​Why So Much Emphasis on Logic?

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Religions Frame Alternative Logics

There is a widespread assumption at present that religion is independent of logic. Under this assumption, people might insist that claims of religion must be “logical”—i.e., follow the principles of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle. This attitude is predominantly Western because alternative logical systems have either been formalized (e.g., in Buddhism and Jainism) or used informally (e.g., in Zen and Taoism) in Eastern philosophy.

Nyāya, as one of the six systems of Vedic philosophy, presents a detailed alternative system of reasoning. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of (a) many alternative systems of logic in Eastern philosophy, (b) the specific system of reasoning called Nyāya used in Vedic philosophy, and (c) how these systems are radically different from Western logic.

In this article, I will discuss the problems with Western logic followed by the reasons that Vedic philosophy rejects this view of rationality. This list of reasons is not exhaustive but hopefully sufficiently broad to give the reader a sense of (a) why the Western conception of logic is false, (b) why alternative ideas of logic are required in religion, and (c) why the Nyāya system of reasoning is recognized as one of the six essential components of Vedic philosophy.

Reasons of Sāñkhya Philosophy

Sāñkhya philosophy identifies a hierarchy of realities beginning with sense objects. It then discusses the nature of sense perception, mind, intelligence, ego, the moral sense, and the unconscious. Then there are descriptions of the aspects of personhood. Finally, there is a discussion of the Supreme Person. This is a bottom-up ladder that begins in what we can accept easily (sense objects) and ends in what we may not accept as easily (the Supreme Person).

However, beginning with John Locke, philosophers of science have claimed that only primary properties (which include length, energy, mass, charge, momentum, etc.) are real and secondary properties (which include taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight) are unreal. Thereby, modern science has rejected the reality of sense objects taking out the bottommost rung and making the higher rungs inaccessible. Of course, nobody knows how primary properties create secondary properties. For instance, if secondary properties are created by the interaction of subatomic particles in the brain, then some subatomic particles must be the sensation of smell while others are the sensation of taste, sight, touch, and sound. But there is no way to convert a subatomic particle’s energy, momentum, angular momentum, and spin into sensations like taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight. The reductionist claims have never been proven.

There are further problems even in reducing the properties of particle collections to those of the individual particles. For instance, each particle in classical mechanics has two properties—position and momentum. But particle collections have many additional properties—e.g., temperature, pressure, surface tension, tensile strength, refractive index, conductivity, and so on—that cannot be reduced to the fundamental properties of the individual particles (i.e., position and momentum). Hence, reductionist claims fail not just for secondary properties but also for primary properties of particle collections.

The problem of irreducibility doesn’t arise in Sāñkhya because quality combinations create new qualities. The entirety of the material creation is described in terms of three fundamental qualities—sattva, rajas, and tamas—regardless of the level of abstraction. An entire planet can be described in terms of these qualities, and each person in that planet can be described in terms of the same three qualities. We don’t need irreducible fundamental properties at each level of abstraction because the same three qualities work for all levels of abstraction from the smallest to the largest. Reality is not quantities because reduction fails with the use of quantities although it works with qualities.

Even if we allow irreducible properties at each level of abstraction, we find that these do not adequately describe the behaviors at each level. This is called indeterminism. For instance, classical mechanics—with the properties of position and momentum—is indeterministic with inelastic collisions. In quantum mechanics, every single particle’s state is indeterministic.

This problem also doesn’t arise in Sāñkhya because each quality is a potentiality that can be manifest by a choice. If you cannot measure something, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If you measure something, it doesn’t mean it was earlier absent. Sāñkhya describes how potentiality becomes reality through the combination of three distinct kinds of potentialities by time and choice.

The twin problems of irreducibility and indeterminism comprehensively refute the primary property model of science. However, we cannot solve the problem merely by substituting quantities with qualities without changing logic. This is because (a) the quality description is based on three opposites rather than two, and (b) the opposites can be combined, unlike binary logical opposites that can never coexist. For example, cyan, magenta, and yellow are three opposites, from which the binary opposites of black and white can be constructed. But we cannot construct three quality opposites if we begin with black and white. Similarly, we can mix opposites of black and white to produce shades of gray, but such mixing is forbidden by the excluded middle and non-contradiction principle in binary logic. Hence, the mixing of binary opposites like white and black must be explained using three opposites rather than two.

The mixing of qualities cannot be modeled as numerical addition either because a quantity addition is always greater than the added quantities while a quality addition is always in between the added qualities. For instance, if we mix yellow and blue, the result—green—is something in between the two. The distributive, commutative, and associative properties of number addition are also broken for quality combinations. This is related to the failure of reduction in which a combination is not a quantitative sum of parts. Even the combination of qualities is governed by non-binary rules of three opposites.

Thus, (a) we cannot model qualities as numbers because they break the properties of number addition, (b) we cannot reduce qualities to quantities due to the failure of reduction, (c) we cannot model qualities using binary logic because they are based on three opposites that can be combined unlike in binary logic, and (d) we cannot construct three opposites from two opposites.

