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A rant: Why logic doesn't work

000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/4/2012 4:51:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm tired of arguing. No matter how objective we think we are....and how open we think we are, we are not. We don't believe in our opinions because they've proved their truth beyond reasonable doubt,...but because we WANT them to be true. I mean, consider how many of your opinions you're happy with and enjoy defending. A LOT. What are the odds that the truth of reality would align so well with your personal desires?

We are egocentric creatures (ignoring so-called "altruism") who do and believe in whatever gives us peace and happiness as a society or even individually. We would be damned before we let our precious perceptions of the world be torn to shreds by logic or anything else.

So the way to win any intellectual war is to get people to dislike their opinions, emotionally. Make them believe their opinions are a dark version of the world. Then reel them in with logic....afterward.

Let's call it, virtuous propaganda.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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8/4/2012 5:18:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
You just realized this NOW? Woah.
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
thett3
Posts: 14,360
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8/4/2012 5:20:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 4:51:15 PM, 000ike wrote:
What are the odds that the truth of reality would align so well with your personal desires?


100%
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Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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8/4/2012 5:20:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This is essentially, and ironically, a discussion of determinism against compatibilism. Can I override my preference and act rationally? If yes, then, at the very least, compatibilism is true. If not, then I am forced to follow my preferences, and thus determinism is true, in regards to the free will debate.
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jat93
Posts: 1,440
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8/4/2012 6:04:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'm not really a fan of this line of thinking. First of all, people change their minds on important issues all the time. I became an atheist when I was 15, but beforehand I was an orthodox Jew with a strong emotional attachment to Judaism. Realizing that what I had always believed to be the truest truth in all of existence was one of the most false falsehoods ever devised was pretty painful for me to accept at first - because I had taken Judaism and integrated it into my ego, so I and Judaism were one and the same, and rejecting Judaism meant rejecting a part of myself. The reason for this stubborn human resistance to changing our minds about important issues is that the issues become conflated with our personalities and we see them as part of ourselves.

That being said, it's still possible to try to be reasonable to the best of our abilities. You take the fact that most people desperately want to cling onto their current beliefs for emotional reasons - which I agree with - and conclude, "okay, all logic and reason is essentially futile and doesn't work." Logic and reason are sound, and we can attain modes of thought that are more logical and reasonable than they are strictly emotional. Just because most people think emotionally and because we tend to conflate our opinions on the world with our sense of self, does not mean we should not strive to use facts and logic to the best of our abilities.

Will any of us ever be perfectly reasonable creatures? No, but we can try to be as reasonable as possible, and we can be aware of emotional predispositions to certain beliefs. Granted, nowadays, I am predisposed in a debate between an atheist and a theist to side with the atheist, even if the theist's arguments were stronger. I am biased in that sense, as most atheists who describe themselves as open-minded freethinkers would be. However, this is after I tried to be as reasonable as possible in my religious studies and came to the conclusion that the Torah is not divinely inspired..... So what I would say is this - we will all form emotional biases and forgo the use of reason to an extent, but if we try to be as reasonable and logical as possible, at least this will be done with causes/opinions which we are pretty confident are true and just. Yeah, we'll eventually form biases and attachments to longheld beliefs, but if those beliefs were attained through the use of reason and objectivity to the extent that our limited human minds can be reasonable and objective, maybe that bias isn't the end of the world; it might even be helpful in having an understanding about what we think is true and just and what is false and immoral.

I think you'd do well to remember that as humans, we are judgement making creatures. We make judgements in order to survive and understand the world and the events and interactions within it. This requires you to make conclusions about ideas you think are good or bad. It's just how we are by nature. If you grant that we can have opinions/judgement on things as I assume you do, you should also grant that those opinions will lead to a closer association with one group than another. For example, if after study and introspection you come to the conclusion that you think government should not intervene in the economy or our personal lives, you will obviously trust those libertarians who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative more than fascists or communists. While this is a bias, if the bias was attained through a decision that was reached while being as objective and open-minded and honest as you possibly can, I think it's a good one.

Richard Dawkins says: "By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out". After a certain point of study and research on a given subject a bit of bias is desirable - you need to know where your opinions and judgements lie, and as such you need to know the people/systems you can most reliably trust to tell you what you deem is the truth. However, the fact of inevitable bias towards our strongly and/or longheld beliefs and opinions does not by any means indicate that we should not try to be as logical and reasonable as we can possibly be.
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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8/4/2012 6:37:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Since we are all going to die anyway, why not just kill ourselves now?
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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8/4/2012 7:48:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 6:37:33 PM, CrazyPerson wrote:
Since we are all going to die anyway, why not just kill ourselves now?

The Fool:
Because what is IS!
Therefore existing is the only potential for value and is the purpose.
I use the word 'value' refer to the 'idea' which refers to enjoyment and satification..(as in having desired satisfied.)

