Readers of this blog won’t be surprised to find out that logic and science are two different pairs of shoes.
After all, this blog catalogues the lack of logic in many scientific publications, a lack of logic which makes the conclusions of some studies invalid, i e lacking in objective truth, fairy tales or fantasy.
True, science should use a branch of logic, so called inductive logic, to come to reliable or valid conclusions about the way our world works. But science is not identical with logic.
Since God, the Creator, is known to be a passionate Being, whose essence is characterised by love, I think it is natural to wonder if God is more passionate about logic or science.
At least, I find myself wondering whether God loves logic more than science.
The difference between logic and science was highlighted by Scottish philosopher David Hume. Hume noted that logic has a special quality of necessity. It follows necessarily from the way we define certain things that a certain conclusion is always valid. For example, it follows necessarily from the way we define numbers such as 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on that 2 plus 2 always, necessarily equals 4.
The kind of knowledge that comes from using logic or reason, independently of experience or observation, is called a priori knowledge.
In science, by contrast, there is no necessity, no a priori knowledge.
Science is based on experience, on the observation of events in the world. We can observe an apple falling to the ground every single time we drop it 100 times. But there is no necessity why it should not fly upwards into the sky the next time, as Hume made clear.
It was left to Immanuel Kant to deal with the crisis in science that Hume created by highlighting the difference between logic and science, between necessity and empirical observation. Kant bridged the gap by arguing our minds are structured to perceive the world in a certain way, and this structure in our minds creates relationships and regularities.
In George Orwell’s book 1984, the totalitarian system attacks logic, objective reality, and not science. That makes me think that logic is more fundamental to human beings than science.
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows,” writes the main character Winston Smith.
O’Brien tortures Winston Smith until he renounces logic. Winston is tortured until he accepts that two plus two equals five, or whatever the Party says.
“You believe reality is something objective,” says O’Brien to Winston, but “reality …only in the mind of the Party…Whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.”
When Winston is called to renounce logic, the implication is that logic belongs to our soul. It belongs to life, love, justice and goodness. Logic and its renunciation opens the door to the ultimate evil, to lies, violence, misery.
In ‘Looking Back on the Spanish War’ Orwell wrote a totalitarian regime would be:
“…a nightmare world in which the Leader or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such event, ‘It never happened’ – well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five – well, two and two are five”.
Logic is not the same as science and it is not the same as bureaucracy either, another 20 th century phenomena.
The aim of bureaucracy is to order and classify things, not to disover the truth. There is no necessary, organic relationship between the things bureaucracy orders and classifies.
That is why the growth of bureaucracy in the 20st century has led to the dimnishment of justice.
Evidence and truth is essential to justice. But in a bureaucracy, evidence becomes a file with a number. And that file number can be manipulated.
The trial of Antigone might never have happened in our time. Antigone is accused of performing a specific action in Sophocles’s play. The debate revolves around whether natural law takes precedence over state laws.
In a mock trial of Antigone conducted by some of the USA’s top lawyers last month, Antigone was found not guilty.
In the 21st century, more likely is that Antigone wouldnever have known what she was accused of because the original accusation can be so distorted through the manipulation of files a bureaucratic system. Unable to know what she is accused of, she will unable to answer the accusation and will inevitably be condemned.
In logic and justice, consistency is important. In bureaucracy, consistency in file numbers can hide inconsistency or jumps or the disappearance of evidence.
The result can be a total perversion of justice as portrayed in Kafka’s The Trial or Der Prozess.
To conclude, I believe God loves logic more than science and justice more than bureaucracy.
What do you think?