However, if we insist on using quantities despite these issues, then we will get probabilities. For instance, there are two ways to combine “soft” and “yellow”—(a) we can treat “soft” as the touch quality, or (b) we can treat “soft” as a modifier of “yellow”. If we treat the object as an inverted tree, then in the case of “soft yellow”, we have added a leaf to the yellow branch, and in the case of “soft and yellow”, we have added a branch of touch with the property of softness. But if we use quantities, then there is no way to distinguish between these two additions. Hence, we must assign a 50% probability to “soft yellow” and “soft and yellow” since these two are equally likely results of addition.

These probabilities make science incomplete because we cannot predict what will happen when, where, how, why, and to whom. Any attempt to complete this description always leads to new contradictions in a binary logical system. Thereby, we get the problem of Gödel’s Incompleteness, i.e., consistency vs. completeness. Gödel’s incompleteness, set theory contradictions, probabilistic descriptions, indeterminism, causal collapse, and the failure of reduction, are many avatars of the fundamental problem resulting from trying to describe qualities in terms of quantities. The model of science based on primary properties fails not just in the narrow sense that we cannot completely describe sense perception. It fails in the broadest possible sense that we cannot even completely describe what science considers “inanimate objects”.

Everything that Locke said about primary and secondary properties must therefore be inverted. The primary properties are unreal and the secondary properties are real. Even the sense objects of Sāñkhya are qualities, which means that all theories based on binary logic, objects, and quantities cannot describe these sense objects. Current dogmas will force science to forever rely on probabilities, uncertainty, indeterminism, and incompleteness.

Once the failure of the quantity description is understood, then we revert to Sāñkhya and model everything as qualities. This is technically sound. It is the basis on which we can climb the ladder through the rungs of sense perception, mind, intellect, ego, the moral sense, the unconscious, personhood, and the Supreme Person. If we don’t know how comprehensively quantity models have failed, then we cannot improve science nor can we truly present religion.

Reasons of Choice and Responsibility

Aristotle had limited the use of logic to arithmetic and geometry, by calling these “Theoretical Forms”, separating them from “Practical Forms” such as goodness, beauty, justice, morality, etc. The difference was that “Theoretical Forms” were governed by necessity while “Practical Forms” involved choice.

For instance, 2 + 2 is necessarily 4. It is not 3.95 or 4.01. I don’t have the choice to redefine 2 + 2 into something other than 4. Aristotle called this the Principle of Identity. One thing is necessarily one thing. Practical Forms don’t have this necessity. For instance, there is no fixed height for a man, and people with different heights are still called men. The concept of “man” expands and contracts to include and exclude people based on context, culture, and sometimes each person. That flexibility does not exist for arithmetic and geometry. 2 + 2 = 4 must be true for all societies and persons.

Despite these restrictions, the Romans universalized Aristotelian logic in their endeavor to spread Christianity and unify the Roman empire. The Romans were ruling over many pagan religions that reposed their faith in different gods, which made it difficult to govern the empire uniformly. So they conceived of an ingenious plan to “prove” Christianity using axioms and logic just as Aristotle was deriving theorems of arithmetic and geometry. They hoped to “disprove” other religions by constructing an axiomatic foundation for Christianity.

Of course, the axioms of Christianity had to be accepted on faith while those of arithmetic and geometry could be derived from sense perception. For instance, God could be axiomatically defined as an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent person. Such an axiom cannot be verified by sense perception, unlike the axioms of arithmetic. However, given these axioms, the rest of religion would be a rational derivation like geometry or arithmetic.

These attempts to extrapolate logic into religion led to new problems. For instance, if God knows everything, then He knows that I am suffering. If God is omnipotent, then He has the power to cure my suffering. If God is omnibenevolent, then He must cure my suffering due to His love for me. And yet, I am still suffering. Hence, either God is not omniscient (i.e., He does not know that I’m suffering) or not omnipotent (i.e., He does not have the power to cure my suffering) or not omnibenevolent (He doesn’t love me and hence doesn’t cure my suffering despite His awareness and power).

Similarly, if God is omnibenevolent, then He cannot punish the sinning soul because punishments contradict His loving nature. God must unilaterally pardon sins out of His love for us. Or, He can sacrifice His beloved son for the sins of others. The sinner must be forgiven because evil cannot be converted into good. After all, one thing is only one thing. God’s forgiveness and the soul’s evil are necessary results of applying binary logic to the soul and God.

Despite all these problems, the Roman application of Aristotelian logic to things that Aristotle had excluded from logic ingrained in people’s minds the false idea that logic is universal. Everything has to be logical. They either forgot that logical necessity eliminates choice or they needed to eliminate choice to preclude other pagan religions from existing alongside Christianity. Even when the choice of religion was restored by Protestant Reformation, it did not become a fundamental truth. Persecutions of other religions continued, and choices were never incorporated within science or religion. Both religion and science therefore became necessary systems of truth based on axioms and logic.

