Logic: tear gas of reality
“Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies” – Friedrich Nietzsche
I have been sewing away, tailoring my coat. There is snow all over the mountains around here!
All this zen sewing has had me thinking. Dark, brooding thoughts. Thoughts on logic, that idiot savant of human intellectualism.
Pretty much anyone who knows me will be familiar with my distrust for logic. I would like to start to say why.
Logic is the friend to assumption and supposition. Why? Because it cloaks them in reputable robes.
Logic is most commonly used to jump gaps in knowledge. When there is a paucity of facts, we logic our way out of the corner.
This all seems harmless, and is responsible for some of humanity’s greatest achievements, such as Einstein’s or Feynman’s thought experiments. However, not everybody can be Richard Feynman or Albert Einstein!
When wielded by puny intellects such as our own, in daily (non-genius) life logic becomes more of a threat to knowledge than an aid to understanding.
The average person of logic approaches life assumption-first. They come into situations, sum them up according to preconceived notions, and proceed to adjudicate and act according to logical inferences from these impressions. As logic is in the room offering short-cuts to all and sundry, we of the lazy but educated mind seek its aid much in preference to ferreting out the facts of any situation! As we grow older, our assumptions are magically reinforced, making our faith in logical recourse reinforced. We never suspect that the ‘correctness’ of our assumptions and pre-suppositions could be an artifact of our not having encountered or given credence to facts in years! And thus we become more arrogant in our conclusions! Next thing you know, not only have we stopped conferring with the facts of a given situation or phenomenon, we have come to believe that a position in which we and our conclusions disagree with facts is tenable!
There is rarely a vetting process to the use of logic in our daily lives. In science (and here I mean actual science eg. the Laffer curve would be laughed out of any room containing actual scientists!), there is, with the scrutiny of our colleagues and peer-reviewed works. In daily life, no.
And whenever we screw up in daily life because our logical conclusions are inaccurate, there are always so many other variables at play that we never question our myriad assumptions, and rather say that our attempts were doomed by another party or factor.
I guess I am not saying that logic is stupid as much as I am saying that logic makes stupid. And how!
I feel we should beware logic and its legacy of stupidity, lazy complacency and arrogance in what might once have been intelligent, empathetic people.