Amidst our crazy world I decided to look into the concept of logic, what it is and how can we bring into our body politic. It is the study of correct reasoning. In order to derive a conclusion one must go through a series of statements or premises. At each step of the way those must be examined and held to be true or false. This could be a newly introduced concept or a long held truth. Simply stated, does it hold water?
Unfortunately today we arrive conclusions by a variety of means which are not particularly scientific.Experience can give us insight but it is tinged with a crazy thing called emotion. How you remember is not exactly how it might have happened. We love to rely on our inner being or “gut” to make decisions. I guess you might call this jumping to conclusions. Lastly we take as gospel truth the testimony of others. So and so said it, ergo it has to be true.
We should not aspire to be Doubting Thomases but there is a little thing called critical thinking that enters the fray. In our pablum covered news feeds, we nod approvingly as we absorb this headline or that without even questioning its veracity. This whole Comey thing will provide fodder for our endeavor. Right at the center of it is Trump whose love of facts is not evident in his rhetoric. He might be right on but heretofore has been nothing but suspect. The flip flops on both sides of the aisle as to, he loves me, he loves me not, gets us into the realm of the absurd.
Getting our news in sound bytes is dangerous in many ways. How many of us question what we read or a theory espoused? Do we hear what we want to hear or use this as a stepping off point for further research? In this theater we are subject to the biases and proclivities of even highly regarded newscasters. Pure factual posts that used to go without any innuendo or subtleties are a thing of the past. The first one to go astray was John Chancellor of NBC I was watching him one evening dozens of years ago. He tinged his story with personal feelings and I only wish “Editorial” was flashed across the screen. Not to be and the others soon followed suit.
As our poles drift further and further apart I thought about narrow mindedness. Interestingly enough the definition states you see things in a certain way and you are never open to looking at things in a different point of view. You have your own set of values and will defend them to the death. One of the synonyms was conservative which didn’t seem odd at first until I read an article in Politico.We deal from such chasms across ideologies that it seems liberals are just as narrow-minded as conservatives. There is no way they are being budged from their positions either. Yikes! “What we have here is failure to communicate.”
If I am open minded I am supposed to be liberal, tolerant and progressive. Do you think that is where we are today? Our factions or sects on both sides of the spectrum can’t even imagine the other having any sort of validity or standing. Abortion, healthcare, education, immigration, education have no middle ground whatsoever and therefore no solutions.
I find it interesting the last election was portrayed as a bout between the intelligentsia of the East and Left Coast against the unwashed and illiterates masses of our inner states. Now did we tolerate their supposed narrow mindedness or were there a new set of elite haves and have nots determined by IQ? If I read just one side of the op eds aren’t I just as guilty?
This whole logic thing and critical thinking take work. It has to be a desirable end in itself. It takes time to analyze both sides of the equation. It does take an educated person but that means simply they are willing to learn and be open to new ideas. Are we too busy or too lazy to try to find the truth? By request of certain readers I am go to try to keep it short and sweet. Chew on that for a hour or two and I will hopefully see you next week. Seems logical doesn’t it?
Ted The Great
“CRITICAL THINKING is a desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and hatred for every kind of imposture.” – Francis Bacon (1605) That was over 500 years ago.
On Seinfeld we were witness to female logic as defined by Elaine and male logic, if it existed, in Jerry and even more profoundly in George or Kramer. Men are From Mars and Women are from Venus by John Gray further expounded on the thought women and men have a different way of looking at things.
A total lack of logical thinking is evident in rationalization. We create a whole set of premises that are totally untrue to explain our aberrant behavior. After a while we begin to believe it and so in our minds we are faultless. Almost like the devil made me do it.