If choice had been incorporated, then reality would be modeled as potentials. God can be the potential for both love and cruelty. By choice, God can choose one of the two. God could choose the loving nature in relation to the good soul, and the cruel nature in relation to the evil soul. The soul would also not be permanently good or evil. Rather, good and evil would be potentials in the soul, and by choice, the evil soul could select the good and reject the evil, or vice versa. God’s choices of punishment or reward would then be the methods of changing the choices of the soul and the relation between the soul and God would be modeled as that of responsibility for the choice. There would be no logical necessity in religion because there is a choice. Each thing would not be one thing but the potential for many things. And one thing can become its opposite because there is responsibility for each type of choice.

Vedic texts adopt this simple system of possibility, choice, and responsibility. Everything is many potentialities at once, rather than one fixed thing. There is also a choice to select one of these potentialities, subject to the responsibility for having made one choice over another. Logic is rejected because there is no foundation for religion without choice. But that rejection isn’t irrational because every choice creates a responsibility. The laws of reality are therefore that of possibility, choice, and responsibility. When the necessity of 2 + 2 = 4 is extended to everything, then everything is devoid of choice. Then you create many contradictions in religion. If you allow choices for the freedom of religion but forbid them in the study of nature, then you will create a contradiction between religion and science because choices exist for religion but not for science. Aristotle was wise when he restricted logic to arithmetic and geometry, and the Romans were foolish to extend it to Christianity. That foolishness was magnified when the Enlightenment extended the scope of logic to everything in nature to claim that the necessity of natural laws precludes choices.

Enlightenment ideology has failed comprehensively: Science is pervasively indeterministic, probabilistic, uncertain, and incomplete—because the real laws of nature are those of possibility, choice, and responsibility. It is not necessary that some possibility exists for all times, places, situations, and persons. It is not necessary that you will make a choice just because it is possible to do so. Hence, it is not necessary that you will be rewarded or punished for a choice you did or did not make. Necessity is broken through and through. And yet, unless you discard logic—and its offshoots like arithmetic and geometry—you cannot resolve the problem. The attempt to model reality using logic, arithmetic, geometry, or calculus is a failed model because these attempts assume that reality is governed by necessity and thereby remove choice.

If we accept possibility, choice, and responsibility as the fundamental principles of reality then we don’t just reject religions that eschew responsibility for individual choices, but also sciences that model reality based on necessity rather than possibility, choice, and responsibility. Scientific determinism without choice and religious choice without responsibility are just two kinds of falsehoods. Their mutual contradictions or disagreements (e.g., free will vs. determinism) don’t make one relatively closer to the truth than the other.

Reasons of Epistemology and Cosmology

There is no necessary truth. Truth is possibilities, choices, and responsibilities. You can choose whatever possibility you like. The law of responsibility will put you in a world governed by your worldview. For example, if you think that reality is random, then you will be put into a world that behaves randomly. Some days you get food and water, and other days you do not. Then you might say: I don’t like this randomness; reality must be predictable. But if you think that reality is deterministic, then you will be put into a world where you have no freedom. You cannot choose what you want or avoid what you don’t want because the world behaves deterministically. Then you might say: I don’t like this determinism; reality must enable the freedom to choose.

Likewise, if you love killing, then you will be moved to a world dominated by killers. There you will learn how to kill better, the killing of others will be respected, encouraged, and rewarded, and there will be many opportunities to kill. To obtain a prestigious position in society, you will have to kill many others. But you could also be killed by someone because everyone is looking to kill, fulfill their desire of killing, and be rewarded for killing others. Then you might say: There are so many dangers in living within a society of killers.

However, if you are a lover, you will be moved to the world of love. There you will learn how to love better, loving will be encouraged, and there will be many opportunities to love. You would be loved in reciprocation because everyone is looking to love and fulfill their desire for love, and they derive happiness from loving each other. Now you might say: I do not ever want to leave this place.

This is how possibility, choice, and responsibility move a person from place to place until a person settles down into something that they like to give and receive. It is a person’s choice and responsibility. By iterating through possible worlds and then facing the consequences of our choices we come to the best choice and find the truth which we can accept wholeheartedly. Thereby, the Vedic texts describe many deities, demigods, forms of God, philosophies, worldviews, and practices. They are for people with different choices. You choose the world you like, and you will go to that world upon death. You can live the kind of life that you have chosen and see it reciprocated by others.

These worlds are also stack-ranked from bottom to top. There is a stack ranking of innumerable material universes and of countless planets beyond the material world. That stack ranking is based on better and worse choices, better and worse worlds, and better and worse lives. It is not necessarily true or false. It is simply better and worse. Necessity means that there is no alternative reality or truth to be chosen. Better and worse enables choice and responsibility.

