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  1. If someone claims that God is beyond logic then how do we know he is beyond logic ? (as we lose all the methods to know whether the claim is true or not?)
  2. Logic is the use and study of valid reasoning, while reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.Logic, scientific reasoning and observations (or experiences) are the methods which can be helpful comprehend God's nature . Without these methods how God can be intelligible?
  3. It is often argued by supporters of the claim that

    • Logic is a part of nature of God.
    • Without God, nothing could have existence. God is the basis of all logic in reality and he is in no way inferior to logic. Logic comes from God, not God from logic. But when it comes to how we know things, logic is the basis of all thought, and it must come before any thought about anything, including God
    • God possess infinite knowledge and the knowledge of humans is limited to their observations and their ability and capacity to reason.So, what seems superfluous and flawed may be true .

    How these properties can be attributed to God if do not have any method (Logic, scientific reasoning and observations) to know if it is true or not?
    ( I am talking about God of monotheism and henotheism in which God is conceived as the Supreme Being and principal object of faith whose commonly included attributes are omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence.)

  4. (The opposition of the above two points) God as supreme being. God governs logic, logic is not governed by God.

  • This suffers from the same fundamental error as demonstrated by the Euthyphro Dilemma. Either God is subject to logic, which indicates that logic is fundamental to reality itself, or God created logic, making it ontologically subjective. Claiming that logic is apart of God's nature no more solves the problem than with morality. Either God's nature is logical because it appeals to another source of logic, or things are logical because they comport with God's nature, making it subjective. I would say the concept of a God is subject to logical scrutiny, and I'm an atheist because it is illogical. – Goodies Apr 1 '15 at 19:32
  • This is closely related to the "angels on the head of a pin" problem... – Glenn Apr 2 '15 at 1:54
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    Also, which God are we talking about? – Shadur Apr 2 '15 at 4:17
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    You need to better define what you mean by God before a clear answer can be given. Is God a non-dualistic God beyond the realm of time, space, and causation? Or is it a monotheistic God who rules the universe? Or what? The answer is highly dependent upon what is meant by God. – Swami Vishwananda Apr 2 '15 at 5:38
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    @Arun And at the same time skipping over the theodicy paradoxes for the sake of the argument? – Shadur Apr 2 '15 at 10:07

13 Answers 13

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Within those who stipulate there is a God, I've seen 2 major approaches to this question:

1) Logic is subservient to God. If God, or one of his representatives says something or behaves a certain way, then it becomes de facto logical, even if it does not follow from normal rules of logic. (My opinion, for what it's worth, is this often leads to "logic" seeming arbitrary instead of being the bedrock for argumentation that it's supposed to be.)

2) God is not simply logical, God fundamentally is logic. This follows in the sense that God is existence itself, love itself, beauty itself, etc. This tradition (which follows from an Aquinas approach to God) would disagree with your statement that "As God possess infinite knowledge, he can break laws of logic."

The approach that this tradition usually takes is to say that we believe based on the evidence at hand that God is logical, but that because God is infinite, we cannot understand all that God does and thus some aspect of it remains a mystery (where "mystery" has a technical meaning).

I would add that the Christian tradition has equated God's reason with the second person of the Trinity ("en arche ein ho logos"). In understanding this question then, most Christian philosophers I've read have pointed to this fact and the corresponding thoughts on the Trinity to understand the different related questions you raised.

  • Just curious, regarding your first point, why is logic supposed to be the bedrock for argumentation? I mean, if it is then that's definitely handy and from what we have so far observed it looks like we can use it that way, but I can't think of any reason why it would be supposed to be that way. The only way such an argument could be made would be in a theistic world view where this has been super naturally revealed to the world as a property/intention of logic. – David Mulder Apr 1 '15 at 23:02
  • Just for the record: On the second point somebody once wrote a substantial book, titled "The science of Logic". The issue in question is treated most explicitly in §1533 as counted here marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hl/… Caveat emptor. – Urs Schreiber Apr 2 '15 at 16:34
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If we apply Russell’s theory of (definite) descriptions (“On Denoting” 1905) to the sentence “God is subject to logic”, it can be analysed into a conjunction of the following three:

  1. there is an x such that x is the creator of the universe: ∃x[CU(x)]
  2. for any x and y, if x is the creator of the universe and y is the creator of the universe, then x=y (i.e. there is at most one thing which is the creator of the universe): ∀x∀y[[CU(x) & CU(y)] → y=x]
  3. for every x that is the creator of the universe, x is subject to logic: ∀x[CU(x) → SL(x)]. More briefly put, the claim is that "God is subject to logic" says that some x is such that x is the creator of the universe, and that any y is the creator of the universe only if y = x, and that x is subject to logic: ∃x[CU(x) & ∀y[CU(y) → y=x] & SL(x)]

This is false, since it is not the case that some x is the creator of the universe. (hehe!)

