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Reasoning is as Pointless as Everything Else

M.Torres
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11/15/2011 9:16:00 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I've begun to come to the conclusion that the people on this site put far too much importance on the faculty of reasoning alone. We treat it as some sacred vehicle to discovering truth, but I believe the very evidence of this site alone shows there is no reasonable means to ascertain truth - if there's truth at all.

I have finally begun to awaken to what I wouldn't call truth, but rather I have awoken to what is certainly false. This falsity being that reasoning has no truth value. Reasoning is a means to take information, and attempt to make them only appear as truth. We are aware that logical fallacies exist, for example, and that they are resultant of taking information and making them appear true when they are in fact not. But when we get down to the heart of the matter, essentially all arguments are merely means to take our observations and argue them for social purposes.

I contend, then, that our faculty of reasoning is merely and solely a byproduct of evolution and a means to control other human beings. At all times, we are forced to perform this action since at all times our bodies are at the mercy of our own programming.

This makes sense, I believe, in that we argue that humans are the only living creatures capable of having sentient, true, logical reason, and yet it is not necessary to be living - as shown by all other living creatures. So it cannot be any sort of "truth". Rather, as even I am showing through this post, our reasoning is a function to order information however we like to sway others reasoning, and in doing so, gaining control. Because even without reasoning, power is essential to our evolutionary purposes. In the case of humans, are frailty had to adapt, and so we obtained a means to control other living creatures.

There is no ultimate objective I mean to obtain by posting this. I merely thought it a curious thought, and one I never heard fully developed - in fact, I have not fully developed it myself. But I am also curious to hear other's thoughts on the matter, and whether or not they agree and on what.

This is the beginning of a new philosophy (if you can call it that) that I am arriving to, since (like every other thinker) the existing ones are not satisfying enough. But I have no depth of experience to know if I'm going about it the right way.

Regardless, it's a thought, and I thought that I should share it.
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
RFH
Posts: 56
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11/15/2011 9:46:56 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/15/2011 9:16:00 AM, M.Torres wrote:
I've begun to come to the conclusion that the people on this site put far too much importance on the faculty of reasoning alone. We treat it as some sacred vehicle to discovering truth, but I believe the very evidence of this site alone shows there is no reasonable means to ascertain truth - if there's truth at all.

I have finally begun to awaken to what I wouldn't call truth, but rather I have awoken to what is certainly false. This falsity being that reasoning has no truth value. Reasoning is a means to take information, and attempt to make them only appear as truth. We are aware that logical fallacies exist, for example, and that they are resultant of taking information and making them appear true when they are in fact not. But when we get down to the heart of the matter, essentially all arguments are merely means to take our observations and argue them for social purposes.

I contend, then, that our faculty of reasoning is merely and solely a byproduct of evolution and a means to control other human beings. At all times, we are forced to perform this action since at all times our bodies are at the mercy of our own programming.

This makes sense, I believe, in that we argue that humans are the only living creatures capable of having sentient, true, logical reason, and yet it is not necessary to be living - as shown by all other living creatures. So it cannot be any sort of "truth". Rather, as even I am showing through this post, our reasoning is a function to order information however we like to sway others reasoning, and in doing so, gaining control. Because even without reasoning, power is essential to our evolutionary purposes. In the case of humans, are frailty had to adapt, and so we obtained a means to control other living creatures.

There is no ultimate objective I mean to obtain by posting this. I merely thought it a curious thought, and one I never heard fully developed - in fact, I have not fully developed it myself. But I am also curious to hear other's thoughts on the matter, and whether or not they agree and on what.

This is the beginning of a new philosophy (if you can call it that) that I am arriving to, since (like every other thinker) the existing ones are not satisfying enough. But I have no depth of experience to know if I'm going about it the right way.

Regardless, it's a thought, and I thought that I should share it.

How will you make decisions now that you've forsaken reasoning?
drafterman
Posts: 18,870
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11/15/2011 10:03:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/15/2011 9:16:00 AM, M.Torres wrote:
I've begun to come to the conclusion that the people on this site put far too much importance on the faculty of reasoning alone. We treat it as some sacred vehicle to discovering truth, but I believe the very evidence of this site alone shows there is no reasonable means to ascertain truth - if there's truth at all.

