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Is logic really logical?

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posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 05:50 AM
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(Rumors of my abduction have been greatly exaggerated!)

Is logic really logical? Or is logic simply belief, personal preference, and popular opinion with a good public relations campaign?

Usually when I get into certain discussions, someone invariably holds up high logic in one hand with scientific method in the other. “But Narco,” they would say, “we have science, we have logic and reasoning, we’re not living in the dark ages of superstition and fairies anymore.”

Scientific method is just aces, but I get a little fuzzy when it comes to touting logic.

Logic is logic by whose measure, really? Mr. Spock of Vulcan? Supreme Pundit of ATS? Joe Schmo Six-Pack? How can a person’s thought process and method of analysis be more correct? Does it just mean they’re correct more often, or that they’re correct about certain things? (What’s more important—higher batting average or hitting ‘em out of the park when it counts the most for the team?

I suspect that in many cases "logic" means "supported by empiricism," but I am finding people throw this term around like it was a catchphrase.

Anybody else remember those multiple choice questions where you were asked to choose the “most correct” answer among some similar options? Ever get those wrong?

No matter how correct and logic-minded one is, they’re still going to get a few wrong, I would think. Why? Because we’re not robots off the assembly line, pre-programmed with infallibility (although I’m sure many people are convinced that they are!) There is always room for error no matter how intellectualized and smartified and logisticated someone is.

Logic seems to work great when numbers are involved. Mathematics and computer programming would not exist without proofs and logical parameters. Sure, you can evaluate facts and known conditions to weigh a decision or reach a conclusion, but I think, there are very few real life situations where we humans can make use of logic in daily life. So why does everybody claim to be so bloody logical and correct all the time? (Or am I the only one plagued by such a multitude of attitudes from the people around me?) Even worse, no one is immune to succumbing to emotion when they know the “logical” thing to do. Anyone’s logic can become tainted at any time.

What is more logical? Coke or Pepsi? Green or blue? Well, it's not like we need reasoning to make mundane decisions; these usually come down to a matter of personal preference, guided in a unique way by a unique mind. That said, wouldn't this be true for ALL decisions though? There is always a way to logically justify any major decisions. War or peace? The person who calls for peace will call the warrior irrational, while the warrior will call the peacemaker irrational.

Here’s a few moral dilemmas you can solve at your leisure:



The Runaway Trolley

A runaway trolley is heading down the tracks toward five workmen who will be killed if the trolley proceeds on its present course. Molly is on a footbridge over the tracks, in between the approaching trolley and the five workmen. Next to her on this footbridge is a stranger who happens to be very large.
If she does nothing the trolley will proceed, causing the deaths of the five workmen. The only way to save the lives of these workmen is to push this stranger off the bridge and onto the tracks below, where his large body will stop the trolley, causing his death.

Should Molly push the stranger onto the tracks in order to save the five workmen?
psychopixi.com...




The Deliberate Infection

Ken is a doctor. One of his patients, whom he has diagnosed as HIV positive, is about to receive a blood transfusion prior to being released from the hospital. He has told Ken, in the confidence of their doctor-patient relationship, that after he gets his transfusion, and his medicine from Ken, he intends to infect as many people as possible with HIV starting that evening.
Because Ken is bound by doctor-patient confidentiality, there is no legal way to stop this man from carrying out his plan. Even if Ken warned the police, they would not be able to arrest him, since his medical information is protected.
It occurs to Ken that he could contaminate his medication by putting an untraceable poison in it that will kill him before he gets a chance to infect others.

Should Ken poison this man in order to prevent him from spreading HIV?
psychopixi.com...


To what extent does logic enter into your decisions? I think it is safe to say that these examples aren’t decided without some level of feeling or intuition.

To one person, it may be logical to save as many as possible by sacrificing the one. To another, it may be more logical to let fate take its course instead of “playing God” to choose who lives and dies by these circumstances. Who knows, everybody has a different mode of thinking, and different method of analyzing such decisions, with valid reasons to support their decision. Isn’t that why we humans are always at odds with each other? Disagreeing? Arguing?

