So belief in the Invisible Pink Unicorn does not require logical justification?
Belief in the invisible pink unicorn, or that I am not dreaming, only require logical justification if those beliefs are to be logically justified beliefs. Why should all beliefs be logically justified, and if not all beliefs, which beliefs may or may not?
Which axioms are grounds of justification? How do we determine which axioms are such grounds?
It is impossible to determine which axioms are grounds for justification, without also presupposing those axioms to be true. This is the perennial problem of epistemology.
Thank you for the effort you put into your post. I enjoyed reading it and it was a change from some of the rather dry material I was reading last night, "If p, then q, iff...Sr, where H...".
I believe however you have placed yourself into a trap I did not construct, but one which I may find useful.
In order to clarify our particular debate, let us state the question:
What is the justification for logic?
I will propose a number of propositions which, if we agree to, I believe will undermine your venture. The propositions are:
(1) Justification J, for belief B, must be logically prior to belief B.
(2) If J is a valid justification for B, J does not presuppose B.
(3) If J is a valid justification for B, J entails the truth of B.
These are the criterion I am proposing for a logical justification for a belief.
It seems however, that you are proposing a non-logical justification:
The root justification is necessarily non-logical and rooted in things we consider self-evident.
Let us consider how a non-logical justification may be considered valid, and whether if we believe logical reasoning to be adhered to, we can also adhere to non-logical reasoning.
The phenomenon or factor of something being self-evident, was elaborated by yourself within the context of natural, physico-sensational perceptions:
It is in the nature of all animal life to receive visual, auditory, and olfactory input and then process it and act upon it. Since animals with little or no cognitive ability clearly trust their senses, it is apparent to me that such trust is inherent in all animals including humans – which justifies believing this to be self evident
You agree that such justification uses or presupposes the validity of logic however as your justification is non-logical, this need not concern us. You also clarify that your justification is a posteriori, rather than a priori (to experience):
Yes, we're using the logical processes along the way to do the validation, but the consistency that we perceive nevertheless adds a great deal of confidence. I still acknowledge that we could be wrong, however I think the justification is stronger than for most basic beliefs.
2 preliminary observations can be made:
Ignoring the fact that our experience presupposes logic (as we are dealing with a non-logical justification):
Observation 1: If logic is only justified given(posterior to) sensory experience, logic is only justified for the circumstances we have already had sensory experience.
Observation 2: If the justification for logic is a posteriori, then there is no justification for an instance of the law of logic holding, prior to the event.
We may get into further problems which these 2 observations have for your position, but suffice it to say that an a posteriori justification for something in the past, is much easier to provide than a similar justification for what has not yet occurred. If logical reasoning is only justified after it has been confirmed through experience, how do you justify the use of logical reasoning for the future? You might provide the following argument:
A Posteriori Justification for Future Logical Truths
In the past, the future turned out to be logical, such as 2 days ago, I believed that the laws of logic would hold for this morning. The laws of logic did hold this morning; therefore we can believe that logic will hold in the future.
What this argument ignores though is that this argument is an appeal to what happened in the past (2 days ago). The very question though, is how do we know the future will be like the past? An invocation of the past as a justification for invoking the past is to beg the very question being asked.
This is all entailed if we believe that your position is coherent, but I see reasons to think that your justification is self-refuting.
Because your justification is a justification for logical reasoning, any argument which contradicts logical reasoning must be rejected by yourself. Allow me to introduce another proposition:
(4) Any belief B which does not logically follow from valid premises is an invalid and unjustified belief.
I assume you see as clearly as I do, that if you affirm (4), you can not affirm a belief as a result of non-logical argumentation.
What is the demarcation between a logical argument, and a non-logical argument, besides the fact that the conclusion of the former follows inextricable from the premises, whereas in the latter, the conclusion does not logically follow? If the conclusion of a non-logical argument did logically follow from its premises, it would cease to be non-logical and would be a logical argument.
If (4) is to be rejected and non-logical justification allowed, then logical reasoning is not necessary as a component of justified belief. Suppose there are 2 types of non-logical argumentation – one valid, and the other invalid. How do we determine which form is valid and the other not? If we use logical reasoning, then we argue in a circle as non-logical reasoning is that given as a justification for logic. We can not then use logic to justify non-logical reasoning. If we use the same non-logical reasoning to justify non-logical reasoning, we beg the question. These points will not be given much elaboration here, as I believe this post is long enough as it is.
I look forward to your reply.