Can logic be just the self-sustaining thing? The just is? In other words, there is no conceivable world where logic cannot exist. Since there is something (meaning an existing reality/world) then logic necessarily must exist. The problem of the absurdity of proving logic arises when we ask, “Why is logic logical?” So to solve the problem, we just have to accept it as it is and stop asking “why.” Logic is logical, period. Anyway, if you invoke God, we’ll also have to stop asking “why” at that point. Either way, asking “why” has to stop. Since it has to stop, and it seems from the fact that we cannot make do without logic, then perhaps, logic is the “just is.”The first problem with the above is that even in this description logic is not “just is.” After all, Sik90 predicated the validity of logic on the fact that: “Since there is something (meaning an existing reality/world) then logic necessarily must exist” (emphasis added). Logic, therefore, depends on the existence of this reality/world.
It is helpful to remember that logic is not a being/object. To stipulate that logic “just is” (at least in the manner Sik90 has used it here) is to reify logic. It makes logic into a thing, the existence of which causes logic to necessarily exist. But logic is not a thing (or more specifically, it is not an object); it cannot establish itself in this manner.
Now I have no problem at all saying “Since there is something…then logic necessarily must exist.” This is nothing more than a reiteration of the Law of Identity (a logical law) and the Law of Non-Contradiction. That X exists and does not non-exist at the same time/relationship already establishes the foundational concepts of logic. But we want to know what “X” is! What attributes must X logically have? I shall put forth a reexamination of this at the end of this response.
If you add God to the equation, you’re just extending it unnecessarily. You will say that God is “just is” at a particular point meaning a “just is” X is metaphysically necessary. But I contend that God and logic are just on the same footing.This is where Sik90 errs. Adding “God to the equation” doesn’t extend it unnecessarily; it establishes the equation. Logic alone cannot suffice, for again there must be some object to establish logic. (Note: this object need not be physical in our own confined three dimensional observation of the universe; however, even granting that, logic itself does not exist other than in consciousness, and consciousness necessitates a conscious being (said being being an object) to have that consciousness.) Thus, as my argument (reiterated below) demonstrates, in order for logic to be valid, the object that exists to necessitate logic must have certain attributes—attributes that are divine in nature.
If you invoke God then I might as well ask, “why is God’s nature logical?” To further my point, the question “why is God’s nature logical?” is basically the same as “why is logic logical?” Stopping at logic suffices, invoking God is not necessary (since you can still formulate the same question anyway).Except that once again this requires us to reify logic. God’s nature is logical because He exists and does not non-exist at the same time and in the same relationship. The fact of His existence is what begins the laws of logic. This does not work with logic, since logic does not exist; it is not an object.
But Sik90 is close to being accurate here in that s/he recognizes the intrinsic linkage between logic and God’s ontology. When s/he says, “Stopping at logic suffices” this is very close (though unintentionally so) to an understanding of the simplicity of God, wherein all His attributes can be seen through the “prism” of any other attribute. God is logic in the same way that God is omnipotent, yet since logic alone cannot suffice to establish the necessity of logic, logic requires the existence of another object that contains “divine” attributes. In other words, since logic is not an object, it requires a logical object to necessitate logic.
And now, finally, I will reiterate how this occurs. Since I am not writing a novel here, the following will be incomplete (i.e. the same argument can be used by other theists than just Christian theists), yet it will demonstrate that atheism is impossible from a logical standpoint. Since most of the people who will respond to this are either atheists or already Christians, I will save time and energy by simply focusing on this portion (if followers of other religions decide to respond, then I shall expand it).
To demonstrate my point, we can use the first steps Descartes used to come to his statement cogito ergo sum, although I will change it slightly. This enables us to start from a ground that is personal in nature and should not be contested by many, and then we can see what is logically necessary for this to happen. So….
I perceive, therefore I am. Even if I am nothing but a brain-in-a-vat—or even if I have no “brain” at all, it’s all simply mental hallucinations with no actual physical reality—I cannot doubt that I exist. I perceive things. Regardless of whether these things are real or not, perception occurs. Something perceives, and therefore there must be a “perceiving being.” Since these perceptions are “owned” by me, I am this perceiving being (by definition). I exist.
Now this doesn’t tell me that I exist physically, or that anything I perceive is real or not; but it does tell me that I do, actually, without a doubt, exist. I am whatever I am (as yet, undefined). I have identity. A is A (or in this case, I am me).
And if I exist, then it is the case that I do exist and do not non-exist at the same time and in the same relationship. If I exist (in whatever form I exist), I really do exist (in whatever form that may be), and the contradiction of this is not the case. Thus, my bare existence alone requires the law of Non-Contradiction.
