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Reason vs. faith as tools of cognition?

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Yes, faith is involved---you admit that logic cannot be proven, since proof involves logic. The law of non-contradiction, which you state as the "basic axiom" of logic, requires logic. As an earlier poster correctly pointed out, "Faith (unprovable belief in the truth) in the self-evidence of founding propositions is required in order for them to be adopted. Reason cannot verify these principles." Logical reasoning cannot correspond to the actual nature of reality without using logic, and thus cannot be "proved"--one must have faith that logic is logical. I have no problem stating that, as I have faith in logical reasoning. Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive---if they were, you would have no logical reasoning. Accepting facts, by the way, is one aspect of reason---if you cannot accept the fact that logic cannot prove itself, then you have left logic---and reality---behind.

The important thing to remember is that Objectivism relies on self-evident axioms at the base of all knowledge.  It is true that logic cannot be proven since proof assumes logic. However, the basic axiom of logic, the law of non-contradiction, is simply an epistemological reformulation of the law of identity which is one of the basic axioms of existence. Logical reasoning corresponds to the actual nature of reality and there is no faith involved.

(Fixed formatting of quotation. - softwareNerd)

Edited by softwareNerd

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Where is our resident logician? Mr. Odden?

Logic is the method of non-contradictory identification, it rests on the axiom that existence is identity. Validation of this axiom does not involve faith, as I think you're claiming.

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if you cannot accept the fact that logic cannot prove itself, then you have left logic---and reality---behind. 

(Fixed formatting of quotation. - softwareNerd)

What are you, thick? Did you even read Gideon's post?

These axioms (existence, consciousness and identity) are not taken on faith but they do not require any proof -- they are self-evident

Logic depends on the law of identity which is a self evident fact. It is true that logic cannot be proven since proof assumes logic. However, the basic axiom of logic, the law of non-contradiction, is simply an epistemological reformulation of the law of identity which is one of the basic axioms of existence. Logical reasoning corresponds to the actual nature of reality and there is no faith involved.

This idea of yours... the one in which Gideon claimed that logic can prove itself... it's nothing more than a straw man.

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Okay, here is the problem: redtail seems to think that all concepts must be PROVEN, but this is false: there are certain concepts that are more fundamental than the concept of proof and therefore are not proved, but rather validated. Specifically, they are validated by the evidence of the senses. NOWHERE does this require faith.

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Yes, faith is involved---you admit that logic cannot be proven, since proof involves logic.

Proof is one type of validation, which means connecting an idea to the reality from which it was abstracted. Proof involves multiple steps. Some validation involves no series of steps. Axioms are an example. They are self-evident in the sense that you can't do without them. See Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, pp. 8, 119-121, for validation and proof.

As an earlier poster correctly pointed out, "Faith (unprovable belief in the truth) in the self-evidence of founding propositions is required in order for them to be adopted. Reason cannot verify these principles."
In the first place, faith is belief in an idea, either without evidence or, worse, contrary to evidence. Not every validation need be a proof, as explained above.

In the second place, the argument you are offering is the standard post-modernist (pomo) argument that "reason" consists of only "discourse," because, the pomos say, reason can only ask questions, but can never get to the roots of philosophy by justifying itself without committing the fallacy of begging the question. For any Objectivist student of the history of philosophy interested in this problem, I recommend David Roochnik, The Tragedy of Reason: Toward a Platonic Conception of Logos. Roochnik is no Objectivist, but he does a competent job of laying out the issues: "poetry" (here meaning emotionalism) versus rationality. This is the long conflict between Hesiod and Thales, a conflict that winds its way through Greek philosophy. Another virtue of Roochnik's work, which requires slow, patient reading and dissection, is the great sweep of his sometimes difficult book: He integrates pomos such as Richard Rorty and Jacques Derrida into a conflict going back more than 2500 years.

Logical reasoning cannot correspond to the actual nature of reality without using logic, and thus cannot be "proved"--one must have faith that logic is logical.

This argument -- that reason needs faith -- is a modern, more sophisticated version of Augustine's doctrine that reason needs faith to know where to start, and faith needs reason to articulate the ideas that come through faith. See Protestant theologian and epistemologist, Dewey J. Hoitenga, Jr., Faith and Reason from Plato to Plantinga: An Introduction to Reformed Epistemology. It too requires slow, careful study, but is a gold mine of sources cited, for those interested in the details of this issue.

