The End of Logic

castle_defense_and_leadership

Logic has held a special place in Western philosophy since the time of Aristotle and Plato.

It depends upon logical language, which is words having specific, exact, and agreed-upon meanings.

It also depends upon an agreed set of assumptions about the basic nature of things.

For a long time, logic was more or less dependable. It was one of the foundations of civilization.

Enter the notion of ‘equality’, which first claims, then demands, then writes into law, that all people are equal.
Combine that with political correctness, which changes the meanings of words, often inverting their meaning completely, and the result is that logic becomes purely arbitrary, depending upon whatever one’s personal meaning of the words used happens be, along with the baseline agreement of the way things are, changing from person to person.

What do you get? Spend any time on an online forum, especially one populated by self-imagined intellectuals, and you will find utter chaos. No two people can exchange information on anything. Because each will claim that their logic is logic, and that anybody else’s is not, if it in any way disagrees with their own. This leads to a curious binary state of either ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’.

If one agrees with a statement, one does not challenge it, so its logic is taken to be sound.

If one disagrees with a statement, there ensues a battle to establish whose logic is more logical, or if it is even logic at all.

In this climate, it becomes impossible to actually get anywhere, since the logic that is the most popular is the one that prevails.

Should one actually know what one is talking about, which, in itself is a rare thing among people so lacking in real-world experience, one finds it is beyond the bounds of possibility to convey what one knows, to those who can merely theorize, without knowing, purely on the basis of their own flawed logic.

The most common flaw is the baseline assumption that everyone is equal. From there, everything else crumbles.

Another one is the assumption that there is no God, and religious people are insane, and thus valid targets for justifiable — often shockingly cruel — abuse.

Yet another, is that ‘nobody can know’ whatever it is that is presumed to be unknowable, so their statements can be ridiculed as delusion.

Along with the labeling of anyone with knowledge not known to the larger group, as a charlatan, fake, or egomaniac.

Logic, sadly, no longer has much to do with anything, and henceforth will be about as useless as mammary glands on a bull buffalo.

We have arrived at a point where it is no longer possible to ‘talk to people’ as a means of communicating anything much more complicated than the state of the weather. And even that may well fail. In fact, the only people one may successfully communicate with, in any satisfactory way, are those few people one may meet that already hold views, or knowledge, substantially similar to oneself.

The really, really terrifying thing about all of this, is that only older people will have a comparison to make, regarding just how far this decay has gone. The young, having no such comparison to make, have no idea anything is even wrong. They can — to an astonishing degree — no longer listen, deduce, reason, think, or learn, except in rare cases where their own particular brand of rebellion happens to mesh with the fast-disappearing tradition of civilization.

And older people, apart from being not-listened-to by the young, and often ridiculed, instead, are inevitably dying out, and so are ever less able to contribute anything that might slow, or reverse the coming dissolution.

A woman said to me once, imagining me as a man of violence, that: “You can always talk to people, you know”.

It wasn’t particularly true, even then. It is very, very much less true now.

18 Comments

  1. Bob Wallace says:

    It’s pretty easy to spot a pseudo-intellectual: the only two fallacies they know are ad hominem and straw man, and they get them both wrong.

    1. crow says:

      Easy to spot, yes. The problem remains, though, what to do next, after you’ve spotted one.
      I’ve arrived at a decision to always try to agree with whatever rubbish anyone says, for the simple reason that, to them, what they claim is the truth.
      I was recently labeled a ‘fake’. Now, I may be well aware that I am not any such thing. But to the one claiming it, I very definitely am. Do I enter into a battle to establish what I am? No. Not any more. I already know what I am. Just as, in his view, he already knows what I am.
      I mean, who really cares what I am, anyway?

      1. Lord Mosher says:

        I was recently stuck at a super market when it began to rain. Hail storm actually. Twenty seconds more, just twenty seconds and I would’ve made it home. So I said “god dammit” out loud. A senior lady got upset at me, she told me I am a faggot, which shocked me because it doesn’t make sense. I am very masculine. Or not? Damn! I already know I’m not a queer but the fact that other people may think I am is unacceptable! I will not tolerate it.

