Careful usage of logic in the service of spirituality
Whether we want it or not, we use logical reasoning to draw conclusions about our spiritual path and to extend our beliefs.
Our talking here to others as well as our internal conversations are based on concrete rules of logic that we all agree upon, implicitly or explicitly.
Therefore, in order to avoid committing logic fallacies, we must make sure our logic is valid enough. It cannot be taken for granted just because we were conditioned to use these rules. We can check these rules by investigating how our logic is constructed as students of philosophy are doing during first year.
Plus, this investigation gives us an insight on how the mind works.
Of course, when dealing with logic and spirituality, one should be very careful: one central and important premise of spirituality is that logic itself (and the mind of which logic is the tool) cannot lead us to truth as it always deals with objects and duality and truth is beyond. This is the basic difference between spirituality and science.
The following is an extract from a fascinating and recommended for reading article titled Introduction to Logic by Scott Lehmann that describes in a clear and simple way the basics of our logic. The extract deals with logic in the service of extending our beliefs and getting at the truth:
When reasoning is used to extend belief, I begin with assumptions that I believe to be true and ask what else I should believe: what conclusion can I draw from these
assumptions? If such an argument is valid, then I should believe its conclusion is true; if its premises are correct, then its conclusion will also be correct. If such an argument is strong, then I should believe its conclusion is probably true; if its premises are correct, then its conclusion will probably be correct as well.
Getting at the truth
Reasoning to get at the truth is just like reasoning to extend belief, except that we begin with premises that are not just believed to be true but are in fact true.
Believing that p is true can differ from p’s being true because – unfortunately! – we all believe things that are false, though we do not know what they are. If an argument from true premises is valid, then its conclusion must also be true. Valid arguments with true premises are said to be
In practice, using reasoning to get at the truth does not differ from using reasoning to extend belief. This is because when we use reasoning to extend belief, we assume that our beliefs are correct. If we come to regard some claim that we have accepted (such as: Santa Claus really
exists) as false, we cease to believe it.