Re: virus: Logic and Purpose

David McFadzean (
Sun, 02 Nov 1997 15:17:23 -0700

At 02:16 AM 11/1/97 +0100, Reed Konsler wrote:

>I'm afraid I don't get it.
>Could you define "logical assumption" for me?
>My dictionary says this about "assumption":
>1) The act of assuming
>2) A statement accepted or supposed true without proof or demonstration
>3) Presumption or arrogance
>4) (Logic) A minor premise
>When you say "logical assumption" do you mean 4) "a minor

I mean something assumed to be true for the sake of a particular
argument. But I don't think any assumptions are beyond criticism.
If one is called into question, then it must be justified through
another argument.

>To add to the list of definintions let's add:
> A statement accepted or supposed true without proof or demonstration.
>All assumptions are unrational.

Unless it has already be proven or demonstrated to the satisfaction
of everyone involved.

>If an assumption is rationalized, it ceases to be an assumption.
>It is not possible to make a rational argument without assumptions.
>In any rational argument, it is not possible to rationalize all assumptions.
>Therefore all rational arguments contain assumptions.
>In other words:
>Logical arguments are based on faith.
>QED. :-)

If you are suggesting that all assumptions are ultimately unjustified
then I agree and have said as much in the recent past. But given that
is the unescapable case, we must discard the useless justificationist
paradigm and replace it with the more useful coherence criterion.

Looking at two contradictory statements:
1. Most fossils are at least one million years old.
2. All fossils are less than 10,000 years old.

Neither can be ultimately justified, but one is more coherent with
the body of accepted true statements.

Agree or disagree?

David McFadzean       
Memetic Engineer      
Church of Virus