If Language is limited, and if Logic relies on Language, then it follows, logically, that Logic has its limits.

Logic Has Its Limits–This Headline Is False!

Logic Has Its Limits - It is scaffolding and not substance
Photo by K8 on Unsplash

# 66 on my, 99 Life Tips–A List is: Logic is a useful scaffolding to climb the tower of truth, but it is not the tower, and will not always result in what is true.

I mean here that logic is a framework and not substance. It is a system that is useful for testing rational statements. But it relies on the inherent limitations of language and sometimes its champions forget that language, whether written or spoken, only represents the thing or idea represented and is not the thing or idea itself. If Language is limited, and if Logic relies on Language, then it follows, logically, that Logic has its limits.

So, I can build up an impressive array of premises and definitions about Hydrogen and Oxygen and how combined they form a substance that can exist in three different states depending upon temperature. And when finished I still won’t be able to drink it. The truth of water, experientially, evades both language and logic in the abstract.

There are those who enjoy creating syllogisms that are absurd like:

If God is all-powerful, then He can create something impossible for Him to lift.

But if He did, then He wouldn’t be all-powerful since there would be something He could not do…

These word games use logic not in the attempt to discover truth, but to camouflage it.

Logic doesn’t admit the consideration of all variables that might affect a premise all times. Contexts change. So not all truth boils down to binary, true/false declarations with predictable, repeatable outcomes.

Take this sentence from this article:

“THIS sentence is false.” This sentence is also where the problems start. If true, it is false; if false, it is true.

~ Read more at newscientist

That’s a good noodle-baker. And it provided the intellectual fodder for my headline, which has the same logical problem. If the first clause (“Logic Has Its Limits”) is true, then the entire headline is false, if the first clause is false, the entire headline is true. Either way, the scaffolding collapses.

So logic is useful within its limits. But let’s remember logic has its limits. It will not as a necessity result in what is true. And in the minds of the disingenuous, it becomes a rhetorical tool to go the opposite direction.

1 thought on “Logic Has Its Limits–This Headline Is False!”

  1. Pingback: 99 Life Tips – A List : Greg Proffit Writing

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