February 14, 2015

Arguments for God from Metalogical Necessities

Metalogic is defined by Oxford Dictionary from meta-logic theory as follows: “A theory whose subject-matter is a logistic system”. When using systems of logic to determine logical deductions, the question can arise: What is required for logical systems to work practically and reliably in the real world? There are at least two important aspects that flow from this question. One is the implicit teleological aspect of logic. The second is the implicit referential aspect of perfect truth and validity found in logic.This investigation was inspired by Jay's Analysis website, from an article titled, “Numbers Prove God” in which the author states:
“Reality, at every single point, and in every single act of predication, requires infinity.  That itself is a huge mystery, but no one would be so ridiculous as to say that mystery means we cannot know anything.  What philosophy or theology can make sense of how infinity is present and necessary at each point?  How does a finite, created mind access or touch upon infinity, if infinity is something only present to, and confined in, our realm of existence?”

As the use of logic is examined, it becomes clear that there are implicit references in logic to infinite perfection and also moral teleological aspects. Because secular humanism and atheism are ill-equipped to provide an objective basis or anchor these kinds of references and touchstones, the implications of logic and metalogical necessities ultimately point to God's necessary existence. The identification of God as Creator meshes well with the necessities of metalogic because of the necessary moral obligations a creature has in relationship to the Creator. In accordance with this worldview, there is a perfect logical cohesion between metalogical necessities and teleological requirements. The first step is to establish that choosing to employ logic is a necessary first-order decision, if one is to embrace a logical and cohesive understanding and avoid an illogical and incoherent one. After this is confirmed, then this conclusion can be used in another argument supporting a necessary teleological anchor.
The Importance of Logic

Logical principles and systems are not perfect and there is not a one-size-fits all for various conditions in the real world, however, if
logic helps to evaluate priorities and our values and priorities are ultimately based upon our most basic metaphysical opinions, then people should consider employing logic as in life as a high priority in order to evaluate their most basic metaphysical beliefs.
Argument from First-Order Metalogical Values

1. If logic is required to identify and verify social human values and priorities, including levels of urgency in life, and our highest values and priorities are based upon our most basic metaphysical and social beliefs, then people should consider employing logic as a first-order priority in life in order to evaluate their most basic metaphysical beliefs. 

2. Logic is required to identify and verify social human values and priorities, including levels of urgency in life, and our highest values and priorities are based upon our most basic metaphysical and social beliefs.

3. Therefore, people should consider employing logic as a first-order priority in life in order to evaluate their most basic metaphysical and social beliefs. 
If it is true that reality and metaphysical questions can be tested and understood using logic and that the opposition to logic allows for no possible coherent explanatory understanding or explanatory power, and a person understands the difference, then, in accordance with these conditions, a person should choose to employ logic.
Logic is a first-order consideration because it can be used to evaluate any decision or value judgement that a person can make. A person may claim that human values are only based on personally chosen goals as "shoulds"in life. But this would be an absurd proposition because, if logic has any value, we should also use logic in helping to decide our highest values and highest priorities in life. These questions ultimately have metaphysical significance and logic can be used in order to help discern true and valid choices. I've found that many secular atheists simply presuppose that their underlying assumptions are true, despite logical implications that would suggest otherwise.
Proverbs 1.20 outlines the urgency of employing logic: “Wisdom (logic) shouts in the streets wherever crowds gather.” (CEV)
Logic as a First-Order Subject

Logic can be used to evaluate goals, and the evaluation of goals, and the evaluation of an evaluation of goals, and the values behind the evaluation of an evaluation of goals, and so on. Using logic, we can address metaphysical questions, such as, why do we exist? Is there any deeper value or purpose in life?
Argument from a Necessary Teleological Anchor
1. A functioning system of logic explains reality with objective reliability, consistency and cohesion.
2. If logic is used to explain and clarify teleological values and  teleogical values explain what people "should" do, then people should employ logic.

3. Secular atheism offers no objective explanation or anchor for the “ought” of life towards a cohesive and comprehensive explanation of reality.
4. The only possible logical and cohesive explanation for the teleological “ought” of life and the only possible objective teleological anchor is the unchanging nature of an eternal, holy, just, and perfect Creator God.

