“Logic is the anatomy of thought.” – John Locke
So here is my introduction into how I first learned of Logic. So there I was first day of upper-level mathematics. MGF 3301 — Bridge to Abstract Mathematics. I was a junior in the spring semester. I had just finished up all my other core courses, Calculus 1,2 &3, Differential Equations, and my two physics classes. So I was super excited about getting into the heart of mathematics. (And to Mathematic majors, Calculus and Differential Equations are considered basic introduction classes.)
So my professor was some Russian guy. Who always talked about drinking. And half his analogies and stories were bar stories. But today was the first day of the spring semester. So the first think he wanted to teach us, was basic logic.
He started off with what’s a proposition? “Basically to put it simply he said it was just a statement.” That was the basic way he explained it. He probably put it in such simple terms because the class is only so long.
Then he went on to say that there are many ways to prove a proposition or premise false, and the thing that stuck out must to me was the idea of providing a counter example. And all you need to prove a proposition wrong is one VALID counterexample. No matter how true the original proposition or how true it might seem. If the counter-example is true & valid, then the entirety of the original proposition is invalid.
Even though this seemed so basic, there was it was so much clarity in thought in this.
In this class I learned some of the basics of logic and more importantly I learned how to think, but the ability to think, understand, and use basic logic was the most important.
Now in my endeavors into logic and reason I have noticed one common thing. People think that logic and reasoning is arguing. Or that objective truth is possessed by them and themselves and that they can prove this by Stacking the Deck. This is a common error/fallacy I see from many people. Unfortunately this is somewhat common from Christians.
Stacking the Deck: In this fallacy, the speaker “stacks the deck” in her favor by ignoring examples that disprove the point, and listing to only those examples that support their case.
“Fallacious arguments usually have the deceptive appearance of being good arguments.” -(T. Edward Damer from his book Attacking Faulty Reasoning)
I commonly see this when I get into many miniature debates with my other Christian friends and they make a proposition or a premise. And when I make a statement or refer to a scripture that counters what they said, they ignore my stance providing more information that never ever deals with my first counter example. If we believe something so strong, there is no need to stack the deck with scriptures and statements and ignore all the other verses in the bible. Your proposition, belief or doctrine should be true in all situations and circumstances.
“Logic works, metaphysics contemplates.” – Joseph Joubert