Many of us can’t see eye-to-eye no matter how logical and reasonable we claim to be.

My grandmother used to chastise me saying, “use common sense!” when she disagreed with my actions or decisions (which, of course, seemed quite “logical” to me.) Now, my grandmother was very old-fashioned and conservative—she was a simple person living in a very black-and-white world—and I was just a moronic rebel without a cause in her opinion. Who is more correct when we’re both citing the same defense?

What is common sense and logical reasoning if not just a fancy term for personal preference or popular opinion?

Yes, we are thinking, reasoning, analytical creatures. But we are also feeling, emotional, and social creatures—naturally, each of us is a unique combination of all of these qualities in different levels of abundance. With reasoning AND feeling pervading all thoughts and all decisions, how can anybody ever truly claim to be more correct by way of logic?

Bringing “logic” into any debate or argument in unavoidable, and someone’s sense of logic is going to be questioned when there is a disagreement (ad hominem.)

Is citing “logic” simply becoming a trendy substitute to say “Nuh uh! I’m right and you’re wrong!” It certainly seems that way to me!

Please explain, using logic of course, why you agree or disagree with me. I’m looking forward to your input.


edit on 13-4-2014 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 06:15 AM
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The application of logic, on its own, is very un-empowering.

Logic requires its three stable mates, wisdom, knowledge and experience to be useful.

In concert, these four are very powerful. Each on their own does not allow one to solve problems.

Looking at and asking about, each on their own, is illogical.

P

edit on 13/4/2014 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 06:21 AM
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from travels i found logic to be highly relative to socio-cultural condition, to paradigms.

therefore not absolute, therefore subjective.

pure logic shall be pure truth by definition, universal & absolute but it's biased by conditioning;

so since pure truth is so hard to reach and/or recognize (even and especially by science)... the logic applied by people cannot be not much more than a phantasm of their intellect by their ego,

imo, in my logic.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 06:23 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Only to get to a agreed result can logic be used. Otherwise both yes and no are both logical to each of us.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 06:24 AM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


Thanks for the reply. I agree fully that one must have wisdom (aka experience) to work together with intellect. Temperance is the key to understanding.

I mostly wrote this just to get off my chest how annoyed I am with people who use terms like "logic" and "reasoning" as some kind of 'get-out-of-argument' free card. As if just using the term gives them the high ground. Many is the time I've been told how wrong I am simply because my "logic" was incongruous with someone else's. Oh, I'm wrong because I disagree? ...and then begins the name-calling



edit on 13-4-2014 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 06:33 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 

Logic eh....well if you put one foot in a pail of hot water and the other in a pail of cold water then logic might tell you that the two should balance out ,and you would be comfortable ...Of coarse we know that just doesn't work in the real world but for some reason we are given that sort of a explanation in climate science .Theory plays a big role in perpetuating illogical thinking .ie . Two different museums not far from each other ,one on geology and one of fossils play on each others dating system in that one dates it's rocks based on how old the fossils are .The other dates the fossils on how old the rocks are ....Of coarse both are based on a theory of how old the universe is .. If science had it correct to begin with then how is the next thing they find a surprise . A good example of this is found in astronomy .I gave up on the standard model and decided that the Electric Universe gives a much more comfortable model that explains these things, that our standard scientist have to create black holes and dark matter .Well they will create what ever they need to in order to keep the standard model going and the money to keep flowing .

Logic would seem to be over rated ,especially when we have different ways of looking at things .All we need to be incorrect is to have one false piece of information that is only a guess about, because of a theory we hold onto to be true .Contrary facts will be either ignored or twisted to maintain the theory...peace



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 07:20 AM
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Logic pretty much is the provable truth to something. You can then apply certain "logical" terms to other situations.