I was recently called to a discussion on “Reasons to Believe in Vedism”. I wanted to show why logical necessity is false, and hence, there is no reason to believe in anything. You can believe in whatever you like to believe in. You will be put into a world governed by your axioms. Then you can decide if you want to stay there or move to someplace else. You can stack rank these places before you choose, and know the best type of place there is. If you want to believe in anything at all, then believe in the principle of possibility, choice, and responsibility.

But I never could get started on this principle of possibility, choice, and responsibility. The moment I said “logic is false”, everyone got hyper-agitated, including the host, live commenters, and subsequent commenters on the video. This is due to centuries of conditioning and ignorance of logic, mathematics, physics, and their problems. People pride themselves on being logical, never mind the comprehensive failures of logic, arithmetic, and quantitative models of reality. Since Roman times, it is assumed that everything must be logical, which simply means that truth must be necessary, and you don’t have any choice for truth. Logical necessity entails that there can be only one “true religion” and one “true science”. Everything else must be false.

In the discussions that ensued under that video, there was some bet-hedging by proponents of Vedic philosophy—(a) yes religion cannot fit into logic, (b) but people only accept logical arguments so we cannot reject logic, and (c) hence, we must find a logical way to explain the Vedas. This is due to ignorance of how Vedic philosophy depends on Nyāya, which is not Western logic. The problems of Western logic are abundantly clear from its erstwhile application to science: We can try to understand the failures of logic, arithmetic, geometry, calculus, and mathematical laws of nature. That can be the first step toward seeing the need for possibility, choice, and responsibility. But we cannot substitute an ideology of choice with that of necessity. That falsehood of necessity is available in so many other places. Those who like it can take it from those places. Why should we contaminate Vedic philosophy with that same falsehood?

Reasons of Superior and Inferior Truths

Vedic philosophy is nothing other than the worldview of possibility, choice, and responsibility. There are as many worlds as there are views. We can show why there is the best world because everyone wants to live in that world, but they cannot enter that world unless they change their worldview. This is why Vedic texts speak about the Supreme Truth, or satyam-param. The implication is that there are many inferior truths. All these truths are stack-ranked from bottom to top. It is not one heaven, one earth, and one hell. It is infinite heavens, infinite earths, and infinite hells. You can choose whichever heaven, earth, or hell you like. But your choice doesn’t negate the existence of a Supreme Truth, that corresponds to the best choice of the most ideal worldview.

Every other inferior truth is rejected by Śrīmad Bhagavatam 1.1.2 as a kaitava-dharma or “cheating religion” after satyam-param-dhīmahī or “we meditate on the Supreme Truth” in 1.1.1. We have to see that cheating is not absent. Cheating also exists. If we want to be cheated, then there will be a cheater propounding some axiomatic self-evident truths specifically designed to cheat us. The cheater will never prove to you why these truths are self-evident because you cannot prove self-evidence. And yet, you will accept it as self-evident truth if you do not carefully analyze the difference between good, better, and best choices. It will be your choice and it will be your responsibility.

A falsity in Vedic philosophy is simply an inconsistent worldview. For example, I can believe that my sins will be forgiven by a benevolent God. This is a self-inconsistent worldview in which I am cruel but everyone else is loving toward me. It renounces responsibility for choices. Such a world doesn’t exist. If you happen to have such a worldview, you will go to a world commensurate with your actions rather than your views. That world will falsify your beliefs. Therefore, falsity is merely a self-inconsistent worldview. Neither that worldview, nor that world, nor the entailed consequences are necessary. They are present, but they don’t exist for you unless you make those choices.

If we keep aside this falsity, then there are innumerable self-consistent worlds and views. In earlier articles (here and here) I have described six distinct kinds of worldviews based on force, profit, duty, self-absorption, respect, and love. These are broad categories, and they can be mixed. Even after you go to a world, you can change your view. If you abide by the ideology of the higher worldview, then you rise upward. If you abide by the ideology of the lower worldview, then you fall downward. If you abide by the ideology of the current worldview, then you stay in that world. We can call them superior and inferior truths, rather than true vs. false. If someone doesn’t know this ladder, they accuse the Vedic system of polytheism, contradictions, contravening goals, etc. That is because they think in terms of true vs. false, and not superior vs. inferior truth.

Thus, when Vedic philosophy speaks about “logic”, it is in the context of possibility, choice, and responsibility, and this “logic” is called Nyāya. In Nyāya, we change our axioms, and Nyāya will then change our world. Nyāya is about the movement of consciousness from one body to another, one species to another, one planet to another, one universe to another, and from a planet in the material realm to a planet in the spiritual realm. Each person can change their worldview, and Nyāya will take care of the rest. Hence, Nyāya is not about logical necessity. Nyāya is about choice and logic is about necessity.