  • I think I need to learn your "decoders" really hehe. But thumbed uped I thought I somehow I understood. – Kentaro Apr 2 '15 at 1:15
  • @KTomono. It was all bit tongue and cheek! – jimpliciter Apr 2 '15 at 2:07
  • Non non, I seriously I got ( want ) to learn the logic symbols. – Kentaro Apr 2 '15 at 3:22
  • I like the way point 3 has almost a full line of text, followed by "More briefly put", followed by two and half lines more. – Dawood says reinstate Monica Apr 3 '15 at 4:14
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    @jimpliciter: Assuming that your logic symbols correspond to the text descriptions, your conclusion is wrong. It IS the case, that some x , is the creator of the universe (as stipulated by (1)). – Guill Apr 6 '15 at 21:28
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Here comes the ultra metaphysics opponent!

I am sorry I can not with sorry understand what you are saying.

Is God subject to logic? My questions about this claim are 1) If God is beyond logic then how do we know he is beyond logic? 2)Logic is the use and study of valid reasoning,

At 1) You are defining that God is beyond logic so that God is beyond logic. Then when we are asked how do we know he is beyond logic?? I am sorry since you defined as above in the first part of speech that God is beyond logic, there is no way for me to know how he is beyond logic since 1) you defined it yourself so, 2) Logic is human product ( thus, if God is beyond logic, we can not say anything. )

And your

God is the basis of all logic in reality and he is in no way inferior to logic. Logic comes from God, not God from logic. But when it comes to how we know things, logic is the basis of all thought, and it must come before any thought about anything, including God[2]3) As the God is omniscience, he can break laws of logic.

is virtually same. Or rather more correctly saying, you are contradicting yourself. You said at first God is beyond logic. Then how do you think God bestowed men with logic? There should be no connection between God and man if you define so.

And you second question, I am not sure what you mean by valid reasoning.

A young Hegelian's thought about Christianity. ( 1841 )

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/feuerbach/works/essence/ec01_2.htm

Man’s notion of himself is his notion of God, just as his notion of God is his notion of himself – the two are identical. What is God to man, that is man’s own spirit, man’s own soul; what is man’s spirit, soul, and heart – that is his God. God is the manifestation of man’s inner nature, his expressed self; religion is the solemn unveiling of man’s hidden treasures, the avowal of his innermost thoughts, the open confession of the secrets of his love.

To Metaphysicians, I recommend you to step down to the earth from the sky! if you would like to talk something about logic. This has been discussed since back in early 19'th! I think you should know.

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    "This has been discussed since back in early 19th [century]" - Philosophers have been trying to understand the relationship between the devine and logic/reason since pre-Socratic times (see eg: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nous#Pre-Socratic_usage). – James Kingsbery Apr 1 '15 at 21:07
  • Yes, you are correct. However they had been still in the world of metaphysics or quasi-materialism and only Hegel's disciple, Feurbach, introduced the idea externalization and to me convinced God is the image of what human beings possess in its own. Greeks only expressed their idea of these – Kentaro Apr 1 '15 at 22:11
  • inner ideas such as love for Aphrodite, war for Ares ( which has a shield as a symbol ), hunting for Artemis ( which has the arrow! ), and they look all Greeks not Chinese or Hindies. Because at that time to them the image of human being they were able to see were only ( rather mainly to them ) Greeks. From that only we can tell God's are man-made. – Kentaro Apr 1 '15 at 22:24
  • it might sever to quote only Feurbach. As you said, there were many successors, but to me, personally we need to wait until early 19th to cement the idea. – Kentaro Apr 1 '15 at 22:45
  • I mean predecessors, not successors, sorry for the mistake. – Kentaro Apr 1 '15 at 22:48
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As a very basic lower bound, I would suggest the following counter questions:

If someone claims that a person is beyond logic then how do we know he is beyond logic ? (as we lose all the methods to know whether the claim is true or not?)