I have finally begun to awaken to what I wouldn't call truth, but rather I have awoken to what is certainly false. This falsity being that reasoning has no truth value. Reasoning is a means to take information, and attempt to make them only appear as truth. We are aware that logical fallacies exist, for example, and that they are resultant of taking information and making them appear true when they are in fact not. But when we get down to the heart of the matter, essentially all arguments are merely means to take our observations and argue them for social purposes.

I contend, then, that our faculty of reasoning is merely and solely a byproduct of evolution and a means to control other human beings. At all times, we are forced to perform this action since at all times our bodies are at the mercy of our own programming.

This makes sense, I believe, in that we argue that humans are the only living creatures capable of having sentient, true, logical reason, and yet it is not necessary to be living - as shown by all other living creatures. So it cannot be any sort of "truth". Rather, as even I am showing through this post, our reasoning is a function to order information however we like to sway others reasoning, and in doing so, gaining control. Because even without reasoning, power is essential to our evolutionary purposes. In the case of humans, are frailty had to adapt, and so we obtained a means to control other living creatures.

There is no ultimate objective I mean to obtain by posting this. I merely thought it a curious thought, and one I never heard fully developed - in fact, I have not fully developed it myself. But I am also curious to hear other's thoughts on the matter, and whether or not they agree and on what.

This is the beginning of a new philosophy (if you can call it that) that I am arriving to, since (like every other thinker) the existing ones are not satisfying enough. But I have no depth of experience to know if I'm going about it the right way.

Regardless, it's a thought, and I thought that I should share it.

Why?
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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11/15/2011 12:42:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I don't accept your reasons for declaring reasoning to be pointless. To do so would be to acknowledge that reason is not pointless.

You may want to look into relativism as this seems to be what you are hitting on.

Sophistry is the art of using reasoning to manipulate people into believing things that aren't true.

However, consider that scientists, engineers and technologists use reasoning to make discoveries and bring things into this world which exist indisputably. Planes do fly and matter is composed of atoms. In other words, reasoning works.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
vbaculum
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11/15/2011 12:48:17 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I would add that there is something to be said for the fact that evolution developed reasoning for it's own goals (propogation of genes). However, reason was developed for other purposes than controlling others. Humans use reasoning for survival. And survival requires an understanding of the world. It's for this broader understanding of the world that evolution (for lack of a better word) invented reasoning.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
WriterSelbe
Posts: 410
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11/15/2011 6:38:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Now I know what my answer will be when someone asks me why and I don't want to answer. "There is no such thing as reason, therefore I have no obligation to answer."
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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11/15/2011 7:07:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I agree with the OP to a certain extent. Reasoning probably did evolve out of man's desire to convince other people.

However, it would be silly to deny the usefulness of reasoning. Most people are very bad at reasoning, but when used honestly and without arrogant pride, it is the best method for learning is through the use of reason.

You'll find that through reason you'll come to false conclusions. We can't know everything, however a knowledge of epistemology comes out of reason. When reason is coupled with an adequate knowledge of epistemology, you will learn. You will learn a lot. Through reasoning, you will see how absurd everything is, but with knowledge of the absurd comes an awakening that the great majority of people never experience in their lives.

An honest search for truth will lead you to happiness, and allow you to truly enjoy life, no matter what your circumstances are. Once you reach this awakening, the last obstacle to face is empathy for your fellow man. It is sometimes very hard to accept the fact everyone is responsible for their own enlightenment, and your desire to communicate understanding can be very frustrating if you allow it to be... However, you'll eventually learn to accept the fact that the only people who really reach that level of consciousness are those who earnestly seek it. In a way, we all deserve whatever hell it is we live through.

The key is to let that hell be a learning experience. Keep courage. Keep honesty. Desire is the root of suffering, but it is also the key to escaping it. Always keep it real.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
M.Torres
Posts: 3,626
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11/15/2011 8:17:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/15/2011 7:49:53 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
So basically, you're using reasoning about reasoning to prove that reasoning isn't reasonable.

Sort of. Mostly, I guess.
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
M.Torres
Posts: 3,626
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11/15/2011 8:19:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
There are certainly flaws with my post as I go back and read. But I was just writing ideas as fast as they came. Like I said, there's major points I want to develop more, but it's interesting to see what you guys have to say.

