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Consciousness & Logic


Unfortunately, many people misuse the concept of logic and believe that it provides a method of arriving at "truth" about the world; that if they propose a logical argument it, somehow, has validity to external events. However, logic, by itself, says little about the world and does not guarantee "truth." Logic provides a language of self-consistent reasoning that pertains only to the construction of itself. A logical conclusion based on sound reasoning, in fact, might disagree with the external event we wish to understand.

Jim Walker

Sometimes people forget that our perceptions are limited by our perceptual powers (to those classes of perceptions we are designed/permitted/evolutionarily-tuned to perceive). People are not omniscient. One human being can not perceive all that exists within each moment of time. Our perceptual powers are neither linearly correlated with reality nor completely unbiased.

Sometimes people forget that logic is an invention of the human mind, a mere tool for the ordering of scattered or imagined perceptions. This tool has imperfections and limited areas of effectiveness.

You see, I was reading today.

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For a while, the author (Susan Blackmore, in The Meme Machine) was trying to convince me that consciousness is an illusion, that free will is an illusion, and that scientific studies support these notions. She said there is no "I" to be doing the things that we do, and she said most of the human body's activities are completely unconscious -- first our body does something, then our consciousness creates an ongoing story of the self to explain what it sees.

She used logic to support her notion that consciousness is either an irrational belief structure or a powerless observer.

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I believe in something that came before logic.

I remember being alive before I understood logic.

Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am."

I say, "I am."

Or, even, "I."

I am the I that does. I am the I that sits still and does nothing. I am even the I that sleeps or falls into unconsciousness. I am the I that is born and the I that dies. I am the I that feels a wide range of emotions, pains, and pleasures.

Everything we think and do depends on the existence of I.

True, this I is neither static nor unchanging nor permanent nor omnipotent.

True, the entire Universe is an interconnected web in which everything has a cause and everything is a cause.

But you can't take my I away without getting rid of me. Logic isn't good enough for this task logic is an I making noise. Logic is part of the I trying to understand itself and its relationship to the Universe. If I can use logic to prove I don't exist, who is the I that figured this out?


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DISCLAIMER: Use of semi-advanced computing technology does not imply an endorsement of Western Industrial Civilization (nor does it imply that I believe this technology was reverse-engineered at Roswell).