Logical Analysis

2005-12-27 20:24:00

Before I begin let me say this. Larry was correct when he said he has been one of my strongest supporters. He has spent a great amount of time putting together the archives as well as other projects. Where ever he sees that he can be useful he jumps in and adds his support. He and his wife Robin have also attended every gathering. I love and appreciate him for all he does. I consider him a good friend and have really enjoyed the time I have spent with him in person.

Sometimes new people come on the list and see how cooperative Larry and others are and accuse them of being blind mindless followers. How little do they know how much different this group is from cult-like groups that do indeed have followers who have checked in their minds when they joined.

The difference here and with other groups is if I were to say something that doesn't register with the highest my supporters know they will generally challenge me and demand both a logical and spiritual explanation.

Of course, the second key of judgement must always be considered. It is best to have one's attention on seeing truth rather than seeing error. If one's attention is on seeing error then much truth will be missed and eventually only error will be seen.

If one concentrates on seeing truth with the attitude that error is possible then the truth will be seen and only essential error will come to light.

Why do I use the phrase "essential error?" Because there are many things of little or no significance that can be pointed out or argued as error that will not lead to further light, but just be a distraction. The student should therefore concentrate on essential error, of which the correction will lead to further light and truth. Non essential error (which may not even be error) can lead to a battle of egos to win an argument and usually ends with no further light gained. Sometimes in the process new teachings will surface often not related to the starting point and this can be a benefit.

That said, let us move forward.

Larry Quotes my challenge.

The truth is always logical.
Any false conclusion always involves flawed logic.
Perfect logic will never lead to a wrong conclusion.

First let me say that we cannot fault Larry (or anyone else) for accepting my challenge for I did give it out.

And Dan, don't worry about anyone leading me into a trap. If someone can do that to me I deserve to be embarrassed.

Larry continues:

This just occurred to me. Can you explain this?

About the only place that I have found anything that appears to approach the standard of "perfect logic" is in the field of mathematics. It is pretty hard to refute "2+2=4" and other apparently self-evident truths of mathematics.

I presume you know what this number is?


It is the so-called irrational number PI to the first eight places.

Now mathematicians have used very powerful computers to find the value of PI out to over a million places and reportedly have found no repetition or end in sight. It would seem that PI goes on forever - to infinity.

So if a thing has a beginning, then it must have an end. Only if a thing has no beginning can it have no end.

PI has a beginning. But apparently it has no end.

What is wrong with this "perfect logic"?

Before we continue let me comment on my use of the word "perfect" here for it seems to have become a stumbling block and a diversion all on its own.

Here is basically the meaning I intended to covey with the word "perfect.": "The highest possible logic, containing no ascertainable flaw in reasoning.

Concerning your statement the logic is not quite perfect, or beyond the ascertaining of a flaw. The word "apparently" is close but not the most accurate to use.

Let us make a comparable statement and examine it.

"I shot an arrow into the air. Apparently it went on forever."

OR "I shined a light into space. Apparently it is going on forever."

In looking at these two examples the question that must be asked is "apparent to what?"

In the first case it was apparent to the eyes. You watched the arrow and couldn't see it land. It appeared to continue forever.

BUT if we bring in other factors then such a thing is not apparent. Newton's laws of gravity alone tell us that apparent is the wrong word here. When we consider all the facts it is not "apparent" that the arrow will continue forever but will be brought down to earth by gravity and friction.

Now let us take the second example:

I shined a light into space. Apparently it is going on forever.

To the casual observer it may seem really apparent that a light will continue forever for neither gravity nor friction prevent it from going on forever. In fact we have seen light that is over 13 billion years old. This means that these photons moved through space for 13 billion years before they reached an end. During all this time it seemed they would go on forever, but they did not. When they finally landed upon condensed matter they reached an end.

If we therefore take the laws of probability into account it becomes apparent that all light will eventually collide with matter somewhere in the universe and reach an end. In many cases it will take longer than 13 billion years, but the time will come even if it has to wait until the end of the universe when all collapses into a giant black hole.

When we take everything into consideration we can more accurately reword the above two statements:

Instead of: I shot an arrow into the air. Apparently it went on forever.

It should read: I shot an arrow into the air and it continued in flight beyond my ability to track it with my vision.

Instead of: I shined a light into space. Apparently it is going on forever.

It should read: I shined a light into space and have no way of calculating when it shall reach an end.

Now let us take your statement: Instead of:

PI has a beginning. But apparently it has no end.

It should read:

The attempt of the human race to calculate PI had a beginning and the attempt will have an end just as the human race will eventually have an end. It is unknown whether or not the final attempt will discover the exact number representing the perfect circle. This does not mean the exact number does not exist. There are no means available to prove that the exact number for PI does or does not exist.

In the world of mathematical concepts the perfect circle does exist, has always existed and will always exist. Therefore, PI is also eternal as a principle.

Woody writes:

I think you owe Larry an apology for saying that logic classes are a waste of time. The one illogical principle of logic would have saved you here.

I've stated a number of times that this applies to me. I am not speaking for anyone else as is insinuated time and time again here.

Let me explain my meaning here so we can put this to bed once and for all.

When I am speaking of wasting time I am speaking on a relative basis. If you have the right attitude nothing is really a waste of time. I could take a knitting class and probably receive some small benefit. BUT relative to spending my time learning a new principle or writing a book, such a thing would be a waste of my time.

I could study formal logic and receive some benefit, but I know I have been involved in logic for a number of lifetimes and as far as the understanding of the principles behind logic there is not a lot for me to learn from authoritative teachers in this area. I admit I could learn the technicalities of a formal approach and the full vocabulary associated with it, but do not see much personal benefit to be derived from it. My time is much better spent using my acquired abilities in logic and intuitive perception discover and teach new principles.

On the other hand, there are many people who could greatly benefit from studying formal logic. If it does nothing else but to direct their attention to what is and is not logical this would be a good thing. Few even ask this question about arguments that support their preconceived notions.

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.  Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)