5. If 1-4 are true, and the only possible objective teleological anchor is the unchanging nature of an eternal, holy, just, and perfect Creator God, then God must exist.
6. Points 1-4 are true, and the only logical anchor for the "ought" of life is the unchanging nature of an eternal, holy, just, and perfect Creator God, therefore, God must exist.

Responses to Criticisms

Critics of the above arguments may claim that anything related to God is subjective and is therefore less compelling as an argument. But this depends on the definition of “objective” being used. The Oxford Dictionary defines “objective” as follows: " (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts." In accordance with Ocaam's razor, a simpler definition is preferable to a more complex definition, unless there is a valid reason for requiring the latter. The secular atheists that require a more limiting and complex version of the definition usually have an agenda in mind towards discounting the possibility of God's existence as an objective reality. Ocamm's razor, however, is preferable as a precept to worldview chauvinism.

A critic of the first argument claimed, "The laws of logic exist only within the mind and are not objective laws." Some background is helpful in showing that logic and math are not merely subjective creations, but describe principles that correspond with actual relationships and set values in the real world, and that is why they are to this day considered necessary tools:

"Mathematicians like Richard Dedekind realized that on this basis it might be possible to establish mathematics firmly on logical grounds... Although the work of Gödel (less than two decades later) made clear the inherent limitations of this approach, its significance for our understanding of logic and mathematics remains undimmed. Note the conclusion, "... our understanding of logic and mathematics remains undimmed." - http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/6h.htm
Many secular atheists are under the impression that logic and all its principles are merely the result of human evolution and do not correspond directly with real and specific objective physical properties and relationships. The “Father of Logic," Aristotle developed the first formal system of logic that applies to all categories of knowledge, and his motives in no way reflect evolutionary impulses. Aristotle considered theoretical science and theoretical knowledge, the seeking of knowledge for its own sake, as the highest and most genuine sense of knowledge. Metaphysics (the theory of being and reality), was his ultimate passion, not Physics, Astronomy, Biology or other sciences that would better help in survival. So it seems that logic was not developed based either on animal instincts, evolutionary impulses, or the basic need to survive.

A critic may make the following comment: "What does 1+1 equal in Boolean logic?" This comment is a suggestion that the principles are not objective, but are only subjective, because the rules change when analyzing different phenomena. But this does not discount the fact that the math represents useful relationships that have objective applications.
Another criticism:  "I could hold up two apples and state that these seven apples plus another seven apples equals twenty two apples, if that is the definition I have given." or "1+1 only equals the answer you have subjectively decided on. It could mean 2,1,11 or even 0 in some forms of algebra and all could be correct." - In reply, different conditions require different mathematical approaches. And any number could have a different symbol or symbols. It's doubtful that anyone would argue otherwise.
Other critics offered a criticism of perspective:
"Note that if you grew up as a Buddhist in Tibet, you'd be using a different system of logic in which you think about "things" differently and the law of identity would be false, as far as your "things" are concerned, all the time."
"Other creatures (say, aliens) could have entirely different logical and mathematical rules by which they see the universe."
- Regardless of what country or planet a creature may be from, the principles of logic and math being employed must correspond with the objective reality of the environment and the situation at hand. Different people cannot simply invent different basic principles and laws of logic irrespective of the objective reality being described. Considering the advances in math in science, it is difficult to believe that people consider the basic principles of math and logic to be entirely subjective and not based on objective relationships. Einstein once stated, "The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility … The fact that it is comprehensible is a miracle." - To comprehend something involves more than just sight stimuli, it involves perceiving with a sense of meaning that corresponds with that which is experienced.
A Reference of Perfect Truth and Validity
In the final argument in this post, there are two main qualifying “ifs” identified as the basic qualitative standards of a logical argument: Only if the premises are “true” and if the form is “valid,” then the conclusion following from the premises will be necessarily true in an existential sense. These two “ifs” are references to phenomena that act as objective and unchanging standards in logic. But how do we know that these supporting phenomena exist in a consistent and reliable existential manner? It is implicitly required. If these two qualities do not exist in some implicit and existential sense, then the logical deductions could bot be consistently reliable and necessary deductions in the real world.
The first premise in the following argument can be considered in light of currency systems. The first line of defense in a governmental currency system is the backing of the government itself. Governments act as an external support to monetary circulation systems to buttress the system as needed. One of the means of strengthening a monetary system is to retain real gold as a referent and a standard of value.

