In philosophy, a belief is generally defined as an attitude towards a proposition (a propositional attitude). An attitude is a psychological state of mind or disposition (like: love, hope, fear etc.). So as propositional attitude, a belief is not isolatable. It is constructed based on a complex support system, an individual is born in. General assumption may lead to think that, support system of belief is correct. But that cannot be inferred by logic alone. Elements of experience and preference play an important role in determining one’s dominant system of belief. So logic can be used to prove any belief as long as a person is willing to add additional assumptions to support this belief.
It can prove whether an argument is valid or invalid, but logic is not about true or false.
Let’s look at it from the following two ways of argument
A) Valid argument : i) All the presidents in India are spiritual leaders; ii) Ram Nath Kovind is the current president; iii) (from i & ii) Ram Nath Kovind is a spiritual leader. It is valid because, if its premises (i & ii) were true, the iii logically follows.
B) Invalid argument : i) Neelkanth flower is blue; ii) the logo of the company general motors is blue; iii) (from i and ii) ergo, the sky is blue. So all the propositions (i, ii, & iii) are true. But the argument is invalid, as the conclusion does not follow the premise.
So logic can be used to demonstrate the internal consistency of an argument (i. e. it follows its premise). But it cannot prove whether the argument is consistent with the observable universe. The religious belief is based on the premise of God; evidence of which is universally disputed.
Earlier fear and lack of understanding of the cause & action of things (natural disaster, day-night etc.) led to the idea of an overall powerful being who kept watch over the activities of man. Early theological inventions prove, they worshipped the Sun, Sea & the Wind. With rising population & different cultures, religion also evolved and diversified. Gods evolved as well. They morphed from simple Sun and mood gods to Gods with complex stories and personalities. During this evolution man made god in his own image. Religion is simply an explanatory tool used before we had the ability to get the right answers.
Contributed by Aritra Das
on ‘Can logic be used to prove religion?’
Words are getting shorter and our attention even more so. Perhaps technology is to blame, but what good has ever come out of blaming someone/something without doing your own bit to correct it. Long emails tire us, long WhatsApp messages are ignored – shorter and crisper the text, happier we are reading it. It’s all fun and games, until you need someone else to read your text
Sit down to write a page and you realize that neither your mind or your hand supports your endeveours as easily as the last time you tried.
Perhaps the same can be said for finding that elusive hour or two on a Sunday – to do nothing but sit and stare blankly outside a window. As we grow older, we appreciate that however, its even more required at an age when you’re taking life decisions and trying to figure out how you want to live your life and shape it. Sometimes reading a relaxed, spaced out story helps – it calms down the tumultuous rush in your mind and actions to meet a deadline. Writing your thoughts out help the same way.
I’m all for reading on the internet (such as this blog!) however, I find that with multiple windows open often I don’t finish what I started, even if it’s a 1000 – 1500 words text. On the phone, there are messages being constantly flashed begging for attention. Life is fast-paced and everyone/everything seems to want attention right here and now. Ignoring is hard when your work involves a fair bit of the internet.
Therefore, I’m revisiting my olden days by picking up some books. These baby steps towards a calmer (rest of my) life are going to begin with the collection by skillful masters of short story writing. If you, too, do the same then share your thoughts with me.
contributed by Tapasya
Since time immemorial man has adhered to some belief, faith, exercises to fine tune the existence of human kind. With due course of time these beliefs, practices and faith all clubbed together into a set pattern which further put the society in order giving birth to various religions. So, the elementary idea behind the philosophies of each and every religion in the world is kindness, humanity and propagates the modest knowledge of harmonious coexistence of man and the universe. To sum up, religion is purely a way of living.
The practices followed in each religion has an objective of its own. With the application of logic and rational thinking religion and its beliefs can be dissected thoroughly for a better understanding. All religions have varied ways of worship and prayer. Thousands and thousands year old practice of worshipping the nature as a Goddess and Earth as a Mother in Hinduism is just not blind faith. It was means to train the human mind to conserve and take care of the natural resources and judiciously use it. The existence of sacred groves across India is the proof that worshipping the nature was deliberately and logically put into religious practices for man’s benefit and nature’s conservation. The azaan (Islamic call of worship) is a form of meditation, concentration building practice and regulate the biological rhythm among its followers. Something as minute as blowing a conch shell has health benefits.
Logic is thus the best tool to define religion and draw a fine line between religion and superstition.
“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.” – Albert Einstein
An opinion by Sritapa Mishra on
‘Can logic define religious belief?’
Through the ages logic has been applied to validate religion. The process is nothing but a cunning conspiracy to befool common men. Religion is nothing but a trap used by some power seeking fanatics. In creating this trap they sometimes try to fit logic in it. Religion and logic are two binary ideas. Most of the time we see the clash between the two; be it the assassination of Copernicus, be it the imprisonment of Galileo. In denying them freedom to their opinions, the religious superiors invented a logic that suited their own narrative. Again when Darwin came with his magnum opus, the whole notion of Christianity became fragile. Thus new scientific discoveries gradually murdered the superficiality of religion.
Use of logic is often seen to impose certain ideas of religion. Example can be drawn from contemporary claims. Instances from epics are compared to new age technologies; pushpak rath and aeroplane is a good example. Sometimes some baseless logic is so imbued with culture that revolutionary steps to come out of it is denied by the common mass. For instance, majority of Kerala’s women are against Sabarimala Verdict.
Someone once told me that the different Avatars of Vishnu portray different phases of evolution. Thus sometimes far fetched ideas are put together to prove superiority of one particular religion. I also believe in religion, but that religion is of mankind where no superficial logic is required to prove its existence.
An opinion voiced by Ishita Mandal
on ‘Can logic be used to prove religious belief?’