If we try to reduce possibility, choice, and responsibility to necessity, then we will get probabilities, incompleteness, indeterminism, and uncertainty because the consciousness is moving according to the responsibility entailed by previous choices and we are trying to universalize that individual choice-and-responsibility driven experiences under some universal laws of necessity. Therefore, the “evidence” for an alternative worldview is that everything based on logical necessity is a failed model of reality. The truth is not one, and it is not entailed as a necessity. There are many superior and inferior types of truth.

Possibility, choice, and responsibility are the bare minimum Veda. Then we can talk about the lower planets of demons, the planets of the demigods, and the planets of the sages. Then we can talk about other universes in the material realm. Then we can talk about higher spiritual realms, and the planets in them. Then we can talk about the highest realm known as the Supreme Truth.

Reasons of Bad Theological Arguments

One of the hurdles today in the scientific study of Vedic philosophy is what people call “theology”. It is a Roman invention, standardized by the Catholic Church, to axiomatize religion using Aristotelian principles. Some people call it “apologetics”. This endeavor wasted centuries in Europe during the “dark ages” while “saints” were trying to construct logical proofs of God’s existence.

For instance, the Ontological Argument for the existence of God says that I have the idea of a perfect being, and such a being must exist because existence is more perfect than non-existence. They don’t know that there are infinite such “perfect beings” ruling each planet in the material and spiritual worlds. People of that planet consider them perfect beings, although they might be inferior to the being in other planets. For example, the living entities in demoniac planets consider their demoniac rulers “perfect beings” because their idea of perfection is demoniac. A thief reveres a bigger thief. A killer admires a bigger killer. A liar learns how to lie from a bigger liar. We cannot talk about perfection unless we change ourselves, because our idea of perfection will be close to what we are and any other perfection will be unimaginable. The Ontological Argument is worthless unless we can clearly define the meaning of “perfection”.

Vedic philosophy defines “perfection” as non-duality. Duality, which means binary logic, is termed an illusion because everything is non-duality. It is an illusion of binary opposite separateness, quantification, objectification, and mathematical laws of necessity. Perfection is instead defined as non-duality, which means non-separateness. Even as the three qualities of nature are mutually opposed, they are also mutually defined. Even as the three qualities are mutually opposed, they are also combined and co-exist in everything. The coexistence of opposites is a logical contradiction in binary logic. But that is not so in quality logic. Non-duality means that there is compassion even in punishment, due to which the punishment is minimized. Likewise, there is an absence of compassion in pleasure, due to which pleasure isn’t minimized. Compassion and punishment are opposites, but they are within each other, and are mutually defined. Those who see this opposition and separate the opposites are living in an illusion. Therefore, binary logic—which separates the opposites—is also an illusion. It is not the truth, but we might think that it is.

If we cannot eliminate logic, then we cannot talk about—(a) how opposites are combined and co-exist, and (b) how one thing exists inside another, making that thing both itself and not itself. These ideas are common in Eastern philosophy, such as Taoism, where Yin and Yang are inside each other, outside each other, defined by each other, and sustained by each other. They are called masculine and feminine, and the Supreme Truth is that in which masculine and feminine are mutually defined, exist inside and outside each other, are sustained by each other, and are in control of each other. It is not a gender clash or gender inequality. It is the coexistent harmonization of opposites.

Thus, perfection is non-duality. There are many grades of non-duality that successively harmonize more opposites. The highest level of non-duality is that which harmonizes all conceivable opposites. But even hell is a perfect place because it is entailed by the principles of possibility, choice, and responsibility. They are called “imperfect” because their choices are relatively worse. Therefore, perfection is contingent upon our choices. Since the same principles of possibility, choice, and responsibility apply everywhere, therefore, everything is perfect in one sense. And all these perfect places exist. Therefore, claiming existence based on perfection is not a great argument because it applies to everything since everything is perfect. It is just perfect in different ways, and hence the argument cannot be applied solely to God.

Yet another theological argument for God’s existence is Intelligent Design. It says: Our mathematical equations use innumerable finely-tuned constants. While all these equations suffer from uncertainty, indeterminism, incompleteness, and probability problems, they are God’s creations. Hence, God must have tuned their constants. While God wasn’t wise enough to give us perfect equations, He is wise enough to know what precise values must be assigned to the constants in equations. This appalling nonsense in the name of a theological proof detracts us from the fundamental issue: Why do these equations suffer from uncertainty, indeterminism, incompleteness, and probability problems? Rather than solve the real problems, or diagnose their origin, theology opportunistically takes advantage of weaknesses in science—e.g., weird constants—and attributes the flaws of science to God.

Apologetics and theology have set a false expectation that everyone else is anticipated to follow. People imagine that everyone must produce some simple argument for God’s existence like the Intelligent Design or the Ontological Argument. But all these oversimplified arguments are false. The correct argument is that all the theories based on binary logic, quantities, measurements, and mathematics are false. Reality is qualities that follow a different system of reasoning. Another correct argument is that we can begin from sense perception qualities to rise up to the highest quality called the Supreme Truth. Another valid argument is that the ideology of necessity entailed by logic eliminates choice and the correct ideology is possibility, choice, and responsibility. Another good argument is that the mutual exclusion of opposites, and the impossibility of their co-existence, is rejected when we understand how these opposites are reconciled through non-duality. That non-duality is not merely transcendent truth. It is the nature of all truth, which has been falsely modeled after dualistic principles, and hence this dualistic conception is rejected in the Vedas as an illusion. Unless we completely reject all these dualistic conceptions of reality we remain in illusion.