I admit it to be a bit of sophomoric naivety, but everything probably started at that point.

Cosmic, I was wondering where you and Freedo got your information about Discordianism?
: At 11/28/2011 1:28:24 PM, BlackVoid wrote:
: M. Torres said it, so it must be right.

I'm an Apatheistic Ignostic. ... problem? ;D

I believe in the heart of the cards. .:DDO Duelist:.
vbaculum
Posts: 1,274
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11/15/2011 8:40:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You may also want to look into philosophical skepticism to further develop your ideas about this.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
Raisor
Posts: 4,457
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11/15/2011 9:33:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/15/2011 8:40:30 PM, vbaculum wrote:
You may also want to look into philosophical skepticism to further develop your ideas about this.

More appropriately, Pomo's like Foucault, Rorty, Derrida, etc.

Especially Rorty I would say.
CosmicAlfonzo
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11/16/2011 2:51:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/15/2011 8:19:23 PM, M.Torres wrote:
There are certainly flaws with my post as I go back and read. But I was just writing ideas as fast as they came. Like I said, there's major points I want to develop more, but it's interesting to see what you guys have to say.

I admit it to be a bit of sophomoric naivety, but everything probably started at that point.

Cosmic, I was wondering where you and Freedo got your information about Discordianism?

I can't speak for him, but the Principia Discordia.

My studies in Taoism, Buddhism, absurdist/dadaist philosophies, chaos theory, and an uncountable number of things from my own experience helped me to understand the underlying messages of the text. Most people just dismiss it as a bunch of nonsensical bullsh!t, but it was intended to be dismissed by most people as a bunch of nonsensical bullsh!t. There are actually some very deep and meaningful philosophical concepts contained within it.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Chuz-Life
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11/16/2011 4:00:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/15/2011 9:16:00 AM, M.Torres wrote:
I've begun to come to the conclusion that the people on this site put far too much importance on the faculty of reasoning alone. We treat it as some sacred vehicle to discovering truth, but I believe the very evidence of this site alone shows there is no reasonable means to ascertain truth - if there's truth at all.

I have finally begun to awaken to what I wouldn't call truth, but rather I have awoken to what is certainly false. This falsity being that reasoning has no truth value. Reasoning is a means to take information, and attempt to make them only appear as truth. We are aware that logical fallacies exist, for example, and that they are resultant of taking information and making them appear true when they are in fact not. But when we get down to the heart of the matter, essentially all arguments are merely means to take our observations and argue them for social purposes.

I contend, then, that our faculty of reasoning is merely and solely a byproduct of evolution and a means to control other human beings. At all times, we are forced to perform this action since at all times our bodies are at the mercy of our own programming.

This makes sense, I believe, in that we argue that humans are the only living creatures capable of having sentient, true, logical reason, and yet it is not necessary to be living - as shown by all other living creatures. So it cannot be any sort of "truth". Rather, as even I am showing through this post, our reasoning is a function to order information however we like to sway others reasoning, and in doing so, gaining control. Because even without reasoning, power is essential to our evolutionary purposes. In the case of humans, are frailty had to adapt, and so we obtained a means to control other living creatures.

There is no ultimate objective I mean to obtain by posting this. I merely thought it a curious thought, and one I never heard fully developed - in fact, I have not fully developed it myself. But I am also curious to hear other's thoughts on the matter, and whether or not they agree and on what.

This is the beginning of a new philosophy (if you can call it that) that I am arriving to, since (like every other thinker) the existing ones are not satisfying enough. But I have no depth of experience to know if I'm going about it the right way.

Regardless, it's a thought, and I thought that I should share it.

You lost me at the start of the 2nd Paragraph. (just being honest) After several attempts to re-read it, I get the sense that you are frustrated by not having the results to prior attempts at "reasoning" that you were looking for.

I share your frustration and offer one possible aspect that you may want to consider. "Reasoning" against a hostile or intellectually dishonest adversary is not likely to ever result in someone saying "reasoned debate is the way to go."

"Reasoning" is (to me) necessary and worthwhile, despite the outcome of the effort; if for no other reason that there are others who may be enlightened by simply observing the exchange.

