Aug 13, 2022Kuina-chan
I wondered what logic was, and considered it.
Science, philosophy, and religion all have logical ideas at their base, and the correctness of each is explained using logic. I also have faith in logic, but on the other hand, it seems to me that the correctness of logic itself cannot be explained logically. What exactly is logic?
For example, we often hear that if there were aliens with sufficiently advanced technology, they would surely understand concepts such as "1+1=2" and "prime numbers." It is said that humans actually send signals of prime numbers to the universe, and in this way, the concept of logic seems to be a common truth in the whole universe.
However, I would now like to consider an example where this is not the case.
First, let's assume that there are aliens who have the same technological capabilities as humans. Unlike humans, these aliens have sensors extending from their bodies to their surroundings that allow them to understand the state of the molecules around them to some extent. And with advanced brain computation, they can roughly simulate what will happen around them in the future. These aliens have arms and legs and can act like humans, but they have no eyes and no senses other than to obtain the molecular state of their surroundings.
Now, if there were such aliens, they would be able to predict the damage to their bodies by molecular simulations if they were attacked by wild animals, so they would be able to choose a future in which they could escape or fight back to avoid danger. At this time, aliens themselves are not aware of what is around them, because they do not recognize their surroundings in the unit of molecules in their consciousness, but only sense whether the simulated results are good or bad for them.
Choosing to act in a way that results in a convenient future is all that matters to the aliens. However, as a result of choosing a safer future, they may create weapons to fight with, or build ships to venture into the sea, and gain advanced technology on par with humans.
So what does logic mean to this alien? For humans, the animals that exist around us can be perceived as "one plus one equals two," etc., but for aliens, they perceive the world only in terms of the good or bad results of the movement of molecules, so there is no concept of "one" to begin with. They can't see things as a coherent mass, like animals.
So what are the things that we perceive in the first place?
There is an experiment that showed that when a human toddler became afraid of a white mouse, he became afraid not only of the white mouse but also of rabbits and other similar objects. At this point, he seems to have abstracted mice and rabbits into things that are "white and fluffy," and made the logical deduction that "white and fluffy things scare me, so this scares me." If so, this logical deduction seems to be an innate human ability.
This does not happen with the aliens I mentioned earlier. For these aliens, whether or not they are attacked by something in front of them is determined only by simulated molecules, so if they are attacked by a white rat, they only perceive it as "there is danger if we continue to do nothing," not "white rat," and they do not analogize that other rats or rabbits are also dangerous.
In this way, we can say that our prediction of the future is more approximate than that of the aliens, because humans who are afraid of rats need to experience and learn many times to know that rabbits are safe, unlike the aliens. In other words, humans who cannot simulate the molecules around them are forced to make judgments by abstracting them into units of things in order to make approximate predictions about the future.
Logic, I believe, is the result of this human ability to abstract. For example, if human infants learn to recognize that "white fluffy things are ____" and also "blue hard things are ____" and so on, they will realize that these two share the phrase "____ is/are ____" and will abstract "A is B." I believe this is what logic is all about.
In addition to humans, dogs and monkeys also learn to respond to similar things in the same way as humans, so it can be said that animals also have the ability to abstract to some extent. However, the more primitive the organism, the less this property is seen. So it occurred to me that this ability for abstraction, or logic, could have come about by chance at some point in the process of biological evolution.
If logic is merely something that organisms have acquired through the process of evolution, then logic may not be the truth of the universe, and we may not be sure that logic is absolute. On the other hand, it is at least a fact that humans equipped with this ability have won the race for survival.
In religion, philosophy, science, etc., logical correctness is pursued, but before I unconditionally trust it, I want to understand what I am dealing with.