Earl and the three laws of logic
For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?
One of the reasons I’m writing on logic is because I’m disappointed at how difficult it is for a layman (or laywoman!) to get into this field of study. The textbooks and guides out there are intimidating, obtuse, and dry. A first timer is more likely to find a remedy for insomnia than to discover anything about the value of logic.
There’s really no excuse for how inaccessible logic is these days. So I’m bringing it to the masses. I’m gonna make logic so easy to grasp that anyone can pick it up, see why it’s useful, and apply it.
So yes, I will use Spongebob memes, thank you very much. And bananas 🍌. And cats. If I dip into innuendo even, I won’t apologize. In fact, after I write this series, I might even go back and lewd it up just for fun. And science. And profit.
This reference gives you the basic building blocks. Key concepts are defined and explained.
The building blocks are essential to understand how it all works. We need to get this right from the very beginning. Typically you’re gonna hold hands, have some hugs, and flirt a bit before you get your first big kiss, and let’s not even talk about getting to second base. We’ll get there eventually, but we must be patient. Otherwise you can forget about that 2nd date, you creep.
The concepts of logic are not really a human invention. Really, they are more of fundamental aspects of reality that we have merely discovered.
Whether you acknowledge logic or not, it exists all the same. To study logic is to study existence itself. The better you understand reality, the greater potential for advantage you’ll have in life. Or at the very least, maybe you won’t get a concussion trying to pull an ill-advised skateboard stunt like Earl did in the gif above.
Three foundational laws of logic
The Law of Identity
- Every particular thing is the same as itself
- A statement cannot remain the same and change its truth value.
- This law draws a circle around anything that is the same.
- All bananas are bananas.
- A = A
- 🍌 = 🍌
The Law of Non-Contradiction
- Nothing can both exist and not exist at the same time
- No statement is both true and false.
- This law draws the line between what is true and not true.
- A banana is not a non-banana.
- A is not non-A
- 🍌 ≠ 🚫🍌
The Law of Excluded Middle
- Something either exists or does not exist
- Every statement is either true or false.
- This law draws a gap between what something is and what it isn’t.
- A fruit is either a banana, or it is not a banana.
- Something is either A or not A
- Either A = 🍌, or A ≠ 🍌. There is no in-between.
These three laws are foundational. Without them, you cannot make sense of anything. As you read them, you might have realized you already knew these laws at some level already, and have even applied them many times without thinking about them. Seeing the laws plainly stated rings true with our every experience, just like gravity rang true for Earl’s forehead.
Let’s take one more pass just to make sure we’ve secured understanding. I’ve perhaps oversimplified a little, but I trust you’ll develop a sense for nuance as we further our study together, my dear reader. We do want to get that 2nd date after all.
- Law of Identity – All rednecks are rednecks.
- Law of Non-Contradiction – Earl cannot be both a redneck and a non-redneck.
- Law of Excluded Middle – Either Earl is a redneck or Earl is not a redneck. There is no in-between.