Logical is not just a common opinion.
edit on b0707825 by Biigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 07:38 AM
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I'm not sure that logic works exactly the same way you think it does. For example, logic is not going to help you solve the dilemma between Coke and Pepsi or Green and Blue. There simply is not way to clearly and logically choose.

Now, you can practice constructing logical arguments in support of your opinion on those matters, but that would still not give a definitive, logical answer for all time or all people. Some people might be swayed by your mastery of logic and others will not.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 07:39 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 

Logic dictates that the future is uncertain no matter how certain it may look now. Therefore, you must make decisions based on a moral perspective where there is uncertainty. If I push the large man off the bridge it is more likely, very high certainty , he will die. It is highly likely, but not 100% certain that the workmen will be saved. However, there is the possibility that the workmen may be saved by an as yet unknown mechanism. So applying the moral perspective : it is wrong to purposely kill the large man for the possibility of saving the 5 from an accident.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 08:06 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Is logic really logical? Or is logic simply belief, personal preference, and popular opinion with a good public relations campaign?

Did you read the def of the word logic before you posted this? When you apply logic to a problem, you are applying a method that is already proven, like mathematics, or chemistry. Logic is choosing the right formula to apply to a problem so that you can predict the outcome with the highest certainty
Logic is the opposite of belief, preference and opinion.

So when you say

Usually when I get into certain discussions, someone invariably holds up high logic in one hand with scientific method in the other.

The scientific method is based soundly on logic. I think what your talking about is when people say they are using logic to describe how strong their opinion is, which is stupid. So whenever someone uses that argument, you will know that they are really just stupid.

So to answer your question logic is still logical and stupid is as stupid does.


log·ic
ˈläjik/
noun
1.
reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity.

2.
a system or set of principles underlying the arrangements of elements in a computer or electronic device so as to perform a specified task.
logical operations collectively.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 08:07 AM
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ketsuko
logic is not going to help you solve the dilemma between Coke and Pepsi or Green and Blue. There simply is not way to clearly and logically choose.


Exactly my point. However, some people like to pretend that a logical mind is the gateway to intellectual salvation. I'm just saying that from the simple (colas and colors,) to the complex (moral exercises, or issues such as war v. peace) that there is still "simply no way to clearly and logically choose."

Any decision someone makes is going to inevitably consist of many factors including: emotion, bias, gut-feeling etc. Logical arguments are fine, but they're still woven with things such as emotion, bias, gut-feeling etc.

And some tend to reject logical arguments with emotion, bias, gut-feeling etc.



edit on 13-4-2014 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 08:15 AM
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Woodcarver
I think what your talking about is when people say they are using logic to describe how strong their opinion is, which is stupid. So whenever someone uses that argument, you will know that they are really just stupid.


Exactly so! This is why I mentioned how this term is haphazardly thrown around. And of course I treated it haphazardly in the thread as well.

But with so many "stupid" people out there claiming to live by "logic," it's getting to be a very annoying buzz word for people who just want to sound smart.

Oh well.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Logic does not always give you the answer you want, and logic cant say what is morale.

When applying logic to the train problem, there would still be a morale judgement involved. You would get different answers because people set different values on different things. If you replace the solitary person with a baby, some people would choose to save the baby and kill the group of idiots hanging out on the tracks. You could choose fewer deaths or you can weigh the value of what is being sacrificed.

Logic is not based on opinion. Morales are. It is logical to practice a good morale system.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 08:28 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Yes im seeing a few threads being posted where the OP is literally trying to change the definitions of words to fit their worldview.

Words like evidence, spirituality, religion, theory, laws, proof,

For a sec i thought this was another attempt.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 08:29 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 



What is more logical? Coke or Pepsi? Green or blue? - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


Once upon a time there was only one type of Coke Cola, based on sugar, and one type of Pepsi Cola, based on aspartame, and so the choice was logically based on that factor alone ... one simply asked if they wanted brain cancer and if the answer was no, they drank Coke!