Logic is the use and study of valid reasoning, while reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.Logic, scientific reasoning and observations (or experiences) are the methods which can be helpful comprehend a person's nature . Without these methods how a person can [sic] be intelligible?

If these questions are not sufficient to expound on the nature of a person, why would one believe it is sufficient to expound on God? Likewise, if it is "mostly true, but there are some catches," is it not reasonable that the lower bound for the answer regarding God is also "mostly true, but there are some catches?"

A related point of discussion would be the logic of "love."

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Many of the answers here assume that humans are capable of understanding all logic. Just as I can't explain algebra to my dog, there is assuredly logic that is far beyond what we are capable of understanding. In fact, not only beyond our understanding, but outside what is conveyable by our language (just like the dog example). God is absolutely adhering to and in control of that logic whether it can even be described in human terms or not.

  • And I would like to ask you How do you know that the God-thing which is according to you presumably residing in the realm of the beyond the human being's understanding, --adhering to you--? I am sorry to say your first part of your definition and the latter part is actually to me conflicting. To me only solution to this problem? is to think vice ersa, which is God is residing inside you and that means you are God. The name God is only the name which is externized elements from you, yourself on which you can see yourself. Sorry again to state my opinion-answer here again. – Kentaro Apr 2 '15 at 16:52
  • If something, is beyond your understanding, would you not think that you can NOT even feel, sense, hear etc etc it?? Because you are saying IT is out of the capability of human beings' understanding. – Kentaro Apr 2 '15 at 17:01
  • According to Fides et Ratio, God's nature, althought infinite, may be perfectly explained in human languages (I mean: each known part of His nature). – Luis Masuelli Apr 3 '15 at 0:19
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    I explained algebra to my dog this morning. The fact that he can't talk made it impossible for him to tell me that the knowledge was completely useless to him. – Dawood says reinstate Monica Apr 3 '15 at 4:28
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I believe your analysis of "logic" is in error. Logic isn't the study of reasoning as such (which is the domain of Psychology) but rather the study of validity (or equivalently Consequence). Validity isn't constrained by human reasoning, but by the world. We have theories of logic, which we construct in our attempts to process the world and help us to make something intelligible out of what we encounter and observe, but validity itself is something we theorize about and that we latch on to by virtue of our evolutionary adaptation to it, rather than something we as human agents either have as a cognitive tool or as an inherited trait.

God might well be beyond the scope of human reasoning, but that alone isn't sufficient to support the claim that God is beyond logic, which would require the further premise that God is not part of the world.

  • There are many definitions of logic.The one I am using here is the definition given by Averroes. – Arun Apr 3 '15 at 9:58
  • @Arun , if your question is strict to that definition then I'm not quite sure what the substantial issue is. If you are asking whether something that is apparently not a human should be subject to frameworks that encapsulate human reasoning, then surely the answer is "obviously not"? – Paul Ross Apr 3 '15 at 11:13
  • I think I should state what I mean more clearly.As per this wikipedia article we gain knowledge by observation or experiments, reason or logic[1].So the argument is, a) God is beyond logic b) Logic is one of the method to obtain knowledge. c) God is impossible to comprehend by any method of obtaining knowledge.This is absurd since in a) we know god is beyond logic and in c) we say that God is impossible to know.(Are there any flaws in my question? If so please point that out and explain to me! Thanks!) – Arun Apr 3 '15 at 12:25
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Logic is the deduction of definitions. To say something can violate logic is like saying X != X.

Example: If X is a rectangle, then it must have four straight sides by definition. Can God create a rectangle that doesn't have four straight sides?

  • Definitions cannot be "deduced" from without some sort of rule (axioms, laws, whatever). Logic tells us that if X is true and X -> Y is true, then we can be sure about Y as well. There is room for "violation" here, as this is about more than self-applied definitions simultaneously matching and not matching. – TheRubberDuck Apr 1 '15 at 20:28
  • I am confident that God would be able to create a rectangle that did not have four straight sides, but we would not be able to observe it. So it is irrelevant to this. Although God is capable of doing what would be "illogical" to us, I think he would do it only if necessary. One example of this is the creation of the universe. – Guill Apr 6 '15 at 22:16
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I think that you have to define God before you can determine if logic applies to him/her/it/them, then the answer might become self-evident.

