Calculating. Without calculating.

Engineers have designed a metamaterial device that can solve integral equations. The device works by encoding parameters into the properties of an incoming electromagnetic wave; once inside, the device’s unique structure manipulates the wave in such a way that it exits encoded with the solution to a pre-set integral equation for that arbitrary input. (1)

Calculating. Based on rules.

Rules imposed by humans.

Humans thinking.

Thinking based on logic.

Logic based on axioms.

Axioms based on nothing.

Calculating.

So irrational.

So wise…

In all your life, have you ever seen a raven that wasn’t black? That probably leads you to conclude that all ravens are black. Of course, it’s impossible to see every raven that ever existed and ever will exist, but from the evidence you have on hand, it’s pretty fair for you to make the statement, “All ravens are black.” Put into a logical form, the argument looks like this:

Proposition 1: All ravens are black.

Evidence 1: This raven is black.

According to logic, the statement “All ravens are black” has the equivalent form “All non-black things are non-ravens” — or in regular English, “Everything that isn’t black isn’t a raven.” The same way that every black raven you see supports your first conclusion, every non-black non-raven you see (A green apple! A school bus! A Smurf!) supports it, too. This builds upon our argument like this:

Proposition 1: All ravens are black.

Proposition 2: All non-black things are non-ravens.

Evidence 1: This raven is black.

Evidence 2: This green apple is not a raven.

Though the raven example is almost absurdly simple, the paradox itself highlights a potential issue with the scientific method. Does every piece of evidence — even a piece of evidence unrelated to your topic (e.g. ravens) — really support your hypothesis, just because it doesn’t contradict it? Is the scientific method taking us into fallacious territory?

Ultimately, though, many argue the raven paradox isn’t so paradoxical. Though it doesn’t jibe with our intuition that a green apple would have a bearing on raven’s hue, that’s a problem with our intuition. A green apple does provide an almost imperceptible grain of support for the “All ravens are black” hypothesis. A black raven just provides a lot more. (1)

We all try to find evidence to support our views.

Trying to prove God exists.

But He does not need evidence.

He simply is.

And the evidence is all around us.

Even when they are not.

Or better: especially when there are not.

Oh…

Look at that raven…

Yes, there is a God.

Look at all the evidence against Him…

Credo!

Tertullian is widely regarded as having originated the expression “Credo quia absurdum” (est) (I believe because it is absurd) and the phrase often appears in contemporary polemics about the rationality of religious belief. Patristic scholars have long pointed out that Tertullian never said this or meant anything like it. (although as I have explained many times in Harmonia Philosophica, there is nothing wrong with the irrational – it is the logical which is unfounded and full of fallacies) However, little scholarly attention has been paid to the circumstances in which this specific phrase came into existence and why, in spite of its dubious provenance, it continues to be regarded by many as a legitimate characterization of religious faith. A new paper shows how Tertullian’s original expression – “It is certain, because impossible” – was first misrepresented and modified in the early modern period. In seventeenth century England a “credo” version – I believe because it is impossible – became the common form of Tertullian’s maxim. A further modification, building on the first, was effected by the Enlightenment philosophe Voltaire, who added the “absurdity condition” and gave us the modern version of the paradox: I believe because it is absurd. These modifications played a significant role in Enlightenment representations of religion as irrational, and signal the beginning of a new understanding of faith as an epistemic vice. This doubtful maxim continues to play a role in debates about the cognitive status of religious faith, and its failure to succumb to the historical evidence against it is owing to its ongoing rhetorical usefulness in such debates. (1)

People once understood the irrationality of existence.

Then they invented Logic.

And they tried to formulate logical ways to believe in God. Let’s not forget that the founder of Logic believed in the Unmoved Mover. And the second greatest logician of all times (Gödel) formulated a renowned proof for the existence of God.

Then came “Enlightenment”.

And tried to convince people that logic has nothing to do with irrational things like religion. That rational people cannot believe in absurd things like the soul, the spirit, Jesus or God.

They were both wrong.

Logic itself is absurd and irrational. Based on axioms selected arbitrarily, without any solid foundation whatsoever. The only thing we know for sure about any set of axiomatic theories – logic included – is that it cannot prove everything.

Life IS absurd and irrational. We exist without reason, we die without reason, we love and hate with no reason, we just Are. Any attempt to rationalize life will hit the wall of reality and collapse as soon as it started.

So believe what you want.

No you are not irrational.

Because there is no such thing as “rational”…

Intuitionism (Constructivism) vs. Logicism vs. Platonism.

Does infinity exist?

Is the whole larger than the parts?

Are all the numbers either negative, positive or zero?

Phenomenally simple questions. With no definite answer!

Is everything “out there” for us to discover? (Platonism)

Is everything we can “write on paper” true? (Logicism)

Or only the things we can construct do exist? (Intuitionism/ Constructivism)

For every truth, there has been a debate. For every given axiom, there has been a completely different and opposite one. For every solution, there has been a controversy lost in the depths of time.

Search for the obvious.

Be careful of what we “know”.

It is usually the cloak of what we do not.

Crates of Mallus globe. Logic. Seeing.

Crates of Mallus created a globe.
Imagined people living in the opposite (symmetric) place of the globe.
He found America.
Long before we found America.
With his mind alone. (1)

With logic you can see things before you see them.
Even though (or Because?) logic is in the first place based on what you have seen..

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