1033: Formal Logic
Title text: Note that this implies you should NOT honk solely because I stopped for a pedestrian and you're behind me.
| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Please rewrite the last sentence so that it is less incorrect. What the hell, the second last one too.|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
This comic is a riff on bumper stickers that say "honk if you love ____". Here, the subject is formal logic, but the word "if" is replaced with a formal logic term "iff," which means "if and only if".
"If and only if" connects two statements, saying that either both statements are true, or both are false. In this case, either someone likes formal logic and honks, or doesn't like formal logic and doesn't honk. The title text further elaborates on this, describing a practical situation (that is, stopping for pedestrians) and dissecting it with formal logic terms.
The joke is the contained self-reference. You have to love formal logic to take the sticker serious and honk for exclusively that reason.
But if you don’t love formal logic you would dislike the sticker at all and try to do something contradictory. And now the problem begins: If you don’t honk to contradict the sticker completely you automatically follow its instruction. So, there is nothing you can do except starting to love formal logic.
- [Vehicle with a bumper sticker that reads "Honk iff you love formal logic."]
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