Logic is a little tweeting bird, chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers, that smell bad.Spock (fictional character), I Mudd
Logic is concerned with the form of an argument. One of the simplest argument forms is as follows:
Paul is taller than Peter.
John is taller than Paul.
Therefore John is taller than Peter.
We do this kind of deduction all of the time in our daily lives. It follows a standard logical form with which we are all familiar (even if we didn’t know that it is a “standard logical form”). The next deduction follows the same logical form:
Paul is better than Peter.
John is better than Paul.
Therefore John is better than Peter.
Here, we have simply replaced the relational operator ‘taller’ for a new one – ‘better’ – in every occurrence of the derivation. We can also replace the nouns in the derivation without changing the form, as long as we replace them consistently throughout. So, replacing Paul, Peter, and John, we get:
X is better than Y.
Z is better than X.
Therefore Z is better than Y.
This gives us the general form, which will be true for any X, Y, and Z. (Stick with me here!) So, if we do the substitution:
Nothing is better than eternal happiness.
A dollar is better than nothing.
Therefore a dollar is better than eternal happiness.
Something has gone wrong here, although exactly what may not be clear.
I’m committed to making these posts short, so more on this later…
TAKE AWAY: You must give up is the idea that logic will somehow answer the most important questions in life.