I believe there are other reasons as well. (but I'm out of time)
"Sooner or later, the Supreme Court of the Unites States is going to have explain how a 'child in the womb' is a person enough to be recognized as a MURDER victim under our fetal homicide laws but how they are not persons enough to qualify for any other Constitutional protections" ~ Chuz Life

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innomen
Posts: 10,052
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11/16/2011 4:11:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/15/2011 9:16:00 AM, M.Torres wrote:
I've begun to come to the conclusion that the people on this site put far too much importance on the faculty of reasoning alone. We treat it as some sacred vehicle to discovering truth, but I believe the very evidence of this site alone shows there is no reasonable means to ascertain truth - if there's truth at all.

I have finally begun to awaken to what I wouldn't call truth, but rather I have awoken to what is certainly false. This falsity being that reasoning has no truth value. Reasoning is a means to take information, and attempt to make them only appear as truth. We are aware that logical fallacies exist, for example, and that they are resultant of taking information and making them appear true when they are in fact not. But when we get down to the heart of the matter, essentially all arguments are merely means to take our observations and argue them for social purposes.

I contend, then, that our faculty of reasoning is merely and solely a byproduct of evolution and a means to control other human beings. At all times, we are forced to perform this action since at all times our bodies are at the mercy of our own programming.

This makes sense, I believe, in that we argue that humans are the only living creatures capable of having sentient, true, logical reason, and yet it is not necessary to be living - as shown by all other living creatures. So it cannot be any sort of "truth". Rather, as even I am showing through this post, our reasoning is a function to order information however we like to sway others reasoning, and in doing so, gaining control. Because even without reasoning, power is essential to our evolutionary purposes. In the case of humans, are frailty had to adapt, and so we obtained a means to control other living creatures.

There is no ultimate objective I mean to obtain by posting this. I merely thought it a curious thought, and one I never heard fully developed - in fact, I have not fully developed it myself. But I am also curious to hear other's thoughts on the matter, and whether or not they agree and on what.

This is the beginning of a new philosophy (if you can call it that) that I am arriving to, since (like every other thinker) the existing ones are not satisfying enough. But I have no depth of experience to know if I'm going about it the right way.

Regardless, it's a thought, and I thought that I should share it.

"Reasoning" is a tool used in persuasion, and effective persuasion is really where you will find the most practical utility in life. You will get far more in life if you are effective at persuasion more so than debate.
PARADIGM_L0ST
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11/16/2011 4:41:35 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
This is the beginning of a new philosophy (if you can call it that) that I am arriving to, since (like every other thinker) the existing ones are not satisfying enough. But I have no depth of experience to know if I'm going about it the right way.:

As Solomon once said in Ecclesiastes... "There's nothing new under the sun..." I hate to break it to you, but you aren't reinventing the wheel. Your newfound philosophy is nothing more than nihilism.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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11/16/2011 5:15:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Anti-realism FTW.

Join us, brother! ...kinda.

Your idea'll be refined over time now, it is just a rough diamond about to be crafted. The question is, into what?
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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belle
Posts: 4,113
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11/17/2011 12:30:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
i think you're making two different arguments here. the first, that reasoning evolved as a way to convince others that we are right. a lot of scholars would agree with you there....

http://www.nytimes.com...

(interesting article on the topic)

on the other hand, you further argue that because this is the case reason and truth are totally divorced from one another. i don't think that necessarily follows from the first thing, especially if you consider a group of people arguing rather than a single person just.... thinking. to me, what this implies is that individuals tend to be pretty bad at getting at the truth... but groups of people are better, because in a certain sense, many of the biases cancel each other out. we all f*ck up but not in the same way.

also, just because something didn't evolve specifically for a certain purpose doesn't mean that it can't be put to that purpose.... for example, i don't think we evolved to have sex just because it feels good... but thats the reason most people do it most of the time.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Ren
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11/17/2011 1:19:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/15/2011 9:16:00 AM, M.Torres wrote:
I've begun to come to the conclusion that the people on this site put far too much importance on the faculty of reasoning alone. We treat it as some sacred vehicle to discovering truth, but I believe the very evidence of this site alone shows there is no reasonable means to ascertain truth - if there's truth at all.

