Monday, March 28, 2011

Logic - The Better Choice

The world is flat.  I can say this and believe it to be true based on limited information, like the horizon.  Or I could say, likewise, the sun goes around the earth and in fact, the EARTH is the center of the universe.  Self-centered, yes, but also based on limited information, such as days and years. 

Now, obviously we know both these things are false.  We know this because more information was gathered and through a process of trial an error, combined with observations and all kinds of crazy mathematical awesome (along with actually flying into space and recording observations from above the earth) that in fact, our planet is round and it is simply one of many planets in this galaxy, let alone the universe.

Why do I mention this? Because all of these conclusions were based on some sort of logic.  Logic will always lead to truth if you have enough information. If you don't, you will come to some false understanding.  You can't guess the other variables - that will only lead you to false conclusions which will cause you to create some fantastical theory based on only a modicum of truth.  That said, given the other options, it is better to use logic to come to conclusions than not. 

Most people do not use logic to come to conclusions, rather, they use emotional response.  Think about it.  When you are faced with a decision, whatever it is, your knee-jerk reaction is to make a choice that makes you feel good in some way.  That's why, when presented with a donut or baby carrots, we choose the donut.  It tastes better, it's soft and fluffy and it looks beautiful.  Hell, it even smells great when coming out of the oven.  Yet when we use logic, we come to a different conclusion.  The baby carrots have nutrients.  They don't taste as good as the donut, but they are better for me and I will feel physically better because they will not spike my blood glucose levels once they have been absorbed like the donut would.  Logic, detachment, would have us choose the baby carrots.

As information is more easily accessible, so is false information.  Remember, as I said before, logic used with correct information will lead to truth.  So if we have false information, even if we use logic, we will come to false conclusions.  It becomes important nowadays not only to read high quality information sources that are unbiased as possible (or at least read two biased accounts from opposite sides), but also to use reason to determine what the correct choices are.  We cannot afford to have emotional responses in a time when our emotions can be manipulated by unseen forces, such as the agents of corporate profits.  We must gather our information.  We must use it to our best advantage, and we must use our abilities to reason in order to come to the best course of action to address the issues we need to address.

If you, like many of us, are out of practice using your powers of logic, I suggest Sudoku.  Like an argument or a theory, logic is the way you solve this puzzle.  You cannot guess the answer.  You must wait until you have enough information to make a correct choice.  A false one will result in complete failure to solve the puzzle.  Who knows? Maybe your newly strengthened powers will save you later from making a horrible choice - like donuts, or voting for a tea party candidate.

No comments:

Post a Comment