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If it is "faith" that is used to accept that your sense data is an accurate picture of the universe, then "faith" it is.

I whole-heartedly contend that we do not live in "The Matrix" however, and will refute this so long as I have breath. All one needs to do is to use the senses you have to gather data into your brain about your surroundings, and the axioms, and thus the correctness of logic, will be self-evident.

It is arbitrary to imagine that your sense organs are giving you false data. There is no reason to suspect that is the case. There is no evidence to suggest that raw sense data is invalid. In order to do so, one must have some sense other than physical senses -- but then, if they sensed the physical universe, they too would be physical senses...

There is no way the axioms are false.

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I used to have to read the bible a LOT as a kid and I have often read in Ayn Rands non fiction about about how faith as a concept is so incorrect. In essence it seemed she defined it as something along the lines of "something you accept as being true without evidence". Now the bible does talk a lot about faith but never with that definition. The bible never says "In order to believe in god you must trust blindly that he is there even though there is no evidence". It is meant in this context: Lets say you have a friend and you guys have traveled the country together and have been through a lot. Now suppose you get injured badly and need medical attention and he says "I will go and get help I will be back". Will you believe him or not? This is what the crux of what the bible is talking about.

Faith in the bible's general context is the belief in something based on past evidence of a person's actions that they will proceed as they say. That is in essence what faith the bible is talking about. So with your friend if he has been a good friend and done as he said in the past you would have faith or you would trust in him that what he said is true and he will be back.

This is not at all a pro god type of thread but this popular defintion of faith that is being blamed on the bible is not accurate.

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Faith in the bible's general context is the belief in something based on past evidence of a person's actions that they will proceed as they say. That is in essence what faith the bible is talking about. So with your friend if he has been a good friend and done as he said in the past you would have faith or  you would trust in him that what he said is true and he will be back.

This is not at all a pro god type of thread but this popular defintion of faith that is being blamed on the bible is not accurate.

There is certainly a distinction between faith and confidence. Confidence is based on evidence. In the example that you give, confidence in your friend is based on the knowledge of his values as evidenced by his past performance.

However, I do not see how anyone's past performance can be construed as a basis for believing in god. Nor am I aware of any passage in the Bible that makes such an argument. Can you clarify?

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However, I do not see how anyone's past performance can be construed as a basis for believing in god.  Nor am I aware of any passage in the Bible that makes such an argument. Can you clarify?

If anything, it appears that the bible endorses "faith" as "confidence" and then switches the definition to get "faith" as "belief" in god. So the way I see it, the bible just got MORE evil.

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If anything, it appears that the bible endorses "faith" as "confidence" and then switches the definition to get "faith" as "belief" in god. So the way I see it, the bible just got MORE evil.

Well, the Bible has in its varying parts implied very different positions with respect to faith. If we take faith to mean "belief in the absence of evidence," then it seems that the Old Testament very frequently did not require this -- I remember several places where specific demonstrations of God's powers were presented within the narrative, for example, when Moses with God's help turns a staff into a snake and there were other, comparative demonstations of the power of Yahweh versus the non-existent power of other pagan gods. Of course it was not consistent in this respect. In the New Testament as I remember it, Jesus made a big deal of faith and belief regardless of the evidence presented.

Of course, since the supposedly miraculous events of the Old Testament are in violation of every known law of nature, any modern belief in their occurence (and perhaps some ancient as well) would require faith, regardless of the insistence of the Bible to the presence of witnesses at the time. A lot of ancient texts have descriptions of all sorts of mythical miraculous events but such writings cannot be considered evidence for miracles.

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"Chariots of the Gods" ...
The author of this book marvelled at the rocks in Easter island and thought that an ancient civilization could not have made the Easter island rocks without help from spacemen. I've never understood that claim. If one has enough people, and a few clever ideas one can do a lot of such things (like building the pyramids or the the sphinx).

Now, a man in Michigan is planning to build a stone-henge like structure almost on his own, and using no modern technology.

The DiscoveryChannel has some video footage of this.

Edited by softwareNerd

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