I have finally begun to awaken to what I wouldn't call truth, but rather I have awoken to what is certainly false. This falsity being that reasoning has no truth value. Reasoning is a means to take information, and attempt to make them only appear as truth. We are aware that logical fallacies exist, for example, and that they are resultant of taking information and making them appear true when they are in fact not. But when we get down to the heart of the matter, essentially all arguments are merely means to take our observations and argue them for social purposes.

I contend, then, that our faculty of reasoning is merely and solely a byproduct of evolution and a means to control other human beings. At all times, we are forced to perform this action since at all times our bodies are at the mercy of our own programming.

This makes sense, I believe, in that we argue that humans are the only living creatures capable of having sentient, true, logical reason, and yet it is not necessary to be living - as shown by all other living creatures. So it cannot be any sort of "truth". Rather, as even I am showing through this post, our reasoning is a function to order information however we like to sway others reasoning, and in doing so, gaining control. Because even without reasoning, power is essential to our evolutionary purposes. In the case of humans, are frailty had to adapt, and so we obtained a means to control other living creatures.

There is no ultimate objective I mean to obtain by posting this. I merely thought it a curious thought, and one I never heard fully developed - in fact, I have not fully developed it myself. But I am also curious to hear other's thoughts on the matter, and whether or not they agree and on what.

This is the beginning of a new philosophy (if you can call it that) that I am arriving to, since (like every other thinker) the existing ones are not satisfying enough. But I have no depth of experience to know if I'm going about it the right way.

Regardless, it's a thought, and I thought that I should share it.

You're reasoning for reasoning being fallacious is fallacious based on the fact that if it were true, then your reasoning would be fallacious.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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11/17/2011 11:48:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/16/2011 4:11:49 PM, innomen wrote:

"Reasoning" is a tool used in persuasion, and effective persuasion is really where you will find the most practical utility in life. You will get far more in life if you are effective at persuasion more so than debate.

Persuasion has nothing to do with reasoning. If I put a gun to your head in order to get you to do certain actions, I persuaded you but I didn't do it through reasoning.
Open borders debate:
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vbaculum
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11/17/2011 1:34:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/17/2011 11:48:23 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 11/16/2011 4:11:49 PM, innomen wrote:

"Reasoning" is a tool used in persuasion, and effective persuasion is really where you will find the most practical utility in life. You will get far more in life if you are effective at persuasion more so than debate.

Persuasion has nothing to do with reasoning. If I put a gun to your head in order to get you to do certain actions, I persuaded you but I didn't do it through reasoning.

Occasionally, people will be persuaded by a well-reasoned argument.
"If you claim to value nonviolence and you consume animal products, you need to rethink your position on nonviolence." - Gary Francione

THE WORLD IS VEGAN! If you want it
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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11/17/2011 2:02:22 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/17/2011 1:34:21 PM, vbaculum wrote:
At 11/17/2011 11:48:23 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 11/16/2011 4:11:49 PM, innomen wrote:

"Reasoning" is a tool used in persuasion, and effective persuasion is really where you will find the most practical utility in life. You will get far more in life if you are effective at persuasion more so than debate.

Persuasion has nothing to do with reasoning. If I put a gun to your head in order to get you to do certain actions, I persuaded you but I didn't do it through reasoning.

Occasionally, people will be persuaded by a well-reasoned argument.

I'd say that using logic is one of the weakest forms of persuasion.
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Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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11/17/2011 3:59:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/15/2011 9:16:00 AM, M.Torres wrote:
I've begun to come to the conclusion that the people on this site put far too much importance on the faculty of reasoning alone. We treat it as some sacred vehicle to discovering truth, but I believe the very evidence of this site alone shows there is no reasonable means to ascertain truth - if there's truth at all.

I have finally begun to awaken to what I wouldn't call truth, but rather I have awoken to what is certainly false. This falsity being that reasoning has no truth value. Reasoning is a means to take information, and attempt to make them only appear as truth. We are aware that logical fallacies exist, for example, and that they are resultant of taking information and making them appear true when they are in fact not. But when we get down to the heart of the matter, essentially all arguments are merely means to take our observations and argue them for social purposes.

I contend, then, that our faculty of reasoning is merely and solely a byproduct of evolution and a means to control other human beings. At all times, we are forced to perform this action since at all times our bodies are at the mercy of our own programming.