Same for color ... it is said that green is the most restful color to the human eye and hence the logic based on color is how much work do I want my eye to have to do and if the answer is not much then the logical answer is to choose green.

However I am being unreasonable in pointing those things out ... because I simply want to annoy you!



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by Woodcarver
 


I definitely agree with you there.

Logical isnt always moral or compassionate.

Logic is about static facts, not necessary whats the "right thing to do".

Lets take it to extremes for an example, lets say theres a young lady and old man and a baby on an island, technically the best chance of survival would be the man and the woman, without a baby to worry about. but no one is going to let a baby die.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 09:22 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 





The Runaway Trolley A runaway trolley is heading down the tracks toward five workmen who will be killed if the trolley proceeds on its present course. Molly is on a footbridge over the tracks, in between the approaching trolley and the five workmen. Next to her on this footbridge is a stranger who happens to be very large. If she does nothing the trolley will proceed, causing the deaths of the five workmen. The only way to save the lives of these workmen is to push this stranger off the bridge and onto the tracks below, where his large body will stop the trolley, causing his death. Should Molly push the stranger onto the tracks in order to save the five workmen? psychopixi.com...

The Deliberate Infection Ken is a doctor. One of his patients, whom he has diagnosed as HIV positive, is about to receive a blood transfusion prior to being released from the hospital. He has told Ken, in the confidence of their doctor-patient relationship, that after he gets his transfusion, and his medicine from Ken, he intends to infect as many people as possible with HIV starting that evening. Because Ken is bound by doctor-patient confidentiality, there is no legal way to stop this man from carrying out his plan. Even if Ken warned the police, they would not be able to arrest him, since his medical information is protected. It occurs to Ken that he could contaminate his medication by putting an untraceable poison in it that will kill him before he gets a chance to infect others. Should Ken poison this man in order to prevent him from spreading HIV? psychopixi.com... - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...


Logically both of these scenarios have more than just two outcomes. Why is it an option for Molly to push a stranger on to train tracks in the first place? If she has this much reaction time then there is time for other options such as yelling ahead a warning.

The doctor patient confidentiality can be side stepped in this scenario. The patient is clearly threatening the lives of others. What he plans to do is premeditated. The Doctor could still inform the law without releasing his patient has HIV. Killing his patient now makes the doctor a murderer and no better than the act the patient was planning. Is he not the doctor? He has the power to claim his patient is not using a rational mind and is a danger to others.

Being logical for some is as hard as using common sense, which as we know isn't very common.



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by TheLieWeLive
 

Hahah...
Scenarios like these come from those stupid people i referred to earlier.

But try to explain that to them.

With the vast majority of the world believing in some worldview that is inconsistent with natural science, one might infer that this mind set could have some kind of advantage when it comes to humans choosing a mating partner.(natural selection).

In other words, does ignorance give a group of people an advantage?


Is this some indication of something?



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 09:56 AM
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The logic differs from the logic
uk.answers.yahoo.com...
Or... a fool would come to the right decision, but wrong way(Umberto Eco)



posted on Apr, 13 2014 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by kirass
 


I am not sure of the point you are making. Your link was also vague. The problems they are solving dont make any sense as a poster points out about halfway through. Any person can come to the right decision the wrong way? Yes, if tou happen to guess correctly. But it is unlikely. The wrong way would imply bad math or bad science. It also implies that you didnt follow the evidence but rather, had the idea in your mind before the experiment and picked out all the evidence that agreed with you and discounted any that disagrees with your idea. It would be easy to pick apart. You could never prove anything with the improper formula. Really, to be able to prove that you have come to a correct solution to a problem you would have to prove that you have applied the correct logical methods to it.

To do this you would have to use math, chemistry, or some accepted field of science.

Any other method is opinion. Akin to feeling it in your balls. This is the hard part for a lot of people to distinguish. They think that science is applying your opinion to the evidence and feeling which way they think it should lean.

That is not science or logic.



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