The futility of the present theological arguments can be seen when the correct arguments are understood. For instance, the counter to the Ontological Argument is that if I have chosen a demoniac mentality then I will enter a world of demons whom I will consider perfect beings. Therefore, I have to judge what type of “perfection” I can handle or like after examining all its consequences. Likewise, the counter to the Intelligent Design Argument is that God hasn’t tuned the constants because all mathematical laws are false. The reason that a materialist accepts an “intelligent design” argument is that he is embarrassed about the existence of weird constants but he is not going to accept that they might be false. He will let you call them God’s miracles while he seeks better rational explanations for them. If or when he finds that explanation, God will be rejected. But even if he doesn’t find a better explanation for them, the fine-tuning argument is still false because everything is a quality, not quantity.

We cannot escape the rut of futile theological arguments without grasping the problems of logic. The Intelligent Design Argument or the Ontological Argument would not exist if these problems were known. We are wasting time by discussing these false arguments. We don’t get closer to the truth through such discussions. Hence, “discussing theology” is not a path for the purification of consciousness in the Vedic texts. The prescribed path is “learning theology” from a guru. Discussions between two people who don’t know the truth are simply a recipe for contaminating each mind with the impurities of the other mind. They do not elevate. But they can degrade a person’s mentality.

Reasons of Vedic Theological Worldview

Logic is incompatible with religion because we cannot construct diversity from one axiom. With one axiom, logic can only repeat the axiom. For instance, if “X” is an axiom, repeated use of logic will produce sentences like “XX”, “XXX”, “XXXX”, etc. Thereby, we can never have a single origin for everything, because that origin will never explain diversity. But if we choose multiple axioms—like we do in current science—then we will get incompleteness because the axioms must be logically consistent although reality comprises opposites. If we induct mutually opposed axioms just to explain this reality, then we will get contradictions in trying to make our logical system more complete.

These problems are solved in Vedic philosophy by conceiving an axiom with many aspects. An illustration of that aspected reality is self-awareness in which the “self” has the knower, known, and knowing aspects. These are sometimes described analogically as a person looking into a mirror. The person outside the mirror is the knower, the mirror is the process of knowing, and the reflection in the mirror is the known. Knower, known, and knowing are distinct but inseparable. The knower is the masculine father, the knowing is the feminine mother, and the known is the child of the mother and father, which carries the nature of both the mother and the father. That known is the truth when it aids the correct self-knowledge of the knower. It is a falsity when it doesn’t do so.

We can also say that the known is the world made in the image of the knower. The knower is also non-duality in the sense that cruelty is within kindness and kindness is within cruelty. By the cruelty within kindness, a spiritual world of unmitigated pleasure is created. By the kindness in cruelty, a material world of minimized suffering is created. Minimized suffering is also non-duality just like unmitigated pleasure because opposites are within each other. They are different because kindness is dominant in the spiritual world and it subordinates cruelty, while cruelty is dominant in the material world and it subordinates kindness. The spiritual world is for the rewarding of the superior choices while the material world is for the punishment of the inferior choices.

The numerous worlds expanded from the Supreme Truth are reflections of different aspects of the Supreme Truth. Hence, we do not separate matter from God. Matter is simply aparā or inferior, while spirit is parā or superior. Science-religion separation is false, just as calling religion faith is false. All the aspects of the Supreme Truth are therefore not equally preferred although they are aspects of God. Thereby, God has many natures—from the innermost to the outermost natures. The innermost is the most preferred or superior nature, while the outermost indicates the least preferred or inferior nature.

The distinction between knower, known, and knowing, the many aspects within the knower, known, and knowing, and the prioritization of aspects within knower, known, and knowing constitute a single axiom that is simultaneously infinite things, and by combining these aspects, infinite experiences are created. An axiom within logic is only one thing, but the axiom in Vedic theology is simultaneously infinite aspects. Inference with one axiom cannot produce diversity, but inference in Vedic theology produces infinite diversity. Inferences in logic cannot produce contradictory conclusions, but inferences in Vedic theology produce contradictory realities. This is why any attempt to use logic to understand Vedic theology is flawed. It doesn’t mean these inferences are irrational. It just means that this rationality is based on aspected possibilities, the choices of combining these possibilities, and the infinite variety that emerges from infinite choices of combining infinite possibilities.