-Not to be confused with satifaction, which is to have no desire and it the same as death. Or Budhisms circlur reasoning of desiring to have no desire.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
The_Fool_on_the_hill
Posts: 6,071
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8/4/2012 7:50:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 6:04:49 PM, jat93 wrote:
I'm not really a fan of this line of thinking. First of all, people change their minds on important issues all the time. I became an atheist when I was 15, but beforehand I was an orthodox Jew with a strong emotional attachment to Judaism. Realizing that what I had always believed to be the truest truth in all of existence was one of the most false falsehoods ever devised was pretty painful for me to accept at first - because I had taken Judaism and integrated it into my ego, so I and Judaism were one and the same, and rejecting Judaism meant rejecting a part of myself. The reason for this stubborn human resistance to changing our minds about important issues is that the issues become conflated with our personalities and we see them as part of ourselves.

That being said, it's still possible to try to be reasonable to the best of our abilities. You take the fact that most people desperately want to cling onto their current beliefs for emotional reasons - which I agree with - and conclude, "okay, all logic and reason is essentially futile and doesn't work." Logic and reason are sound, and we can attain modes of thought that are more logical and reasonable than they are strictly emotional. Just because most people think emotionally and because we tend to conflate our opinions on the world with our sense of self, does not mean we should not strive to use facts and logic to the best of our abilities.

Will any of us ever be perfectly reasonable creatures? No, but we can try to be as reasonable as possible, and we can be aware of emotional predispositions to certain beliefs. Granted, nowadays, I am predisposed in a debate between an atheist and a theist to side with the atheist, even if the theist's arguments were stronger. I am biased in that sense, as most atheists who describe themselves as open-minded freethinkers would be. However, this is after I tried to be as reasonable as possible in my religious studies and came to the conclusion that the Torah is not divinely inspired..... So what I would say is this - we will all form emotional biases and forgo the use of reason to an extent, but if we try to be as reasonable and logical as possible, at least this will be done with causes/opinions which we are pretty confident are true and just. Yeah, we'll eventually form biases and attachments to longheld beliefs, but if those beliefs were attained through the use of reason and objectivity to the extent that our limited human minds can be reasonable and objective, maybe that bias isn't the end of the world; it might even be helpful in having an understanding about what we think is true and just and what is false and immoral.

I think you'd do well to remember that as humans, we are judgement making creatures. We make judgements in order to survive and understand the world and the events and interactions within it. This requires you to make conclusions about ideas you think are good or bad. It's just how we are by nature. If you grant that we can have opinions/judgement on things as I assume you do, you should also grant that those opinions will lead to a closer association with one group than another. For example, if after study and introspection you come to the conclusion that you think government should not intervene in the economy or our personal lives, you will obviously trust those libertarians who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative more than fascists or communists. While this is a bias, if the bias was attained through a decision that was reached while being as objective and open-minded and honest as you possibly can, I think it's a good one.

Richard Dawkins says: "By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out". After a certain point of study and research on a given subject a bit of bias is desirable - you need to know where your opinions and judgements lie, and as such you need to know the people/systems you can most reliably trust to tell you what you deem is the truth. However, the fact of inevitable bias towards our strongly and/or longheld beliefs and opinions does not by any means indicate that we should not try to be as logical and reasonable as we can possibly be.

The Fool: you argueing in favor of being Irrational. Can you please give us example of your prefered irrationaty.
"The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant's existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. These stages are not merely differentiated; they supplant one another as being incompatible with one another." G. W. F. HEGEL
jedipengiun
Posts: 169
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8/5/2012 5:39:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 4:51:15 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm tired of arguing. No matter how objective we think we are....and how open we think we are, we are not. We don't believe in our opinions because they've proved their truth beyond reasonable doubt,...but because we WANT them to be true. I mean, consider how many of your opinions you're happy with and enjoy defending. A LOT. What are the odds that the truth of reality would align so well with your personal desires?

We are egocentric creatures (ignoring so-called "altruism") who do and believe in whatever gives us peace and happiness as a society or even individually. We would be damned before we let our precious perceptions of the world be torn to shreds by logic or anything else.

So the way to win any intellectual war is to get people to dislike their opinions, emotionally. Make them believe their opinions are a dark version of the world. Then reel them in with logic....afterward.

Let's call it, virtuous propaganda.

Precisely my problem with nihilism and solipsism and pure logic based positions.
Things that make me happy!

: At 6/22/2012 1:46:11 PM, Kinesis wrote:
: Also, as an Englishman I'm obligated to be prejudiced against gingers and the French.

: At 8/27/2012 10:00:07 PM, FREEDO wrote:
: Every self-respecting philosopher needs to smoke a pipe.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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8/5/2012 8:36:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 4:51:15 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm tired of arguing. No matter how objective we think we are....and how open we think we are, we are not. We don't believe in our opinions because they've proved their truth beyond reasonable doubt,...but because we WANT them to be true. I mean, consider how many of your opinions you're happy with and enjoy defending. A LOT. What are the odds that the truth of reality would align so well with your personal desires?

We are egocentric creatures (ignoring so-called "altruism") who do and believe in whatever gives us peace and happiness as a society or even individually. We would be damned before we let our precious perceptions of the world be torn to shreds by logic or anything else.

So the way to win any intellectual war is to get people to dislike their opinions, emotionally. Make them believe their opinions are a dark version of the world. Then reel them in with logic....afterward.

