Limitations of logic

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Summary: Rationalists often believe that ability to logically explain a natural phenomenon is sufficient in itself. However, this is not so. Logic has to be used with caution, since otherwise a drift into falsehood is quite likely.
Author: Dr Mahesh C. Jain is a practicing medical doctor and has written the book “Encounter of Science with Philosophy – A synthetic view”. The book begins with first chapter devoted to scientifically valid concept of God and then explains cosmic phenomena right from origin of nature and universe up to origin of life and evolution of man. The book includes several chapters devoted to auxiliary concepts and social sciences as corollaries to the concept of God. This is the only book that deals with subject matter of origin of nature and universe beginning from null (Zero or nothing). This article is inspired by author’s understanding of nature of truth. Second chapter of the book is devoted to ‘Truth’.
Visit:http:// www.sciencengod.com
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Limitations of logic

  1. 1. Limitations of LogicSummary: Rationalists often believe that ability to logically explain a naturalphenomenon is sufficient in itself. However, this is not so. Logic has to be usedwith caution, since otherwise a drift into falsehood is quite likely.Francis Bacon in 16th century advocated principles of objectivity and rationality indealing with human affairs in his book ‘Novum Organum’. His beliefs were, inpart, outcome of his reaction to subjective considerations and dogmatic beliefsprevailing in human society in his times. But he hardly realized that even theseprinciples are liable to degeneration over a period of time. We often witness as well as practice degenerated versions of these principles inour day to day living. We often, arbitrarily or otherwise, take a stand and argue atlength rightly or wrongly in support of our view point and habitually trashopposing arguments irrespective of their merits. Despite such debates we areunable to conclude and find solutions to the pressing issues.We often come across voracious readers who have consumed libraries but haveconcluded nothing. They are even more confused than the common man in thestreet. They may often be seen advancing all kinds of silly hypothesis whichnobody can carry into daily life. They accept ‘confused ambivalence’ rather thanenlightenment as the ultimate truth. It is not that they have not attempted toreason out their confusions, but their limited understanding/rationality has simplynot led them to final argument. Their limited rationality and ability tocomprehend things and events has simply not allowed them to differentiate truthfrom falsehood. In the due course, they may even get obsessed by some of theirown or borrowed ideas.We also come across writers who have filled libraries by their work but havecontributed nothing to advancement of human thought.We have advocates who disguise themselves as writers and apply all the advocacyskills to the view they are called upon to defend. One such advocate wasT.H.Huxley, often described as faithful Bull-dog of Charles Darwin. He was asked
  2. 2. to confront Bishop Wilberforce at the British Association for the Advancement ofScience meeting at Oxford in 1860. These advocates have no real interest in theissues they are defending.Undoubtedly, logic or rationality is the strongest weapon in our armamentaria inpursuit of truth not amenable to five senses of vision, hearing, touch, smell andtaste. Use of logic is essential to identify emerging novelties and mountinganomalies. Comprehension of nature is impossible without use of logic, since weare repeatedly called upon to differentiate among alternatives. In management,use of logic is essential to define strategies and plan course of action in theperpetual struggle that confronts all of us.But we must also realize that ability to rationalize a thing or event is not an end initself. The reasoning advanced must also be real i.e. it must correspond to all thefacts including collateral facts and arguments. Logic must be comprehensivelycorrect. We want real explanations and not mere explanations. We must give dueregard to contexts in which particular things and events materialize.Unlimited mathematical and logical extrapolation of any line of thinking from zeroto infinity is not possible. Our universe essentially consists of dissimilar entitiesco-existing in mutual harmony. Every line of logic has its scope and limits whichare determined by natural course of events. Straight line application of logic isjust not possible. Nonlinearities or singularities do exist in nature and as ametaphor Einstein was right in anticipating “curvature in space”.In essence, application of logic is constrained by natural course of events,contexts, properties of things etc. Therefore, logic is not panacea for everythingthat we do not know. Common sense is quite often at variance with a specialist’sview. A disciplined thinking is required for correct application of logic. There aresituations where physical verification of logic by evidence may be nearlyimpossible but even in these situations; logic employed has to be comprehensive,consistent and coherent with all known facts and circumstances.Once upon a time Newtonian Mechanics was supposed to be the ultimate truththat would in the ultimate analysis explain each and every thing. In fact
  3. 3. Newtonian Mechanics is the scientific basis of materialism. Over a period of timethis belief was further extended to the belief that laws of physics only are needed,to explain comprehensively origin and evolution of universe, properties of matterand Biological phenomena, but without any reason.In 20th century, mankind drifted into Einstein’s Theory of Relativity on one handand Quantum Physics on the other. Einstein sincerely hoped that one day bothshall be reconciled in the shape of ‘Unified Field Theory’ but was unable to do soin his life time. Even thereafter, none has been able to reconcile Quantum Physicswith Einstein’s relativity. This remains an unfulfilled dream till date andunrealizable too in author’s opinion. Darwin’s theory about mechanism of evolution appears to be rationally sound tomajority of biologists but unfortunately fails to explain observed facts. Forexample, Darwinism provides no explanation for Geographical indicator varietiesof flora and fauna.To be rationally correct does not mean having material evidence in hand to proveyour point. Being rationally correct only means that you must be comprehensivelycorrect. Often rationally correct view can guide one to material evidencesufficient to prove the given view. But there can always be facts which can only beinferred, being inaccessible to direct sensory perception such as existence of‘natural order’. In such situations, a comprehensive, consistent and coherentargument is the only way to prove or disprove a particular fact.Summarizing all above, there is no doubt that rationality is the strongest weaponto guide us through but it must also be realized that it has to be used with cautionwith due regard to its limitations.Author: Dr Mahesh C. Jain is a practicing medical doctor and has written thebook “Encounter of Science with Philosophy – A synthetic view”. The book beginswith first chapter devoted to scientifically valid concept of God and then explainscosmic phenomena right from origin of nature and universe up to origin of lifeand evolution of man. The book includes several chapters devoted to auxiliaryconcepts and social sciences as corollaries to the concept of God. This is the only
  4. 4. book that deals with subject matter of origin of nature and universe beginningfrom null (Zero or nothing). This article is inspired by author’s understanding ofnature of truth. Second chapter of the book is devoted to ‘Truth’.Visit:http:// www.sciencengod.comhttp://www.sciencengod.com/buynow.php

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