For example, the “gold exchange standard” usually does not involve the circulation of actual gold coins, rather, the government guarantees an exchange rate based on the present value of gold, regardless of what type of paper or coins are used as a means of exchange. In logic, there are a total of nine principles, only one of which is not demonstrable physically and visibly. In logic, the symbols and equations for the most part, insofar as is possible, are substitutions that relate directly to real and tangible relationships in the real world. As with the gold standard, the quality of the system depends upon the consistency, reliability and supply of the referent.
The Swiss economy has been considered the most stable economy in the world and a safe haven for investors, and it also has held high gold reserves. The Swiss economy, from 1936 until 2000, was based on a 40% gold-reserve. In 1999, 11 European national banks signed the Washington Agreement on Gold agreeing that "gold will remain an important element of global monetary reserves"; later, the Agreement was amended and extended. This is evidence that an external referent of superior value is useful and sometimes considered necessary for the stability of a functional system.
Argument from Metalogical and Necessary Referential Truth and Validity
1. Any functional system that utilizes an external referent as a support and standard only has as much efficacy, reliability, and consistency as its support and standard allows.
2. If logical propositions are used to examine existential phenomena incorporating logical principles and conclusions that apply existentially, then the supporting standards and references must have no less existential reliability and value.
2. In accordance with practical logical propositions, if the premises are true and the form of the argument is valid, then the conclusion derived from the premises must be necessarily true.
3. The necessary standards of “true” and “valid” in logic are not mere relativistic aims, but references to a standard that is perfect and complete.
4. The necessary standards of “true” and “valid” in logic must refer to some objective standard that either reliably exhibits qualities of truth and validity or is itself inherently true and valid.
5. Based on points 1-4, no material phenomenon or phenomena can supply the necessary consistent, perfect and existentially reliable referent and standard of truth and validity for logical propositions.
6. If God exists, God would be able to supply the necessary consistent, perfect and existentially present referent and standard of truth and validity for logical propositions.
7. God's nature is necessarily perfect, true, holy, valid, unchanging, eternal, existentially present and objective.
8. Because logical propositions do work necessarily based upon supporting referents of perfect truth and validity, and because only God can supply these standards existentially and perfectly, through God's unchanging and objective nature, therefore, God must necessarily exist.

Another criticism may be that secular science could eventually provide some kind of objective basis for the teleological “ought” and an objective referent for perfect “truth” and “validity”. It's the “science will one day answer that question”, wishful thinking fallacy. Yes, that's an actual logical fallacy. This belief, that science can answer all the questions of existence, is known as logical positivism. According to the New World Encyclopedia, Logical Positivism is considered a “dead philosophy:”
"Today, among most philosophers, positivism is dead, or at least as dead as a philosophical stance or movement ever becomes, but it is still alive among many scientists and others who are not well-versed in, or knowledgeable about, what has occurred in technical philosophy since the 1950s. The demise of positivism came for many reasons, among them that no specification of the positivist verification principle could ever be found that would withstand critical investigation."

Another fallacy is the secular atheistic hope that somewhere in the vast cosmos, in the billions and billions of galaxies out there, there must be an example that we don't know about that will be the key to understanding everything. It may be aliens or other unknown worlds. Who knows. If you are a secular atheist interested in building your faith along these lines of wishful thinking, YouTuber Robert Price has created a video clip offering multiple samples of Carl Sagan underscoring the "billions and billions" of potential galaxies that exist. A.V. Club outlines

"..doing a killer Carl Sagan impression really boils down to the ability to say the word “billions” in a slightly pinched, nasal voice, making sure to draw out the vowel sounds. Of course, a brown turtleneck and a repurposed Beatle wig help further the illusion as well."

Until such a time as science will be able to answer questions of meaning, purpose, value and moral imperatives, we have Einstein's discoveries confirming that the elements of the material universe are relative and contingent properties of an interdependent material system. And based upon the two arguments above, the material cosmos, no matter how vast and no matter how many billions and billions of stars and galaxies exist, could never supply what is logically necessary for a reliable and cohesive explanation of existence.
Copyright 2015 Richard H. Warden
Updated 02-19-15

Tags: Logical arguments for God's existence, How metalogic proves God, how and why God necessarily exists, how truth and validity prove God, ought from is, the nature of God is unchanging and objective, 2 Arguments for God's Existence from Metalogical Necessities, why positivism fails, why secular humanism is illogical 

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