What if logic isn’t actually all that logical?

Logic, science, reason, all of it is what? Rules that always hold true for everything that they are defined for. But who really defines them? We do. Who comes up with them? We do. And what are they based on? Observation.

I remember, as a kid, reading an article in my native language, titled “What if there was no Sun?” and it, as you can guess, was full of stupid stuff like “pitch black, ice cold, nobody would survive for any more than … e.t.c.” While I was reading it, I couldn’t help but wonder why a world without our Sun would ever have any life-forms that need the sun to survive? Or why the humans on such a world would not be used to not having a sun and thus be optimized for survival in such harsh conditions.

My point? We believe logic is absolute. Maybe it is, but only for our world. We know that if we pull at a free movable object, it would move towards us. But for all we know, there could be a world out there in which doing so would result in that very object moving away from us. That sounds illogical, stupid, and inconceivable but if it happened all the time in our world, it wouldn’t be.

We believe that we can make deductions using reasoning, but how reasonable would that be when that very art of reasoning itself is a set of deductions based on observation. What about observation? Do we even really see our world as it is? We don’t even know if we all see the world the same way. A really narrow range of the electromagnetic spectrum is sensed by our eyes and is used by the brain to form an image. This is literally akin to reading a detailed book and imagining the events and the characters. Using this analogy, we can tell that while the image can be extremely detailed, it will still be limited by the amount of information it is based on. Imagine if our ears were so trained that we could, in the absence of light, form images and see using sound. Is that inconceivable? But what really is the difference between the ear and the eyes? Both sense and interpret waves with the help of the brain. If we could see the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum, we would have a much smaller list of opaque materials than we currently do.

This does of course suggest that it doesn’t matter if the science and logic we so rely on is limited by our observation as long as it holds true for our observable world, but the idea was the very fact that it would be just limited to our observable world. This is kind of like how we wouldn’t be able to tell if there were any more-than-3-dimensional-beings out there observing us right now because we can’t perceive or observe more than 3 dimensions.

 

 

Anas Ismail Khan

 

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