The soul is a part of God’s reflection in the mirror. But if the soul suffers, then God doesn’t suffer, because the soul is a part of the reflection, not the person outside the mirror. The soul suffers because of its choices and the associated responsibility delivered by the mirror. The reflected parts are not independent of the reflected person, but they inherit the basic attitude of the reflected person to see the entire world as their own reflection. That attitude in the soul is called the soul trying to be God. For example, in the reflection, the ear of the reflected person may want to shape the rest of the reflection in its own self-image—namely, convert everything into an ear. When that happens, the mirror warps to restore the ear back to its original state of being the ear—as the reflection of a part of the reflected person. That warping seems like “evil”, but there is kindness in the cruelty because the punishment is minimized to the least amount of punishment necessary for the soul’s correction.

Logic entails that a soul could not be anything else due to necessity. Rationality indicates that there is a choice by which one thing can try to become something else but it is irrational to do so. That irrational choice is corrected by putting the soul in a world that contradicts its nature. For instance, if the ear tries to become an eye, then it would be put into a world where it is subjected to the demands of being an eye, and the ear realizes that fulfilling the demands of an eye is not what it really wants. He then prefers to remain the ear. The attempt of one thing to become something else is forbidden by logic. But rationality permits the choice and then reverses it by showing how the soul’s choice to be something other than what it truly is, is inconsistent with its nature.

Logic forbids self-inconsistency out of necessity. But rationality allows self-inconsistency of a soul trying to be something other than what it truly is, and then corrects it by subjecting it to the duties, demands, and responsibilities of being someone else, whereupon the soul realizes the irrationality of his desire. The soul thus has a svarūpa or innate nature. Even if it tries to become something else, it realizes the errors of its ways when it is subjected to the demands of being someone else. Thereby, self-inconsistency is forbidden by logic but allowed temporarily by rationality. Everyone can “experiment” with the truth of their nature by trying to be someone else than what they are, and then realize that they don’t enjoy being someone else. The experimentation with different self-natures and the subsequent realization that the experiments are inconsistent with the eternal and intrinsic nature is self-realization.

Without rejecting logic, there can be nothing that becomes different from itself and then reverts back to its original state. Logic cannot explain how the good soul becomes evil and then reverts back to goodness. Logic is contrary to a soul’s fall and resurrection. These problems are encountered in Advaita Vedānta, which relies on binary logic and creates a stark distinction between Brahman and māyā as truth and illusion. How Brahman “falls” in the illusion of māyā and how it is “liberated” from māyā into the truth are unsolvable problems in Advaita because logic forbids one thing from becoming its opposite but they are necessary to explain fall and liberation. The same problem exists in Christianity in which a soul created by a good God becomes evil to fall into the world. If God created an evil soul, then God cannot be good. But if good became evil then there is a contradiction of one thing becoming its very opposite, breaking the Principle of Identity. If we cannot reject logic, then we can never resolve these problems and their resolution will remain inadmissible.

Reasons of Causal Scientific Models

Vedic philosophy models all material changes as the byproduct of inner contradictions between the self and the world, or between the svarūpa of the soul and what it is trying to be other than its svarūpa. Modern science models all material changes as the byproduct of consistency between premises and conclusions. For example, the state at time T1 leads to a state at time T2 because the subsequent state is consistent with the previous state. Changes in the world are thus modeled in science after logical inferences, and inferences are modeled as the logically consistent conclusion from the premises.

Vedic philosophy will say that a poor man tries to become rich due to the inner conflict between what he is and what he wants to be. His pursuit of richness is an attempt to resolve an inner conflict. If a person becomes rich, a new conflict may appear in which he desires the erstwhile simple life and renounces wealth to resolve the inner conflict. If such inner conflicts do not exist, then the poor man will not try to be rich, and a rich man will not do charity. These inner conflicts between what a person is and what he wants to be, cause change.

Based on this model of causation, we can talk about the rotation of the sun as the result of inner conflicts. The sun in Aquarius experiences a different kind of inner conflict than in Sagittarius. One type of conflict moves the sun from one star sign to another. But yet another type of conflict appears in the next star sign and pushes the sun to the next state, to create solar rotation. This is just like a poor man hates the inconveniences of poverty and a rich man hates the inconveniences of richness. They go in cycles to resolve them.

Contrast this model of change to that of consistency used in science, in the act of drawing an inference from premises. The inference model has no inner conflict. Hence, it cannot explain how one thing becomes its opposite out of its own needs. Instead, we have to say that one thing becomes something else due to external force. The necessity of logic becomes the determinism of force and destroys choice. Now, the materialist says: We have no free will because the laws of nature are necessarily entailed by logical inference.

The materialist doesn’t realize that you can draw numerous inferences from the same premise. But you draw a specific inference if you are trying to solve a particular problem or prioritize some needs over others. “It is raining” doesn’t necessarily mean that I will stay at home. If my inner conflict is high, I can step out to do whatever I think is necessary to resolve the conflict. Bilvamangala, for example, left his wife at home, rowed a boat across a river during a storm, and then used a snake as a rope to climb into a prostitute’s house at night. His inner conflicts drove him against all odds. That is not rational inference. People do silly and ridiculous things all the time. They are not driven by rationality. They are driven by unresolved inner conflicts. Even when reasoning is employed, an unresolved conflict is a necessary precondition for reasoning.

