A Whole ’Nother Logic?

If man bases ideas on his logic, than all he says will be all there is. Mans Logic is Man’s, where as Gods Logic, though given to some men, is Gods. So, either choose logic given by man, or logic given by God.

Found in the “Favorite Quotes” section of my brother Joseph Cowan’s Facebook profile. I suspect it’s of his own authorship.

I was going to comment further on it here, but thought better of it after realizing it’s a waste of breath. But really, if you can’t instantly find several glaring things wrong with this *cough* logic, then you are already beyond hope. You are a slave to your emotions, and have no ability, or even the desire, to use the mind “God gave you”.

All that logic is is a definition of the words “true” and “false”: those words have no meaning outside of “man’s logic”. You can say that the existence of God is “true”, or that God exists outside/defies logic¹, but to attempt to claim both simultaneously is to not even know what the word “true” means. What can I do at that point? It’s exactly like trying to convince someone that 1 + 2 isn’t 6¾: if they won’t accept your definitions of 1, 2, and +, there’s nothing further to say.

¹ Although, the latter amounts to meaninglessness, while the former is actually provably incorrect for any meaningful definition of God.

These sorts of quotes always get my goat, because one of the few things in this world that can consistently and reliably piss me off is irresponsible ignorance, especially willful ignorance. Quotes like this are like saying, “I’m fine with my ignorance, I have no interest in thinking about anything. I’ll believe whatever I want to, whether it adds up or not, simply because it’s what I want to believe in.”

6 thoughts on “A Whole ’Nother Logic?

  1. smeagain

    I would like to read more of your thoughts on this subject. I’m not sure if you’re saying that believing in God is illogical and “ignorance” or if you’re talking about the conclusions that a theist clings to because of his theism?

    More importantly why it pisses you off? Just curious.

  2. Joshua

    if our only ability to reason must be cast aside for someone else’s “logic”- by precisely WHAT logic are we using to determine whose to trust? Hmmm… if our own, then we are a fool, for we have already decided ours is faulty. If “god’s” than we are twice the fool for trusting in (a) our faulty logic and YET using it to determine who else’ to rely on.

    Why not, whether it brings us to believe or no, use the one logic that is most tangible to us- that is, our own. Not to say that our own logic is irrefutable or incorruptable; but with careful attention to guard our minds against emotional or personal bias we have a far better chance to both come to a reasonable belief and have a more personal and invested interest in our convictions.

    And I guess it pisses me off too. Ignorance can’t be faulted, and there’s no sense in being angry or frustrated with it- but listening to WILLFULL ignorance is just like watching someone shoot themselves in the foot; and then worse (and this is probably more what pisses me off) watching them proceed to teach others how to shoot themselves in the foot. The gullible or emotionally easily swayed are prey to this bullshit and it makes me both sad and angry, especially having emprisoned myself so long under that kind of poor thinking. My foot still aches and people keep stepping on it, or telling me I didn’t really shoot it right, or I didn’t use the right gun, or I didn’t mean it when I shot my foot. Fuck. Let’s drop the guns and pick up some common sense!

  3. DagoodS

    smeagain: More importantly why it pisses you off? Just curious.

    Obviously I can’t answer for Micah Cowan…but I can tell you why it irritates me. Two words—“willful ignorance.” (I am using the term “ignorance” to mean “lack of knowledge.”)

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with ignorance. There are plenty of things I am ignorant on: how to rebuild an engine, pi to the 20th place, Calculus, the history of the Aztecs, etc. In fact, there are things I am willfully ignorant of. If I wanted to, I could learn pi to the 20th place; I chose not to. Primarily from lack of interest, of course.

    However, if I am going to bother engaging in a conversation, at least do it the decency of attempting to learn something on the topic. And if another person presents an opposing view—engage with it at the level the topic deserves.

    Probably one of the worst areas I see this, in theistic debate, is evolution. Think of how many 100’s of 1000’s of books have been written on the topic. Millions of articles. Entire library sections, covering geology, biology, chemistry, archeology, history, etc. Yet some creationist will read one (1) book written solely from a creationist perspective and think they know enough to debate against this plethora of material.

    O.K., brashness can be entertaining in the young. Yet when engaged in the topic, and all the errors of their thinking are pointed out—do they take the opportunity to learn? Not the vast predominance. Nope—they put their fingers in their ears, sing, “la la la la” and embrace willful ignorance. They would rather believe the way they want than face the awful truth of some facts.

    In the present situation, there are a few…issues…with the quote. My first question would be, “What method do we use to determine the difference between ‘human logic’ and ‘God logic’?” (Of course the author may not realize they would have to be using “human logic” to make that determination—thus undercutting any force of the quote in the first place.) Could the author then set aside “willful ignorance” and learn, or would they write me off with a dash of 1 Cor. 1 and Psalm 14 (53)?

  4. Micah Post author

    smeagain, I somehow missed your comment again until a few more arrived.

    DagoodS did a great job of describing why willful ignorance pisses me off (and also why some forms of “willful ignorance” are harmless). In particular, building an entire worldview off of a belief that someone has specifically vowed never to evaluate in the light of reason is worse than foolish, it’s dangerous.

    I would like to read more of your thoughts on this subject. I’m not sure if you’re saying that believing in God is illogical and “ignorance” or if you’re talking about the conclusions that a theist clings to because of his theism?

    No, I’m not speaking of a particular type of ignorance, and I don’t call belief in God ignorance (apart from some specific beliefs about God)—just unnecessary,

    ‘m just speaking of willful ignorance, period. I’m speaking of any decision to specifically continue in ignorance, yet continue to believe what you want to believe, simply because you “choose” to.

  5. Micah Post author

    It suddenly dawns on me that this sort of “argument” is a lot like Calvinball: you change the rules to suit your need. Worried that arguments against your system of belief might make some modicum of sense? No worries, just declare your faith in a “Higher Sense” and forget about all these pesky lingering doubts and unanswered questions.

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