Fashionable Contradictions

Below we will consider a few lines of logical thought. They will all take the form of proof by contradiction. This type of proof assumes the opposite of what it wants to prove, and then shows that this assumption leads to a contradiction. A contradiction occurs when a proposition is said to be both true and false at the same time and in the same sense. It is fundamental and obvious that contradictions cannot be true. For example, the material world cannot be the only world that exists and also not the only world that exists. If some proposition necessarily leads to a contradiction, then that proposition must be false. Thus, its opposite is true. So there’s some introductory logic for you.

Now, of course, against all of these arguments, someone could just claim that logic as a whole is invalid for one reason or another. And indeed, the first idea I am considering basically takes that as an assumption. But it is silly. I have a few other words to describe that attitude, but I am feeling generous, so I will call it silly. With that in mind, let’s proceed.

 

Truth as a social construct

  1. For the sake of argument, assume that all statements that claim to be truths are social constructs and all social constructs are not truths.
  2. From 1, “All statements that claim to be truths are social constructs” is a truth.
  3. From 2, “All statements that claim to be truths are social constructs” is a statement that claims to be a truth.
  4. From 1 and 3, “All statements that claim to be truths are social constructs” is a social construct.
  5. From 1 and 4, “All statements that claim to be truths are social constructs” is not a truth.
  6. From 2 and 5, “All statements that claim to be truths are social constructs” is both a truth and not a truth.
  7. From 6’s contradiction, 1 is false.
  8. From 1-7, it is not true that all statements that claim to be truths are social constructs and all social constructs are not truths.
  9. Therefore, either some statements that claim to be truths are not social constructs, or some social constructs are truths, or both.

 

All systems fail

This one needs a word of explanation, because I couldn’t think of any good links. It is common to think that truth consists of wisdoms, but these wisdoms can’t be made into systems. In other words, any consistent, broad system is bound to be dehumanizing or forget nuances or something like that. A strong way of saying this is any belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false. And I certainly sympathize, and believe it is conveying something important. But let us analyze it in detail.

  1. For the sake of argument, assume that any belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false.
  2. From 1, every belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false.
  3. From 1-2, “Any belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false” taken to its logical conclusion is, “Every belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false.”
  4. From 1 and 3, “Every belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false” is false.
  5. From 4, not every belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false.
  6. From 2 and 5, it is true and false that every belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false.
  7. From 6’s contradiction, 1 is false.
  8. From 1-7, it is not true that any belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false.
  9. Therefore, not every belief that is taken to its logical conclusion is false.

 

Existence precedes essence

  1. For the sake of argument, assume that the essence of an individual is entirely determined by the individual.
  2. From 1, there does not exist a part of the essence of an individual that is not determined by the individual.
  3. From 1, part of the essence of an individual is that the individual determines their own essence.
  4. From 3, there is some part of the essence of an individual that is not determined by the individual.
  5. From 4, there does exist a part of the essence of an individual that is not determined by the individual.
  6. From 2 and 5, a part of the essence of an individual that is not determined by the individual does exist and does not exist.
  7. From 6’s contradiction, 1 is false.
  8. From 1-7, it is not true that the essence of an individual is entirely determined by the individual.
  9. Therefore, the essence of an individual is not entirely determined by the individual.

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