      2. 03-04 says:

        That was a brilliant essay – and this is a brilliant comment. Extremely profound.

        Don’t try to share what you know, freely and kindly, the way you’ve experienced it: Almost nobody gets it anyway, and most will react in anger. Why? Because THEY already know! And if what you know isn’t what they know – then YOU don’t know anything, you fool!

        One has to acknowledge others from the get-go – not because they’re actually on point (that’s very rare), but because there is no way that they’ll ever listen to you, unless you make them believe, that you are only repeating what they were saying to begin with.

        Because really, nobody is willing to learn anything these days… everybody wants to be a born genius-Buddha-Satan-Christ – and the only way they’ll ever learn is if you successfully convince them, that they already know everything you have to say.

        Ego-crushing stuff :)

        1. crow says:

          Hello! Nice to see you.

  2. Wild says:

    The doctrine of “equality” posits that if all are equal, each can establish axioms of equal worth. This has ruined all sorts of institutions, but the most grievous is the academy: nobody is taught how to order one’s mind in a logical manner. It’s all “make it up as one goes along”. People aren’t taught to ground their thoughts in anything other than themselves.

    “It’s just your opinion, man!”

    1. crow says:

      Oh yeah? Well, that’s just your opinion.
      Man.

      1. Wild says:

        It is, and yet it isn’t.

        Oh dear.

        1. crow says:

          Be kind to yourself. Nobody’s gonna do it for you.

  3. zhai2nan2 says:

    If you want logic, get involved with the electronics hobby.

    Electronics enthusiasts have a common body of knowledge, and Boolean logic circuits are a common field for experimentation.

  4. Hauer says:

    The shortest way to get someone to understand you is often through a reference to a shared experience. It can take form a parable, quotation, story, or art. It allows people to communicate the importance of something without spelling out every little step in between.

    When you speak to someone in metaphors, you are assuming that the other person has the same feeling towards the situation you do. This is often what is missing when people have a hard time talking to each other. It’s another reason why a common culture among people living next to each other is so important.

  5. Tony says:

    Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. – Mark Twain

  6. Repair_Man_Jack says:

    Denial is the end of logic. If obvious givens are avoided via delusional thinking, logic becomes uttelry impossible.

  7. This really nails it:

    In this climate, it becomes impossible to actually get anywhere, since the logic that is the most popular is the one that prevails.

    Not only that, but people are defining these “logics” by specific details, and ignoring the need for a logical system that can explain all things under the sun.

    That after all is the nature of logic — a system for describing the organization of information such that any aspect of reality can be expressed.

    Instead, humanity gives us a logic not just for every person, but for every type of thing. There is a logic of teatime, a logic of parliament, a logic of the pub, and a logic of the classroom. They don’t have to be compatible; like dualistic worlds, other logics play by different rules.

    It’s no wonder incoherence and chaos are the norm.

  8. […] This doesn’t particularly surprise me. Stories of about a societal lack of concern for our children in the United States no longer shock the jaded, dilettante consumer of current events. Neil Stevens wrote a rather horripilating description of the new political correctness implicit in the so-called standards that the Common Core curriculum would teach and enforce. According to Neil, “First grade kids are being taught in their English classes that they need to appeal to emotions when making persuasive writing, to make people want something even if there’s no facts or logic for it.” This shocks me not at all. The curriculum was written by people who consider logic an ideological inconvenience. […]

  9. TMLutas says:

    One of the modern structures of communication is the Frequently Asked Questions list. Somebody well educated and well credentialed in logic needs to put out such a FAQ on the subject. If it can catch on, this would allow the inclusion of formal logic by a simple reference, something you put in your signature at the bottom of your comments.

    Challenging a well established FAQ is a really hard thing to do on the net. Dismissing a well established FAQ marks you as an idiot in the modern vernacular. In short, this is a problem that has a solution. Surprisingly the traditionalists who support logic are not using it. This puzzles me.

  10. […] Είναι πολύ λιγότερο αληθές σήμερα. μετάφραση από το πρωτότυπο  του Νίκου Καρατουλιώτη […]

Leave a Reply

40 queries. 0.849 seconds