The failure of causal determinism in science cannot be solved within the model of logical inferences rooted in the consistency of conclusions and premises. It requires a different model of causation rooted in inner conflicts. With that model of causation, we can explain whatever modern science explains—e.g., the rotation of the sun in the sky—in a completely different way. Whether the sun goes around the earth or vice versa has to be decided by who is feeling the inner conflict! These are no longer equivalent models, and the heliocentric model is not necessarily the preferred model if the sun feels the inner conflict and changes its state to resolve it, not because of an externally applied force.

These ideas are necessary to understand why everyone in this world is suffering even when they claim to be happy. The reason is that we are never free of inner conflicts. Even if we can resolve one inner conflict, a new conflict appears at the very next moment. Every conflict involves a tradeoff due to which you cannot get everything. Hence all conflict resolutions lead to yet another conflict because something was compromised in attaining something else. Choice means a compromise. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. You must choose either to have the cake or eat it. The mutual exclusion of these alternatives in the material world entails a continuous stream of new conflicts.

Once we understand the model of causation in this world as being rooted in conflicts, then we can talk about what real happiness is—it is not rooted in conflict. It is not about a poor man trying to become rich, or vice versa, because the svarūpa-realized person knows what he truly is. He doesn’t try to become something that he is not. And what he is, is already completely realized at present. There are still innumerable potentials, but no potential is mutually excluded by the other potential. Hence, you can have your cake and eat it too. Thereby, when you eat your cake, the cake does not disappear. You can eat without getting fat. You can also starve without losing any weight. You can sleep without stopping the conversations—the conversations simply move into the dream. And when you wake up, you continue the conversation from where they had ended in the dream. Thereby, sleeping is like waking, and waking is like sleeping. Nothing is excluded by either of these states and hence there is no conflict or compromise and no change driven by conflict or compromise.

Without rejecting logic we cannot complete scientific explanations because they will always remain indeterministic. If we renounce logic in this world, then we can explain all changes as a result of inner conflicts. Then we can renounce the idea of change driven by inner conflicts to talk about a world that is lawless and yet not disordered or chaotic. Lawless simply means that there is no necessity. And ordered means that nothing is lost or destroyed by the appearance of anything else. The ordered nature is created by the end of destruction. Thereby, nobody dies. No relationships are temporary. The love never fades. But the cycle of birth and death in this world is inevitable. All relationships are temporary. And love always fades in this world.

Two people don’t behave the same in the same situation because they are driven by different inner conflicts. One problem that seems big to one person seems small to another person. Everything is not infinite other things, but one person sees one of those absences while another person sees a different absence. Our ability to see one absence and ignore or not perceive other absences creates different kinds of contradictions in us, which are then resolved in different ways. That choice of seeing one absence instead of another is not contrary to lawfulness. However, absence-driven causality is not logical inference.

These absence-driven models of causation are the foundation of Nyāya in which a succession of events is created because something is missing in the previous state. For instance, one answer can potentially lead to many questions, but only one question is chosen. The answer to that question leads to a new question because something is missing in the answer. Potentially, many things are missing, but one person sees one missing thing while another person sees another missing thing. Accordingly, they construct a different trajectory of questions and answers to find the complete truth. Nyāya is the explanation of how these non-deterministic trajectories are constructed rationally by a process of personal inquiry.

Many Reasons for One Conclusion

My goal is not to exhaustively give all the resaons for rejecting logic. I only intend to show enough reasons to necessitate the rejection of logic, and why that rejection is entailed by Vedic philosophy, confirmed by modern science, and the alternative paints a different picture of reality in which every unsolved problem is solved consistently and completely. Logic is a very small price to pay for that answer. But unless we understand all these reasons, we may not be able to renounce logic, and its servants and relatives. We will instead remain stuck with quantities instead of qualities, objects instead of persons, and necessity instead of choice.

I can understand if this rejection seems hard to many people. It is true that we are conditioned by cultures of quantification, objectification, and necessities. However, these have already been comprehensively refuted over history, and replaced by incompleteness, indeterminism, probabilities, and uncertainty. Continuing with the same failed ideas is not rationality.

But people do silly things. Just because silly things are common doesn’t mean they are true. And just because the truth is uncommon, doesn’t mean it is false. Popularity is not a measure of reason, truth, or certainty. We cannot surrender the burden of the truth to someone else, because we are responsible for the choices we make after that surrender. This is why everyone must carefully examine the alternatives before they arrive at any definite conclusion.

Cite this article as:

Ashish Dalela, "​Why So Much Emphasis on Logic?," in Shabda Journal, November 7, 2022, https://journal.shabda.co/2022/11/07/why-so-much-emphasis-on-logic/.