This makes sense, I believe, in that we argue that humans are the only living creatures capable of having sentient, true, logical reason, and yet it is not necessary to be living - as shown by all other living creatures. So it cannot be any sort of "truth". Rather, as even I am showing through this post, our reasoning is a function to order information however we like to sway others reasoning, and in doing so, gaining control. Because even without reasoning, power is essential to our evolutionary purposes. In the case of humans, are frailty had to adapt, and so we obtained a means to control other living creatures.

There is no ultimate objective I mean to obtain by posting this. I merely thought it a curious thought, and one I never heard fully developed - in fact, I have not fully developed it myself. But I am also curious to hear other's thoughts on the matter, and whether or not they agree and on what.

This is the beginning of a new philosophy (if you can call it that) that I am arriving to, since (like every other thinker) the existing ones are not satisfying enough. But I have no depth of experience to know if I'm going about it the right way.

Regardless, it's a thought, and I thought that I should share it.

I hate to break it to you, but this is essentially restating Nietzche's views on the pursuit of truth.

Congrats on reaching the conclusion without his help.
LeoL
Posts: 109
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11/19/2011 4:29:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You reasoned to come up with this.
Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? -Douglas Adams
Chrysippus
Posts: 2,173
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11/19/2011 8:32:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Logic and human reason certainly work, but the end result can only be as good as the premises it is based on, and can in practice be considerably worse due to errors and rejection of the neccessary conclusions. Humans aren't computers.

Everyone starts from sets of premises that they consciously and unconsciously accumulate throughout their lives; some of those premises are right, but incomplete, and some are mistaken. Wrong conclusions happen. That doesn't make reason useless.

Logic is the most valuable tool we humans have. We'd have nothing else without it.
Cavete mea inexorabilis legiones mimus!
charleslb
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11/20/2011 9:02:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Thank you for an intelligently written piece. However, although I agree that reason is overrated by some, to go to an opposite, postmodernist extreme of rejecting reason as merely an intellectual tool for crafting one's subjective point of view into a bogusly objective truth; or to demean reason as modern biologism does, as "a callow technique for winning arguments, which is an evolutionary gain", is simplistic, to put it as inoffensively as possible.

Admittedly, reason is certainly not the whole epistemological enchilada. Reason alone will not deliver a human mind to the answers to ethical or ultimate questions, to Truth with a capital "T", to insight, wisdom, or enlightenment. But it is a mode of knowing that can play a very serviceable part in one's quest for a greater and deeper knowledge of reality. It needs to be cultivated and used in a concerted fashion with other modes of knowing, such as our aesthetic, emotional, and intuitive modes. When it is; that is, when reason is neither discounted nor made dominant, neither proscribed nor privileged above other forms of intelligence, when it is made to respect its limitations but given its just due, it can and does make a significant contribution to liberating human consciousness from the shackles of superficiality and the fetters of Philistinism (i.e. materialism and scientism).

Reason is, as the philosopher and theologian John Cobb has said, the disciplining of the imagination. And without imagination, without employing imagination in a disciplined and systematic fashion, there will be precious little progress indeed toward knowledge and understanding, either on an individual or a specieal basis.

Now then, that being said, in my view truth is not logical, it's axiological. That is, it isn't a rational and objective quantity, it's a values-laden and defined proposition. To gnomically nutshell it, the internal nature of existence is not any kind of tangible substantiality; rather, it's pure sentience and creative process seeking to actualize its best & most beautiful possibilities and "values". The universe is quite simply the ongoing materialization of the immaterial virtues & values intrinsic in experience itself. This all being the case, being "objective" and intellectually impartial isn't at all the ticket to enlightenment. Instead, cultivating and practicing the right and the most sublime – socially, politically, ethically, aesthetically, and spiritually sublime – biases, aka values, is the process of enlightenment. And rational thought absolutely does have a role to play in this business of apprehending and interpreting the right & most sublime values. Mm-hmm, along with feeling and intuition, reason is indispensably instrumental in gaining a clarity of conscious appreciation-understanding of the axiological verities that are "Truth", the truth of any given question; ergo my friend, if you're a sincere truth-seeker you renounce reason at your own considerable risk.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.