Let's call it, virtuous propaganda.

As you get older and encounter new dimensions of people with personalities you could never imagine, your mind will begin to change about this.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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8/6/2012 6:45:55 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 4:51:15 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm tired of arguing. No matter how objective we think we are....and how open we think we are, we are not. We don't believe in our opinions because they've proved their truth beyond reasonable doubt,...but because we WANT them to be true. I mean, consider how many of your opinions you're happy with and enjoy defending. A LOT. What are the odds that the truth of reality would align so well with your personal desires?

We are egocentric creatures (ignoring so-called "altruism") who do and believe in whatever gives us peace and happiness as a society or even individually. We would be damned before we let our precious perceptions of the world be torn to shreds by logic or anything else.

So the way to win any intellectual war is to get people to dislike their opinions, emotionally. Make them believe their opinions are a dark version of the world. Then reel them in with logic....afterward.

Let's call it, virtuous propaganda.

you worry too much.

also, I hold to notions because they seem to work at Getting what I want.. Not because I simply want them to be true.

I don't see the problem..?
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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8/6/2012 6:46:40 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 5:20:19 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
This is essentially, and ironically, a discussion of determinism against compatibilism. Can I override my preference and act rationally? If yes, then, at the very least, compatibilism is true. If not, then I am forced to follow my preferences, and thus determinism is true, in regards to the free will debate.

the only Rational thing to do is act (in a well-thought out manner) based upon your Preferences.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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8/6/2012 6:47:18 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/5/2012 8:36:00 PM, Ren wrote:
As you get older and encounter new dimensions of people with personalities you could never imagine, your mind will begin to change about this.

Dummy.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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8/6/2012 6:55:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/6/2012 6:45:55 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
So the way to win any intellectual war is to get people to dislike their opinions, emotionally. Make them believe their opinions are a dark version of the world. Then reel them in with logic....afterward.

Let's call it, virtuous propaganda.

Let's not even call it Virtuous propaganda..

For that, to the uninitiated ;), implies objectivity..

Instead.. Let's call it Playing upon our similarities to make you see like Me...

Or.. My carefully figuring out what you care about and making you see that the way I want the world gets you what you want too..

If neither of these are possible.. I'll just oppose you.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
tarkovsky
Posts: 212
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8/6/2012 10:19:32 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/4/2012 4:51:15 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm tired of arguing. No matter how objective we think we are....and how open we think we are, we are not. We don't believe in our opinions because they've proved their truth beyond reasonable doubt,...but because we WANT them to be true. I mean, consider how many of your opinions you're happy with and enjoy defending. A LOT. What are the odds that the truth of reality would align so well with your personal desires?

We are egocentric creatures (ignoring so-called "altruism") who do and believe in whatever gives us peace and happiness as a society or even individually. We would be damned before we let our precious perceptions of the world be torn to shreds by logic or anything else.

So the way to win any intellectual war is to get people to dislike their opinions, emotionally. Make them believe their opinions are a dark version of the world. Then reel them in with logic....afterward.

Let's call it, virtuous propaganda.

I actually completely disagree. Perhaps it's just me, but I often find that I'm unable to decide what it is I believe. There have been many times where I genuinely wanted to believe there was a God who was looking out for me. I wanted to believe that whatever tribulations I might have been going through, they were meaningful, and my sufferings would be repaid to me with successes. Hard as I might try, I couldn't believe, even if I wanted to.

I don't think we get to choose what we believe.
truthseeker613
Posts: 464
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8/6/2012 11:05:42 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
How do you explain Anthony flew (British philosopher/ professor) Who spent his life denying god, and wrote many books to prove that god doesn't exist. Turn around and write the book "there is a god", stating that in keeping his lifelong commitment to go where the evidence leads, he now believes in the existence of God?

How do you explain, Roman generals converting to monotheism, despite the risk of being executed for it?

How do you explain Christians converting to Judaism in the time of the inquisition?
Or Russians doing so in the 1800's, at a time that Jews were treated as 2nd class citizens, and subject to pogroms?
http://www.nydailynews.com...

royalpaladin: I'd rather support people who kill spies than a nation that organizes assassination squads (Kidon) to illegally enter into other nations and kill anybody who is not a Zionist. Who knows when they'll kill me for the crime of not supporting Israel?

Koopin: LOL! I just imagine Royal sitting in here apartment at night, when suddenly she hears a man outside speaking Hebrew as sh
GarretKadeDupre
Posts: 2,023
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1/17/2013 10:13:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/6/2012 11:05:42 AM, truthseeker613 wrote:
How do you explain Anthony flew (British philosopher/ professor) Who spent his life denying god, and wrote many books to prove that god doesn't exist. Turn around and write the book "there is a god", stating that in keeping his lifelong commitment to go where the evidence leads, he now believes in the existence of God?

How do you explain, Roman generals converting to monotheism, despite the risk of being executed for it?

How do you explain Christians converting to Judaism in the time of the inquisition?
Or Russians doing so in the 1800's, at a time that Jews were treated as 2nd class citizens, and subject to pogroms?

God. That's how I explain it.
Proof that people witnessed living dinosaurs:
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