the hierarchy of knowledge, integrating new knowledge with
previously validated knowledge, and reducing higher-strata concepts back to
their perceptual basis. This is the Objectivist view of logic.
We need reason and logic because we are neither omniscient (we need to
acquire and learn new knowledge as we go through life) and we are not
infallible (we need a means of validating the knowledge which we should
accept). Logic is our guide here, it is the process of non-contradictory
identification. And ultimately, reality is its standard, not our wishes and
not the beliefs of primitives who had no idea what logic is to begin with.
"In fact, many people argue about just what logic is."
Yes, they do. There is a lot of confusion on the matter, and I think that by
and large the bulk of that confusion is unnecessary and eliminated when one
adopts a proper view of reality, particularly the primacy of existence
principle. On a proper view of reality, logic is understood to be just as I
have noted above: A systematic method which guides the use of our conceptual
form of consciousness. However, few people ever identify (let alone accept)
the primacy of existence principle or hold to it consistently. They want to
explain reality in terms of some consciousness which supposedly holds
primacy over it, such as a god or other whim-based dictatorial personality.
And the world should know what happens when people take such a view
seriously and practice its implications consistently. It always ends up in
violence and destruction, and history is full of examples of this. Yet we
still have people trying to make the impossible connection between their
god-beliefs and logic in order to hijack authority over others. This is
precisely what their goal is in doing this. I am here to expose it and call
it what it is. Some people resent this. I'm willing to get over that.
"In any case, logic as a system does not have physical form and it is
I don't even think the term 'immaterial' applies, because this tack seems to
want to make logic into some kind of entity, and I have already pointed out
above, it is not. Logic is a *method*. Calling it "immaterial" I think only
confuses things. What does "immaterial" mean? This purportedly only says
what something is *not*, while it is certainly preferable in primary
philosophy to identify what something *is* (i.e., to name its identity).
"You could say it is based on consciousness in that case;"
Well, via the axioms, as I have already pointed out, it is based on
consciousness, since consciousness is one of the axioms. But consciousness
is not a self-sufficient. To be conscious, one must have an object -
something which *exists*. Consciousness is consciousness *of something*.
Again, the axioms are existence, identity and consciousness, and it is on
these three principal concepts that logic is based if it is to have any
reference to reality. Since that which exists (e.g., entities, attributes,
qualities, relationships, etc.) has identity by virtue of its existence,
then consciousness, since it also exists, also has identity. Man's
consciousness has evolved to the conceptual level of consciousness. We are
pioneers in the sense that we are the first beings we know of which have
reached this level of consciousness. And since our consciousness has evolved
to this capacity, we need to discover the proper means of guiding it, i.e.,
we need philosophy, whose task is to give man a comprehensive view of
reality and of life so that he can exist. Objectivism is state-of-the-art
philosophy. All the problems which Peter has brought up about his
god-beliefs, his opinions on logic and his skepticism about knowledge in
general, are dealt with very effectively by Objectivism. My suggestion to
him and others in the case of persisting confusion, is to investigate what
Objectivism and Objectivist thinkers have to say on the topics which they
engage with an *active* mind. I also suggest that they learn how to
integrate without accepting the contradictions, stolen concepts, frozen
abstractions or package-deals which infect other forms of philosophical
expressions (e.g., idealism, rationalism, logical positivism, pragmatism,
Remember, religion is a primitive form of philosophy. It is man's early
attempt to develop a comprehensive view of reality and life. It seemed to
the ancients who believed its allegories and stories to answer the
fundamental questions about existence and life, such as "what is it?" "where
did it come from?" "how do we know?" and "what should we do?" However,
without a clear understanding of the hierarchical nature of knowledge, of
stolen concepts, of proper starting points, in essence, without Objectivism,
their attempts led to a life-damning, man-hating form of philosophy which is
still prevalent throughout the world in numerous forms of expression.
Christianity and Islam are just two which come to mind, but there are plenty
of others. But these two hold wide currency among men, often because they
learned them first in their impressional youth and were taught to feel fear
if they dared to question their premises. But, as should be obvious, emotion
(which fear is) is no means of validating knowledge.
"but that would bring up a big problem for the Objectivist (which
CertainVerdict is) because the universe is oriented on logic, and yet logic
does not exist outside of consciousness, so this would make consciousness
preceed existence which is a fundamental "no-no" in Objectivism."
Actually, this is not correct, and as Peter describes it, it involves again
the fallacy of the stolen concept. The universe is not "oriented on logic";
rather, logic is oriented to the universe. Again, go back to the primacy of
existence principle which I identified earlier in several posts: existence
exists independent of consciousness. According to this principle, reality
does not conform to a form of consciousness (or to a method of guiding a
conceptual form of consciousness), so the notion that "the universe is
oriented on logic" invites the stolen concept that the universe is "modeled"
on logic. But again, as Peter stated at the beginning of his post, "logic
must be based on something," with which I agreed. And on what is it based?
On the fact that to exist is to have identity. 'Universe' in Objectivism is
defined as the sum total of that which exists. If to exist is to be
something, then wherever things exist, they are things which exist, i.e.,
they have identity. In other words, the axioms are universally applicable,
since the universe is everything which exists. Again, all these problems are
addressed by means of the axioms, because the axioms are based on reality,
not the other way around as Peter seems to think.