For example, if Stargate, Ancient Aliens, or the like tell us anything, "God" is just a metaphor for beings from another world with science sufficiently advanced that the people of the time did not understand it in the slightest.

However, if God is an omnipresent, omniscient, powerful being similar to the nano robots in the TV show Revolution, you have a different set of circumstances. Wiki on the show

If God is a truely divine being, and we can use the description given when Tanis, Hal-Elven stand before Takhisis the Evil Dragon Godess, where he is overcome by her divinity and worships her even though he hates her and has been trying for several books to try to kill her and prevent her plans from coming to fruition. This is a reference to the War of the Lance series of the Dragonlance books by Margert Weis and Tracy Hickman. Wiki article on the War of the Lance

In the examples I have given, logic would apply to all of the gods referenced. It would be a strange phenomenon indeed if logic did not apply to a supreme being. Probably the embodiment of chaos.

  • Your definitions are too small, friend. – hownowbrowncow Apr 2 '15 at 20:49
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    My point exactly. One man's "god" is another man's villain or science experiment. Hence the need to define "God" at the start of a thought experiment. Even the Christian God acknowledges the existence of other gods when He says not to put them before Him, so there's more than one to choose from, even if you're a Christian. – YetAnotherRandomUser Apr 3 '15 at 12:38
  • "acknowledges the existence of other gods when He says not to put them before Him". No He doesn't. Please do not take this as a personal attack but you should really learn not to read things entirely as literalisms (or get your biblical scholarship from 'fedoratippingatheists.godsucks.com') – hownowbrowncow Apr 3 '15 at 15:25
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    You can take the statement literally or metaphorically and it would still work with my other arguments. However, are you trying to insult me? (You're failing miserably btw) What does a fedora have to do with atheism? As far as the the biblical-ness of what I am referring to, I'm referring to the 2nd Commandment, which can be found in an English translation on Wikipedia Link to be "Thou shalt have no other gods before me". That's not an especially complicated verse, nor have I encountered much controversy with it. I'm no theologian though. – YetAnotherRandomUser Apr 3 '15 at 18:44
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    "What God is saying, is that he knows humans are prone to thinking "mundane things" as gods, and He is admonishing them not to do that." That would be a metaphorical god. I don't quote another passage because I don't read much scripture. Speaking of logic & if it applies, I guess i should have figured that stepping into a "philosophical" religious argument on on a SE would have gotten me this quagmire of nonsense :( The only thing I am unable to comprehend in this Q&A is how you two think that I don't understand what I am saying. Try engaging my arguments instead of telling me I'm stupid. – YetAnotherRandomUser Apr 7 '15 at 12:52
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The Mind is under constant duress to understand the reality it finds itself in. In the attempt, The Mind must contemplate the notion of omnipresence. We must assume 'he' is beyond logic - else we must redefine what God means.

Is the concept of a God logical? Do we have no choice but to ponder whether one must exist?

My problem is not whether God is subject to logic, but whether God is subject to time.

My mind must believe that he must be - lest my reality break down.

  • If God created space and time that means the existence of God presupposes a state of timelessness. Think of our entire timeline as a mere atom in the infinity of divinity. All of our past and future existences as a thin film. Alpha and Omega, etc. – hownowbrowncow Apr 2 '15 at 20:48
  • To exist in a state of timelessness is to not exist at all, for to exist is to be in a state of objective reality, according to definition. – PCARR Apr 3 '15 at 12:26
  • I disagree. He would exist in an eternal singular instant where all points (or even possible points) in time are available simultaneously. I hope that's more accurate as to what i'm trying to say. Not timelessness, timefullness. – hownowbrowncow Apr 3 '15 at 15:28
  • I think it is inherently irrational, but nonetheless inevitable, that the mind attempts to conceive this being as occupying all points simultaneously and where an instant is eternal. If God exists at all, then he is an entity, a thinker, who thoughts must have terminus. – PCARR Apr 3 '15 at 15:45
  • God is non-physical. Temporalism presupposes physical space (if you're current with you're physics you'd know this to be true). That which came before the creation of physical space cannot be bound temporally (which also means that God is non-causal). You are the one positing irrationality. I'm merely furthering well established conclusions established by the likes of Aquinas and Aristotle. – hownowbrowncow Apr 3 '15 at 17:13
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To answer the question, one has to make distinction between human logic and Divine Logic.
If the question is - is God subject to human logic? The answer is no.
If the question is - is God subject to Divine Logic? The answer is yes.
Divine Logic is God's Nature. Human logic is what we use to try to understand (give/find meaning to) God and His creation.