Since I exist, logic must be valid. And since logic is valid, we can use logic to probe some other questions. For instance, have I always been here? It is possible that I am the only being that has ever existed, despite my perception of other beings. I do not have the self-awareness with these other beings that I do with my self; therefore, I cannot “prove” they exist in the same manner that I can “prove” I exist. So it is possible they do not exist at all and I am the only thing that exists.
But it is also possible that I have come from something else. After all, I perceive a world that functions in a specific manner, and if my perceptions are accurate then this means that I have come from my parents.
But where did they come from? Perhaps they’ve always been here; perhaps they had parents too. And if they had parents, their parents may have had parents too. This chain can go back for a very long time.
But it cannot be infinite. At some point, something must have existed without being derived from previous existence—otherwise, we are stuck in an infinite regress with no chance of ever escaping to begin logic in the first place. Thus, the fact that I exist demands that somewhere there must be a self-existent being.
I might be that self-existent being, of course. So, too, could my parents, etc. But whatever the case may be, logic requires that whatever or whoever the self-existent being is must be the cause of my own being. If it were not the cause of my own being, my being would never existed (for we would be back to the infinite regress).
So, the fact that I exit proves the necessity of some object with self-existence that caused my existence. This object could not have been created by anything else (for the same reasons of the infinite regress). The "first" object to ever exist must be self-existent.
If an object is self-existent, it is a necessary object. It holds the power of its own existence, and therefore nothing can keep it from existing. If nothing can keep it from existing, then it always has existed.
Some problems arise when we include time. After all, time is measured by physical objects that move. Thus, one pendulum swing on a clock = one second. One rotation of the Earth = 1 day. Etc. These physical processes define the length of time.
But we’ve already shown that a necessary, self-existent object must always exist. If this is the case and if that object is physical, then we have an actual infinite of time. If time extends an eternity backwards, it would take an eternity for the past to have gotten here. Thus we must conclude that time isn’t eternal, but instead it must have begun at some point.
So how do we reconcile this apparent tension of an eternal self-existent object in a temporal time frame? Logically, this is satisfied by either jettisoning our definition of time (in which case we have no meaningful way to speak of time) or by acknowledging that the self-existent necessary object is immaterial. Since time is measured by physical objects, an immaterial object would not cause time to exist co-eternally with itself. This immaterial object must still exist in such a way as to provide the basis for my own existence, however. (After all, remember that the self-existent object is a logically necessary requirement due to my own existence.) Thus, in order to stay rational, we must acknowledge an immaterial self-existent necessary object that can cause my own existence.
It is important to note that due to the necessity of the immaterial aspect of this object, it is impossible for secular science to speak meaningfully about this object. If science is limited to the physical world only, then science cannot speak to this. As such, we have demonstrated a necessary being that extends beyond the limits of science. Thus, the fact of my existence proves that science cannot answer the questions of something that necessarily must be true!
Other attributes can be logically deduced from this same being. For instance, omnipresence (all existence derived from this self-existent source must come from this self-existent source, so the source must be omnipresent--there is no existence outside of the existence of this self-existent obejct); omnipotence (all power is derived from existence, so all power flows from the self-existent source—without that source, there is no power); and immutability (since logic is immutable, the source of logic must be unchanging as well).
Thus far, the only real difference between this object and God Himself is that we’ve yet to prove any kind of consciousness in this object. But that too is simple enough to deduce. After all, this entire time we’ve been using logic. Logic works because existence is based on laws, and laws imply a law giver.
Why is it that “nature” acts the way it does? We can give a list of reasons, but these reasons are likewise subject to the same question: Why do these reasons act the way they do? Once more, we cannot engage in an infinite regress here. At some point we must reach the level where we are left saying, “That’s simply the way it is.”
And at that level, laws will still exist. And again, laws imply law givers, so the very aspect of the “law-giving” (i.e. the consciousness) must be necessarily basic to this object as well. This law giver must be the same self-existent, immutable, omnipresent, omnipotent, atemporal being I have already demonstrated must exist. This being fits the definition of “God.”
But even if someone does not like the above, we can always turn the tables and use some empirical evidence (which, following induction, cannot be known for “certain”). Assuming that our perceptions are valid, that we see the world as it really exists, etc. we know the following. All consciousness we have ever observed has come from previous consciousness. There is no evidence that consciousness can come from non-consciousness. Since I am conscious, whatever the source of my being is would logically be conscious as well, for we have no warrant to believe consciousness could have ever come from non-consciousness--there is no proof, no evidence, no observation of this ever.
In short, what the above demonstrates is: “For his [God’s] invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they [unbelievers] are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).