"If, on the other hand, existence itself causes logic, then the only way you
can know logic is valid is if you have understanding of all existence--that
is, all that is real (ie: reality)."
I'm not certain how your conclusion here follows, and I'm not at all certain
of what you mean by "have understanding of all existence." Do you mean that
one must know everything there is to know, i.e., to be omniscient, in order
to know that logic is valid? If this is what you mean, can you explain why
you think this? And, if this is what you mean when you say "have
understanding of all existence," and you are speaking with certainty on the
matter of logic's validity, then are we to gather that you think you are
If careful readers recall, I mentioned in another post that I never weighed
in one way or another on Peter's notion of "understanding ALL of reality"
because to me this idea is unclear. I try as a rule to refrain from
assenting to those things which are unclear to me. So, I ask questions when
things are unclear to me, since my ability to understand is vital to what I
consider and accept as knowledge.
If by "understand ALL of reality" simply means that one understands that
existence exists independent of consciousness and that to exist is to have
identity - that one understands these basic, *general* truths about reality,
then I do understand that in this sense. Does this mean that I understand
how everything works? No, for instance, I do not understand exactly how my
microwave works or how HTML works. But these are particular forms of
knowledge which can only make sense to me if I have a means of integrating
them into the larger sum of my knowledge without contradicting the context
of that sum. So, I must assume some consistency about reality in order to do
this (otherwise I would be another victim of the intellectual agnosticism of
Humean skepticism), and this consistency is identified and secured by the
Anyway, Peter might want to clarify what he means by "understanding all of
reality" because so far this is completely unclear to me, and for all I know
it might be just another point at which he wants to smuggle in yet more
"To assume that we know everything about existence based on the miniscule
little blip of it that we have experienced in this space-time that we occupy
is to beg the mother of all questions."
Well, again, this depends on what Peter means by "understand all of reality"
and "know everything about existence." More and more it seems to be that he
means that one must be omniscient in order to have any knowledge or achieve
any certainty in the first place, but this position is untenable. Peter
himself would have to be omniscient to know this, and furthermore one would
have to ignore the nature of man's consciousness, the hierarchical nature of
knowledge and accept a long string of stolen concepts to pass this view off
as true (and we've seen Peter do this already, as I've pointed out in prior
posts). So this whole line of reasoning which Peter presents here is dubious
at best, in my assessment. If one must be omniscient to have any certainty,
then Peter must be omniscient in order for his reasoning and conclusions to
be certain. Do you think that you are omniscient, Peter?
"Logic is based on the law of non-composition (and as any chemistry student
knows--Na and Cl are both poisonous, so obviously NaCl should be extremely
poisonous...right????), and therefore once again logic refutes itself if it
is based on composition."
I've never heard the claim that "Logic is based on the law of
non-composition." Can you explain what you mean here? Is this something you
read in the Bible? Your example about table salt is guilty of the fallacy of
context-dropping (particularly the context of causality at the molecular
level), so I cannot see how it can serve to substantiate any valid point
which you may be trying to make here (if indeed you are trying to make a
valid point here).
"So, as I stated, for the Objectivist to use logic, he must assume he
understands the entirety of existence, even though he has never even been to
the center of our own earth (and maybe never even been to Cleveland for all
I know), which is a tiny dot in the solar system, which is a tiny dot in the
galaxy, which is a tiny dot in the universe, which (theoretically) may be
only one of many universeses...."
Well, this is very poor reasoning, Peter. Again, it seems that you think one
must be omniscient in order to assume the validity of logic. Well, you
assume the validity of logic since you are trying to construct arguments and
thereby observe some logical princples (though, not very proficiently it
seems to me), so if one must be omniscient in order to do this, then you
must be implying that you are omniscient. If that's so, can you tell the
group where I ate dinner last night? If you do not know where I ate dinner
last night, then you cannot claim to understand the entirety of existence,
and thus you cannot - by your own reasoning here - assume the validity of
This is very tiresome, Peter, and I think it's dishonest, too. I don't think
you really believe these things. I think these are simply last ditch efforts
to attack my certainty. It won't work.
"And not only must he know what all existence is now but he must know what
all existence has always been and what it will always be in the future,
because if at any time it is different, then the laws of logic fail."
Read above. This is more cheap stuff. Because of his illicit premises which
he is unwilling to check, Peter reasons himself into very uncomfortable and
untenable corners of the non-intellect with these kinds of arguments.
"Logic demands uniformity."
Existence exists. To exist is to have identity. Wherever existence exists,
existence has identity. This is the principle of uniformity you're looking
for. It allows no god-beliefs.
"Omniscience must be practiced before you can set forth logic as a valid
system of beliefs."
So, Peter does think he's omniscient after all! That's what I suspected. Can
Peter tell the group where I ate dinner last night? If he cannot, then he
cannot claim omniscience for his side of the debate, and thus he cannot, as
he puts it, "set forth logic as a valid system of beliefs."
I'm glad these are not my problems!