The best analogy I can come up with is my children and I. There has been a number of times when my children have thought that I was acting illogically. However, this was the result of their limited experience and knowledge of the situation. Similarly, we might think that God is acting illogically (as we understand the situation). However, from the point of view of Divine Logic, it is perfectly logical, but because of our limited knowledge, we don't "see" it. So we conclude that God is not subject to logic!

  • It's not that god is acting illogically, it's that your thoughts about god are illogical. – jony Aug 3 '17 at 20:20
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God is beyond logic.

Everybody might have heard/experienced the under mentioned emotions/feelings/words. These are illustrative but not exhaustive.

  1. Anger

  2. Happiness

  3. Jealousy

  4. Passion

  5. Lust

  6. Aversion

  7. Compassion

  8. Forgiveness

  9. Indifference

  10. Sympathy

  11. Cruelty

Every rational human being with reasonable exposure to the society around him/her might have experienced the above mentioned feelings at one stage or other of his/her life.

My questions : is it possible to explain

A) For any rational human being, who had experienced one or combination of two or more feelings mentioned above, in words or make understand another person, who have no firsthand experience of that feelings, how the emotion/feeling look like, effects his/her personality?

B) Why a particular person driven by compassion towards human beings, will leave behind his/her riches/fame/position (like Buddha) , works for upliftment of society, living on bare necessities?

C) What is the cruelty that provoked a dictator to butcher thousands of fellow humans?

It is not possible because it is feeling and an ABSTRACT thing. And, it is intangible and cannot be explained in words.

The feeling is a force/energy that can either positive or negative. There are many visible and invisible forces working in this world.

The known and unknown feelings/forces put together will be known as GOD. And, it is also an ABSTRACT thing.

It can neither be explained in words nor evidenced by personal experiences of other people.

The God can only be experienced, because HE is within everything, but remains untouched by anything and BEYOND everything.

ABSTRACT CONCEPT!!

  • Nice impassioned answer! Can be more succinctly rendered in the words of Russell : «Man is said to be a rational animal. All my life I've tried to find evidence of this» More simply: Logic is so peripheral to human life experience that God is not v likely to give it much weight. – Rusi-packing-up Jun 3 at 16:34
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According to Richard Swinburne's paper "Omnipotence , God is omnipotent but he has limited his omnipotence in such a way that he can do anything that's possible according to his nature.J L Mackie in his paper Evil and Omnipotence [1] attempts to resolve the issue by by distinguishing between first-order omnipotence (unlimited power to act) and second-order omnipotence (unlimited power to determine what powers to act things shall have).An omnipotent being with both first and second-order omnipotence at a particular time might restrict its own power to act.For instance,

  • Can God lie?(If he lies he is not omnibenevolent , If he does not then he is not omnipotent) Yes.
  • Will he? No.
  • Why? It is not possible according to his nature.

Likewise,God is beyond logic but he binds himself by causal or logical laws.So, God has made him subject to logic by restricting his omnipotence.(God's omnipotence must in any case be restricted in one way or another, that unqualified omnipotence cannot be ascribed to any being that continues through time) [1] (http://www.ditext.com/mackie/evil.html)

  • Can god lie? Yes, but does not, because it's impossible... You should rephrase that into something that does not appear to contradict itself. – jony Aug 3 '17 at 20:24
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Logic is formal by essence, it does operate on what is compliant with its span. In other words, Logic can only be functional when its apprehended subject is a true concept, one that could be somewhat formalized. I don't see how you could formalize the notion of God, which, however much you might be able to ascribe attributs to it, seems to be out of linguistic scope. Considering you regard God as that "[...] of monotheism and henotheism in which God is conceived as the Supreme Being", then you probably know that all above "religious" frameworks refrein from formalizing God.

Is God subject to logic?

Is a question that equats "is the number One (written as "1") subject to political discourse". You'll be able to find an angle to adress this question, but it would be of no real interest. It is not to discharge your question from any interest - if your aim is conversation and intelligence. However, once you evoque Logic, you evoque Language. Once you evoque Language: your very definition of God pervents your from advancing.

This is probably a somewhat over-stretched way of stating the following : God is not subject to Logic, neither is Logic subject to God.

Thanks for the question, great day/evening to you :) !

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