Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12

Track Running Track 207

The reason why he said, I don’t accept ontological argument is that ontological argument treats, existence as a predicate. Existence is not a predicate therefore the whole arguments falls. Now, the word predicate is very important in logic. I shall just take a few minutes to explain to you the word ‘predicate’. In the time of Kant the logic formulated by Aristotle was very prominent. As you know Aristotle was a first man to write a book on logic. Not that he invented logic, but wrote the first book on logic and he expounded logic. In his exposition of logic he says that before you start asking questions, is it right, is it wrong which is the normal question of mind, of intellect, the greatest business of intellect is only this − is it right, is it wrong. After all the questions which are raised by the intellect are these two, is it right, is it wrong? Determination of right and wrong, the truth or falsehood is a fundamental business of intellect. So he said when intellect starts asking these questions you must proceed with the question in a logical manner. That is to say step by step, so that at no time you are trapped in confusion because one of the enemies of intellectual thinking is confusion. Intellect whenever it begins to think at a certain stage it happens to get confused; this is the difficulty of intellectual process. If you want to get rid of confusions, your first starting point was that whatever is to be proved or disproved, you first make a statement of it very clearly because very often people fight truth, falsehood and they are themselves not sure what is to be established, what is not to be established. On the very basic questions there are difficulties and they go on quarreling. So he said that before you start any quarrel, let all the parties to debate, state down very clearly what is to be proved and what is not to be proved. That statement he said must be stated in a logical form. In order to be very sure that your statement has no confusion in it, he himself gave a real form and he said that if you state any proposition, any statement in that form you can be sure that at least as a statement, it’s logically clear. In a very simple way he said that in order that a statement is said to be logically correct, not true or false but logically at least the clarity of the statement is to be judged, if it conforms to the following form; that the statement should have three parts. If it has two parts, it is not a logical statement, if it has only one part it is not a logical statement. If I say, ‘this’ it’s not logical statement.

 

 

III, Side A

If I say ‘this’ it is only one part, therefore it’s not a logical statement. If I say ‘run’ it’s not logical statement, it’s only one part, I am in the process; it’s not a complete statement. It has only two parts. Process of what, I am in the process of running; I am in the process of talking. Unless there are three parts, a statement is not a statement. It is not what is called logical proposition. The first part is what is called subject, the last part is called predicate and the middle part is called copula. Copula is that which joins the subject and the predicate. The famous example is ‘all men are mortal’. In this statement ‘all men’ is subject, ‘mortal’ is the predicate and ‘are’ is copula. ‘All men are mortal’, the three points are connected together this is a logical proposition. This you can debate whether it’s right or wrong. If you simply say ‘all men are’ it’s not a complete statement, ‘are mortal’ is not a complete statement, merely ‘are’ is not a complete statement, mere ‘mortal’ is not a statement, mere ‘men’ is not a statement. When you put all the three things together that is the logical statement which you can debate, true or not. Subject is that about which predicate is predicated. It’s a definition of subject. All cats are black, which is not true but supposing I make a statement ‘all cats are black’, you can debate it, it’s a statement. Logically it’s a clear statement; you can debate whether it’s true or false. This statement is not true because you can verify that some cats are not black, so you can come to the conclusion and therefore, you can reject this statement saying, ‘all cats are black’ is not a correct statement. You do find some cats which are not black or all black cats are black. This statement is true. This is called tautology.

Tautology is a statement in which the predicate repeats what is in the subject. All men are men, is a tautology. And Aristotle said when you can prove that predicate is a part of the subject, it is almost like a tautology and that all tautologies are true. You can be sure all tautology are true, therefore there is no question about debating and when tautologies are not put forward very easily, very clearly if you can show that they are tautologies then you have proved your case that was a simple method of proving whether statement is right or wrong. If you can show that ‘all men are mortal’, if you can show that mortality is a part of humanity then this statement is true, it means that all mortal men are mortal. ‘All mortal men are mortal’ this statement is true because you have shown that the predicate is a part of the subject.

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